School/College laptop, what to go for?

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A family of my GF is looking for a laptop which is only aiming for school/college usage, and barely to no gaming at all. What kind of laptop should I choose for? The price range and hardware specifications is unknown to me at the moment, but I'm looking for options. A dell possible? Or are there better brands? Please let me know!

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Skyrider
 
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Well, college laptops are supposed to be a kind of budget laptops.

I have no clue about which brand to buy in budget laptops(We got a lenovo 3000 N500 series a budget laptop with GF9300M card, works great, CPU is t3400, nice laptop)

But I can tell you the specifications required. 2 types: 1 - A laptop that can also be used as home theather laptop:

(like mine) which you can watch HD on external TV monitors, you need an hdmi and at least Intel graphics accelerator X4500MHD with an HDMI to connect to Television(Nvidia card laptops or ati are pricier but can also serve with HD movies an HDMI) which is a integrated card who is good enough for watching HD movies. You will also need a nice processor, id say around the T5xxx at least for some good processing. Most laptops that come with those specs will have an OK mobo(just what you need) a big Hard drive is also vital for some movies. (a Blu Ray drive will make it TOO pricy, by HD i meant if you have anyway to activate it from external hard drive, disk on key or warezing from internet) CPU speed should be at least around 2.20ghz

The other one is only for office works like internet and word: There is the x3100 video card of Intel(integrated) which is ok, I'd get the x4500 though, its the newer one who will be better overtime, when internet will also have higher demands from Gcards(who knows what will come after flash)

I'd also get at least t5xxx Intel processor(its core 2 duo i believe) so your pc will work in a speed which will satisfy you (We got an T3400 processor, it is very on the edge, sometimes it is a bit too slow in certain things, especially because the wear and tear of this laptop is low because we hardly use it)

Same, CPU speed should be around 2.20ghz. I also believe at least 160gb hard drive will do, although most(even cheap) laptops today come with 250gb sata easily and commonly.

About screen size, I'd get in around the 15 inch zone, since the smaller screens like 13.3 get me mad with the size of it.

And this is just me - but don't buy a lighter(in weight) laptop than 3.5 kg. It is just 3.5 kg after all, the lighter it is youll have to pay more for less, AND IT IS JUST FRICKING WEIGHT, DON'T CRY "I DONT WANT TO CARRY 3.5 KG WHHHHHHHEEEE *crying*", just get a case for the laptop, stand straight(no hunchback, damage your back overtime) maybe you will even gain some muscles. Remember - it is just weight, no need to cry about it, especially when its about money.

Also make sure the built quality is at least nice, try laptop reviews and different forums, search Google, you know the drill. Also make sure it has no cooling problems.

hope it helped,

regards with love - Sex
 
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Build one on Dell.com. They are a lot better then they used to be. Mine is a Dell and I am running some pretty ****ty graphics card but can run GTA 4 and Crysis with no lag. ($800)


Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T6500 @ 2.10GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.1GHz
Memory: 4056MB RAM
Hard Drive: 304 GB
Video Card: Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family
 
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I'd recommend a netbook. It has wifi and can type papers with it, not much else. They are tiny, lighter than most college texts. Price range varies, but it's typically from $200 to $500. Use Newegg and go off of individual product reviews, and you can't go wrong.

www.newegg.com
 
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There are these days only 2 kinds of laptops really for College use. Either get a netbook, which will cost you between 250 to 350 euro's. Anywhere between 7 to 10 inch screens, and anywhere from 5 to 10 hours of battery life depending on how much you want to spend on it. I'll be able to give you some more recommedations if you can give us some minimum specs and price to work with. Best ones are probably Acer Eee, or Dell.

The other one is somewhat special, but GREAT for college use, but it really depends on what kind of study you're doing. They are called TabletPC's. Basically it's a laptop, with a screen you can actually write on.

Upside;
- Great for mathematical formula's, quick sketches, general ease (yes, you will type faster, but some people might actually prefer writing, I would), and low noise (nothing is more annoying in a class than when someone is typing really loud)

Downside;
- They are a bit more expensive than a netbook (starting at 600 euro's al the way up to 2000 for the high end tablet user(graphical design users)),
- Battery time 'sucks' for the cheaper variants (4 hours, but there are some good ones as well that have up to 8/10 hours),
- Heavier than netbooks (typically for a 12 incher, about 1.5 Kg's)

HP has the cheaper ones (Lower build quality though), Dell also sells one (although somewhat overpriced). Toshiba and Fujitsu have the high end ones, with top notch build quality and best screens. Lenovo is also up their with the high end ones, best build quality, great screen, and cheap compared to Fujitsu. But lacks a proper design.

If the person is going to do mathematical stuff, or sketches. I'd highly recommend one of the TabletPC's. If it is just for some surfing the web, doing some work at school and stuff like that, get a netbook.

I wouldn't take Deathshots advice though. 4GB of ram is too much for college work, T6500 is too 'fast' for college work, and I can't imagine the battery life being up there with the netbooks. You would pay too much for stuff you wouldn't need. And of course, Dell's customer support does suck somewhat.

Plus you might always want to consider getting refirbshed/second-hand laptops, which will greatly reduce the price of course.
 
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There are these days only 2 kinds of laptops really for College use. Either get a netbook, which will cost you between 250 to 350 euro's. Anywhere between 7 to 10 inch screens, and anywhere from 5 to 10 hours of battery life depending on how much you want to spend on it. I'll be able to give you some more recommedations if you can give us some minimum specs and price to work with. Best ones are probably Acer Eee, or Dell.

The other one is somewhat special, but GREAT for college use, but it really depends on what kind of study you're doing. They are called TabletPC's. Basically it's a laptop, with a screen you can actually write on.

Upside;
- Great for mathematical formula's, quick sketches, general ease (yes, you will type faster, but some people might actually prefer writing, I would), and low noise (nothing is more annoying in a class than when someone is typing really loud)

Downside;
- They are a bit more expensive than a netbook (starting at 600 euro's al the way up to 2000 for the high end tablet user(graphical design users)),
- Battery time 'sucks' for the cheaper variants (4 hours, but there are some good ones as well that have up to 8/10 hours),
- Heavier than netbooks (typically for a 12 incher, about 1.5 Kg's)

HP has the cheaper ones (Lower build quality though), Dell also sells one (although somewhat overpriced). Toshiba and Fujitsu have the high end ones, with top notch build quality and best screens. Lenovo is also up their with the high end ones, best build quality, great screen, and cheap compared to Fujitsu. But lacks a proper design.

If the person is going to do mathematical stuff, or sketches. I'd highly recommend one of the TabletPC's. If it is just for some surfing the web, doing some work at school and stuff like that, get a netbook.

I wouldn't take Deathshots advice though. 4GB of ram is too much for college work, T6500 is too 'fast' for college work, and I can't imagine the battery life being up there with the netbooks. You would pay too much for stuff you wouldn't need. And of course, Dell's customer support does suck somewhat.

Plus you might always want to consider getting refirbshed/second-hand laptops, which will greatly reduce the price of course.
Yeah I thought about that - people with like a 4 hour battery capacity, that are in college. College studies will be more than 4 hours, how will you be able to have enough battery time for all the classes?

Also, after each class you are supposed to turn off the computer, right? Doesn't turning your laptop off every hour or so damages the laptop?
 
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Not really, I've had this laptop I am currently writing on for over 2 years and it still works. And I use the sleep and hibernate shutdowns quite a bit. Only thing that will really degrade after 2 years is the battery. When I just got the fresh battery, it lasted for 2 hours tops, and now it will struggle to do 1 hour 15 minutes. But that's also partly because I ****ed up the battery myself by charging it while still having 90% capacity. :p

Then again, 4 hours of battery isn't too bad. It really depends on if you will use the laptop in every class. Or outside of classes as well. That's what I ment with that we need to know what kind of study is being followed, specs, pricerange. Because without the variables, there are just waaaay too much laptops to consider.

- Netbooks, TabletPC, Regular laptop?
- 3/4/6/8/10....15+ hours of battery time?
- Gaming (okay, we can scrap this one), 'normal use', CAD use(CAD design laptops need to be somewhat stronger), Graphics design use (be it hobby, or proffessional and if yes, are we talking about Photoshop, or 3DS Max?)
- Is portability important?
- Size of screen?
- Pricerange?
- Preferable brands?
- Is design/aesthetics important?
- Build quality important/Sturdyness of the laptop important(Clumsy people will want to get a Lenovo)?

- DVD, BluRay (And yes it is important to know if you want a DVD player, some laptops have a so called 'modular bay' which you can switch a DVD player for an extra battery in the laptop, or to save weight)?
- Cupholder?

I can go on with this list if you want to, but these are probably the primary things I would need to know, would I want to chose a laptop.
 

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Dude, get something light. I'd personally go for a netbook.

And I don't know how it will be for the colleges you guys go to, but there are outlets everywhere at my college. If I want to charge something you can just sit in the back and charge it.
 
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Yes, we have those here as well. Still, it's a lot easier if you don't have to do that, and if you use your laptop in the train as well, all the more convenient not having to charge it every 2 hours (plus, the fewer times you have to charge, the longer the battery lasts.).
 

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