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Old 08-01-2014, 01:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need help choosing a laptop for college

So I'm going to university in a few months and need a portable computer. I have dedicated gaming PC at home so performance is not very important (but I want to be able to use eg. MS Office/browser with no problems). I also don't care much if it's a macbook/laptop/ultrabook/etc. I will be mainly using to take notes and write seminars. Maybe play some indie games (FTL, etc)/web games/watch movies during long breaks.

The most important things are:

Battery life - I don't know what's the average but the longer the better

Performance - able to run a browser and MS Office (or whatever) with no problems, watch HD movies or do some very casual gaming (no need for dedicated GPU)

Price - max ~615$ (that would include shipping so aim a bit lower)

Ergonomics - comfortable keyboard, good cooling (so it doesn't feel like my hands are on a frying pan) and low weight (very important)

Capacity - 1 TB would be ideal, but I could work with 500 GB, maybe an SSD (but not necessary)

Touchscreen - I'd like one if it doesn't hike up the price too much

Misc - Wi-Fi, good viewing angle, HDMI port, USB ports (at least one 3.0 would be nice)

I'm also willing to buy used if that will get me better performance.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help choosing a laptop for college

Since you're not from US or UK, you'll probably need to provide us with a site that you'd be able to order from.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help choosing a laptop for college

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Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
Since you're not from US or UK, you'll probably need to provide us with a site that you'd be able to order from.
Everything that delivers to the EU should be able to deliver to me (Croatia). So amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, ebay etc.. Probably other US/UK sites that deliver to the EU.

I'd rather get recommendations for models and then I could try to find them for myself. Since I might be even able to buy them cheap here.
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help choosing a laptop for college

Hello!
I bought myself a Chromebook for highschool and it does everything and more! I would recommend getting a Macbook Pro, but I would pay $900+ for them, if you dont pay $900+, I personally think it would be a waste...thus, if you are staying with your budget I would buy a Chromebook, they acquire SSD;thus, they run VERY fast and efficient, because they are chrome based and you do everything (docs etc) on google chrome, you get A LOT of space and if you want more space you could buy more space You could buy a touch screen if you wanted to, max for your requirements would be $400...VERY cheap for a very efficient laptop, the thing about this laptop is that you could powerwach the brower and make it new again...chrome updates itself with the latest and it will never get old, until new new tech comes out + the design of the laptop is amazing anyway enough talk and its time for your to check it out!! Let me know if you like it if not, ill look deeper for your requirements!

Cheers, Shevchenko
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help choosing a laptop for college

You have to be connected to a network at all times to even use a Chromebook though.

@OP:
This looks like a fairly good deal
Amazon.com : Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop, Black (59406579) : Computers & Accessories

More specs: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops...510/#techspecs

Should be able to play FTL.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help choosing a laptop for college

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
You have to be connected to a network at all times to even use a Chromebook though.

@OP:
This looks like a fairly good deal
Amazon.com : Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop, Black (59406579) : Computers & Accessories

More specs: Lenovo G510 Laptop | Entry-Level Laptop *| Lenovo US

Should be able to play FTL.
Any other recommendations? I''l have the money in a month or two and want to have a few options in case the price shifts.
What are your opinion on these:

Asus X551CA (i3)
Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite
Toshiba Satellite C55-A-1R8

And would that Lenovo IdealPad work good with an A8? A10s seem to be rare.

FTL's not important. If it doesn't work I'll go play web games or Zork or just watch movies/series.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help choosing a laptop for college

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
You have to be connected to a network at all times to even use a Chromebook though.

@OP:
This looks like a fairly good deal
Amazon.com : Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop, Black (59406579) : Computers & Accessories

More specs: Lenovo G510 Laptop | Entry-Level Laptop *| Lenovo US

Should be able to play FTL.
yes, but doesn't the college, library, and even your home have internet?
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help choosing a laptop for college

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Originally Posted by courier View Post
Any other recommendations? I''l have the money in a month or two and want to have a few options in case the price shifts.
What are your opinion on these:

Asus X551CA (i3)
Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite
Toshiba Satellite C55-A-1R8

And would that Lenovo IdealPad work good with an A8? A10s seem to be rare.

FTL's not important. If it doesn't work I'll go play web games or Zork or just watch movies/series.
Asus X551CA - only 4GB RAM; older gen i3 (3xxx series); only has 4000 series Intel graphics; Would probably just want to upgrade RAM at some point;

Samsung Ativ Book 9 - integrated 4GB RAM (says max of 4GB as well so dunno if you can add extra or not then...); remember it only has an SSD so you'll be limited to the 128GB of storage; CPU/GPU are good though. Otherwise seems decent.

Toshiba c55-A-1R8 - CPU is similar to the Lenovo's; battery life seems similar as well. Lenovo is touchscreen though whereas the Toshiba isn't (up to you if you want touchscreen though).

What do you mean by "would the Lenovo work with an A8 or A10"? It has an Intel CPU (i5-4200m), not an AMD CPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amportant View Post
yes, but doesn't the college, library, and even your home have internet?
Try being at a college/university with a decent number of students. When everybody is accessing the network, the network speed slows to a crawl a lot of the time. Plus, colleges usually have authentication for their network...and what if the authentication method is having issues (has happened several times at the college I went to where I worked as a student IT tech).

And what if your home internet is having issues? Depending on what ISP you have, they could be quite slow not to mention possibly have a datacap. Or worse - what if you live on campus in a dorm and the dorm internet was slowed to a snails pace when everybody is accessing it (like I mentioned above)?

IMO I just wouldn't trust it, especially after seeing how networks are run in a college environment. Get something that you can work offline on if necessary.

Yes you can install different linux distros on a Chromebook...but I've seen those be a hassle to setup as well.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help choosing a laptop for college

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
Asus X551CA - only 4GB RAM; older gen i3 (3xxx series); only has 4000 series Intel graphics; Would probably just want to upgrade RAM at some point;

Samsung Ativ Book 9 - integrated 4GB RAM (says max of 4GB as well so dunno if you can add extra or not then...); remember it only has an SSD so you'll be limited to the 128GB of storage; CPU/GPU are good though. Otherwise seems decent.

Toshiba c55-A-1R8 - CPU is similar to the Lenovo's; battery life seems similar as well. Lenovo is touchscreen though whereas the Toshiba isn't (up to you if you want touchscreen though).

What do you mean by "would the Lenovo work with an A8 or A10"? It has an Intel CPU (i5-4200m), not an AMD CPU.



Try being at a college/university with a decent number of students. When everybody is accessing the network, the network speed slows to a crawl a lot of the time. Plus, colleges usually have authentication for their network...and what if the authentication method is having issues (has happened several times at the college I went to where I worked as a student IT tech).

And what if your home internet is having issues? Depending on what ISP you have, they could be quite slow not to mention possibly have a datacap. Or worse - what if you live on campus in a dorm and the dorm internet was slowed to a snails pace when everybody is accessing it (like I mentioned above)?

IMO I just wouldn't trust it, especially after seeing how networks are run in a college environment. Get something that you can work offline on if necessary.

Yes you can install different linux distros on a Chromebook...but I've seen those be a hassle to setup as well.
My bad. Mixed up the g510 with the g505. BTW what are your opinions on it.

The main reason is I'm getting it is to take notes. And I'll be more productive with a laptop at library than my gaming PC at home.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help choosing a laptop for college

Depends on what CPU you get with the G505.

I understand you mainly want it for just taking notes...but that's just what you want now. You might want to expand your uses with it in the future (that's certainly what happened with my laptop when I went to college).
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