1. What is your budget? Around $2,000 (Canadian) before taxes
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 15" - 17"
3. What screen resolution do you want? 1600x900 (on a 15") to 1920x1080 (on a 17")
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Desktop replacement. Portability is secondary to performance. As long as the thing fits into a backpack, I'm happy.
5. How much battery life do you need? Very little. Almost always near a wall outlet. Only use battery when transiting from one spot to another.
6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? I mostly play MMOs such as SWTOR and WoW but occasionally play standalone games. I prefer playing on higher settings, as long as budget alows.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) All other tasks are not as intensive as gaming.
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? around 750 GB should suffice.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. www.alienware.cawww.newegg.ca anywhere else that delivers in Canada
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? At least 3 years, 4 would be better.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Not a big factor
12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I personally lean towards alienware. My current laptop is a m15x and I have been extremely satisfied with it. I can no longer live without an illuminated keyboard. I am also looking for something sturdy and survivable.
13. What country do you live in? Canada
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. Illuminated keyboard is a must. budget ceiling is a soft cap but any upgrade that breaks the cap has to be warrented (i.e. you'd be crazy not to spend an extra 150$ to get such and such a component. Also, I am almost always connected to the internet via WiFi.
I'm not necessarily in a rush to get this laptop. However, I've been watching prices over the past several months and it seems like this is a good time to buy. Prices seem to have dropped recently.
So far, I am leaning towards Alienware m17x r4:
PROCESSOR 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3720QM processor (6MB Cache, up to 3.6GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)
OPERATING SYSTEM Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit
OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office trial
MEMORY 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz (4DIMMS)
VIDEO CARD 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon™ HD 7970M
HARD DRIVE 1TB RAID 0 (2x 500GB SATA 3B/s 7,200 RPM)
LCD PANEL 17.3-inch WideFHD 1920 x 1080 60Hz WLED
WIRELESS CARDS Killer™ Wireless-N 1103 a/g/n 3x3 MIMO for Gaming & Video and Bluetooth 4.0
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
This build would put me at a total of $2175 (Cdn).