I'm looking for some advice on what laptop to purchase and was hoping I might get some input from some of the people on this forum. I'm a grad student and will be using the laptop for school and personal use. I use MATLAB for some image processing and data analysis and will most likely install virtualbox in order to be able to run linux as well. In general, I'm looking for a balance between weight, computing power, and cost. I don't need something ultrabook thin, but I'm not really interested in a 6+ lb monster as I do carry my laptop around quite a bit.
See below for details.
1) What is your budget?
up to $1000
2) What size notebook would you prefer?
c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
United States (probably online)
4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
I'm fine with anything really as long as it suits my purposes.
5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
I would rather not.
6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
-Checking email/surfing the web
-Data processing/scientific computing (MATLAB)
7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
3-4 hours, but more would be nice
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?
I'd like to see photos, but I don't need to see it in person.
11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
Windows 7, but will probably run Ubuntu via Virtualbox
12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. Click here for Screen resolution information.
Standard Resolution (1366 x 768)
High Resolution (1600 x 900) (would prefer high resolution)
13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?
I would prefer a non-glossy screen, but could go either way.
Build Quality and Design
14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
Not really, but I'd like it not to fall apart with a little abuse.
15) When are you buying this laptop?
16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
3 years or so
17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
500 would be nice. I'd love an SSD, but the cost is a bit too high for now.
18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
An optical drive with a DVD burner would be a plus, but not absolutely necessary. I could deal with an external one.
Thanks for the tip. I think I have it narrowed down to either the Lenovo T430s or the new Samsung Series 7 15.6" notebook (the lower end version). Any opinions or other suggestions?
I like the durability of the T430s, but the Samsung notebook has a lot better battery life and a better GPU/CPU. The Samsung weighs a quite a bit more, but the dimensions aren't that much bigger. I'm looking for something with either a 14 or 15 inch screen that is on the slimmer side, with a matte screen, and reasonable build quality (I've had a few Dell laptops fall apart on me).