Hey there, I'm hoping I can pick the collective brain as I shop for a new laptop. I have copied the questions posed in the sticky thread and I will "n/a" any sections that I don't feel are relevant!
In this price range, people may suggest MBP. They are sexy machines but I will be paying a premium, even with my student discount. I would, however, like to stick with Windows. As a music producer, it really doesn't bother me if I'm on OSX or Windows because all my software is compatible with both platforms, but I'm quite enjoying Windows 8 at the moment, so would like to stick around for a few more years. Having said that, I am not unwilling to jump on the OSX bandwagon if there are no suitable alternatives in the Windows world.
I had looked at the Samsung 9 Series but I do feel that it is underpowered and the screen resolution isn't that tempting when I look at what I can get from Apple (ie. Retina Display).
1. What is your budget? Around £1500-£1600
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 15-inch screen would be perfect
3. What screen resolution do you want? Very high. Anything over 1080p would be ideal. "Retina Display" territory would also be welcome
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? It would be a desktop replacement of sorts- I am a music producer still at university. So I need a laptop that can run CPU intensive tasks such as VSTs easily but I would like portability as I travel between my university house, lecture theatres and home.
5. How much battery life do you need? Long battery life isn't essential but another 5+ hours would be amazing.
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)? No gaming
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Music production. I will be running Ableton Live 8 + many VSTs, some of which are very CPU intensive.
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Lots. Ideally SSD for OS and at least 1TB for sample storage, if that's possible. So maybe a laptop with hybrid storage?
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 ? No optical drive is necessary- I can download anything I need.
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. N/A
13. What country do you live in? England
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. N/A
Going to direct you here http://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/category/laptop a boutique builder and give you specs to look for. Although their laptops say for gaming, the i7 machines should be perfect for your needs . A 17" laptop (although heavy) will give you the option of a second internal hard drive. 16GB or ram will be useful. The Sager/Clevo 15" models (possibly some others also) have a hard drive caddy that replaces the optical drive for a dual hard drive option without an optical drive which also seems to fit your needs. You can skimp on the graphics card. Any questions, ask away. The MSI and Sager/Clevo models are very good systems IMO
Hope it helps