New (non-gaming) laptop - looking for suggestions (Australia)

rhysiam

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Mar 24, 2013
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I'm a (semi) regular poster here on the forums, but not super-familiar with laptops and hoping someone can help me. I'm frustrated at the state of laptop-options at the moment!

I need to purchase a new laptop for the manager of a small not-for-profit organisation. This is a work laptop (no gaming), integrated graphics is fine. Preference is for something larger (14-15") with a comfortable keyboard (has had RSI in the past). Battery life and weight are not priorities.

NOTE: This is for purchase is Australia, so AUD recommendations only please.

I really only have 3 key criteria:
- min 8GB RAM (he will be multi-tasking a bit)
- min 180GB SSD -> as far as I'm concerned this should be the norm now, or at least a widespread option
- a decent display. Doesn't have to be premium 3K/4K, as long as it's not a junk 768p TN display.

I just can't find anything that ticks those three boxes for less than $1500 AUD. Does anyone have suggestions here? I've specced a Lenovo T550 which fits the bill, but it's $1761 AUD, with just a 180GB SSD. Asus (UX303LN) and Dell (XPS 13) both have 13" ultrabooks with acceptable specs, but again, we're looking at something around $1800 AUD. We'll probably go with one of those if we have to, but that seems a crazy high price.

What I really want is to start with one of those $500-600 laptops with an mobile i3 and acceptable build quality (doesn't need to be premium), then just 'upgrade' to a 1080p IPS plus the magic 8GB RAM/256GB SSD. That should come in at less than $1000 (AU) shouldn't it? I'd even be happy to upgrade the latter (RAM + SSD) myself - have done that in the past no problem... but I can't find a decent screen in the price-range.

If someone had suggestions I'd be grateful.
 
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