1) What is your budget? I would prefer something ~$900, but it's flexible.
2) What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? I would like something small, 11"-13" would be best.
3) What screen resolution do you want? Probably 1366x768, but a man can always dream for more vertical real estate.
4) Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portable, I've got desktops galore.
5) How much battery life do you need? As much as possible. Optimus would be greatly preferred, basically required. If I could get something with 6+ hours I'd be pretty jazzed.
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 I do. Games I'd like to play would be things along the line of.
League of Legends
World of Warcraft
Left 4 Dead 2
Those type things. Not looking to bust 60FPS with 16x Anisotropic filtering and 16x AA on Crysis 2. High settings, native resolution, and 4xAA on a game is more than enough for me. A modern, mid-range graphics card would probably do me fine.
7) What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) Productivity. I do game development, so something with a bit of processor heft to it would be appreciated. I know I'm not going to be hitting desktop levels of performance, but something that could handle photoshop/maya/visual studio without crapping itself would be ideal.
8) How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need? Not much, maybe 250 gigs. Don't care about SSD's. Not planning on storing huge amounts of media on this.
9) If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Nope, but I tend to get my parts from Newegg.
10) How long do you want to keep your laptop? As long as possible. 3 years or so would be the target, I guess.
11) What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Optical who? Drive what?
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 have any brand preference.
13) What country do you live in? USA
14) Please tell us any additional information if needed. I've been looking at the Alienware M11x. It's just about perfect, except for a few flaws.
1) I hate how Alienware systems look. I just want a regular looking laptop, not something that should be sitting on a throne of Doritos and Mountain Dew. Still, I could compromise and just put a bag on my head whenever I pull it out in public.
2) It's a bit expensive. Kitted out with an I-5 and 250gig HD, it would run me probably about $1150 after taxes. Historically, Alienware has not presented a very good value, so I'm curious if there are alternatives.
I had looked at the U30JC-A1 before. It's far more economical than the M11x, but the Geforce 310M just seems like it would be too weak. I would much rather drop a couple hundred dollars and get a laptop that will last for a while.
Perhaps I'll just bite the bullet and get an i7 version of the M11x.
Edit: Good lord with an i7 this thing would run about $1350 after taxes. So freaking expensive!
morivan if you wanted to go a little bigger in size the g71/72gx's are bigger, and ahve more ram for a decent price, they come witht the 260m though, o depending on your need you may want more gpu horsepower. They also use ddr2 instead of ddr3 ram but than you run into the base models that come with 4 gigs of ddr3 or 6 gigs of ddr2 (my money is on the ddr2 myself) so there are trade offs no matter what if you want to stay in a decent price range. you can get the g71/72 with a duo core for about 750 and a quad core for about 950.
As a current owner of a G72, the GTX 260m is easily enough for what you need, and possibly too much. The G72 is a great laptop but battery life is poor and it's 17.3 inches. I wouldn't recommend it for you.
I like buwish's choice, the 310 will probably give you enough GPU power (though I don't think L4D2 will run in high with it) and it's a good processor.
In between the Alienware and my G72, there's the G50 series and the G60 series. You might be able to get one of them set up with enough battery life.
I went ahead and ordered the M11x, loathesome as Alienware may be. Sadly, they're really the only company that makes the kind of laptop that I'm looking for. I guess an ultra-portable gamer/developer's a rare beast.
I tricked it out with the i7, 4 gigs of ram, should be nice!
Also, there's apparently some sale that Dell's doing at the moment? I'm not too sure why, but they lobbed about $200 off my ticket price. It ended up being about 1150 overall, which while expensive, is a bit better than I expected.