Looking for General Purpose Laptop Around $800


May 13, 2013
Alright, my laptop recently died, and an upgrade has been needed for a long time, as I wasn't even able to watch fullscreen videos, though that was mainly because of thermal throttling. So since I don't have much of an idea about laptop parts, I came to you guys to seek help on this matter. If this is impossible please tell me so I can get rid of what isn't as necessary as the rest so I can still get the best experience I can for my money. So without further ado, here are my needs.

Budget: As said in the title, my budget is around $800, I would prefer not to go much higher than that though.

Size: Above 14", preferably around 15.6"+

Resolution: 1366x768 is fine, though higher if at all possible. If above 15.6", then higher than 1366x768 is strongly desired, though not necessary.

Ports: 3x USB Ports required (4x USB ports strongly desired), one of which must be USB 3.0, SD Card Reader strongly desired, HDMI and VGA desired, Gigabit Ethernet strongly desired, 3.5mm Headphone Jack required (As I'm not positive if all laptops include this)

Video Camera: Strongly desired, with hopefully around 720p video.

Portability: I would prefer portable, as I have a desktop for heavy lifting and gaming.

Battery Life: Preferably above 4 hours, as I will have times where I am not near a charger and would like to still be able to use it.

Gaming?: Gaming is not a priority, though being able to play Minecraft and Garry's Mod while having a skype/hangouts call on while having the game on at least Low settings at a respectable frame rate would be highly appreciated.

Other Tasks: The main purpose of this laptop is media consumption, watching videos on Youtube/Crunchyroll, listening to music, reading articles with up to around 10 tabs open.

Watching High Profile 10-Bit Video at a resolution of 1080p (that is the video's resolution, my screen doesn't need to be that) while also being able to display subtitles (Advanced Sub-Station Alpha (.ASS)), while concurrently being in a skype/hangouts call is a must.

The other purpose of this laptop is productivity, I need a numpad, a good keyboard so that I can type fast and for extended periods of time, a sizable trackpad that works well, and be able to run programs like Manga Studio 5 with all of it's features.

Storage Space: Not too much is needed, around 500gb would be good enough, although do remember that I plan on Dual-booting Windows and Linux. It being user-replaceable would also go a long way.

Sites: Amazon.com and Newegg.com as they don't have tax, so I can get the most out of my money, and I trust them.

Longevity: I would prefer this laptop to last me at least around 3 or 4 years, as by then an upgrade would be more than worth it, though it lasting longer would be a definitive plus.

Optical Drive: It is a requirement that I can read and write DVD's

Brands: I really have no preferred brands, though I do love the look of Acer. As for brands I dislike, I don't like HP as I've been burned by them before with their HP Pavilion dv line, and I don't like the look of Dell's, however it being either of those brands is not a deal breaker, I would just prefer it to be neither of those.

Country of Residence: I live in the US

Additional Info: I would like the screen to be nice, as this is mainly for viewing content, so the better looking the screen, the more I will enjoy the laptop. Like I said earlier, I will be dual-booting this with Linux, as I prefer Linux Mint as my daily driver, with Windows for full compatibility.

Also, an Intel i5/i7 is strongly desired over AMD's counterparts, while for Intel nothing under i5 like i3 being acceptable, and if it must be AMD, nothing under their equivalent of i5's.


Nov 1, 2013
Alrighty then, here's my recommendation: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E440. It's technically a business laptop, but for ~800 you get i5 processor and a GeForce 740M. Straight from the Lenovo site is good, you get customisation options. If you upgrade to 8GB RAM, you'll be pretty much set. The rest of the Edge series is worth a look, but be warned that for some reason Lenovo 15.6" laptops are often ~100 dollars more expensive than their 14" counterparts. For ~900 you can get i7, and Lenovo frequently runs deals/discounts that are worth your time.
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