Laptop for college?

  • (6 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »

77 Replies - 5558 Views - Last Post: 24 April 2013 - 02:12 PM

#1 CarDriver  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular
  • member icon

Reputation: 65
  • View blog
  • Posts: 431
  • Joined: 17-February 11

Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:13 PM

Hey everyone. I'm in the market for a college laptop, and I need some advice.

My budget is about $1,600-$1,800, so I figure I should invest in a Mac. (But feel free to dissuade me from joining the cult.) It might help you to know that I'll be majoring in computer science, I'm not much of a PC gamer (Guild Wars 2 is probably the most hardcore PC game you'll see me playing), and I'm quite comfortable with Unix-like environments (to the point where I couldn't stand Windows 8 simply because it lacked Bash). I currently use a Dell Vostro laptop with ~3GB of RAM and a 2.4GHz (quad core? according to Linux) Core i3. It's really my mom's laptop, so that's my excuse for getting a fancy PC for college. (And, believe it or not, my (mom's) Dell is outdated and underpowered according to my school, no matter my major.) I use Linux, by the way, and my only complaint is that I prefer an OS that looks great out-of-the-box. I sort of wish I could use a version of OS X that was actually Linux with a pretty face. But Darwin UNIX will suffice as a Linux alternative, I think.

Unless you want to persuade me to buy a Windows PC, here's my dilemma (woe is me): Should I buy a Pro or an Air?

13-inch MacBook Pro, 2.9GHz dual-core Core i7, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD for $1,600
or a 13-inch MacBook Air, 2GHz dual-core Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for the same price

It might seem obvious if you look at stats versus price only, but the 13-inch Pro is UGLY next to the Air. Will the Pro's superior processor make up for its relative thickness (even among "regular" PCs)? Will I notice a difference in performance? Since I'm not a huge gamer, I think a solid MacBook Air will give me the best deal. It's a little weird to pay an extra $100 for a 2GHz processor in the Air, but I have faith that a Core i7 is markedly superior to my current Core i3 even though the i3 has a higher clock speed. But without a dedicated graphics chip, I wonder if I'll even be able to play Minecraft. I know all-too-well how shitty "integrated graphics" are. My Intel-powered laptop can hardly run Minecraft, but my ancient HP desktop with 2GB RAM and a single-core processor runs it like a charm because it has a Nvidia chip. (And its monolithic processor's clock speed surpasses that of every MacBook, but I want to say it's the graphics card for argument's sake.)

Let me know what you would buy with $1,600, and tell me which of my two top-contenders would be the smartest choice.
Thanks!

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Laptop for college?

#2 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

  • holy shitin shishkebobs
  • member icon




Reputation: 6233
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10,782
  • Joined: 28-September 07

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:50 PM

With $1,600, I'd buy a new washer and dryer.
Was This Post Helpful? 4
  • +
  • -

#3 CarDriver  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular
  • member icon

Reputation: 65
  • View blog
  • Posts: 431
  • Joined: 17-February 11

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:05 PM

View PostBenignDesign, on 26 March 2013 - 06:50 PM, said:

With $1,600, I'd buy a new washer and dryer.


You mean you can't spend all your money on toys in the real world? WTF is this
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 9568
  • View blog
  • Posts: 36,223
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:12 PM

Hell for the money I would go with a "Toshiba - Satellite 17.3" Laptop - 8GB Memory - 750GB Hard Drive". It has a screen you can read on, room for more ram, a big ol' hard drive, and costs half the price.

At worst you shell out another hundred bucks, get windows 7, and invest the other seven hundred dollars on hookers and blow.
Was This Post Helpful? 3
  • +
  • -

#5 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

  • Pancakes!
  • member icon


Reputation: 7996
  • View blog
  • Posts: 13,694
  • Joined: 19-March 11

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:13 PM

For any serious programming, a five year old laptop with any old linux on it will do fine.


If you want to write for the mePod, get a mac, otherwise, buy an ordinary heap of a laptop and a docking setup (spare monitor, extrnal keyboard) and send the rest to the B9 Home Appliances Fund so her kids won't have to spend their days washing clothes and they can go to school and get good grades and go to good colleges and get good jobs husbands and B9 will have some prosperous offspring to sponge off of when she can no longer make websites in her fading years.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 9568
  • View blog
  • Posts: 36,223
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:17 PM

.. but save a bit for the blow and maybe a midget hooker.

It's like a bad Steve Martin sketch for what he wants for christmas..

First.. I would like a laptop to do work on..
Second I would like to fund B9's industrial washboard needs..
Third.. blow.
Fourth.. hookers.

This post has been edited by modi123_1: 26 March 2013 - 05:30 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 165
  • View blog
  • Posts: 545
  • Joined: 06-July 11

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:25 PM

With that budget I would go for a 13 inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, graphics upgrade, RAM and processor upgrade.

If you want to spend less, I would suggest the 13 inch MacBook Air (1440x960 resolution is alright for development) with a processor, RAM and SSD upgrade. Extremely light weight, can bring anywhere, fast and more than enough RAM.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 atraub  Icon User is offline

  • Pythoneer
  • member icon

Reputation: 759
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,010
  • Joined: 23-December 08

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:30 PM

Rather than buying a mac for development, I've kinda grown fond of the idea of a rent-to-own mac mini colocation type situation. But I have never tried it and don't know a ton about it. It's worth researching if the service would work for you... I'd be curious to know how it turns out if you go down that road.

This post has been edited by atraub: 26 March 2013 - 05:30 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

  • Hash != Encryption
  • member icon


Reputation: 928
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,212
  • Joined: 19-January 10

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:56 PM

Macs look wonderful for students... I really want one to carry around. But the price! My gosh.

I'd say go with the air, especially if you're going to be carrying it around a lot. Just because of it's low profile. If all you will be doing is word processing, drawings, and internet, that 1GHz won't make much of a difference I think. Plus you'll get that extra space which I don't think is a problem to begin with.

I'm a cheap person however so I'd probably go with buying something used or buying some other machine. I'm really fond of the Toshiba Satellite series. Only complaint being the gains you get in power, will be lost in the structure. You will not be getting an aluminum casing laptop (unless they make those, idk) and you will have to be much more careful. But this was a couple years ago, things may have changed - don't quote me.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#10 drakethedragon  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 6
  • View blog
  • Posts: 61
  • Joined: 26-March 13

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:36 PM

Don't go Apple... think of all the money you'll save!

View Postmodi123_1, on 26 March 2013 - 05:12 PM, said:

Hell for the money I would go with a "Toshiba - Satellite 17.3" Laptop - 8GB Memory - 750GB Hard Drive". It has a screen you can read on, room for more ram, a big ol' hard drive, and costs half the price.


I have this Toshiba Satellite, and I love it! I use it for personal gaming and programming to college work. If I had the choice to buy another laptop, I would choose to have the exact same laptop.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 Nykc  Icon User is offline

  • Gentleman of Leisure
  • member icon

Reputation: 731
  • View blog
  • Posts: 8,644
  • Joined: 14-September 07

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:56 AM

I have an HP G42 that I threw a copy of *Nix on and never looked back. I did however recently throw my copy of Win7 on it as a dual boot - namely so I can use Fireworks occasionally and play my Roms when I want to have Retro Game night on the PC. I can play most of them on Linux, but the emulators I use perform better on Linux. Also I chose not to go VM because I need full PC resources when running Adobe
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

  • Admiral Fancy Pants
  • member icon

Reputation: 5388
  • View blog
  • Posts: 27,383
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:15 AM

A $1600 laptop for college is just going to have games... & you know it.

Quote

For any serious programming, a five year old laptop with any old linux on it will do fine.

This.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 BlueMelon  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 40
  • View blog
  • Posts: 187
  • Joined: 27-April 10

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:05 AM

Woah woah woah... that's alot to shell out as a student (unless you can afford to...).

Heres my 2cents,
Don't get a Dell.

That is all.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

  • Pancakes!
  • member icon


Reputation: 7996
  • View blog
  • Posts: 13,694
  • Joined: 19-March 11

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:50 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 27 March 2013 - 07:15 AM, said:

A $1600 laptop for college is just going to have games... and ... you know ...


FTFY
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#15 modi123_1  Icon User is online

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 9568
  • View blog
  • Posts: 36,223
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Laptop for college?

Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:53 AM

Better also allocate an extra three dollars for your laptop's "Silicone Laptop Keyboard Cover Protector Skin".
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

  • (6 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »