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Thread: Laptop advice?

  1. #1
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Default Laptop advice?

    I have a 16 year old sister that needs a laptop for highschool/college in the near future. It's her birthday coming up, and my sister and I are pitchin' in for it.

    We wanted to get her something that mainly functions for student work: Homework, internet, student/office stuff, etc.

    I've seen a lot of the mini-notebooks, and they're extremely cute and come in a variety of colors and styles, and I thought about this.. but the lack of internal optical drive bothers me. I think that'd be necessary..

    So my question remains, does anyone know a good place to get one? I'd like as many features as possible, but this is mainly a school-work computer and a gift to boot so we're definitely on a budget with it. I know some places come with stuff already installed, which would be great.
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    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Laptops die. I can't recall a single friend whose laptop survived 4 years of university, my nice, expensive Toshiba laptop included, even though I used it as a desktop, almost never moved it, and babied it. If she's only 16 I would buy her a desktop if you want it to last. I have many friends whose desktops survived several school years stress-free, and never had to fork out money in a last minute emergency so they could have something to type papers on when their laptops crashed.
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    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    mac or dell. If you are worried about it being beaten up get an extended warranty. (I absolutely would) I have to buy a new computer every 1-2 years and was very into laptops for a while before I found the awesomeness of my gaming desktop.

    Be careful when buying a laptop right now because of the Vista drain on your resources. Most people don't really care too much about what the specs are because they don't use it for intensive things but keep in mind that Vista is a drain. (really, I'm just whining about vista here, ignore that)

    I have an older (4 years?) Inspiron computer and it really is an amazing computer. It would work perfectly well for anyone (other than gamers) wanting a new computer even today. I've had HP laptops and they were both pretty awful. I would buy off the dell website and then she can have her exactly laptop listed when she logs into the website. I've actually found that pretty helpful for upgrades (mostly on desktops) or to keep track of exactly what you have.

    I'm not sure what price range you are looking at but it might be cool to team up with someone to get her a nice flat screen for her desk to attach her laptop to when she is at home (dorm). They get rather small for doing long amounts of work.

    Dell Inspiron Laptops : Colorful laptops, small laptops, light weight laptops
    Dell Inspiron 15z Laptop Product Details (this says its a slim with an optical drive? Haven't looked into it)

    I really don't know anything about macs but I've heard good things from the users I know.

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    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I'd promote the laptop I use, but that'd be way over the top for a laptop to use for university.

    Still, one thing I would definatly advice on is cooling system. Get a laptop that fans the heated air out of the back of the laptop. Not one that blows off steam to the side.

    It might be a preferance thing. But really, heat from the back of the laptop just seems to be much better in my experience.
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    Senior Member Nighthawk's Avatar
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    I've had good fortune with Dell Inspirons in the past as well. I currently own a HP Pavillion, which is still serving me well. I've also never run across a Mac user who didn't love their machine ... even die hard Windows converts. Macs do tend to be a bit more pricey though.

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    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Laptops die. I can't recall a single friend whose laptop survived 4 years of university, my nice, expensive Toshiba laptop included, even though I used it as a desktop, almost never moved it, and babied it. If she's only 16 I would buy her a desktop if you want it to last. I have many friends whose desktops survived several school years stress-free, and never had to fork out money in a last minute emergency so they could have something to type papers on when their laptops crashed.
    My toshiba I bought when I turned 18. I've never taken care of it, abused it, took it to Iraq and back and it still works. (it's slow and hijacked and needs cleaning, but works XD lol)

    With that said, I entirely agree that desktops would be a better choice all around.. but her heart's set on a, quote, "cute laptop like a real college student" and, to be frank, it's two years until she goes to college. We don't have the space for another desktop (there are currently three in the house )

    I plan on asking my brother to buy her an external hard drive (one of those small petite 320gb ones) that she can keep with it to back up her material incase it dies or crashes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    mac or dell. If you are worried about it being beaten up get an extended warranty. (I absolutely would) I have to buy a new computer every 1-2 years and was very into laptops for a while before I found the awesomeness of my gaming desktop.

    Be careful when buying a laptop right now because of the Vista drain on your resources. Most people don't really care too much about what the specs are because they don't use it for intensive things but keep in mind that Vista is a drain. (really, I'm just whining about vista here, ignore that)

    I have an older (4 years?) Inspiron computer and it really is an amazing computer. It would work perfectly well for anyone (other than gamers) wanting a new computer even today. I've had HP laptops and they were both pretty awful. I would buy off the dell website and then she can have her exactly laptop listed when she logs into the website. I've actually found that pretty helpful for upgrades (mostly on desktops) or to keep track of exactly what you have.

    I'm not sure what price range you are looking at but it might be cool to team up with someone to get her a nice flat screen for her desk to attach her laptop to when she is at home (dorm). They get rather small for doing long amounts of work.

    Dell Inspiron Laptops : Colorful laptops, small laptops, light weight laptops
    Dell Inspiron 15z Laptop Product Details (this says its a slim with an optical drive? Haven't looked into it)

    I really don't know anything about macs but I've heard good things from the users I know.
    Thank you for this. Lots of awesome advice here to check into!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    I'd promote the laptop I use, but that'd be way over the top for a laptop to use for university.

    Still, one thing I would definatly advice on is cooling system. Get a laptop that fans the heated air out of the back of the laptop. Not one that blows off steam to the side.

    It might be a preferance thing. But really, heat from the back of the laptop just seems to be much better in my experience.
    I noticed this as well as my laptop blows from the side. It'll make one leg really hot while the other one is fine, forcing me to always set it on half of my lap.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  7. #7
    Senior Member Liminality's Avatar
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    My dad mentioned something about there being a big windows update in a couple of months, today, don't know if you'd wanna check it out...
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  8. #8
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liminality View Post
    My dad mentioned something about there being a big windows update in a couple of months, today, don't know if you'd wanna check it out...
    Windows 7 is the new OS coming out. You can get most new computers with a free upgrade to 7 once it is released in October. I've been running the Windows 7 release candidate on 3 computers and it's just superb, already more stable than Vista and it's just a Beta!

    Anyways, I do like HPs. My current laptop is an HP touchsmart laptop, got it for 750 bucks on Ebay and it's perfect for web/homework/productivity software, and I LOVE the tablet aspect of it. Perfect for taking notes.

    HP TouchSmart tx2 Notebook PC

    I've had Dell laptops before, but have had bad experiences with longevity, however they were bottom of the line models.



  9. #9
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Windows 7 is gonna be pretty awesome.

    But then again, I'm one of the view people that also finds Windows vista awesome and extremely reliable.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Clonester's Avatar
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    Best Buy and big box store equivalents typically have the best prices.

    A few basic things: Getting a reliable brand is very important, because laptops can wear out quickly if you don't. I've had two HP laptops with rock solid build quality. I know Asus, Dell and a few others do too. I'd stay away from Acer and Toshiba. They aren't bad, but I've seen them wear out prematurely.

    It'll probably have Vista so at least 3 GB of memory. If it's going to be for college battery life is important. Check out Notebook Reviews for battery life.
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