Looking to buy a new laptop ASAP

Hello everyone. My HP Pavilion DV7's screen just died, so I am in the market for a new laptop. Now before I get any recommendations for changing the LCD panel, I've already looked into that and decided that it had too many other problems to bother with.

1. What is your budget?

I'm looking to spend as little as possible, but I would like to have similar specs to the models listed below.

SO my budget is ~$600 US. I will not shell out more than $650 US including shipping.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Looking at a 15" laptop, since the 17" screen I was carrying made the walk to class too long.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

I'm not too terribly picky, but at least 1366x768 would be preferred

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

The machine I was using before was most certainly a desktop replacement, so I could live with either. I would prefer processing power over portability but it still needs to travel with me during some 11 hour days.

5. How much battery life do you need?

My old computer only had about 3 hours, so really anything comparable to or better than that would be fine.

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)?

I have a desktop to play games on, so this is kind of a moot point, but I would like to be able to play some games. Mostly TF2 and L4D2. I also play Minecraft, but that seems to be mostly CPU bound IME.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

I need to be able to do CAD work on the machine, as well as some MATLAB, java, python etc. in addition to the standard gamut of office software.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

I don't really store a lot of information on my laptop, so anything above 320 would be fine

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.




Just 3 laptops to give you an idea of what I'm looking for.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

I hope to keep it for 10 years+.

Seeing how that isn't going to happen though, I hope to get ~4 years out of it.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

Very rarely use them, if at all. I think I only used it to create repair disks on my last one.

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 would prefer to stay away from HP, Gateway, and DELL. Never had good luck with Gateways, my last HP has been nothing but problems (it idled at about 65C). Unless dell has changed for the better in the past 4 years, I don't want anything to do with them either. It's not fun spending 8 hours trying to tell the tech support guy that your CD/DVD drive won't read CDs and having to do a complete OS install twice.

13. What country do you live in?

United States

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Like I said, I'm looking for something reasonably portable, but powerful. I'd also like something durable, as it will be traveling with me to class on a daily basis. A strong warranty/company would be preferred because, well, stuff happens.

Unless there is a significant reason to get a lower-end processor (i3) i would prefer a little more CPU to a better graphics card. Unless anyone has any ideas on how to put my retired desktop HD4870 into a laptop :D

I would prefer to avoid switchable graphics, especially the intel/ati ones.

I will probably end up repartitioning my hard drive and running Linux 80% of the time.

Oh, and a SSD would be nice too, but I will probably have to hold off on that one.

Thanks in advance for your help. I will probably buy one this weekend or so.

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  1. Just an update that is too much information for an edit. The Lenovo from Best Buy is out, as they raised the price on them in the store. Also, I'm not very particular to any certain retailer, so the laptops listed were for spec comparison, although I am very seriously considering the ASUS.

    If anyone has any recommendations for a decent brick and mortar store in central OH, I would be interested in hearing them as well.

    Thanks again,


    Edit: found another one i might be interested in:

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