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Thread: Best laptop for study purposes

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    Member Ludvik's Avatar
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    Best laptop for study purposes

    Hey all!

    I'd really to know your opinion on the best laptop / notebook for study purposes (university / college) .

    Any details are welcome, from make / brand, ideal specifications and operating system...suppose the budget is around USD 700.

  2. #2
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    I like thinkpads. They're still pretty solid business machines even though the newer ones are nowhere near as durable as the old IBM ones that you could beat somebody to death with. I got an X220 and I'm still happy with it, but if I were looking today I would probably go with something a little cheaper like the X131. The extra features for durability look handy, and 11.6 is probably about the perfect size for a school laptop. I would definitely not consider anything over 13". Battery life looks great and you could stick an SSD in there (bought separately and installed yourself of course - don't throw your money away) and still come in well under budget.

    I'm sure other manufacturers have some good options too, but I won't look at anything other than a thinkpad mainly because I hate glossy screens and touchpads.

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    creator kari's Avatar
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    Ummm, I think it's worth it to save up a bit extra to get a macbook air. I use a 13 inch and I barely feel it in my backpack. It's been a few months and I've had absolutely no problems with it, and I hear my friends have problems with their laptops all the time. I'm glad I bought it cuz it's 10x easier to be organised for uni.
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    Senior Member Space Invaders Champion Fitz's Avatar
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    What are you studying?

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    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't go with anything less than a 15 inch rMBP, but that at least triples your budget. Airs are okay for general use, but their screen resolution sucks. You want to be able to easily view a lot of open documents/programs at once. I suppose you could just manage multiple desktops and flip between them, but I personally like squeezing two near-fully sized windows into one desktop, and 1920x1200 is just big enough for this (I'm not crazy enough to bump up to 2880x1800).

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    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    For 700 bucks you may as well just get the best within that budget on Newegg and expect to replace the battery and power adapter within a year and the entire thing within two to three (with little to no resale value).

  7. #7
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludvik View Post
    Hey all!

    I'd really to know your opinion on the best laptop / notebook for study purposes (university / college) .

    Any details are welcome, from make / brand, ideal specifications and operating system...suppose the budget is around USD 700.
    What are you studying? That makes a big difference in your likely operating system choice. Basically, I'd probably go with the recommendation of finding whatever Amazon or Newegg have at your price point. I'd say both Lenovo and HP are pretty good brands, but Asus, Dell or Acer are nice too. I'd stay away from Toshiba. In terms of the specific hardware, I think whatever CPU/RAM you get would be fine for general use purposes. I'd focus on finding the best display you can get for the money.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

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    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    I don't know about $700 either, but I'd start with Consumer Reports, but only for their reliability feedback from surveying their readers.

    So, here's a text version of their reliability feedback based on 24000 responses from 2010 to 2013, a difference of 4 pts isn't meaningful they say. This is percent that need "Repairs and Serious Problems"

    Apple - 6, Toshiba - 9, Acer - 10, Gateway - 11, HP - 11, Sony - 12, Lenovo - 12, Dell - 12, Asus - 13

    Not much difference there to choose from. I'm surprised Lenovo didn't score higher but I've never owned one. On their ratings they seem to like the Lenovo Thinkpads, although most computers they looked at were pricier than $700 even for the Windows machines.

    Do you know how portable or luggable a machine you want (how important is size/weight)?

  9. #9
    ..you don't know me LordLatch's Avatar
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    You don't have to replace the battery every year if you don't leave it plugged in.

    I have a stack of kacked laptops my clients give me from which I gank parts as needed.

    Seems like recent HP's have a high no-appearant-reason-failure rate. My wife's, I have repaired 3 times using the easybake(pull the mobo and cook it in the oven to reflow the gpu solder) method.

    Toshiba are nice and cheap(roundabout $400 at Best Buy) and one I have should be dead but it's alive and kicking.

    My Dell 1501 is my bathtub laptop. It has received transplants of harddrive, dvd drive, power supply brick, and keyboard and it's still kicking!

    Just make sure you get as many cores and ram as you can get. Avoid low grade processors like Celeron and Sempron- I don't actually think they sell these names anymore but the idea is the same and it usually meant the cpu was neutered a bit with a smaller cache. Ask your retailer what is today's low grade chip and don't get it.

    Harddrive size is not all that important as you prolly won't fill it up if you have more than 200gigs unless you are a notorious pirate. Don't get a 2 terabyte or bigger drive in a notebook. They fail a lot. Wait a while till the tech matures a bit to get something big in a laptop.
    Last edited by LordLatch; 03-18-2014 at 03:12 AM.
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  10. #10
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    For 700 bucks you may as well just get the best within that budget on Newegg and expect to replace the battery and power adapter within a year and the entire thing within two to three (with little to no resale value).
    Why would you replace the power adapter? I have ones that are over a decade old, it's very simple technology. As for the battery, I can't imagine what you'd be doing with a laptop to wear it out in under a year. If you do want to replace one though, they cost like twenty bucks and mine slips out by pulling a couple sliders on the bottom - I can even bring extras along on a trip, and some of the new thinkpads even have hotswappable batteries. With a mac you have a choice of sending the whole machine in for a costly replacement or undergoing a complicated disassembly process that voids your warranty. Personally, though, my X220 is almost three years old and still gets at least six hours on the battery it came with.

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