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Old 11-20-2012, 12:48 PM   #1
antirobot
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 15
Default General use laptop with good build quality

Hi Everybody,

Iím in the market for a new laptop for my wife. Iíve spent quite a bit of time reading reviews and checking out forums, but Iím becoming frustrated with the process. Iím particularly interested in build quality, and that seems to be hit or miss with all but the most expensive brands. Iím fine paying more for quality, but as youíll see from my requirements, Iím not looking for a powerful machine.

Primary uses:
Word processing (MS Word)
Photo editing (GIMP)
General web browsing

Top priorities:
Long lifetime (Iím hoping for 5 or more years)
Good keyboard (aspiring novelist)
Solid WiFi (something that wonít drop or degrade if the router is a few rooms over)
Portability (easy to take to the coffee shop)

Optional:
Additional HDD bay for SDD (in case the slow HDD becomes too much to bear)
Ability to upgrade memory (maybe useful for photo editing?)

Price:
Around $500 (Iíd be willing to go up to $700 or $800 if I can meet every one of my priorities and additional options, but Iíd like to reserve the money for a potential SDD swap or memory addition)

Iíve heard good things about the build quality of Lenovo; however, the models frequently recommended are much more expensive and far more powerful than what I think is necessary for my use case. While build quality is important, itís not like this thing will be in a business or field environment. Generally it will be perched on our living room table.

Any advice or tips on the best way to conduct my search would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Bill
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
kbp
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Lenovo V570 with a i5. My wife loves hers.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
Tom
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I've been more than satisifed with the dozen or so Dells I've bought over the years. Most recently I bought a Dell Inspiron 14z from the outlet store..very nice 14 inch laptop.

Its going to be on sale Black Friday for $299, I assume on their website or over the phone.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:39 PM   #4
jaydee
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You say you're not looking for a powerful machine, but you've got to keep in mind that software is going to get more and more resource intensive over time. Additional HD bays are tough to find in notebooks.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
kevinsbane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antirobot View Post
Hi Everybody,

Iím in the market for a new laptop for my wife. Iíve spent quite a bit of time reading reviews and checking out forums, but Iím becoming frustrated with the process. Iím particularly interested in build quality, and that seems to be hit or miss with all but the most expensive brands. Iím fine paying more for quality, but as youíll see from my requirements, Iím not looking for a powerful machine.

Primary uses:
Word processing (MS Word)
Photo editing (GIMP)
General web browsing

Top priorities:
Long lifetime (Iím hoping for 5 or more years)
Good keyboard (aspiring novelist)
Solid WiFi (something that wonít drop or degrade if the router is a few rooms over)
Portability (easy to take to the coffee shop)

Optional:
Additional HDD bay for SDD (in case the slow HDD becomes too much to bear)
Ability to upgrade memory (maybe useful for photo editing?)

Price:
Around $500 (Iíd be willing to go up to $700 or $800 if I can meet every one of my priorities and additional options, but Iíd like to reserve the money for a potential SDD swap or memory addition)

Iíve heard good things about the build quality of Lenovo; however, the models frequently recommended are much more expensive and far more powerful than what I think is necessary for my use case. While build quality is important, itís not like this thing will be in a business or field environment. Generally it will be perched on our living room table.

Any advice or tips on the best way to conduct my search would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Bill
Hm. I'd suggest an X230 for you. You're bumping up against the $800 limit there though.

With an x230, you get:
-Industry best keyboard
-Trackpoint (typing a lot? Trackpoint is awesome)
-Light & portable & long battery life
-upgradable memory
-mSATA slot if you want to drop in an mSATA SSD to supplement the main SATA drive
-IPS screen ($50 upgrade, will push you above $800)
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