I know it's been a while since you started the thread but since you said you hadn't bought anything yet, I'll let you know about my experience recently with a new laptop.
Before I started college in fall of 2009, I purchased a 16.9" Sony Vaio. It had a 1080p LCD (not LED), dedicated graphics, and a Core2Duo. I upgraded it to 4GB of RAM right out of the box, and toward the end, I upgraded to an SSD. The thing was a beast, and it only stopped ticking when I broke the charging cable off on the MB. (Too lazy to fix it...it's still in a shelf, so maybe another time.) However, when I bought that laptop, it was almost $1,400 with the accidental damage warranty. When it went kaput, I vowed to never spend that much in a laptop again. I had a desktop the whole time I had the laptop, and it just was way more power than I needed, too bulky and heavy, and the battery life was garbage, even with the extra cells. I told myself that if I ever bought another laptop, it would an "intermediate" device so-to-speak. A device that would help me make it in between sitting down at my desktop where I do my real heavy lifting.
Well, I ended up getting "spoiled" at my last job and ended up with close to the highest-end Surface Pro 3 you could purchase at the time. An i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, etc. It was close to $1,800 for just the Surface, but add in the dock, the monitor adapters (to do dual screens), the LAN adapter, USB adapters, VGA and HDMI adapters, etc., and the whole package was over $2,000. It was NOT worth it. Holy crap, I will never own one if those things personally. We had so many issues (our IT team had 6 of them). For the price, it was just not at all what it should have been.
But I left that job and needed to get another laptop. I looked for about a month before I settled on my laptop I'm suing currently, an ASUS Zenbook (UX305LA). Holy cow, this thing is amazing. It's a 13.3 inch 1080p LED display (IPS if I remember correctly). The battery literally seems like it lasts forever--I've never measured, but it lasts me all day. It doesn't have dedicated graphics, but I don't miss it; I'm not gaming on it. It came factory with an SSD and 8GB of RAM, and it's an i5 chip. Plenty of power for me. You can check it out here. Still at the same price I paid about 3-4 months ago.
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