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Old 08-20-2011, 12:58 AM   #1
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Default [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

I'm going to buy a laptop for school use in college, but I'm not sure how to choose the right laptop, I know that the minimum amount of RAM should be at least 2GB and I also heard that i3, i5, i7's are good to use too. My friend also told me that Lenovo is a very good and trusted brand for laptops but what else should I look for? What other brands/manufactures for laptop are trustworthy? main question is what to look for so that it isn't going to be 'OUT' in a few years. Thanks a lot!
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

What price range?

And where are you from?
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

What will you use the laptop for? Using google to do research, typing term papers, taking notes, etc... aren't very demanding for a computer so if you are only going to be doing those kinds of tasks, virtually any laptop on the market (even netbook) would be fine.

However, if you say you want to be able to play games or if you are studying engineering or some other field where you might need to run modeling and simulation software that requires a beefier computer, that's a different story. In addition, some schools require incoming freshman to have a particular computer (Mac or PC) with certain minimum requirements.

Do you want the battery to last 3 hours? 8 hours? Do you plan to lug the thing with you from class to class? What's more important to YOU: battery longevity, portability or computational power? Do you plan to use it to watch HD and Blu-Ray movies?

The bottom line is that we need more info to answer your question since the "right" laptop for you might not be the best choice for someone else.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

Yah, without knowing what uses you will put it to its hard to suggest much. For basic use any i-5 or equivalent AMD chipset will work. I have an i-5 on my gaming rig and it runs just fine, of course with a laptop you wont be able to match my GPU. If you can afford it look into the class called mobile workstations or even gaming laptops, they tend to have more robust GPU's and should do you well for years to come. I do 3D modeling and used a mobile workstation for years without much problem and did gaming on it as well with a 3400M GPU. Granted it wasn't the best for gaming but it sufficed, it was mainly for running Inventor.
I would suggest the maximum amount of RAM it will hold, you can never have enough and it will help compensate for bottlenecks. Make sure the drive is 7200 rpm (solid state if you have the money), you will end up being frustrated with a slower 5200 rpm drive in wait times. I ended up replacing mine 3 months after I bought it as the access times were so frustrating. It all boils down to how much money you want to spend and what you want to use it for.
Here's a good start.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

@amanikshot: I don't really have a price range, but if I can get anything under 1000 that would be nice, the laptop just has to be useful.

@strollin: I'm probably just going to be using it for writing papers, going online for personal stuff and downloading stuff. I'm still not exactly sure what I want to major in yet, but it's probably going to be something revolving around Computer Engineering/Science. Um battery life I guess the longer the better, probably around 5 hours minimum. Yeah I'm going to be carrying it from class to class. Hmm, the most important thing I guess would be portability and computer power I guess because I can probably charge it around the campus, I usually don't watch that many movies so that probably won't be a problem. Oh I forgot, the laptop is not required its optional.

@sjw40364: So 4GB RAM would be good right? Well hopefully I was thinking, through forums I can learn how to modify laptops and desktops so I can fix my own without asking around everytime so I guess I don't need to buy the best laptop that is predictably going to be stable for the next few years, instead just a laptop that can last around 3-4+ years. I don't exactly have a price range in mind, if the laptop matches my requirements the price don't really matter. I was thinking less than $1000 if possible.

I know my request is pretty general, so feel free to keep asking me questions because I really need help on this and I really appreciate the help too.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

Ok well the best for you is the toshiba satellite c660-1g3

Price: around 410$

CPU: intel i3 2.53ghz

Graphics: intel gma hd

3Gb DDR ram

15.6in screen

Weighs 2.3kg

320gb hard drive

5 hours and 30 minutes! Battery life

And an optical drive

Plus u can upgrade the ram to 8gb pretty ossum laptop!
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

lal, lenovo? nah.

I wouldn't necessarily say Tosh are all that good for uni/college, since some of them last 10 years, and some last 10 minutes. The i3s are poo also, it's the next-gen equivalent of a celeron, look for at least an i5, or you're going to get more frustration than you really want while studying. In terms of batteries, the only way to get considerable power AND immense battery life is to get a macbook, but most people haven't figured out that OS 10 is a viable alternative yet, because they're retarded and/or windows fanboys.

Anyway, I'm going to suggest something like a HP 620 or Dell Inspiron 15r.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

No too powerful for college
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

From what you are saying you want to do with it any of the computers out today in the 1K range will suffice.
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I rather like Dell, but HP has a decent record too. But for $749 without customization you get a lot, but you can always customize it to get more. Gives you a good 17" monitor, an i5 and 8GB RAM to start. But I just saw a news report that HP is getting out of making PC's so future support may be slim. The new gen chips are less power hungry than the older ones and outperform them as well. You could probably get a decent one at Tigerdirect, but they offer no customization.
Plus the Dell has an LED display which is less power and less eye strain as well.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Help] What should a modern 'for school' laptop have/require?

Keeping portability in mind, I would avoid a 17" screen as they are larger and heavier and take up too much room in a backpack. I have 4 kids in college right now and 3 of them carry a netbook in their backpack because they're much more portable than most laptops. If this will be your only machine then you might need to sacrifice portability for something larger. My kids all have desktops as well so the netbooks are just used to lug around school.
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