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Notebooks Which Laptop Choice for University?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by rowin4kicks, 9 Jul 2010.

  1. rowin4kicks

    rowin4kicks a man walked into a bar ...

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    Hi bit,
    I am calling on your collective expertise to guide me through getting a Laptop for University.
    First off let me point out that I have my reasons for getting a laptop rather than a desktop, and having had a desktop at uni already I found it far too constricting!

    Right a bit of background, I am starting a Computer Animation course at Portsmouth this September and I will need a laptop for taking into lessons, for a spot of cafe poker, and lastly to take to my girlfriends Uni in Sussex every other weekend. But most importantly to plug into a nice big monitor in my room to do all my work on!

    I'm looking for a bit of future proofing as well as I tend to want to upgrade any piece of hardware as soon as something new comes out!

    My budget is about £900 but could stretch if the laptop is good enough

    Basic Specs I am looking for is:

    MUST be a MAX of 13" laptop with a nice res screen (1280x800 min)
    Intel Core 2 Duo CPU (or core i5 if its poss)
    atleast 4Gb of ram
    decent battery life 3-4 hours minimum
    a dedicated graphics card (none of the intel integrated ****!)

    anything other than that like a back lit keyboard, webcam, other fancy things, are a bonus to me.


    So far all i Have come up with is :

    Alienware M11x
    Core i5
    2Gb Ram
    250Gb 7200rpm HDD
    Good Battery Life
    11" Screen
    Dedicated 1Gb Nvidia 335m graphics

    £849 (do you get any student discounts?)


    MacBook Pro 13"

    Core 2 Duo
    4Gb Ram
    320Gb HDD
    Great Battery life
    **** Glossy screen
    dedicated (just about) graphics card

    £999 (or £850 with student discount + a free iPod Touch another £110 off?)


    Dell Studio XPS M1340
    specs are basically the 13" MacBook Pro
    Worse battery life
    better non gloss screen
    but its a dell!

    £899.99 (do you get any student discounts?)



    Are there any other choices that I am missing out?

    Cheers for any help.
     
  2. Ljs

    Ljs Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 9 Jul 2010
  3. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    What about Sony/Lenovo? Those are the brands that pop into my head when on the look for a small laptop...

    Also what's with the discrete graphics? And what's wrong with Dell? You aren't really going to build your own laptop any time soon, so it's a safe bet not to even try looking elsewhere but at the biggest manufacturers...
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2010
  4. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    Dell = Alienware, you can throw that 'but its a dell!' onto the M11X..
     
  5. rowin4kicks

    rowin4kicks a man walked into a bar ...

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    yea but the alien ware has cooool vents and grilles!!!!!!

    I'm not that enthused by owning any type of dell and less so an alienware! But the m11x is basically a unique laptop that has no competitors and its very keenly priced so I'm very interested in it.

    Both me and my dad have had countless acers and they just fall apart immediately! Bu the one you linked to looks like a tidy little laptop and very cheap!!!!

    Sony is a little overpriced for what I am trying to get atm, I would love one of their mid spec 13.3" laptops as they have a good build quality, awesome screens and specs, but they are just so overpriced!

    As for the discrete graphics I do alot of gaming at the moment (not ideal on a laptop i know), I would love to get some hardware acceleration for CS4/5, and i am looking to power a 24/27" Dell IPS monitor as well so need a little grunt!
     
  6. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    For a carry-around laptop I'd much rather drop the spec requirements than the build quality. But to each their own.
     
  7. klutch4891

    klutch4891 New Member

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    How about the HP dm1z (11.6") or dm3z (13.3")? Both have at least 6 hours of battery life, wireless N, a screen resolution of 1366x768, and can even get an upgrade for a 128GB SSD. They both have an AMD Athlon II Neo (top spec of a dual core 1.5ghz), but I don't know anything about it.

    They have discrete graphics cards, with the 11" getting a Radeon 4225 and the 13" getting a 5430.

    Best of all, the 11" tops out at $964 with the SSD, the 4225, bluetooth/wireless N, and 5gb of RAM. The 13" is $1064 with the SSD, the 5450, bluetooth/wireless N, and 4gb of RAM.

    If it wasn't for that processor (that I suspect isn't too amazing) they would be great laptops for the price.
     
  8. lp1988

    lp1988 Well-Known Member

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    You are going to want to shoot the keyboard after the first ten minutes on a 11" The Acer's does look nice, but personally I have had nothing but trouble with those, and their Support. (or lack thereof)

    As Jipa said, go for build quality rather than specs. A poorly made laptop will only last about 2 years if you are lucky. You have a better chance to have it working after 3+ years, if you go for the better build. A mac pro is a good example but Sony and Lenovo has good reputation in that as well.
     
  9. Ljs

    Ljs Well-Known Member

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    I do agree with the comments about build quality for sure, but all computers have a shelf life anyway based on their specs.

    Its only got to last 3 years (5 if he is doing a masters). A laptop with slightly higher specs may be better for his course and be more beneficial.

    Tough call, I've never owned a laptop but have heard plenty of horror stories though.

    I still stick to the one I linked though - seems decent and spend the excess cash on an external HD to back up all your uni work on!
     

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