Laptop for College

I'm starting graduate school this year and am looking for a laptop to carry around and do school work on. I have a desktop I plan on taking with me so any power stuff I can do on that. I'm also looking for an easy way to keep documents syncronised across both of them.

1. What is your budget? <$1000

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

~13" looking for something easy to carry but i don't like the reduced sized keyboards you get on the 12 and below

3. What screen resolution do you want?

The standard 13xx 7xx you get at that size

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?


5. How much battery life do you need?

more is better. Being able to work a whole day would be cool and i think can almost be had with the new sandy bridge cpus

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)?

Secondary since i will have my desktop, low settings is fine probably only be playing SC2 and Dota2 when it comes out

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

Maybe watching movies but it will be mostly writing assignments and notes

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

average sized, all my big files such as movies will be on my desktop

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

2-3 years

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

A DVD drive would be nice to make installing programs easier, but i guess not entirely necessary

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 don't like laptops with the function modifier in the bottom corner with the ctrl key moved to the right slightly, I had one like that and was always hitting Fn+V etc...

13. What country do you live in?

New Zealand, but I am going to College in the US and I will buy when i get there in a few months

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

At the moment I was looking at the Toshiba Portege or the Sony Vaio S. The Vaio is a little bit more but has backlit keys and a (small) dedicated graphics. Is it worth the extra money, I am also looking for other alternatives especially if they are better value for money

Thanks for your help
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  1. Have a look at this Toshiba Portege
    It's one of the few 13" notebooks(w/SB) for under $1000
  2. The issue with the 13" portability is that it generally won't pack the same punch as the 15.6" lappies. The 13" tend to be netbooks, which from what I can gather, may be just what you're looking for :P

    It doesn't pack the same punch as a sandy bridge laptop, but does sport good graphics and fantastic battery life.,2905-4.html

    playable frame rates at all resolutions with the settings adjusted. Bear in mind, that netbook has a fantastic GPU but the CPU is slower, but it has 6-8 hour battery life. Starcraft 2 is very CPU dependent so what you see there is a bottleneck, but other games perform slightly better depending on how GPU/CPU intensive they are. Still a great netbook and can handle light gaming. You can find E-350 netbooks for ~$3-400.

    Considering you're not replacing the desktop, a netbook like that is probably just what you're looking for. There's no point of spending upwards of $1000 if you're not replacing your desktop. Go with something cheaper that can save you money and still perform up to par.
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