Debating on Desktop Replacement or Desktop + Laptop

I'm going off to college within the next five months, studying Computer Science. I'm torn between building a system, around $1500.00 - $2000.00, and purchasing a $1000.00 laptop -OR- purchasing a $2500.00 laptop which would offer the capabilities of mobility as well as providing the ability to utilize an external monitor, keyboard, mouse, HDD, et cetera.

I'm not willing to spend much more than $3500.00 for either setup (and preferably less for the desktop replacement route). Which option would be the most cost efficient for the next four to eight years of student life? My primary uses will be medium-level gaming, CS4, programming, and MSOffice. Finally, if you would be willing please provide examples of laptops that would be suitable for the following needs...

120 Gigabyte HDD Minimum
Dual-layer DVD Burner Blu-Ray preferred
12-17-inch display
2 Gigabytes of RAM
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  1. I highly suggest you build a desktop and opt for a netbook :bounce:

    Depending on the netbook you will have alot of cash left over for your desktop and really have a strong gaming pc and super portable pc

    I suggest going with MSI....nothing beats osx for under 400$ ;)

    But if you must settle for a 12 inch then dell is about to pounce with a new higher resolution netbook
  2. My original intentions was a gaming rig with a netbook. However, from the few netbooks I've gotten my hands on, I'm not too impressed. The terribly small keyboard is the biggest turn off, not to mention a tiny-ass screen.

    I assume you're referring to the U100? How is the keyboard?
  3. Honestly, you could build a very sufficient gaming desktop for between $1000-1500, compared to about 2 grand for a suitable gaming laptop. I would build your desktop and then buy a 13.3'' laptop or something like that. A laptop of that size will still pack a decent punch, but it won't be tiny like those 10'' netbooks.
  4. I'm also thinking about buying a high-end laptop. I went to the Sony store today and saw a VGN-AW290.

    Intel Core™ 2 Duo Processor P8600 (2.40GHz)
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
    2GB DDR2-SDRAM (DDR2-800, 2GBx1)
    320GB SATA Hard Disk Drive [7200 rpm]
    CD/DVD Burning Drive
    XBRITE-FullHD™ (1920x1080) with Adobe® RGB color management
    TV Tuner
    WLAN (802.11a/b/g/n) with integrated Bluetooth technology
    Standard Battery

    faster CPU
    up to 8 GB RAM
    up to 1TB hard drive
    Blu-ray Disc™ Read and Write Drive

    I don't work for SONY, I just happen to notice that particular laptop. Also on my list:

    HP HDX 18
  5. Right now I'm seriously looking at the HP Pavilion dv3510nr, and building $1500-$2000 desktop.

    HP Pavilion dv3510nr:
    CPU: 2.0-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350
    RAM Included: 4GB
    RAM Upgradable: 8GB
    Hard Drive Size: 320GB
    Hard Drive Speed: 5,400rpm
    Hard Drive Type: SATA Hard Drive
    Optical Drive Type: DVD+/-RW DL
    Optical Drive Speed: 8X
    Display Size: 13.3
    Native Resolution: 1280x800
    Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 9300M
    Video Memory: 512MB
    Wi-Fi: 802.11a/g/n
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.0
    Operating System: MS Windows Vista Home Premium (64 bit)
    Ports (excluding USB): Dual Headphone; Ethernet; HDMI; Microphone; Modem; USB/eSATA; VGA
    USB Ports: 2
    Card Slots / Readers: 5-1 card reader; ExpressCard
    Warranty/Support: Two-year parts and labor/24/7 toll-free phone
    Size: 12.6 x 9.0 x 1.4 inches
    Weight: 4.8 pounds
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