Hello, I am finally commited to replacing my ancient Dell XPS 15 L502x (Sandy Bridge!). I will start with the questionaire but there will be some important details at the end. General Questions 1) What is your budget? Ideally within 2500 USD. 2) What size notebook would you prefer? d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen 3) Which country will you buying this notebook? Uncertain, could be between US, Taiwan, HK, Singapore and Japan. Taiwan and HK is more convenient, but I need an English OS and I think it is cheaper to buy in the US and I may be able to ask family to bring one over. 4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like? I am a bit weary of Sony since the fan died significantly faster than the Dell I subsequently replaced with and served me very well. But I am looking for something more powerful for gaming. 5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed? If the price is right. 6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook? Everything. It will be my main computer. Office work, video editing, gaming, media consumption etc. 7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both? Both. Basically I only expect to use it on a desk plugged in, but I move countries two to three times a year and cities a few times more via public transport while carrying other luggages. So while I do not need a small or UL laptop with a long battery life, a massive desktop replacement isn't for me either. I would like to keep the weight at around 3kg. 8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?) Yes, all sorts. From indie games to AAA games, including FPS (e.g. Overwatch), strategy games (Total War series). Might also try some of those survival games popular in the last few years. Oh yeah might also run some Android emulator. 9) How many hours of battery life do you need? I am fine with around 2 hours (more is nice but not required). 10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK? Online is fine from reputable stores. 11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc. Windows. Screen Specifics 12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? I am leaning towards a 1080. A 4K screen *is* quite enticing, and the truth is I am not sure if I really need super fast refresh rate as a casual gamer.. but I am also not sure if 4K on a 15" screen makes sense. Has anyone compared to quality of MSI's 1080 and 4K screens? 13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.) Leaning towards matte. Build Quality and Design 14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you? Not at all. Notebook Components 15) How much hard drive space do you need? Ideally a 512GB SSD with a 1 TB regular drive. Might consider a 256GB SSD with a 1TB drive. Timing, Warranty and Longevity 16) When are you buying this laptop? By the end of November at the latest. 17) How long do you expect to use this laptop? I *expect* at least 3 years, but I would want it to last over 5 years with basic maintenance. 18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail? Depends where I am at the time (i.e. do I have a spare laptop lying around) but if I have to buy a cheap laptop on the interim, I will do so. 19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage? No, because I will likely not be in the country the service is provided. ------------------------ Okay now for something extremely important. The laptop has to be easy to open up so that I can easily clean and service it. Ideally it should be possible to replace the fans if / when it fails as that is the primary cause of my laptop needing replacement. This requirement tends to rule out ultra thin and light laptop, but I am fine with a thicker laptop if it means that it is more serviceable and ideally less noise, better airflow and better keyboard. I am also leaning towards a laptop with the RTX 2080. What I am less sure, is if the 9th gen CPU make that much difference over the 8th gen.