Looking for a portable, moderately powerful laptop

My Toshiba satellite is finally beyond repair. I'm looking to replace it with a lighter, more portable laptop that won't give me backaches when I travel.

My favorite so far is the Acer TM83727 6453.* It's a great size with a gorgeous matte screen, but I'm reluctant to spend $700-800 on a laptop. Is there anything similar for less?

* - the Staples catalogue entry: http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?webid=923691&AffixedCode=WW&cmSearchKeyword=acer+tm83727-6453

1. What is your budget?
Less than $1000; ideally less than $500

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

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Doesn't matter

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
I'm leaning towards a portable, but this is my main computer.

5. How much battery life do you need?
The more the better! I could live with 3-4 hours. 8+ would be heaven :)

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 gaming.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Lots of websurfing with multiple tabs open, normally including several Youtube pages
Some photo editing: I need to edit photographs to match the real life drawings. I normally use Pixlr for that (pixlr.com).

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
An average amount is fine. I can supplement it with online storage and flash drives if need be.

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 minimum

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
None, as long as I can boot my computer from a USB key. (I normally rewrite the harddrive more than once before I finally give up on a laptop.)

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 haven't had great luck with Toshiba -- I had repeated trouble with the battery and power cord -- but I'd be willing to try them again.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I'd like it to read microSD chips, with or without an adaptor. Powerful wifi connections would be a plus, too.

Thanks in advance! :D
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  1. That'd be an insanely good deal, but shipping to Canada isn't free. Thanks for the rec, though!
  2. Hello furiana;
    Not quite to your $500 goal - but not far off: Dell Vostro 3350 13.3" Sandy Bridge Laptop $550
    Core i3 2310M CPU, 2GB RAM, 250GB 7200rpm HDD, 1366x768 LCD matte screen w/ HD 3000 graphics.
    Includes a 8-in-1 card reader for your microSD cards, USB 3.0, WiFi, 4.50lbs and thin.
    You could upgrade the RAM to 4GB yourself for about $30 more.
  3. That's what I had in mind. Thank you! :)
  4. You're welcome. Let us know how you make out with it.
  5. You might be able to find a Dell coupon to help out a bit.
    Google: dell Canada coupon codes
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