(btw, that headline was the April Fools joke)

So yeah, I'm currently in the market for a new laptop, as my HP Compaq 6720s running XP isn't going to last me forever. (although I'd certainly try) But I'm having a sliiiiightly-difficult time narrowing down my choices.. and even finding choices I'm comfortable with.

One thing I was not expecting at first, but is now high on my priorities, are these new kinds of keyboards, this... "island" keyboard design, as they say. I've had the chance to use them on other laptops, and I don't feel like it's the way I want to go. I've happened to passively learn to type without looking at the keyboard (do they call that touch-typing?), so I'm trying to find something as similar as possible to my current layout so that I can retain mah 1337 h4x-, err, 7yP3R 5K1LL5.

(pictured is ye olde laptopeh in questione)

Other things on my (wishful) list are:

  • A 15.6" screen.
  • Avoid gloss as much as possible.
  • Try not to have the entire thing black. (this and the one before have often been the same)
  • While I can imagine the reasons why I can't future-proof the thing, I'd like to play current-gen games on it with smooth performance on Medium-level settings, at-least. (but if I can get the sort of hardware, handling High-level stuff would be rad, and would help toward future things)
  • Money's not the biggest deal yet, but if it's under $2000, that'd be great!
  • More interested in Windows 7 then 8. (Win 7 Professional, actually)
  • It's not really important, but I've been curious about doing digital drawing on tablets, so maybe if that sort of thing is possible..
  • I'd rather rely on a HDD drive then a SSD, since I'm not entirely convinced about them for storage. (plus the HDDs are still cheaper) (a dual drive system's fine though)
  • Could I condense most of this by saying I basically want my old laptop, but better? :(

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So, if anyone has any suggestions for me, I will try to look into probably-anything you can show me. (no joke)

(pre-EDIT: Oh, and in case anyone would actually know about this sort of thing; info on skins, programs and what-not concerning changing/disguising the Win7/8 and IE9/10 visuals/UI back to their XP counterparts would be swell)