In today's Reloading... Bill Pirkle returns with tales of woe found only within the beast known as the laptop.
Welcome back to our 87th attempt at Reloading...
Hi all. Bill Pirkle, for our fearless leader John Hoskin, who was lost a week ago in the Canadian wilderness with only a dull knife and a used Band-aid. We've informed Dudley Do-Right that, given that John was Level One a week ago, and given the rocketship-like rate at which he usually levels, they should expect to find him sitting on a pile of treasure, wearing top-tier battle gear, and surrounded by three hundred people calling him "Guildmaster".
Everyone can use a feel good moment to start the day. Let’s go with this…
Today's column is dedicated to those who, like myself, share a penchant for a perverse form of torture known as the "Gaming Laptop".
I've used a laptop as my primary computer for over a decade. Ten Ton Hammer's own Arxkanite often reminds me that I could get twice the machine for half the cost with a desktop. But see, I work from home. Here's a typical day: my workday occurs in the office (upstairs). Then at night, we watch TV in the den (downstairs). And "we watch TV" means my wife watches TV while I sit next to her and sneak in some gaming time. A desktop would mean (1) working from the den - bad for my job, (2) gaming in the office while my wife watches TV alone - bad for my marriage, or (3) carry the desktop up and down the stairs every day - bad for my back. And let's not even mention Sunday afternoons at the in-laws.
My last two laptops were top-of-the-line Dells. Maybe I was just lucky, but my few serious issues (including a bad motherboard) were resolved with a minimum of fuss. But with newer games coming out (*cough* SWTOR) I needed a new rig. I didn't have the cash for another high-end Dell, so earlier this year, I switched brands and got an Asus. Quick specs: Core i7, 12 Gig RAM, GeForce GTX 460M, 2x 7200RPM/500 Gig hard drives.
That set me back about half the cost of an equivalent Dell. So far, I'm thrilled with the machine. I've run WoW, WoT, and LotRO at maximum graphics without issue. Not the most demanding games, but because I'm a fanatical multitasker, they're usually running windowed, along with three copies of my programming IDE, three browsers, Thunderbird, two IM clients, an SQL interpreter, and a handful of console windows. The Asus has yet to break a sweat.
I'm less thrilled with Asus support. I had to do the Sandy-Bridge-recall swapout. I'd purchased through a reseller (XoticPC) who custom-modified the laptop, so a third party was involved. Let's just say that it wasn't a smooth ride. Based on my (admittedly limited) experience, I'd rank Asus support below their Dell counterparts. But for half the price, I kinda expected that. Joseph at XoticPC gets big props. He's a fantastic service guy, and an MMO gamer to boot.
Ultimately, my friend Arxkanite is completely right - a desktop is a better deal. But he's also completely wrong - a laptop is the best choice for me. Case in point - I'm writing this from a hotel near Sea World while the kids get ready for the day.
How many of you, like me, spend twice the money for half the computer just to be able to run around with it? Any war stories to share for those contemplating a purchase?
Zeschuk explains that BioWare’s current focus is on the successful launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, but once that and some of the developer’s other projects like Mass Effect 3 are out the gate, BioWare will be taking a fresh look at the market.
Diablo III, Blizzard's third sequel in the beloved Diablo franchise, is set to launch in early 2012, and it's arguably the most anticipated action-RPG on the gaming horizion. That means gamers are lusting after beta access. Ten Ton Hammer has a few smokin' hot beta keys for some lucky premium members and one Facebook fan. And premium members can enter both contests!
If you're a premium member (you'll know by the distinct smell of awesome radiating from your person) you can enter the Diablo III Beta Giveaway drawing for your first chance to win. That page also describes how you can compete against the unwashed masses (aka - registered members) in our Facebook key grab to increase your odds. (This part is entirely optional, because your odds are already good.)
Not a premium member? Become premium today to access beta giveaways, exclusive content, members only contests and more!
Ten Ton Hammer is currently playing around with a mac-compatible program that may replace the updater we are currently using. If all goes well it will also add additional functionality to the current updater and allow you quick access to the Warcraft Database for quests/items/players/etc.