14" laptop purchase advice


Oct 8, 2012
Hi folks,

I need a new laptop that is portable (digital nomad life) but decent screen resolution and power for web/digital design, so hopefully some folk here may have some good advice. Below are the important specs I am looking for. Any help/advice much appreciated.


General Questions

1) What is your budget?
~ US$1,000

2) What size notebook would you prefer?
Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen

3) Where will you buying this notebook?

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

5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
Yes, if reputable source.

6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
Web/digital design.

7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
Moving a lot.

8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
Not at all.

9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
Not that important, but more the merrier.

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?
Will have to buy online.

11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
Windows 7/8.

Screen Specifics

12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer?
Has to be 1600 x 900.

13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?
Not important.

Build Quality and Design

14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
No. Weight, size, build quality are.

15) When are you buying this laptop?

Notebook Components

17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB?
Not so important.

Do you want a SSD drive?
Would be a bonus, but not essential.

18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
Would be a bonus, but not essential.


Oct 8, 2012

I know, which is why I had to buy a lower screen res laptop in Chile after I was robbed. But am suffering with the screen res so now have the chance to get one brought from the US for me.


Aug 8, 2012
Two options for you. The Lenovo Thinkpad t430. Starts at $700 and has the option of a 1600x900 screen. Another option is the HP dv4t, but this option does not have a screen upgrade. Both are 14" but if you are going to be moving it around alot I would suggest checking out the t430. The thinkpad series is a very durable business centric laptop and would work well for web design. Just play with build and see what you like.


May 14, 2012
Lenovo Thinkpad T430 - $621 + tax and up.
- Sign up and sign in here: http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/na/StdAffinityPortal/en_US/Lenovo:EnterStdAffinity?affinity=barnesnoblegold
- T430 base configs through the discount: http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barnesnoblegold/StdAffinityPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:category.details?current-catalog-id=12F0696583E04D86B9B79B0FEC01C087¤t-category-id=FC448E05D12BD000069CA73F6D0D1FA8&action=init (Generally, start with the cheapest)
- On the configuration page, upgrade the "Display type" to HD+ (1600x900). You should not buy the Lenovo Thinkpad T430 in any configuration that includes the default HD (1366x768) display, unless you require its larger text for eyesight-related reasons. 1600x900 is a great resolution for the 14" size, but it's not just about how good the 1600x900 is, it's also about how bad 1366x768 resolution is for the size. The availability of the upgraded display is part of why I recommend this laptop.
- The i5-3210M is not a bad upgrade choice from the stock previous-gen i3-2370M. Even if the performance difference doesn't affect you, it's a more efficient chip that might make a difference in battery life. Not a mandatory upgrade though, and get the 1600x900 display upgrade first.
- Get the free Intel Centrino 2200 WiFi adapter upgrade. Some have reported issues with the stock adapter.
- Note that, unlike most laptops, the Webcam is an upgrade, it isn't included by default.
- Don't select any memory upgrades on the configuration page. Do them yourself, because they're a lot cheaper that way.
- Get the NVS 5400M GPU upgrade if you plan on playing games that benefit from it.