I am in the market for a windows based laptop for my photojournalism classes. I used to own a MacBook Pro that died on me and with out Apple Care, my only option is to buy a new computer all together. For the spec I am interested, Apple's new MacBook Pro runs around $1799. Too expensive for me.So now, I am in the market for a new laptop to get me through the next 2-3 years I have left of school.
I need the laptop to do every day tasks as well as photo editing (obviously) but also need max portability as well. I do a lot of traveling from game to game and noticed the old 7lb MBP I had wasn't a very fun thing to lug around. I've done some HEAVY research and I am really trying to narrow down my choices. Help me,please.
1. Dell Latitude E6430
-NVS 5200m Graphics
-Express card slot (for express card CF reader)
-9 Cell Battery - 10 hrs of battery life.
Love the ruggedness of the machine. Got excellent reviews from Notebookcheck.com (Best model from Dell ive seen online wise). Express card will allow Express Card based CF card reader for quick file transfer at ball games. Long Battery life. Only worried about the brand, Dell... and I can only afford a refurb.
2. HP DV6T-7000
Definitely not a rugged machine, by any means. Although, this could make a great machine for college. This computer will not only be used for working, but for leasure as well. The spec on this laptop will allow me to both do some light gaming and help me in photoshop at the same time. Also, hear this thing attracts horrible finger prints.
3. Dell Inspiron 15R
Good specs, heard bad things... meh... not so exciting but something about it makes me unsure.
4. Alienware m14x
Reading online, this and the Alienware series in general has had outstanding reviews for their products. The best that Dell has manufactured from what I have seen and saw this was my only option out of the bunch considering the weight of the 17/18in versions. Even at 6lbs, its heavy for 14in... and not so sure about the design. Don't think this one would be so attractive in public.
5. Lenovo Y580
Excellent value, but after dealing with Lenovo CS... I'm not so sure I want to buy another product from them. But I hear excellent things about the product and for the price vs. performance... this is an incredible deal. Just bad battery life.
I need opinions. I'm not interested in ordering a ThinkPad W530, before anyone recommends that. I just ended a dispute with Lenovo after they took almost 2 months to ship my $1400 purchase so I was done waiting and filed a return.
Any suggestions, opinions on my choices? Anything helps?