PDA

View Full Version : What kind of laptop to get for school?


sasquatch
12-28-2010, 02:13 AM
Hi guys! I'm starting classes at community college in January and I don't have a computer anymore. I don't really know much about computers so i'm pretty much lost... I don't have much over a 1000 to spend. My friend said macs are really good and come with all the virus protecters and cool features but i don't know if the have any for a thousand bucks.

flo
12-28-2010, 02:25 AM
I'm sure no expert but I think Macs are way over a thou. We just got a 17" HP laptop with LOTS of memory and just love it. It's a little bulky to haul around but I like the big screen. If you want real portable, maybe a 15" is better. Ours was ~ $850 at Costco. They always have something good on sale.

Here's a good place to start: CNET laptop reviews (http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/?tag=contentBody;revCatWrap)

VCURamFan
12-28-2010, 02:26 AM
SAS! Welcome back, man!! :happydancing:

NateR will suggest a Mac one, I would suggest a good one. :wink: :laugh:

sasquatch
12-28-2010, 03:23 AM
Hey VCU! My friends mom said costco was a good place to look, she also said bestbuy might have some good sales in January. Do Most computers have video Editing stuff? I also want to learn how to make fancy youtube videos

flo
12-28-2010, 05:09 AM
Hmmmph. Guess I'm just chopped liver. Ok, buh bye.

Bonnie
12-28-2010, 05:38 AM
Hmmmph. Guess I'm just chopped liver. Ok, buh bye.

Hey, I think you're pretty expert and if anyone asks me I'm gonna tell 'em Costco 'cause you said so. :happy0159:

And I love liver! :laugh:

Play The Man
12-28-2010, 06:22 AM
I'm sure no expert but I think Macs are way over a thou. We just got a 17" HP laptop with LOTS of memory and just love it. It's a little bulky to haul around but I like the big screen. If you want real portable, maybe a 15" is better. Ours was ~ $850 at Costco. They always have something good on sale.

Here's a good place to start: CNET laptop reviews (http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/?tag=contentBody;revCatWrap)
Good Advice, Flo!:happy0159:

I don't know much about computers but we just bought a new one about a month ago. We bought a desktop iMac. The Mac laptops will likely be out of your budget. I think the cheapest one with the smallest screen and the least processing power and memory is just over $1,000. Remember that you likely will need to buy software and other accessories so you should factor that into your budget. Some weekends I listen to the Kim Komando show (nothing else on the radio) and she has mentioned that refurbished Macs are available and are usually several hundred dollars less than the same new model. If you simply must have a Mac that might be the way to go. The Kim Komando website has a buying guide for laptops. I tried to post a link but was having trouble for some reason.

Please be aware that theft of laptops on college campuses is a huge problem. You should buy a computer lock to lock your computer to your desk while at the college. Consider getting a non-descript, generic bag to carry the laptop. It shouldn't look like a laptop bag or it will be a target. Consider getting Carbonite or another such service to back-up your computer in case your computer crashes, you will not lose your term paper the night before it is due. There are software programs that have tracking devices for the laptop. It might be worth the expense. If your laptop is stolen, you will be able to track it and find the thief.

Good luck on your studies!

flo
12-28-2010, 06:57 AM
Hey, I think you're pretty expert and if anyone asks me I'm gonna tell 'em Costco 'cause you said so. :happy0159:

And I love liver! :laugh:

Aw, Bonnie, you're so sweet. You too, PTM, and great advice. We were drooling over the iMacs but decided to be thrifty...

TexasRN
12-28-2010, 11:32 AM
Good Advice, Flo!:happy0159:

I don't know much about computers but we just bought a new one about a month ago. We bought a desktop iMac. The Mac laptops will likely be out of your budget. I think the cheapest one with the smallest screen and the least processing power and memory is just over $1,000. Remember that you likely will need to buy software and other accessories so you should factor that into your budget. Some weekends I listen to the Kim Komando show (nothing else on the radio) and she has mentioned that refurbished Macs are available and are usually several hundred dollars less than the same new model. If you simply must have a Mac that might be the way to go. The Kim Komando website has a buying guide for laptops. I tried to post a link but was having trouble for some reason.

Please be aware that theft of laptops on college campuses is a huge problem. You should buy a computer lock to lock your computer to your desk while at the college. Consider getting a non-descript, generic bag to carry the laptop. It shouldn't look like a laptop bag or it will be a target. Consider getting Carbonite or another such service to back-up your computer in case your computer crashes, you will not lose your term paper the night before it is due. There are software programs that have tracking devices for the laptop. It might be worth the expense. If your laptop is stolen, you will be able to track it and find the thief.

Good luck on your studies!

I bought my daughter a refurbished Mac for her birthday last month from newegg.com. I highly suggest looking at that site when considering buying electronics because they have some great sales. AND you can print off the newegg price and sometimes if you ask nicely Best Buy will price match them so you can get the computer the same day you buy it but they only do that for new things. The Mac I bought has worked very well for her and she loves it. The only drawback for her is that the battery life is not good at all so she has to keep it plugged in most of the time. Her laptop cost $250 and I could buy her a new battery but haven't.


~Amy

adamt
12-28-2010, 12:38 PM
i used to blow off the mini laptops but if you don't have ginormous fingers and you can stll see pretty well i would seriously consider them, you can always hook them up to an external tv or monitor and add a wireless mouse to do stuff bigger

Chuck
12-28-2010, 03:17 PM
Hey Sas.... long time no see. Good to see you again brother!

I would go with a refurbished MacBook direct from Apple. They come with all the original warranties and that's important. OR.... save a little more and get a refurbished MacBook Pro which would be better for you aspiring video editing adventures..

Looking forward to some more videos of you doing back flips and crazy crap on the rings brother!!

cubsfan47
12-28-2010, 03:18 PM
Good Advice, Flo!:happy0159:

I don't know much about computers but we just bought a new one about a month ago. We bought a desktop iMac. The Mac laptops will likely be out of your budget. I think the cheapest one with the smallest screen and the least processing power and memory is just over $1,000. Remember that you likely will need to buy software and other accessories so you should factor that into your budget. Some weekends I listen to the Kim Komando show (nothing else on the radio) and she has mentioned that refurbished Macs are available and are usually several hundred dollars less than the same new model. If you simply must have a Mac that might be the way to go. The Kim Komando website has a buying guide for laptops. I tried to post a link but was having trouble for some reason.

Please be aware that theft of laptops on college campuses is a huge problem. You should buy a computer lock to lock your computer to your desk while at the college. Consider getting a non-descript, generic bag to carry the laptop. It shouldn't look like a laptop bag or it will be a target. Consider getting Carbonite or another such service to back-up your computer in case your computer crashes, you will not lose your term paper the night before it is due. There are software programs that have tracking devices for the laptop. It might be worth the expense. If your laptop is stolen, you will be able to track it and find the thief.

Good luck on your studies!

I second the suggestion about the refurbished approach for Macs. That's what I have done. I am using one now. Depending on the source of the refurb you may want to get updated software. But you will still save.

I teach at an urban campus and second the suggestion about how to deal with the theft problem. I also agree with the idea of backups. What many of my students do is get a large usb flash drive and save a copy of their work on that. just in case. Have I had students near despair because of failure to backup? Yes.

As a student you will be eligible for educational pricing. Apple and many of the other companies offer this. If you know where you are going to attend, check with the campus bookstore; you might be able to purchase through the bookstore.

On the Mac vs. PC thing, I use both. I won't take a side on this. Except that a new Mac, iMac or Macbook, will come with iLife, which includes iMovie. iMovie can publish to Youtube.

Also, there is a student version of MS Office for both Macs and Windows.

I hope this helps.

Here's an old professor who is wishing you success in school.:)

Chuck
12-28-2010, 03:32 PM
I second the suggestion about the refurbished approach for Macs. That's what I have done. I am using one now. Depending on the source of the refurb you may want to get updated software. But you will still save.

I teach at an urban campus and second the suggestion about how to deal with the theft problem. I also agree with the idea of backups. What many of my students do is get a large usb flash drive and save a copy of their work on that. just in case. Have I had students near despair because of failure to backup? Yes.

As a student you will be eligible for educational pricing. Apple and many of the other companies offer this. If you know where you are going to attend, check with the campus bookstore; you might be able to purchase through the bookstore.

On the Mac vs. PC thing, I use both. I won't take a side on this. Except that a new Mac, iMac or Macbook, will come with iLife, which includes iMovie. iMovie can publish to Youtube.

Also, there is a student version of MS Office for both Macs and Windows.

I hope this helps.

Here's an old professor who is wishing you success in school.:)

Good advice.

I would also recommend getting Dropbox for you data backup. You can get a free account with a few gig's of data storage and you can access it from any computer. A few gig's isn't enough for a lot of media storage but it would hold all the Word.docs you would ever need and then some. You can also get a Dropbox iPhone app to access your data that way and I've used that more times than any other app I have.

sasquatch
12-28-2010, 06:39 PM
Wow, there's a lot of good info im here. Your not chopped liver, flo, you got me planning to go to costco. Hey, Chuck! I haven't had a computer since i moved to Arizona, so i haven't been making too much videos. I just recently learned how to put videos from my phone on to youtube. I didn't know you can get a refurbished mac with a warranty , i'll look in to that. Macs are also better for designing websites rite? My friend told me all the cool things a mac can do and how they're easier to use and better protected against viruses, i really want one now!

flo
12-29-2010, 01:15 AM
Wow, there's a lot of good info im here. Your not chopped liver, flo, you got me planning to go to costco.

:ashamed:

:happydancing:

NateR
12-29-2010, 01:58 AM
Hi guys! I'm starting classes at community college in January and I don't have a computer anymore. I don't really know much about computers so i'm pretty much lost... I don't have much over a 1000 to spend. My friend said macs are really good and come with all the virus protecters and cool features but i don't know if the have any for a thousand bucks.

What do you need the computer to do? If you are just going to be doing research on the internet and typing up papers, then any system should suit your needs just fine.

I would recommend something within the $750-1000 range however, since it really is a matter of getting what you pay for when it comes to computers. They have MacBooks for $999 on the Apple website, but a Sony Vaio is also a good option.

I use a Mac mainly because that's what I've been trained on and also their high resistance to viruses makes them pretty hassle free machines, especially when you do a lot of work on the internet.

For me, a computer is a tool, nothing more. If I am spending more time keeping that tool operating properly than actually accomplishing work with that tool, then it is useless to me. That's why I use a Mac, because 99% of the time, the computer does exactly what I need it to do without too much hassle or need for constant maintenance/virus-scanners/security-patches/etc.

mscomc
12-29-2010, 02:09 AM
Hi guys! I'm starting classes at community college in January and I don't have a computer anymore. I don't really know much about computers so i'm pretty much lost... I don't have much over a 1000 to spend. My friend said macs are really good and come with all the virus protecters and cool features but i don't know if the have any for a thousand bucks.

Hey bro: I can give you a few pointers if you like.

Since you have a pretty good budget to work with, there are few guidelines to follow.

There are basically 3 levels or tiers of computers in terms of brand.

Tier 3 ---> These are the low end computers. Their components are quite cheap. The circuits are soldered quite poorly, and the processors heat up way to fast. these brands include: Acer, Compaq and Gateway. these computers will work good for about a year and then start to breakdown.

Tier 2 --- > These are your medium computers. the circuitry isnt that bad. The only real brand this applies to is Dell.

Tier 1 ---> These are the top computers. they have the the best components and wired really good. these brands consist of : toshiba, sony, HP, and of course Mac......I personally have a toshiba and it runs great.

after you have chosen the brand...the next most important thing is the processor. The days of pentium processors (ie: pentium 4 etc) are over. that class of processor is obsolete now. The low end processors are the intel centurion processors or the dual core processors. the middle (but still pretty bad) are the AMD processors...they are good, but they run at a very high heat capacity and make your cpu overheat. The best processors are the CORE processors, ie: I-3 , I-5 ....in some places i think they even have I8 now. If I were you, I would take an I3....it runs reallllly fast and is the cheapest.


Also, when you actually buy your computer....the salesman can is gonna try to sell you a bunch of stuff. hes gonna try to push a anti-virus software on you for like another 70 bucks....you can download microsoft security essentials for FREE from the microsoft website and it is basically the same thing. they are probably going to offer you the option of computer set up for like another 50 bucks....all this means is they are going to turn the computer on for you (im dead serious), you could do that. then for a few hundred they offer to create a backup disk for you.....if you have friend that is savy with computers, they can do this for you, all you need is a blank CD.


Hope that helps.....and happy spending.

sasquatch
12-29-2010, 03:24 AM
Wow, thanks mscomc! That's just what I needed, buying a computer for dummies, lol. I wrote all that down for when I go looking for one. Thanks Nate, i'll check out the 999 macbooks too, are those decent laptops?

sasquatch
01-10-2011, 08:24 PM
Staples is selling a 16" toshiba laptop with intel CORE i3_370m Processor, 4gb RAM, 500 gb hard drive, up to four hours 30 minutes of battery bluray dvd drive, windows 7 home premium. For $649, does that sound like a good buy? I was also at best buh yesterday and the had a 15" mac laptop for 1,799 I was thinking about getting it, but then it comes out to 2,040 somthing with tax( Nevada's tax is 8 cents for every doller!) that's a lot more than I wanted to spend. Besides school and youtube movies, I'm also kinda wanting to learn how to make flash animations. Would I be better off betting a desktop?

sasquatch
01-10-2011, 08:45 PM
Staples is selling a 16" toshiba laptop with intel CORE i3_370m Processor, 4gb RAM, 500 gb hard drive, up to four hours 30 minutes of battery bluray dvd drive, windows 7 home premium. For $649, does that sound like a good buy? I was also at best buh yesterday and the had a 15" mac laptop for 1,799 I was thinking about getting it, but then it comes out to 2,040 somthing with tax( Nevada's tax is 8 cents for every doller!) that's a lot more than I wanted to spend. Besides school and youtube movies, I'm also kinda wanting to learn how to make flash animations. Would I be better off betting a desktop?