Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

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#1 c00lkent  Icon User is offline

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Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:01 PM

Hello everyone. I know this question has been asked before and I have read those posts but all of them seem to have a higher budget than me. I have one I'm looking at right now but I'm not sure about CPUs and what's an acceptable speed and what not. Any advice on what laptops to look at is appreciated.

I'm currently using Eclipse and Visual Studio for Java and C++ programming. The computer science club may be using Unity in the near future so it would be a plus if it could use that. I may be doing a Computer Graphics and Animation course in about 2 years, but that's an elective I may just not take.

My budget is under $400, trying to stick under $300.

I wouldn't mind the reviews too much; the 2/5 was because it doesn't have a cd drive (he should have read the laptop description) and the other two are 4/5s.
http://www.newegg.co...#scrollFullInfo

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Replies To: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:07 PM

Honestly, at that range, as long as the screen is big enough, has at least 4gb of RAM, more than a single core, and a hard drive bigger than 64gb you can't really go wrong.. well I would skim the model numbers if there has been a mass defect.

Regardless that 1~1.5 gz celeron will be pretty damn slow.

I would also recommend checking the bestbuy site.. they, typically, have a glut of refurbs floating around in the sub 350 range.
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#3 c00lkent  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 20 November 2013 - 07:29 PM

This lenovo is $400 on black friday.
Processor Intel® 3rd Generation Core™ i5
Processor Speed 2.6GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz)

http://www.bestbuy.c...=specifications
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 20 November 2013 - 07:30 PM

That looks like a damn fine laptop.
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#5 c00lkent  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 20 November 2013 - 07:54 PM

Here is a Dell laptop for $180 on Black Friday. Figured I would ask about it since it's only a little slower than the first one and 70 bucks cheaper.
1.6 ghz cpu

http://www.bestbuy.c...27#tab=overview

Kind of a random question but how reliable are laptops? I don't know anyone that has had a laptop last more than 4 years. My Toshiba Satelite crapped out on me after about 2 years but I also would sometimes use it on carpet and what not. Now that I'm older and more responsible, I would know not to do that and I know how to not get viruses. Will laptops still crap out if you avoid doing these things?
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 20 November 2013 - 11:08 PM

Not a big fan of the Dells now a days.. but if it's dirt cheap, why not? You can get more RAM, but that processor will end up slowing down any multitasking.

Quote

Kind of a random question but how reliable are laptops?

Depends on how you take care of it.. clean it out once and a while.. don't damage it, etc..

Quote

I don't know anyone that has had a laptop last more than 4 years

That's the typical life span of a mid range laptop..

Quote

Will laptops still crap out if you avoid doing these things?

It depends on what 'crap out' means.. for me it's an issue of "what will I put up with".. I still roll desktops for the speed, updatability, and so on.. laptops I expect to fail and be a bitch to fix.
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#7 laytonsdad  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 20 November 2013 - 11:11 PM

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I don't know anyone that has had a laptop last more than 4 years


I have old laptops, But after about four years they really are out of date for most graphics and outright ability to be powerful enough for new software and the intertube.
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#8 c00lkent  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:59 PM

What I meant is will they be operable after 4 years. Not sure if the people I know have bad brands or don't take care of the laptops but I know a decent amount of people who had their laptops just stop working. Not slow down but actually fail to boot or something of that sort.

If I bought that Lenovo and babied it, is there a good chance it will last 5 years? Regardless of if it will be "outdated" by then.
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:45 AM

In theory it should.. there's no little bombs that go off at the four year mark, or some sort of mechanism to self destruct after X amount of days have gone by.. sure parts may wear out (as with any machine) but there's no reason it wouldn't last four years.
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#10 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:52 AM

View Postc00lkent, on 20 November 2013 - 10:54 PM, said:

Kind of a random question but how reliable are laptops?

The 2 biggest issues that I experience with laptops at my repair shop, are failed sata hard drives & heating issues.

There isn't much that you can do to prevent sata failure, but you can make sure that your data is backed up.

As for heating issues, it can be a combination of items. A lot of the reason for price drops in laptops is moving to a smaller form factor with BGA. BGA's have (from my experience) a high failure rate. It's the same thing that causes Yellow Light of Death on the PS3, & Red Ring of Death on the 360. The unit is unable to properly disperse heat, the chip gets to hot, & the BGA faults from solder failure. Either a break or a bridge. This can be somewhat preventable, obviously don't leave the laptop laying on flat services, or carpet & blankets. Kind of common sense prevention.

The 2nd laptop I ever owned I had for 10+ years & was working when I sold it to a friend. Some of it is personal & proper maintenance, some of it is luck with replaceable components.
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#11 c00lkent  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:07 AM

Here is another laptop. What do you guys think of refurbs?
http://www.officedep...272891#firstTab

Lenovo refurb: $230
AMD A6-5200 Quad-Core Processor 2.0 GHZ
500gb hdd

This refurb is better than the other Lenovo I was going to get for $400 on Black Friday.
http://www.bestbuy.c...=specifications
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#12 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:31 AM

I've had good experiences with refurbs.. with the only problem of the battery having charging issues over the years but that can common for most laptops.

Decent specs.. may need a skosh more RAM.
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#13 c00lkent  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:40 AM

4gb will be fast enough for me I think.
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#14 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:42 AM

I wouldn't for me..
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#15 c00lkent  Icon User is offline

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Re: Under $400 Laptops for a Programmer

Posted 24 November 2013 - 12:22 PM

Got it!
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