Studying abroad next semester, need a notebook.

1. What is your budget?
- Sub-$1000 certainly. I imagine I'll be paying over $500, but I like to try and keep things cheap.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
- I'm looking for an "ultrabook," as they are being referred to now. Something small and thin with plenty of battery life. I don't want a tiny screen, but I'm not sure exactly what my options are.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
- I'll take whatever I get. It's not like I'm going to end up with 640x480 or something.

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
- Upper end, thus the ultrabook.

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)?
- Any games will be bonus. I have a desktop for gaming, this is mainly for browsing and schoolwork.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
- Photoshop would be nice. I'm not expecting too much though.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
- Not sure on this one. On the one hand it might be nice to have enough room for holding things like movies or music, but I can always use an external for that. Having an SSD is probably more what I'm looking for. At least 128GB then?

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
- Years. I'll keep it going for at least the rest of school, and probably longer than that. My desktop will still be my main, so I'm not super worried about how long it will last for.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
- Nothing necessary.

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'm not a fan of HP, as I find their stuff tends to break. And I've read a lot of good things about ASUS. Still, I imagine that the community here will have more informed opinions than myself.

13. What country do you live in?
- US.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
- My desktop is my main machine. I need to pick a laptop up for studying abroad in Rome next semester. Not really for intensive things, mostly for schoolwork, browsing, movies, music, etc. I'm willing to wait on this one, as I'm not going abroad until mid August. I know there are new chipsets and things coming out. Oh, also, I'm not a Mac person.
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  1. Hello lankyjon;

    An August depart is going to give you a good chance to look over the new Trinity APU (Ultrathin) and dual core Ivy Bridge (Ultrabook) options showing up in June.

    Your budget should get you some very good options.
    An example: ASUS U36SG-DS51 ~$805
    It's not an ultrabook - because of standard HDD - but it's still 13", under 4lbs, 8hr battery life, and with a entry level GT 520M graphics card.

    Just FYI, the HD 4000 Graphics IGP of Ivy Bridge is a bit better than GT 520M
  2. I was in the same position last year. I'd been getting buy with a desktop and a netbook.

    I went with a Macbook Air because there weren't ultrabooks on the market yet. There was the Samsung 9 and some Sony viao, but they were all much more expensive.
  3. WR2 said:
    Hello lankyjon;

    An August depart is going to give you a good chance to look over the new Trinity APU (Ultrathin) and dual core Ivy Bridge (Ultrabook) options showing up in June.

    Your budget should get you some very good options.
    An example: ASUS U36SG-DS51 ~$805
    It's not an ultrabook - because of standard HDD - but it's still 13", under 4lbs, 8hr battery life, and with a entry level GT 520M graphics card.

    Just FYI, the HD 4000 Graphics IGP of Ivy Bridge is a bit better than GT 520M


    Thanks for the info. Between the Trinity and the Ivy Bridge, which would you suggest given my usage? Also, when exactly are those coming out?
  4. The Ivy Bridge quad cores are out now. Dual cores in June.

    The formal announcement of Trinity is Wed and the first scheduled availability I've seen so far is Jun 20th.
  5. HP Airs $599 AMD Trinity Sleekbook, $999 Intel Ivy Bridge Ultrabook

    HP Envy SleekBook (15.6-inches): June 20 launch
    Price: $599
    CPU: AMD Trinity APU
    Weight: 4 lb
    Thickness: ~19.8 mm
    Screen: 15.6-inch 1366x768 pixel
    Memory: 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Storage: 320 GB HDD
    Connectivity: 802.11a/g/n, gigabit ethernet
    Ports: HDMI, USB 3.0 x2, USB 2.0 x1, SD card reader
    Extras: Beats Audio

    I'd like to see what the notebook review sites have to say before I'd make any recommendations.
  6. Acer Aspire AS5560-Sb613 $479
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215187
    This laptop can play Skyrim on medium settings with fluid framerates.

    Platform Review:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a8-3500m-llano-apu,2959.html
  7. Avro Arrow said:
    Acer Aspire AS5560-Sb613 $479
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215187
    This laptop can play Skyrim on medium settings with fluid framerates.

    Platform Review:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a8-3500m-llano-apu,2959.html


    Whilst that is nice, the fact is that the battery isn't as good (up to 4 hours), and what I'm looking for more than anything is portability and long battery life. I have my desktop for gaming. Thanks though.
  8. Currently I'm looking at this, and I'm wondering if you have any thoughts about it. The fact that it's refurbished really doesn't bother me all that much, especially as its ASUS, which I tend to trust a bit more.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1742938&SRCCODE=GOOGLEBASE&cm_mmc_o=VRqCjC7BBTkwCjCECjCE

    What do you think? Should I still wait for the new processors? I'm heading out August 1, is that going to be too early to get a look at the new stuff?
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