Originally Posted by h00ligan
pentium m 1.7 ghz
60 gig 7200 rpm drive
ati radeon mobility 9700 - can accept 9600
15 inch sxga screen widescreen is fine
4 hrs of battery life - realistic not quoted specs
manufacturer with a track record.. not a newcomer
and the real kiler as if the rest wasn't enough
5.5 lbs of realistic weight
$3000 or less
is it out there.. cuz i sure can't find it..
You might want to look at the compaq nc8000 series. It has everything you mentioned except the ati 9700. It's pricey...it'll run around $3000 with the ati9600 128mb card. I think it also weighs in at 6.5 pounds, but it gets 5 hours of battery life and you can add a second battery in another bay and bet up to 10 hours. Look on HP...in the small business section.
So far none of the laptops I prefer (which sounds very similar to your preference)offer the 9700. That appears to be reserved for the pentirum systems for now. Perhaps a centrino will get it in a couple of months.
FWIW, I'm also looking at am64 mitac based laptops. The offerings from hypersonic and voodoo look good. Once again though, they're a bit bigger than you want (8 lbs) and they also don't have the 9700 yet.
So...from what I can see...your dream machine doesn't exist yet. Nor does mine. I can match all the specs you mentioned except the video card. I'm hoping that waiting a bit will see the other laptops get the 9700. I'd hate to fork over $3000, get my new lappy in and find out that if I'd only waited 2 more weeks I could have had the 9700. Sad thing is...I don't really need the 9700...but I dont' want my laptop devaluing that much overnight. So, for now, I'm waiting...perhaps the 9600 ati systems will come down in price a bit, then I'll jump.
PS..oh I forgot. The IBM T41p or the R50p used to offer the ati 9600 video card, but for some reason they don't have it as an option on their website any more. I'm sure it'll come back or they'll upgrade their top of the line computer to the 9700 instead. Once again, it boils down to waiting. The T series is only a 14 inch screen and 4.5 lbs, while the R series has a 15 inch screen at 5.5 lbs.