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Need laptop for college (Engineering)

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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May 10, 2010 7:26:45 PM

I'm heading off to college in the Fall, and am thinking about a new laptop. Here is the school's recommended spec list for new computers.

My current system: Dell Vostro 1500
1.4 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 120 GB HDD, 2GB DDR2, nVidia 8600gt video card, 15.4" LCD screen.

1_What is your budget?
$700-$1300 (lower is better, obviously :sol:  )

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
14"-16"

3_What screen resolution do you want?
1,366-by-768 (or better)

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Lighter is better, but anything under 8 pounds is alright.

5_How much battery life do you need?
Four hours, minimum.

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Yes, Supreme Commander FA and Sins of a Solar Empire on High settings.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Programming, number-crunching, paper writing/research, etc.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
120GB, minimum.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
None yet. Newegg or a manufacturer's site most likely.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
It need to last a minimum of four years (while I'm in college)

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD-RW Drive, Blu-Ray would be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker. Lightscribe (or similar) would be nice, too.

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
No strong preferences, but I do like Alienware.

13_What country do you live in?
USA

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I was considering the Alienware m11x, but the ULV core 2 CPU was a red flag. I don't mind paying a slight premium now to be sure that this laptop will still be decently usable through 2014, if not beyond.

The HP Envy 14 looks like it has potential, but I'm open to any other ideas. The Alienware m15x was another I looked at, but it's a bit on the heavy side and doesn't have (from what I've read) great battery life.

Also, I'd really like a back-lit keyboard. (that was a big draw on the Alienware models I mentioned.)

Thanks in advance!

Best solution

a c 244 D Laptop
May 10, 2010 8:37:11 PM

First of all,there are no laptops that can play Supreme Commander FA and Sins of a Solar Empire on High settings with 4hrs of battery life,so you have to sacrifice one of them.
ASUS G60VX meets your requirements with the exception of battery life
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+with+Intel%26...
AW M15x is good too,but it weights 9 lbs
Another good option would SAGER NP8690 which has excellent specs
http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8690-built-clevo-w860cu-...
But the battery life is like 1hr
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May 12, 2010 10:33:05 PM

Thanks for your post, Maziar!

Best Buy doesn't seem to have the G60VX, but they do have the Asus G60JX, which looks awesome for $899. (Core i5 + 1GB DDR5 GTS 360M + ~2.5 hr battery life)
I'll probably wait another month or two before I make a purchase though, and see if any good "back-to-school" deals come up.
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a b D Laptop
May 12, 2010 11:38:07 PM

The Asus laptops are great choices.....for CAD, the Clevo W860CU is a good start....there are many Clevo dealers in the US such as this one:

http://www.pro-star.com/index.cfm?mainpage=productdetai...

If you are about to say you never heard of Clevo, I'd answer that anyone you likely heard of doesn't actually make a laptop. The vast majority of laptops on the market are manufactured by a small handful of Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) and sold to major mass market vendors.

Major relationships include:

* Quanta sells to (among others) HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu, Acer, NEC, Gateway and Lenovo/IBM - note that Quanta is currently (as of August, 2007) the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world.
* Compal sells to Toshiba, HP/Compaq, Acer, and Dell.
* Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to HP/Compaq, Dell, IBM, NEC, Acer, and Lenovo/IBM.
* Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP/Compaq, NEC, and Dell.
* ECS sells to IBM, Fujitsu, and Dell.
* Asus sells to Apple (iBook), Sony, and Samsung.
* Inventec sells to HP/Compaq, Toshiba, and BenQ.
* Uniwill sells to Lenovo/IBM and Fujitsu.
* Clevo sells to Alienware (Pre Dell), WidowPC, Sager, Falconorthwest, VoddoPC and most boutique vendors


For more about Clevo ....
http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo/91510-clevo...

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a c 244 D Laptop
May 13, 2010 9:44:06 AM

Yrahcaz91 said:
Thanks for your post, Maziar!

Best Buy doesn't seem to have the G60VX, but they do have the Asus G60JX, which looks awesome for $899. (Core i5 + 1GB DDR5 GTS 360M + ~2.5 hr battery life)
I'll probably wait another month or two before I make a purchase though, and see if any good "back-to-school" deals come up.

oops yes i meant G60JX :D (it has a great price/performance ratio)but i don't think its battery life is 2.5hrs,i think its something like 1hrs and 30mins or a little more
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May 30, 2010 5:45:47 PM

Best answer selected by Yrahcaz91.
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May 30, 2010 5:56:01 PM

Thank you both very much! Good to know about Clevo, JackNaylorPE. I'll be referring back to your post in the future.

Maziar, sorry it took so long to hit the "best answer" button. My internet connection has been sporadic the last few weeks...
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a c 244 D Laptop
May 30, 2010 6:01:25 PM

ow no problem :)  that's not an issue,i hope you enjoy what you get
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