Laptop for a frequent traveler

1. What is your budget?

<$1500

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

>12" but <14in"

3. What screen resolution do you want?

More is better, but I care more about the quality of the display than the resolution.

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

Ultra - Portable.

5. How much battery life do you need?

>3hrs.

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)?

No.

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

Photoshop/Lightroom, Word, Excel, video. I'm looking at a i5@2.3Ghz (Sandy Bridge) or greater

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

At least 320GB

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

No.

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 ?

None is necessary, DVD is a plus.

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 have any strong brand preferences. What I care about most is build quality (see below). I will be traveling between the U.S. and Japan frequently so I would prefer if there was customer support/repair available in Japan.

13. What country do you live in?

U.S.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I want an ultra-portable laptop with a great build quality and a good screen. I don't like plasticy laptops. I just bought at thinkpad Edge, but returned it because the screen was slightly wobbly and colors on the screen were washed out.

I'd also like a laptop that doesn't look ugly. I bought the edge instead of the regular thinkpad because as far as I can tell the design of the regular thinkpad has not changed in the last 8 years.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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  1. Hello jsrudd;

    Except for the style part I think the Lenovo ThinkPad X220 12.5-inch Ultra-portable Laptop Core i5 has your requirements covered.
    A couple options you might want would the BlueTooth, Premium HD Display, and Webcam
    The standard 2GB RAM amount isn't quite what you want either - but you can upgrade to 6GB yourself for about $40 vs $160 through Lenovo
    Same for the 250GB 5400rpm HDD. Except here the DIY upgrade for a 320GB 7200rpm HDD is about $55 vs $70 by Lenovo

    Lenovo ThinkPad X220 review

    While it's lacking style points the ruggedness and durability of the 'old design' has it's own merits for a frequent traveler.
  2. Yeah, I was looking at the x220. I like that it has the option to choice an IPS display.

    The only thing I'm not sure about is the lenovo support in Japan.

    To clarify I'm not that worried about ruggedness, I'm pretty gentle with my electronics. I'm just moving from using a desktop most of the time to having to use a laptop more often so I want something that doesn't feel cheap and has a great keyboard (I'm used to CherryMX red switches).
  3. You don't get better keyboards than with Lenovo.
    Lenovo support in Japan shouldn't be any different than for Dell, HP or Samsung, etc.
    There isn't that much a well trained tech with the right tools can't do.

    Dell Latitude 14" E6420 would be a another good choice.
    The metal trimmed case has more of the style you might be looking for. 1600x900 LCD resolution is optional.
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