Sandy Bridge notebook with docking

Hi folks,

I'm helping my wife shop for a new SB laptop. Will be used for media, MS Office-type work, and occasional light gaming. Although I have no desire to waste money, we're quite happy paying for performance and quality, as well as some specific options as listed below. Thanks for your help!

1. What is your budget?
$1000-1200 or so (not including dock). More is fine, as long as the gains are worth it.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
14-16 inches.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1920x1080, or even 1920x1200 if I can find it.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Will primarily be used as a desktop replacement, but should be portable. Will be getting a docking station, so number of ports not so important.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Not the highest priority, but should be able to play an HD movie on battery for example. Say 3 hours?

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 a priority. If it can run modern games at med settings that's fine. SB integrated graphics should suffice.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Will be used with an external monitor as well as the laptop screen, and should be able to easily play HD video on one while doing windows stuff on the other. Aside from that, nothing special.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Two hard drive bays would be great, but not necessary. I will be swapping out the hard drive for a 256GB SSD and using network storage for most everything else. If it does have 2 bays though it would be nice if it came with a 5400RPM 500GB-1TB drive for storage.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
We're in CANADA, so it needs to ship here. I use and for all my desktop stuff, but I'm not sure about laptops. I assume we can order directly from Acer, Lenovo, HP, Sony, Dell, etc., from their Canadian sites.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Until something sufficiently more awesome comes along. :)

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Bluray ROM would be nice.

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.
No real preference.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
There are a few specific things we're looking for:

a. Docking station. She really wants something where the laptop can just be put into the dock - kachunk - and you're done. Monitor, power, usb, ethernet, all plugged into the dock, so only the one connection is required. I know many manufacturers offer custom docks like this for their laptops, although I don't think for all models.

(I know there are also usb solutions for this, but from what I've read the graphics tend to be sub-par, since it all has to run through the usb connection.)

b. Synaptics Touchpad - allows you to do all kinds of great multi-touch stuff (macbook style) using Scrybe (

c. Quiet fan. Her old dell is a real leaf blower..

d. USB 3.0

e. gigabit lan & 802.11 N (I assume all decent laptops will have these now..)

f. If we can get everything else and this, then a 'pretty' color. Her current laptop is pink and will likely be missed for that. :)

I doubt we'll be able to find something that satisfies EVERY one of these desires, but the closest you can find would be appreciated! Thanks again.
2 answers Last reply
More about sandy bridge notebook docking
  1. Tecra m10.

    Its not really all that quiet, but its not a leafblower, and its dockable.
  2. takeahike said:
    Tecra m10.

    Its not really all that quiet, but its not a leafblower, and its dockable.

    As far as I can tell, the m10 is a couple years old. The m11 is the current model, but it still doesn't appear to have Sandy Bridge.
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