Need to replace a dying machine

So I was looking to get a new laptop later this year but unfortunately my current laptop is starting to go out less gracefully than I hoped. I currently have a Dell Inspiron 6000 with the power supply is getting loose on the motherboard and for some reason it wouldn't boot earlier today. It's disappointing as I was hoping SSD prices would come down a good bit more so I could just get it standard in my next laptop. Such is life.

1_What is your budget?

- Not looking to spend more than a grand. Less is always better. The two I mention later are definitely well enough below.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

- I think what I have now is 15.4" screen and weighs too much (allegedly 8.4 pounds). I definitely don't want something bigger and would actually prefer something slightly smaller.

3_What screen resolution do you want?

- I'd like something nice. I have 1280 by 800 currently. Although it's going to be a function of physical screen size if it could play high def video, I wouldn't complain.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

- I'm looking more for a portable than a desktop replacement. I recently built a new desktop.

5_How much battery life do you need?

- I'd would like a significant amount. My current laptop could do 3 hours when I bought it. Odds are good I could get at least 5 on the right hardware. But the hardware is gonna set the cap and I really don't know what I should be expecting.

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)?

- Though it would be nice to play games, I have a gaming machine already. If it could play Sins of a Solar Empire or Icewind Dale (I think most modern machine will have no problem with the latter), that would be sufficient. Simply amusing timewasters for on the road.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

- Movies, internet, photoshop/gimp, office, music. Nothing overly fancy.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?

- I honestly don't need a ton of space. But it's certainly not something I would complain about. 60 gig SSD would be more than enough if I can get it at a reasonable price.

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

- I haven't really done a bunch of looking around but I usually buy hardware from newegg, occasionally zipzoomfly and tiger direct, and I've considered Best Buy and Frys as local store options.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

- I buy things with the intent to run them into the ground. This laptop is five years old.

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

- It would be awesome if I could play Bluray movies but honestly, DVD is fine too. But I'm not looking to lug around a brick either so I can just as easily do without one or get a USB one.

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 haven't been in the market for 5 years. I don't really have any opinions on manufacturers. Part of the reason I'm posting here is to solicit opinions. I'm trying to also make sure my expectations aren't out of place as well.

- I was checking out the Asus K60I-RBBBR05 which looks nice hardware-wise but it's physically huge.
- I also like the HP Pavilion dv4-2165dx. I feel like it meets all my needs but I really don't know the market well enough.

13_What country do you live in?

- The States

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.

- I read a while back about Dell having some dual boot systems that would have great battery life (Latitudes?) but I never found anything on their site that was helpful. Do they actually exist? If so, are they really nice?
- If I get a Windows machine, only XP and 7 are acceptable.

Unrelated note/friendly criticism: I feel like the questions are out of order and it made answering the questions feel odd. I feel like the following order makes more sense: 1, 2, 4, 7, 6, 5, 8, 3, 11, 10, 12, 9, 13, 14. I think my idea covers the buying experience from a general "what you want to do" and then gets more specific as you move down the process. I figured I'd offer some feedback but I really did appreciate the existence of the list. It helped me think through what was most important though I think I've been at this for three hours now.
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  1. Out of the two you mentioned, I'd shoot for the Asus, as they tend to be quite reliable, at least in my experience. In regard to the Dell dual boot option, I'm unsure if it is something that you have to call them and request it (if they even do that) or do it yourself if you have an extra copy of say XP laying around. But it is quite possible to do it yourself.
  2. dyslexicbunny said:

    Unrelated note/friendly criticism: I feel like the questions are out of order and it made answering the questions feel odd. .

    Where did the list come from? This is your first post on the subject.

    It's at the top, posted by Maziar. I assumed it was well known. Forgive me.
  4. Thanks for posting your idea about the FAQ,well the thing is that i think its better to ask first ask about the laptop itself(such as screen,battery life)and then get to the performance section,but i will think about your re-arrangement,thanks for that :)
    Anyway for your question,well its hard to find a 15" laptop with 5 hrs of battery life,are 11"-13" OK for you ?
  5. I'm fine with a smaller computer. My only complaint about some of the smaller laptops is keyboard size gets compromised when you want to get smaller. I'm not surprised about the 5 hours and 15" screen being in conflict. For what it's worth, I usually have brightness turned down pretty low anyways so I should see some mild benefit from that too.

    I noted the CNET reviews of both the ASUS and HP laptops had reasonable battery lifetimes in the video playback tests - 205 and 334 minutes respectively. However, I think it's so much higher for the HP because of the 12 cell battery, compared to the ASUS' 6 cell. Video playback is run at 60-70 cd/m^2 but I don't know where that sits on brightness for either.

    I've been looking at netbooks as well but I really don't know how well the netbook hardware will perform in comparison to beefier hardware. CNET liked the Asus Eee PC 1005PEB and the Dell Inspiron Mini iM1012-687OBK and while I'm not concerned about video, music, or internet performance, I don't know how they would do with photoshop/gimp (mainly casual use but it's something to do) or multitasking. My other concern is ease of movie watching without an optical drive. I presume the options are USB optical drive, streaming through Netflix/Hulu, or ripping movies and thumbdriving them over.

    Thanks for the help so far. I'll keep plugging around and probably bounce some more ideas when I get a chance.

    As for my FAQ thoughts, the grad school lab I work in does a lot of conceptual design work and from our perspective, you need to know what you're trying to do before you make specific decisions. It helps prevent conflicting objectives as much as possible, eg: someone wanting an ultra portable gaming machine or a massive desktop replacement for a business traveler on the go a lot. At the same time, it's tough to do unbiased. I'd go into more detail but I think it's best suited for the FAQ discussion, which I shortly noticed after getting the link, or over PM since it's not really related to the topic at hand. Either is fine if you're interested in continuing the discussion. Let me know.
  6. i wouldn't recommend netbooks for your works because they are slow for you.
    Take a look at notebooks like AW M11x,they are good and small notebooks with great performance and battery life
  7. Wow. I really like the M11x, it's a beast. If I bought things on a whim, I'd have ordered it already.

    And it's quite unfortunate for the M11x as I think I've really started to convince myself on having an optical drive in the machine. I don't have a netflix membership and if I bought a movie somewhere on the road (which happens more often than I like to admit), I pretty much get to stare at it. The M11x even comes with a Windows recovery disc so if everything went to crap, I guess I would stare at it too unless I had a external. I would likely carry the external around most of the time anyway so it might just make more sense to save bag space and put one in.

    The Asus U30Jc-A1 looks like a pretty solid machine for what I want. It's light, has a reasonably sized screen, has an optical drive, and solid battery life. Buwish mentioned Asus being reliable in comparison to HP and I've read Dell can be hit or miss in build quality (Has that carried over to Alienware?).

    One of my roommates keeps pushing the MacBook but I don't think it'll play the rare game or two. And I'm not sure I want to go that road either.

    I haven't necessarily made up my mind though. Any one know specific brands or models to avoid like the plague? I'm going to continue doing research but I'd like to limit myself barking up wrong trees. Thanks.
  8. Best answer
    The ASUS one is good but its VGA is slower than AW one.
    About MB,i wouldn't recommend getting a MP because MBP is way better and of course more expensive(but you have to sacrifice gaming) and has a greater build quality so IMO getting the AW M11x would be good,you can get an external drive anytime
  9. I did a little bit of comparing the two cards and it doesn't really seem like there's a lot of benefit for what I'm trying to do. Since I already have a dedicated gaming machine, should I really care about whether it'll play modern games in low vs high? Sins of a Solar Empire should be fine along with potentially Demigod in reasonable settings. For something slightly larger and an optical drive, the ASUS seems like the better pick for me. Any reason you're pushing the AW over the ASUS besides graphics?
  10. No the main reason is the graphic card
  11. Best answer selected by buwish.
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