What should I look for in a laptop?
About a year and a half ago, she'd bought me a brand-new Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop for Christmas and by birthday, and I've been quite satisfied with it till recently. Now, for my Media Studies class, I've been doing and will be doing a lot of video editing, which is hard work for any computer and (they tell me) requires serious hardware to do reasonably quickly. My current laptop is adequate for this, sort of, mostly. The machine's been upgraded to 3 gig memory and a 360 gig hd both which seem adequate. I haven't discovered any way to upgrade -only- the Video hardware, and I suppose it's built into the motherboard and can't be upgraded.
My sister, who is an email-and-web person mostly, has suggested buying me another brand-new laptop, and taking over my "old" laptop for her own use. This would be wonderful, of course. She has more money than I do. But she's asked me to just tell her what sort of computer to buy, and she'll see about buying it. Thing is, I have no idea what specifically to look for, other than "larger" and "faster" and "better video" and other vague generalities. Twenty years ago I coulda told her, now, not so much.
Any suggestions or hints? I have heard for years that Macs are generally "better" for video editing. True, somewhat true, not true anymore? There is a premium to pay for Mac hardware. How does the price for a Macbook Pro compare with the price for a PC laptop "adequate" for video editing in particular? I've been using Windows since 3.1, DOS before that. I know Macs only by reputation.
What would be considered big or fast these days? I know what the numbers mean, to the extent they're larger versions of the old numbers. I don't want her spending the cost of a new car, though, for example. What would you say is a "reasonable" price for a laptop for "reasonable" video editing functionality and speed?
I pre-ordered a copy of Windows 7 a few months back, which I gather will help this old laptop somewhat. I doubt it would help enough. Am I wrong?
Thanks for your input.