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Pros: Affordable price (was on sale for $849), good processor and graphics card for gaming, absolutely fantastic keyboard as one or more other reviewers have pointed out! Perfect for when you need to play most current/new games on the go and you want good visuals from high graphics settings.
Cons: For a 17 inch laptop, the resolution is a touch lower than average at 1600x900, (many 17 inch have 1920x1080 resolution). This isn't a major issue, and probably explains the good price, as this laptop's hardware is almost as good as quite a few $1200 laptops designed for gaming.
The wrist rest surface and the lid surface show smudges VERY easily, but again only just a minor issue.
Other Thoughts: You should never expect a laptop to be your main ultra-gaming runs-anything-as-smoothly-as-butter machine, but if you want to be able to play most games on the go or at a friend's house with high graphics settings and fast loading times, then this laptop is easily your answer.
Cheaper laptops exist with smaller screens but beware their catches! The Nvidia 650M card is actually quite powerful for a laptop graphics card.. Many other cheaper machines have cheaper, less powerful graphics cards.
Also beware other machines with better prices and only 6 gigs of ram. Ram runs best when you have two sticks of equal make and size. 8 gigs means 2 sticks of 4gigs... While 6 gig laptops mean 1 stick of 4gigs and 1 stick of 2gigs, which can lower performance.
The description of this laptop also doesn't mention the second hard drive port. You can use this to add more storage space or even increase the performance of the machine by loading the operating system and core programs on a solid state drive. The 5400 rpm hard drive it comes with can then be used as extra storage or set up with the SSD as a storage pool using Windows 8 Storage Spaces feature, allowing redundancy backups of all your files and settings.
To summarize, when I want the ultimate gaming performance, I stay at home and play on my high-end custom built desktop. But when I want to play those same games with a group of friends somewhere else, I can rely on this laptop to outperform even some of their more expensive name brand gaming machines.