All right, I've been thinking about buying a new laptop for a little while now, and I think it's about time.
I haven't had the best of luck with laptops.
Basically, they've had everything thrown at them, from having the Network Cable struck by lightning, blowing the Network cards out of it, to being dropped from a counter onto a hard floor 5 feet below, to being stolen and tossed out a window (Gladly it was onto grass, and only like 4 feet up). I also tend to always use it, like I'll either use it several hours a day, or leave it on 24/7, and carry it around where ever I go.
I don't try to destroy them, but it happens.
Now, I've been suggested that I buy a Panasonic Toughbook, but I've already chosen against that. Too much for too little specs, and besides, I need to start dealing with my ability to destroy things, and do my best NOT to destroy them.
Anyway, I've been searching around, and have only been able to find a few Laptops that fit my specifications.
Those are Basically:
1.) Core 2 (Centrino, 2GHz+, Preferably the newer Montevina core)
2.) 14-15.4 inch Wide Screen. Preferably 14.1, as I really don't want anything larger.
3.) Pretty much ANYTHING BUT an Intel Video card (This narrows the field down to almost nothing)
4.) Something that won't fall apart the first time a piece of dust lands on it
5.) Something with Some type of design, so it looks fairly nice is prefered
6.) Good Construction (Again )
That's just a base-line. I don't need anything with a GeForce 8800 or better, not by any shot. I don't game, hardly ever. I just want something that'll last me a while. The intel x3100 Video cards can hardly handle Aero.
I looked at Best Buy and Circuit City the other day, and went through like 40 laptops, and found only one that appealed to me AT ALL. Only thing was, I won't buy it, because it has an Intel Video card...
Right now, I'm kind of torn on a few. I've found a couple Asus laptops, which from what I've seen are supposed to be fairly respectable in most every way. The main issue here, is I can't see one in person very easily to test it out before I buy it, because they for whatever reason don't sell their computers in most stores. So far, the closest place that has any that I can find is like a 250 mile round trip, which I prefer not to go on.
My options appear to be somewhat limited to these:
Huge Newegg URL
Long link, but it filters out all but the few that match my query. Also, the Asus brand ones were the only one that fit that query, even if I removed the brand specification from it.
More Specifically, the two I'm looking at are:
1. ASUS M50 Series M50Vm-A1 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo P8400(2.26GHz) 15.4" Wide XGA+ 4GB Memory 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GS - Retail
2. ASUS F8 Series F8Va-B1 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo P8400(2.26GHz) 14" Wide XGA+ 4GB Memory DDR2 800 250GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 - Retail
I REALLY want a 14.1 inch Laptop over a 15.4, because I don't really want something that large again. But, if it comes down to it, I can live with one.
I was able to find some sort of reviews on the two laptops:
1. Review - ASUS M50 Series M50Vm-A1 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo P8400(2.26GHz) 15.4" Wide XGA+ 4GB Memory 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GS - Retail
2. Review - ASUS F8 Series F8Va-B1 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo P8400(2.26GHz) 14" Wide XGA+ 4GB Memory DDR2 800 250GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 - Retail
This also gives a few better pictures of the 15.4 inch Laptop: Asus M50Vm-A1 Montevina 15.4" WXGA+/P8400 2.26Ghz/GeForce 9600M GS 1GB/4GB 800/320GB/BT/WiFi/DVDRW : GenTech PC Store
The issue here is not the HDD and Video card differences between the two, I don't care about those, it's the Size of the laptop, the construction (How well it's built), and features.
I'm getting mixed indications as to how well either is built. Also, I'm kind of just looking for anyone who might have some input on it, or experience with Asus brand Laptops in the past, or even someone that MIGHT have one of the models above.
Also, if anyone knows any Asus Retailers in the Lower part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, or Northern Indiana (Or extreme northeast Illinois, I guess) feel free to suggest one, as I'd like to look at one in person.
Also, just for fun, which one would you pick of the two, assuming prices are the exact same, also assuming that the specs are EXACTLY the same (Just look and designed how they are shown above) (I know they're not exactly the same specs, but just assume with me for a minute)?
If I did too much rambling and didn't make something entirely clear, let me know.
I'm still SOMEWHAT open to suggestions on other Models/brands, but pretty much every other brand (besides some Gateways) that I've seen have repulsed me by their lack of design and lack of quality. I've also got a few brands, like Toshiba, which I refuse to consider.
I think I can get either of those laptops I listed above for 100-200 bucks cheaper than Newegg shows. I found one on another site that has a 150$ instant rebate, so the Newegg ad is just a guideline, with pictures and specs.
One other thing I liked about the two I listed were that they came with a 1 year Accidental Damage and a 2 year regular warranty included in the price. Not too many others do that.
One of the few things I dislike about both is that is comes with Vista 32bit, when it has 4GB of RAM... Vista 32 has given me nothing but problems. x64 has worked flawlessly.
But, I suppose, I can always "upgrade" that later on.
Any input on this is appreciated.