high performance laptop...
1) What is your budget?
$3000, could go higher if needed
2) What size notebook would you prefer?
a. Netbook; 10" screen or less
b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12" screen
c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
Around 13"--ideally would balance reasonable screen size with portability.
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?
It needs to be a brand that will replace the thing promptly if it is a lemon, or service it promptly if it breaks and is under warranty, without my having to mail it in.
5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
Heavy-duty multitasking, statistical analysis of large datasets--I am looking for the fastest possible laptop that will be reliable and reasonably portable when needed (I don't want it to weigh a ton, but it is not as though I will lug it around daily).
7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
I would prefer quite long battery life for long trips--ideally a primary batttery that leaves the laptop not too heavy and lasts for 5-6 hours and an extra battery that can be used for longer travel, but doesn't have to be attached all the time.
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?
Don't need to see it.
11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
I think I have to go with Windows because of software availability and ability to upgrade RAM/hard drive later (even though I prefer Mac).
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.)
Don't really care--any modern screen with decent resolution is fine. What I really care about is speed, portability and reliability.
13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)
Build Quality and Design
14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
15) When are you buying this laptop?
Any time now, but could wait a little if something new is coming out.
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?
SSD ideally 2 TB or larger
18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
I currently have an HP Elitebook 2740p with the following specs:
Intel i7 2620M 2.70 GHz
1 TB SSD
It was the fastest thing I could buy at the time that was still portable, but it has been getting more and more sluggish. The only reason I didn't buy a new computer two years ago is that I couldn't find anything that "looked" significantly faster from the processor and RAM specs of current laptops on the market. I understand that in theory you can't compare processor speed by just looking at the GHz anymore, but I have no idea how to compare. I don't want to spend another $3000 on a new laptop just to find out that it only speeds up performance by 50%, especially since I have already replaced the SSD and RAM, both batteries and the power cores, on the one I have multiple times. If anyone has concrete advice about how to tell how much faster a new laptop would be than my old one, I would be grateful, as this is the main reason I haven't bought anything before now.
My main concern is speed--I need something that will be as fast as possible and that can handle multitasking with lots of RAM. My current RAM is often insufficient for my current needs. I do a lot of statistical analysis, and those take days to run--it would be especially helpful if I could find a laptop that would be 2-3 times as fast as what I have right now, but I don't think that is possible?
It doesn't need to be super portable, but I will have to lug it around on foot sometimes, so I don't want it to be a beast that isn't really intended to be carried. My current laptop was a good balance on these specs at the time that I bought it (although it has gotten too slow now).
Thanks for taking the time to read my post, and thanks in advance for any advice!