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14 year old guy - need advice on high school laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 7, 2011 8:03:39 PM

Hey forum-people! Please bear with me; I usually have a perfectly reasonable counter to anything you say.

I'm 14, I built my desktop last year, and I'm ready for a laptop.

I'm torn between a few Macs and a Sony, but I'm open to suggestions.

This will be my primary computer, and 13" seems to be the perfect size for me.

It will need to last about 3 years, and have SOME resale value then.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC374LL/A?mco=MjEwNzU...
If I got this one, I would replace the hard drive with something bigger.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC503LL/A?mco=MjEwNTg...
This seems very plausible, as for about $200 I could get a wireless N bridge for my room and hook up a network drive so only I could access my 1TB of data. I would also have the portability, and enough space for everything except media.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SYCT...
If I got this, I would have Sony build it with either the 750GB HDD and everything else stock,
OR
Upgrade that (750gb) to having a Blu-Ray PLAYER,
OR
Upgrade the processor to the i7 and the graphics to the 6630 and upgrade the hard drive to the 500gb (7200rpm).

http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MC700LL/A?mco=MjEyO...
I would install my own hard drive in this case as well.
There's been some talk of loud fans due to high temperatures that the 2010 did not suffer from...

No matter what I buy, I will also be purchasing this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I will also be buying this.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Xbox+-+360+4GB+Refurbished+...

Here is how I would have everything set up.
Laptop + XBox - both HDMI
into a 3 HDMI switcher
into the monitor's HDMI port (carrying audio)
with the monitor's headphone jack sending audio to my stereo system

That seems to be pretty ideal, as I use full HD for the XBox's picture (and no VGA adapter (with blurred text) and separate audio cable (to have to switch everything manually)).


Right now, I use my desktop (built for gaming) for everything. I have no XBox or game console, no laptop, etc.

I will use the laptop for general schoolwork, some games I already own on steam (TF2, HL2, Portal, etc.), watching videos, syncing my iPod, etc.

The XBox will be my main source of gaming, and if I opt for the network hard drive, I will be able to watch video right from there.


I will be using my own $70 wireless N bridge since my family only has 3 (THREE) mbps DSL and a wireless G router. I will have the family router send the signal to my router, then have my router hooked up to my xbox, hard drive, and laptop (for optimal streaming).

Router:
http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DAP-1522-GigaBit-Selectabl...

Hard Drive (network):
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Network-Attached-...

Hard Drive (internal):
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-2-5-Inch-Internal...

HDMI Switcher 1:
http://www.amazon.com/Ultra-High-Performance-Switcher-S...

HDMI Switcher 2:
http://www.amazon.com/HDMI-1-Out-Auto-Switch-Cable/dp/B...

Sorry for the tremendous post, but I'm not the average teenager.

Thanks everybody in advance!
April 7, 2011 8:16:15 PM

May as well add this...

I am looking to get my wife a new laptop to replace the disappointing Mini 1012 I got her last year.

1. What is your budget? $1400

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 13"-14"

3. What screen resolution do you want? More is better, but not a key factor. The Air has the best.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Must be portable. Less than 5 pounds. About or less than an inch thick.

5. How much battery life do you need? A minimum of 5 hours. Preferably about 7 hours.

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)? Just some outdated games. Nothing hardcore. Team Fortress 2, Half Life 2, Portal, Portal 2, maybe some Call Of Duty. Nothing like Crysis or Bad Company 2. I'll play at whatever settings I'm happy with.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? Basic typing, some gaming, media consumption, maybe get into some video editing, but nothing major.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Ive got that figured out in the OP... Its complicated...

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Amazon.com, Apple.com, Newegg.com, retail.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? A MINIMUM of 2.5 years. Anything longer than 3 is fine. The Macs will last plenty. They're built to last.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? I can't remember the last time I used mine... Doesn't really matter to me. I guess I could get an external USB DVD drive if needed.

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. Apple, ASUS, Sony are good. Acer seems chinsy, I have my own personal reasons for never buying another Dell, HP has awful failure rates.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. I've given plenty of information already.
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a c 571 D Laptop
April 7, 2011 8:37:02 PM

Your apple store links aren't working.
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April 7, 2011 8:38:52 PM

WR2 said:
Your apple store links aren't working.


Thats almost definitely because I have the generic education discount. Lets see if I can find the normal ones.

Thanks for posting by the way.
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a c 571 D Laptop
April 7, 2011 9:04:11 PM

I guess you probably won't be interested in a 3D gaming laptop?
$1160 for a Sandy Bridge quad core CPU, 1920x1080 3D display with Radeon HD 6850M Graphics.
Probably won't meet your minimum battery life span requirement though.
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April 7, 2011 9:13:21 PM

As tempting as that 3D laptop is, its HUGE!!! And if I were to buy something as big as that, I may as well stick with my desktop. The biggest I would go is 15", and I actually prefer NOT having the number pad, as it really reduces the potential size of the rest of the keyboard, which makes 13" and 14" laptops a better choice for me.
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a c 571 D Laptop
April 7, 2011 9:54:06 PM

bobothetwit said:
I am looking to get my wife a new laptop to replace the disappointing Mini 1012 I got her last year.


What timeline are you looking at for getting the laptop?
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April 7, 2011 9:55:14 PM

Sorry... but I NEVER said that... and I don't have a wife...

I'll be buying it as soon as I can sell my desktop.
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a c 571 D Laptop
April 7, 2011 10:03:53 PM

I figured you copy/pasted the format from another topic.

The reason I asked about the timeline for getting the new laptop:
Samsung lappy heralds updated MacBook Air and other rumors of the Mac Book Air refresh.
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April 7, 2011 10:56:38 PM

Haha I stole it from someone else's post. Didn't notice I included that :) 

I guess I could wait for summer... It would be well worth it...

And I have to find someone to buy my desktop. Any experience with selling things on this forum?
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a c 571 D Laptop
April 7, 2011 11:40:46 PM

If the Air and 13" Macbook Pro get a Sandy Bridge refresh in June I agree it's worth the wait.
AMD is shipping the new Llano APUs for a summer launch as well. I think by the time Apples does the Air refrech we should know a lot more
about what type of performance they offer compared to the Sandy Bridge options.

If you want to offer up your desktop for sale you can list it in the Deals section of the forum.
Ebay is a useful tool in figuring out what a reasonable asking price would be and should give you some ideas about doing an Ebay listing of your own.
You might have better luck and avoid the hassle of shipping working with a local edition of Craigslist or other local advertising.
Don't forget to use good security practices to avoid scams, etc, etc.
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April 7, 2011 11:45:04 PM

The 13" Pro already got the sandy bridge refresh... In march...

Thank's for the advice for selling. I'll check out Craig's List later tonight.

I will surely wait for the next Air in June if it has Sandy Bridge, as long as heat is not an issue.

I guess you meant Macbook, not MBP. I might actually get the 2010 Air after the 2011 comes out, if I don't like the design. I'll know when I get there. Time to wait for June...
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April 8, 2011 3:43:51 AM

I think you better look at these choices...
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April 8, 2011 5:29:54 AM

bobothetwit said:
Sorry... but I NEVER said that... and I don't have a wife...

I'll be buying it as soon as I can sell my desktop.



you mean your parents will be buying the laptop?

but seriously why waste the money on a xbox and a laptop when you already have a desktop. by no means does a high schooler need a laptop. but i supposed you have a reason.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 8, 2011 9:26:52 PM

I know it's a waste of money, and I'd much rather just keep the desktop and buy an xbox.

But the reason I insist on a laptop is my parents. I'm sick of them. Even my being on another forum, my mom comes up to me and as what that "email chat thing is" and asks who everybody is. I'm getting a laptop to have a computer in my room. I have it in the middle of my family room now. Very annoying.

Sorry thats huge and I'm set on something sub-15".
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April 8, 2011 11:41:59 PM

Plus all my friends have XBox Live and have no idea of the wonders computer gaming can bring. Sub-par graphics are fine for them.

One of my friends uses the XBox component (Red, White, Yellow) cable with his HDTV and thinks it looks better than the PS3 I had a year or 2 ago hooked up via HDMI.


People are stupid. Hope I don't become one of them.
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April 19, 2011 12:11:17 AM

Best answer selected by bobothetwit.
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a c 244 D Laptop
April 19, 2011 7:01:54 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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