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College Time: Laptop needed:


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#1 robsc3ne

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 06:28 PM

Hey its about time for me to start my first semester in college. I'm not really good at shopping around and finding the best deals. I was wondering if anyone here could post links of deals they have found, on Laptops.

Thankssss,

Robert

#2 humidore

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 06:43 PM

I got this $350 Toshiba @ Fry's for my dad, dunno if it'll suit your purposes. Processor probably sucks for anything more than internet/word processing.

More detailed specs


#3 robsc3ne

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 08:33 PM

hey thanks, i am not really looking for anything specific.
Mostly just something to take notes, do papers with.

Thanks for the ad.

#4 TheBlueWizard

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 08:49 PM

There are probably good deal out there, but honestly, I would go to Best Buy and buy a $600-700 laptop. Its not worth it to get anything higher end than that, and a machine at that price should last 4 years. Unless you are an engineer or CS major who will be doing serious calculations, that should be enough to get by.

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#5 crzyboy88

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 01:31 PM

Save your back and enjoy a long battery. Get a netbook.
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#6 Hybrid5006

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 01:50 PM

I'm looking for a laptop as well...

Best Buy seems to have some pretty good laptops on sale for decent prices this week.

This one is in their ad and has good specs: http://www.bestbuy.c...d=1218036213682

Also thinking about this one since it's $100 cheaper and not that bad either: http://www.bestbuy.c...d=1218044029373

#7 blk00civicsi

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 02:09 PM

Dell's got some smoking deals if you're school is involved in their EPP program. You can net yourself an inspiron 15 for 399 (still customizable) or an XPS lappy for 863.
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#8 crazylikeafox11

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 08:18 PM

Actually, to get EPP, there's usually the option to either enter your ID or choose your industry from a drop down box (that's how I got EPP on my Xbox).

And Dell produces some cheaply priced products, but their customer service sucks. If you're looking for good customer service HP is good. Gateway seems to be hit or miss, but overall not bad. No idea about Toshiba.

The good thing is that if you buy a laptop from Best Buy, sign up for their Reward Zone. You'll get a ton of points and there's always double or triple points coupons floating around. I got a laptop for my office from them for $500 (Gateway) and a similar HP for $650. Both had 2 ghz Core2Duo processors, one had 3 gb ram, the other 4. Otherwise, they had onboard video, DVD burners, 15.4" screen, other pretty standard fare.

#9 Over easy

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 08:43 PM

Save your back and enjoy a long battery. Get a netbook.


I agree, unless this will be your main computer. Save the extra money that you got from buying a netbook and look around for a decent desktop if you want a main computer to use.
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#10 robsc3ne

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:14 PM

thanks for all the help guys.

i feel dumb, but netbook?

#11 ScottsUSERID

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:32 PM

Stay farrrrr away from Toshiba. I bought one because the price was attractive at 450 but man did I ever PAY for it. 3 blown motherboards and the 4th time the place lost my laptop for good and refused to pay me for it. Its been a year and I'm still fighting Toshiba.

Pathetic laptop build, that's why they are so cheap. If you wanted a decent working laptop go for a sony or dell off craigslist. If that's an option in your area. Otherwise I'd say check around techdeals.net

#12 eddie291

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:40 PM

thanks for all the help guys.

i feel dumb, but netbook?

Basically, a laptop that can only do the very basic of things. Like word processing or going on the internet. They can get very cheap and are great mobility wise(long battery life, very small, light). Just don't expect to do anything more complicated than the things I listed. They do have plenty of cons, like most don't have a CD/DVD drive and the resolution of the screen isn't that great. A lot of companies offer them(Dell for one), so I would go to a local Best Buy or some electronics place and check them out if you're really curious about them.

Personally, I was going to get one, but settled on a 'regular' $600 notebook. The professors at the college I go to don't mind if you plug in the power cable so that you won't have to use up battery life, so that helps a lot. It pretty much eliminates the benefit of having a netbook in my case.

#13 elchupacabra

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 02:04 AM

check geeks.com they usually have really good used laptops that are used for a year and sell for very cheap

#14 darthbudge

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 02:15 AM

Yeah don't get a Toshiba... those laptops suck.

I would highly recommend a Lenovo laptop.


#15 Chris Dillon

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 05:09 AM

Hp Dv5
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#16 rb89

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 01:04 PM

Just get a desktop. Why?


  • Your school probably has a computer lab in almost every building with plenty of computers.
  • If something breaks, you can replace that part instead of paying for repair service or buying a whole new laptop.
  • You probably won't even bring your laptop to class. Most people don't. There's the whole checking Facebook and playing Solitaire all through class stimga attached to it. Besides, are you really going to sit there and type your notes? What if you have to draw something? What could you possibly need a computer for in the middle of class?
  • You get more bang for your buck buying or building a desktop.
  • Most colleges only require that you have a computer, not that you have a laptop.
  • Laptops get stolen easily.
I wish someone had pointed these things out to me two years ago when I got my laptop to replace my dinosaur of a desktop. Now, the wireless is broken on my laptop, and it needs a new $100 battery. I'm itching to build a desktop, but I can't justify replacing a two-year-old laptop yet.

If you absolutely need the mobility, I'd say get a desktop and a netbook. Start off with a desktop, but put some money aside. If the desktop by itself isn't enough, then buy a netbook. If not, put that money into something else.

#17 rumarudrathas

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 01:53 PM

Depending on what school you're going into, there's a good chance that they may have a computer store on campus that you could purchase hardware and software at a steep discount.

Also, there are a lot of b&m locations that will give a student discount if you provide them when any proof (like a student ID).

Last food for thought, some universities also offers financial aid packages in purchasing "technology". Sometimes, it's an added discount for at-need student in their computer store, a type of subsidy, and/or a very low-interest loan.

When my old laptop died, I replaced it with HP compaq laptop, bought from my university's computer store at a good discount, and payed by a computer loan from the university's credit union (you really can't beat a 5% loan, over 18 months, unless you decide to open a credit card at a place like BB, and have it interest free for that long...)

About Netbooks:

Since I already had a main gaming computer, I was already toying with the idea of using a Netbook, instead of a full blown laptop. I got the laptop instead, and I'll tell you why (keeping in mind, I bought my laptop about 8 months ago).

Netbooks are indeed crazy cheap, a decently equipped one will run around $300-450. They are really compact, light, and are perfect computers to put in your backpack and lug around from class to class. The problem with them comes from their nature, such as having really cramp keyboards (I have big stumpy fingers), small screen with hellishg resolution (I wear glasses as it is), and, at the time, you'll need to shell out extra for a higher capacity battery (My Asus EEE pc that I was looking at had a paltry 2hr battery life because Asus paired the machine with a smaller battery, keeping the weight and size down). My laptop costs around $1k, but it was a full fledged laptop with a 4hr battery life. It was comfortable to write with, had a pretty respectable 14inch screen, and most of all, It had an attached DVD-rw drive, and all netbooks don't even come with the option of having an optical drive at all.

So, If this will be your main computer, go for a laptop. But, if you already have a monster of a computer (or just another computer in general) and you're just looking for something to lug around from class to class, then just save yourself the money and look at buying a netbook. The new stuff coming out seems to have a bigger keyboard, screen, and batteries, making them a sound purchase. Hell, I see more of them around my campus now than 4 months ago.

For netbooks, look at the Dell Mini line, the HP Mini line, and ofcourse, the Asus EEE line.

#18 robsc3ne

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 03:31 PM

Just get a desktop. Why?


  • Your school probably has a computer lab in almost every building with plenty of computers.
  • If something breaks, you can replace that part instead of paying for repair service or buying a whole new laptop.
  • You probably won't even bring your laptop to class. Most people don't. There's the whole checking Facebook and playing Solitaire all through class stimga attached to it. Besides, are you really going to sit there and type your notes? What if you have to draw something? What could you possibly need a computer for in the middle of class?
  • You get more bang for your buck buying or building a desktop.
  • Most colleges only require that you have a computer, not that you have a laptop.
  • Laptops get stolen easily.
I wish someone had pointed these things out to me two years ago when I got my laptop to replace my dinosaur of a desktop. Now, the wireless is broken on my laptop, and it needs a new $100 battery. I'm itching to build a desktop, but I can't justify replacing a two-year-old laptop yet.

If you absolutely need the mobility, I'd say get a desktop and a netbook. Start off with a desktop, but put some money aside. If the desktop by itself isn't enough, then buy a netbook. If not, put that money into something else.



that is some great advice.
really changed my perspective. thankks

#19 rumarudrathas

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 05:27 PM

that is some great advice.
really changed my perspective. thankks



I agree with rb89, especially if this will be a primary machine. My first laptop had a bad screen problem, and I had to live with it until I was gifted my desktop. And now, the DVD drive on the laptop crapped out on me, and the screen's connector finally gave out, leaving me with a very expensive "desktop". My desktop was relatively inexpensive (parents bought an off-the-shelf computer from BB), and with an added $200 worth of upgrades, I'm playing Fallout 3 on high settings with no noticeable lag.

Damn, come to think of it, I should have gotten the extended warranty on the laptop.

#20 n25philly

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 07:42 PM

Get an HP tx2510us tablet. Good power, actually will have everything you need for school in one package. Then go to the microsoft office labs website and download canvas for onenote. Then hopefully you will stop involuntarily orgasiming in time for class.

#21 anotherpoorgamer

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 09:46 AM

I'm in the same situation as the original poster about a laptop. I never owned one and managed to graduate without one. I use a desktop at home and the computer labs on campus.

My original intent was to buy either a HP mini netbook for $350 or the low end Toshiba laptop for $400, both on Bestbuy's website, but now reading this thread I'm kind of leaning towards the netbook.

The only problems with netbooks for me is the keyboard and the touch pad mouse. I could never get used to using a touch pad or the track ball, found in the middle of a laptop's keyboard that looks kind of like a pencil eraser.

My main gaming tv last year was a sony 5 inch gaming screen that attached to the PSone, so screen-size isn't going to be a problem, especially if you're used to portable gaming.

#22 Puffoluffagus

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 12:05 PM

FWIW, I think while I could manage college without a laptop for sure, there have been times when having a laptop was extremely helpful.

- Some of my professors give lectures at an extremely fast pace. I type much much faster than I write.
- Some of my professors give partially prefabricated outlines that: 1.) Are much easier to type in 2.) Don't usually provide enough space to write the notes if you print them out instead, so that can be an inconvenience. If you don't have the outline, then you won't get all the notes down.
- Group projects or study sessions in lobby, library, etc. Just useful that's all. But you can manage with out it.

Overall, I like having my laptop for portability if needed and note taking. It's nice to be able to sit in my living room with my lappy, watch TV, and talk to friends as opposed to having the desktop in my room. I also hook my laptop up to the TV occassionally. Something that would cumbersome to do with a desktop.

If I could do it all over again, I'd still choose a laptop, albeit a lighter one.

#23 robsc3ne

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 04:53 PM

Im so borderline! So much good information. I mean i could use the lap top to take notes and be accessibly portable. And keep it at my desk if i needed to,

I just hate laptop battery life. And with all this talk about easily breaking????

#24 Puffoluffagus

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:04 AM

Well laptops are going to be more prone to breaking anyway. I know mine has had its fair share of abuse from accidentally dropping it, normal wear and tear from opening and closing the laptop often and lugging it around campus, and other stuff. Whereas if you had a desktop, it pretty much sits in one spot taking little to no abuse from wear and tear.

I've had my laptop approaching on 3 years now and had bought it for just over $1000. Since then I've upgraded the RAM ($25), replaced the power cord ($22), and replaced the battery ($55; third party).

As far as the battery is concerned, I expected it. I mean just like regular rechargeable batteries, laptop batteries lose the amount of the charge they can hold over time. The more you use it, the faster that'll happen. 1st party batteries are very, very expensive. The third party ones can be half the price.

The only thing else of note, I think I probably will replace my hinges and back cover on my laptop. Either from opening/closing laptop very often or from one of my droppings, I broke my hinges and should replace them (works fine regardless just slightly annoying), and that's looking like it may cost me ~$35-45 .

So, their can be maintenance costs I guess associated with the laptop depending on how much you use and abuse it or how much you actually care.

#25 rumarudrathas

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:49 AM

Im so borderline! So much good information. I mean i could use the lap top to take notes and be accessibly portable. And keep it at my desk if i needed to,

I just hate laptop battery life. And with all this talk about easily breaking????


Well laptops are going to be more prone to breaking anyway. I know mine has had its fair share of abuse from accidentally dropping it, normal wear and tear from opening and closing the laptop often and lugging it around campus, and other stuff. Whereas if you had a desktop, it pretty much sits in one spot taking little to no abuse from wear and tear.


What I could recommend, if you are still looking into buying a laptop, is do some research online, and keeping in mind what some user reviews may have on your prospective laptop. Also, there are certain laptops out there is built much more "sturdier" than regular laptops offered in Best Buy or Walmart. As a rough and highly generalized rule of thumb, any laptop labeled as "corperate", "enterprise", or the aptly laymen's "business" laptops tend to be much more rugged and better constructed than "personal" or even some "home-business" laptops.

For example, my new laptop is the HP Compaq 6910p. The upper lid is made from a plastic-composite that is said to be much more resilient than the plastics used in the Pavilion line. The same plastic composite is found in the palm rest below the keyboard, which makes sense since the user will be resting his/her sweaty wrist on it all the time. The hinge is solidly built, and the laptop has a general feel of sturdiness and ruggedness. The HP rep (she said she was from the corporate office, helping set up some training materials for the computer store employees) man-handled my laptop (like, grabbing it bythe screen), and she vouched how under testing, the subjected the laptops to a lot worse, and it still functions for a great while.

#26 mis0

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 04:44 AM

I'm currently a third year in college and I have a desktop, a laptop, and I recently purchased a netbook.

To be honest, I probably never touch my desktop now seeing how I typically used it only for gaming and with the hustle and bustle of third year, I rarely have time to jump on it. I get the most use out of my laptop because I'm always out hanging out at my friends' pads or when I sleep over at my girlfriend's. I recently purchased a netbook because the battery on my laptops craps out after an hour now (used to be 4 hours with the lowest settings) and buying a replacement battery would've cost me a $100. I opted for the netbook because for a hundred or so more, I would get pretty much a new rig along with about 6 hours of battery life. Note that this is 6 hours with the screen at its brightest with WiFi on (Asus 1000HA).

To be honest, I think what kind of computer you'll need will depend on your lifestyle. I stack all my classes on single days so I have class 4+ hours a time and having a netbook really saves my ass when some other kids horde the outlet in the lecture halls and classrooms. Having a computer on hand is essential for me because I'm a social science major and most of my classes are just hours and hours of lecture.

With this being said, I would personally recommend checking out the Asus 1000HE. Supposedly the battery life on it is about 2-3 hours longer than my HA. From personal experience. Battery life is king for me. (example: Tuesday.. class from 12:30pm to 10pm)

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#27 neo235

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 08:50 PM

I also need a laptop for mine collge can anybody suggest some cheap ones Posted Image

#28 rumarudrathas

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:58 PM

I also need a laptop for mine collge can anybody suggest some cheap ones Posted Image


I would suggest hitting the big retailers around your area, or atleast looking at the Sunday ads for places like BB, Sears, or Target, and see if they are running some discounts or specials on their laptops. A good time to buy laptops/computers is actually mid to late summer, where those retailers are running some insane specials on laptops, printers, desktops, and whatever back-to-school materials they could sell.

But on to your question, what are you needing this laptop for? Just typing up papers, browsing the internet, playing some games (and how demanding), downloading/watching a lot of video, and/or do you need something with a long enough battery to last you through class? Does your college have a certain "minimum specification" list that you need to adhere too?

It's one thing to recommend a really cheap laptop that may be enough help you in your college work like this Acer Laptop. but then again, it may not be for you...

Dell has a outlet center where you could browse returns and refurbs here Visit that site, and you maybe able to find a laptop on the cheap there.

#29 mis0

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 07:24 PM

Also. I suggest not getting like the top of the line Vaios.. or Lenovos or what not. A basic/better specced Dell, HP, or what not will suffice. Why?

...

IT MIGHT GET STOLEN.

Not sure about other colleges, but my school has a lot of laptops, bikes, backpack, etc stolen.. daily.

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#30 foodew

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 01:18 PM

If you're looking for something pretty cheap, Newegg has the Acer Extensa EX4630-4922 on sale for $399 with FS and no tax except in CA. I just picked one up to travel with, and the reviews look good for a cheap budget laptop, although it certainly won't serve as a desktop replacement. Check it out.