Also, most times my internet is just a Verizon Wireless Broadband modem. I'm in the US Navy and always travelling, so the net was pretty important so I can WoW in my off time. At home I don't worry because I have a great cable connection.
Is the cellular modem CardBus, ExpressCard, or internal?
If it's CardBus or built in, you'll need to get an ExpressCard version from Verizon as 90% of laptops no longer ship with CardBus.
1. When will the new hardware be available for laptops? (ie. i7 and the tri-channel DDR) I'm looking to buy around April '09 when I get back home.
Tri-Channel DDR? I've yet to even see 3 memory slots in a notebook.
Info has been leaked Pre-CeBIT 2009 about some of Clevo's new models. Personally, I'm interested in the D901C replacement which is going to be the D90xF model. No one is certain yet if its going to be i7, but I can't see why not. I'm also assuming they're going to add eSATA and HDMI ports as well. There was also an option for a built in NTSC on the D901C that was removed by the resellers as we get closer to Feb 2009. I get the feeling they may replace that miniPCI socket with an ATSC/QAM tuner, or use the space for something else.
Firewire 800 would be nice too.
2. Who makes the better gaming laptop? Meaning value, service and performance?
I'm extremely biased towards Clevo, only because they seem to be the biggest innovator in the laptop industry.
and the Clevo 8500V I bought in 2001 is still running.
3. Single video card or SLI/Crossfire for 1900x1200 on the laptop? Current size is a 15" but I'm willing to try a 17".
I'd get SLI only because I hate the idea of wasted space. If there's an empty socket in my laptop, I get the itch to fill it with something
Which is probably why everytime I spec out a new laptop they usually hit the $5k mark.
4. HDD or SSHD? Looking for overall performance and disk health/life expectancy.
I haven't personally used any of the Flash based SSD's yet, so No Comment for this one.
I've looked at Alienware/Dell and Sager so far. My instincts are telling me just to wait a bit longer. I want a laptop that will last a good 5 years or so.
Forget Alienware and Dell.