Discuss technical and geeky things here.
Post Reply
Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 20th, '05, 22:47


Post by julietrevolution123 » Aug 31st, '07, 21:58

Hey guys!

I am entering college first year in September, and I still haven't purchased a laptop yet!! The thing is that I couldn't decide which to get.. I currently have a COMPAQ laptop but it basically has nothing inside (only 32GB memory, no Mircrosoft Office (can't do any work, not even a spelling check, poor virus protection..), not to mention it big and heavy. I got this from my dad 2~3 years ago and I desperately need a new one!!

Can anyone suggest some good laptop that's good for a student like me?
I mainly need it to take notes in class, research, do projects (microsoft work, at least.. powerpoint.. and such), and it would be nice if it's pretty ><.. ~ and easily portable too! Hope it's not too much to ask for - -

I've been choosing between MAC and DELL computers.. DELL seems cheaper but MAC computers are so niceee! Please if anyone know can just please give me some suggestions, I would really appreciate it!!

THank you!

Posts: 418
Joined: Nov 26th, '06, 13:00

Post by sungie » Aug 31st, '07, 22:04

My suggestions:
- Don't buy Mac unless you do graphics, multimedia projects etc
- Make sure there are enough memory + disc space --> no need to update right away
- Microsoft Vista sucks

These are my personal opinions though :P

Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 20th, '05, 22:47

Post by julietrevolution123 » Aug 31st, '07, 22:27

so i guess.. DELL computers??
which one would you guys recommend?
=p sry! i can't make up my mind!!

Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 25th, '05, 01:56
Location: michigan

Post by raineyrain » Aug 31st, '07, 22:28

I agree with the poster above, I know the Mac fanboys would disagree but really unless you're doing multimedia projects for all its beauty it is not quite useful.

I have a mac and I had to install windows by parallel, which by itself was another chunk of change. Worst pet peeve? No Gomplayer. Now, that's just wrong.

I will admit the Mac is a sweet machine but now that the sheen has gone from my eyes I can say should've gotten a Windows PC.

Oh, and like Sungie said (again) Vista sucks. That's why I bought XP Pro to install on my Mac, plus it was wayyyyyy cheaper.


what are you going to be doing on your comp? Maybe the xps would be a good choice for you if you're going with dell.
Last edited by raineyrain on Aug 31st, '07, 22:30, edited 1 time in total.

Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 596
Joined: Oct 18th, '04, 02:37
Location: 99% sure, Studying.

Post by techie » Aug 31st, '07, 22:29

1) I would not touch a dell. I dont like their style of selling
2) I would pass on a Gateway, they just got bought out by Acer (desktops)
3) I will never do Acer, their website where I am is not even working right
4) With reluctancy, recommending IBM Lenovo prior generation because they work pretty good and are not as pricy as they used to be.
5) Stick to Toshiba... Gold in regards to quality and performance and they have a hard test of them now.
6) If you can waste money, Sony might work, but for the difference between Sony and Toshiba you can buy a lot of nice extras... and finally

7) Mac are nice, but they have no advantage on graphics anymore. And why... simple
Apple careplan is about $250-$500 for three year support, and that does NOT include upgraded hardware and if you buy extras, they must be in the apple from the start or it willbe excluded from support, even if supplied by apple directly.

Nuff of the techie stuff for one night. Good luck

Posts: 45
Joined: Jul 13th, '07, 20:04

Post by kwazyboi » Aug 31st, '07, 22:45

I recently purchase a brand new laptop (dv6500t) from HP.COM for dad. Got a really good deal. Best for the bucks for what I got $1400 compared for the $1,900 for the same configuration from Dell. I heard HP has better costumer service then Dell these days coming from a friend who orders computers for his company. There are some coupons floating around the net right now for back to school deal. You can get the same laptop for a few hundred less. HP has really cheap deal for upgrades depending on the laptop you are getting. The only thing that sucks is Vista. It sucks so much resources that the laptop runs slow as my old desktop that is 4 years old. I got a Core 2 Duo with 2 gig worth of rams and a high end video card with it. Probably will change Vista to XP when I have time. This laptop will definitely last you atleast 4 years. I got a lot of other stuffs with this laptop. Just stay away from AMD if you dont want to drain your batteries run really hot. But their laptop are cheap tho.

Posts: 57
Joined: Feb 1st, '06, 22:33
Location: Montréal, Canada

Post by prismatic_star » Aug 31st, '07, 22:51

I'm in first year college right now and trust me, you don't need a laptop. Stick with pencil and paper. Especially if you're in the science field. Ex. You're not going to have a pleasant time for orgo chem with a laptop.
A desktop computer is fine for school projects.

Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 10th, '07, 16:12

Post by Magalamb » Aug 31st, '07, 23:03

You can get a macbook for about 1100 USD right from the Apple store, and they're cute, light, well made, and work really, really well. I have both a mac and a pc laptop and I far prefer the mac because of is cuteness. Also, OSX is SO easy to use and make sense of.

Posts: 45
Joined: Jul 13th, '07, 20:04

Post by kwazyboi » Aug 31st, '07, 23:13

ohhh heck with cuteness she needs some raw power to run today n future programs.... she might not know if her laptop will handle future dramas...jk hahah... but yeah if you have friends who know about computers most likely hood they will help you if you have a PC laptop if anything goes wrong. That is one of the draw back of a mac.

Posts: 103
Joined: May 30th, '07, 04:31
Location: California

Post by itsukiD » Aug 31st, '07, 23:34

if you're only choice is between dell and mac, here's how i see it:

one major downfall with going with Dell is that (if you're buying new) you're going to get stuck with Windows Vista. yes they are cheaper, but i wouldnt go this route unless you have another Operating system (Windows XP/Linux/MCE/2000,etc.) to install after choosing Dell.

as far as Macs, eligibity for a student discount and Microsoft office is available for your college needs. yes they are expensive, but if you can afford it.

to sum up

1. save money with dell and change the operating system

2. macs are expensively nice

Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 25th, '06, 00:15

Post by brian55112 » Aug 31st, '07, 23:37

i bought one about 4 months ago, i didnt want vista, i found many great laptops at techfor . I payed 650 for a gateway, it was brand new but listed as refurbished. works great. 1 gig ram 100gig hd, 1.8 ghtz processor. I use mine for watching asian dramas at work lol.

Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 6th, '06, 07:27
Location: California

Post by swtaznangel530 » Aug 31st, '07, 23:41

Hey there,

Personally I have a Toshiba and I love it. If you are thinking of getting a Dell, don't. One of the sales rep at Best Buys told me that they aren't worth your money. So stick with Toshiba or a HP. Processor wise, if you are just using it for simple everyday use, try to get a intel. Avoid AMD unless you are programming or doing videos. It'll run slower and eat up more of your power. Mac's are nice but if you're comfortable with Windows, don't get a Mac. I lke their nice, sleek, and sophisticated look though. :D Besides that, I'd say go with Toshiba or HP with an intel processor. :D Hope that helps.

Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 20th, '05, 22:47

Post by julietrevolution123 » Sep 1st, '07, 01:49

OMG guys, thank you so much for all of the help!!

From what I've heard, HP and Toshiba have better machines?
I guess I should check them out at the stores.. I'll tell you guys what I decide when I'm ready~!

Thanks again guys!

Posts: 15
Joined: Dec 17th, '06, 06:26
Location: Seattle, USA

Post by Dryh2o » Sep 1st, '07, 04:34

i have a pc at my house but starting last year my school district has given every student a macbook to use for school and having the option to choose either to do my hw/ play games/go online/ watch d-addicts movies i alway choose the macbook. i find them so easy to use and i've never gotten a virus or had any problems at all with my mac but sadly i can't say the same about my pc

Posts: 222
Joined: Jan 9th, '07, 08:11
Location: PA, US

Post by nophankh » Sep 1st, '07, 05:03

Firstly, you have to figure how you plan to use your notebook.
Don't buy with Dell. Dell is a place of ****, excuse my french. I brought a XPS notebook from Dell for like $1600 and it was a piece of ****. It heated up really fast (it was so hot, I thought it would burn me) and the picture quality for movies was just awful.

I'm into graphic design, but I've never used Apple.

I've heard you can't watch certain avi files or something like that with Apple. I know you're into dramas because you're posting on this site, so you should take that into consideration.

A PC is good for college. I've never used a laptop during my college days because it was inconvenient to carry around. it's hard walking around campus with a book bag with textbooks and a laptop. Those math and economic books can be really heavy.

I have a Toshibia Satellite and it works fine for what I'm doing. My satellite has poor battery life though.

Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 19th, '07, 09:28
Location: Black Forest, Germany

Post by TLab3000 » Sep 2nd, '07, 12:20


well, first of all, forget MS Office. It's too expensive (if you'd really buy it) and has more features than you'll ever need. I've switched from MS Office to the free office suite years ago and am quite happy with it. Give it a try.

Laptops, hmm.
I've had 2 Acer laptops and have been very happy with them. Actually, many of my friends have bought Acer laptops this and last year and they're all very pleased. No problems so far.

Fujitsu Siemens... Not too bad, inexpensive, here, the displays are good but those FSC comps are often very loud and hot. 1 HDD crash so far, so all together it's not the worst choice.

Toshiba... All together very nice - but I had to replace several DVD and hard disc drives last year on 2-4 year old ones, so I wouldn't buy one second hand. Actually, I wouldn't buy a new one, either...

HP - Never! More broken than working ones around here. Including the one I had. I'm actually glad it died.

IBM (pre Lenovo) - Working horses, maybe not the best bang for the buck, but they're most likely to last a lifetime.

Dell - like techie , I don't like their style of selling. Here in Germany it's 78€ for shipping and handling... yeah, sure...

If you can waste money, in my opinion, and without a doubt, buy a Samsung. They're really, really sweet.

Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 20th, '05, 22:47

Post by julietrevolution123 » Sep 2nd, '07, 16:22

Hey guys,

I went on to the Costco site and they have a few deals for the next month or so.. so here are my choices narrowed down:








I can't resist the "sweet" deals of getting $100/200 off originally expensive notebooks><Can>3<

mod edit: I edited the links a little bit. they were making the page wider than it's supposed to be

Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 19th, '07, 09:28
Location: Black Forest, Germany

Post by TLab3000 » Sep 2nd, '07, 16:33

The first thing you should ask yourself now is whether you need maximum portability.
If not, forget about the models with screens smaller than 15".
If yes, go for a small and light one.
Which one is it going to be?

Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 20th, '05, 22:47

Post by julietrevolution123 » Sep 2nd, '07, 19:34

* Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 (802.11a/g 54Mbps)
* Integrated 10/100 Network Card
* Integrated 56K capable modem
* Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth connectivity (2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate)

Does it mean it can be connected to the internet without subscribing an internet plan?
(how can laptops be connected to the internet anyway without connecting to a modern?)

sry.. i'm a computer baka,..=|

Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2nd, '07, 19:55

Post by azngirl911 » Sep 2nd, '07, 20:04

well. it doesn't really mean u don't have to have internet plan. but u could go w/o it. w/ the wireless 802.11, u can use the wireless internet on campus..or maybe use your neighbor's internet if they don't have a password lock.

anywayz, i got a Dell 1405, it's really nice. I really like it..the only thing was that i felt duped cuz the price dropped like 100 or 200 dollars after i bought it. and then like another 2 months later they came out w/ a new Dell laptop dat was better for about the same price. i got mine for like 840 or 900 i forgot. and for microsoft bro got office xp from his friend so i borrowed it and put it in the laptop. microsoft office 2007 is too expensive so i wouldn't bother gettin dat. but all in all, Dell would be a great buy if u buy it at the rite time.

Posts: 105
Joined: Aug 20th, '05, 03:51

Post by SSJSubgeta » Sep 2nd, '07, 20:13

A computer can connect to any internet as long as you have the password to join a hot spot or a secured wireless network. When I got my laptop I turned on the wireless and picked up 6 connections and 4 of those were not secured so i was able to connect and freeload for a bit till i got my own.

I read this thread and it didn't seem too helpful, all i read is i like mac or i like pc. or don't get this don't get that.

It may just be me but lets be realistic, you are on your way to college, yes a laptop would be nice and is essential now a days. I would stick through your first year with out one. But if you really need it be prepared to haul it everywhere you go on campus.

My questions is whats the budget or are your parents buying it for you?
What are you majoring in?

Look for a decent deal, It mainly looks like your going to do productive school work, writing papers and such. So I suggest a laptop with a price range from $400-$1000 max. At least 1gb or ram and a hard disk drive with more then 90GB of space.

Every laptop in the market right now carries VISTA as its main operating system. They also come standard with wireless functions, integrated Ethernet card, DVD/CD combo drive to burn dvd/cd's. 4USB plugs or 3 in some cases. sound and screen size's can vary depending on models. Also look in to the battery life you don't want it to shut down on you when you cant have access to a wall outlet.

My sister bought a gateway from best buy for $400 it had WinXP 512mb ram ans was 15 in wide screen. She had Auto cad and Photoshop and some other program running fine with no performance issues. She is an interior designer and this laptop was still running like new after she graduated.

I am a Video Game designer and I have a gateway laptop that I bought back in April for $700 17in wide screen and the only thing I upgraded was the 1GB of ram to 4GB and made it boot both WinXP PRO and Vista. But I work mostly now on my custom built desktop.

Many people have had different experiences with laptop/desktops so opinions here will vary. Do your research carefully and look for them special you never know when you'll run into one. Good luck.

Posts: 2016
Joined: Dec 8th, '03, 03:58
Location: Pearl City, Hawaii

Post by groink » Sep 2nd, '07, 20:29

Few comments:

1. About the "Don't buy Microsoft Office" bit. Ignore that. All colleges and universities qualify for student discounts on Microsoft products. And, many laptops come with at the minimum a home or student edition that includes Microsoft Word.

2. Also, many schools now have a PC requirement in their policies. They explain the type of operating system that is required, along with the types of software and document formats the instructors will accept. I would check with your school to see if there are any technological requirements.

3. Besides the type of hardware and software, many schools also require you to install anti-virus software and firewall software. Again, check with your school to see if they have such a policy. And if they do so, do they only accept certain brands (McAfee, Symantec, TrendMicro, AVG, etc.)

4. Check with your school's bookstore to see if they have student specials on laptops. In many cases, school bookstore prices beat CostCo and SAM'S CLUB. They may also offer on-campus technical support; this will come in handy especially if you live on campus, and you need assistance with your laptop.

--- groink

Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 715
Joined: Jan 31st, '06, 21:32
Location: San Clemente

Post by InTr4nceWeTrust » Sep 3rd, '07, 03:06

This is my criteria for a notebook that is to be used in school starting with the most important:
1) small and light - I tried carrying a full sized (15"+) laptop once. It was a pain to lug around in addition to my books.
2) cool - Heat will destroy your laptop's life. I had an averatec once. Heated up faster than my stove. Lasted about 6 months before it was 100% unusable.
3) quiet - Noise makes people's heads turn...and not in a good way. You won't be able to work too well if people are constantly staring at you because you're noisy.
4) long battery life - I average two 1.5 hour classes per day. The battery needs to last at least 3 hours to be useful. I don't always get to sit near an outlet. Also, doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of a laptop? Some laptops can go for almost 5 hours if you shell out for an enhanced battery (usually 6 cell).
5) touchscreen (optional) - I don't know how to type pictures and diagrams : / Not many class notes are without those. You COULD always just draw them on a piece of paper and label it. Add "refer to diagram 1.2" in your notes.
6) not DELL or Gateway - A lot of people would put this higher. I personally don't have any experience with the two companies so I'll put it at the bottom of my list.

Going to those Costco links, I like the HP tx100z. *heart* touchscreen. Toshiba U305 if you want an intel or a slightly bigger screen. No touchscreen, though : / And if you require a larger screen, VAIO. I have a LOT of faith in SONY.

If you don't need touchscreen and can afford a lot more, look into the VAIO TZ. 11.1" screen, roughly 2.5 lbs, and a 6 hour life with a standard battery (9 hours on an extended battery). But it'll burn a nice 2,200 USD hole in your pocket ~_~

Personally, I'm waiting on new UMPCs (Ultra Mobile Personal Computers) due out at the end of this month or early next month. The screens are 7" so I'll be waiting to "test drive" them when they come out. I get the feeling I'll end up buying a normal laptop, though.

And I'll second groink's statement on Office. You can get it really cheap as a student. I get mine free but I can't discuss that here >.< Same goes with the antivirus. My school actually gives out corporate versions of Symantec Antivirus. Well, the school I used to go to. They didn't say I have to uninstall it if I leave ^_^"

Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 29th, '07, 13:51
Location: Alhambra : Salt Lake City

Post by wndestiny » Sep 3rd, '07, 11:08

my advice... i own several...

hp is pretty good is more business simple use... so dependin on what class you takin for college.... compaq is gettin more and more crappy in my point of view... sony is my all time fav.. 3 of those .... mac is good... pretty and all... but reallie... its not something to use unless ur into design.... toshiba is gettin better...

so my point of view... sony is a good pick... a lil more expensive.. but worth every penny

Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 20th, '05, 22:47


Post by julietrevolution123 » Sep 6th, '07, 02:43

Thanks alot guys.. for helping me decide upon my new laptop..

I've decided to buy the HP tx1000z.. the design is unique and it seems like it has a good combination of work and entertainment softwares and stuff..
Hope i'm making the right decision!! I'll tell you guys how it is after i use it for a bit><..

Thanks again!!


Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest