Help finding new laptop for school

Claymoresama

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May 3, 2013
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I have a dell inspiron 14r 5437 that is currently going on 3 years of use pretty soon. I use it only for school work and recently the battery has started to mess up on me. At first the charger wasn't being picked up by the laptop and now the battery will sometimes say it's not connected and the pc wont continue to charge. It'll eventually come back on and resume charging. I do have a square trade warranty, but I dont know how much that'll help. My three year warranty expires in a month, and honestly I just want to upgrade. My mindset is that if I can use my warranty to fix the battery/charger on my laptop I can then sell my laptop for a low price to my brother and use that money and my next paycheck to pay for a new laptop.

With all that in mind I'm looking for advice on a new laptop purchase.

I would like to keep the budget at $550 or lower if possible. I would like this computer to have good processing power (i3 or i5). Have 8gb of ram, SSD if possible. I know its hard to find a pc w/ a ssd so 1tb hdd will suffice if necessary. It needs to have good battery life. My current laptop when it works properly can still get 6+ hours if i use battery saver mode. This is thanks to the i5 4200u low voltage cpu.

What I'll be using this laptop for is for school. I'm a computer engineering student that travels far to my college. I'd prefer a smaller laptop like 14 inches or under but 15 is the max ill go. Please no 17 inch laptops. If the laptop can do some light gaming on it's integrated gpu then that's a bonus, but not a necessity.

Any advice would be appreciated. I live in California and the retailers i'll use are as follows:
Newegg, Amazon, Bestbuy, Office Depot, and Frys (my least favorite pick but ill take suggestions)
 
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