Help Me, Laptop: Shopping with a Decent Budget

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If you have a big budget, you can afford a fantastic laptop and thus approach your shopping with a laundry list of requirements.


Such is the case with the modestly named forum user Iamnewtotech, who writes:

"Hello, so first off I should say that I have a personal computer capable of gaming because I'm not prioritizing a "gaming laptop". I would mainly use it when I'm out and about in the world, studying in a university and watching movies/TV shows. I can't find a laptop that's capable of playing some games (like Overwatch) on at least medium settings, just to kill time with friends but I'm mainly searching for a laptop with these features:

  • A good screen for watching movies/TV shows (4k if possible)
  • Somewhat light-weight (no Apple products please)
  • Not flashy or "gamery" (no need for rgb or crap like that)
  • Decent battery
  • Capable of running games at medium settings (i.e. Overwatch, Smite, just in general, light games)
  • Flexible (I'm open to suggestions including laptops which can flip their screens or even have a touchscreen)
  • Capable of light editing (like GoPro footage on Premiere Pro)
  • Not one that would melt a desk or get hot so bad that it would need an external fan
  • Generally a laptop that would be portable
  • Price range of $1700-$2000

Originally I was going for the Lenovo Yoga 920 with a 14'' 4k screen but that's way out of my price range and it's not able to run games."

Well, we've got two picks for you, depending on what your preferences for portability and gaming. If you want a laptop that weighs less than 3 pounds, look no further than the 2.65-pound Dell XPS 13, our favorite laptop. For $1,799, you can get it with an 8th Gen Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 4K display.

The only issue with that machine is that it has integrated graphics, which can only run Overwatch on the lowest settings. Other than that, it checks all of your boxes, and has enough performance for the editing you want. Plus, the battery lasts nearly 9 hours on a single charge.

MORE: The Best Gaming Laptops

But if you want more gaming prowess, you'll want the larger Dell XPS 15. The $1,999 model is at the high end of your budget, but its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics have 4GB of dedicated memory and should be enough for your gaming.

The XPS 15's Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU and 16GB of memory should be enough for your needs, and it lasts more than 8 hours on a charge. It also has a touch screen, which you asked about. Of course, it's not as lightweight, weighing in at 4.6 pounds.

So, dear reader, it's up to you to decide which best fits your needs. Good luck!

Have laptop woes and need advice? To get answers fast, head straight to the Laptop Tech Support Forum for the latest tips from our resident experts and fellow members.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
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