I was looking at buying Dell's Inspiron 14z Ultrabook. After my last Dell, a Studio 17, I swore I would never buy another Dell in my life because it was such a let down (it had really bad "CPU surge" issues which was apparently a well documented problem, as well as abysmal sound and an overall flimsy build quality), but the 14z Ultrabook is so close to what I was looking for at a better price than I have found elsewhere, so it is hard to pass on.
Here are the specs of the Dell I'm looking at:
-3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7-3517U Processor (4MB cache, up to 3.0 GHz)
-8GB 2 DIMM (4GB x2) DDR3 1600Mhz
-256GB Solid State Drive
-14.0" HD WLED TrueLife (1366x768)
-AMD Radeon™ HD 7570M with 1GB GDDR5
-1.87kg* (4.12 lbs)
-$1399 in Australia (I believe that is around $900 for a US purchase) http://www.dell.com/au/p/inspiron-14z-5423/pd?oc=dv5106...
Here are my answers to the FAQ in case that Dell isn't a good choice and some one has a better suggestion.
1. What is your budget?
-$1000 to $1500 in Australia, I believe that is about $600-$1000 when buying in the US. I'm willing to exceed this if it is worth it.
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
-Highly portable, but I'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of portability if it's for something really special. I'd be pretty happy with anything less than 2.5kg (5.5lbs), though the more portable the better obviously. The Dell I'm looking at is about 1.85kg(4lbs)
3. What screen resolution do you want?
-Not too fussed, high res would be better, but that Dell I'm looking at is only 1366x768 so it's not of super high priority.
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
-As above, it needs to be quite portable.
5. How much battery life do you need?
-3 hours bare minimum, anything after that is gravy.
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'd like to have a somewhat decent dedicated GPU so I have the option to play games open to me, without going overboard. I'd like to be able to play most of the recent games, even if that means at low-medium settings. The GPU in that dell is an AMD HD 7570M 1GB, which I think would satisfy my needs, though I think it's towards the lower end of the range I'd prefer, according to this chart: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Laptop-Graph...
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
-It's mostly just for school work with some gaming.
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
-I was looking at 500GB+, but that Dell has a SSD 256GB, and I'd certainly be willing to sacrifice the extra space for the SSD.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
-I'm pretty open to suggestions
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
-I'm after good build quality so 4 years + I guess.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
-I would be happy to get something without an optical drive, if it opens my options up. Otherwise a DVD player would suffice.
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.
-Until I found the above Dell that looks perfect, I would have said I'd like to avoid Dell, but perhaps I've just had a one off bad experience. They are the only brand I have experience with, so I'm very open to recommendations.
13. What country do you live in?
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.