Help me selecting a Windows Laptop

Although I do live the Apple and Google lifestyle I kind of miss having a Windows laptop. I know this sounds weird, but I actually have a good explanation.

I want a Windows machine because:
  • Windows is still the most use operating system in the world, whether we like it or not. I actually like Windows 7 and the more I think about it are the issues I'm having with Windows 7 (slow boot, failing sleep/resume and often just not connecting to WiFi) more related to the hardware integration than to Windows 7 itself. 
  • Web projects I'm working on need to be validated against many Internet Explorer versions. This of course could be done using virtual machines, but than I don't get the real-life experience of the product when running from meeting to meeting, closing and opening the lid and running out of juice.
  • For some of my start-up initiatives Windows Azure is a serious contender to be the platform of choice. However I now lack the tools to do a proper evaluation. I do need to do a bit of experimenting (no not full scale development) to get a better feeling of the capabilities, availability and usage of 3rd party libraries and overall workflow for getting things done. 
  • I like Windows Phone 7 and after my Android and now iOS experiments I would like to work a bit with Windows Phone 7. Although I only know one person (excluding various Microsoft employees that got one) that actually bought one, I don't rule out Windows Phone 7 for the future, because there will be room for three to four players in the mobile market space.
Enough reasons to invest into another gadget and I'm currently diving into a selection process, but without any success and I need your help. I'm not sure about you, but I just don't get all the acronymes and high-tech terminology, all I know it how if looks and feels like. My specifications are:
  • Size and body shape is important. A 12" screen would be perfect, but it could be 13" if it's light and thin. 
  • It's all about elegance, beauty and style. This is usually expresse with high grade materials.
  • The battery needs to last long, because beauty shouldn't be spoilt with hooking it up to ugly cables.
  • The price needs to be reasonable. I know this is a very vague statement,  but take a 13" MacBook Air, that meets the above requirements, as the benchmark starting at $1299

Selecting a new laptop always have been difficult. When my Sony Vaio died I opted for a boring but solid Dell. It felt like dating a robot because there was not emotion between us. Now I've been pointed out to the Samsung series 9, it looks beautiful and I could fall in love. The price tag a bit on the high side (where are the days that Windows machines were a lot cheaper than Macs?) but love doesn't have a price, or does it?

I hope you can help me out here, because all I see are ugly plastic boxes (check out the 8 reasons to get a new PC) except for a few expensive alternatives. Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

7 comments

Hallo Aad, I've got a (very handsome shiny white) Dell Studio XPS laptop with an SSD drive, 6GB RAM and 64-bit Win7. Looks good, boots quickly & goes like lightning. Not cheap, not light, but otherwise fantastic. It's not your standard grey Dell box. Hope this helps...

Thx, great advice, but have you ever tried to navigate the Dell website... I've gotten lost, but at least I noticed they have put more effort into the design. May be need to reconsider again.

Thx again

13" Macbook Air or Pro with bootcamped SSD. I have 128GB split 50/50.

Clive, I also explored that option, but going Windows for me means going Windows and not doing a fruit mix.

I checked around. Devs with an equal competence, on design, experience and technology have their eyes on Lenovo X220 or w520 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20040394-64.html

Clive via Twitter I got the Lenovo 220s as a suggestion: https://twitter.com/#!/erwynNL/status/49798888206503936

The Samsunx 900x series looks and feels amazing IMHO: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-NP900X1A-A01US-11-6-Inch-Laptop-Black/dp/B004NF0LGG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1312061678&sr=8-2

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