Industrial Design laptop: NVidia Quadro... What are my options?
Here's the scoop: I'm heading to Pratt Institute in NYC to study Industrial Design. The school tells me I need a laptop that can comfortably run Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office Suite, and Solidworks. In addition, I would imagine Alias/Maya are potentially involved.
Pratt has teamed up with Dell and has created a laptop specifically for what I am doing. The specs are as follows:
Dell Precision™ M6300 Mobile Workstation
The Most Powerful Workstation You Can Take With You.
Intel Core2 Duo T7500, 2.20GHz/800Mhz 4MB L2 Cache, Dual Core
Microsoft Windows Vista Business Edition
120 GB HD (7200 RPM)
2 GB DDR2 SDRAM
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1600M 512MB OpenGL Turbo Cache
Dell Wireless Intel 3945 WLAN (802.11a/g)
17” Wide Screen WUXGA
9-cell Primary Battery
3 Year Dell Next-Day Onsite Parts & Labor Warranty + CompleteCare
LoJack theft deterrent and tracking device locates lost or stolen computers.
This ends up being $2349, after a school savings of $382. Not exactly cheap. Actually, looking back at the Dell page, 5 minutes later it now costs $2459. I guess Dell does the price-change thing. Sleazy. Anyways...
So my question is... What are my alternatives? With college tuition itself being so expensive, I was hoping I would not have to pay such a huge amount for a computer.
Also, the computer is a huge, unsexy block. Being an industrial designer, form factor is somewhat important to me. But let's be practical here... The thing is huge and heavy! To the point where I simply would not want to bring it places. Coming from a 12" Apple Powerbook certainly doesn't help the matter.
From my understanding, any computer with similar specs should suffice. The only real kicker is that I need this Nvidia graphics card.