Laptop advice


Aug 10, 2012
I'm hoping you all can help me find a laptop. Here are the answers to the survey questions:

1. What is your budget? sub $1500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15" screen, prefer less than 1" thick, <5 lbs

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1080 lines, I think that generally means 1920x1080.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
portable (I consider < 5 lbs portable)

5. How much battery life do you need?
at least 6 hours, prefer 8-10

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)?
No. No games that would tax the system, anyway.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Lots of VPN to work. A core-i5 would work. Core-i7 class is fine, too.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
I'm willing to trade size for speed, so I can live with less if it's flash based. Prefer 1TB if all disk, at least 256GB if flash based.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. None

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

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Need is too strong a word. Prefer BluRay. Can live without any drive at all if I can get everything else I want.

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.
No brand preference.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Lots of other features:
at least 1 Thundebolt port
at least 1 USB 3, at least 2 USB 2
wired ethernet
no real preference on wireless standard
Win7 or Win8
Here's a strange preference: I would prefer to have dedicated keys for PU/PD/Home/End. I don't care about a numeric keypad. I hate laptops with PU/PD/etc. multiplexed on the arrow keys.

Basically, I want the Win7/8 equivalent of a new MacBook Pro, but with an ethernet port and dedicated PU/PD/etc. keys, but without the retina resolution, the thinness, or the price.



Aug 10, 2012

It looks like HP hasn't jumped on the Thunderbolt bandwagon quite yet. The Dell XPS 15z is close as well, but no Thunderbolt. Maybe I'm not going to have much luck given my other preferences.


Aug 10, 2012
You're right. The S430 meets nearly all my specs above. It's apparently shipping in Europe but not in the US yet. The only downside spec-wise is that it has only a 14" screen with 900 lines. I'll need to decide if I'm willing to compromise on screen size. I chatted with a Lenovo rep and she did not know of any plans for a 15" screen in that line.


Nov 29, 2010
Your request is within reason.. I think the main reason why we're having problems finding a suitable machine is the fact that many manufacturers are hesitant to incorporate Thunderbolt in their laptops. If you’re willing to wait a bit, you’ll be seeing more laptops being released that suit your needs.