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Help me buy my first computer - Page 2

post #16 of 40
I don't know what women you've been talking to, but the majority of thes I talk to tend to love everything by Apple. You're right though, there's no good reason for why they should, unless they're nerds. Pop culture at its finest.
post #17 of 40
i vote for a macbook. OSX will do everything you need it to do and if you have to use windows then you can boot the mac up in windows using bootcamp

much more user friendly and they look great! =p
post #18 of 40
It may be worth looking at tablet PC's while you're at it (They are a form of laptop with an adjustable touch sensitive screen that allows you to use it just like pen and paper), granted they are not the prettiest looking things around however they are fairly nifty.

I would suggest going for the smallest computer you can put up with, buy yourself an extra keyboard and mouse to keep at home for when you need to spend a while on the computer. I would also suggest buying yourself a pen drive or something to backup your work onto. There is nothing worse than losing all of the work you have poured hours into on the day it has to be printed off and handed in, trust me on that one!
post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 
I have not really been considering getting anything by Apple since they don't really have laptops as thin and lightweight as what I am hoping for. Additionally, I have been told that specifications-wise, they are generally about 1.3 times as expensive as a PC.


The thing about getting an additional keyboard is that I don't want to be tied to working in my room on long papers or whatever. This is the main reason I am looking at a laptop over a desktop.




What kind of stores would have a lot of the computers mentioned so far for me to hold and look at? Other than Best Buy, I am not sure where to look.

The Sony TX and SZ series look good.


Thank you for all the suggestions. It's been really helpful to see what you guys have said so far.
post #20 of 40
I'll ditto the Dell XPS m1210. But make sure you'll be able to deal with a 12.1" screen. Although it's a 1200x800 resoluition, it's still small-ish font, and don't even think about opening multiple windows. But to me the difference in weight and battery life is great. The m1210 starts at 4.1 pounds I beleive (w/ 9 cell battery), which is extremely heavy for an ultraportable, but with it you get top-of-the-line parts (as soon as they adopt Santa Rosa).

However that may be overkill for what you need, but you won't really find a really cheap ultraportable. I wouldn't recommend Sony because generally their laptops are overpriced.

Macbook is fine as well, but I'm just a PC kind of guy (and yes, I know about Parallels and Boot camp...).
post #21 of 40
And Macbook has a digital out (I believe), so it'd be a good system to work around
post #22 of 40
get an asus barebones. my favorite lightweight laptops. macs are good choices too since you won't be doing any gaming.
post #23 of 40
Get a Mac or a tablet pc (they are so handy for taking notes and you can keep all your notes in one nice neat place.... and not on the floor)! It's too bad they don't make iTablets!
post #24 of 40
If you want a PC, get an Asus laptop.
post #25 of 40
I've had a macbook since feb this year and love it. You can use NeoOffice for word etc (freeware).
post #26 of 40
I would not buy a Sony laptop for a myriad of reasons. If you're considering a laptop in the Vaio price range, you should be looking at either the ThinkPad T series or the surprisingly inexpensive ThinkPad X61 (the latter is on sale for just $1050 right now). ThinkPads are durable, have unquestionably the best keyboards, the X series is lightweight, very easy to tote around, and has a good battery life, and the T series is a good balance of performance, weight, and battery life without a bunch of stuff you don't need. ThinkPads can be serviced anywhere due to IBM's good service network, all parts are readily available either from IBM or on eBay, and the machines are just well-designed. Sonys are lightweight toys in comparison with below average keyboards, though they do look good.

If cost is a factor, Dell does (finally!) have some good machines as well, though there is no question I would spring for a ThinkPad if I was shopping in that price bracket.

As nice as the other vendors are (Asus, Fujitsu, etc.), they don't have nearly as good service networks in the US as either Lenovo/IBM, Apple, and Dell. In university you don't want to be without your laptop for a long time if it breaks.

Finally, since your software requirements are modest, there's no reason not to consider a Macbook. Good all-around package, good battery life, not a lot of headaches. Either that or get a ThinkPad.
post #27 of 40
Don't get Vista without 2GB of RAM.
post #28 of 40
I got a black c2d macbook with 2gbs of ram in november. Major factors for me were ability to run OSX and windows, optical out, DVI out (many budget laptops had only VGA still, maybe that has changed), design, and price. I think apple laptops are actually pretty moderately priced, especially if you factor in an education discount. The only cheaper decent laptops are thinkpads and dells, I think you will find a comparably featured sony or toshiba is more expensive.

Anyway it was a great decision, the only issue I've had was the trackpad losing springyness which I fixed. Runs windows perfectly, even plays most games up to 2005 or so. FarCry and UT are playable, but you will need a mouse. I'm a CE major so I use it for coding, word processing, web, playing movies, usually low impact stuff, but sometimes games, photoshop, or illustrator. Does them all admirably. My only regret is that they didn't have LED backlights yet (supposedly macbook pro is getting them in 2 weeks).
post #29 of 40
Beware of Vista at the moment. If you're using wireless internet at your university through a VPN client, it won't work on Vista without some serious tweaking.

I don't recommend a MacBook. 1.3 times the price is an understatement. It's roughly 1.5-1.7 times the price for a similar spec'ed machine. I'll find proof if needed .

Make sure to check out TabletPCs as people have said. I got a laptop last year for University, and I really regret not looking into those.

As for rough specs...you should look for something along the lines:

12-14inch WXGA screen -> the smaller the size, the lighter the laptop

Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz - 2.0GHz -> anything higher is overkill

1GB RAM -> 1GB should do as you don't game. Get 2GB if it's a good deal.

Integrated Video Card: doesn't really matter what video card you get with it.

Sound Card: something labelled SoundBlaster would most likely do better compared to most onboard sound.
post #30 of 40
I'm in exactly the same prog. (except i'm not transfering at all).

i'd building a moderately good desktop with cash and financing a laptop this fall nvidia(g81).
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