I'm in the market for a laptop, but my needs are a bit unique. I'm a pretty heavy user and need a laptop to do the following tasks;
1. Adobe everything. I sometime work with files that are 500-600MB each (3'x4' 200dpi posters)
2. I use a few DAW applications (Digital audio workstation) such as ProTools, Cubase, Ableton Live, etc.
My current terminal is a desktop Dell 7400 (dual quad core Xeon processors, 15krpm HDD and an ATI card and 8GB RAM. Because of the tasks that I do I am looking at the follow specs for the laptop
1. i7 quad-core processor
2. RAM not so important so long as I can expand to 8GB
3. HDD: would prefer SSD simply because I really need fast boot. Plus I like that SSDs are super quiet. I could always pop in an SSD later though.
4. Graphics: I'm a little confused here. Do I need dedicated video memory if I'm sporting 8GB RAM?
5. OS: I love Win7 64-bit, it works so well for everything with no hickups (at least on my desktop). Win8 64-bit? I don't know, I'm too confused, I'll have to play with Win8 to be familiar. Also, I'm not sure how a lot of my apps will work in Win8.
6. DVD drive, could care less
7. Screen size, would prefer 14", but 15.6" is about as big as I could do.
8. Budget; $750-800 I know, ouch!
Right now, I'm considering the HP Envy dv6t-7200. I'm open to most brands, but not really a Sony fan.
major question, if I had to choose i7 quad core OR dedicated 2GB video memory along with SSD? Your thoughts?
HP's worse than Sony, for starters. But the most important thing I'd like to point out, is that based on the specs you've listed, you aren't going to get many of them with your budget.
Anyway, here are some of the best laptops that will be available in your price range. You can customize them to some extent. Also, try to increase your budget by around $100 at least.
The best gaming laptop under $1,000 is the Lenovo Ideapad Y580, but that's around $900, and still outside your budget. What you need for everything to function well (Gaming, video stuff, work, everything) is a 3rd gen core i7 processor, at least 6GB of RAM or more (8GB is fine. Also, keep in mind in comps that come with like 4GB RAM, you can always upgrade the RAM to 8,12,16,24 and 32GB. It depends on the model, of course, in some comps you CANT upgrade the ram, but in others you can till 12 or 16GB max, so look carefully) and a relatively decent graphics card, I'm thinking 630M as your bare minimum, because of your price range. The Nvidia 630M is a low level class 2 graphics card, so should manage your video/gaming demands to a fair extent.
Anyway, like I said, just look at the processor, RAM and GPU. You'll soon find out your price range is pretty low for the specs you really want. Here are the links. Be sure to look at all the laptops