Best gaming laptop under 5 lbs?
March 9, 2007 2:07 PM   Subscribe

What's the best gaming laptop I can get that will come in under 5 lbs?

I know they won't be proper gaming systems because I want to keep low weight/portability, but what's the best I can do?

I was looking at something like the Vaio SZ or the Asus W7J because they both have a somewhat healthy vidcard in them for the weightclass. Are there better options or maybe some new tech on the horizon that I should wait for?

Tangentially, are those solid state hybrid drives worth waiting for?

Battery life not super important as I plan to lug the ac adapter with me everywhere I go.
posted by juv3nal to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My experience with lightweight gaming laptops is fairly limited, but my vote would go for the 15" MacBook Pro. It's a bit more than 5lbs (5.6), though. But you get a Radeon X1600 w/ 256mg and a really nice display (128mg for the cheaper version). I run all of my Windows games on mine and I'm VERY happy with it (and I have an X1300).
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:23 PM on March 9, 2007

Response by poster: Hadn't considered a mac before. Is leopard something I'd want to wait for/when is it expected to come out?
posted by juv3nal at 2:34 PM on March 9, 2007

if you're planning on gaming with it, what does it matter if you're using the latest mac os? you could install windows and never look back. (blasphemy!)
posted by sxtxixtxcxh at 2:45 PM on March 9, 2007

I like custom builders so I will suggest my current favorite AvaDirect, their build quality is great and they give you a lot of customization options, the asus laptops in that link come in under 5.5 lbs fully loaded. I kinda like the MSI ones but unfortunately they are more like 8 lbs.

I would also second the macbook pro. just get a laptop that does NOT have integrated graphics, make it has a decent screen resolution and plenty of ram. of the mainstream PC retailers I would probably pick IBM/Lenovo over the dell/hp/gateway stuff.
posted by sophist at 3:20 PM on March 9, 2007

What sxtxixtxcxh said. You don't even need OSX on it. The only potential complaint would be the single mouse button, but it sounds like you're going to be doing some serious gaming, so I'm assuming you'll be using an external mouse anyway.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:28 PM on March 9, 2007
are good options
posted by killa62 at 3:34 PM on March 9, 2007

Thirding the gaming on a MacBook Pro. Lemme tell you - both in Windows and Mac, WoW looks brilliant on my 17" MBP, and all the old Windows games that I used to play are awesome under Boot Camp.

The 17" is going to be overkill for what you describe, though - do the 15", and you'll have exactly what you're looking for. On a related note to your question, a couple of people are theorizing that Apple will be utilizing those drives (along with other NAND RAM implementations sometime in the future, and according to on of those sources, perhaps sometime in the second half of this year.

Just some food for thought. Oh, and about waiting for 10.5 - not a huge deal. If you decide you want it later, Apple OS's are notoriously cheap compared to Microsoft, so it'll only set you back around $100 or so if you want it later.
posted by plaidrabbit at 5:16 PM on March 9, 2007

You might check in with Alienware, not sure on the weight of their portables, but if money is no option they build amazing machines.
posted by efalk at 5:35 PM on March 9, 2007

I'm loving my Sony Vaio BX. I'm not gaming but doing very heavy memory dependent work, and it just kicks ass,
posted by moonbird at 7:30 AM on March 10, 2007

If you're comfortable going to 5.6 pounds, the Thinkpad T60 is an option. I have one with the ATI Mobility graphics (X1400?) and it runs games pretty well. Thinkpads are all around excellent laptops.

See also my previous AskMe.
posted by Nelson at 9:10 AM on March 10, 2007

Best answer: It's 5.25 lbs, so it's slightly over your weight limit, but otherwise I see no reason why you shouldn't get an Asus A8Js. The video card is a Geforce Go7700 512MB, which will handily beat the 7400TC in the W7J and the Mobility x1400 and should handle most recent games quite well. The A8Js also has better specs than the cheapie Macbook Pro (except the processor—if you find a use for that extra .16 GHz, let me know) and costs hundreds of dollars less. In Canada, the A8Js retails for just under $1800 CAD, about the same as the W7J. (Basically the trade-off is the W7J is smaller and is probably built better, as the A-series tends to be more mass-market than the W-series.)

There are other small options in the market, but pretty much anything under 14 inches is going to have Geforce Go7400s and Mobility x1400s. The boost in video card speed you get from moving up to 14.1s is enormous, and since you don't care about battery life or power usage there's really no downside except possibly heat.
posted by chrominance at 10:16 AM on March 10, 2007

(oh, and the 7700 will beat out the x1600 in the MBP as well, in case it wasn't obvious. Actually, I'm fairly sure any PC laptop with an x1600 will beat out the MBP x1600 because I believe Apple underclocks the video card in the MBP to keep things cooler. This doesn't really matter so much since you're considering x1400-based laptops as well, but it's food for thought.)
posted by chrominance at 10:20 AM on March 10, 2007

Response by poster: That 8js looks to be the ticket. Didn't know asus had a 14" one with 512mb vid memory. Thanks.
posted by juv3nal at 12:08 PM on March 10, 2007

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