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Your PC laptop suggestions for a former Mac user?

Hey everyone, I hope some of you might take the time and give me some advice. I'm not a computer newbie by any means but I'm overwhelmed by the laptop choices for PC.

I currently have a Macbook Pro the 09 model with these specs:
2.53Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB RAM
250 GB HD
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB

I am trying to sell it and to buy a TOUCHSCREEN PC laptop (w/ windows 8)

I use the laptop for web, docs, skype and photoshop. So don't need a beast, but hate slow computers especially when retouching a big image.

I also like simple designs like Lenovo's Macbook copycat design or HP Envy's Mac copycat design.

I also want a monitor that at least comes close to the old Macbook screens when it comes to resolution and brightness. A lot of PC laptops look like the faded tired sibling of a Mac when it comes to screen colors and brightness.

And before you ask why I don't get another Mac, it's because I can't afford it. And I like change (and a touchscreen) :)

So please help me narrow down my search. Stores have the ugliest machines (went to Best Buy, Frys, Staples) and only a handful of touchscreen ones at best.

I want my new specs to be at least equal to what I have now, with a more powerful graphics card (at least 1gb).

I am also hoping to keep the price around 800.

So, any suggestions? At least in general terms? Lenovo? HP Envy? Sony?
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  1. I should also add I don't have any idea what the new i5 or i3 processors mean, so some help deciding what's best would also be great. My desktop is AMD and works fine so not opposed to that either. But definitely don't want something that's gonna lag as hell in a couple of years or overheat... :)
  2. Fill out the following FAQ for better assistance.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/50797-35-laptop-buyers

    I cannot specifically give you any recommendations if looking for a touch screen laptop because I don't know of any. Most laptops (an ultrabooks) will have a TN panel screen which pales in comparison e-IPS panel screens, but they are also less expensive. I assume the Mac's Retina displays are either either e-IPS panels or the more expensive H-IPS or S-IPS panels which can increase the price of a laptop by a much a $400 - $500 just for the screen.

    The difference between i5 and i7 mobile CPUs is simply performance i7 CPU have higher clock speeds and more internal cache memory which can give a slight boost in some non gaming tasks. The big difference is that while all Core i5 CPUs are dual core, the i7 CPUs are either dual core ("M" designation) or quad core ("QM" designation).

    Another not a much talked about difference it the Intel HD 4000 performance difference between different 3rd generation "Ivy Bridge" Core i3/i5/i7 mobile CPUs. While they all have the Intel HD 4000 graphic core (iGPU), they are not clocked at the same speed so the iGPU performance varies. Any i3/i5/i7 CPUs in ultrabooks will have the lowest performance in general because they need to conserve power; they will have ULV (ultra low voltage) CPUs. The i7 "QM" mobile CPUs are basically the top of the line for laptops and the iGPU should be running at it's standard speed so the iGPU will perform the best in laptops with these relatively expensive CPUs. Between the ULV CPUs and the i7 "QM" CPUs there will be various performance levels.
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