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New laptop for college

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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January 24, 2011 11:33:30 PM

I'm starting college in the fall, and I'm looking for a new laptop. When would be the best time to buy a new laptop? In the spring or in the fall? Anyway, here's what I'm looking for:

1. What is your budget?
Under $1500 or so

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
I don't want a size that is too small, or too big. However, I hopefully will have a monitor to hook up to the laptop. This monitor will either be a 22" or 24". So this will contribute to the screen size.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
With the monitor that I will hopefully hook up, I want to run at least 1920x1200.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
I'm looking for at a desktop replacement which is not too hard to carry around, if that makes any sense.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Above average, if that is possible with the configuration that I'm looking at. But not too short.

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)?
I hope to be able to play games on this laptop. I want to be able to play games such as Age of Empires III, Starcraft II, and World of Warcraft on medium-high settings. I want to have decent FPS while playing WoW.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
I plan to have this laptop be my main media source, so I want it to be able to be powerful enough to watch movies in good clarity.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
A 500g hard drive should be big enough. 1TB would be fantastic, but that would make the price of the laptop quite a bit more expensive.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
None so far.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
I want to keep this laptop though college, and hopefully for a while after.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
I want a DVD ROM/Writer. I'm not especially interested in blu-ray.

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.
I don't want to own a Mac, as those are quite overpriced. I want to try to stay from Dell, as I haven't had much luck with them over the past few years. Their quality has gone downhill over the past decade. At least that is how I experienced them. Although if the laptops that are rated high and fit my specifications, I'd consider it. Don't put Dell completely out of the running quite yet.

13. What country do you live in?
I live in the United States.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I also will be doing some music composing on this laptop, and the programs and instruments I use will require a great amount of RAM and processing power. If I'm gaming, this will already be there, but I thought I'd put it out there just in case.


Any help with this would be great. Hopefully I provided enough information for you guys to make a good recommendation. If the price goes over by a little, it wouldn't be that much of a problem, but I hope to keep this as cheap as possible.

Thanks!

More about : laptop college

January 25, 2011 11:24:24 AM

This is a plus one for Maziar's post. Once again I am sorry that he beat me to this.

I myself am planning to purchase this laptop. It is lighter and has a better battery than its predecessor - The Clevo W860CU (forgot its Sager name) - and has good extras such as HDMI for your movies, eSata and USB 3.0 for external devices and has excellent build quality.

This laptop is better than its other branded equivelants (such as the ASUS G53JW and Dell XPS laptops).

Also, the graphics card is one of the best laptop cards currently out there. For example, it is supposed to be able to run Battlefield Bad Company 2 on the "Ultra" setting. This is just one example of the fact that it will last you a long time. If you were to get something that only suited your needs now, then it may become redundant in the near future and you will want to get something better in the next 12-18 months.

One such example would be the following:
The new Intel Core iX series processors made with the new Sandy Bridge architecture were not even announced until late last year, a couple months before they were released. Until then, the original (Armadale, I think) i7 CPUs were the fastest, though someone who bought a laptop in October would now be kicking themselves for spending so much only to see it surpassed so quickly.

What I am saying is that it would be smart to get the "best" now, so that it will take a few more years than the average laptop before it becomes the "worst".

Anyway, good luck with whatever you choose.
-Klosteral
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January 25, 2011 12:11:11 PM

Songs_of_the_wind said:
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
I'm looking for at a desktop replacement which is not too hard to carry around, if that makes any sense.
You can help us out more, can't you? What is the maximum size and weight you're willing to tote around?

Does your budget also include the cost of an external monitor?
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January 26, 2011 7:52:08 PM

WR2 said:
You can help us out more, can't you? What is the maximum size and weight you're willing to tote around?

Does your budget also include the cost of an external monitor?



I guess the maximum size would have to be around 15x11x1.5 or so. As for the weight, nothing more than 5-6 pounds.

Also, I already have the external monitor. The budget is entirely for the laptop itself.
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January 27, 2011 12:03:40 AM

Typically, when we say size we mean the screen size of your laptop. It is understandable that that does not mean much to you as you have an external monitor, though you still may wish to consider that size.

As for performance, you will not get anything with decent performance that weighs less than 6 pounds. The Sager NP8130 that Maziar linked weighs 6.83lbs with the battery pack in, with dimensions of 14.80" (w) x 10.08" (d) x 1.38" ~ 1.69" (h). This is actually small and light for its performance. The equivilent ASUS model - the G53 - weighs in at 7.5lbs, with dimensions of 15"x11.42"x2.36". The whole "desktop replacement" concept is a laptop that is perhaps not the easiest to move about, having the performance power of a desktop computer.

The resolution that is displayed through your external screen is dependent on your external screen. Your graphics card should be able to output any resolution, but your screen needs to have enough pixels to take it.

I would say you cannot go wrong with any of the Sager models from Xotic PC. You just need to choose the one with the best performance-weight-price to suit you.
http://www.xoticpc.com/custom-gaming-laptops-notebooks-...

-Klosteral
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January 27, 2011 1:07:51 AM

Those Xotic laptops look good, with the specs that I'm looking for. Now it is a question on how reliable and durable they are.

How long does this brand of laptop typically last? Hardware and durability wise. I don't want to have to go through the trouble of sending it back and forth together fix every often. I want a laptop that I can keep through my college career, without it becoming too troublesome and slow to work with.
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January 27, 2011 6:49:14 AM

In my opinion, Clevo/Sager are best built laptops. I think that they roll over Dell, ASUS, MSI and Lenovo...
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January 27, 2011 9:45:26 AM

Well go for sager nothing beats it at that price point........
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January 27, 2011 4:20:43 PM

http://www.powernotebooks.com/Sager-NP51600-gaming-lapt...

sager all the way. getting mine in a few weeks when i get my w2's. cant wait. and starting at 750$ you cant go wrong. optimus is a very nice feature as well as is the new sandy bridge cpu. in my minf buying a dell or hp over a sager or prostar is just foolish.
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