I have been in the market for a new computer for several months. I set out with a budget of around $1200. I knew up front that the machine would be used for developing applications and maybe some light gaming. I kept switching between buying a laptop or a desktop but the laptop won because: With a Laptop, I can carry it everywhere and with a desktop I can’t. I searched for about 2 weeks and narrowed it down to a list of must-have’s : i7 Processor (I wasn’t going to settle for an i5 or AMD. I wanted a true Quad-core machine, not 2 dual-core fused together). 15.6” monitor SSD 128GB or Larger. – It’s almost 2011 and I don’t want an old standard HDD in this machine. 8GB of DDR3 Ram. – The more the better, right? 1GB Video Card (Prefer NVidia) – I might want to play games with this. HDMI Port – Almost a standard on new Machines. This would be used when I am on the road and want to stream Netflix to the HDTV in the Hotel room. Webcam Built-in – This would be to video chat with the wife and kids if I am on the road. 6-Cell Battery. – I’ve read that an i7 in a laptop really kills the battery. A 6-cell or 9-cell is even better.