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Custom Laptop for a Designer - any suggestions appreciated

I'm looking to purchase a laptop, but as a multimedia designer and a Windows user, I'm having trouble finding exactly what I want. Here are the specs I'm looking for. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Core i7 720 (minimal)
17" WUGA Screen (preferably non-reflective)
4-8GB 1333Mhz RAM
80GB SSD for main drive
200GB+ 7200RPM SATA for secondary drive
DVD Burner
High end graphics card (I'd say Nvidia Quadro, but I can't afford one)
Internal WiFi/Bluetooth
Backlit keyboard
HDMI output
Firewire input
Decent battery life and a backup battery
Includes Windows 7 Pro 64 and Some version of Office with Outlook.

I'd also like, but can live without
USB 3.0
Multicard reader

I'd prefer the design, though attractive, to be subtle... in other words, not an over the top gaming rig.

Finally, it would be awesome to pay less than $3000 for it. I know Sager and Asus make great laptops for that kind of price, but neither make one that meet all of my specs. I've even contacted ASUS directly, just to have them tell me they don't have anything for me.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Have you used such a machine.

Many find then heavy, the SSD to be a mixed bag from speedy to sluggish during writes. In fact your post looks like one might put together from the latest product reviews.

So why not a nice Sony with the i7 17 inch screen that has the usual 1GB video solution without hitting that many bucks?


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I would if I could find one...

I've never seen such a machine in laptop form, or I'd probably aready own it, but I do use similar machines, in desktop form, daily.

I do know I need that kind of power to do what I do (I use pretty much every Adobe product). I've tried general laptops (Lenovo, Dell) and end up working at 1/2 to 1/4 of my normal speed, because I'm waiting around for the system to process things. Other considerations are that I need people to be able to work on HD video and have people see the screen clearly for on location demos (17", low glare WUXGA), I need the ability to work in low light (backlit keyboard), I need to be able to dispay over HD projectors on large (120"+) screens (HDMI - high end video card), and I need to be able to capture video (Fire Wire and secondary drive).

On the SSD front, from what I've read, the good ones do a solid job of speeding up the performance of Adobe products on laptops (which, from my experience, have sluggish hard drives to begin with, compared to desktops). I can certainly be convinced, otherwise, if the technology isn't there, yet.

As for weight, that is meaningless to me. I'd carry a 25lb brick around, if it fit in amy backpack and I knew it would get the job done.

So... that being said, do you have a particular Sony model you would recommend I take a look at? I haven't really looked at Sony, since my experience, from years back, is that they ran a little pricey for what you got. Also the last two people I knew who had one, had annoying problems like the hinge freezing. Still, that was several years back, so I'm open to giving them a chance.

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At the top of this forum.

Are a few laptop pickers. has one that has recently been made over and really helps find machines you can actually buy. finds less than 10 machines in stock and there's Sony.

Time to find a Sony Store to go look at the machines.

For machines in stock, you will likely be upgrading the OS and RAM later.

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Thanks for the links. I was getting frustrated with laptop finders that were totally out of date or not complete.

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