Quad cores with a long battery...
I'm currently using a Lenovo Y410P that's aged very well (though mine has an Nvidia 750 and Crucial M500 inside), but its relatively short battery life has grated on me for long enough. It's not in need of replacing, but if there's a compelling option out there, I'm interested.
If I were to imagine the perfect laptop, it would be the Razer Blade with a FHD touchscreen, 1TB 960 EVO, an ethernet port, and the Aero 14 keyboard layout. Then strip out the discrete GPU for an eGPU. There's probably nothing that hits this mark exactly, so I'm curious about my options.
1) What is your budget?
Hypothetically unlimited, but if I'm going to need to put out more than $1,000-$1,500, including the cost of upgrading stock storage or whatever, it needs to be just about perfect. There are other, non-computer options, for my money, after all.
2) What size notebook would you prefer?
13-14 inch is the sweet spot, but 15 inch laptops are okay too. I would only consider going to larger screen sizes if the machine is otherwise svelte (tiny bezel, relatively small footprint, etc.). Small for the sake of small is a design trend that I hate. While smaller is better, prioritize other features (see subsequent entries) over decreased size.
3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
Won't do a Mac, anything else is fine.
5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
As long as a warranty is provided, new or used is fine.
6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
I've currently got multiple browser tabs open, and several MS Office files, including Excel sheets that are over 10 MB in size and perform thousands of calculations with each refresh. Some of the larger MS Office files I work with are typically where I notice slowdowns on my current notebook. Also gaming.
7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
It will travel with me on the regular.
8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
I want to be able to play newer 3D games, but I don't need it to be at high settings. Battery life is the priority. I'd prefer a quad core with no discrete GPU (do these exist?), so that when I take my laptop out and about the GPU isn't killing the battery, but when I sit at my desk at home I can plug it into an eGPU.
9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
At least 6 on wifi with good brightness. This is a requirement. If you're not sure whether something meets this mark, feel free to post it anyway, I can go out and search for information on it myself.
10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
Online is fine.
11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. (Scroll down to see screen resolution information.)
As long as it's a good quality panel, the resolution isn't important.
13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)
14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
I strongly prefer understated, but this isn't a big factor.
15) When are you buying this laptop?
No timetable, if there's not a compelling option, I'm okay with rolling with my current rig for another year, or even longer, given how CPU development has stagnated.
16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?
1 TB SSD required, am prepared to install myself if required, in which case I'd probably go with a 960 EVO.
18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
Backlit keyboard required.
Either a good built in GPU (at least an Nvidia 1050), or ports capable of handling an eGPU (in which case no built in discrete GPU is fine) are required.
A keyboard such as what's found on the Aero 14 would be my preferred layout.
Ethernet port and USB C/Thunderbolt 3 ports strongly preferred.