If you're only going to have one machine a laptop is definitely the way to go. I bring mine to classes almost every day when I'm at school and use Microsoft OneNote 2007 to take notes. It's also nice to be able to compile sample code in class but that's more specific to my field.
I purchased a model with a matte display but I don't think that's an option with Apple unless you go for the 17" MBP. The main advantage is that there aren't distracting reflections from overhead lights which is an issue I've observed with glossy displays.
i'd go with a desktop. vista, big 24", dual core or whatever, quick hard drive.
laptops if one part breaks you have to send it away, small keyboard, slow hard drive, to name a few disadvatanges. if you do go for a laptop i recommend a wireless keyboard and mouse.
a 13" or 15" laptop isn't worth it imo. 17" is the way to go and you can pick em up cheap, at last you can get a decent size keyboard. picked up a compaq on sale, 17" for £349. blow whatever you have left on software and beer.
i don't get the interest with netbooks, tiny screens, big premium. they're not practical for watching youtube vids let alone work on. if you don't have the strength to carry a 15" or 17" you should get out more.
Originally Posted by ċãţ /img/forum/go_quote.gif i don't get the interest with netbooks, tiny screens, big premium. they're not practical for watching youtube vids let alone work on. if you don't have the strength to carry a 15" or 17" you should get out more.
Big premium? A basic netbook can be had for under $300. Not bad for something to be used for word processing, web browsing, email, etc. Basically, it covers everything one needs for class. Why pay more for a big 17" that does the same thing and with less battery life? The keyboard won't be fullsized on a netbook, but they aren't made for being primary computers. That's what the desktop is for!
If you are planning to spend lots of hours in front of the screen be it for working (docs, web browsing, audio/video editing) or entertainment (watching videos, games), nothing beats the comfort of working on a 22"-24" screen. Your eyes are less tired and you are definitely more productive when having multiple windows/applications side by side.
The new Macbook pro is a beautiful machine. A great balance between design, processing power and portability (not too heavy and excellent battery life) although a little expensive in my opinion. Another major turn off is the extremely glossy screen, you can forget using it outdoors or having a bright window behind you.
Now for the same price of the Macbook you can easily get a desktop with a 24" screen that is much more powerful and a netbook that is smaller, lighter with better battery life than the Macbook. Having the flexibility of 2 machines that is much better for their specific purpose, comfort and processing power from the desktop and amazing portability from the netbook, for the same price it is just very hard to beat.
Well, uh, as we all know, laptops are not the greatest machines for gaming.
You can't upgrade the G-card. You can't just buy a new one and plug it in. There are no AGP/PCI/E sockets. If it came with a 945GM (like mine) you're done. CoD1 won't even run.
Although HP/Dell/Alienware make some gaming laptops, when you look at the price, see...
Saving money to buy an AMD Dragon system.
If you have anything to use right now, I'd highly recommend making a decision 2-3 weeks into school.
Of my friends at my current school, I know some who have laptops who have not taken it off of their desk in the past 3 years. And then I know some people who take it ouut every other day. I personally have a desktop with a 24" monitor, and I almost never find use for my laptop.
I've attended 3 universities.. one of them which is a avid "tech" school, and while I see laptops appear in class maybe for the first couple days for freshman.. no one really uses one in class.
In one school, the dorms were close enough, and computers were abundant enough to the point where all you needed was a large flash drive or hard-drive with your files and software installed. In another school, most of the facilities didn't even have wi-fi access, and considerably limited the benefits of a laptop.
At one school, I hardly used any computer at all cause I spent all my free time going round back of the studio and diving and swimming in gorges/waterfalls.. venturing to neighboring towns.. facing near-death experiences..
You know what? Buy an ultraportable. You might know it as a "netbook". 300$. If it gets lost/stolen, you won't cry for that long.
Hey, I have one. http://www.besta.com.cn/product/img/T-9000A.jpg
EDIT: When (if) you buy this specific model, make sure that you get one of those 240V~120V inverters or you won't be able to charge it in the North America. And an extra battery (Li-ion 3.7V/720mAh). I know that the 720mAh isn't the highest capacity, but you can leave the screen on (brightness 'low') for a week, music for 50 hours, videos for 24 hours. You need a specific software to convert video formats.
Originally Posted by DoYouRight /img/forum/go_quote.gif go for a netbook for traveling and a cheaper desktop that kills a 2k laptop for $700. Thats 1000 budget and you win.
That's a pretty good idea. One might also consider buying an older full size laptop for a similar cost and then building a capable desktop. For example, you could get a perfectly decent IBM ThinkPad on eBay for under $200.
Originally Posted by Mr. B /img/forum/go_quote.gif For example, you could get a perfectly decent IBM ThinkPad on eBay for under $200.
Indeed. Take a look at the Thinkpad T43, they're old but decently priced and built to last practically forever. Newer Thinkpads are semi-rugged Mil-spec and can survive practically anything, older models such as the above are built nearly as well.
In fact, there was a video posted somewhere recently (engadget?) in which an upcoming T400s was repeatedly thrown onto the ground from a portable radar truck and even stood up to some rain, no problem. They then ran over the laptop with the (VERY heavy) truck and the hard drive/data survived completely intact.