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Notebooks Best laptop for college?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by myusername, 12 Jul 2009.

  1. myusername

    myusername New Member

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    Hello guys, i'm searching for a laptop to buy for college and i'm having trouble choosing one. I'd like to know based on facts, your opinion/ personal experience which company has the best technical support/ customer service and makes the best products (specifically laptops). I have 800 USD (about 500 Pounds) to spend.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2009
  2. chocolateraisins

    chocolateraisins :D

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    Gaming Laptops at Novatech

    They look pretty much like the alienware ones, are asus, and look pretty good.

    If your only going a few miles away, like I do for Uni, I recommend just getting a desktop. You will only use your laptop for libary trips.. and thats pretty rare too in the first year.

    Forget bringing it to lectures or seminars, you just look like an idiot.

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. myusername

    myusername New Member

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    thanks and i'm actually boarding out for college so a laptop, in my opinion, would be essential, also i forgot to mention that i'm in the US so your UK prices will even be more over here and my budget is only about 800..
     
  4. chocolateraisins

    chocolateraisins :D

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    You may want to wait a bit for more people to reply, my last laptop was the Asus z71v which was pretty good until it died :'(

    I'm very biased towards Asus laptops.. and they seem to be used by most major manufacturers I think, such as Alienware.

    If you can, you could go down the barebones route, like i did with the Z71V, but they are hard to find these days.
     
  5. myusername

    myusername New Member

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    yeah i was just thanking you for the speedy reply, i'm very skeptical when it comes to these things so i'm waiting for as many responses as possible
     
  6. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

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    I have an Asus X58L laptop and it's brilliant bar two flaws...

    1. It uses Vista Business
    2. Trying to find any Asus drivers on their website is hard... very hard

    Otherwise I've never had any issues with mine
     
  7. wuyanxu

    wuyanxu still wants Homeworld 3

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    800USD is a bit low for a laptop isn't it? i mean, netbooks are already around 500 mark.

    library? what's that? in my 3 years, i've never actually been to the library to read books. and i still managed to get myself 3% less of first class honour.
    (but then, with Electronics, resources are mostly available online)

    if you haven't got a netbook, in UK, taking laptop to lectures does look like a idiot. nothing to do apart from look at notes which are already been projected.
     
  8. oasked

    oasked Stuck in the Mud

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  9. hotnikkelz

    hotnikkelz New Member

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    HP > dell, so head in that direction.
     
  10. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    My friends HP laptop has died 3 times in 2 years due to overheating, so Im inclined not to agree.
    I like Acer's personally, so that is the route I would take.
     
  11. DarkBanana

    DarkBanana New Member

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    Depends what you want to use it for. If it's only college work (word, ppt, exel, email and internet) maybe a netbook is good enough? There are also quite a few pentium 1.83 GHz laptops out there for 400 Pounds.

    Also, have you though of Apple? I know they are evil and expensive but they offer a student discount in the UK.
     
  12. oasked

    oasked Stuck in the Mud

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    Not going to happen for $800.
     
  13. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    Dell are superb for cheap lappies.

    Chassis quality is decent so they tend to last well.

    Support is top notch too.
     
  14. DarkBanana

    DarkBanana New Member

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    The student discount is quite significant here in the UK. It really takes some of the premium off the apples.

    Just some things to bear in mind from lessons I learnt while laptop hunting:

    You pay for smaller size (might not be so much of an issue at your price range)

    Sony, Fuji and Apple all charge a slight premium on their computers. My rough estimate is about 20%

    Overseas prices don't compare well

    tbh, I have never really found tech support to be very useful and it varies from country to country.

    At that price range, you won't be able to play any games realistically. Also, screens are important! You can't change it around and you'll be looking at it everyday. I'd suggest going to a store and having a look at them 1st...

    But it all comes down to what you want to use it for and how portable you want it to be :)
     
  15. myusername

    myusername New Member

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    Well 800 is what i have now, i can get more money if i see something i like that is more than that, i want my laptop to be very portable (around 4 maybe 5 pounds) and i will be using it for mostly college work and some entertainment but i highly doubt i will be doing any gaming, anyways i agree that going into a store is probably the best thing to do so i'm gonna go to best buy sometime over the next few weeks to see what they got, i just wanted to get a good idea of what to look for first (reputable brands, important features, and etc.)
     
  16. myusername

    myusername New Member

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    I think i can get something pretty decent for 800, but if it comes down to it i can get more money though.
     
  17. DarkBanana

    DarkBanana New Member

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    One thing to watch out for with discounts is not to look at the original price. Often it's old hardware that was cutting edge and expensive when it came out but is now common and cheap :) Also be careful abuot DDR3 memory. It's unlikely to be worth it.

    I think Dell is a good brand for laptops although I have a Sony.

    Important features... most things are pretty standard, so the devil is in the detail. Have a really good try on the laptop. Make sure you're happy with the trackpad (keyboard as well but I think that's less important), monitor, speakers (they may not be load enough) and battery life (it's NEVER what they tell you). Basically you have to bear in mind that you're looking for the whole package. In the end though, I really recommend an external mouse if you value your sanity.

    Also, if I'm not mistaken, Vista computers bought now will get a free Windows 7 upgrade. Be sure to ask about that!

    Just to give you an idea, I'd suggest:
    Core 2 Duo 1.83GHz
    2GB DDR2 Ram
    320BG HDD
    DVD writer

    That should easily fit into your budget but you definitely have to pay for portability...
     
  18. DarkBanana

    DarkBanana New Member

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    ps. in university, wikipedia is your friend :D
     
  19. dylAndroid

    dylAndroid is human?

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    Will you be using an external monitor?

    If you're going to be writing papers and doing research on it, having more screen realestate (size + resolution) can actually significantly increase your productivity.

    Therefore, if you will not get an external monitor, go for as big a screen as you can get.

    However, bigger screens and bigger laptops tend to just become desktop replacements (speaking from personal experience here). I almost never bring my laptops anywhere because they're just a bit too big and heavy to be convenient to do so, unless it's absolutely necessary. This would suggest getting a smaller laptop.

    However, with smaller laptops, you need to make sure the keyboard will be comfortable to use with writing marathon length papers / code / whatever you do.

    Also an issue with laptops, particularly smaller laptops, is that they will always give you far less muscle for the amount of money you're paying, compared to a desktop. So consider what you'll be doing with it. If you'll end up doing animation work, CAD/CAM/CAE work, etc., do consider carefully the power tradeoff in getting a laptop, and pay close attention to what graphics and processor parts are in it. Oh, and if you want to play games, a laptop doesn't get you very far.

    My recommendation: if at the beginnings & endings of semesters you'll commute on the ground to your home, then get a desktop for your room and a netbook for class. If, like I was, you're stuck flying every time, then get a bigger laptop with an actual graphics card, with the potential to add an external monitor & keyboard setup.
     
  20. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

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    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned it, but what about buying 2nd hand?

    The best for customer service is (though I say this loosely) is the Dell XPSrange, you can probably pick up a 2nd hand XPS for around $500

    I say probably, I just looked it up and you definitely can, leaving you with spare change for a new monitor or helping pay with the college fees.

    2nd hand XPS, pretty damn good specs as an example
     

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