I initially started my notebook review site long ago because I was looking for a notebook for myself.
Well, it's that time again, as my old Dell Inspiron 8600 is at its last days. That guy has seen a lot of action and even though it is outdated, it's Pentium M, 512mb and 40gb hard drive running on WinXP still does what I need it to do.
So this time around I'm searching for TWO notebooks:
1. A replacement for my 8600:
- Must have 1920x1200 resolution (not this new 16:9 1920x1080 stuff)
- Must have "the keyboard" (more on this later)
- Has to be thinner or at least lighter than the 8600
- May or may not need an optical drive
- Around $1000 US (although less would be better)
2. A mini notebook (not a netbook, but a smaller, thinner notebook):
- 11.6" or 12.1" (possibly 13.3") screen running at least 1366x768 (I really dislike these HD aspects)
- Can't fit "the keyboard" but at least something with dedicated PgUp/Dn and Home/End keys (preferably a vertical row on the right hand side)
- Thin and light
- Ridiculous battery life
- No optical drive needed
- Maybe SSD drive
- Should be under $700 US
Currently, notebook #1 (known from here on as "Biggie") is much harder to find than notebook #2 ("Smalls"). The front runner for Biggie is the Dell Latitude E6500 although they have just come out with the E6510 which uses the newer Intel i5/i7 chips. If you look at the pictures, you'll get an idea of what I mean about "the keyboard".
As for Smalls, it looks like the ASUS U20A may have what I need but I'm waiting for them to refresh it with the new Intel CPUs. Acer also looks like it's coming out with a new Timeline X series (we have one of their first Timelines and it's very good).