2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 13-15.4"
3. What screen resolution do you want? 1920x1080
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portable
5. How much battery life do you need? 3-4 hrs~
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)? Yes, but it's not that important so low/medium.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Photo editting/ Programming
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? ~500 GB, but it won't be my main machine so it can be less.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. N/A
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 ? 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. Doesn't matter.
13. What country do you live in? USA
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I am looking for a portable laptop which I can use on the go, mostly in class or study sessions in the library (I am a college student). I'm majoring in engineering, so some processing power would be preferred (I mostly use MATLAB and Mathematica). However my main issue and concern is that I would like to find a laptop that has a high quality screen with very good color reproduction and contrast ratio. I am a photographer for my college newspaper and I would like to be able to edit the photos I take on my laptop without having to go all the way back to my apartment. I've been looking at the MacBook Retina Display laptops but I think they are a bit overpriced and I heard their hardware can't entirely keep up with their high resolution screens. I've also looked at the Sony Vaio Z series, but that seems a bit too pricey too. Originally I had found the Sony Vaio SE to be the best compromise, but apparently they have discontinued that line, so I am looking for other laptop recommendations. Thanks for the help.
Your budget is good, and you get many high performance laptops in that range. I suggest you look at the the Asus G55VW and the MSI GE60. They're very similar laptops in the $1,200 - $1,400 price range. They're both 15.6 inch laptops with 1920x1080 resolution screens. Both have 3rd gen core i7 processors, which covers the processing power you're looking for. Both have 8GB RAM upgradable to 16GB or more, if needed. The G55 comes with a 500GB hard disk, while the GE60 comes with a 750GB hard disk. Both hard disks run at 7,200 RPM. Both are also equipped with a 2GB NVIDIA GTX 660M graphics card, a mid level class 1 card that will support pretty much anything you do.
Together, the 1920x1080 resolution, the i7 processor, 8GB RAM or more and the 660M card, you should be pretty satisfied with the performance it gives you.
I only suggest the 15.6 inch ones because it's easier to move around. These are pretty much the best 15.6 inch laptops in your price range. You can customize them, depending on where you get them from.