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#1 Edited by AjayRaz (12428 posts) -

i'm starting college in a few weeks and i need to ditch this old crummy laptop that needs to be plugged in at all times, and i need to get, you know, a good laptop. the problem is.. i'm pretty bad when it comes to computers. as someone who isn't really a PC gamer, i don't really have much knowledge of computers, what brands are good, ideal operating systems and all that jazz. not that you need to be a PC gamer to know about computers, but i've never really had much of a reason to invest a lot of my time into learning about computers.

so, i've decided to come to you, folks of giant bomb. i'm going to be in a communications program so i'll be in some journalism and video courses, meaning i'll most definitely be doing some writing and video editing. i haven't made my schedule yet (not authorized until the 13th) but that's the gist of it.

so.. with that said, what are some good laptop brands, models and stuff that i should check out? i was thinking HP, but most of the people i know who own an HP laptop had it crap out on them after not too long. i'm no expert, though. i live in Canada, too so it would be preferable if it's something i could get at like, future shop or something.

edit: also, it would be nice if i could play a few games on it. not like, Skyrim or anything but it would be fun to play Torchlight or something without worrying about my laptop melting.

edit ii: also, i have a budget of like, 1000$.

edit iii: i'm not going to be in a dorm, FYI. i'm gonna be living at home but it would still be nice to have something to carry around.

edit iv: i think i've got more than enough information from you guys. thank you so much! i'll happily welcome more suggestions and such, though.

#2 Edited by believer258 (11913 posts) -

"A few games" meaning Torchlight and Quake Live or meaning Skyrim and Battlefield 3?

It's cheaper and easier and the Steam sales will make up for it if you go for a laptop that can handle games. Some scoff at that idea, and they're right in that no laptop can measure up to a good desktop, but there are still laptops that can play games at medium settings that aren't insanely expensive, so I would definitely suggest looking for one if you've got the budget.

Speaking of budgets, what might yours be? $600 (edit: USD, sorry/edit) will get you a pretty good laptop for schoolwork and internet surfing but you're not going to be playing the newest games on it.

EDIT: Here, this should help in terms of finding a good laptop graphics card.

And this as well.

EDIT 2: Also, about carrying around a laptop for lectures - some people do it but most of the people I see in college try it for a little while and then use good old pen and paper. I have never once taken my laptop to class and have never once thought I needed it or that anything would be easier with it. For that matter, it seems like a hassle to me. What I'm saying is that you really don't need to carry a laptop to all your lectures.

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#3 Posted by Athadam (692 posts) -

If your budget allows for it, get a Macbook Pro.

The battery life, the durability, and easy use will make you very happy as you're taking notes during lectures.

#4 Posted by RadixNegative2 (521 posts) -

I've also heard poorly of HP from several people (most notably my dad had one and the screen for his stopped working after two years).

I got a Macbook Pro three years ago when I started college and it's been great. I'm in computer science and it's lasted all the coding, double/tripling booting, and dropping that I've put it through. They're on the expensive side but I think it's worth it.

#5 Posted by Daveyo520 (6761 posts) -

@AjayRaz: You are not a laptop silly!

#6 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

My friend had an HP, and it had multiple problems throughout it's life and was completely unsuable within 2 years. That's the only advice I have for you, I am currently in exactly the same situation.

#7 Posted by AjayRaz (12428 posts) -

@believer258: sorry about that. i updated the post. i meant like, smaller games like Torchlight. if i wanted a computer to run the newest games, i'd probably get a gaming desktop. however with that said, i'd like to have something that makes the Steam sales somewhat meaningful.

as for a budget, i'd say 1000$ at the absolute most.

@Castermhief117: @RadixNegative2: how was the transfer from Windows to Mac, if applicable? how's program compatibility, gaming, etc? would be suited well for media needs like video editing and stuff?

#8 Posted by alternate (2707 posts) -

If you are talking more budget than the mac suggestions then Lenovo and Asus have good reps. HP and Sony are not what they once were and personally I would avoid Acer like the plague.

#9 Posted by Colt45 (54 posts) -

If you're going into a Communications or Journalism program, you should really find out what systems the department uses. Some disciplines will require students to use specific software, especially if you're going to be editing video. Send an email out to the department chair, or ask a friend, to find out what types of programs professors will ask you to work with. That will determine whether or not you should buy a Mac or PC. Then, depending on what platform you need, you can make some decisions about what type of processor you should look into and how much RAM you need.

(I speak from experience. I bought a shiny new laptop before going to college, only to find out that I couldn't run the software I needed. I found myself in a computer lab quite often.)

#10 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

Stay away from HP and low-end Toshiba laptops.

#11 Posted by Shivoa (625 posts) -

There are a few ways to go:

  • You can buy light (MacBook Air or Ultrabook ideally) and give up the idea of games but get yourself something that is very easy to carry to every lecture with you (buy insurance and back up everything to the cloud, don't want to buy another one if someone steals this one).
  • You can buy cheap ($300-500) and get a nondescript 15" 1336 x 768 laptop that weighs you down but it was cheap and something like a Llano/Trinity can play games rather better than an Ultrabook (thanks to the 35W of power the CPU/GPU chip can eat rather than the 17W max of a ultralight notebook).
  • You can say screw light and spend a medium amount on on something that can more comfortably game. For a dedicated GPU laptop then nVidia Optimus is something worth considering if you see an AMD that takes your fancy. So if we are looking for Optimus capable machines then a GT640 or (bit more pricey, bit more gaming capable) GT650 are both cheap and not too high end (it won't be a "gaming" laptop, it will be a reasonably priced $800ish model that can game) and can be found in not too heavy models.
  • none of the above.

Personally, I went for a cheap Llano 15" model, because I'm cheap but also because I don't have lectures any more so I don't have to wander around every hour to a new building. If I was still an undergrad I'd probably seriously consider one of the second gen Ultrabooks starting at $800 with Ivy Bridge, maybe I'd try to argue myself into the rare Ultrabooks with a dedicated GPU too. If I didn't have a desktop for gaming at home then I'd probably have to say my priority would be getting the 3rd option so I have a bit more GPU grunt and a 35W CPU to play recent PC games decently.

#12 Edited by MooseyMcMan (11025 posts) -

Huh. I've been using an HP laptop for the last few years with no problems. Hope I didn't jinx myself there.

Edit: I should probably get a new laptop too. Not a Mac though, because like Matt Rorie, I know what's up with computers.

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#13 Posted by mosespippy (4185 posts) -

Get a macbook of some sort. When I was in college I went with a pro and I'm glad I did since I still use the computer 7 years later. If I didn't go with a pro it would not have been able to last so long. I would also consider using Boot Camp with Windows 7 for anything Windows specific that you need. I find that Pages is better than Word and Keynote is infinitely better than Power Point. Excel blows away Numbers though so you'll need Office. As far as I know video, photo and audio editing is better handled by macs but I don't have first hand experience with that.

#14 Posted by Mushir (2389 posts) -

If you can afford it, get a Macbook Pro. I've had one for the past 2 and half years and had no problems with it whatsoever. Yes, it may not be able to run games as well as some other laptops in the same price range, but I don't really care for PC gaming anyways. It's been perfect for my education needs.

#15 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

Get a mac and you won't have to worry about a thing.

#16 Posted by Daveyo520 (6761 posts) -

Dude, you're getting a Dell!

#17 Posted by legendlexicon (97 posts) -

I'm a fond supporter of Asus laptops.

#18 Posted by Athadam (692 posts) -

Macbook Pros are excellent for video processing, especially if you get the newer series that have the Core i5 processors. I think you can find them for slightly over your budget new and under your budget used.

The switch from windows to mac isn't all that bad, it'll take a few weeks of getting used to but once you do, Windows will start to feel weird. I don't know why but all of the laptops and PCs that I've had in my life have always had better specs than my macs - but as time passes by the PCs/Laptops always seem to slow down while the Macs stay just as fast as the day I bought them.

#19 Edited by aurahack (2271 posts) -

If there's anything I've learned from relying on a laptop for school work, it's don't use a laptop for school work. Your needs are different, but being in an art program requires me to have something with a good CPU and a ton of RAM to handle the Adobe Creative Suite and AutoDesk rendering software. I can't run CS6 (CS5 runs at max limit as it is) and rendering things through 3DS Max overheated my laptop twice. As for games, it ran Torchlight really well but that is about it. I can't even play Magicka on this piece of shit HP laptop. 
 
If you're going into video editing and ABSOLUTELY need a laptop, get one with a good processor, more than enough RAM, (8-12GBs) and a big HDD. (1TB at least) Raw video files (and Premiere/Final Cut Pro save files) are fucking massive, so you'll need the hard drive space. If you want to cut on HDD space/price for the laptop, make sure to buy an external drive to store your raw video. As a last resort, get a Macbook Pro, since you'll have access to Final Cut and have a decently powerful computer. Just don't expect to play games on it or have an easy time finding software compatible with what you work on in school. 
 
But really, my best recommendation is to get a desktop. If you're actually going to invest in a new computer, you can build a beastly tower for about $800-900 that will run not only new games SUPER well, but you'll have something that will completely crush at doing whatever media work you need to do. That's what I absolutely need, but if your use of video editing tools and other Adobe stuff is limited, get yourself a powerful laptop and you'll be fine. For a little over $1000, you can get yourself a Vaio laptop with a ton of RAM, an amazing video card, and an i5 processor that will do you wonders. It's what my friend bought himself and he's loved it since. Look around for the important stuff I noted up top and shop around for what laptop will work best for you in price and performance. Asus and Sony are brands to lookout for. Avoid HP and Toshiba at all costs.

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#20 Posted by ManMadeGod (1561 posts) -

@RadixNegative2 said:

I've also heard poorly of HP from several people (most notably my dad had one and the screen for his stopped working after two years).

I got a Macbook Pro three years ago when I started college and it's been great. I'm in computer science and it's lasted all the coding, double/tripling booting, and dropping that I've put it through. They're on the expensive side but I think it's worth it.

I have an HP laptop and it works great. Still going after 3 plus years. I also happen to know multiple people that have had MacBook problems. Electronics break, what can you do?

#21 Edited by artofwar420 (6289 posts) -

Build a time machine and learn about computers, you console plebe.

Serious advice, I have heard Asus laptops are probably the best in price to quality ratio. Have had HP in the past, I wouldn't recommend them, maybe they've gotten better. Lastly, if you wanna just use one without wanting to learn about them, maybe a Macbook Pro will fit your needs.

Oh, and if you JUST care about the productivity capabilities, an IBM or Lenovo ThinkPad might be worth tracking down. Games might be okay as long as they're mostly processor intensive rather than gpu.

#22 Posted by TheHBK (5485 posts) -

Macbook. Any laptop you get is gonna be good for doing school work. Don't get HP. Had one, piece of shit caused me so many problems.

Chicks dig the Apple logo. A Macbook will get you more pussy than any other laptop. College guys, college.

#23 Posted by AjayRaz (12428 posts) -

@Colt45: i just sent my communications department a kind little email asking. thank you! i'll be sure to get back to y'all.

@BraveToaster: i have this crummy old Toshiba laptop. it probably wasn't built to run Windows 7, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to destroy its very existence.

@Shivoa: thank you! i'll keep those in mind when making a decision.

@legendlexicon: i've heard pretty good things about Asus laptops. what would ya recommend?

@Castermhief117: great for video processing is wonderful to read. i'll consider a Mac. thank you!

@aurahack: very helpful. thanks, aura! i don't absolutely need a laptop but i figure it would be real ideal for working at school and stuff, and taking down notes.. however, i haven't actually had any classes yet, of course so i don't know how that'll actually turn out. maybe i'll end up being like

#24 Posted by AjayRaz (12428 posts) -

@artofwar420: i currently don't have a functional desktop computer, so i'd like something that'd meet all my needs. that's browsing, email, watching videos, video editing, blogging, all that jazz.

@TheHBK: i still have those apple stickers from buying my iPod Nano years ago. if i just stuck that over the manufacturer logo, would i still be cool and sexy?

#25 Posted by artofwar420 (6289 posts) -

@AjayRaz: I think as long as you stay away from HP, you'll be fine.

#26 Posted by RadixNegative2 (521 posts) -

@AjayRaz: OSX is not bad with program compatibility from what I've had to use it for (programming, writing papers, browsing the web, and some light image and video editing). There are a decent amount of games but you'll definitely still want to dual boot windows for that.

@ManMadeGod: That's funny everyone I know (four if I remember correctly) so far hasn't had any issues with their macbooks so from my experience that's the way to go. But I guess no mass produced hardware is fault proof particularly when we're talking multiple different models and manufacturers for any one brand.

#27 Posted by Orange (206 posts) -

I've had a MacBook Pro since June 2008 and have not had a single problem with it other than replacing the battery once. Still runs like I got it yesterday. Highly recommend the investment!

#28 Edited by Ben_H (3361 posts) -

@Orange said:

I've had a MacBook Pro since June 2008 and have not had a single problem with it other than replacing the battery once. Still runs like I got it yesterday. Highly recommend the investment!

Ditto. 2 years, only 4 lockups in total, all from stupid Flash (I use my Mac probably 5-6 hours a day, so that's kinda nuts). I hate Flash. Otherwise 100% smooth sailing, no hardware issues, no software/driver issues, everything runs great, the keyboard is godly, the trackpad is fantastic, the screen is amazing, my battery still lasts nearly 6 hours on normal usage (up to 10 if I turn wifi off and whatnot) even after 2 years. Absolutely no complaints.

No really, get a Mac. They're great. They never break (outside of user-caused damage like people dropping them or doing dumb stuff to them), don't slowdown nearly as much as Windows machines (mine still is as fast as the day I got it), and have great warranty (Apple has amazing customer service). I bought mine 2 years ago, I'll use it for another year or two then buy another. I'm never going back to non-Mac laptops. They just don't compare.

I had an HP before my beloved MacBook Pro. Multiple components in it died roughly a year after I got it and the thing was a space heater. Don't get HP, they're garbage. If you don't want to go Apple get Asus or Lenovo (Thinkpads for Lenovo, not that Ideapad garbage. A decently specced T-Series Lenovo will run you about $1000 and will be a great, highly dependable machine.)

#29 Posted by ShockD (2401 posts) -

@TheHBK said:

Macbook. Any laptop you get is gonna be good for doing school work. Don't get HP. Had one, piece of shit caused me so many problems.

Chicks dig the Apple logo. A Macbook will get you more pussy than any other laptop. College guys, college.

So much marketing in relationships nowadays...

#30 Edited by Arkasai (701 posts) -

I have to say ASUS makes some solid laptops, I've got one of their 17inch monsters sitting on my desk now. The cooling is probably the best out of any laptop I've ever used, I could game with it on my lap if I had to and the keyboard/touchpad doesn't emit shit loads of heat like every HP I've ever used. All that being said, I would still recommend a MacBook air/pro over ASUS' smaller laptops for college. It's a cliche but it's really true that Macs just work. Most people can tolerate their computer blue screening, not waking up from sleep, or spamming you with system prompts every now and then, but for those that can't stand that shit there's Mac OS and the costs associated.

#31 Posted by Driadon (2998 posts) -

I'd wait to hear back what kind of programs they plan on using in-class, as if you jump on a Mac now, and they end up using some arbitrary PC only software (or vice versa) then you'll screw yourself. Once you hear back and know what software they plan to use, buy according to that.

http://www.newegg.ca/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=32&name=Laptops-Notebooks

Keep an eye there, Newegg can get some pretty decent laptops. As some people previous have mentioned, I also recommend Asus if you go PC, the hardware they throw in in the $700+ range is really good, with the only issues being a really cheap touchpad.

#32 Posted by Arkasai (701 posts) -

@Driadon: Macs have been on x86 for a while, hence Windows support.

#33 Posted by Zelyre (1200 posts) -

Avoid HP laptops. As an educational institution that uses them, we use a wide array of them and they're all pretty crappy. The Elitebooks we use have micro drives that crap out every couple of months. The other laptops feel very cheap, are a bitch to work on, and have pretty crappy viewing angles.

The Envy's used to be really nice, though. Back when they had the Radiance screens, I wanted one very badly after using it.

The Samsung Series 9 is a very nice ultrabook. Very sleek, very fast, and very light. The Macbook air is all right as well, though for the money, I'd rather have a pro.

I bought a Macbook Pro 13" last year, since I love the 13" size and weight. I had an XPS 13 and it was the perfect size for me.

I don't game on it, so the shitty HD 3000 was fine for me. What I wanted was a laptop that could hold 2 SSDs and the Macbook Pro was the only one that could do it cleanly. It runs Win7 in parallels very smoothly, boots into Win7 very quickly, and OSX comes out of sleep mode in a heart beat. It gets stupid hot, though. You'll need to carry a dongle if you plan on hooking it up to projectors.

While the trackpad is awesome in OSX and Win7 in parallels, it fucking sucks balls when booted into Windows in bootcamp. It goes from being the slickest trackpad to the worst one you've ever used. Just a heads up if you plan on using it for Windows only. In parallels, the trackpad in Win7 is buttery smooth and works just like it does in OSX.

Last year's Macbook Pro 13 was incredibly easy to work in as well. I'm not sure about the current generation one, though. I upgraded the ram in 8 gigs, pulled the super drive out, used Carbon Copy Cleaner to clone the stock install to the SSD, and installed both SSDs in under an hour, with CCC taking up the majority of that time.

Regardless of what laptop you get, get an SSD with it. Not just for the speed, but you'll be constantly jostling the drive in your laptop. Whether it sits on your lap, gets put in a bag, sits on a table, etc, do your backups on the mechanical drive you pull out.

#34 Posted by Driadon (2998 posts) -

@Arkasai said:

@Driadon: Macs have been on x86 for a while, hence Windows support.

Yeah, but then you have to go out of your way to pick up a Windows licence.... Eh, also forgot he's a student and could get that for dirt cheap.

Yeah, Mac may be the better way to go in this case.

#35 Edited by believer258 (11913 posts) -

@AjayRaz said:

@Colt45: i just sent my communications department a kind little email asking. thank you! i'll be sure to get back to y'all.

@BraveToaster: i have this crummy old Toshiba laptop. it probably wasn't built to run Windows 7, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to destroy its very existence.

@Shivoa: thank you! i'll keep those in mind when making a decision.

@legendlexicon: i've heard pretty good things about Asus laptops. what would ya recommend?

@Castermhief117: great for video processing is wonderful to read. i'll consider a Mac. thank you!

@aurahack: very helpful. thanks, aura! i don't absolutely need a laptop but i figure it would be real ideal for working at school and stuff, and taking down notes.. however, i haven't actually had any classes yet, of course so i don't know how that'll actually turn out. maybe i'll end up being like

If you think you won't be carrying it around, and you don't mind carrying a desktop, monitor, and bunch of wires to a dorm, then definitely get a desktop. Getting it in the dorm and set up might be a hassle, but a desktop is cheaper and if need be you can own it and change stuff around in it, etc. You know, stuff, computer nerds do.

Also, I bought my laptop in summer of 2010; it's a $700 one (that I only paid $600 for) with an i3 processor and Intel HD graphics. I do make use of Steam sales and for light gaming that will do; just understand that you won't be playing much on very high settings. It's worth mentioning that you could get Torchlight to run on practically anything these days.

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#36 Posted by AjayRaz (12428 posts) -

@believer258: oh, i should also mention that i'm not going to be in a dorm. i'm gonna be living at home

#37 Posted by Butano (1738 posts) -

Man, lots of Macbook recommendations. Not what I was expecting. Anywho....

ASUS makes some pretty solid laptops. I would also suggest Lenovo as well, as they pretty much have the best keyboard in any laptop.

I've got a 4 year old HP that I still use, running W8 and Ubuntu at the moment with ease. Only issues I've had with it was a hard drive failed on me and one of the wires occasionally jiggles out so that the backlight turns off on the LCD screen, but it's still going. Gonna upgrade sometime near the end of this year. Thinking either the Lenovo YOGA or a Surface Pro, though a Macbook would be nice to do some iOS development on.

#38 Posted by AjayRaz (12428 posts) -

@Zelyre: wow! thank you. very helpful. i was wondering how the trackpad worked when running Windows in bootcamp. i wonder if i could use a windows mouse on a Mac..?

@Driadon said:

@Arkasai said:

@Driadon: Macs have been on x86 for a while, hence Windows support.

Yeah, but then you have to go out of your way to pick up a Windows licence.... Eh, also forgot he's a student and could get that for dirt cheap.

Yeah, Mac may be the better way to go in this case.

if i'm going to get a Mac, i don't think i'll rely on running windows through Bootcamp. do you guys know how well Win7 works on Mac?

#39 Edited by believer258 (11913 posts) -

@AjayRaz said:

@believer258: oh, i should also mention that i'm not going to be in a dorm. i'm gonna be living at home

In that case, desktop all the way and put a decent graphics card in there. You said you'd be doing video editing; a graphics card and knowledge of a graphics card will really help you and save you a lot of headache.

EDIT: And ignore all of the bloody Mac requests! Well, OK, don't if that's what you want, but I wouldn't get one. The whole thing seems too closed off for my tastes.

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#40 Edited by Milkman (16800 posts) -

A lot of schools offer a discount program if you buy a laptop through them. At least that's how I got mine. You should look into that.

#41 Posted by RadixNegative2 (521 posts) -

@AjayRaz: Win7 runs as well on macs as any other PC. In fact your college should give you windows for free, so you can use that to dual boot your mac using bootcamp for gaming and any obscure software you might need to use that isn't on OSX. I should also mention though that you should only get macbooks, not mac desktops. If you're getting a desktop then go with a PC or build your own.

@believer258: He'll want a laptop to be able to carry to lectures, labs, library, group meetings, etc. And the closed off nature of macbooks isn't an issue as OSX can easily be replaced by Linux if that's your thing.

#42 Posted by believer258 (11913 posts) -

@RadixNegative2 said:

@AjayRaz: Win7 runs as well on macs as any other PC. In fact your college should give you windows for free, so you can use that to dual boot your mac using bootcamp for gaming and any obscure software you might need to use that isn't on OSX. I should also mention though that you should only get macbooks, not mac desktops. If you're getting a desktop then go with a PC or build your own.

@believer258: He'll want a laptop to be able to carry to lectures, labs, library, group meetings, etc. And the closed off nature of macbooks isn't an issue as OSX can easily be replaced by Linux if that's your thing.

I get the idea of carrying a laptop to class, but I said earlier in this thread that I've always felt like carrying my laptop to and from class is an unnecessary hassle and apparently, so do many other students. In my college experience, only a small handful of people actually carry their laptops to and from class.

As for Linux, I'm typing this on Ubuntu - but the OP said he wasn't too experienced with computers. Ubuntu is a lot more user friendly than it used to be but it could still be quite a stumbling block for someone who doesn't really get into computers. Macbooks are perfectly fine for college, I was just stating that I personally do not want one.

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#43 Posted by RadixNegative2 (521 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@RadixNegative2 said:

@AjayRaz: Win7 runs as well on macs as any other PC. In fact your college should give you windows for free, so you can use that to dual boot your mac using bootcamp for gaming and any obscure software you might need to use that isn't on OSX. I should also mention though that you should only get macbooks, not mac desktops. If you're getting a desktop then go with a PC or build your own.

@believer258: He'll want a laptop to be able to carry to lectures, labs, library, group meetings, etc. And the closed off nature of macbooks isn't an issue as OSX can easily be replaced by Linux if that's your thing.

I get the idea of carrying a laptop to class, but I said earlier in this thread that I've always felt like carrying my laptop to and from class is an unnecessary hassle and apparently, so do many other students. In my college experience, only a small handful of people actually carry their laptops to and from class.

As for Linux, I'm typing this on Ubuntu - but the OP said he wasn't too experienced with computers. Ubuntu is a lot more user friendly than it used to be but it could still be quite a stumbling block for someone who doesn't really get into computers. Macbooks are perfectly fine for college, I was just stating that I personally do not want one.

I don't carry my laptop to and from class either (at least not all the time), however the few instances where I've had to do so has made having a laptop very valuable. A lot of our homework is online as well, so it's been great being able to take my laptop to the library or help centers to work from there. And not to mention all the lab and group work I've done where meeting with others and working on projects requiring a computer is necessary, making having a laptop extremely convenient. Not saying everyone is like this as experiences differ, but the chances that OP will run into situations such as this makes getting a laptop a better choice than a desktop.

Yes I understand that you said you don't want a macbook because it is too closed off for your taste and I respect that. I was just trying to say that a macbook isn't closed off, it's OSX that is closed off and that can easily be replaced by Linux if that's your thing. As for OP if he doesn't have the experience with computers to run Ubuntu then I don't see how a closed off OS would be an issue anyway.

#44 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Mushir said:

If you can afford it, get a Macbook Pro. I've had one for the past 2 and half years and had no problems with it whatsoever. Yes, it may not be able to run games as well as some other laptops in the same price range, but I don't really care for PC gaming anyways. It's been perfect for my education needs.

Well a word of warning about the MacBook Pro is that the 13" is now a bad buy, it has a 1280x800 screen in 2012...the 13" Air is higher res than that.

and nobody really needs the optical drive anymore. Far better off getting that superior screen and fast SSD, you don't need a huge hard drive for college (okay, perhaps excluding media students), especially now that everything is in the cloud.

@RadixNegative2 said:

@believer258 said:

@RadixNegative2 said:

@AjayRaz: Win7 runs as well on macs as any other PC. In fact your college should give you windows for free, so you can use that to dual boot your mac using bootcamp for gaming and any obscure software you might need to use that isn't on OSX. I should also mention though that you should only get macbooks, not mac desktops. If you're getting a desktop then go with a PC or build your own.

@believer258: He'll want a laptop to be able to carry to lectures, labs, library, group meetings, etc. And the closed off nature of macbooks isn't an issue as OSX can easily be replaced by Linux if that's your thing.

I get the idea of carrying a laptop to class, but I said earlier in this thread that I've always felt like carrying my laptop to and from class is an unnecessary hassle and apparently, so do many other students. In my college experience, only a small handful of people actually carry their laptops to and from class.

As for Linux, I'm typing this on Ubuntu - but the OP said he wasn't too experienced with computers. Ubuntu is a lot more user friendly than it used to be but it could still be quite a stumbling block for someone who doesn't really get into computers. Macbooks are perfectly fine for college, I was just stating that I personally do not want one.

Yes I understand that you said you don't want a macbook because it is too closed off for your taste and I respect that. I was just trying to say that a macbook isn't closed off, it's OSX that is closed off and that can easily be replaced by Linux if that's your thing. As for OP if he doesn't have the experience with computers to run Ubuntu then I don't see how a closed off OS would be an issue anyway.

I find it funny people are even saying OS X is closed off, the hardware is, but the OS itself can be tinkered with just as much as Windows can if you really want to.

#45 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

I hate apple but if it's for school they're hard to beat.

When you graduate you can sell it and buy something that isn't for pretentious hipsters who have no computer knowledge.

(I kid)

#46 Posted by sarge1445 (676 posts) -

@AjayRaz said:

i'm starting college in a few weeks and i need to ditch this old crummy laptop that needs to be plugged in at all times, and i need to get, you know, a good laptop. the problem is.. i'm pretty bad when it comes to computers. as someone who isn't really a PC gamer, i don't really have much knowledge of computers, what brands are good, ideal operating systems and all that jazz. not that you need to be a PC gamer to know about computers, but i've never really had much of a reason to invest a lot of my time into learning about computers.

so, i've decided to come to you, folks of giant bomb. i'm going to be in a communications program so i'll be in some journalism and video courses, meaning i'll most definitely be doing some writing and video editing. i haven't made my schedule yet (not authorized until the 13th) but that's the gist of it.

so.. with that said, what are some good laptop brands, models and stuff that i should check out? i was thinking HP, but most of the people i know who own an HP laptop had it crap out on them after not too long. i'm no expert, though. i live in Canada, too so it would be preferable if it's something i could get at like, future shop or something.

edit: also, it would be nice if i could play a few games on it. not like, Skyrim or anything but it would be fun to play Torchlight or something without worrying about my laptop melting.

edit ii: also, i have a budget of like, 1000$.

edit iii: i'm not going to be in a form, FYI. i'm gonna be living at home but it would still be nice to have something to carry around.

edit iv: i think i've got more than enough information from you guys. thank you so much! i'll happily welcome more suggestions and such, though.

I know the world is going to rage at me for saying this but Alienware M11x. I got one in January 2011 it's fantastic super light, the Optimus tech means I have long battery life for taking notes, and it runs most games on medium to high settings. I got it for 950 with my student discount and some coupons. I would say look into it.

#47 Posted by BirdkeeperDan (400 posts) -
#48 Posted by AjayRaz (12428 posts) -

@Sooty: i was doing some sort of research last night and i found out that the 13" Pro has the same resolution as this horrible laptop that i'm using right now.. which isn't really great news, but at least my wallpaper folder transfers over. i'll check out the Air, too.

do you use a macbook? it would be nice to get some thoughts on 'em if so~

@BirdkeeperDan: oh hey, a--

We are not able to ship this item to your default shipping address.

oh right, i live in Canada. thanks, anyway! i'm still checkin' out Asus laptops, and i'll add this one to the list.

#49 Posted by RadixNegative2 (521 posts) -

@Sooty said:

@Mushir said:

If you can afford it, get a Macbook Pro. I've had one for the past 2 and half years and had no problems with it whatsoever. Yes, it may not be able to run games as well as some other laptops in the same price range, but I don't really care for PC gaming anyways. It's been perfect for my education needs.

Well a word of warning about the MacBook Pro is that the 13" is now a bad buy, it has a 1280x800 screen in 2012...the 13" Air is higher res than that.

and nobody really needs the optical drive anymore. Far better off getting that superior screen and fast SSD, you don't need a huge hard drive for college (okay, perhaps excluding media students), especially now that everything is in the cloud.

@RadixNegative2 said:

@believer258 said:

@RadixNegative2 said:

@AjayRaz: Win7 runs as well on macs as any other PC. In fact your college should give you windows for free, so you can use that to dual boot your mac using bootcamp for gaming and any obscure software you might need to use that isn't on OSX. I should also mention though that you should only get macbooks, not mac desktops. If you're getting a desktop then go with a PC or build your own.

@believer258: He'll want a laptop to be able to carry to lectures, labs, library, group meetings, etc. And the closed off nature of macbooks isn't an issue as OSX can easily be replaced by Linux if that's your thing.

I get the idea of carrying a laptop to class, but I said earlier in this thread that I've always felt like carrying my laptop to and from class is an unnecessary hassle and apparently, so do many other students. In my college experience, only a small handful of people actually carry their laptops to and from class.

As for Linux, I'm typing this on Ubuntu - but the OP said he wasn't too experienced with computers. Ubuntu is a lot more user friendly than it used to be but it could still be quite a stumbling block for someone who doesn't really get into computers. Macbooks are perfectly fine for college, I was just stating that I personally do not want one.

Yes I understand that you said you don't want a macbook because it is too closed off for your taste and I respect that. I was just trying to say that a macbook isn't closed off, it's OSX that is closed off and that can easily be replaced by Linux if that's your thing. As for OP if he doesn't have the experience with computers to run Ubuntu then I don't see how a closed off OS would be an issue anyway.

I find it funny people are even saying OS X is closed off, the hardware is, but the OS itself can be tinkered with just as much as Windows can if you really want to.

OS X is closed off in comparison to Linux (not Windows) whose kernel can be modified and rebuilt as can most of the software available for it. Don't know what you mean by saying the hardware is closed, could you explain further? Are you referring to the ability to access it using software? In that case it isn't closed off.

#50 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@AjayRaz said:

@Sooty: i was doing some sort of research last night and i found out that the 13" Pro has the same resolution as this horrible laptop that i'm using right now.. which isn't really great news, but at least my wallpaper folder transfers over. i'll check out the Air, too.

do you use a macbook? it would be nice to get some thoughts on 'em if so~

@BirdkeeperDan: oh hey, a--

We are not able to ship this item to your default shipping address.

oh right, i live in Canada. thanks, anyway! i'm still checkin' out Asus laptops, and i'll add this one to the list.

Not the person you asked, but I've been using a Macbook pro for the past 5 years (and a powerbook before that), and I have loved it, though I've had my share of hardware problems (but everyone does). If all you're doing is taking notes or dicking around on the web, it's probably not a vital purchase, but my pro got me through five years of architecture school. I dual booted between OSX and Vista (haha, I know) and have run AutoCad, Rhino4, Grasshopper, Maya, Photoshop, Illustrator, Maxwell, V-ray, etc etc frequently, insanely, and--often--at the same time (and for many extended, sleepless periods of work). Ol' gal's held together remarkably well.