Is there a complete laptop-by-feature selection tool out there? newegg's is pretty good but limited to what they have. eBay similarly.
I'm looking for a huge (17"+), high-quality screen, 1920x1080(or 1200), preferably booting off an SSD with a HDD, huge RAM capacity, discrete GPU, full HD. Some of the Toshiba Qosmios look about right. Are there better? I'm really trying hard to be objective here.
Please note, I'm not a gamer by any means but I do like to have a lot of programs running at the same time, including virtual machines, remote desktops, and more. Weight and size are absolutely no issue to me.
This is no single source selection tool out there that I've even seen.
High quality screen? As in IPS vs TN? I think all of the 17" framed laptops have dual drive bays making adding a SSD very easy.
As for the 1920x1200 resolution you're going to need to primarily look at the business class workstation laptops.
Dell Mobile Precision M6500 / HP EliteBook 8740w Mobile Workstation / Lenovo ThinkPad W701ds (192x1200 w/ 1024x768 slide out secondary monitor).
You might want to get your thoughts together and help us out a bit more.
Answer a few questions in the format shown in the sticky topic and let the forum members see what they can find for you.: FAQ - Read before buying / considering a laptop
My bad! I should've know there would be such a guide here. OK, so here goes:
1. What is your budget? Not unlimited, but difficult to pin down. I'll ultimately be making an objective assessment based on various factors, hopefully covered below.
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Size really does not matter.
3. What screen resolution do you want? The maximum which appears to be either 1920x1080 or even 1920x1200.
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? This would be a desktop replacement. Frankly, I can make anything portable.
5. How much battery life do you need? I really don't care. I'm happy to troll for a power outlet rather than give up on functionality. Heck, I have been known to use a car battery and inverter with a laptop.
6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to [play] with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? This is a key question given that I'm not a gamer in any way shape or form. I'm beginning to understand that there are big differences in graphics capability. I had thought there was value in discrete graphics but am now wondering if that's worth it if it primarily benefits gaming.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, etc.) All of the above to some extent. I often have a multitude of programs open and do a lot of remote desktop and virtual machining. The ability to avoid paging seems to be key here. As needs be, I'd like to have the ability to upgrade system memory to the hilt. 16GB? More?
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? This tends to be an easily upgrade-able item although I'm leaning towards machines that ultimately support having two HDDs where, ultimately, the primary drive would be an SSD for the operating system. Doesn't have to come that way at the outset.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. No preferences here.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? As long as possible. I'm still using a Thinkpad T60p right now.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc? Another upgrade-able device, presumably, so less of a concern in terms of upfront pricing.
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'm trying very hard to be open-minded here and don't want to prejudice the responses I might get based on my experiences and predispositions.
13. What country do you live in? USA
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. Not much more to add. Ultimately, I would not compromise on the display. That's the biggest thing for me. Having said that, a better quality 17" display would be preferable to a lower quality 18.4" (or larger) display, for example. Most everything I can think of, beyond the things one tends to find on all laptops, are in the "nice to have" department. Perhaps one other thought is the "user experience". I do a LOT of typing and odd keyboard layouts as well as poor touchpads, "mouse" buttons, etc, might just drive me over the edge. Also, I can care less about preloaded software, even operating systems. All of that can be "fixed".
Thanks and I look forward to suggestions. I'm already looking at those already provided.