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Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
January 18, 2008 11:47:51 PM

Well, for my 18th birthday my gift is to be a laptop/notebook that I can use for college. That's not until August, but I'm trying to look around now so I can pick it. Unfortunately, I don't speak the specs chargin so I don't know what any of it really means other than a few basics. Thus why I'm here. I would love some help even if it's just a point in a brand or product's direction.

While I know little, I can try to give you some inkling as to what I'm thinking I'll use it for. I'll, of course, use if for word processing and such school assignments. I do like games so I may play something like Black and White 2 or Star Wars Galactic Battle Ground. The first one is pretty graphics intensive. I like to play around with Photoshop too. It's for leisure and not for professional use. Basically, I need something that isn't too expensive (not in the thousands), can handle school projects, has pretty good graphics, some gaming and hopefully last at least four years.

I was searching around the main site and the forum for a while but I couldn't understand most of it. :sweat:  Sorry for my lack of knowledge, I hope you can help me a little. Thanks either way.

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January 19, 2008 10:48:40 PM

What is budget? For the gaming and photos you'll need more than $800 laptop because for gaming you'll want better graphics and more powerful CPU for photo processing. The Dell XPS 1530 would be a good start. At least the video card isn't entry level but don't know how it'll work for gaming. 160GB hdd really depends on how much space you need. Would get at least 50% than you currently are using. I add buetooth, the next level up for the wireless, comes with 2GB of RAM, a level or 2 on the CPU. Be around $1300 - $1400. If your looking at a higher end video card for gaming looking at $1550 - $1600 or up.
January 19, 2008 11:48:14 PM

Well, it doesn't need sublime graphics or anything like that. I was hoping for something that wasn't in the thousands since my family is getting it. I already knew laptops were expensive, maybe I'm in sticker shock, so I'm not asking for anything else, but it's still a lot of money. I'm just a general user and if I couldn't play something really intense like Black and White 2 I'd live.

Edit: So, I've spoken to my parents and it seems I'm just in sticker shock. I knew they were expensive just not that expensive. :sweat:  Anyway, I'll take a look at those. Thanks for your help g-paw.
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January 20, 2008 1:51:10 AM

If you could give a budget, could make some suggestions. Can get a decent laptop for $700 - $800 or less. Obviously the higher the better but it is what it is
January 20, 2008 2:05:12 AM

I'd love to give you a budget, but they're not being very specific. They're just saying they knew it was expensive, that they want it to last me through college and that they don't want to spend a small fortune on it. I'm willing to bet no more than $2000.
January 20, 2008 6:31:17 AM

Alright, well, if you're not into gaming, just look for a nice one with a Core 2 Duo T7XXX, 2 gigs of RAM minimum, and a nice big hard drive that preferably runs at 7200RPM.

Do you have certain needs for it? There's small and portable 13" - 14" models up to 17" models. Is weight important? Is battery life important?

As for certain laptop models, there's Dell, HP, that kind of thing. Depends where you want to buy from, or if you have a preference. Other members on the forum can help you out a lot more.
January 20, 2008 1:35:15 PM

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7500 (2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB, 4MB Cache) edit
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition edit
LCD AND CAMERA Glossy, widescreen 15.4 inch LCD (1280x800) & 2.0 MP Camera edit
MEMORY 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz (2 Dimms) edit
HARD DRIVE Size: 160GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive edit
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE Slot Load DVD+/-RW (DVD/CD read/write) edit
VIDEO CARD 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT edit
WIRELESS CARDS Dell Wireless 1490 802.11a/g Mini Card edit
BLUETOOTH OPTIONS Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth Internal (2.0+Enhanced Data Rate) edit
BATTERY OPTIONS 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery edit
SOUND OPTIONS High Definition Audio 2.0

This Dell 1530 comes to $1344 and comes with a 2 yr warranty The upgrades over the base are 2.2. CPU vs 2.0, which today is free, the wireless card is $10, the Bluestooth option $20, and Battery $50. Moving up to a 250GB hdd would be $100 but unless you need the storage now, it's easy enough to upgrade the hdd later if necessary. It should easily handle your school work unless you get into courses that require very CPU intensive programs, which would not likely happen until your junior year and obviously depends on your major, which will likely change several times before you're a junior. You almost have to check Dell daily given they are always having specials. The price is reasonable given you want to get 4 years out of it and you'll be in college, heavy usage. It might be worth extending the warranty by a year, laptops are one of the few items worth extending the warranty. Make sure you have it covered under some kind of theft insurance. This machine will play games but the level of resolution will depend on the game. It will also handle photo editing. Given you want the machine to last 4 years, I think it's good to look at it as a long term investment. If you don't need it till next year, I'd wait for mid summer to buy it given it will be less expensive, prices are always going down. It may have a different model number but similar specs will still apply.