Going to college in the fall and looking to purchase my first laptop. I'm not too familiar with brands so I decided to see what advice TL could offer. I'd say my budget is around $1000, but I'm willing to budge if the laptop is a really good value. I'm not looking for a gaming laptop, but as far as gaming goes I just want a laptop that can run sc2 ladder with a constant 30 FPS+ on low/medium. As far as other features, optimus and a 14-15 inch 1080p screen would be great. Thanks for reading!
Well, $1000 is quite a decent amount for a laptop (except for Macs or gaming specific laptops). I've been using a HP dv6t laptop. I think the dv lines have been upgraded with the new ivy bridge CPUs and is usually equip with a decent gpu (mine had 6770 radeon with sandy bridge i7). Even with my older model, sc2 runs great with most settings at low/medium. Alternatively, you can go for the Lenovo Y series laptops. Can't say anything about them since I never personally owned one, but friends have been using it and is similarly spec'd. Price point for my laptop was in the 800s back when it was new, I've seen it go down to 600-700. Keep in mind though that there is usually a HP coupon for laptops that say "200 off of any dv laptop etc etc" which pretty much brings the price from overpriced to just right.
It has a nice screen, optimus, and is very capable. When customizing the laptop, the screen upgrade and proc upgrade (to the cheapest quad core) and the second hard drive are all very good upgrades; however, opting for an SSD is not a good choice since the ones they offer are overpriced. The laptop will easily surpass 30fps in high, let alone in medium/low. At the same time, the battery life will be decent since it has optimus and can run off of the integrated graphics.
Buy through either powernotebooks or xoticpc and not directly through Sager. Customer support is far superior through both of those re-sellers. If you order through sager directly, there's a good chance you will get screwed over, unless they've drastically changed their ways in the last few months. Through a good re-seller though, it's a very safe purchase.