In the market for a new laptop and not sure what to get


Apr 13, 2010
I've been sticking to desktops for the last few years, but I've realized it might be about time to get a new laptop. In my job/internship search, I've noticed some require one at any rate.

So without further ado:

1. What is your budget?

I would like to stay under $600 if possible. I can possibly go up to around $1,000 if there's a really good reason to.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Anyway size would really work, but I'd like to stick to 15.6" and under to keep it decently portable.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

Anything works. I'm more concerned about other issues.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

I need something portable. I can probably handle some extra weight and bulk better than most people who ask for portability, but shaving off some ounces and millimeters is always welcome.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Three hours of web/email on 75%-100% brightness would ideally be a minimum for me. I'm not sure how often I'd be near an outlet, so the more, the better.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

I don't need to. If it could run League of Legends at playable frame rates, I'd be happy. But that would only be an added bonus and it shouldn't really factor into any suggestions.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

I could see myself doing some photo editing in Photoshop. But for the most part, it would probably be word processing and web surfing. My biggest concern here is how much the extra power would push up the price. If there's something in my price range that would let me use Photoshop and Premier, that's great.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

I have plenty of storage elsewhere, so 128GB would probably be fine on the low end.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

Anywhere works, as long as it's legit and has a decent return policy in case of defective merchandise.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

I'll say three years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

If it has an optical drive, great. If not, no biggie. I can always buy an external or install via USB.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

I'm open to pretty much anything.

13. What country do you live in?


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

-For the most part, I'm looking for something that is durable, quiet (fans) and has decent battery life. My career path might require computer access at a moment's notice, so I need something that can survive being carried around all day and will have some juice left whenever I need it. Note that by durability, I don't mean cosmetic damage (dents, scratches). I can live with that. But I've had larger chunks break off of plastic laptops in the past, and the D/C port has failed or broken on every one I've owned so far.

-My budget is somewhat negotiable. Naturally, I'd like to save money. But I also don't want to go too cheap if it means getting something too flimsy. In other words, I'm more willing to approach that $1,000 mark if it makes it that much more likely that the laptop will stay together for a few years.

-A matte screen would be great, but glossy is OK as long as it's not too reflective.

-I've looked a bit at the Macbook Air, since it seems durable and apparently has a long battery life. Specs-wise, I'm not sure if it's overkill for that I'd be doing. I'd be interested to see some opinions on this. Specifically, regarding durability and battery life. If it would last, I'd seriously consider paying that price.


The ThinkPad T series is known for it's durability, but those start at around $760.

There's also the ThinkPad S series for something more portable and lighter, but starting price is $615.
I recommend the ThinkPad L430 for a starting price of $585. I would also upgrade the screen to 1600x900 for $50. I find that while playing games on a 1366x768 is basically fine, doing work and multitasking with such a low resolution screen is a bit annoying.

Lenovo ThinkPad L430


Not too heavy at 5lbs and per the review it can last 3.5 hour with constant web surfing. Longer if you do not constantly surf.
The ThinkPad T series is known for it's durability, but those start at around $760.

There's also the ThinkPad S series for something more portable and lighter, but starting price is $615.