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Laptop for College (Computer Science)

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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May 5, 2012 5:19:59 PM

Hey everyone, another laptop seeker here.

I'm going to be a CS student this fall, and I'm starting to look for laptops to watch as the prices jump around this summer.

I was thinking I'd pick up a 20something inch monitor and use it in portrait for doing some coding in my dorm. This is why I'd like to keep the price down a bit, to allow for some money for the monitor.


1. What is your budget? 1,000 starts to be a little much, but not out of the question. Probably about 1300 max (prefer to be under 1000 though)


2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 13" but a lightweight 14 or 15 isn't out of the question


3. What screen resolution do you want? 1600x900 on a 13 would be nice, never seen FHD on a 15, so not so sure about that


4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portable, I don't think I'll really need desktop power


5. How much battery life do you need? More the merrier! I'm used to a desktop, so I spend a lot of time on my pc, not used to worrying about battery life


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)? Probably some HL2, TF2, Guild Wars (GW2 when it comes out), League of Legends, Civ4, Just Cause 2 (I realize it's a little intense)


7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Probably end up doing some sound recording, maybe basic video work. Mainly coding


8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? 320gig is plenty, I'll bring my 1tb and stick it in an external bay if need be


9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Amazon, Lenovo, I'm not too picky as long as it's a name brand that is legit. Cheaper is always nice.


10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 4 years of college would be nice, but I might be able to upgrade after 3 if need be


11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc? DVD writer is standard and good enough for my needs


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. HP really isn't my thing, haven't seen their latest laptops though, kind of against them. I like lenovo and I'm okay with dells.


13. What country do you live in? US


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.


I need a good keyboard. If the keyboard is too shallow, too cramped, I'll be pissed. I have big hands, and they need space. I like typing on my microsoft comfort curve 2000.

The battery has to be more than 4 hours. That's way too short. I think I could live with 6, but that's still short.

Screen. I like nice screens. The x220 has an IPS :D  It's beautiful.



So far, I've kind of been thinking about a Lenovo x220, comes to about 900. (I'd buy another 4gig stick off newegg for 20 bucks and get 8gigs of ram total) I'll probably use the eraser stick or my Logitech MX Performance mouse when I'm at a desk.

Intel Core i5-2520M Processor (3M Cache, 2.50GHz)
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
12.5" Premium HD (1366x768) LED Backlit Display, IPS, Mobile Broadband Ready, 2x2 Antenna
Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor graphics with dynamic frequency
4 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz SODIMM Memory (1 DIMM)
720p HD Camera
320GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm
9 Cell Li-Ion Battery
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 AGN


Thoughts?
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 5, 2012 5:26:58 PM

i am not all that with notebook knowledge, though i do know if you really care to do any gaming something with an option that is better than the HD 3000. even an ivy bridge processor with HD 4000 would be an improvement and also battery life.
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May 5, 2012 5:55:57 PM

I won't be buying until the summer, when many notebooks will have ivy bridge in them, so the HD 4000 will likely be in my choices.
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 5, 2012 6:01:41 PM

Project X said:
I won't be buying until the summer, when many notebooks will have ivy bridge in them, so the HD 4000 will likely be in my choices.

i have found this site useful when researching folks questions about lappys.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/
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May 5, 2012 6:47:31 PM

Look for an ultrabook with ivy bridge. I like samsung series 9 but its not updated to ivy yet.
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May 6, 2012 4:04:56 AM

daship said:
Look for an ultrabook with ivy bridge. I like samsung series 9 but its not updated to ivy yet.


None of the ultrabooks I have tried out have keyboards that I like. They're not even close. The keys are all too mushy and too shallow. As I stated before in my post, they keyboard is a deal-breaker for me.
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May 6, 2012 4:14:02 AM

Buy a keyboard separate, you never going to find one you like compared to your microsoft comfort curve 2000. You said your buying a extra monitor. Maybe just get a desktop and call it good.

If you buy a 13" you won't ever like the keyboard.
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May 6, 2012 4:29:28 AM

I would also wait until we see what kind of price/performance AMD's Trinity comes in at. It's CPU power will be good enough for anything you do (yes i know its not faster than ivy bridge, but not a dealbreaker), but its IGP is going to be at least 2x as fast as intels 4000HD, and if you get one w/ a dedicated GPU as well it's crossfire solution will allow you to game quite a bit better than a similar priced ivy bridge laptop.

just my 2 cents

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May 6, 2012 5:00:23 AM

dont get a laptop that you can play games on. it leads to bad study habits. take it from an engineering who had to study more then others.
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May 6, 2012 4:19:51 PM

daship said:
Buy a keyboard separate, you never going to find one you like compared to your microsoft comfort curve 2000. You said your buying a extra monitor. Maybe just get a desktop and call it good.

If you buy a 13" you won't ever like the keyboard.


I disagree. I like the mbp 13" keyboard that my girlfriend has. Lenovo thinkpads, like the x220, have killer keyboards. Dunno if you've ever tried one, but they're awesome. Basically the best laptop keyboard I've ever used.

I think I'll probably end up playing a game or two with friends on the weekends, but I'm not going to waste my study time playing. I just want to be able to play some tf2 or something with more than 20fps
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May 6, 2012 7:22:02 PM

Project X said:
I disagree. I like the mbp 13" keyboard that my girlfriend has. Lenovo thinkpads, like the x220, have killer keyboards. Dunno if you've ever tried one, but they're awesome. Basically the best laptop keyboard I've ever used.

I think I'll probably end up playing a game or two with friends on the weekends, but I'm not going to waste my study time playing. I just want to be able to play some tf2 or something with more than 20fps


we all say that though. been there done that.
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May 15, 2012 10:57:16 PM

Would it be better to get a Lenovo t420 or a t520 instead of the x220? I kind of want to have a portable laptop, and they're much bigger than the x220. The do come in around $100 cheaper though, and I can get the 1600x900 res screen.

I'm thinking of bringing my desktop, which would really make the x220 an attractive choice, but then I start to wonder if I should just pick up a cheaper e430 or something, and upgrade my desktop some (build about 2.5 years ago)
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