Laptop for recording

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Dec 23, 2007
1. What is your budget?
Under a thousand, it’s going to be a graduation gift so lower is ideal.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15.6” or lower, as I’ll have to lug this to class.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

Higher is better I suppose, I’ll likely connect it to a monitor for photo editing and such though.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Something reasonable, again, I have to carry this around.

5. How much battery life do you need?
3 or 4 hours at least.

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’d like to do starcraft 2 on medium as well as dragon age, but it’s not a priority.

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

Heavy photo and audio editing/recording

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
At least 320gb preferably 7200rpm

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

No specific sites, somewhere with a student discount would be cool though.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
4 or so years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD RW, bluray wound be nice but certainly isn’t a necessity.

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?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
It needs to be able to connect to a monitor either through VGA or HDMI. TI firewire 1394 is also needed. eSATA would be good for an external drive.

I’m going to art school so I’ll do a good bit of Image work on this. I also want to continue to play and record guitar, so it needs to handle that. Audio processing will be handled by my audio interface, so there's no need for a designated sound card.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Sep 26, 2007
I have a few friends in the business and they swear by macs. That certainly isn't the cheapest route to go. There are so many mahcines to choose from, it would help to narrow down the features you really need.
I'd say for photo/audio editing I'd recommend a quad core CPU and at least 4 gigs of ram. Nobody wants their rig to take 60 seconds to switch programs when they are working on this stuff.
I'd also recommend getting a Win 7 pro. Ultimate has more than you really need, but home premium may be a lkttle weak for your needs.
If gaming is not a priority then you can save some money by just using integrated graphics. Hopever if you do want to have the option, there are nice laptops with dedictaed graphics starting in the $700 range.

If customization is important then gateway and Dell have very reasonable prices, if not the top quality. #1 thing I would do is visit They review lots of notebooks, and its easy to see different categories like budget laptops or netbooks. That's where I would start. GL


Dec 23, 2007
I was considering the 5160, it lacks firewire but I don't really need that. Is it worth the upgrade from the i5 to i7. Only other thing I'm unsure of is screen resolution and gloss vs matte, so any insight on that would be nice.

I'll get a student copy of windows 7.

I'm leaning towards a PC over a Mac just because of price, is there really any advantage to getting a mac and dual booting windows?


Yes,it's worth it to get the i7(go with 2630QM) since you'll be doing heavy image works
As for screen,it depends really.Glossy screens usually make colors look more vibrant whereas matte screen are much better for outdoors.

About Mac,well if you like Mac OS,unibody aluminum construction,trackpad(Which supports multi touch gestures under Mac OS which you can't find on any windows laptop),great battery life,then yes it's worth it;otherwise,stay with windows laptops.


Dec 23, 2007
Alright, I'll go i7, it's not too much more. I had heard mixed things on the performance increase from i5 to i7 so I figured I'd throw it out there. I have a monitor I can use to check colors and I can always use the school's labs so I'll play the screen specs by ear.

I love mac's trackpads but those small features don't justify the price sadly. I checked the school's discount and its only $100 so that doesn't help much. Windows it is. 5160 seems like the best deal. Anything else I should look into?
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