Laptop Replacement Dilemma
For the last two and a half years or so, I have been using my HP DV2 as my laptop for university work. I do like the fact that it has a very bright screen of a better than average pixel density, but the CPU gets a little too hot for my liking. The battery life was never great to begin with at two and a half odd hours, but now its firmly stuck at a consistent one and a half hours and that really isn't quite enough for me (or most people I would imagine!).
So, out with the old and in with the new! I have been looking around for a new laptop and I was wondering if you folks would have any suggestions. I have a number of friends telling me to get a Lenovo due to the Thinkpad's reputation of legendary longevity and durability. However, the internet seems to tell me that this isn't necessarily the case. In fact, most of what I heard suggests that Lenovo has made them significantly cheaper due to cost cutting when compared to the IBM days. I had a chance to try out the the T520 (I have my eyes set on a T420), but I didn't find the build quality to be quite that special. I could feel the body flex in certain areas, and the power button didn't feel especially sturdy. I don't necessarily mind these issues, as long as the hardware itself is reliable. My problem is mostly with people who try to convince me that Lenovo build quality matches or exceeds that of Apple. It just doesn't. To the Lenovo out there, I would like to know what your experience with the brand is like. I am also open to suggestions for laptops that meet my criteria:
- A screen size that is between 13" - 14". This is going to be my only computer so I don't want to be stuck with a 12" display.
- Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor. Should I wait until the new Ivy Bridge laptops come out or just go out and buy a Sandy Bridge device now? I do do a fair bit of programming.
- A discrete graphics card is purely optional. What I am really after is battery life.
- Something that won't burn my thighs like ye olde Athlon X2 Neo processors.
- A higher resolution screen. One of the main reasons why I chose the T420 is because of the option of the HD+ display (1600x900) and the 9 cell battery
With the Core i5 2540, HD+ display, and 9 cell battery would set me back around $860 CDN before taxes. So my question is if there are any other laptops in the price range that satisfies my requirements. I am also open to buying a 13" Macbook Pro because they really do feel quite special and well optimized (but only with an Ivy Bridge processor though). Thanks guys.