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Choosing a laptop for college.

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 25, 2006 6:06:25 PM

Hi i'm a student about to attend college and just as most students do, I need a laptop. Im looking for it to be very energy effecient but also very good with gaming and other demanding tasks. This has brought me to consider core duo based laptops with dedicated graphics cards.

One of my major considerations has been the Apple Macbook Pro. Some specific requirements include a 2.16 Ghz Core Duo, 2 GB of ram, (and with the Macbook Pro I would just get 1 GB and then order the other from new egg to save two hundred dollars) a dvd burner, at least a x1600, 256mb video card from ati or a 7600gt from nvidia. (both energy effecient mobile versions) I would be fine with something more powerful as long as it is still an energy effecient mobile version and fits in my price range. (my price range stretches from 2000 to 2700 dollars) I also dont want to be carrying around a 10 lb. monster, I would like to keep it under 7 lb. if I could. One more thing (as if I wasnt being anal about this already) is that I need it to be reliable, I don't want some computer that craps out the minute the 1 year limited warranty runs out. One thing I noticed is that most people recommend the dell xps or alienware laptops for gaming. The only problem is that in order to get all the bells and whistles like I want I would be out of my price range and I think $3000 is more than enough for a laptop. Some of this may seem picky I guess but if im going to be spending over two grand on a notebook I want it to suit my needs as well as possible. So with all these variables im trying to find the best deal possible and I must say its quite a challenge.

My final problem/consideration is that there is alot of new technology coming down the road. I was waiting to see how the Turion X2's did compared to the Core Duo and as far as I have heard the Core Duo has won pretty handily. Other things include Merom (supposed to be coming out in August) and wireless n built into notebooks. (maybe even new dedicated laptop graphics cards?) Merom would give me the 64bit capability, the ~20% increased performance its going to bring, and the SSE4 instruction set that the Core Duo lacks. My issue with waiting is that I need it before the first day classes start on Aug. 28th. I'm a little unnerved by the fluidity of the Merom release date as well as the time it will take to come to market. So I hope you can see my dilemma and offer up some opinions (and great deals you've heard of) on the situation, thanks.
June 25, 2006 8:15:21 PM

Hey

I just went through a similar process, and i ended up getting a dell m1710, b/c its dual core, usable as portable computer, and you can get some great deals if you hunt around a bit. Plus, the already great cpu can be upgraded to merom down the road.

If you just straight out buy a dell, you don't get your money's full worth, just like all the other gaming notebook manufacturers (alienware, voodoo, falcon NW, etc). but unlike all those, you can actually get a good deal on a dell. Also, check out www.notebookforums.com/ for their list of available dell coupons or used laptops, and also visit Dell outlet website for some brand new systems at a fairly good price
June 26, 2006 8:16:20 AM

I'd get a Thinkpad T60p. It's got dual core and a 256MB x1600 (although it's called the V5200 when it's sold with workstation-class drivers, it is the same part), 7200RPM drives, etc. Thinkpads are very reliable. The 15" offers a decent blend of performance and portability, plus the nice FlexView screen. The 14" offers lighter weight and better battery performance.

If you buy a modular-bay battery with one of these, you can achieve over six hours of runtime on battery with the 6-cell, over eight hours with the nine-cell main battery. I prefer the six-cell because the 9-cell juts out the back.

If you really want to take your work with you, do yourself a favor and don't buy a big horking notebook. 14" screen size is the absolute largest I would consider really portable. In addition, a wide-screen aspect ratio is wasted for schoolwork in any but the biggest and smallest models. The only exceptions to this are people who routinely work with very wide documents, such as finance/accounting majors with spreadsheets.
Related resources
June 26, 2006 3:27:02 PM


High Quality.........check
x1600 256 MB.....check
Core Duo.............check
Within Budget......check


The Wakizachi is well within your budget, 15.4" WXGA glossy super bright and crisp. The ODM actually makes the screens for the MAC Book Pro. The case is second to none in quality and durability, yet still comes in under 6lbs.

Power? The thing oozes it, with the Core Duo 2.0 Ghz T2500 standard and 2.16 and 2.33 available upgrades... the thing could save the Earth.

Memory? Your choice, Low Latency DDR2-533 with 4-4-4-8 (the most agressive timings available), or DDR2-667 for the HUGE bandwidth.

Hard Drive? Far as I know, the ONLY company with 7,200 rpm Hard Drives standard.

What about upgrade cost? The fairest, most reasonable upgrade costs in the industry.

Support? Phone, email, and web based. You talk to a human, not a maze of voice mails and phone prompts for days. Had a customer the other day. Needed to update his BIOS. Didn't have a USB floppy drive, didn't know how to install it. I make him a CD boot disk with his BIOS on it with complete instructions (whih when I was done was type in 1 word). What's DELL gonna do same situation? They are going to make you wait for 30 minutes on the phone to talk to someone you don't understand in India that know LESS about your problem then you do and says, "have a nice day.", cheerily as your problem remains.

http://www.thisistrue.com/dellhell.html
http://www.icecomputer.com/unhappy.htm
http://www.vocalabs.com/resources/blog/C1672660030/E20051128114619/index.html

IBM doesn't even make the computers any more, it's Lenovo. They have their own quality issues.
Quote:
A MARKET ANALYST said that Lenovo, which now owns IBM's PC business, faces "challenges" in product quality while it needs also to capitalise on cutting manufacturing costs and the price of components.


Killer Notebooks is for the select few...


June 27, 2006 2:12:35 PM

been a heavy laptop user over the years and switched to apple 2 years agogo
would deffo get a macbook if i was you. just easier to use, lighter, better power, and better customer support etc all in all
June 28, 2006 12:37:55 AM

The biggest obsticle MAC has to overcome is the proprietary programs that have been developed for the PC, and they look like they have the answer with the new software that runs Windows within the MAc.

Me personally... I don't get it. Why you would want a MAC over a PC. My step dad is always talking up his MacBook Pro and it is like, "Dude, it's a stinkin' Quanta... who cares!"
December 17, 2008 8:20:35 PM

HOLY CRAP $3000 to buy a laptop?!?!??!?!?

Probally Alien ware or Mac
a b D Laptop
December 17, 2008 11:27:58 PM

Thread = 2 years old.
December 19, 2008 6:10:23 AM

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Enjoy your digital life!
December 19, 2008 12:05:44 PM

Which Laptop to buy?

It's not the make that makes a good laptop, it's the specs. There are three main rules in buying a good computer or owning one, here's my guide to explain everything about them.

Object 1: Processor

The horses power of your laptop, the more Mega Hertz (MHZ) the faster. new processors are being developed every year. Nowadays dual core means two processors in one, core duo is more advanced and Quad Core is four processors instead. it doesn't matter AMD or Intel just get what ever your money can buy. but to be more specific AMD tends to be better at gaming where Intel is better at applications. Fair single processor with 2.4 GHz. Good Core duo 2.2 GHz, best Quad 2.6 GHz.

Object 2: RAM (Memory)

Ram is used by the processor to store the information into the hard drive, is it vital that the faster your processor is the more RAM you need, beforehand manufacturers use to sell computers with a powerful processors such as a P4 3.2Ghz but with only 512 mega bits (MB) of ram where in real life a processor that big will need 3 times more Ram. nowadays most laptops are sold with 1 or 2GB of Ram which is Ideal for vista, however it is always upgradeable and we recommend you upgrade to at least to 2GB to improve the performance of the computer, or 3.5GB maximum for windows 32bit and 8GB for windows 64bit, a Quad will need 6 to 8GB, a core duo will need 2GB to 3.5GB of Ram, it is cheap and will not harm your computer in any way.

Object 3: Hard Drive

The space, the rooms you need to store your files and documents. The hard drive stores important information which must not be deleted such as the Operating System, the Programs and other stuff if simply one, just one file is deleted your computer crashes. but the main deal is the more space you have the better, with Itunes you'll need at least 80GB of space which is equivalent to 40,000 songs but most will also have videos, large programs and photos, hard drive does not change how fast is your computer, it's simply a storage room, a fair would be a 60GB, the best is anything more. it's upgradeable too but you'll have to move all your files and systems to the new one which can be painful unless you've got us to do it for you. You must make sure that your laptop does not use RAID technology which is a tool mostly used to hide it from being seen on external devices or to use it to share two hard drives in one, this tool can prevent you from transferring your files. it is also where viruses play around but there's nothing you can do about that.

more details...

1. The make:

It isn't that important but here's a special cheaptofix.co.uk's top 10 laptop makes.

1. IBM 2. TOSHIBA 3. HP (COMPAQ) 4. ACER 5. SONY 5. DELL 6. FUJITSU 7. SAMSUNG

8. PHILIPS 9. PACKARD BELL.

based on experience, parts availability & quality. Apple can not be compared due to the difference in price.


2. The size:

There are three sizes to chose

1. 11" and smaller (ideal for internet & typing but no CD player)

2. 14" most common small size, high prices and lower specs.

3. 15" above, affordable and good specs.


3. The extras:

Wireless is available on all laptops, try and buy one with 108Mbs wireless speed as standard is 54.

Bluetooth? do you really use it.

DVDRW most people don't burn on DVDs, you should! its the size of 4 CDs.

SRS, Multiplex, 5.1 sounds, nah not really I wouldn't need to watch a DVD on laptop.

HD? even old laptops are HD so don't be fooled by HD technology on laptops.

Finger print security? not recommended, thieves are not interested in your files and its crackable.

Glossy, look for glossy screens they produce better graphics and details.

Graphics, you don't need more than the built in graphic card but gamers need a 256mb and more.

USB, where your printers, cameras plug into minimum of 4 ports maximum of 6.

Card reader, not many use it but it’s for your photos straight from any camera.

Metal or Plastic? Plastic to avoid shortage, metal hinges between the screen and the base board.

warranty, laptops thesedays tend to last no longer than 1 year try your best to get extended one.
July 17, 2009 10:29:54 PM

There are two major questions in choosing the best college laptop.

1. Are you a gamer ? What games you wanna play with ?

2. What's your budget for this laptop ?

By answering these two questions you can narrow down your choices to a few models and it would become very easy to decide. Check the source for more details.
a b D Laptop
July 18, 2009 12:37:25 AM

Thread = 3 years old
July 19, 2009 2:17:38 PM

Wow damnit, I just read the whole OP with the biggest WTF look on my face until I then realized someone bumped a 3 year old thread! I was thinking, where is he finding a $2000-$3000 laptop with a Core Duo, 2GB RAM, and a 7600GT.

After reading " Merom is supposed to be coming out in August," I was so confused and then that's when I looked at the date of the post.

So...how did you do in college?

Frozenlead made me laugh also, thanks.
July 6, 2010 6:09:03 AM

Choosing a laptop is a difficult task. Specially for student. I always make my budget, check reviews on internet before buying and then go for the best one.
<a href="http://www.onlinenotebook.com">notebook reviews</a>
July 6, 2010 8:39:45 PM

wat is this doing here?!?!!?
freaked me out......"macbook pro with 2 GB of RAM" LOLWHUT?!?!
August 14, 2010 5:40:00 PM

I would really recommend the Macbook. I purchased it for college and it suits my needs perfectly. It's a great investment and I like that it's visuals are really clear and my battery power is pretty good. I'd also recommend buying a warranty from <a href:"http://www.electronicwarranty.com/"> ElectronicWarranty.com </a>. Their warranties are reasonably priced and are a great insurance against your large laptop investment
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