Upload & Sell: Off
I need a new laptop, 14-15 inches, for use in software development and enterprise system implementations/deployments. I know exactly what I need, but I simply don't know what's on the market. Hoping the good folks here at FM can help.
Essentially, I need an i7 machine with a chipset that will support 16GB of RAM and comes with a mid-level graphics card. Beyond that, everything else is negotiable. In fact, I would prefer a cheaper, low-spec machine as I intend on swapping out the HD for a SSD and bumping the RAM myself to 16GB.
I would prefer light weight and good battery life as I travel for work frequently. While high quality trackpad/display/keyboard would be nice, I use external ones probably 90% of the time. Heat/fan noise doesn't bother me. I wear headphones and the laptop will sit on a big cooling pad.
I was going to buy one of the XPS 15z L511z (2nd gen i7 model) but two other guys in my shop have them and both reported it was very hard to remove the rear lid and swap RAM and HD, some unresolved BIOS issues (although that might be rectified by now?), and an unreliable WiFi card. However, there are great deals to be had on this machine right now - as low as $850 if you know where to look but I'm willing to spend up to about $1100 or so, so I'm wondering what my alternatives are. I could even spend a bit higher for something really great. Also, worth mentioning - I don't do any gaming of any sort. I'm on my computer 8-10 hours a day already, I don't want to be in front of it for a second longer if I don't have to