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Alexander

Getting a New Laptop

45 posts in this topic

So I'm headed to grad school in the fall and I'm seriously considering investing in a new laptop. Any recommendations? What's good right now?

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I don't troll. If he's going to school, a Mac is the best option.

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I wish that was a troll.

 

He's not going to elementary school.

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Macs are often not the most economical buy compared to Windows laptops. But hey, if you like OS X, it's the only way you can go.

 

I'm not up on laptops, but it would probably help anyone suggesting stuff if you specified more what you want to use it for. Is this just for school, or do you want to play games on it? Are you headed for a discipline where you'll want processing power, or do you just need office apps and such?

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I'm delving deeper into history, so I'll basically need it for lots of writing and the occasional graphics presentation. I just need a portable computer, preferably one that will be able to handle new games (such as Civ5, etc.).

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Mac

If you like paying 30% of the price for brand, great idea.

 

I just need a portable computer, preferably one that will be able to handle new games (such as Civ5, etc.).

How about buying a cheap laptop (~$200) for everyday use such as school and an expensive table PC for the latest games? Laptop prices go steeply up if you want them to be as powerful as the latest table PC's, and laptop parts are harder to upgrade.

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Sorry to me, gaming laptop and 11" screen should not be in the same sentence.

 

Alex,

 

So you are mainly looking for a portable computer as opposed to a laptop/netbook specifically. Will you be doing work in one or many areas. Does battery life matter to you (to some it does not as they just want the portability).

 

What is your budget?

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Well, here are some more details on my situation. Thanks everyone for your help, btw.

 

I already have an expensive desktop PC, and it's currently non-functioning. I'd like to get it fixed, and then it will be my fancy gaming PC. However, it's already been several months, and will likely be several more. It's got multiple problems.

 

Our other computer, an HP laptop, has served us well but is getting old. It also cannot really handle most games, as it only has a small video chip and not a proper card.

 

I tried an Alienware Mobile Desktop in the past, and it was super-heavy and overheated constantly, so I won't be taking that route again.

 

So I'd like to get a decent laptop that can play games properly, won't immediately run out of battery and die, and will just be a well-rounded machine overall. I'd like to get this for under $1000 if possible.

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Zack that looks a little marginal.

 

He'll probably need to stay in the 15-16" range to get decent battery life.

 

That one is heavy (12lbs) and has a 2.5 hour bat life.

 

My thoughts are that the specs should be:

i5 proc

discrete graphics card

9 or 12 cell battery (4-8 hours of life).

15-16 inch screen.

 

The good news is that there is a ton of stuff with that type of config at your price point.

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My thoughts are that the specs should be:

i5 proc

discrete graphics card

9 or 12 cell battery (4-8 hours of life).

15-16 inch screen.

 

The good news is that there is a ton of stuff with that type of config at your price point.

 

Any particular models you'd recommend?

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Go with a solid brand name like Compuserve....

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I wish that was a troll.

 

He's not going to elementary school.

 

Btw BU, thank you for this post. :lol:

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Zack is a good guy when he wants to be. I was just sayin' (that Mac sucks).

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I would like for the laptop in question to be able to play games like:

 

Civilization 5

Shogun 2

StarCraft 2

Dragon Age: Origins

 

I don't need to see my own face reflecting back at me from the in-game water or anything, but I'd like it to at least run these games without issues.

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I believe Starcraft 2 and Dragon Age are not particularly demanding in the graphics department. (As far as running it - both scale, I'm sure.) The key is to get discrete graphics rather than Intel's. (I've even read people say DAO will run on Intel graphics, heh.)

 

CiV and Shogun 2 don't have system requirements yet. I'm guessing Shogun 2 may end up being the most demanding thing on the list.

 

BTW, if battery life is truly important to you, you might want to look at laptops with Optimus, a new thing Nvidia has where the GPU can be shut off completely (in favor of Intel's integrated stuff) when not in use. That will certainly limit your choice, though, especially as I mostly came up with laptops with the crappy Geforce 310M in a quick search for it; so probably not a way to sort out laptops unless you really want that 4+ hour battery life along with your GPU.

 

Speaking of which, this has taught me there are some really bad discrete graphics out there. Like the 310M, which is apparently a 210M with a digit changed on the label. While I would have thought most new laptop cards would meet what you're looking for, the 310M looks like one to avoid.

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What about something like The Old Republic? I haven't made up my mind about it yet, and I want to keep my options open.

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Dunno, but most MMOs aren't particularly heavy. I wouldn't expect it to raise the level of hardware you'd want above where Shogun and Civ5 would already point. (Not that any of them has requirements released. I would think Empire: Total War is probably the closest thing you have to a guidepost till one or the other releases specs.)

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nerd invasion!

 

I prefer geeky dweeb, thanks!

 

Alex...

 

Well there is a trade off between size, video Horse Power, and battery life.

 

I did not look to see how much this is at the dell site, but BB has it under $1k and does meet all your desires.

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dell+-+Studio+Laptop+with+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i5+Processor+-+Cappuccino/9718931.p?id=1218158732672&skuId=9718931

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