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New Laptop

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Hello. I am wondering if I might get a few words of advise from some of you experts. I have a Dell XPS 710 and an old Inspiron 8500 laptop. I am wanting to replace both of them with one fairly high end (as high end as I can afford anyway) laptop for work stuff but also for gaming. I have been looking at a few different laptops but haven't been able to decide. Here's what I have narrowed it down to:

- An HP Envy 17 with an i7-720QM processor and a 1GB Mobility Radeon HD 5850 video card
- A Dell Alienware M17x with an i5-520M processor and a 1GB Mobility Radeon HD 5870 video card
- A Sony VAIO EC with an i5-540 processor and a 1GB Mobility Radeon HD 5650 video card

I have heard good things about Sony's VAIO. They are comparably priced but their best gaming machine doesn't have quite the horsepower I was wanting in a video card.
The Dell machine would be ideal and they certainly look pretty cool but it's a bit out of my price range.
I am leaning kind of towards the HP Envy. It has pretty decent power and is within my price range. But I have read a number of reviews talking about the problems it has with getting too hot and having issues with shutting down from the heat or at least being uncomfortable
to operate because it gets so hot.
I have also looked at some somewhat off brands like an MSI that is almost identical to the HP Envy as far as what it has in it, but There again I saw reviews talking about overheating problems.
If I got one of those cool pads or chill mats, would that be enough to keep the thing from melting down even during moderate to intense gaming?
If anyone has any suggestions of other makes/models I would be forever in your debt. I am certainly not dedicated to any of these machines although I have owned a number of Dells and they have been pretty much trouble free for the most part (and those Alienware machines look so cool!)
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    Portlock - Oahu

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The one important aspect of buying a laptop for me is the support "after" you drop your money. With that in mind, stay away from Sony! Period. While Sony has earned a good name in past years, in the more recent, like for the last 10, they have not supported their entire line. They often drop support as soon as they change models. This has been my experience anyways.

As for Dell and HP, ymmv. Some are good deals for the money you pay. I personally don't game on a laptop due to heat problems that are inherent in laptops to begin with. This is why laptops like Alienware are so expensive... they're built for gaming... so you pay the price. Even then, they still run hot and you'll find threads of overheating Alienwares all over the net, so there too ymmv.

Unless there's a reason you need a gaming laptop, I would just use a desktop for that and spend a lower amount on a laptop for mobility... what they were intended for originally. You can get very cool 10" or 12" laptops that are easy to use, transport, and quite reliable.

Just my $.02

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