Author Topic: Need new laptop for college  (Read 2304 times)

I need a new laptop for college as my old one is starting to get some hardware issues.
(Originally posted in the Computer megathread, decided that probably wasn't the best idea)

I don't really have a set budget, but I'm still paying for it myself.  Something around $1000 is probably ideal.  I have been stuck with some really crappy laptops in the past and don't want something that can't even do blockland well.

Probably first priority for me is having a good battery life and not being a giant brick of lead to lug around.
I don't need it to be a really powerful computer since I'll be bringing along a desktop most likely, although I am not too keen on getting an ultrabook because they all seem to be stupidly expensive and low performing.

I'm going into computer science/software engineering, so it needs to be at least decently well performing.  I don't know much about how I am going to use it yet besides the fact I plan on carrying it wherever I go, so it can't be a giant brick of lead that dies after an hour of use.

I'm tempted to get this computer since it seems to be a great value (moderate/low price+high performance), which might even make it possible to not need to bring my desktop along, but apparently the battery life sucks (not surprising), which is a problem.
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:item.detail?GroupID=457&Code=59371972

I think things like touchscreens/backlit keyboards are nice and I'm willing to pay a little extra if that's an option, but I wouldn't pass up an otherwise good computer because it doesn't have them.

I would jump for this computer if it didn't have a ridiculously small 128GB of disk space (less than half of which is actually usable) and didn't seem overpriced.
http://www.cnet.com/laptops/lenovo-ideapad-yoga-13/4505-3121_7-35477652.html




Basic requirements are:
 - Better resolution than 1366x768
 - Preferably 9 cell battery, or at least over 8 hours of battery life
 - Rather have win8 than win7
 - 128 GB SSD is too small
 - Willing to have a dual core processor if it means more battery life
 - Not a netbook
 - 5 pounds or less
 - Roughly $800 - $1200 range

Any suggestions for computers that I should look at?
Even if your suggestion doesn't match up with my criteria exactly, if it seems like a solid deal go ahead and post it.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 07:56:21 PM by Nexus »

So far my best bet looks like going with a generic customized thinkpad


http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:item.detail?GroupID=37&Code=T430_CONFIG_SAP&category_id=FC448E05D12BD000069CA73F6D0D1FA8


Total $903.60

Estimated ship date: 6/6/13**
Free shipping     
 
 

System Components
Intel Core i5-3380M Processor (3M Cache, up to 3.60 GHz)
Windows 8 64
14.0" HD+ (1600 x 900) LED Backlit AntiGlare Display, Mobile Broadband Ready
Intel HD Graphics 4000
8 GB DDR3 - 1600MHz (2 DIMM)
Keyboard (Backlit) US English 
No Camera, with Microphone
500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm
DVD Recordable 8x Max, Dual Layer, Ultrabay Enhanced w/ SW Royalty for Windows 8
Express Card Slot & 4-in-1 Card Reader
9 Cell Li-Ion TWL 70++
90W AC Adapter - US (2pin)
Bluetooth 4.0 with Antenna
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 AGN
Mobile Broadband upgradable


Can anyone find something better?
Not sure how keen I am about how boring it looks :(

Also I'm not really sure about the difference between DIMM 1 and 2 RAM and if getting windows 8 pro is worth the $50 upgrade.

Probably going to be my last bump if no one is interested in the thread

A better option looks like an ENVY dv6t-7300 Quad Edition



http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/C2Y54AV?HP-ENVY-dv6t-7300-Quad-Edition-Notebook-PC

Total: $904.99

Components
• Windows 8 64
• 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3630QM Processor (2.4GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
• Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000
• 15.6-inch diagonal Full High Definition Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
• 8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
• 750GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
• 32GB mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
• Microsoft Office Trial
• No additional security software
• 30% off 9 cell Lithium Ion Battery
• SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support
• Backlit Keyboard
• HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated dual array digital microphone
• Intel 802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth(R)

Major differences to thinkpad are:
 - Doesn't look like the boring gray thinkpad box
 - 4 core processor (although a bit slower per core)
 - More HDD space
 - Some SDD acceleration
 - Slightly larger screen with higher resolution (also almost a pound heavier)
 - Has a webcam
 - Full sized keyboard

Even though this seems better in just about every way, I actually have an hp dv6 right now that got hardware issues after a few months and came preloaded with so much bullcrap that I'm pretty sure I don't want to buy another.

Still gladly looking for suggestions or warnings based on what you have heard or owned.

The one you have above looks pretty good, and it's a dollar over your first option. Balance out your specs and price to see if it's worth though, since usually laptops aren't 900$ unless you plan to game on it?

should definitely think about getting something that does not have Intel HD Graphics if you're gonna do any real gaming, which is what I assumed because of the processor in the first one and RAM in both

should definitely think about getting something that does not have Intel HD Graphics if you're gonna do any real gaming, which is what I assumed because of the processor in the first one and RAM in both

Also yeah, on your 904$ hp Envy one, the intel core i7 is what I had. Even on the lowest settings and with other good setting Skyrim ran slow as hell, and BF3 kept crashing due to crappy card. Finally got a Nvidia Quantum Calculator one to boost speed, so I'd screw the one with the i7 if doing gaming.


Yeah, I'm bringing my desktop to college as well, so any gaming will likely be on that.  Both of the laptop builds have the option to add in a decent graphics card for $75 more, except that I'm worrying about how that would then impact battery life.  If I'm going to be seriously bottlenecking my system by not adding a graphics card I guess I can sacrifice some battery life.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312087
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834127923
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312436
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230416
Roughly the same performence. Asus's will have a graphics card in it though.

Hm, those all seem to be dual core, 1366x768, and 6-cell battery or less.  I guess performance wise they compares to the thinkpad, but I think the i7 in the dv6 should have better performance?  I wouldn't call myself an expert, anyway.

So I should add in a NVIDIA GT 635M Graphics card?  Or is a 650M worth the extra $150?

I got a 400$ Nvidia Quantum Calculator from my dad's work, check if you can get any deals on some good ones around here. You might be surprised what you find if you hit up old hardware stores and such.

I got a 400$ Nvidia Quantum Calculator from my dad's work, check if you can get any deals on some good ones around here. You might be surprised what you find if you hit up old hardware stores and such.

I can't seem to figure out from google what that is.
Can you provide a link of some sort?  It sounds like some kind of modular graphics upgrade but I can't find any information.


Another potential build, this one with a touchscreen because I think windows 8 is just going to be kinda awkward without one.


http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SYCTOProcess?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&LBomId=8198552921666528652&categoryId=8198552921644927000

Total: $979.99

3rd gen Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM quad-core (2.20GHz / 3.20GHz with Turbo Boost)
Windows 8 64-bit
14" LED backlit display (1600 x 900)
Touch screen
AMD Radeon™ HD 7670M (2GB) hybrid graphics [$30.00]
1TB (5400rpm) hard drive
8GB (8GB x1) DDR3-1600MHz
Blu-ray Disc™ player (Free, reg. price $100.00) [$0]
Large lithium-ion battery (7950mAh) [$70.00]

Major differences from the Thinkpad
 - Touchscreen
 - Has a graphics card of some sort?
 - Slower hard drive, but with much more capacity
 - Quad core processor, although not quite as good as the dv6 one
 - Not sure how the battery compares, this gives me an actual electrical energy stored value instead of a vague "cell" measurement.

Although compared to the dv6, it is clearly not as good and more expensive (assuming the Radeon is similar to the GT 635M), besides the addition of the neat touchscreen.
Ack, I really don't want to be straying too far away from my primary concern, which is the battery life...
I should probably just keep Intel HD 4000 graphics and scale other things accordingly
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 01:28:02 AM by Nexus »

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-G75VX-G75VX-BHI7N09-17-3-Inch-Laptop/dp/B00ATZ9IUY?tag=donations09-20

Aus G75VX. They make some really great laptops with excellent cooling.

i7-3630QM
8 GB DDR3
17.3" @ 1920x1080
1TB HDD
GTX670MX (3GB VRAM, "MX" means it's overclockable I think)

I'd say it's worth it for $1,200.

Only one problem. It's 9.2 pounds.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 09:19:17 AM by Blockzillahead »

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-G75VX-G75VX-BHI7N09-17-3-Inch-Laptop/dp/B00ATZ9IUY?tag=donations09-20

Aus G75VX. They make some really great laptops with excellent cooling.

i7-3630QM
8 GB DDR3
17.3" @ 1920x1080
1TB HDD
GTX670MX (3GB VRAM, "MX" means it's overclockable I think)

I'd say it's worth it for $1,200.

Only one problem. It's 9.2 pounds.
No.
He need a laptop for college, let that sink in for a bit.

No.
He need a laptop for college, let that sink in for a bit.

My bro uses a better model than that for college.

So far my best bet looks like going with a generic customized thinkpad

Ew stuff ew. Ew.

Ew stuff ew. Ew.
do you even know what you're saying

the specs on that thinkpad are pretty good for the price. although its not great looking, its the best so far for the price. I wouldn't go for the HP imo