Hi, all. I've been using a 17" MacBook Pro (2.8 GHz C2D, 4 GB RAM, etc) for a while, but due to... unforeseen circumstances (a large object falling on it), I need a new laptop. I've also decided, for various reasons, to return to the land of Windows, and that is causing a bit of a problem. I'm fairly technical, but it's been a while since the days I could rattle off PC hardware benchmarks, so I thought I'd get some help.
1_What is your budget? About $750-1000. I don't really want to go above $900 if I can help it, but I will if it's worth it.
2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Right now, I'm interested in the ASUS U43JC. It has a 14" screen. I realize it's a downgrade from the MBP--half the reason you buy a Mac is the screen--but is it decent? I have an external monitor/TV/other stuff like that, but I want it to be good on the road.
3_What screen resolution do you want? The 1366x768 on the U43JC is fine.
4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portability and BATTERY LIFE are more important than raw power. I don't want to sit around waiting three minutes for Word to load, but I'm building a beast desktop to handle anything taxing (I'm an engineering/physics student).
5_How much battery life do you need? As much as I can get. I've been happy with my MBP's four hours, though.
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)? The only game I'll likely play on this is WoW (don't judge me, dammit). I'd prefer to play it at high settings, but I honestly don't care. Most of my gaming will be on the desktop anyway. The main use I'll have for the graphics card is HD video.
7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) The laptop will be used mainly for schoolwork, light calculation, the Internet, WoW (possibly), and watching HD videos. However, I have bad eyes and use a screen zoom/inversion program (iZoom) pretty much 24/7 to see what I'm doing. It tends to be a bit taking on RAM (1 GB use+), and I'm not sure if that will be an issue.
8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need? This really doesn't matter. I have my own VPN set up to serve me what I need from my desktop.
9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Amazon has a deal on the U43JC that gets you a $150 gift card with purchase; I do a good deal of my spending online, so it's basically a rebate in my case. I would also buy from Newegg, of course.
10_How long do you want to keep your laptop? It will need to last at least three years, until I get into real engineering work and have to buy one of those monster workstation laptops.
11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? None. I rip my DVDs, 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 would prefer ASUS if at all possible. I've used them before, my friends have ASUS laptops, and I've never had an ASUS component or product that didn't work as advertised. I HATE HP with a blinding rage; for some reason, every HP computer I've ever used has broken right around the time the warranty expired. I'm open to pretty much any other company. Except eMachines. Nurrr.
13_What country do you live in? USA
14_Please tell us any additional information if needed. I'm coming from the magical, wonderful Apple trackpad (I'm not a fanboy, but man is that thing awesome), so I would prefer a quality trackpad. I need the keyboard to be good; I have a Filco Majestouch Tactile Touch as my primary, if that tells you anything. I do have a bit of the Apple aesthete in me, and the style of the U43JC really appeals to me, but if it won't do what I need it to do, or if there's another similar computer for less, it's not a deciding factor.
Basically, I am really liking the U43JC, which is probably obvious. If there is another laptop that would suit me better or save a significant amount of money, though, I'm very open to suggestions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.