To be really honest, I could have bought a macbook pro 2011 and saved myself from this discussion but I really don't like the apple gang products and their latest products ( without USB3.0 and just 2 RAM Slots). Also they are over priced and not really value for money (in my opinion) - However I would not hide the fact that they are stylish and OSX is very polished.
But, If I am to spend 2300 - 3000$ (my budget) , I would like to get the best of available tech out there and with apple, its not possible because - Its upto Mr Steve when he decided to give us what we crave for :( :( . I bet he likes that control.
So, I decided not to wait for him to come up with another overpriced/Underpowered (tech wise) notebook.
My background : I am a telecom engineer using working on Unix/Solaris/Oracle environments. I also happen to be a photographer/videographer. Wanna buy a notebook which lets me do it both simultaneously and seamlessly without making me angry on the Laptop (I have been using a very old Compaq 6720s provided by my company :( :( - Its not a high-performance type notebook)
Below are my activities, my preferences and indication of my expectations from my notebook.
Applications mostly used :
- Lightroom 3.4
- Photoshop CS5 or latest.
- Browsing Internet constantly (So I keep a lot of webpages open and it needs to stay like that).
- Outlook for my daytime job emails and Word, Excel, powerpoint for documents related activity.
- Not much of a gamer but however, light gaming would be okay.
- Video editing softwares, mostly by Adobe.
- Linux/Solaris terminals (multiple) to work on my job related activities.
- Wireshark ( a network tracing tool to decode and analyze packets ).
- Unix/Shell/Perl scripting environment.
I am interested in multitasking and no compromise on performance.
OS preference : As, you cannot install OSX on non-apple hardware - I choose windows 7 (ultimate edition) and Ubuntu/Suse as secondary or Linux platform on the side.
Battery : what every fits in my budget and is suitable for my laptop however would like to have a li-pol battery :). Objective > Highest battery life.
Processor : Intel i7 Quadcore ( the version which suits my needs without draining much power out of my batt but yet gives me high performance and faster results ). Suggest me a balanced config for this.
RAM : Would like to have 8GB/16GB/32GB(damn, I am greedy) RAM of 1600MHZ or higher (if possible) or advise on the same. suggestions welcomed.
Graphics : I have no idea. I don't know much about how much photoshop/video editing softwares utilize graphics card. Any suggestions would be welcomed. However, Performance/speed(editing & rendering) is the objective. Also should fit in my budget. If high end graphics GPU can help me with my photo/video activities, I would like to go for it.
HDD : Would like to have a Fast 120gb or 250gb SSD as my boot drive for OS installation. Thinking about, putting all data on USB 3.0 disks. so no need for a secondary drive. One SSD would do.
Screen size and type : Would like to have a glossy screen with highest quality and accurate color gamut reproduction. Size 15" would be okay for me, 17" is too big for me. I shoot HD videos with my canon 5d mark II and need the best screen to deal with it.
Ports : USB 2.0 , USB 3.0, HDMI, eSATA, LAN.
Weight : I don't mind carrying weight around if I really have a powerhouse :)
Aesthetics : Only if possible, a sleek design but not hooked on that. Suggestions welcomed.
connectivity : Latest BT & Wi-Fi (long range)
lastly - A nice keyboard with nice feel, I like hinkpad keys, they feel really sturdy and comfortable to type.
Hope I defined/explained my needs accurately in order to seek help/guidance from experienced users. Your suggestions and opinions are welcomed.