After shopping and shopping, I find that the best laptop to buy is one that is on sale at Costco. They have name brands and a variety of prices/specs. The sale prices seems to me to be better than comparably spec’ed laptops available anywhere else. Plus you get a good return policy. And, if you don’t like the sales this month, just wait 3 weeks and the stock that’s on sale will rotate.
I am thinking that I am going to pull the trigger on a Lenovo on sale there this month. It’s got an Intel I9 for processing power and a decent tier GPU for games and or video editing.
I’d have to look up specs, we recently got a Lenovo at Costco and it seems really nice so far. My work machine is also a Lenovo and I’ve been really happy with it for three years. The ‘Costco warranty’ (aka their epic returns policy) is really nice for electronics. We returned a Roomba once that was like $600 and died before the three year mark.
I think this is a heck of a deal for $1100 at Costco right now:
The “only” weakness to me seems to be that the screen is 1080P (not higher), but if you want to play 10 year old games, that should not be a deterrent. But for $200 more you can opt for a Lenovo with a higher res screen and faster processor. Both are still on the noice side of your stated budget.
And if anybody knows of better deals elsewhere, please share…
…in which case the two things you’re looking for are a discrete video card (rather than integrated graphics), and a decent amount of RAM.
Annoyingly, laptops with discrete video cards are harder to find, increase cost, and usually sacrifice battery life.
If I were looking for something off-the-shelf for running 10-year old graphics-intensive games, the Costco laptop probably isn’t a bad option, although looking around might turn up better. I like that that particular model comes with 32GB of RAM, but the 8GB of RAM for the video card will preclude you from having a pleasant experience with more graphic-intensive (newer) games. The screen resolution is probably tolerable in portable use, but I’d want to plug it into a better external monitor when working at home. It looks a little larger, L×W×H dimension wise than I’d like to carry around. I didn’t catch the laptops actual weight.
A couple of years ago, I got a gaming laptop from a company that specializes in building heavily-customized tower PCs, targeting the gaming + streaming market. They also do custom gaming laptops, and I got one.
It’s great for entertaining myself in the living room while my wife is reading / surfing / watching TV, and I was able to max out its RAM capacity, consistent with my preferences. However the beast is heavy, and the battery life is laughingly short…both factors leading me to not move it from the living room.