I'll give Dell a look IVI. As for the processor, I'll be holding out till Haswell is here, since I won't buy the laptop til start August anyways.
Well hopefully they'll make a Haswell revision of it because I'd change NOTHING on this laptop, other than increased battery life (well and screen resolution but that's just a luxury that one can never have enough of)
Smart move though, I'd love a Haswell chip from the efficiency bump they're said to offer.
It was more a question about the manufacturers. Good and bad experience with different ones. Might have worded my original post wrong, but was just curious if anyone knew some awesome must get brand perfectly suited for my needs.
In that case:
HP is decent, my first laptop was an HP dv2700t and it's still running strong today as my dad's laptop and screams even with just a C2D and a 120GB Vertex 2.
**6-7 years old, STILL ALIVE**
-The HP cost me $1000 new and I've only had to bake it back to life twice which isn't really HP's fault by more so a widespread issue with any laptop running that POS 8400M GS. Bought the 12cell extended battery with this which hasn't had to be replaced yet, though I'm not sure what its battery life is nowadays.
-Specs: T7500 C2D 2.2ghz(35W), 4GB ram (came with 2GB, added 2GB...800mhz DDR2), Vertex 120GB (came with WD Scorpio Blue 5400rpm 250GB drive which I still have as a backup drive), 12cell extended batt, 1280x800 Glossy
Sager NP2096 was/is awesome (though they source out to other makes and stamp their name on it, for instance my laptop was a Compal JHL90 in sheep's clothing but a lot of them are Clevos now...which are good too I hear)
**5-6 years old, STILL ALIVE**
-The Sager cost me $1500 (minus the $300 I sold it for to my g/f's sister/mom Christmas 2011), the only big problems I had when I owned it was I had to replace the right facing USB ports ($40 part ) and the battery life dropped off drastically just before the second year (9cell came with laptop but I bought a 6cell from ebay to replace, battery life wasn't that much worse than the brand new 9cell. $38.50 for that).
The laptop itself had never gave me any big problems though, it had a lower voltage C2D and a 9600M GT video card. (My g/f told me its power adapter spontaneously combusted last week but that was a cheap $15 from ebay part and not really the laptop's fault...~6 years is a good run for a "power supply")
-Specs: P9500 C2D 2.53ghz(25W), 9600M GT, 4GB 1066mhz DDR2), 1680x1050 Matte, full HDMI out (HP didn't do audio), 320GB 7200rpm Seagate (still same drive, this had a death scare once and then had never given trouble since)
CyberPowerPC X6-9200 Explorer was a so-so experience, their laptop had the best specs around for what I spent.
**Just over a year, DEAD**
-I bought it for $750 and after a long waiting period to get it (I heard that sandy bridge processors were in short supply during that time) I finally received it. There were no real drivers I could find on their website so basically all I had was an autoinstalling CD they included with the laptop that was worked better than one would think if they were to first pop it in. If I would have ever lost the disc, I would be SOL on drivers until they'd be able to send a replacement disc out which may have costed a small amount of money, who knows. (well, a normal less savvy person might...since I immediately backed up the disc to an image file).
-The laptop died, I'm guessing, from the Nvidia (this is why I have an AMD graphics card in my new laptop...Maybe I won't be cursed anymore) 540M GPU which caused the computer to boot up just fine but display no video to the laptop's screen (but HDMI output would display and function perfectly...). So after buying a new panel for it, to my horror, it still didn't display anything. Luckily, I was able to return the screen (thanks laptopscreen.com!!) and then attempt a bake on the laptop...which I ended up setting fire to because I forgot to remove the bios battery from the motherboard LOL so now it's just a pile of parts but I'm happy to report that I was able to sell the DVD drive and I passed on its i5 and extra memory to my sister's i3 sandybridge Lenovo so it wasn't a total loss. (which also means I have an i3 as a backup should I need it)
-Specs: i5 2450(35W, SandyBridge), 4GB memory(1333mhz DDR3), 1080p glossy screen, 2x USB2.0/2xUSB 3.0, Agility 3 240GB(came with a 750GB 5400rpm Samsung drive that died under warranty and they replaced it with a 750GB 5400rpm WD Scorpio Blue that still is going strong in the external caddy I carry with me everywhere)
Dell 15R Special Edition is fantastic so far.
**Over 4 months, TYPING ON IT RIGHT NOW**
Bought for $580 off ebay as a Refurb.
-Of course this Dell has inherently much better support for parts/drivers should I need them than the others (not including HP). The only initial issues I had in the beginning was with the touchpad's drivers since I haven't freshly installed windows since the Sager and have been just reimaging my install between the last two preceding laptops. Once I found a very deep way to remove all the old drivers from the Sager and CPPC, it ran much smoother and booted faster than before. It's still a little hit or miss what programs can utilize its fancy gestures (of course Waterfox, my primary browser, really doesn't play well with all of them but I just checked and Chrome works fine. Windows/Office also work perfect so maybe a fresh install would cause all to work perfect but I'm happy enough since it seems to be only Waterfox/Firefox that has the small incompatibilities). Also twice, the screen went out completely but after I sleeped and reawoke it, the display worked normally so I'm not too worried yet.
-Specs: i5 3210 2.5ghz (35W, Ivy Bridge), AMD 7730M, 8GB (1333mhz DDR3), Agility 3 240GB (I forget if this even came with hard drive, if it did I think it was 750GB WD as well but it may not have), 1080P Matte display (runs the same panel as my last laptop if I ever needed a replacement ), Bluray drive (swapped this in myself, originally came with a DVD drive. $78 but it's the best on the market: LG BT30N)
Edited by IVIYTH0S, 20 May 2013 - 03:53 AM.