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Everyday notebook with good build quality. Which to chose?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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August 6, 2009 5:26:56 PM

I'm looking for a new notebook to replace my old IBM Thinkpad X31, aswell as function as a replacement for my ancient desktop pc. Essentially my notebook will be used for a bit of everything.

1_What is your budget?
Up to 1500$ although I'd prefer to keep it as low as possible depending on the quality of the product.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13-14" is what I'm after

3_What screen resolution do you want?
The usual solution for the screen size.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
A bit of both. Portability is very important to me but it should have enough power to handle things like HD playback.

5_How much battery life do you need?
4 hours + preferrably

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
I play some DotA occasionally, so it should be able to run that at the native resolution with atleast medium settings.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing, surfing the web, playing music, watching movies, Etc.)
I use Excel alot since I'm studying economics. Other than that I always have music running and I do alot of TV series streaming. In general I have ALOT of programs running all the time, so I guess a nice amount of memory is necessary.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
250 gig I guess. External drives are so cheap these days this isn't really an issue

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
If I can find something cheap 1-2 years. If I use my entire budget 3 years, possibly 4.

11_If you would like to mention some other things about purchasing your ideal laptop, post them.
Build quality is very important to me. Coming from a thinkpad I'm sure those of you who've owned one will understand that. A decent weight for the size would be nice aswell.

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
No brand in particular.
The ones I've been considering buying are the new Acer timeline model (with the core 2 duo, not the 1.4 GHz solo cpu) and then splashing out some more money for a Macbook pro 13" since I just love how their trackpad works and the general build quality.

13_What country do you live in?
Denmark, so deals isn't what I'm after. I'm mostly seeking advice.
August 6, 2009 7:51:07 PM

I'm in the same basic boat as you. I'm thinking about the macbook pro 13' for 1600, which is my max.
I don't really want another dell, because i don't like their build quality, but perhaps it's gotten better in recent years.
I'm looking at the lenovo ideapad. They have a great deal until august 12 on education discounted non-customizable laptops here:
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...

i'm looking at the ideapad y450...thing is, i don't know if that processor is really fast enough for me. i'd prefer a faster one.

i'm also looking into sager at their NP2908. I customized it a bit for my needs and it comes out to about 1100 with my upgrades, 899 base. looks good to me, i still need to research build quality, portability, and such things.
http://www.sagernotebook.com/product_customed.php?pid=1...

other options i'm going to look at later this week:
Asus - solid, fast, reliable computers from what i've heard
Acer - mixed reviews. my grandmother's acer is falling apart at the trackpad and keyboard, so maybe not
HP
Dell - again, not my top choice
Panasonic - They used to sell great portables, i don't know if they sell anything other than toughbooks anymore though
Gateway - mixed reviews. i'd give it a quick glance, though.

that's all i can think of off the top of my head. of course, the other option is a custom-built computer, either by yourself or ibuypower, cyberpower, voodoo, etc.
August 10, 2009 2:21:58 PM

Any more input out there?
I should point out that they don't sell Sager notebooks in Denmark so they're not an option for me.
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August 17, 2009 7:09:59 PM

Still looking for input
August 18, 2009 8:45:06 AM

Imho, Panasonic Toughbooks are the best on the market. However, I haven't tried them, and they're rather pricey (starting at $1700, I believe.) They get 5-7 hours on battery, are under 4 lbs, and are guaranteed for dropds up to 30 inches.

The Macbook is probably more what you're looking for, although I don't know about gameplay. In my class, a few students have Macs, most have Toshiba or Sony. The students with Macs have much better battery and wireless performance.
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