I'm on the hunt for a new laptop computer. I have some general requirements that I want, but I'm not tech savy enough to know how to ensure I'm getting what I want and a quality machine. I am okay on software, but not so much on hardware. It will mostly be used for my graduate research certification program, with some internet browsing too. Unfortunately, I don't really have room in my apartment for a desktop.

My requirements are:

  • It MUST, MUST, MUST be able to run ArcGIS, here are the system requirements for it. ETA, I know the program doesn't require much. But, it needs to be able to deal with some of the large files I use. Not often, but sometimes I have to deal with things like aerial photographs in a MrSID format that are 3GB. I need a machine that won't make me wait 5 minutes for the image to appear.
  • because it will be used mostly for school, I would like a larger screen, ~16 inches.
  • I won't be transporting it much, so weight isn't an issue. But, I would prefer if it isn't super heavy. This is a low priority issue.
  • If I could play some games on it, like Sims, that would be great. But, I assume if it can run ArcMap, it can do that too.
  • I'd like it to be able to connect to my TV.
  • I already have a tablet, so I don't need one of the convertible ones or anything like that.
  • I HATE, HATE, HATE the look of the Lenovo laptops and will only buy one if it is the absolutely only option.
  • I'd like to stay around $5-600, lower is better. But, I'm willing to go a little higher for the right machine.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give. And, I understand all the looking can be time consuming and people do this professionally, so I am willing to pay a consulting fee to somebody willing to help me find my perfect laptop.