Dell and others have such units but you need to look at them and find out if they offer a bigger battery.
-> That battery time is usually whacked down as the laptops head towards production. If the engineering team gets 10 hours on the stock battery the trip to production carves it back to 2 to 4 hours to achieve a lower price. No laptop save two I know of (which don't meet your specs) go much longer than 4 hours without custom ordering it with the big battery.
I was hoping someone could help me with their vast experience in choosing a notebook. I asked in another forum, but didn't get many replies, so I was hoping I could get some advice here. Here's the answer to some basic questions (a FAQ I filled out in the other forum):
1) What is your budget?
Below or around $1200 USD is preferable.
2) What size notebook would you prefer?
From 12" to 14", smaller the better (I'll be carrying this around a lot).
3) Please select your country's flag as a post icon and tell us what country are you buying this in.
I'm in Eastern Europe. I doubt anyone else is here from the same country as I am, so it doesn't really matter. You can suggest a few models, and I'll search through my local stores' price lists to see if one's available. We have many retailers around here which ship different wares (some even take orders), so my choices aren't too restricted.
4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
I don't know enough about notebooks to have any preferences. It's my first one, after all
5) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook?
I will NOT be playing video games (save maybe for some really old ones), so an on-board GPU is very preferable. I will be doing some coding, though. I won't say "no" to a dual-core or more RAM (which I'd expect it to be in the 512-1024 MiB range), unless those would significantly shorten the battery's life. A bigger HDD is also nice
6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places or leaving it on your desk?
I will carry it around a lot, so battery life is very important for me (more important than performance, to a degree).
7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games?
No games released in this millennium. Any GPU will do, and the cheaper - the better.
How many hours of battery life do you need?
As many as possible! Infact, if you can take out e.g. the combo drive and put in a second accumulator (I've seen a note that could do that) that's an extra bonus.
9) Do you mind buying online without seeing the notebook in person?
I want to buy it from a local store. I will check myself (by checking online pricelists, calling them, etc.) if they have models you suggest for sale / in stock.
10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
Doesn't matter. I can reinstall over anything (unless there's some kind of vendor lock-in). I'll be using some flavor of Windows (most likely XP), so there should be no driver problems.
11) Would you prefer standard or widescreen?
No preference. 12" notebooks come almost exclusively in WXGA anyway.
12) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer?
Anything above and including 1024x768 is OK.
13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?
Build Quality and Design
14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
15) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?
Soon (upcoming month, two months tops). I'm not made of money, so I'd prefer it to last for a while (a few years at least)
16) How much hard drive space do you want; 40GB to 200GB?
This isn't as important, but I'd prefer anything over 80GB.
17) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD, Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive?
Frankly I don't NEED an optical drive, but notebooks 12" and bigger without an optical drive are pretty rare these days (no?). But I'd definitely opt to replace the optical drive with a second battery, if I were given the choice.
I went through the price lists of three good local stores I know, and noted down some of the better deals. Here's what I have:
http://thecybershadow.net/dump/705b649d99df36229ca51e70652c3d8d/notebooks_12-14.png (click to open screenshot)
The MSI notebooks seem like a nice deal, but from what I heard around the web the quality isn't so good, and they break a lot. Tech support isn't a problem as I have to deal with my local retailers (instead of MSI directly), but, of course, the hassle of restoring all the information is best avoided. Also, I have absolutely no information on battery life on any of these models, and I was hoping someone here would help me with that.
All advice is much appreciated