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Portable Laptop for programming at Uni (Comp Sci) £800 budget

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dramatik, 29 Sep 2015.

  1. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    Hi guys, just started my comp sci degree and wanted a decent laptop to work on/use in my free time.

    Looking for at least 6gb of RAM with a 1920x1080 display and SSD.

    Asus Zenbook UX305FA was looking like a right steal until I read about the processor: Intel Core M-5Y10 (0.8GHz/2GHz) which has put me off a bit.

    Not sure if anything exists which is as good as the above but with better processing power. Don't mind going down the refurb route only if an extended warranty is available (Need this to last more than the typical 1 year they give).

    EDIT: My budget is now £800 :)
     
    Last edited: 29 Sep 2015
  2. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    I can't remember off the top of my head which model, but my brother uses a ~£650-700 MSI laptop for his modelling and data analytics for his PhD. Its about the spec you're going for, and is also pretty light and portable, and he can game quite happily on it if/when he wants, and seems to be pretty chuffed with it. I'm pretty sure he just got in next day delivered off Amazon as well.

    I'll drop him a line and find out for you.
     
  3. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    Cheers mate
     
  4. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    Budget changed to £800
     
  5. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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  6. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    Last edited: 29 Sep 2015
  7. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    I have that exact laptop, the ASUS UX305F. What is it that puts you off? The processor is plenty powerful enough for everything that I do. It's very quick and the battery life is great. I can't say that I can notice any visible difference between my old 3 GHz Sandy based laptop and this one.
     
  8. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    Pretty much just the reviews that talk about mediocre CPU performance. £100 extra gets me the XPS 13 with 256gb SSD. Worth it?
     
  9. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    What will you exactly be doing with it ? Programmation only ? Gaming ? Running VMs ? I'm maybe mistaken, but mobile i3 are 2 cores, mobile i5 are 2 cores with turbo + HT and mobile i7 are 2 or 4 cores with turbo + HT. How many cores do you need ?

    The memory can be extended on most laptop :).
     
  10. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    Programming 100% Java, c#, VB, watching movies web browsing etc, don't really intend to game on it. Will probably need to run some VMs next year. Looking for something that will hold up for at least 3 years to be honest. IF something around £800 is overkill I'd be glad to go for something lower as long as it will hold up well by the time I graduate
     
  11. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    The main thing is you don't need much processor for computer science. So i5 all the way. 8gb ram should be a minimum though if you intend to virtualize. VMs can eat disk space quickly as well so if you can squeeze ssd plus HDD that would be ideal.
     
  12. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    I must honestly say that I disagree with it being a sluggish CPU. It's more than quick enough and it has an excellent battery life. I can run mine at 50% loading (the iGPU is loaded too) for 5 hours on a single charge.

    It's also currently only £585 at PCWorld with their cashback offer. I may be a little bias towards it as I own one, but I can genuinely say it is a fantastic product, and one which I'd recommend to others.

    The screen is clear, bright, and has great colour to it as well.
     
  13. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    Hmmmm I won't be able to purchase it until friday so the cashback deal is dead for the Zenbook UX305 :( so back to £650 it is.

    XPS 13 is £770 so spending £120 would get me better battery life, a smaller lighter frame, better CPU and integrated GPU

    A Lafité II from PCSpecialist will get me an i5 6200u @ 2.3ghz (turbo at 2.8ghz), 8gb RAM, 250gb Samsung EVO SSD for £581. So many choices
     
  14. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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  15. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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  16. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    That isn't too bad but I stated before that cashback deals from them are dead for me (Can't pay till friday). Would only want a 15.6 laptop if it was very light (Should have mentioned that in my OP ;))
     
  17. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    In my opinion, a good development computer (desktop or laptop) needs RAM, SSD and a great keyboard above all. Do not forget the keyboard aspect as you'll be spending hours typing on it everyday.

    CPU is not that important, unless you start compiling heavy projects. This is my 2 cents, but as a professionnal developper this is based on my experience :D.
     
  18. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    Cheers, still don't know what to get. Reviews lead me to the XPS 13 or the UX305 with the only drawback to the UX305 being extra power "IF" needed in my second and third year. Then again the Lafite Silver from PC Specialist seems good for £628

    Specs for anyone interested: Dell XPS 13 - £768
    Intel Core i5-5300U @ 2.30GHz (Turbo @2.90GHz)
    8GB RAM DDR 3 (1600mhz)
    256GB SSD
    13.3 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) infinity display
    Intel HD Graphics 5500
    Backlit Keyboard
    USB 3.0 w/Powershare (2), mini DisplayPort (1), SD card reader, headset jack (1), Noble lock (1), 3-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC)

    Lafite Silver (PC Specialist) - £629

    Intel® Core™ i7 Dual Core Processor i7-6500U (2.50GHz, 3.1GHz Turbo)
    8GB KINGSTON SODIMM DDR3 1600MHz
    INTEL® HD GRAPHICS 520 [Core™]
    250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
    Integrated 2 in 1 Memory Card Reader (SD, MMC)
    WIRELESS INTEL® AC-8260 M.2 (867Mbps, 802.11AC) + BLUETOOTH
    1 x USB 3.0 PORT, 1 x USB 3.1 PORT + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
    BACKLIT UK KEYBOARD, Carry Case, Additional Mouse, 3 year warranty
     
    Last edited: 30 Sep 2015
  19. dramatik

    dramatik Member

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    Perfect timing. Got a 10% discount using paypal which has brought the Dell XPS 13 down to £692 :D
     
  20. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    very nice. The xps 13 would be my laptop of choice if I was buying
     

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