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Damn, it's hard buying a laptop!
Does your's also hover above the table in graphics intensive apps because the fan goes ape sh*t? We have two in the office... both had mobo's packup from overheating. Dell released a BIOS update which basically makes the fan spin faster most of the time to compensate. In graphics intensive apps you need to strap it down.
Yikes... Perhaps a reason to sell.
Lifespan of a laptop is around 2-3 years, not sure how you pulled 5 years off your old Acer, so get the best laptop you need for the least amount of money.
Your current laptop must be a bit out of date and if its still (almost) doing what you need it to do, then any of the ones you mentioned above should be more than fine.
2005 :what specs you got there? 60gb hdd, 1gb memory, 1.6 pentium m, maybe 128mb shared graphics, surely even a hi-fi corp R5999 machine is better?
Basic system: ? R 13286HP WD918EA 8540p Elitebook Notebook, Intel Core i5-520M Dual Core 2.4Ghz 3MB cache 1066Mhz FSB, 2048MB DDR3-1333 SO-Dimm memory (1x2048), 250GB SATA 7200rpm Hard Drive, DVD+-RW SuperMulti Double Layer Lightscibe writer, 15.6" WXGA HD+ LED (1600x900 resolution) TFT LCD Display, intergrated camera, NVIDIA NVS 5100 with 1GB dedicated graphics, Intel 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN, 56k modem, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, Bluetooth, Fingerprint reader, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Edition 32, Windows XP CD's included, 3-3-0 (3-year standard parts and labour warranty)
Ok, back to topic. Here is a preliminary list of the laptops I am looking for (development, large format image editing, casual gaming - Starcraft 2):
ASUS Republic of Gamers G51JX-X3 (R 10000 at Cybertrack)
DELL Vostro 3700 Silver (R 11700 @ Laptopdirect)
dell studio 1749 (R 12000 at Incredible)
Lenovo Y560P Notebook (R 10481 @ Laptopdirect)