Need laptop advice

1. What is your budget? $1000-$1200

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 13-15"

3. What screen resolution do you want? Not sure...1600x900? Plus or minus a resolution level.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Not sure either....leaning toward portable, but not that big of an issue either way.

5. How much battery life do you need? Would like 4-6 hours. (I realize 6 is probably unrealistic for a gaming oriented laptop.)

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)? Possibly. I haven't played much lately, but wouldn't mind being able to run Skyrim on reasonable settings, etc. The only future game on my radar is Half-Life 3, and I'm thinking a current Alienware will probably be out of date when it comes out in 2017.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Chrome browsing. Spotify. That's about it.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Doesn't really matter. Would be fine with 128GB SSD. Don't care if it's a standard drive though.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Not really...Newegg?

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 2-3 years?

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Would like a DVD-burner. Don't care about Blu-ray.

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. Not sure on this...this is actually one of my main questions. I love the aesthetic of Alienware, but don't know if I really need that much laptop. I was leaning toward a Macbook Air due to the outstanding touchpad, but I pretty much dislike everything else about Macs. I've lived with a horrendous touchpad on my Dell Inspiron 1525 for four years, so whatever I get needs to have a usable touchpad. I would get a so-so laptop and build a desktop, but I doubt I'm going to have space for a desktop in the next few years.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. That's about it. I was leaning toward a Macbook Air, but have serious reservations with using Mac OS and looking like a "Mac guy" in coffee shops. It's also against my nature to spend the same amount on a laptop with Intel graphics and Intel i5 vs a laptop with fairly decent nVidia graphics and an i7. Segers look pretty decent, but I'm not sure if they're "flashy" enough for me. (I know that sounds really dumb...)

EDIT: Forgot to mention. Linux compatibility is a plus!

Thanks for any advice.
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  1. I guess it's mainly for general use. I'd like to be able to competently run games since I'm probably not going to have a desktop anytime soon, but that's really a secondary concern. I'd just hate to spend the same amount on Intel graphics vs. nVidia.
  2. Lenovo Thinkpad T530 (with the 15.6" 1600x900 display) through the Barnes and Noble Gold discount
    - Sign up and sign in here:
    - Barnes and Noble Gold discount T530 link: (you will need to create a free Barnes and Noble Gold account)
    - Start with the cheapest base configuration.
    - On the configuration page, upgrade the "Display type" to at least HD+ (1600x900). You should not buy the Lenovo Thinkpad T530 in any configuration that includes the default HD (1366x768) display. 1366x768 resolution in a 15.6" display makes things onscreen large, and 15.6" displays that have 1366x768 resolution tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast. But the upgraded 15.6" 1600x900 and 15.6" 1920x1080 displays have great contrast, and also allow you to fit more onscreen. The availability of the upgraded displays upgrade is part of my reasoning for recommending this computer.
    - Recommended: Get the free WiFi adapter upgrade to the "Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2200", because some have reported issues with the stock "Thinkpad 1x1 b/g/n" adapter.
    - Note: The Core i5-3210M from the Core i3-2370M isn't a bad upgrade choice. It may also help with battery life since it's IvyBridge instead of SandyBridge.
    - Upgrading to the NVS 5400M dedicated GPU will help with moderate gaming. It isn't the greatest GPU, but it's a good step up from integrated graphics.
    - Does not come with a Webcam by default. If you want one, you need to select the upgrade.
    - In the cart, click the green "Activate eCoupon" button to get your discount.
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