Well, I'm completely new to shopping for a laptop. I have no idea how any of the mobile cpus compare with desktop ones, so perusing newegg, I'm feeling pretty lost at the moment. Here's the low-down. I will be using this at college this fall. I'm bring my desktop (sig) with me, so I'm still debating on how powerful this lappy needs to be. But I do like to go big or go home so-to-speak. I'm the kind of person that says, "if I'm already going to spend $700 on just a decent
laptop, then I might as well spend $1000 on a good
one." This is my mentality right now, so my budget therefore, is $700-1000 (I have yet to check with my parents to see if they'll chip in or what their price point is). I will be using this for office/student type tasks while I'm out and about on campus and when I come back home to visit. I'll have my desktop for anything else.
Screen-size: I would prefer a 17", but I think I could get by with a 15.6". Resolution doesn't matter. I've always used 1024x768. Everything else is so small it makes my eyes hurt. I've maybe only used anything higher than that in a game, which I only do on my desktop and isn't a concert here. So resolution is basically not important at all.
Battery Life: I would rate this as very important, but not a deal breaker. It MUST get at least 2.5 hours, but I REALLY would like 3+ hours.
CPU: I would like 2.0GHz+. Preferably a C2D since I know that AMDs run quite hot. I would like peace of mind in the cooling dept. that all of my hard earned cash I'm spending on this isn't melting away into an endless pit of nothing.
The only things that I think I have picked up are that the P series are 3MB cache models and the T series are 6MB. Either is fine; whatever gets better battery life, but I don't want to sacrifice performance.
RAM: Don't care. I can upgrade this myself. In fact, the less, the better. It'll probably make the lappy cheaper, and I can upgrade it myself for less. I would prefer DDR2 since DDR3 is still kind of pointless and that's probably out of my price point anyways. I assume they make DDR2-800 for lappies; but 667 would be acceptable.
HDD: Again, don't care. It'd be nice to have at least 100-200GB though. I would like to avoid upgrading this myself since I'd have to reinstall, but that wouldn't be a big deal, so assume that I can upgrade it. I would like a 7200rpm drive, since I've heard they can be faster than 5400s in booting and file management tasks. But, I can make do with a 5400.
GPU: I would REALLY REALLY REALLY like a dedicated card. Probably 512MB+. I have NO idea how any of the mobile GPUs stack up, but I know they aren't great compared to desktop GPUs. However, going dedicated would give me peace of mind. But, I am not willing to sacrifice battery life or heat for a GPU. I will be doing NO gaming on this lappy, but I do foresee some photo editing and that's my main reason. Also, I have noticed that a dedicated GPU keeps the resale value up just a bit, and that's always a plus.
OS: Vista 64bit of some kind to make use of the RAM. But, it doesn't need to have an OS (I know most all will though) cuz I can just get the vista/win7 combo then or whatnot.
Optical: Just needs to burn dvds. BluRay would be fine, but I'll probably never use it unless it's a burner...which they probably don't even make for laptops yet...plus the cost!
Wireless: I'd love it to have onboard wireless N built-in. But, if not, I have a USB wireless N adapter I can use...would be a pain, but do-able. I want to be able to take advantage of not only the quick campus connection, but my home's wireless N capabilities.
Ports: Number of USBs doesn't matter at all. I'll probably just be using my flash drive; maybe a mouse. DVI/HDMI out would be a plus, but not a must in any case. I can make do with VGA if necessary. Firewire is NOT needed at all. eSata is also not needed, but would be nice since my external HDD has eSata..not a big deal though as that is also USB.
Others: Keyboard does not have to have a num pad. I can buy one like that. (most don't have them anyways). Card reader would be fine, but not necessary.
Color: Dark. Black or charcoal. I do not want silver or while. This is a biggie for me. Glossy or flat doesn't matter, just dark. It tends to hide wear and marks better. I take great care of my stuff though.
Brands: I will NOT buy an Acer, MSI, Compaq (yes I know it's like a sister of HP) or, God forbid, a Dell. I, however, do trust Gateway, HP, and Sony. I'm iffy on Asus and Toshiba. I know you get what you pay for, so that's why I like these companies over the others. Please don't argue with that. Gateway would be my first choice followed by HP and Sony. I'm thinking Sony is probably out of the running, however, because they tend to run $200-250 higher in price for similar systems.
That's it I think.
I know how fast my parents' C2D E6400 machine I built runs, so as a marker, this lappy needs to equal or outperform that; which I think it will. Just start throwing in some suggestions. I'm open right now. Nothing is being purchased real soon. Maybe within the next month.
Thanks to all who read this book. No need to hurry. Oh, and personal experience suggestions are welcome. If you have a laptop, share what it is and let me know how you like it.