Which Laptop for college? 14 replies

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War Hawk

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27th January 2004

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#1 9 years ago

I'll be going into college next year and I was wondering what laptop to get. I have a few questions:

  • What is a good brand / Are there any brands to stay away from?
  • I want to be able to play my collection of Steam games (nothing too intense like Crysis. Maybe the most intense is TF2/L4D). What graphics card should I look for?
  • I don't want a Mac. Is there a laptop less than $1,500 that is popular now?
  • I live in the US. Where should I get it? Walk into a store? Newegg?

Thanks.




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#2 9 years ago

I have a Toshiba Satellite Pro, which i picked up for around £380 (GBP) , mine struggles with games, but it is only a base model i would think if u have $1,500 to spend u can deffinately find something to run games nicely, let me have a look.....

Ok So for me if you are going to spend that much on a laptop i'd go alienware! They are designed to be gaming laptops and have good performance as well as looking badass, After having a look there are two models within your price range.

The Area 51 (NVIDIA® GeForce™ 9800M GT, Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme processors) - $1119 (15.4 inch)

The M17 - QuadCore + ATI CrossFireX dual-GPU technology - $1299

After looking at this website i quite fancy one myself




*Daedalus

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#3 9 years ago

The Toshiba Qosmio was a laptop I was looking at before I got the M17x ($1,800, so out of your budget). One model they have that's 1,499 on Newegg has a 2.4GHz dual core and a 9700GTS graphics card. That'll handle all of those games fine. The color scheme is not to everyone's taste's though. =p

There's also the Gateway FX805u (I think?) It's similar, but it's got a 9800GTS, and it's a bit cheaper from what I recall. For a laptop like that though, you'll be wanting an external cooler.

I don't have time right now, but I've basically been doing what you're doing for the last couple of months. When I get back tonight I'll link you to all the laptops I saw as potentials (My budget was originally around $1,500 also)

Edit: That Gateway is the P-7805u.




Mastershroom VIP Member

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#4 9 years ago

If you're looking for something capable of Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2, then you don't need any ridiculously powerful stuff. Pretty much anything with an ATi 46xx series or nVidia 9600 series will be more than sufficient, paired with pretty much any Core 2 Duo processor.

The first thing I have to ask is, what size are you looking for? 13.3 or 14.1" ultraportable? 15.4-16"? 17"+ desktop replacement?




War Hawk

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#5 9 years ago
Zamamee;4937234 The first thing I have to ask is, what size are you looking for? 13.3 or 14.1" ultraportable? 15.4-16"? 17"+ desktop replacement?

I assume 15.4? That seems like the most common size. Desktop replacements don't seem too convenient and anything smaller than 15.4 seems useless.

Thanks for the advice everyone. Any advice on good stores to go to? Are walk-in stores a rip off?

And are there any laptop brands to avoid? I've never heard of MSI laptops, but they have a few that look okay.

Sorry for so many questions; I've been a desktop user all my life haha.




Babeman

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#6 9 years ago

Walk in stores are sometimes really bad with overpricing their laptops and other merchandise, so I would suggest ordering online from somewhere like newegg.com or tigerdirect.com. I don't know any cheap online sites other than those to get laptops. 17inch laptops are actually more portable than you think, I wouldn't rule them out completely, especially if your planning to game. Like Lawrence suggested, go for an Alienware or M17X, they are both kick ass, and you won't be dissapointed with either brand.




*Daedalus

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#7 9 years ago

Right, so I said I'd link you to all the laptops I considered for my college laptop.

Newegg.com - TOSHIBA Qosmio X305-Q711 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo P8600(2.40GHz) 17.0" Wide XGA+ 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 320GB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce 9700M GTS - Laptops / Notebooks

The Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q711. From what I've read, it's a powerful laptop. The good points are obviously the overall speed of the thing, and it's sound system. It's got one of the best you'll find in any laptop anywhere. If you're the kind of guy that uses headphones 24/7 this won't matter though.

The bad: I've heard reports that the build quality isn't brilliant. There's been reports of a few laptops with keyboard flexing (when you hit a key, the whole keyboard bends a little) Toshiba laptops are also known for being full of bloatware, but a reinstall is no biggie.

Newegg.com - Gateway P-7807u FX Edition NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo P8600(2.40GHz) 17.0" Wide XGA+ 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 320GB HDD 7200rpm Dual layer DVD Burner NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS - Laptops / Notebooks

The Gateway P-7807u. It's actually more powerful than the Toshiba, but it lacks the sound system. It's Gateway, so they're known for their build quality. You shouldn't have a problem with it.

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

Dell Studio 17. This looks like a very nice laptop. The only thing that put me off about it was the not-so-good ATI graphics. I was looking for something with more power, but it's an option for you. The Studio line have also got some of the best displays you're ever going to find on laptops, as they use RGB LED screens. If you're the kind of person that watches a lot of movies, this one could definitely be worth a look.

HP Official Store — Buy HP Over 15.9" Laptop & tablet PCs direct from HP

That's a link to a few HP laptops. I was looking at their HDX series. You can get things like backlit keyboards, which I like. The closest these laptops are to are the Dell Studios. Very good displays, but a little underpowered for what I wanted. They work out as being a lot cheaper than others for that though.

I hope that helps you at least a little.




DarkKrucifix7

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#8 9 years ago
Mastershroom VIP Member

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#9 9 years ago

The_Daedalus;4938226Right, so I said I'd link you to all the laptops I considered for my college laptop.

Newegg.com - TOSHIBA Qosmio X305-Q711 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo P8600(2.40GHz) 17.0" Wide XGA+ 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 320GB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce 9700M GTS - Laptops / Notebooks

The Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q711. From what I've read, it's a powerful laptop. The good points are obviously the overall speed of the thing, and it's sound system. It's got one of the best you'll find in any laptop anywhere. If you're the kind of guy that uses headphones 24/7 this won't matter though.

The bad: I've heard reports that the build quality isn't brilliant. There's been reports of a few laptops with keyboard flexing (when you hit a key, the whole keyboard bends a little) Toshiba laptops are also known for being full of bloatware, but a reinstall is no biggie.

Newegg.com - Gateway P-7807u FX Edition NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo P8600(2.40GHz) 17.0" Wide XGA+ 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 320GB HDD 7200rpm Dual layer DVD Burner NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS - Laptops / Notebooks

The Gateway P-7807u. It's actually more powerful than the Toshiba, but it lacks the sound system. It's Gateway, so they're known for their build quality. You shouldn't have a problem with it.

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

Dell Studio 17. This looks like a very nice laptop. The only thing that put me off about it was the not-so-good ATI graphics. I was looking for something with more power, but it's an option for you. The Studio line have also got some of the best displays you're ever going to find on laptops, as they use RGB LED screens. If you're the kind of person that watches a lot of movies, this one could definitely be worth a look.

HP Official Store — Buy HP Over 15.9" Laptop & tablet PCs direct from HP

That's a link to a few HP laptops. I was looking at their HDX series. You can get things like backlit keyboards, which I like. The closest these laptops are to are the Dell Studios. Very good displays, but a little underpowered for what I wanted. They work out as being a lot cheaper than others for that though.

I hope that helps you at least a little.

Those are pretty much all 17".

War Hawk...if you're looking for 15.4", you might like the Dell Studio 15. It's technically 15.6", thanks to the 16:9 HDTV display ratio, but it's a good laptop. Starts at $650, has a pretty wide range of Intel Core 2 Duo processors to choose from, all on Intel's newer Montevina platform with the 45 chipset. You can get it with Vista 32 or 64-bit, and graphics options include the 512MB ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4570, which is more than sufficient for TF2 and L4D. Display options include 720p (1366x768), 900p (1600x900), and 1080p (1920x1080). Also, optional Blu-Ray reader and backlit keyboard.




*Daedalus

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#10 9 years ago
Zamamee;4938371Those are pretty much all 17".

Well he didn't say that he didn't want a 17". Besides, I've seen the 17" HP notebooks in person, and they're very thin. 17", 15.4... it's all the same really, you're still going to have to throw both of them in a backpack and probably carry around a second battery too.

But yeah, the Studio 15, or a 15" HP would also be a good buy.




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