I'm really just looking for a basic portable laptop. I'd prefer it to be small since I'll probably be carrying it around with me on campus, so preferably between 3-5 lbs? Here are some of the other specs I'm thinking about so far:
- Processor: I'd prefer the processor to be a core duo 1.83ghz, although I think a 1.66ghz one will do just as well. I suppose a Pentium M would be fine, but I think in the long run, the core duo would last me longer maybe?
- Graphics Card: I'm not much of a gamer, and I don't do any intensive graphics editing (photoshop, illustrator, etc.) yet, but I would like to get into later this year. I'm debating on whether or not I need a good graphics card. Will I be able to get by with just an intel extreme graphics card or should I upgrade and get a 128mb ATI radeon or nVidia card?
- Hard drive: I don't really need a huge hard drive, 40-60 gigs should do.
- CD/DVD Drives: Not really picky, a basic CD RW/DVD combo will do, although it would be nice to get a CD/DVD burner.
- Ram: I'm thinking probably 1gig, but I can always upgrade the ram so 512mb isn't so bad starting out (if I'm wrong, please tell me so. I don't normally upgrade computer hardware, so I'm not sure just how expensive it will be to upgrade).
I would like for this laptop to last for awhile. I'm going to be a senior next year, but I will be staying one more year (5th year senior, yay!... or not...). So I'm thinking if this laptop can last up to 3 years or more that would be great. I think I'm really only going to be using it for the basic web surfing and applications. If I do get more into graphics, I'll be using it for graphics editing and every now and then, programming (CS major).
Based on the specs I've listed above, (and/or any suggestions you make), what would be the price range I'm looking at? I really would like a laptop under $1000 but I'm not sure I can get by with that, especially if I want a light weight one.
Also, what would be some brands I should look at and/or stay away from? Should I be getting extended warranties?
I know as a CS major, I should already know some of these things but I'm really debating on whether I should just get a cheaper laptop that won't last me as long or get a more expensive one that will last me longer. I do have a desktop but it is getting older, and the upgrades I can make on it are rather limited.
Thanks for all your help in advance!