Instead look at the Lenovo Thinkpad T520 / T530 through the Barnes and Noble Gold discount. It will have better build quality and a better display.
- Follow this link: http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/na/St...
- Create a free account, and login.
- T520: http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barne...
- T530: http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barne...
- For models that include the HD (1366x768) display as the default option-- such as the cheapest T520 base configuation, you will need to upgrade that to (at minimum) the **HD+ (1600x900)** display. Hold this display upgrade at priority over any other upgrade, because the T520 and T530 should not be bought in any configuration that includes the stock HD (1366x768) display. 15.6" 1366x768 displays make things onscreen large, and tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast.
- The main differences between the T520 and the T530 are keyboard and processor selection. Since the latter likely will not affect you much, base your decision primarily on the keyboard, and of course on the price.
- Worthy of consideration: 9-Cell battery, free Intel WiFi Link wireless upgrade (supposedly more reliable than the stock Thinkpad b/g/n card)
- After you finish configuring but before you add your configuration to the cart, copy the coupon code. In the cart, paste the code into its designated spot to get the discount. Cheapest T520 config w/ 1600x900 drops from $799 to $599.
I would agree with the above. I have an Asus N80vn as well as two Lenovo's (x220i and a T510, and have owned a T60, and a T500 in the past).
While the Asus is a fabulous machine I find the keyboards on their non-gaming models to be subpar. The Lenovo T and X series have a fantastic keyboard and are built with spills and drops in mind so they tend to be more durable especially if you travel. They are the only laptop's I have been able to type comfortably on for 3+ hours at a time. Avoid the stock Lenovo 1366x768 displays at all costs. The upgrade to the 1600x900 mentioned above is worth every penny. The *only* complaint I have on my T510 is the 1366x768 display, it's not as bad on the X220i because it is only a 12.5" screen but it is still sub-par.