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Laptop for math software and programming

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  • Laptops
  • Programming
  • Software
  • Product
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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November 18, 2011 4:54:04 AM

Hello all,

Im looking to buy a laptop for running some mathematics software, writing some small programs (probably in c++ & python), and general day to day use - internet browsing (including video steaming), word processing etc.

My priorities are:

Price - no more than £400, the cheaper the better
Battery life & laptop reliability(/durability)
Portability - reasonably small & light
Potential for upgrade
CPU - reasonably fast; no need for multi core
Storage - size not important, but multimedia preferable

I dont want a Mac, and am not too interested in HP after hearing many complaints about overheating.

I wondered if a cheap business laptop would be a good product for my needs.


I realise my requirements are quite specific, so ANY suggestions are welcome and i can weight them up against my needs.


Thanks in advance.

More about : laptop math software programming

November 19, 2011 6:30:22 PM

A Core i5 should definitely be powerful enough. I've been using a Core 2 Duo laptop for the last 3.5 years, doing quite a lot of Matlab work at university. The thing is still good enough for day to day use.

As for durability - I've had no problems with Dell (mine's a Vostro laptop). The business laptops are definitely better - not as much plastic as the ordinary consumer stuff.
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a b D Laptop
November 19, 2011 9:06:28 PM

yes, business laptops are built significantly sturdier than consumer models, but they do come at a higher price range too. If you can find a dell laptop with an i5 that fits your budget, that would be a great buy, I think.

and yea I know what you mean about your old one, I have an old core duo laptop that's on winxp, it's still working quite fine for daily tasks but battery has long died and it tends to get quite hot.
November 19, 2011 9:22:22 PM

Writing software doesn't require nearly as much 'gut' power as running the program you have written. Code is written in text, then compiled. Then it should be ready to run the application. You usually get a compiler with languages, how fast they compile is a combination of RAM and CPU speed. If you're writing 3 million lines of code, I'd think you would want a fairly fast computer. If you're writing 200 lines of code, go get a sandwich while it compiles.
November 20, 2011 3:58:39 PM

[and yea I know what you mean about your old one, I have an old core duo laptop that's on winxp, it's still working quite fine for daily tasks but battery has long died and it tends to get quite hot.[/quotemsg]

Can you get a new battery?
a b D Laptop
November 20, 2011 11:42:43 PM

I could get a new battery, the problem is that there's only 1 battery available for my model and it's very shitty design and basically it's guaranteed to die in 1 year. So, as I'm not too picky, I'm ok with using it not far from the wall jack
!