Looking for a good non-gaming laptop that can also be used for gaming.


Aug 2, 2012
Hello. I am new to this site, and relatively new to computer hardware and software (some experience with hardware (mostly RAM and hard drives...), a bit more with software).

Basically, I am looking for a non-gaming laptop that I can use for games if needed, but I don't know what to get.

I currently have a Toshiba Satellite L500D-00T that is almost three years old, and it is starting to get pretty slow... I did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate after my hard drive quit last fall (I also upgraded the hard drive from the included 250 GB drive to a new 320 GB drive when I did this, and now has 126.5GB currently used). It is running fine for now, but it isn't that great. Original specs are here. The only changes are the hard drive and the OS.

A few of my friends have suggested getting an Alienware laptop, which I will probably do eventually, but I would have to save for a long time to do that (just finished customizing one, and it will cost about $4200 total, or $115/month...)

Any help with this is appreciated, as I don't know alot about the insides of a computer.

I also noticed these questions in another thread, so I'll put my own answers to them here to give more information:

1. What is your budget?
Once I start my new job, probably around $1000-1500 (maybe slightly higher, depending on the amount of hours I get)

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
I currently have a laptop that has an approximately 39cm (15.4 inch) screen, so something around that.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
As good as possible with my budget. HD is preferred, but not needed.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Doesn't really matter, but portable is preferred.

5. How much battery life do you need?
If possible, at least 3-4 hours would be great, but 2-3 should be fine.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Mainly Minecraft, with the best possible settings, and games like Cave Story, Braid, etc. (all other games (mainly Halo :p) will be handled by my Xbox)

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Mostly playing music, watching movies and other videos, and web browsing (when not playing Minecraft).

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
As much as possible with the budget. Preferably 500GB or more, but at least 320GB should be fine.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I would prefer an actual store, but if I have to buy online, I have no preference.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Until I can afford an Alienware laptop, so at least a couple years. After that, I may just install Ubuntu on it and use it as a secondary computer.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,BluRay ROM/Writer,Etc ?
BluRay is preferred, but just DVD is fine. Must be able to at least write DVDs

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
No preference, but I always hear good things about Dell and Toshiba (for gaming PCs/laptops, everyone always tells me to go with Alienware if I can afford it).

13. What country do you live in?

It would also have to have a number pad, as I do alot of typing using numbers, and it is also alot easier to enter passwords with one.
You can get an entry level gaming laptop in your price range. ASUS makes a nice laptop for $1200. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230404

I've also seen some individuals suggest SAGER laptops. The upgrade options they have are very practical as well. I really like that they have the Seagate Hybrid drives as an option. I would highly suggest this. I see it's actually a free upgrade right now. http://www.sagernotebook.com/Gaming_Special_Intel.html

I'm not sure I could ever recommend a non-gaming laptop for gaming. If I would it would be the HP Dv6t. Most consumer laptops are pretty cheaply made for the most part and have tendencies to heat up a little to much while gaming. I am a fan of the ASUS, but I've read a lot of good stuff about SAGER as well. Alienware is nice, but you pay way to much for what you get. $4000 for a laptop is just to much. It's a premium product at a premium price.

I would suggest nothing less than a GTX650M for mobile gaming. Get an i7 if possible since they are quad core and the mobile i5's are only dual core w/ HT.
I'll second what jay already said, there's no such thing as non-gaming laptop for gaming. You can go the other way, get gaming laptop that will be a good laptop for work as well.

With your budget you can get a very decent gaming laptop. Asus, MSI and Clevo (sager in usa) all have models in this price range. The only difference is, asus and msi models are pretty flashy, alike to alienware, which makes them a bit painful if you got to use the laptop for work. Clevo on the other hand offers plain chassis without ridiculous lighting and colors, so you can easily carry it into an office and not look like a 15 y/o with a toy.

GTX650 is last years 560, might as well aim for 660 if it fits the budget.

Also, if you do look at sager, check xoticpc.com website, they are a rep for sager, but a lot easier to deal with than sager themselves.

They funny thing is we have vendors that come in on occasion and have Dell XPS's and alienwares. It's funny because we always ask "do you game?"


Aug 2, 2012

By "non-gaming that can be used for gaming," I meant mostly that I want a good enough laptop for Minecraft to run well, but if there are gaming laptops in my price range, I'll check them out, as I might get some more games for PC in the future (my Xbox will always be preferred for games though, as that's where Halo is, and most of my friends play).

As I will be working in a movie theatre, I wouldn't be using it for work, so I don't really care if it looks like a gaming laptop or not. In the future, I want to be a game developer, so I still wouldn't care if it looks like a gaming laptop, as I will be making games, and will also be starting from home...

Also, I didn't mention this in my original post, but I would also prefer to have a backlit keyboard if possible.

Haha, that has yet to happen at our office in the two years I've been working here.