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Assembling Asus Laptop: The More I See the Less I Know

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Alright, so here's what I've decided on;

The Asus ROG G53SX-RH71

I do a lot with my laptop. It is essentially a crux of my life. After searching through endless seas of reviews, speaking with some friends, and a few associates from work (who are more technically inclined than I) this is where I landed. I like the specs, I like the externals, I like the reviews, I like the service plan it comes with, and I like the price. That should be the end of the story... but it's not.

The website I'm ordering this from (ProStar) gives me a few options for upgrades to what it would generally come with and that's where I've run into difficulty. I've basically ruled out upgrading the processor (based on the price and... I dunno, an i7 with 2.2GHz sounds like enough for what I intend to be doing with it) and the RAM (even for a gamer, 8 seems like enough, I mean let's be reasonable).

There are two components throwing me for a loop;

1.)15.6" 1920 x 1080 Full HD (16:9) Matte Type Display (standard) vs 1920 x 1080 Full HD (16:9) LED Backlit Glare Type Display, Super-Wide Viewing Angles (upgrade)

I work in a Home Theater department so I'm not unaccustomed to this sort of "gimmick" sounding upgrade but I wanted to make sure I wasn't passing up something generally thought of as warranted (it's a $70.00 upgrade by the way.) After searching around the internet I couldn't really find a display of one versus the other nor anyone really denouncing one or praising one. So I figured I'd ask here and see what the population thought; as a gamer (CoH, CO, TOR, WoW, DCUO... really any MMO that comes out), an avid watcher of movies and television on my laptop, a writer, someone who does video editing and dabbles in graphic design... is this something I'm going to care about or should I save my 70 bucks and buy... I dunno, an extra battery or something?

2.)1TB HDD vs. Dual 500GB HDD's (with the option of making the primary a SSD)

This very same model is available on two different sites, for the same price, with the only two differences being the 1TB HDD and Windows 7 Home Premium on one and a dual 500GB HDD and Windows 7 Professional 64 bit on the other. My thinking is that upgrading the primary to a Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid Drive w/4GB SSD Memory SATA-300 (where I'll put the OS) is... smart for 85 bucks? (That's the cost of that particular upgrade.) The other site offers no "tailoring," they just sell what's offered.

There are a bunch of other things one could potentially upgrade (the wireless card for example) but none of it jumped out at me and said "NECESSARY!" I could easily be wrong though so I'm open to suggestions before I pull the final trigger on this thing. I realize this is probably way, way, way beneath what most of you guys run into so I'll say ahead of time thanks for helping school a novice. This is alot of money for me to drop on a laptop and I just want to make sure I do it "right."

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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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so I'm not unaccustomed to this sort of "gimmick" sounding upgrade

It is not a gimmick at all. Glare is a very real problem and road warriors typically have little to no control over the lighting at their location. A home theater owner, on the other hand, can close curtains and control the lighting - and thus glare and reflections.

So the "choice" of having a glossy or matte finish is very real and not a gimmick. That said, it is a choice - a matter of personal preference and therefore, there is no one finish that is better (in terms of quality or performance) than the other. Only you can decide that for yourself, based on how much glare and reflections bother you.

Wide viewing angles are important to some, and not at all for others. For a notebook, you don't generally have a bunch of people viewing the monitor - it is typically just you sitting right in front of the monitor. So for notebooks, a wide viewing angle is not normally that important.

I would not think a wide viewing angle would add $70 to the cost. So I would look at other specs. Faster response times and better contrast ratios may indicate better performance.

Most people don't need Professional, but you did not say if the Home Premium is 64-bit. With 8Gb of RAM, it needs to be.

I don't see the need for two hard drives on notebook and for most people, 500Gb is plenty big. The new hybrid drives are a nice compromise.

Wireless is an upgrade? Notebooks are for people who need to take their computers with them. And since not all locations provide ready access to an Ethernet port, I think wireless is absolutely necessary .

an avid watcher of movies and television on my laptop, a writer, someone who does video editing and dabbles in graphic design.

Do you really need a notebook? Understand in spite of what the notebook maker's marketing weenies would have us believe, notebooks do not make good desktop replacements or game machines. Notebooks by their very nature are powerful computers jammed in tiny confined cases. Full size tower computers struggle with heat when heavily tasked (with serious gaming, graphics design, etc.). There is no way any notebook case can adequately cool the innards under those conditions and so they frequently go into thermal protection mode (by slowing down the CPU, for example). Also, PC cases can be opened to allow the user to thoroughly clean the interior of the heat trapping dust that was drawn in by the fans. Notebook interiors cannot be easily accessed by the normal user for proper, regular cleaning.
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