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Thread: A Gaming Laptop Warpath

  1. #1
    Frunk's Avatar Form Follows Function

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    Jun 2009
    Gold Coast

    Default A Gaming Laptop Warpath

    Hi forum,

    I'm not a happy Frunk today. Let me start at the beginning.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    After 8 years of service, my Alienware m17x from 2012 went to God recently. The thing had slowed quite a lot and (probably, because) the discs were both failing. I had months of warning and was able to back everything up and enjoy my last bit of time with that loyal beast while looking for a replacement.

    I had and have considered going the desktop route, but I move around a bit - I just moved interstate for the second time in several years and may be moving again, yet - so laptops just suit me better at this stage of my life, even though I use them as desktop replacements, attaching peripherals and monitors, etc.

    After a bit of self-prescribed re-education in the form of YouTube videos, blogs, and whathaveyou early this year, I set about comparing the available makes and models. I eventually settled on a Lenovo Legion Y740. This model was attractive as it didn't look too gamer-y, had a big, 17-inch screen (like my m17x) with a high refresh rate, the option to add an additional SSD for more storage, and pretty capable CPU and GPU for my purposes. I upped the RAM to 16GB. The other key factor in my decision was the fact I had access to a corporate discount, which I could bundle with the sale held at the time.

    I don't really find myself gaming too much - I haven't since I left my last job late last year as I generally feel too guilty to spend that time which could and should be used job-hunting or doing other things to help me towards my long term goals. In any case, I do still like to play and mod Med II and I want the option to play newer things should I feel inclined. I also am generally just a heavy user of my laptops - I like to run a couple of different browsers, often simultaneously, and also just generally like to feel as though I have something which keeps up with the speed of productivity I wish to maintain.

    So, all that in mind, I went ahead and ordered my replacement on April 3. This was at the height of Covid, so I was happy to wait the projected month it would take to be built, ship and arrive. It did, on about April 30. It was a great machine. Lightning fast. Slick-looking. Ideal. Then, after just over two weeks of use, the keyboard backlight began to bug out, and then it stopped working completely. There are other lights on the machine case connected to the same software which continued to work, so I knew pretty much instantly that it was a hardware issue. Still, I completed all the troubleshooting before contacting Lenovo and reporting the issue on May 24.

    I made the analogy elsewhere that if you bought a new car and drove it off the lot, only for the radio to crap out a few weeks later, you'd take it back, right, even though you can still drive it without the radio. It might seem like a keyboard backlight isn't something to worry about too much, and that may be true, but in any case I did as I assumed it would be a fairly simple fix. Lenovo, to their credit, were helpful to this end. The person I spoke to understood my issue and that I had attempted all avenues, and appealed to their manager to approve a replacement. An estimated delivery time was 3 weeks from the 29th. Great, I thought.

    Eventually, a pick-up was arranged for my original machine with the faulty keyboard, and it was picked up a bit less than 2 weeks ago now. After some to-and-fro, I received a new tracking number from Lenovo, projecting a delivery of 28th July - a full 5 weeks later than the 3 weeks originally started. Granted, yes, I know this is an "unprecedented time", but now cannot be worse than April, and I fail to see how it is acceptable for me to have ordered a laptop for, all-told, just under $3,000 AUD ($2,085 US, €1,840, 1,650) at the start of April, and not receive it, potentially, until the start of August, a full 4 months later, notwithstanding the replacement.
    The tl;dr:

    Anyway, long story-short, I'm on the warpath. I'm ringing Lenovo again today to demand a better resolution, or a full refund. They already have my original laptop; my father pointed out they should have let me hang on to it until the replacement was ready. Alas, no. I'm without and will be without for quite some more time, relying on a 7 year old ASUS cheapie which is appalling slow for my everyday purposes, and needless to say doesn't have access to all my files or capability to run the programs I want.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions for a nice, new laptop to buy if I do give up on Lenovo? Budget is no more than $3,000 AUD (~$2,085 US; €1,840; 1,650) as mentioned. Specs: 512GB SSD with another slot for a 2.5 inch drive (which I already bought separately; a Samsung Evo 860 1TB), 17-inch display, 16GB RAM, Core i7 or equivalent, RTX 2060 or equivalent, with hopefully at least 1 HDMI port and 1 mDP port (or a 2nd HDMI, of course).

    Any questions or comments, please post 'em below. I'd love to chat about this. I will absolutely keep you posted; I'm calling Lenovo right after this.

    Last edited by Frunk; June 15, 2020 at 07:58 PM.
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  2. #2
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Default Re: A Gaming Laptop Warpath

    I'd get something like this, if you do. $1500 AUD. It has equal or better than an i7, 1660ti 2060 basically, without the RTX which you wouldn't be able to use anyway due to poor frames from a 2060. 512gb ssd, 16gb ram.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: A Gaming Laptop Warpath


    Get an ITX console, and you can plug in to any suitable television, if you don't feel like hauling around a small monitor.

    My current strategy is to wait for next year's sales where they'll discount the coming cutting edge seven (or possible even five) nanometre Ryzen mobiles, and since Advanced Micro Devices will probably want to grab a substantial share of this niche, likely to be competitively priced whether on introduction later this year, or when they want to clear inventory for the next generation.
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  4. #4
    Basileos Leandros I's Avatar Writing is an art
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    Default Re: A Gaming Laptop Warpath

    Jumping on the bandwagon a bit late - get an ASUS ROG laptop. They're sturdy, good quality and relatively good for price-quality ratio.

    And you can get with 512SSD out of the factory or you can just upgrade. Or have SSD + HDD combos.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: A Gaming Laptop Warpath

    Seconded on the ROG laptop. The latest ROG Zephyrus G14 with the AMD 4900HS CPU is one of the best gaming laptops for its price point. Otherwise, if you're like me and prefer something that can be "professional", the new Razer Blade (not the Stealth) in White is a pretty good laptop. Honestly, tough to recommend a laptop this year. I realize that you need one right now, but next generation chips are going to be much better. Intel is finally going to release a new architecture and AMD should appear in more premium designs. If I had a gun to my head, I'll stand by my suggestion with the Zephyrus G14. It's a solid machine (by specs).

    ASUS customer service leaves a lot to be desires but I've had and heard about good and bad experiences with every OEM (MSI, ASUS, Razer, etc). It's really hit and miss.

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