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Is this a good laptop for a student?

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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
February 4, 2012 6:54:03 PM

I am looking for something light and easy to carry around UCSD all day and that will last me around 3 years. Gaming is NOT a priority, but I might be doing some very light gaming with games such as PlantsVsZombies and SWTOR if it can run it. I am really liking this Inspiron 14z http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-n411z/pd

I would get the $599.99 customization that comes with Intel i5 processor (2.4GHz), 4GB memory, 500 GB hard drive, 14 inch LED display (1366x768). Is this a good choice for the price? I would also get a backlight keyboard and a 3 year warranty with accident protection so the total price would be around $910.

More about : good laptop student

February 4, 2012 7:50:11 PM

Okay, first off those warranties are a complete waste of money. They may give you piece of mind but chances are very good that you will never use them. There's also the fact that integrated graphics are not good to game on, at all. Plants vs Zombies would be okay, but if SWTOR ran at all, I couldn't imagine it being a very fun play. Plus you can just find better deals on laptops on newegg...

Here are my three suggestions for you...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is hands down the most powerful of the 3. It has an i5 with 2.4 Ghz frequency and 4 Gb of Ram. What makes this computer so special is the graphics card. It has a 6650m with 2Gb of dedicated memory. That is going to get you the best gaming out of the three by far. Plus, it has the best resolution 1600x900. Now where this computer kind of falls off for you is that it's a 17" inch screen and weighs 7 pounds. So it is the biggest and the heaviest. I know gaming isn't your largest priority here, but if you're willing to overlook that it's the least mobile of the options this is the one for you.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This one is the cheapest and most underpowered of the three. It's rocking an i3, 4Gb of memory, and a 520m with 1Gb video memory. You're basically taking a performance hit across the entire board to get a more mobile solution. It's a 15.6" screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. I can't testify how well this could play SWTOR, but it certainly would be on lower settings. If you're looking for the lightest and cheapest, while still getting the job done, this is the way to go.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is the middle of the road computer. It has an i5, 4 Gb of memory, and a 6470m graphics with 1Gb of video memory. That video card is not on the same level as the 6650m but is much better than the 520m. It's a small one with the 15.6" screen and a 1366x768 resolution. The only thing about it is that it's by far the most expensive at over $800.


So, a summary if some of this went over your head.
#1 Most powerful by far, but biggest and heaviest.
#2 Lightest and cheapest, but you take a performance hit
#3 Middle of the road, but most expensive by far.
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a b D Laptop
February 4, 2012 7:50:43 PM

If ya can stretch it, I'd like to see you in a Clevo W150HRQ

15.6" 1920 x 1080 Full HD (16:9) LED Backlit Glare Type Display
Intel Core i5-2430M Processor, 2.4 GHz
8GB, PC3-10600/1333Mhz DDR3 - 2 x 4GB
Switchable! nVidia GeForce GT 555M 2GB GDDR3 with Optimus Technology / Intel GMA HD for Power Savin
500GB/7200rpm 16MB Cache Buffer SATA-300 (SATA II 3GB/s)
8X Max. DVD±R/RW Writer/Reader / 4X Max. +DL Super-Mulit Drive
6 Cells 62.16WH Li-ION Battery
Integrated 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth V3.0 Combo
Built-In 2.0M Pixel Digital Video Camera
Built-In Fingerprint Reader
Built-In Gigabit Ethernet LAN Card
Built-In 9-IN-1 Flash Memory Reader(MMC/RSMMC/MS/MS Pro/MS Duo/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC)
2 USB 3.0 Ports
2 USB 2.0 Ports
1 eSATA Port
1 HDMI Output
1 CRT Out Port
1 Kensington Lock Port
Built-in Microphone and 2 Speakers
3 Audio Jacks for Line-Out, Microphone-In, and S/PDIF-Out
1 100/240V Autoswitch AC Power Adapter

I'd get the OS "on campus" where it usually costs $10 otherwise gotta add $80

Total is about $875
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February 4, 2012 8:11:54 PM

Man that first option from NewEgg is a beauty. The thing is that the weight and size is a KILLER. I have to walk back and forth around campus and 7 pounds is nothing fun to be carrying around. I'm 6'1 200 pounds but I'm sure after 20 minutes of walking with that monster in my backpack would surely kill my back. What do you think of the Hp Envy 14?

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/series/category/noteb...

That's a more higher end model I would be willing to get since it's powerful but also only 14 inches and 5 pounds. It's 999.99 but it has some real nice specs, a solid graphics card but its nice and portable that it won't slow me down while I run to class.
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February 4, 2012 9:01:49 PM

Hey thank you so much for that coupon. It REALLY helps out. I'm going to go with the HP ENVY 14
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February 4, 2012 9:41:12 PM

I was looking at the first new egg linked laptop. how does the HP envy 14 compare to that laptop? I play WoW and besides that just general use.
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February 4, 2012 9:49:49 PM

The first one from newegg is MUCH cheaper than the Hp Envy 14 but it comes at a price since it's so huge and heavy. They have roughly the same specs but i guess it all comes down if you want portability or not.
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a c 571 D Laptop
February 4, 2012 9:53:55 PM

Performance wise - nearly identical.
Acer has a slightly better graphics card but it also has the higher resolution 1600x900 LCD screen. More room on the screen but the performance (FPS) will be slightly less despite the better graphics card. IMO that's a fair trade off. Im a big fan of the higher 1600x900 or 1920x1080 resolutions.

In areas of general performance it's going to be vertically identical. Except for battery life where the Acer will lag behind.

Acer Aspire 7750 review not identical model
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February 4, 2012 10:10:47 PM

Thanks, I may be purchasing the Acer. Oh and sorry drcarranco for jacking your post.

One of the feedbacks on the newegg site states this as a con:

"Cons: HOWEVER, I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THE MEMORY. Either Newegg or Acer did not communicate very well about the requirements for this laptop. Yes, it has 4GB of RAM, BUT ON 2 - 2GB STICKS. Hence, no open memory slot. Now instead of having 8GB of RAM, with the extra 4GB of RAM I bought seperately, I have 6GB of RAM. Not that I wouldn't have purchased 2 - 4GB sticks, had I known ahead of time, but now I will have to pay an extra amount for the RAM and probably shipping."

I am a newb when it comes to computer hardware. What does he mean? is having 4 gb on 2 sticks a bad thing? should i purchase more ram when i get the laptop?
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a c 571 D Laptop
February 4, 2012 10:17:31 PM

It means the only upgrade route is take remove one, or both of the 2GB sticks installed.

It's more about the person writing the review (he screwed up) than about the notebook itself. 4GB (2x2) is 'normal' and should be expected in a budget notebook.
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February 4, 2012 10:26:47 PM

It's not a problem man. I am personally getting the HP Envy 14 because that coupon really did wonders for me.
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a c 571 D Laptop
February 4, 2012 10:30:16 PM

The size/weight/style factor is really in favor of the Envy.
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February 4, 2012 10:55:19 PM

that deal is hard to pass up but weight and size is not too much of an issue for me. only traveling the laptop will do is go back and forth between rooms in the house. although i am a sucker for deals...
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