Asus N61J

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NYHoustonman

Felt I had to comment on this.

I've had an N61Jv for a few months now, and I routinely see 3.5-4 hours of battery life using the "Entertainment" power setting, with typical browser/office use. Keeping the laptop in "High Performance" mode seems to disable CPU throttling, which drops battery life to the 2 hours you seem to be seeing. Assuming you switch to Entertainment mode and that video is indeed switching to the integrated GPU, I would think that you'd get different results. 

Granted, I'm not sure exactly what your battery test entails, but unless you're doing something CPU- or GPU-intensive, that 125 minute result does not seem accurate.

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netarc

I have an HP 8710p now, and it's getting a bit long in the tooth so am looking for a 16-17" replacement in the ~$1200 range.

This ASUS model looks like a contender, but you mention "If you want a desktop replacement that truly does everything, there are more powerful portables to be had" ... can you advise what other options you were referring to, I'd like to compare them againgst the ASUS.  Thanks!

EDIT: don't do a lot of gamin, but for those times I do I do use my laptop, sohaving a relatively good (say, mid-to-2/3-tier) graphics card would definitely be a nice to have!  Too, I use my laptop for a great deal of Lightroom work, and since I understand Lightroom is multithreaded, I was considering going with a core i7 quad system, if that makes sense?

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