Best Business Laptop - $3,000 Bdgt

I did a search on business laptops, and the most recent one I could find was over 4 months old. Since there've been some changes in the market (new chips, etc), hopefully it's ok that I re-ask this question.

I'm in need of two laptops, one for my wife & one for me. We own a diamond import, jewellery, and engagement ring design company and spend 98% of our time on the computer. So, we're hoping you guys can help point us in the right direction. Neither of us are very tech savvy, so we're really in need of some solid direction and advice.

1) What is your budget? I can spend up to $3,000 but would prefer to be closer to $2,000. I really have no idea how much it costs for what I need......nor do I know what I need. LOL.

2) What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? I'd like the screen to be 17" or larger. I travel and struggle using smaller screens.

3) What screen resolution do you want? I have no idea, but I will watch movies on it from time to time, so I'd like a good resolution. I spend 8-16 hours a day on the computer, so I just want to make sure the font, etc are crisp and don't cause eye strain.

4) Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? I need it to be a desktop replacement. I do travel, but I'd rather deal with a heavy computer on occasion than one that doesn't get the job done with work.

5) How much battery life do you need? Well, I'd like to be able to use the laptop on long flights and random other outletless places. But, for the most part, it'll be plugged in. I don't mind carrying a spare battery to switch out.

6) Do you want to play games with your laptop? No. I'm married. That means gaming is dead! ;-)

7) What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? I largely work in Excel, Word and Firefox. I keep A LOT of windows open. I'll generally have 10-30 open at all times, including pictures that clients send of what they want. I'm working right now and have 20 windows and tabs open as we speak. I may also have software programs like Quickbooks & a client database open at times as well. In addition, I'd love to be able to watch movies, and once we have kids, I'm sure we'll do some photo stuff.

8) How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need? My current desktop (which this is replacing) has 500 GB. I've used about 300 of it thus far.

9) If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them. None. Do you guys have any recommendations?

10) How long do you want to keep your laptop? I'd love to keep it 4-6 years. Since I'm not a gamer, I'd assume (maybe incorrectly) that with the right specs, my laptop will last a long, long time.

11) What kind of Optical drive do you need? Anything I get will be gravy. Being able to play DVDs would be great, and I'll move into Blue Ray this year.

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'm not partial at all. I've always heard Lenovo made great business laptops (the W710 is supposed to be great when ever it comes out) and Dell's business laptops were good as well, but I'm open to anything. Heck, I'll even have one custom built if that's the best avenue.

13) What country do you live in? USA.

14) Please tell us any additional information if needed. I apologize, b/c I'm completely clueless about technological stuff, but a buddy of mine suggested I get a docking station so I could work off of a larger (24-30") monitor and standard keyboard when I'm in my office. Whatever bells & whistles you'd want if you were in my shoes would be appreciated.
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  1. I forgot to add.....the laptops I've been considering, which may not fit my needs, were the Lenovo W710 (when it comes out), Dell Vostros 3700, and HP DV7. Also, I've been told I should go with the new i7 chip, but not sure if that's good advice or not.
  2. can't tell me with this many smart people on the board that not a single soul knows anything about buying a computer for business. I was referred here by multiple people who said this is the best source for computer info, so I know you guys have to be pretty darn sharp. Is this board just for people who want to play video games all day? My bad if so.....

    This looks promising. It's sold out at the moment, and it does not have a Blu-Ray drive, but it has a fast processor, a large screen, lots of memory, and a 500GB hard drive. It also has the fastest mobile video card in the business, although, as you do not game, that is probably not a big concern for you. With the extra $400-$1400 dollars in your budget, you could easily upgrade to a larger hard drive. I am not sure if optical drives are upgradable, but, if they are, you could get a blu-ray player for it.

    This has a blu-ray drive and a 1TB hard drive at a similar price, but it has slightly less memory and slower processor and video card.

    This has a blu-ray drive and a 640GB hard drive. It has the same processor as the first laptop I mentioned. It has the same amount of memory as the second laptop I mentioned. It appears to have the slowest video card.

    EDIT: I just realized that this third laptop is one you already mentioned as considering.

    The Dell laptop you mentioned appears to be slightly more expensive than others with similar hardware. Also, Dell and HP do not have as good a reputation for reliability as ASUS.
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