1st time PC buyer needs writer's laptop

I'm a lifetime Mac user, but need a cheaper laptop to take to cafes and write on. I've got no idea what the relative merits of mobile GPUs and CPUs are, so any advice would be wonderful.

1_What is your budget?
Under $650. I might go to $750 if there was a strong advantage in doing so. Over $750 and I might as well save for a MacBook, since I already have all the software I need.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
~13" screen. A lighter notebook is perferable.

3_What screen resolution do you want?
Note hugely important, but being able to watch 720p HD would be great

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable. I have a Mac workstation for heavy-duting computing

5_How much battery life do you need?
More is better. Along with weight, this is a priority.

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)?
Ideally, I'd love to be able to play Dragon Age and Neverwinter Nights II at medium levels. I would be happy scraping (playing on low settings) by to get a lighter, better battery life laptop, however

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Primarily writing, but also web surfing and watching Hulu and Netflix videos. If the laptop is powerful enough, I might play with Modo (3D modelling) everynow and then.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
300 GB should be sufficient

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
No priority

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
At least 3 years: I'll upgrade my workstation in ~1 year, so I'm only looking at extended use as a cafe computer.

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

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've had bad experiences with Dell and would prefer to avoid them

13_What country do you live in?

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
A full-size keyboard is mandatory. I also want a minimum of non-OS junk installed. Or the ability to reinstall the OS without any software I don't want. I'm not particularly skilled at managing Win OS, so I don't want to have to do a lot to clean up my laptop once I buy it. However, if a laptop includes a deal on Word or Office, that would be a big win.

Thanks to everyone who gives me some help.
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about time buyer writer laptop
  1. It's hard to find anything pre-manufactured without any bloatware installed on it. You can either take it off yourself or wipe it and install a fresh copy of windows. Have a look at this:
  2. Thanks. I suspected as much. My ex- was good at wiping new PCs. As long as the system disks come without extra stuff, I should be fine.
  3. Best answer
  4. Also, try giving OpenOffice a chance. It's an excellent and fully compatible MS Office alternative, and it's free.
  5. Thanks Donovands. That Asus looks very promising. Certianly the weight, battery life and price are a great combination. I've used OpenOffice and it works, but Word seems much better to me and I'll be exchanging documents with my Mac to pull into InDesign for final formatting, so it has less utility than it might for others.
  6. Best answer selected by TheMrLee.
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