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English literature student looking for durable writing machine

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 20, 2012 3:58:17 PM

Hello and good morning from San Diego, California! Former Macbook user looking to make the move back to Windows. I write for many hours at a time and am looking for a classroom- and travel-friendly laptop with a solid keyboard. I'd like to keep heat and noise down as I use my laptop...in my lap and in quiet places. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

1. What is your budget?
$800-$1,200

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15 inch

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1920x1080; I'd prefer the extra real estate as I almost always split the screen between two windows (word processor and web browser). Matte display would be preferred as I enjoy writing outside.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Either; desktop replacements have been getting smaller these days, so I wouldn't mind carrying one around if it means a lower price, better build quality, etc.

5. How much battery life do you need?
5 hour minimum

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 have a gaming desktop, so I don't plan on gaming with this laptop. If anything, I'll be playing old-school BioWare RPGs like Baldur's Gate and the like. I wouldn't mind being able to play Civilization 5!

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Netflix, web browsing with 10+ tabs open at any given time, writing all day long.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
128 SSD; I really can't think of any files besides word docs and a few turn-of-the-century video games that I'll be storing locally.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I trust Amazon, but I do enjoy the customization choices available at manufacturer websites like Lenovo and HP.

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

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
None.

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'd prefer Lenovo, HP, or ASUS.

13. What country do you live in?
USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I keep leaning towards Lenovo IdeaPads like the U410 and Y580 because of their strong keyboards and build quality. I also appreciate the full-package quality of HP laptops like the DV6T-7000 Select Edition. In order to keep costs down, I am considering purchasing a laptop equipped with basic HDD and RAM and upgrading them later. It seems to me that many Lenovo laptops have very accessible parts, which is a plus. As far as ASUS goes, I've heard great things about the UX31A, though I worry about keyboard and build quality.

Best solution

a b D Laptop
September 20, 2012 4:14:48 PM

While I agree on Lenovo as an excellent choice, you want a Thinkpad, not an Ideapad. The former are far more durable, business-class machines, and the latter are more consumer oriented.
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September 20, 2012 8:48:45 PM

Onus said:
While I agree on Lenovo as an excellent choice, you want a Thinkpad, not an Ideapad. The former are far more durable, business-class machines, and the latter are more consumer oriented.


Will the 15-inch 1920x1080 Thinkpads be too unwieldy for traveling? Do they offer 1080p Thinkpads?
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September 20, 2012 8:51:04 PM

X3773 said:
It's not the brand you were looking for but it has everything else you wanted for $799.

VIZIO Thin and Light CT15-A1 15.6-Inch Laptop
http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-Light-CT15-A1-15-6-Inch-Lap...


This is another module that is still within your price but it has 256GB hard and the CPU is clocked at 1.9Ghz up from 1.7Ghz.

VIZIO Thin and Light CT15-A2 15.6-Inch Laptop
http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-Light-CT15-A2-15-6-Inch-Lap...


I went to the Microsoft store today and tested the Vizio out. One glaring issue is the poor keyboard quality, which is very important to me. Also I've heard that Vizio barely pushes past 3 hrs on a full charge. The models do a have nice screens, though...
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a b D Laptop
September 20, 2012 8:55:41 PM

straynode said:
Will the 15-inch 1920x1080 Thinkpads be too unwieldy for traveling? Do they offer 1080p Thinkpads?

That I do not know. Since you won't be gaming on it, one option you might consider is adding a USB-connected monitor for additional office-type tasks.
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September 27, 2012 5:43:23 PM

Best answer selected by strayNode.
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a b D Laptop
September 27, 2012 10:55:51 PM

Thanks. What did you get?
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