Firstly, I've searched this on the forum, and read the replies, but have a few specific questions.
I'm interested to know what laptops are currently available that will meet my requirements.
For requirements - I'm not going to specify hardware requirements, but if I tell you all what I need it for, and budget, I'd like to see what's available.
What I want to use the computer for:
word, excel, matlab, photoshop, msn, web surfing, listening to music, line6 edit and maybe counter-strike, solidworks, and ansys.
Each of these softwares have 'minimum requirements', but is it sufficient to just meet the requirements? Probably better to get something with specs which exceed these minimum requirements - then it'll run faster? Like, windows xp requires at least 64mb ram, but I think that if I put 64mb in, it will run, but not well?
These things are just for uni, uni assignments, play, play, play, photo post-processng, play. And again, I'm not a gamer - although I do enjoy a bit of counter-strike now and then (which I hope the hardware requirements aren't too high!)
Websurfing will just be to clubsnap, some photography forums, email, flickr, news, google, research I do not need the illegal downloading capabilities
I say that I would like to use it to listen to music - by this I don't mean that I NEED a super super good speakers / sound card - I can use headphones.
Also, I read in the forums here about some LCD screens can not be be callibrated, or at least not properly. Which laptops have a good screen? I've got Colorplus callibrator hardware.
As for size, I like small laptops: not the tiny tiny ones, but 12" - 13" is good. Because I prefer to put the laptop in my backpack rather than carry an extra laptop bag - or laptop backpack.
I'd like to be able to use my mouse with it, floppy disk drive is not neccessary, I would also like a CD writer - or a DVD writer. Also, I would like USB2.0 ports so I can plug in my flash disks. Do any laptops have CF card readers built in? How do these compare in speed to USB2.0, firewire cardreaders, or cardbus 32bit CF card readers? I think that a minimum of 2 USB ports will be sufficient.
I also would like the laptop to have wireless capabilities - 802.11b/g, bluetooth and infrared are not necessary, but if present .
Is a budget of about $2500 sufficient? As I do see that there are laptops below that price.
As comparison, what specs. do you think are minimum? processor/processor speed, ram, hard disk size?
I'm just thinking about other requirements...
oh! and must be super-reliable for when I'm writing my thesis! I'll be careful to keep backing up, but don't want it failing!!
Thanks in advance for the replies (even if they are to tell me to search the forums harder )