After going through a terrible experience with Alienware/Dell customer-service
(Here it is if you are curious and have spare time to read a horror story.)
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I am now in the market for purchasing another laptop ASAP under my budget and these are the 3 I chose after doing a lot of homework and by process of elimination.
---HP Omen 15T: (After a coupon and discounts ~$1360)
HP Wide Vision HD Camera and dual array digital microphone with 1Thunderbolt 3
802.11b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 combo
OMEN by HP - 15t Laptop
Full-size island-style backlit keyboard with numeric keypad
No DVD or CD Drive
No Additional Office Software
4-cell 70 Wh Lithium-ion polymer Battery
1 TB 7200 rpm SATA; 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Security Software Trial
Windows 10 Home 64
16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8 GHz, up to 3.8 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores) + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5 dedicated)
15.6" diagonal FHD 144 Hz IPS anti-glare WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080) with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology
The only downside to this one is that it has an estimated shipping date of ~2/27/18
---My second option is ASUS 15.6" GL503 ~$1700 (This one is higher than what I originally wanted to pay but will is recommended all over the place AND has a GTX1070)
-slim 0.9" profile with carbon fiber pattern keyboard part. 15.6" 144Hz Full HD panel with IPS-type technology and NVIDIA G-SYNC.
7th-generation Intel(r) Core(tm) i7-7700HQ quad-core 2.8GHz (Turbo to 3.8GHz) with discrete GeForce(r) GTX(tm) 1070 8GB graphics. Dual-fan thermal design.
-256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB FireCuda SSHD for combination of fast OS drive speed and high capacity storage.
-Aura RGB lighting keyboard with 4 isolated hotkeys, 1.8mm key travel, and anti-ghosting technology. 4 zones of lighting control. 20-million keystroke durability.
-802.11ac 2x2 WiFi (up to 6x faster than traditional BGN); Bluetooth 4.1, 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 (Type C), 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Mini DisplayPort, 1x headphone/Mic jack, and 1x RJ45 LAN port.
Lastly I found an MSI GX63VR: (~$1400)
GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB GDDR5
Intel Core i7 7th Gen 7700HQ (2.80 GHz)
16 GB Memory 1 TB HDD 256 GB M.2 SATA SSD
15.6" 1920 x 1080 120 Hz 3 ms, Wideview, 94% NTSC Color, Anti-Glare
15.08" x 10.24" x 1.08" 4.85 lbs.
1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI (4K @ 60Hz)
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 3 x USB 3.0
My conclusion with pros/cons:
-144hz G-Sync display.
-Good battery life for a gaming laptop.
-Best bang for the buck it seems?.
-Battery life ~5hrs.
-Easy internal access.
-Quality is ok but could be better (There is some flex on the top of the screen when closed).
-I'm not really a fan of the wasd keys being red by default and getting the "gamer laptop" attention.
-Shipping from China which means I would receive it by the very last days of February but most likely sometime early March.
ASUS 15.6" GL503 Pros:
-Premium build and less of an attention grabber (which I like).
-GTX1070 8gb video memory.
-Also a 144hz G-Sync.
-RGB backlit keyboard.
-I'd receive this within a few days.
-Thinnest of the 3.
-Price (This is pushing my very limit but still doable).
-One input port for audio/mic/headset?.
-Easy to access ram/ssd/hdd but difficult to open up completely.
MSI GX63VR Pros:
-RGB backlit keyboard.
-Price is fair.
-Built quality could be better.
-Fast screen but still only 120hz and due to it being a TN panel viewing angles aren't the best.
-Very difficult to access all internals.
-Shortest battery life ~3hrs.
I must note, a GTX1070 seems like an overkill in the present but has a better outlook for the future (at least for me), right now I am just fine playing all games with a GTX1060 but I am also looking into getting more demanding games that are to be coming out later this year and would like to still be able to play them maxed out. Also, I do use my laptop on a daily basis which plays a factor on the shipping, I can wait for the Omen but it would be a bit of a sacrifice that I'm sure I could find a way around.
Current games I run on my laptop: Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Siege, Forza7, Destiny 2. The GTX1060 runs them all on Ultra no problem but its at ~80% on the heavier titles. The fact that I may be limited within a year or 2 bother me XD
Looking to get 2-3 of these games possibly in 2018: Farcry 5, GTA5, The Witcher 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider, PUBG, Assasins Creed Origins.
I'm open to thoughts, recommendations and corrections!
Thanks in advance!