1. What is your budget? $500 - $1000, but preferable budget is under $800
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 17" screen, weight is not key as it's going to be an additional home PC and occasional travel laptop but also have a netbook for better portability. The primary use will be for my wife as I have the gaming desktop.
3. What screen resolution do you want? at least 720p
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? More towards the desktop replacement. Will travel with it but as an end destination semi-fixed laptop as opposed to on-the-go portability
5. How much battery life do you need? 4 hours or greater
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)? Minor casual games, i.e., Trine, Peggle, Plants vs Zombies, etc., it'll be the wife's so she's just a very casual gamer.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Multimedia (Music, video playback/streaming), Photo Editing. Will be using photoshop, bridge, HDR software, etc., but no video editing. Also, general "office" productivity, VPN, music playback and perhaps basic music editing. Again, primary use will be desktop replacement for my wife and I failed to mention additional primary use will be for playback of video either stand alone or streaming.
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? At least 300 GB
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. N/A -- Open to suggestions
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 2-3 years prior to replacement, longer is preferable but not necessary.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Not necessary, have external drives if need be.
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. Asus, Toshiba and open to others.
13. What country do you live in? USA
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Me again. I've narrowed down the choices to two laptops and was hoping you could help me decide. They seem to be pretty identical to me but different brand names and the GPU on the HP is not specifically listed but does give me the option to upgrade the HD to a 7200 rpm for $20 extra and I'm not sure if that'd be worth it or not.
So, based on those two options which one would you choose? Price is more or less equal with an additional $20 for the HD on the HP but the main differences are RAM, Blu-Ray drive, and different GPUs. It would seem that the 540M is slightly better than the 6490M but I don't know how much of a difference that really makes, at least on the latter GPU section. Also, it appears that the HP offers one USB 3.0 drive, though, again, I don't know how much of a difference that would make.
Okay, any help, suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated.