1. What is your budget?
$400-450. $500 max if it's a (considerably) better laptop than the ones I list below.
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Lightweight and not too bulky.
3. What screen resolution do you want?
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable. I intend to carry it around quite a bit. Is there a big difference in carrying a 14" and a 15.6" around?
5. How much battery life do you need?
(At least) 6 hours.
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)?
Some oldies at low settings would be fine. FPS, strategy, Eve online. I will not be playing games alot on it, mostly for a short break from working.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
University (computer science, engineering, chemistry courses), programming, Matlab, Office, web browsing, watching movies/shows, multitasking.
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
320GB min, more is better but I can live with external storage if needed.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3 or more years, the longer the better.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
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'd prefer one of the "bigger" brand names.
13. What country do you live in?
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I have a gaming desktop.
I will be using it for University (computer science, engineering, chemistry courses), programming, Matlab, Office, web browsing, watching movies/shows and the occasional game (older + lowest settings is fine). I usually multitask quite a bit.
(I will not be using it to perform very heavy calculations).
I will be running both Windows and Linux on it.
I have narrowed it down to the following options (the top 3 are at the same price (around $500 if bought in the US), the E520 is around $630):
All have a 6-Cell Li-Ion battery with approx. 6 hours stated battery life
All have 8xDVD writer/reader, Gigabit LAN, 300Mbps Wifi 802.11bgn and W7 Professional (Lenovo) or Home Premium (HP/ PBell)
Packard Bell Easynote TS44-SB-004
AMD A6-3400M Quad Core 2.3GHz Turbo 4MB , 6GB DDR3 1333MHz (8 max) , 640GB 5400RPM , 15.6" HD LED 1366x768 , 512MB ATI HD6520G DX11 Vision graphics
3xUSB2, HDMI1.4a HDCP, VGA, card reader and more
HP ProBook 4530s
i3 2310M Dual Core HT 3MB , 4GB DDR3 1333MHz (8 max) , 320GB 7200RPM , 15.6" HD LED 1366x768 , 512MB Intel HD Graphics 3000 DX10 (FULL HD 1080P)
1xUSB3, 3xUSB2, HDMI1.4a, Bluetooth, HDCP, VGA, Express Card, card reader , fingerprint reader
Lenovo E420 ThinkPad Edge
i3-2310M Dual Core HT 3MB 2.1GHz , 8GB DDR3 1333MHz , 320GB 7200RPM , 14.0" HD (1366 x 768) LED , Intel HD Graphics 3000
3xUSB2, eSATA/USB combo, HDMI, VGA, Express Card, multicard reader
ThinkPad Edge E520 ($170 more than the others)
i5-2410M 2.30GHz Turbo Boost up to 2.90GHz 3MB , 8GB 1333MHz , 500GB 7200RPM , 15.6" HD (1366 x 768) LED , Intel HD Graphics 3000
3xUSB, eSATA/USB combo, HDMI, VGA, Express Card, multicard reader , fingerprint Reader
So it basically comes down to your needs.
If you'd like some gaming performance, go with the amd one. If you have no intentions of gaming, then go with the Intel, the integrated graphics should take care of basics (watching videos, browsing, etc). If you wanted the best of both worlds, you'd probably have to increase your budget and fit a decent video card with the i3/i5.