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Looking to buy a laptop with the following specifications:

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Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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February 21, 2010 3:11:04 AM

1. What is your budget?

Under 900 USD.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Size is not of great importance to me. Anything between 13" to 17" would be good. Around 16" is perhaps the most ideal.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

1366 x 768 minimum.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Desktop replacement, I think. Somewhere in between could also be acceptable, but I'm generally more concerned with performance and battery life than portability.

5. How much battery life do you need?

As much as possible. I want to get around 8 or 9 hours minimum for casual use. I'm willing to consider additional battery packs to achieve this goal, as long as it's within the budget.

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)?
Yes. The most demanding requirement I have for this laptop is probably the ability to run Neverwinter Nights 2 on reasonable settings, and more specifically be able to work in the toolkit editor that comes with the game. I'm involved in the creation of an NWN module and would like to be able to work on this project from my laptop. This means 3D map editing and perhaps in some cases light 3D modelling.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
I also want to be able to watch movies and browse the Internet on the machine, though these tasks shouldn't be difficult considering the previous gaming requirement. This laptop will also be used for coursework, programming and development, etc.

8. How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
250GB minimum. Otherwise, not very concerned about hard drive capacity. I'm expecting to go with a 5400rpm drive. SSD is not in my budget and anything faster than 5400rpm would probably eat too much power, considering my battery life requirements.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.
I've mainly been browsing newegg but I am open to other vendors that ship to the US.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Durability and reliability are important to me. I'm hoping this thing will still be working 5 years from now, or I will at least be able to get it working again by replacing a component or two.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD ROM/Writer

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.
I don't know much about laptop brands. I've heard bad things about HP laptops and a lot of great things about lenovo, but I don't know how based in reality any of those ideas are. In the end, I don't care much about who made it, as long as it fits my specifications. If it comes with a lot of junk-ware, I'm intending to do a hard drive format/reinstall anyway.

13. What country do you live in?
The United States.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I apologise if I answered the previous questions too long-windedly. Most of the requirements I need have been answered by the previous questions.

I would also like to point out that portability is not of terribly great importance to me, at least in terms of weight and form factor. I need the device to be portable, but whether it's 7 lb. or 1.5 lb. I don't care much about. I'm more concerned with battery life, build construction, reliability, etc. Aesthetics are also not of terrible importance. I intend to use a USB mouse to operate the computer, so layout of the trackpad means less to me than most people.

I make a considerable number of long flights, and would like for the laptop to survive those on a single charge. This is primarily where the battery life requirements come from, but also because typically if I leave to an environment that has no electricity, I tend to stay a while.

I would also like the laptop to have a webcam, but I'm not very hung up on the quality of the webcam.

Also, I like black. But the color doesn't matter too much. I intend to apply a laptop skin/cover.

Thanks guys for taking the time to read. Hopefully my specifications are reasonable. I look forward to hearing your advice.
February 21, 2010 4:15:48 AM

For extended battery life, I recommend the Asus UL80VT-A1. It's got a 512 MB nVIDIA G210M card to handle your graphics needs and meets your minimum resolution requirements. I don't have any personal experience with ASUS durability but I've heard good things about it - as long as it's not DOA.

Here are the base specs:

Display: 14" HD 16:9 (1366x768) Glossy LED
Video Card: Switchable Graphics! 512MB DDR3 nVIDIA G210M / 256MB Intel GMA 4500MHD
Processor: IntelĀ® Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3GHz 800MHz FSB 3MB L2 Cache
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1066MHz
Hard Drive: 320GB 5400RPM (Customizable)
Battery Life: 10 Hour+
Weight: 4lbs
Warranty: 2 Year ASUS GLOBAL Warranty, 24/7 Support, 1 Year Accidental Coverage & 2-Way Pre-Paid Air Shipping for Repairs (N.A. Accidental Requires Registration w/ ASUS)

Current Price: $819.00 - $24.98 = $794.02
February 21, 2010 4:32:44 AM

It's really cool that you recommended that particular laptop. I had actually been looking at that one and considering it, but haven't been sure about it. The fact that you recommended the same laptop based on my requirements reassures me.

I'm still open to more advice, but the UL80Vt is what I'm considering at this point. My only turn offs with this laptop is that it's very lightweight (in my opinion), which to me sometimes also means flimsy. I have a lot of other ASUS hardware though. It tends to be pretty solid. A more powerful processor would also be nice, but I really like the fact that the UL80Vt overclocks to 1.73 GHz automatically when it detects high load.

Also, thank you for linking to that site. It's a better deal than what I saw on newegg, and I now have another site to browse/shop/compare on. Thank you. :) 
February 22, 2010 6:22:41 AM

You can look on YouTube for some user reviews of the laptop to judge how "flimsy" it might be. Of course, some might be flimsier than others.. so hope that you get a good, solid build. =P
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