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Graduate Student Needing Laptop Recommendation

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
August 3, 2012 4:01:23 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware,

It's been a while since I've visited these forums. You guys are responsible for helping me build my very first computer. I'm still using it now, two years later. It's great and can still handle the top games. For that, I thank you.

Now I am back again--yes, with another need for your advice. This time it's about a laptop. I will be a graduate student, and I am in search of a laptop that is of good quality and LIGHT. The weight is probably my biggest concern. You see, I'm relative small (5'5'' 120 lbs, slim, ect, ect.. but I have a nice butt.. okay, TMI), so I can't lug something heavy around campus. I've done it before with a 4.5lbs HP laptop during undergrad and I hated it.

So I really need something slim, light, but good.

Now on to the details:

1. What is your budget?
Mmmh, probably 700 or less. I'm working on a really tight budget. The less, the better of course. Something at $500 before tax is golden!

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13in is fine, 3.5lbs or less please

3. What screen resolution do you want?
doesn't really matter as long as it's not like 800 x 900 or something.

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
another important factor... I would like as much as possible!

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)?
it's a low priority for me

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
taking notes, emailing, internet, cd drive, ect.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
nothing gargantuan, standard

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

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
a couple of years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
nothing fancy, but it's always a bonus

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.
NO HP please... I've had an experience with them that will last a life time

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Please ensure that this is a good quality laptop... that the fan won't die on me... that it won't overheat... that it won't sound like a jet engine in class.. thanks :D 

August 3, 2012 5:51:39 AM

C12Friedman said:
Welcome back,
What you are looking for is currently known as an "Ultrabook" - lightweight notebooks. Here are two comparison sites to give you an idea of what you can expect from them.
I haven't shopped for them or checked specs so I won't give a recommendation here

Thanks for the reply. I didn't even know the type of laptop I wanted was an ultrabook. I've read up more on them since then, and I do like them.

I'm currently eyeing, nay, staring at the Sony VAIO T series. It's affordable, stylish and not so heavy. I like it. Does anyone have personal experience with one?