I want to get my girlfriend a laptop for college (she'll be going this fall) and I am wondering what the best deal I can find under $600 would be. That $600 is for the machine itself, I would like to get the laptop, a bag, a mouse, and possibly an external hard drive all under $700 delivered.
My specs are listed below, but here's what I'm currently looking at (Amazon links):
I can get everything listed shipped to me at right under my $700 limit, and it seems like a decent deal. The only thing that concerns me is the battery life on the laptop is only like 2 hours, which will be a problem if she carries it often. What would you suggest to me that could be better than this?
Budget: Under $700, including a bag, mouse, and shipping
Size: 14" to 17"
Resolution: 720p would be fine
Portable or Desktop Replacement: in between
Battery life: 3 hours or more would be great
Games: Not very important
What will it be used for: This would be a school laptop, so it will mainly be used for web browsing, editing documents, presentations, & general computing tasks.
Storage Required: 200GB or more
How long will I keep it: As long as possible (3 years or more)
Optical Drive: DVD writer, preferably on-board, but external would be OK
Preferred brand: I don't know too much about laptop brands, I'm looking at Toshiba, but I'm open to anything.
I'm American, so this will be bought either online, or from Sam's Club or another retailer if I can find a good deal.
I bought a Toshiba T135 for my daughter, and also got one for myself for Christmas. This is a 13" machine. It is a step up from a netbook in size but still is thin and light. It has very good battery life, and has a dual core processor so it has a lot more processing power than a netbook. BestBuy sells their own version which is a little cheaper than others, this is the one that I have.
ASUS makes a similar machine that is rated even better but it is a bit outside of your price range. HP and Lenovo make similar machines that are priced somewhere in between.
Maybe you want to check out acer 1810tz too. It is only 11.6` but has same resolution as T135. Kind of netbook size but has "real" processor comparing to atoms. And there is also big brother for it, acer 3810tz. It is 13.3`. These acers has also very good battery life, something like 8h+.