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Need help deciding on a laptop for college

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Xiachunyi, 6 Jan 2005.

  1. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi New Member

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    My dad recently told me I could purchase a laptop for college. :D Upon asking him the limit, the rejoinder was that there will be enough money. I think I will stick to the 2500 USD limit since none of the computers my family had before even came close to the 1500 mark.

    Here is a list of things I do on a computer:
    • Compiling and running programs Ex. Win32 and Opengl (currently utilizing a few extensions supported by both ATI and nVidia.)
    • Digital photo-editing
    • Audio editing and creation in the form of programs such as Adobe Audition and Finale
    • Watching DVDs and playing mp3s
    • Some modeling in Brice 5 and 3D milkshape

    I haven't played a single computer game in several years and I do not intend to start so "gaming" would not so much be of value.

    I was thinking about purchasing the Hypersonic CQ6 since it seems to be a pretty good platform.

    I will be purchasing the M-Audio Sonica Theater for sound, upgrade the hardrive selection, install 1 GB of RAM, and a DVD-burner for the laptop.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for me so I don't make a grave mistake? Thank you.
     
  2. JavaBoy

    JavaBoy New Member

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    ok 1st rule, windows sucks

    get a mac laptop there better, i like them more

    they can do all the gfx stuff and all you music


    they wont crash, youll never loose data and you can have office for it, so you can share with with your teachers windows pc

    oh yea youll never have spyware, viruses and it wont give you those nasty errors

    edit: go on the mac site, under powerbook or i book and you can add in a gig of ram and all that stuff :thumb:
     
  3. Zephyr

    Zephyr Go V-Boy, Go!

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    That Hypersonic looks like a good choice, it has all of the options to look for in a laptop (DVD-ROM, WiFi, decent hard drive/RAM/gfx, and a good interface) and some (1GB RAM, Mobile 9700, Widescreen display, Intel Centrino platform, DVD-RW)

    How much is the final price, and how large and fast is the HDD? 4200rpm or 5400rpm?
     
  4. Zephyr

    Zephyr Go V-Boy, Go!

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    Bah, he got here before me.

    My wife has a Mac iBook G4 as well as a Dell, and I must say after using the Mac for quite a while I will recommend a PC. The interface is impossible for a native-Windows user.

    You do get spyware and viruses, just less.

    Mac has a history of bad customer service (some of this I have experienced with iPod's).

    My wife's Mac OS X Panther (the latest release) has crashed twice before, for absolutely no reason. Just started it up and it said "Operating System Files Inoperable. Please reinstall OS". It lags like none other, I'm talking 30 to 40 second waits just to open up the "Launcher" (Mac version of Explorer).

    And don't go Windows bashing in here, there are entire forums dedicated to that ;). Even though I'm a native Linux user, and would love nothing more than to see it rise as the most-used OS (and it's on its way :thumb: ), Windows is still incredibly good for what it does. 80% of computer users use Windows, and it does what it does well.

    So, after that mini-rant, I would still recommend that Hypersonic. Plus, Mac's are rediculously expensive for what they will, and I will warn that the OS lags like crazy...and I'm talking seriously lag in the whole system (don't flame me for things like "You're wife doesn't know how to restart a computer! Girls are stoopid!", my wife is rather computer inclined. She got the Mac because she knows people who swear by theirs, and her uni offered it to her free [she's a professor]). Bah. Anyway :thumb:
     
  5. Tolsk

    Tolsk New Member

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    anything by sager is always a good bet, made by same people as alienware but just under a different name and cheeper.
     
  6. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi New Member

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    Thank you for your responses. The main reason I am going for Windowsis because I am more oriented towards the format and various functions of the OS. I've tried Linux, SuSe to name one, but I didn't like it despite the close GUI; so you could easily guess I am not tolerant of change. I'll go ahead and take a look at the Mac laptops and who knows, with some deep thought I could decide upon one if it is tempting enough.

    The specs so far I have chosen so far:
    • 1.8Ghz Intel Pentium M Processor w/ 2MB cache
    • 1 stick of 1GB Corsair PC3200 RAM
    • 60GB 7200rpm Ultra HD w/ 8MB cache
    • 8X DVD Writer
    • 12-Cell Lithium Battery
    • 15.4" (1920x1280) Display
    • Internal 802.11b+g Turbo 108Mbps Wireless Mini PCI Network Adapter

    The total price is 2,311.00 USD. That should leave enough to purchase the external sound module. I may change my mind about the 2.5K limit and raise it to 3K for the Reflexxion Paint. :naughty:
    [​IMG]

    Or I may choose the CX5, it is slightly cheaper due to the RAM being at 333Mhz instead of 400 but I'm not sure about the trade-off.

    This laptop has to last me through 4 years of college until I get into medical school.

    Thank you again.
     
  7. JavaBoy

    JavaBoy New Member

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    wtf... i am a native windows user and i learnd the os in like 2 hours of using it... and i dont think hes slow cause hes going to collage

    all that stuff about ur wife and crashing probably just happens to her cause it never happens to any1 else setp the demo pc, but thats cause the kids bang around with all day in the mac store, and it rarly ever happens

    dont dis mac, i will start flaming u winderz users!!! SMACK DOWN WITH THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    :grr:
     
  8. Tolsk

    Tolsk New Member

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    You should concider takeing a look at that.
    http://www.sagernotebook.com/pages/notebooks/product.cfm?ProductType=3790
    15.4" WUXGA Active Matrix LCD
    Intel® Pentium® M Processor 755 / 2.0 GHz, 2MB L2 Cache
    512MB DDR333
    60.0GB (7200rpm) HD
    8X DVD ± R/RW/+DL Combo Drive & Softwares
    10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
    Internal V.90 Fax/Modem
    Intel Wireless 802.11b/g
    Integrated Video Camera
    4-in-1 Reader
    Smart Li-ION Battery
    can andd more ram. another battery and still be cheeper probably
    (dimensions (H) x (W) x (D)) : 1.5"x14.125"x10.5"
    Weight: 6.6lbs. with Battery

    EDIT:

    i made on with

    CPU
    Intel® Pentium® M Processor 725 / 1.6 GHz, 2MB L2 Cache
    Memory
    1024MB PC2700 (2 DIMMs) SDRAM
    Primary Hard Drive
    60.0GB (7200rpm) Ultra DMA Hard Drive
    Floppy Drive
    External USB 3.5" 1.44MB Floppy Drive
    CD-ROM/DVD-ROM
    8X DVD / 24X10X24 CD-RW Combo Drive & Softwares
    Battery
    12 Cell Smart Li-ION Battery
    Modem
    Integrated 56K V.90 Internal Fax/Modem
    Network Adapter
    Integrated 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet LAN & Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG LAN 802.11b/g Module
    Operating System
    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Warranty
    1-year standard warranty from Sager
    Accessory
    CAR-1010-2, Car Adapter for NP3790
    TSB312, Targus, Sport Deluxe Computer Backpack-Platinum/Black
    Additional 12 Cell Smart Li-ION Battery Pack for NP3790

    for $2,365.00
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2005
  9. 1st time modder

    1st time modder New Member

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    Here's a pc from hypersonic that you should take a look at
    Specs:
    2.0ghz Pentium Mobile
    2X512mb sticks of corsair ddr400
    60gb 8mb cache hd with 24/7 extended operation
    8X dvd burner
    12 cell battery
    Internal 802.11b+g Turbo 108Mbps Wireless Mini PCI Network Adapter
    All for $2,519. (In my opinion as close as it will get
    :thumb: )
     
  10. liuh

    liuh New Member

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    what kind of laptop are you looking for?

    portable? ultra portable? do you already have a desktop?

    if you are going for a portable (non-20lb desktop replacement) i suggest the IBM T series laptops. I just got one for myself, it's rather nice, portable, but still has plenty of features. They may be plain and black, but i guarentee it wont strain you while carrying it around and it will last a while. They have active-hard drive protection (protects your HDD against shock and dropping) and the extra built in security chip for wireless. Also the newest T model has the biometric scanner ;)

    Standard battery that comes with it lasts 4 hours, the extended battery (which i recommend getting) carries about a 6 hour charge. Keyboard is full-sized (so you wont be hitting more than the key you want to) but there is no windows button (in order to maintain full-key-sizes).

    And if you want to run Linux, everyone says taht the IBM T series is built for linux, my friend runs gentoo on his fine. (he also can play HL2 on it w/ windows)

    So if you want portability, dependability, pure awesomeness... go for IBM even though its not painted with car-quality paint.

    Recommended model: IBM T42p
    i got the T42 only difference i think is 9000 mobile instead of a fireGL card, and the p has a 15" screen, which is capable of 1600x1200 (non-p has 14.1inch)
     
  11. KingofHearts

    KingofHearts New Member

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    laptops are way to easy for people to go aww cool thanks and walk away with it. Its one of the top 3 things that vanish in college. If I was you Id seriously throw togther an amd 64 desktop system to use primarily then grab one of the 6 or 700 dollar toshibas lappys from newegg.
     
  12. Sunny-D

    Sunny-D New Member

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    correct me if im wrong, but isnt ibm dropping its laptop line? and computers in general? i read something about it in the local paper...
     
  13. liuh

    liuh New Member

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    IBM has indeed sold their PC line to a Chinese company (Lenova? i think).

    IBM is still keeping the label for 5 more years and overseeing everything for that time as well. The workers that will be working on the PCs are all former IBM employees (that got moved to lenova). Before the sale 60% of IBM's manufacturing was in Asia, so although big, not THAT big.

    The reason they sold their PC line (especially for laptops) is that people are buying the cheaper dells and compaqs, and the IBM is mainly a buisness class solution. By buisness class i mean awesome ;) I'm sure the average user that doesn't have bit-tech as their homepage spends ~700-900 on their laptops, and usually dont customize them at all. I'm not speaking from actual facts, just what i think it is :)

    I looked at that hypersonic laptop, and it looks good. Personally I think I would still buy IBM (also because i got a massive discount) just because out of all the laptops i've worked on or used, i like the IBMs the most. Call me a fanboy, i think i'm just informed :p

    But still a question, do you already have a desktop you are taking with you? (and what college are you going to attend/are attending?)
     
  14. Lynx

    Lynx New Member

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    The IBM T series and the Dell Dxxx series are the kings of the laptop world at the moment. The T series are nicer than the Dells but are alot more expensive.
     
  15. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Near enough what ive got but 1.7M and 700ish meg ram and only a 4x DVD+RW. 12cell battery kicks ass - it goes on forever. 9600pro graphics is good enough for games too. I like mac lappys, i really do, but setup the OS yourself and its as good as any PC. No way in hell a Mac is more stable than my lappy. Dell 8600 :) very happy with it.
     
  16. liuh

    liuh New Member

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    yay i'm not the only one ;)
     
  17. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi New Member

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    Wow, thanks a lot for the abundance of information. I'll be looking at those tonight after I am done with my homework.

    The laptop will just be of the portable classification. Battery life seems okay with the current choice since the university I am going to, UTD, has power taps for each sitting location in all the classrooms.

    I have read upon many instances of where a laptop was just simply stolen after a moment's leave, and I was thinking about this as I was stipulating my laptop. I was planning to modify several of the hardware components of the laptop to be a security deterrant to lessen that chance.

    I may decide to go for a very cheap laptop and a desk type system. I've always wanted a shuttle xpc and go into watercooling.

    As for the car paint, I just happen to know a few people in that business so they could probably paint it for me for a much cheaper price with custom text (maybe my name?).
     
  18. liuh

    liuh New Member

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    i'm curious to how you will do that... (ideas are yummy)

    but seriously if you ever leave your laptop unattended, might as well throw a good-bye party! :)

    But if you are going to do something to it, make it look unique (put a big sticker on it) so it's easily recognized as yours. Also if your campus police department allows you to register serial numbers to your name then you should also do that. I think the most stolen things at a college are laptops and bikes(+bike parts). My roommate got the front wheel stolen on his bike the 2nd day after we moved in... sucks, but it's a wakeup call.
     
  19. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi New Member

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    Besides the name being either painted on or a sticker, I could wire a few select keys on the keyboard and the power button to a few logic gates so that the computer could only be turned on via a key combination. The unit itself, since I'll be utilizing low power chips, should comsume very little amperage from the battery. A modification can be made to the components by attaching a set of loop wires that will disable the component and the laptop if that component is removed.

    Basically I could have it this way for the components. :naughty: If the component was taken out and added into another laptop (the thief's) and the necessary cross-over loops were not installed, the component would redirect whatever voltage it was fed into the ground or one/more of the data lines thus "most probably killing the laptop" that component was not meant for. This could simply be done by wiring thin jumper wires on the component and/or cutting traces and redirecting. Special screws could be utilized in conjunction to prevent the component from being stolen in the first place.

    I plan to also cut out my name in the laptop and backlight it as a further deterrent.

    I could also program a small service for Windows that would every once in a while, communicate information to another computer via the school's wireless network, although this may be more for retrieval.

    Whatever the security protections that are implemented, the main one would have to be to deter the thief before he/she even lays a finger on the laptop. Backlit name would be a very good choice.
     
  20. liuh

    liuh New Member

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    but remember with all this once you mod your Laptop you lose your warranty :)

    but who cares, right? ;) :dremel:
     

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