In quest of perfect laptop

Lately (for like 3 years), I've been looking for perfect laptop. I've been using 10+ of them during that period owned two, having three company ones. One of company laptops was almost perfect.
What is perfect laptop for me? Having those features:
* cpu with virtualization (to let me use windows VMs),
* cpu with AES (to let me use my luks crypted disks without loosing too much performance),
* gpu with vdpau support, which means nvidia card (with at least pure video feature set C),
* fast 300GB+ hdd – 7200 rpm, hybrid or ssd,
* hdmi port which let me use vdpau with my lcd or plasma TV,
* display with resolution 1600x900 or more (it's very annoying to work with remote desktop on 1366x768 display),
* smaller then 15” display,
* comfortable (for a laptop) keyboard with backlight,
* nice to have 3G/4G modem,
* maybe nice to have usb3,
* warranty with fast service reaction and repair time,
* not that easy to break (could even weigh some more, cause I almost always sit at the desk while using my computer),
* low power consumption and heat dispense,
* nice to have port replicator option.

It was hard to find one that got all those features and costs affordable amount of money, even very expensive laptops don't have all those features. I've been searching and searching and only dell laptops seems to have all those. Lately there are two models that can make me happy E6420 and E6430. There are some differences between them (usb2 vs usb3 for example), but they are almost the same considering options and features. So I started looking where I can find one with all components I need with nice price tag attached. And the cheapest place to buy one is dell outlet. Of course you can get one with scratches and you cannot choose all parameters and features cause you buying returned, refurbished or ordered and not taken by client laptops, but the price is amazing and you get full dell warranty with all benefits of NBD (next business day) service. US dell outlet is cheaper then UK one, but buying there means VAT and duty for me (here in Poland), so price is getting almost the same and I have to wait two+ weeks for customs.
So I've found ppl selling those already imporeted and got almost perfect laptop ;). It's E6430:
* i7-3720QM – 4 core monster with HT,
* 6 GB RAM,
* 320GB 7200 HDD,
* nvidia NVS5200 1GB,
* 1600x900 display,
* usb3, wifi N, hdmi, 1Gbps eth (supported by esx ;), etc,
* no BT, no keyboard backlight :(, no 3G/4G modem.

Modem is not that big loss, cause I can tether my android phone, almost never used BT, and if I want to I can buy usb dongle for like 2$. The biggest issue is loss of keyboard backlight, cause it's very comfortable to have one when you have to use you computer in dimmed light environment (for example during some IT training or presentations). But I can always get this backlight upgrade for like 40$, so I'm not crying (that much). I've also bought 120GB vertex3 to replace original HDD (or rather move hdd to DVD bay). Haven't bought hdd frame yet, but switched it with SSD.
I've already setup ubuntu 12.04 with my new toy, and it works awesome. Of course there are some flaws (flash player with vdpau sometimes plays like fast forward), but everything else is like heaven :).


What about Gigabit Ethernet?
To me, this is mandatory in order to perform incremental backups fast enough or big data transfers.
+1 for virtualization, AES & keyboard backlight, this should be standard for all laptops.
The keyboard layout is also an important point.

Good point NicoLarve. Of course almost all modern laptops got 1Gbps Eth (mine got as well). Nice to have 1Gbps NIC that is supported with VMware (is on vmware HCL), to have a chance to test ESX class products on the laptop platform :).

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Article | by Dr. Radut