May 13, 2013
Hello everybody,

I am currently a Junior studying engineering and I have been switching between a mid 2010 15" Macbook Pro and a 2010 13" Sony Vaio for the past few years. Both have identical internals (Intel i5-540m and Nvidia GTX 330m w/ 256MB of VRAM) and struggle when it comes to even the most basic games as well as programs I use for school. Being around seven years old now, its about time to replace those two with a single laptop.

1. What is your budget?
$ 900 - 1300. I would like to be around $1000.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15 inch screen. No exceptions.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1080p (for battery life) and preferably an IPS panel. And NO touch, I don't want to pay for a touchscreen that I'll never use.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
As portable as possible. My 13" Vaio is a joy to carry around. 15" macbook less so.

5. How much battery life do you need?
As much as I can get. I currently get about an hour on my macbook and 3 hours on my Vaio. Looking for around 10 for light browsing

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)?
Space Engineers
Kerbal Space Program
Motorsport Manager
Cities Skylines
Would like mid-high settings. I have a gaming desktop for actual gaming, so gaming performace isn't super crucial
I would like to go with the 1000 series by Nvidia (1050, 1050ti, or even the 1060)

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Some light SolidWorks/Catia and a bit of Autodesk Fusion 360 (My desktop handles heavier workloads, but being able to do a bit of modeling on the go would be nice)
Web Development and Network management ( so an actual Ethernet port is a plus)
Photo editing (GIMP and Lightroom)
Video editing

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
256 gb (preferably NVMe SSD)

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

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
At least 5 years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
None needed. I would rather have better batter life or weight reduction.

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 looking mainly at the new laptops that Dell unveiled:
- Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming series w/ Kaby Lake (The top of the line 1080p one that costs $1100 specifically)
- Dell XPS 15 w/ Kaby Lake ( I'm not sure what one yet)

I have no real issue with any brand. I trust the more expensive Dell's and Lenovo's and have heard terrible things about Acer. I know Asus can be hit or miss. I know there are some smaller brands to like Gigabyte, Sager, Razer, etc. and have no issues with any of them.

I love my Macbook to death, but I can't justify the cost of a new one. And since that is my only tech piece in their ecosystem, I would rather stay away from Apple's offerings.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I want a laptop that just works. I know is sounds a little ridiculous, but my Macbook has never let me down while lots of people I know with a Windows Laptop have issues here or there. I don't mind paying a little extra for a more reliable machine with a better build quality and quality control, especially since I plan on having this machine for the next 5-8 years.

Oh, and a laptop that doesn't make the guy next to me ask why he has a personal heater next to him (Vaio) or why a turbine is spooling up (Macbook) would be nice. If possible, I would consider underclocking the machine to stay cool and quiet, or just well designed airflow would be nice.

Sorry for being so long, but hopefully that seems reasonable, I think my two Dell picks are pretty decent and the best I've found so far. I was just curious what you guys thought would fit well for me.