Having a hard time selecting a laptop. Generally a very value-oriented person who would buy refurbished/used if the unit is right. Usually a late-adopter once bugs are worked out and value is more in line. iPhone owner, but always owned PCs.

Can't help but get excited about the speed of SSD (at very least a hybrid drive like Seagate XT), Ivy Bridge, and 8GB of RAM.

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General Questions

1) What is your budget?
$600-$1800 (ideally around $900)

2) What size notebook would you prefer?

d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen

3) Where will you buying this notebook? USA

4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

a. Like: ASUS, Apple
b. Dislike: Toshiba rippled wrist-rest, Samsung touchpad

5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
Yes

6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
Websurfing with 30+ Tabs
Some video editing of footage from HD Video Camera, maybe more when we have children.
Photo library management and amateur photo-editing
Music library management and music streaming
MS Office applications

7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
Mostly left at home

8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
No

9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
3

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?
Would prefer to see it before buying online.

11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
Windows 7

Screen Specifics

12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Small text, multiple windows, less scrolling
1366x768 and higher
HD-720, HD+900, FHD-1980

13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?
Prefer Glossy

Build Quality and Design

14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
Ideally like the aluminum shell of the MacBook Pro. Think I prefer the island-style keyboard as well, as long as backspace key is well-placed (not well-placed on DELL 15z)

15) When are you buying this laptop?
Been holding off for a while, but 700m is old, painfully slow, and dying. Thought I'd wait for Ivy Bridge to arrive, so Sandy Bridge prices would drop, but they haven't.

16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
4 years?

Notebook Components

17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
750-1000GB for Music, Photos, and eventually Home Video
I've been reading that SSD drives are one of the best ways to see a drastic speed improvement. Considering 160GB to 256GB SSD + 1TB platter drive (external or optical bay)

18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
Think it will be external. Have an HD Video Camera with hard drive, so would like to burn that footage using Blu-Ray Burner.

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Considering the configuration below, but my wife will be the primary user and would like the budget to be lower.

ASUS N56VZ-DS71 - BACK-ORDER ASUS N56VZ-DS71 - BACK-ORDER
- FREE!! UPS GROUND SHIPPING
- 15.6” FHD 16:9 LED Backlit Wide screen (1920x1080) Super Clear Matte Type Screen (SKU - X1R354)
- 3rd Generation Intel® Ivy Bridge Core™ i7-3610QM (2.3GHz - 3.3GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache, 45W Max TDP) (SKU – X2N300)
- Stock OEM Thermal Compound ( IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU Provided FREE with Processor Upgrade!)
- nVidia GeForce GT 650M 2,048MB PCI-Express GDDR3 DX11 w/ Optimus Technology (SKU – X3R526)
- 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2x4GB SODIMMS) – Default (SKU – X4N216)
- 256GB Samsung 830 Series Solid State Drive (Up to Sequential Read 520MB/s - Write 400MB/s Serial-ATA III - 6GB/s) (SKU - X5R427)
- 1,000GB (1TB) 5400RPM (Serial-ATA II 3GB/s) in ODD Bay (SKU - X7R351)
- No Extra Optical Bay Hard Drive Caddy
- No Back Up Hard Drive
- NO External USB Optical Drive
- Internal 3-in-1 Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS)

- Bluetooth Included (See “Wireless Network” Section Below)
- Bigfoot Networks Killer™ Wireless-N 1103 (3x3) (SKU - X8R052)

- Built in 2.0 Megapixel Camera

- Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio - Included

- Smart Li-ion Battery (6-Cell)

- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Pre-Installed + Drivers & Utilities Disk - [ Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (Directly through Microsoft) ]
- Clean Windows Installation (Install drivers only - no bloatwares) (For factory installed OS only, not required if OS upgrade is selected)
- Yes, please create backup recovery DVD

$1,782.00
Sub-Total: $1,782.00