Hi there. I'm moving out of the country for at least one year and will need to bring along a reliable laptop. Key things for me are portability, quality build and keyboard. I am pretty tech savvy (building my own desktops for 8 or 9 years), but I've never owned a laptop before so I don't know where to start. I've been looking at the ThinkPad 420i, though I wish the price went down a little bit.
1. What is your budget?
Ideally, 400-500 USD.
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
3. What screen resolution do you want?
Higher is better, but this isn't too important. I would not want a 4:3 aspect ratio and don't even know if those are made anymore.
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
5. How much battery life do you need?
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)?
Won't be playing many games on this.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
At least 320 GB.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as possible. I'll only be using it for internet, music, email, watching movies and word processing.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD-RW should be fine. Don't think I need a Bluray drive.
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 really don't know anything about laptops, but ASUS laptops seem well-built to me. Lenovo's ThinkPad T420i seems to be a good fit, but it's a little expensive right now.
13. What country do you live in?
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I'm really just looking for a cheap, portable and capable laptop.
Toshibia is also a good brand. A year old review (I say that because it may be out dated) indicated Asus -> Toshibia -> dell/sony for reliability. Hp/Compaq was kind of toward the lower end for reliability.
Question, why the 14" vs the 15.6". The 14" seem more expensive than the 15.6". This could be that they infact have a better LCD panel, or it could also be that the demand is lower, so not as cost effect for manuf to make.
What I did, was buy a lower end laptop, then upgraded the components at a later date.
ie My Toshiba A305. memory was 3 gig, increased to 4. DVD drive was DVD-RW, swapped it out for a blu-ray Rom/DVD-RW and finally swapped oyt the Mechanical HDD for a 120 gig SSD.