I've been out of the mobile loop and would greatly appreciate some input from you more experienced folks as to which laptops/notebooks you recommend for my purposes? Thanks in advance.
1) What is your budget? $1,500 or less
2) What size notebook would you prefer? d. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
3) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook? A) Recording and editing 8-10 tracks of 24bit/88.2khz (sometimes 176khz) live audio simultaneously, then editing & mixing 12-16 tracks in realtime. Notebook must be QUIET and as SILENT as possible
--> I'll be using a RME Multiface & FireFace (www.rme-audio.com), but from my understanding:
too many devices on the same IRQ means the firewire wont work right. the firewire MUST be on its own IRQ with MOST firewire devices to monitor 2 channels with no crackle/pop.
I also need a seperate hard drive (internal or external) dedicated only for audio. B) Mediocre Gaming..Geforce 7900gs sufficient? C) MINOR web coding, CAD, & video editing
4) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places or leaving it on your desk? Yes, it will accompany me on trips.
5) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games? Battlefield 1942
Need For Speed (the newer series)
Half Life 1 & 2
Any good combat flight sims
6) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like? not really, i'm looking for best Bang/Buck for my needs
7) How many hours of battery life do you need? 1 hour? It will be plugged into power outlet 99.9% of the time.
8) Do you mind buying online without seeing the notebook in person? No, that is fine.
9) What country are you buying this in? U.S.A
10) Would you prefer standard or widescreen? either one is fine.
11) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer? f. WUXGA - 1920x1200; Wider viewing version of UXGA, good for movie viewing or spreadsheets.
12) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? Glossy with as minimal reflectiveness as possible
Build Quality and Design
13) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you? NO
14) How long do you want this laptop to last? 5+ years
15) How much hard drive space do you want; 40GB to 120GB? As long as I can use external hard drives to their full 7200rpm potential transfer rates, internal hard drive size or speed doesn't matter.
16) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD-ROM, DVD-CD/RW or DVD-RW drive? I prefer a DVD-RW drive, yes..but if there is a better notebook deal without one, I can just use an external drive.
I'd say to get a Core Duo notebook. They are fast CPUs, but they still provide some decent battery life. Their dual-core nature should really help with your recording and ripping of music.
Unfortunately, your budget is not going to allow for a high-end graphics solution. Dell only offers a X1400 in your price range: Dell option
HP looks a little more promising, as they offer a 7600go: HP
Gateway also has a 7600go model in your budget: Gateway
I'd go with #2 or #3. If you're one to not need much tech support, then Gateway is a pretty solid notebook maker. However, their drivers and system setup are a bit more annoying, as they use a "recovery partition." HP is much better with real recovery CDs that allow you to be selective with your installation.