Advice for HTPC laptop

Hello Forum,

Programmer here looking for a laptop with a long (4+hours) battery life, good computing/multi-tasking power so that I can program on it, low gaming power but high enough graphics power that it can play a 720p or 1080p movie over HDMI to a 32” LCD and make it look good. The laptop should also (if at all possible) be able to take a bump or two, as I’m often accidentally unkind to laptops in my backback.

Note: This is to replace my ASUS A8J-M, which I've been using for the past 4.5 years.

1. What is your budget?
~ $1000, less would be good.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
14-16 inches - I would go bigger but I don't want to pay the price of battery life.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1366x768 or 1440x900, somewhere in that ballpark. Widescreen is nice so that I can keep 2 windows open at once when I program/browse.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
A portable for sure - I have a desktop I use for real gaming

5. How much battery life do you need?
As much as possible. 4+ hours would be fantastic. Should be able to play an HD movie unplugged.

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)?
Not many games. I typically play old stuff like Diablo II and Warcraft 3, which most laptops can handle with ease. I’d like to maybe be able to play Dota 2 when it comes out, but since there’s no specs on that yet I can’t really estimate what I would need.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
PRIORITY: I want to play HD videos (720p or 1080 in VLC or MPC) on a 32” LCD TV over HDMI. I also want to be able to run lots of different programs at once (so the more cores, the better).

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Not much, maybe min 250GB. Looking for 7200 RPM though.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Preliminarily looking at a few, but have just started my research. This SAGER NP5160 is one I heard good things about, although I’ve heard the battery life is a bit short for my liking.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Til the wheels fall off (~4+ years). I have a desktop for gaming, I just need a laptop that lets me program and compile quickly and can double as a movie player for my TV.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
No requirements.

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 an awesome experience with ASUS so far - they replaced my laptop parts TWICE after my warranty expired. Other than that, no preference.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I know it’s nitpicky, but I’d really like a laptop where the CTRL key is in the bottom right corner instead of the FN key. I can’t stand when laptops have a FN key where the CTRL key should current ASUS laptop does that and it drives me nuts!
PRIORITY: It also needs an HDMI port and a wireless card. Also, if the laptop can take a few bumps and hits and not look wrecked, that’s a major plus.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m no novice to computers but I’m not very knowledgeable with laptops. I figured I’d ask a more experienced group before I continued my research so I can get pointed in some good directions, especially concerning the area of laptops that can take a few bumps. Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

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More about advice htpc laptop
  1. Hello pghprogrammer4

    I tried matching the features of the Sager 5160 with an Asus notebook and the closest I could come was the
    Asus N53SV-XV1 15.6 $1049
    Also @ XoticPC for $1095 but they will price do matching.
  2. Thanks WR2 for the reply. I did a quick look-over the N53SV-XV1, and it looks really promising.

    Another notebook I found and am considering is the Acer Aspire AS5750G-9639. This one seems to have quite similar features but about $150-200 cheaper. I haven't found any reviews for it yet though - does anyone have it and know how the battery holds up?

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