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Im planning on getting a new laptop that's good for gaming and working on (design, photoshop, programing and later on 3D). My current Options are the Toshiba Qosmio X505-830/832 (830 & 832 are the same laptop but with different warranty) and the Dell Studio 17 (the latest model that comes with the i7 and dedicated gpu). Both laptops have the i7 cpu and dedicated gpu, but im not sure which gpu or laptop is better for me.

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Community Wiki please. – Molly7244 Dec 8 '09 at 15:48

Just one tip about the laptop's size: Do NOT buy a 17-incher!

You might think that you're buying a desktop replacement, but the day you want it take it with you, just because it's "portable", you might find out that a 17-incher wouldn't fit in a normal-sized backpack or briefcase. They are HUGE!

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I have a 17 myself and it's a monster. Took me a while to find a bag that I liked that would fit it (DON'T try a shoulder bag with a 17 incher, get wheels if you go that route). And the power brick by itself is another monster. Though I don't need a lot of portability, so it works for me. – BBlake Dec 8 '09 at 20:36

A desktop requires a slanted (ergonomic) keyboard, a height adjustable screen that can be moved independently from the keyboard, a docking station in case your computer is a notebook.

You do want > 20" screen on your desktop. You dont want to schlepp a 20" notebook, though.

That said, the screen size of the notebook becomes secondary to usefulness on travel. Also, a useful notebook plus a beefy workstation usually is cheaper than a beefy notebook alone.

If you need the computing power of the i7, remote desktop to the workstation.

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I'll vote for the Toshiba just based on my own personal experience. I've had better luck with Toshiba than Dell overall. The best units I've used though were IBM/Lenovo and Tadpole (SPARC processor).

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I would HIGHLY suggest Acer. They have some of the best graphics card options and are not expensive.

The Studio 17 seems to be having power supply/battery problems. I've had two customers bring them in already.

  • $1,349.99
  • Intel Core i7 720QM(1.6GHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M
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Acer and that exact model were becoming another option but, the "Cons" on the reviews section of that Newegg link and this:… well... – Fellknight Dec 10 '09 at 13:54

Considering it is going to be a desktop replacement, and you might not use external screen and keyboard, some emphasis should be placed on the laptops keyboard, since this can be a very personal thing.

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I am also considering moving from a beefy Windows XP workstation to a 17" laptop. One feature that really stands out for me is an illuminated keyboard. There are so few available in 17" machines. Another issue: I can handle the width and depth of a large laptop, but both of the machines you mentioned -- and the Acer (which is the largest of the bunch by height) -- are ~0.8" greater in height than an Apple MacBook Pro 17 (0.98" / 6.6lbs). Sure it's pricey, but durable and slender. Win XP and 7 both run flawlessly on this machine.

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Yeah, the backlit keyboard is must-have for me too. Im tired of trying to find my way around the keyboard when the lights are out. Both Laptops have it not only the MacBook Pro (which for me is ridiculosly expensive and no i7). But yeah both of those are on the super heavy side. – Fellknight Dec 10 '09 at 13:40
Cool -- I didn't see the LED backlit keyboard on the Toshiba Qosmio X500. Is it an option on the Dell Studio 17 (can't find it)? – Damion Hankejh Dec 11 '09 at 15:29
Ah - found the backlit option on the Dell ($20). This Dell might be a worthy alternative to an over-priced MacBook Pro. – Damion Hankejh Dec 11 '09 at 16:20
I just checked out the Dell Studio XPS 16, also available with the i7 cpu. This thing is substantially thinner than the Studio 17 and altogether better looking (just 0.95" front / 1.34" back; slightly thinner at the front than a 0.98" MacBook Pro). The only con I can cite is that the 16" display is glossy (which has proven a nightmare on a 2008 MacBook since I bought it), although that's easily solved for ~ $20. – Damion Hankejh Dec 16 '09 at 3:49

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