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Old 07-17-08, 11:53 AM   #1
EJ123
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I need a laptop for school. Help? :)

But I have no idea what will work superb for me.

3GB Ram would be preferred for me.
Oh, and a nice video card to run a few games.

Here's the requirements from the school:

Platform PC (Vista Ready)
Operating System Vista Business, Vista Ultimte or Windows XP Pro w/ Service Pack 2
Processor Speed Laptop or Tablet: Core 2 Duo processor (or AMD comparable processor) 2 GHz (or higher)
Memory (RAM) 2 GB or higher
Hard Disk Drive 120 GB or bigger (5400 RPM minimum)
CD/DVD Drive DVD+-RW
USB External Hard Drive / Back-up Drive 160 GB (minimum)
Removable Storage USB Flash Memory -1 GB or higher
NIC/Ethernet Card and Wireless Card Your NIC needs to run on a 10Base-T network and have an RJ-45 connector.
Wireless network cards should support the 802.11a/g standard.
See the section on NIC/Ethernet cards for more information.
Video RAM 128 MB or more shared
Warranty 3-year on-site service support with accident damage coverage (4-year is highly recommended).
Software
Software Suite:
PC: Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise (runs on Vista or XP)


I prefer ordering from Newegg or TigerDirect..those kinds of places. Thanks for any help .
Oh yeah. I wish the price to be cheap around 700-900. $1500 MAX.
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Old 07-17-08, 11:55 AM   #2
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I have one of the newer HPs and it works just fine for me. It cost under $1300 if I remember correctly Just make sure you get some sort of riser to help with cooling.
One thing to remember though, even though schools are all rolling over to Vista, it SUCKS! Seriously, if you absolutely don't have to use it, don't.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:00 PM   #3
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Does the school have a relationship with anyone like Dell, etc? I know lots of schools arrange special pricing on systems built to their requirements. Have you asked your advisor about this?
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:02 PM   #4
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If you're going to be a college student, most Universities have agreements to purchase cheaper machines from say Dell or Apple. I also think Dell provides a student discount. Personal opinion (from a IT guy) If you're going to buy a laptop, don't try to get an all in one solution. Laptops that try to do everything are large heavy a clunky and get relegated to the desktop because you don't want to carry them around. If you want play some games, leave that to a desktop. Laptop should be portable and light so you can take them anywhere such as to lectures, libraries, study groups...etc. This is especially true if you're going to be riding a bike. You will regret getting a big heavy "high powered" machine. I'm currently using a Apple Macbook. I also like the Dell XPS m1330 and the Lenovo x300. There some decent HPs as well. Check with your school.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:04 PM   #5
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Yeah, but the discounts they give are on very expensive, fully loaded, computers. Odds are the people who need those are the business or engineer majoring students. My major is health related, and I don't need much heh. And taking out a big loan makes me more stingy now with laptop purchasing.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:12 PM   #6
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i don't own one, but wanted to, if you can get ahold of a sony vaio CR, it would be perfect. I had a friend let me borrow his old sony (7 year old laptop) while my mac was *cough* getting a new harddrive after it's explosion. and it worked great even for being that old. Other models will work fine, but this one has all the perks, and is well within your price range : )

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...tegoryId=16154

additionally, if you have a costco nearby, you can usually pick one up there, may be a little more, but by the time you pay for shipping and all, you may come out even.

specs: 2.4 GHz on the processor
3 gigs ram
320 GB harddrive
built in camera
sexy outter shell in various colors
price set right at around 1200 : )
granted. this only comes with a one year warrenty, and upgrades are NOT cheap, but . . . take a look anyway : P
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Old 07-17-08, 12:13 PM   #7
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sony has plenty more to offer to, if you want something cheaper, but still meeting your needs
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Old 07-17-08, 12:17 PM   #8
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Look in to Lenovo ThinkPads or some of their other lines like X*. Durable, have tons of options to choose from, and don't look like childs toy like some other laptops.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:20 PM   #9
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Choose a maker, contact them and ask if they have a student discount program then. I know a coworker has a daughter at a local school. They get incredible prices on software and a 10-15% discount on hardware I believe.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-17-08, 06:06 PM   #10
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If you can afford it, try to get one from the "business" side rather than the "consumer" side. They tend to be built a little tougher to withstand toting it around every day.

Good luck!
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Old 07-17-08, 06:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Look in to Lenovo ThinkPads or some of their other lines like X*. Durable, have tons of options to choose from, and don't look like childs toy like some other laptops.
Ditto on this.

Check out Lenovo's outlet website. There can be quite a few to choose from. The "T" series are extremely durable nononsense machines. Not the best gamers out there but with titanium and magnesium frames with carbon fibre reinforced shells can take some bouncing around. Mines' been knocked around a bit in the front of my car and being carried around industrial plants and still works just dandy.
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Old 07-17-08, 06:31 PM   #12
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Forget the specs. Buy the cheap laptop from Fry's (or you local cheap electronics store) with a core 2 duo in it. You should be able to find one for less than $500. Reinstall with XP. You'll have fast computer for cheap.

Since you'll likely replace any computer you get within a couple years, you might as well replace a cheap one.
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Old 07-17-08, 07:45 PM   #13
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You might get a discount on the software, through a retailer or through a university store.
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Old 07-17-08, 07:54 PM   #14
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Get a Lenovo (IBM). Things are solid and the parts channel is fantastic down the road if you need to replace something in 6 or 7 years. I have a IBM 600X that is now 10 years old and I had to replace the keyboard, found one for $4 on ebay and it works great.

Also check e-Bay for laptops off corp leases. Got one for my wife a couple of years ago, the IBM T43, been a fantastic machine and picked it up for $425.00.
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Old 07-17-08, 08:39 PM   #15
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Another vote for Lenovo. The quality is there, despite not truly being IBM anymore.
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Old 07-17-08, 08:46 PM   #16
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Get a Lenovo (IBM).
+1 for a Thinkpad. You will not regret it.

Don't get a Dell. I have to support several Dells at work and they are not quality.

Avoid Gateway like the plague.

If you can't find a Lenovo for a reasonable price, go Toshiba.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:04 PM   #17
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Some of those requirements make no sense to me. What am I missing as to why they are necessary, or even desirable?

Operating System Vista Business, Vista Ultimte or Windows XP Pro What's the point of "Business" or "Pro"?

USB External Hard Drive / Back-up Drive 160 GB (minimum)
Maybe recommended, but why a requirement?

Warranty 3-year on-site service support with accident damage coverage (4-year is highly recommended). ditto

Removable Storage USB Flash Memory -1 GB or higher
What's the point of this?

What'll they do to you if your computer isn't up to their standards on these items? Expel you?
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Old 07-17-08, 10:08 PM   #18
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+1 for a Thinkpad. You will not regret it.

Don't get a Dell. I have to support several Dells at work and they are not quality.

Avoid Gateway like the plague.

If you can't find a Lenovo for a reasonable price, go Toshiba.
My experience with my Dell computer is that it has been perfect. I bought it in 2002, and have had no hardware problems...I can't say anything about their support, one way or the other, because I've never had to call them.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by huytheskigod View Post
Laptop should be portable and light so you can take them anywhere such as to lectures, libraries, study groups...etc. This is especially true if you're going to be riding a bike. You will regret getting a big heavy "high powered" machine. I'm currently using a Apple Macbook. I also like the Dell XPS m1330 and the Lenovo x300. There some decent HPs as well. Check with your school.
Absolutely

I used a Dell 700m in college. Loved how small it was.

Unless you really want to play games, don tneed to go for latest and greatest. Personally, my usage was 80% web-email; 10% word processing; and 10% excel-powerpoint

On a budget, I would look for a used Dell 710m. For new I would look into the dell, lenovo, and hp, exactly as listed above.

your school is overselling you on the required/recommend specs. theres no reason vista, core2duo, etc is necessary. if you are specifically in engineering or physics program, and needed to run complex simulation or something, you'd probably use school facility anyways. i actually know many engineers who graduated without ever even owning a *personal* computer.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Yeah, but the discounts they give are on very expensive, fully loaded, computers. Odds are the people who need those are the business or engineer majoring students. My major is health related, and I don't need much heh. And taking out a big loan makes me more stingy now with laptop purchasing.
That may be true about what they carry in the student store but if they have agreements to discount one item from a certain brand, such as Dell, the whole brand is usually discounted, even the lower priced ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juggleaddict View Post
i don't own one, but wanted to, if you can get ahold of a sony vaio CR, it would be perfect. I had a friend let me borrow his old sony (7 year old laptop) while my mac was *cough* getting a new harddrive after it's explosion. and it worked great even for being that old. Other models will work fine, but this one has all the perks, and is well within your price range : )

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...tegoryId=16154
Sony's were great in yesteryears but their build quality ha really gone down hill yet they still sell at a premium. The Sony that one of the professors in my department bought had been nothing but trouble. We just got him a Lenovo x300 and he loves it.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:37 PM   #21
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If you go new, you could probably get a sweet deal from Dell for not much more than $1200.
Apple Macbooks run at that price, and you can get the base model for as low as $900 on the Craig's List.
If you look HARD on Craiglist or eBay, you can probably find a much higher end laptop at $1200.

BTW Do you go to Colleyville? Your school has an awesome debate team! I was from Bergenfield, and when we went to the big tournaments, your guys always made our winning streak difficult to keep :-)
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Old 07-17-08, 11:08 PM   #22
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With a student discount, a new MacBook might fit in the higher end of that price range.

What is the use for the laptop? Is it a desktop replacement, or is it meant to be something you carry around with you to all your classes? If its the latter, even though one doesn't think of it, weight is a big thing after while. Bigger screen sizes are nice to look at, but when a laptop gets past a certain size, its awkward to pull out and use. I learned this lesson the hard way with buying an older HP laptop that had all the bells and whistles... but compromised in various places. The newer HP laptop I purchased is bare bones, but after a 4GB RAM upgrade, it does what I need it to.

Finally, and this is just me. The economy is collapsing, and crime is up. Make sure to carry some sort of laptop lock, and use software to encrypt the OS. TrueCrypt is great for this, however Jetico's BestCrypt, and PGP's whole disk encryption are excellent too. On Macs, enable FileVault. The reason for this is that there are a lot of thieves who are aware that the stuff someone has on a laptop is in is likely more valuable than the machine itself, so a laptop theft can easily turn into an extortion case.
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Old 07-17-08, 11:44 PM   #23
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1. Go to one of these sites and design your own custom rig:

http://www.powernotebooks.com/
http://www.btotech.com/

(you basically pick out a chassis and then add whatever you need)

2. Install Ubuntu Linux and pocket the money you would have spent on Microsoft.

3. Get a hot deal on Windows XP or Vista through your college as soon as you're registered.
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Old 07-18-08, 01:19 AM   #24
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Depending on college, you might be able to get Vista not just at a discount, but possibly free (if you get allowed into the MSDNAA plan), or for $10.
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Old 07-18-08, 01:43 AM   #25
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fwiw, I customized a Compal IFL90 through powernotebooks in December and I love it. It was marketed as their PowerPro in-house brand, though cheaper than the Sager which is also a re-branded Compal. They also offer some nice Asus barebones notebooks under the PowerPro brand.
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