EDIT: I thought I'd provide some of the info below in paragraph form so this post made a little more sense. I'm looking for a desktop replacement but travel 100% of the time, so lighter is always going to be better. Of course I am interested in the best specs, but I'm really looking for comments on some of the things that spec lists don't tell you. Which desktop replacements are of particularly good quality? Lots of travel means lots of abuse, lots of different climates and planes and trains and cars and donkeys can be hard on a laptop. Of the higher quality laptops, are any of them particularly quiet and cool (in this case - the opposite of hot, not trendy.) I am aware of some of the specifically rugged laptops (i.e. Toughbooks) but given that this laptops primary purpose will be to play games and do some video editing, Toughbooks don't seem to stand up to the more traditional laptops. Also, it's hard to justify the pricetag for such extreme durability - I'm not going to be jumping out of planes or using the laptop to stop bullets.
1. What is your budget?
Not an issue.
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
3. What screen resolution do you want?
Higher is better
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
A little of both, but more towards the desktop replacement side.
5. How much battery life do you need?
Not much of an issue, but probably 4 hours or more would be ideal.
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)?
Yes - this is one of the main purposes of the laptop; so High settings.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
I do some video editing as well.
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
More is better- I am leaning towards SSD.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
No sites in specific, however I have been looking at a Falcon Northwest DRX. http://www.falcon-nw.com/laptops/drx
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
I would like it to last a couple of years, however due to my traveling situation a high quality build is a must - the less plastic the better.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Just the basics - a writer isn't really required.
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 prefer to stay away from alienware, I live in austere environments and sometimes live in military-style tent barracks. The fans and lights would make that more difficult than I'd like it to be.
13. What country do you live in?
None. I travel 100% of the year, from cold to hot climates; sometimes dusty sometimes tropical and usually have power available.
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
The only reason I haven't gone and bought some top of the line desktop replacement is that I am worried about some atypical things. Specifically noise (I prefer a quiet computer, both operating AND the keyboard), light - anything not coming from the screen is bad, and heat - the less heat it produces the better.
***. I can't believe I'm suggesting this. I usually hate Apple, but it really seems like you'd do well with a 15" MBP.
It's specs are acceptable for a desktop replacement: You can game very well on it if you buy the version with the Radeon 9750M; it's relatively light, has a high res screen, and you can get a SSD as a harddrive.
Install Windows 7 on it, and you'll be golden (for gaming purposes, i mean).
Its shell is all aluminum, so it can take more abuse than its plastic counterparts, so it should be fine in all sorts of environments, and it has very good battery life if you just use the integrated intel graphics card (which, tbh, is good enough for most games on low settings).
If you don't like Alienware, this is pretty much the perfect laptop for you.