I am going to buy a new notebook and would like some recommendations from all you knowledgeable folks. My requirements -
1. A 15.4" or 14.1" screen (i.e. 1280x800, 16:10). I find the now popular 15.6" and 14"(1366x768, 16:9) impossible to use. 14" is too small in height and 15.6" makes notebook chassis too wide. Every single PC maker is moving to these new resolutions, heaven knows why. Bless you Apple for sticking with 15.4", and damn you Apple for not making it affordable.
2. Either without preloaded OS, or with Windows 7, or atleast availability of proper 32/64 bit Windows 7 drivers.
3. I prefer ATI over NVIDIA. NVIDIAs generally run hotter.
4. The laptop should run cool. I just cannot stand a notebook that heats up quickly. Atleast the palmrest, keyboard edges and touchpad should remain cool all day long.
Budget - 1000$ to 1200$
Weight Limit - No preference, anything will work
Brand Preference - Since I have very specific requirements, it would be unfair to be very brand specific. But, I believe ThinkPads and HP ProBooks are good.
Battery Life Requirements - 2-3 hrs would be good, more is always welcome.
Aesthetics - No, but poor build quality is a no no. It should not feel flimsy.
Linux and Mac OS X - I would not be able to do without Windows, thats all I am saying.