Need Recommendation: Small & Fast Laptop


I need some assistance choosing a new laptop. My basic requirements are SMALL and FAST.

I will be using it for internet, streaming videos, editing RAW images, Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint. I am looking for a laptop that won't slow down to a halt when I am running programs simultaneously or when I open up RAW image files.

Please see the specs below for more information. I am looking recommendations from a few price points: $500, $800, and $1,000. I want to be sure I get a good deal, but also a system that will last.

1. Budget: $500-$1,100

2. Screen Size: Between 11" and 15", preferably 13" - (Need to have)

3. Resolution: no preference

4. Size/Weight: Ultra Portable

5. Battery life:5 hours + (Nice to Have)

6. Gaming/Video Editing/Music Editing: None

7. Photo Editing: Some, RAW via Photoshop

8. Capability to run Software simultaneously: Yes - Word, Excel, PP, Internet, Photoshop

9. Hard Drive: 250 GB - 1 TB

10. Life of laptop: 3-5 years

11. Optical Drive: no preference

12. Brands: no preference

13. Country: USA

14. Operating System Needed: Windows 7 Home or Professional

15. Productivity/Other Software Needed: none

Thanks in advance for your help!
- Laura
5 answers Last reply
More about need recommendation small fast laptop
  1. Check out the new ultrabooks on the market. They're on the higher end of your price range but they're powerpackers.
  2. ragenalien said:
    Check out the new ultrabooks on the market. They're on the higher end of your price range but they're powerpackers.

    Thanks for your help. I hadn't even heard of ultrabooks until I read your response. Since then, I skimmed through a few articles ultrabooks - it seems the first wave of ultrabooks is about to hit the market.

    It seems like the ultrabooks will definitly fit my needs, but I'm not sure how long I should wait before getting one. It seems the longer I wait, the larger the selection will be and the more advanced the technology will be. They may even come down in price.

    My last computer was stolen, so I'm eager to replace it so that I don't have to use my work computer at home, but I also don't want to jump the gun and get a Ultrabook too soon. I'm hoping to use my new laptop over the next 3-5 years.

    Do you think the selection will dramatically increase and/or prices will go down over the next month or so? If so, how long should I wait before buying one?
  3. Ultrabooks are set to be big within the next few months (you can bet most venders will have them out before the holiday season). As for prices you can expect around $800 for a minimum (core i5, hybrid storage, 4Gb RAM) system. If you can wait till after the holidays prices (usually) drop down to include the more powerful systems under a grand.
  4. While i'm not advocating purchasing one, keep in mind the current editing platform in the ultra-light class is the macbook air - my friend has one from the latest batch and they do perform great in photoshop/illustrator.
    When you purchase your solution, make sure it can at least matches the capabilities of such or you will be at a disadvantage. Obviously it should be cheaper too!
  5. I agree, I you are thinking of getting one of these compare it to an equally priced macbook air first. Generally you will find that the ultrabook is a better value but do consider software as well, I've heard final pro cut is a sweet program.
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