Need a new laptop. Advice, please?

Hi, I currently have an Acer netbook. Never was really happy about it because it is incredibly slow and has a cursor that jumps all the time. However, it is nice, small and light, and for a while it did the job. It's getting slower by the day (not because of viruses or malware) and it's driving me nuts. Battery is also terrible. So I am looking for a new one. Advice on brands/models would be much appreciated.

Here's an idea of what I use a laptop for:
- travel a lot, so ideally my new laptop fits in my back pack (a day pack, so just an ordinary size, not a big one) and is not too heavy
- do a lot of research, so surf a lot and have multiple webpages open at the same time
- use social media frequently
- lots of document writing (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) and reading (incl pdf), although I prefer to print large docs
- some photo editing
- often depend on wifi
- no gaming

Preferably, the laptop runs on Windows, has a slot for an SD card, and has one or more USB ports. It should be fast (as far as internet speeds allow).
Budget: approx. $1000-1200 max.

I'm not familiar with all the technical specs of computers, apart from the basics. Hence the request for advice on brands/models (I know you can have laptops custom build but I just don't know enough to know what to ask for or to assess what they are offering).

Thanks for your advice! :)

geek_cj_s, May 3, 3:16 pm

Something like this ASUS Transformer Book T300. My daughter has the cheap T100, which may be too slow for you. www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/laptops-portable-pcs/laptops-and-netbooks/asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-1278957/review $699 in the USA according to http://is.gd/uB3W9C

geek_r.g.nixon, May 3, 3:21 pm

Even the T200 (in between the T100 & T300) may be good enough. Is here as a 'clearance' item for just under $700 at Harvey Norman. www.harveynorman.co.nz/computers/laptops/asus-11.6-t200ta-cp005h-transformer-book.html

geek_r.g.nixon, May 3, 3:26 pm

T300 will be out of budget here

The Dell Inspiron 3000 11" is okay, make sure you get the i3 model http://www.dell.com/nz/p/inspiron-11-3148-laptop/pd?oc=y510137nz&model_id=inspiron-11-3148-laptop

geek_vtecintegra, May 3, 3:29 pm

$NZ1182 incl post and customs according to this ebay page http://is.gd/7IDwxp

geek_r.g.nixon, May 3, 3:36 pm

Thanks rg.nixon and vtecintegra. Showing my ignorance here, but what determines the speed of laptop, the CPU (xx Ghz) or RAM? I compared the specs of the T200 and T300 on the ascent website and the T200 seems to have normal USB ports while those on the T300 are micro-usb. But these are some of the other differences:

T200: CPU Atom Z3775 1.46-2.39 GHz / RAM 2GB
T300: CPU Core M-5Y71 1.2 GHz / RAM 4GB

T200: http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=428586 T300: http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=9430211

And does it make much difference whether the OS is Windows 32bit or 64bit?

And CPU core is quad or dual?

geek_cj_s, May 3, 4:05 pm

Both those things make a difference, as do other factors like disk speed

The T300 has an ultra efficient duel core processor, the T200 has an entry level quad core - regardless of number of cores or clock speed the T300 is a fair bit faster (about double the speed in most circumstances)

geek_vtecintegra, May 3, 4:11 pm

Windows 64-bit can access and use more than 3.25GB of RAM, so is superior if you have 4 or 8GB of RAM. It will run all current 32-bit programs also. There is no other significant difference, except that drivers might not be available for older printers.

geek_r.g.nixon, May 3, 4:42 pm

Hi all, I'm still looking around for a laptop.
What do you think of this one? Thx.
http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?itemID=429138

geek_cj_s, May 19, 2:24 pm

I'd expect it would be heavy, as it has both a HDD and DVD drive, and is larger than some others. The 15.6" screen is a clue to size.

geek_r.g.nixon, May 19, 3:24 pm

Oh, yeah, that's right; specs say 2.2 kg. Forgot to look at that, thanks.

geek_cj_s, May 19, 4:41 pm

What do you think about this one?
http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?itemID=428519

Fast enough? Good CPU etc?
Is there a reason to prefer either HDD or SDD? (I compared with ASUS Transformer Book T300, which is only slightly smaller/lighter & has micro-USM instead of USB)?

geek_cj_s, Nov 8, 8:52 am

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