Suggestions for a first time laptop buyer

As the title states, I am in the market for my first laptop.

1. What is your budget? Soft $1,000. At most $1,200, but would prefer under a grand.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? At least 13"

3. What screen resolution do you want? No preference

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? To be a portable supplement to my desktop

5. How much battery life do you need? As long as possible, campus has available outlets, but I can be away from home for more than 12 hrs a day. Hoping for around 8?

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)? This isn't going to be a used as a "gaming laptop". That being said, the games I would play on it would be selected based on the capabilities of the laptop. I won't be selecting a laptop with the intent to play any specific labor-intensive game.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) The purpose of this machine is primarily music production capability while I'm away from my desktop. I will be running protools 8 and reason 5 as my main programs. I will also do minor photo editing, school-related word processing, etc. Etc. My OS will be Windows 7.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Unsure. I have an external that I will store unused sound files on. I'm unsure of what is considered necessary.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. No specific sites, though I've purchased from newegg and tiger direct before, so these are in my comfort zone.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? As long as possible. I don't want an obsolete machine in 6 months

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Need? Cd/dvd. I need to be able to burn songs. Would I turn a bluray down? No, but I definitely don't consider it a requirement.

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. No preference, I usually just go by reviews.

13. What country do you live in? Milwaukee, wi, usa

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. Not sure what's needed, just ask.

Thanks for the time and effort!
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More about suggestions time laptop buyer
  1. It will be very very very hard to find a laptop with an 8hr life that has any type of speed or screen size. For a regular laptop that can run normal programs you are looking at 3, maybe 4 hours of usable life when it's new. Even just simple Tablets I don't think can run 8 hours.

    That said, I really like the Lenovo products, they tend to have very solid feeling keyboard and the cases are much better than most. Take a look at these ones
  2. Aye, I wasn't sure what hateful life was reasonable/normal. It seems like lenovo is a pretty common response for quality laptops.
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