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Looking for a new laptop!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I need a new laptop for work. My current laptop (Dell XPS M1330, 2.4 gHz C2D, 3GB RAM) just doesn't cut it anymore. Here's what I'm looking for:

What is your maximum budget?
Not 100% fixed yet, but I would like to keep it under $800. Less is better.

What country are you in?
USA

What will be the uses of this laptop?
Primarily work. For me, that means lots of multitasking and working with large files. I frequently have a VM with Vista (ugh) running while also working on my native OS (Ubuntu). The real heavy lifting is offloaded to a server, but I like to do as much as is reasonable on my own machine.

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you?
No macs. I've seen some nice-looking Asus models, but I'm open to suggestions.

What screen size do you require?
14-15.6"

What screen resolution do you require?
720p would be nice

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay?
New would be preferred, but I'll consider all options.

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet)
As long as possible. I keep my current laptop plugged in most of the time, so it's not my biggest consideration.

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings?
Gaming won't be its primary use, but it would be nice to run modern games at average settings once in awhile.

What operating system do you need? (if any)

I plan to install Ubuntu and use Win7 via dual-boot/VM. It would be nice if it came with 7 but I can pick it up elsewhere.

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.)
Not butt-ugly. Portability is good since I'll be lugging it around daily.

How much hard drive space do you need?
500GB should do it.

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.)
Webcam & mic.

Is there anything else we need to know? I really want plenty of RAM. Preferably 8GB. I'm willing to buy a laptop with less and upgrade it myself if it's more cost-effective.

Thanks for the help!
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Spinpoint 1TB, WD Green 1.5TB, Spinpoint 2TB, W... Ubuntu Server Corsair 400CX nMediaPC HTPC 5000B 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Spinpoint 1TB, WD Green 1.5TB, Spinpoint 2TB, W... Ubuntu Server Corsair 400CX nMediaPC HTPC 5000B 
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post #2 of 4
Have you checked out the Lenovo Thinkpad T420 laptops at all? Business laptops, 14-15", and with the specifications you are seeking.

The T520 laptops are the same thing, just with 15" screens. If you need more hardware they have the "W520' models that are the workstation variants.

There should be sales starting up in a month or two for the back to school season.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D T7100 1.8 ghz (undervolted) ummm... Dell Intel X3100 2 x 1gb 667mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Fujitsu 7200 RPM 120gb CD-RW/DVD dual boot Vista business 1440x900 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D T7100 1.8 ghz (undervolted) ummm... Dell Intel X3100 2 x 1gb 667mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Fujitsu 7200 RPM 120gb CD-RW/DVD dual boot Vista business 1440x900 
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I took a look at the Thinkpads, and they seem a bit pricey for what you get. A T520i, with a 2.1 GHz i3, 2GB RAM, and integrated graphics is $829. An Asus K53SV with a 2.3 GHz i5, 6 GB RAM, and a GT540 is the same price at Amazon. Is there something special about the Thinkpads that make them worth the $$? I'm seriously considering the K53SV right now, as it meets all my requirements, but still taking suggestions.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Spinpoint 1TB, WD Green 1.5TB, Spinpoint 2TB, W... Ubuntu Server Corsair 400CX nMediaPC HTPC 5000B 
  hide details  
Reply
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Spinpoint 1TB, WD Green 1.5TB, Spinpoint 2TB, W... Ubuntu Server Corsair 400CX nMediaPC HTPC 5000B 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 4
The K53SV is a nice laptop for the price, when I compiled a list of laptops a month back I found that the thinkpads were significantly pricier than anything else with the same specs. Currently there are really 3 ranges of laptops.
Low: i3-2310m, 320-500GB HDD, 4-6GB RAM, integrated graphics, 720p, about $600
mid: i5-2410m or i7-2630QM, 500-750GB HDD, 4-8GB RAM, gt 540m, 720p, about $900
high: i7-2630QM and up, 500GB HDD and up, 8GB RAM and up, GTX 460m and up, 1080p, starts around $1300 and the sky is the limit depending on what you want.
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