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I know there are a ton but... College Laptop Help

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 26, 2010 1:28:31 AM

Starting this fall, I am beginning college. I have been looking all over for a laptop that will suit my needs, but after searching through numerous brands, dozens of websites, and hundreds of models, I am simply too overwhelmed to know what would be the best/most appropriate laptop for my needs. That is why I turn to you, THG community, to hopefully help identify a laptop appropriate for my needs.

1_What is your budget?
My budget is ~$2000.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15"-16"

3_What screen resolution do you want?
I am flexible here, but at least 1440x900.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
While a combination of both would be great, I believe portability is more essential to my needs than being a sheer powerhouse.

5_How much battery life do you need?
I need a minimum of 4.5 hours while running Microsoft Word (for taking notes in class, obviously), but any additional battery life would be a blessing.

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)?
I just recently got into computer gaming, so my list is fairly short:
World of Warcraft: Medium - High
Modern Warefare 2: Medium
While the list is short, I would like my system to be viable at playing fps/mmo games released over the next 3-4 years on preferably medium settings.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Video Editing, watching movies, web browsing, researching and writing papers

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
320gb with 7200 rpm

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I am up for anything as long as they are reputable.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
For the next 3-4 years.

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

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 have been recommended to look at the brands HP, Asus, and Acer by my college's technical department and by current students; however, I am open to alternatives, but I want whatever company I go with to have decent customer support should a problem, unfortunately, arise. I would like to stay away from Dell due to previous past experiences.

13_What country do you live in?
The USA

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
A few specs I would like to hopefully incorporate, but don't have to have, would be:
-4 gb of RAM or more
-A dual or quad core processor (preferably a i3/i5/i7)
-3 usb ports (mouse, iphone charger, and keypad -- I am going to be a finance major, and I am strongly encouraged to use one of those unless the keyboard on the laptop has one)
-1 gb video card

I know that a gaming machine with a remarkable battery life is an oxymoron, so I basically want as much of a gaming computer as I can achieve, while maintaining at least 4.5 hours or more of battery life to take the computer to class with me.

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