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Unibody College Laptop

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello all! smile.gif

So I'm looking for a laptop for college use, nothing to great with light gaming between lessons (FTL, Minecraft, Torchlight, LoL etc.) Nothing that requires to much power, I have a desktop for that wink.gif I've looked everywhere for something and I don't mind buying second hand.

I looked at buying a second hand Macbook (2010) as they seem to fulfill my needs, i3 with a GT 330M would probably cut it for light gaming and good multi-tasking and having a dual boot for windows. Good battery life as well which is a nice bonus and another reason being is I'm a sucker for good looks and I just love the unibody design on it ^.^

I also looked at the Sony Vaio as that seems to be much the same but slightly cheaper, again i3/i5 with a nice design, only downsides being Windows 8 (that can be easily rectified) and the useless touchscreen.

I quite like the look of the HP Envy Spectre's but they're way out of my budget even second hand and they don't seem to offer much extra for the price

Firstly thank you for any help and replies! smile.gif I'll list below what I'm looking for:

  • CPU: i3/i5 whichever's best for my needs/budget (I'd rather avoid AMD if possible)
  • GPU: After using the HD4000 on my current i5 I think that would be fine for light gaming so no real need for one
  • Memory: 4Gb would be perfect but again doesn't matter, I can upgrade later if needs be
  • Hard Drive: I have a desktop for my main system so 320Gb would be fine for a few films/games. A SSD would be nice but I'd rather save the money if possobile
  • Screen: 13" would be perfect with having to fit it into my bag back and forth from college
  • Battery: With using it at college a good 4 - 6 Hours if possible but not to important as it'll be in my bag most of the day or I can charge it in lessons
  • Weight/Size: Light as possible and thin with having to walk around with it but not to the extremes

I know this is quite specific and I'll keep looking but thank you for any replies and help! smile.gif

Edit: One thing I have noticed is the Macbooks all seem to have higher clock speeds on their processors which makes me lean towards them a bit more

Edit2: Okay I've found the one I'm going to purchase, either a Lenovo Ideapad U410 or a U310 biggrin.gif
Edited by GeoWillWalls - 3/27/13 at 10:21pm
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post #2 of 6
No idea if you have purchased one yet, but... you can find some serious bargains on Ebay. I got a Q9000 Laptop for about... £200? If I recall, with a 4870 that handles all my light gaming and the quad core helps with programming. Although all depends on the type of work you are doing smile.gif I have a £20 sony vaio 11" laptop I use for most lectures (typing notes etc) and just run linux on it. biggrin.gif And then look forward to hopping back on my 580sli rig smile.gif
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoWillWalls View Post

Hello all! smile.gif
  • CPU: i3/i5 whichever's best for my needs/budget (I'd rather avoid AMD if possible)
  • GPU: After using the HD4000 on my current i5 I think that would be fine for light gaming so no real need for one
  • Memory: 4Gb would be perfect but again doesn't matter, I can upgrade later if needs be
  • Hard Drive: I have a desktop for my main system so 320Gb would be fine for a few films/games. A SSD would be nice but I'd rather save the money if possobile
  • Screen: 13" would be perfect with having to fit it into my bag back and forth from college
  • Battery: With using it at college a good 4 - 6 Hours if possible but not to important as it'll be in my bag most of the day or I can charge it in lessons
  • Weight/Size: Light as possible and thin with having to walk around with it but not to the extremes

Edit2: Okay I've found the one I'm going to purchase, either a Lenovo Ideapad U410 or a U310 biggrin.gif
Budget?
Worth noting the 2010 Macbook Pros only had a Core 2 Duo not a first gen i3.
You can at times find some great deals on i5 2011 MacBooks Pro or Air's on craigslist.

Weight is not too bad at all.
I have a i5 version and I get around 4 hours of Adobe/Maya/Unity3D/Video Editing use or 6-8 of light use.
Charger is compact.


The U410/310 I heard mixed thoughts on. Should read up more on them.
Most notably is the warranty that does not allow user upgrades I believe.
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamersunited22 View Post

No idea if you have purchased one yet, but... you can find some serious bargains on Ebay. I got a Q9000 Laptop for about... £200? If I recall, with a 4870 that handles all my light gaming and the quad core helps with programming. Although all depends on the type of work you are doing smile.gif I have a £20 sony vaio 11" laptop I use for most lectures (typing notes etc) and just run linux on it. biggrin.gif And then look forward to hopping back on my 580sli rig smile.gif

Well i went on eBay and I found about ten all for £300 down from their £700 retail so that got me interested biggrin.gif

Also about your 11", that's sorta what I want it for to but also a light bit of gaming if I go to a friends house, and with the programming course I'm doing a bit of extra screen and grunt would be nice like your quad core but if I could avoid having two different laptops tongue.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivr56 View Post

Budget?
Worth noting the 2010 Macbook Pros only had a Core 2 Duo not a first gen i3.
You can at times find some great deals on i5 2011 MacBooks Pro or Air's on craigslist.

Weight is not too bad at all.
I have a i5 version and I get around 4 hours of Adobe/Maya/Unity3D/Video Editing use or 6-8 of light use.
Charger is compact.


The U410/310 I heard mixed thoughts on. Should read up more on them.
Most notably is the warranty that does not allow user upgrades I believe.

I was going to buy a late 2010 one when they were first introduced but after seeing what I can get fire cheaper I've decided against it

I have done a lot of looking for the U310 and it does seen good except for the issue pretty much every laptop has of a really bad screen, 1366x768 is just bad frown.gif I'm gonna try and find something with 1600x900 if I can

Also in regards to upgrading you can't even take it apart (no screws or anything) so upgrading would be out of the option anyway frown.gif

Oh and budget would be as cheap as possible, say no more then £600
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23" 1080p LG IPS 23" 1080p LG IPS 21.5" 1080p Samsung LED Corsair k70 MX Red 
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoWillWalls View Post

I have done a lot of looking for the U310 and it does seen good except for the issue pretty much every laptop has of a really bad screen, 1366x768 is just bad frown.gif I'm gonna try and find something with 1600x900 if I can

Also in regards to upgrading you can't even take it apart (no screws or anything) so upgrading would be out of the option anyway frown.gif
This is what drove me away from the U310/410 (When it was $750CAD and brand new. Now its a bit different since it can be found for 500-600 with a i5 ULV)...

No upgradability
Screen is not too great
Plastic, plastic, plastic
I did not like spending 800-900 on a laptop or anything made of plastic.

That and it was real hard finding a well balanced laptop (Battery, Screen, Solid Build Quality, Preformance) in the 750-800 (Pre-Tax).


For about 900 at the time my options were...
Samsung 5 Ultra
Good keyboard, okay trackpad, i5/4GB/500GB+8GBSSD combo, Anti glare screen, RAM/HDD compartment opened by one screw, battery was good but it felt too cheap and not solid enough)

U400/U410/U310
Good value performance wise (14", i5 ULV 6GB, 500GB/24GB SSD, 610M GT and keyboard was typical Lenovo quality but the screen quality, plastic everywhere on a 800 dollar machine, wi-fi issues being reported and no upgradability along with sub 5 Hour battery on light usage.)

Samsung Series 7 Chronos (Refurbished)
Good build quality (Mix of aluminium/plastic), good keyboard, i7 QM, 8GB, 1TB, 6740M 512MB, spacious trackpad, excellent 15" 1600x900 matte screen, battery life is top notch, fully upgradable but only 90 day warranty and after taxes and extra warranty it would be put over my budget. I needed the extrsa warranty because this would be my main rig essentially. Since I am rarely home so I needed that peace in mind.

Then struck good on a MBP2011 (in Sig) with 2 years of extended warranty for 900 flat.
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivr56 View Post

This is what drove me away from the U310/410 (When it was $750CAD and brand new. Now its a bit different since it can be found for 500-600 with a i5 ULV)...

No upgradability
Screen is not too great
Plastic, plastic, plastic
I did not like spending 800-900 on a laptop or anything made of plastic.

U400/U410/U310
Good value performance wise (14", i5 ULV 6GB, 500GB/24GB SSD, 610M GT and keyboard was typical Lenovo quality but the screen quality, plastic everywhere on a 800 dollar machine, wi-fi issues being reported and no upgradability along with sub 5 Hour battery on light usage.)

Samsung Series 7 Chronos (Refurbished)
Good build quality (Mix of aluminium/plastic), good keyboard, i7 QM, 8GB, 1TB, 6740M 512MB, spacious trackpad, excellent 15" 1600x900 matte screen, battery life is top notch, fully upgradable but only 90 day warranty and after taxes and extra warranty it would be put over my budget. I needed the extrsa warranty because this would be my main rig essentially. Since I am rarely home so I needed that peace in mind.

Then struck good on a MBP2011 (in Sig) with 2 years of extended warranty for 900 flat.

Well the lack of upgrading doesn't bother me to much as I can get one with 6Gb of RAM and an i5 for £300 which is enough for what I'll be using it for, the plastic I don't really mind as it's only on the screen and the rest of it looks nice ^.^

According to Lenovo any new ones have had the wi-fi issue fixed which is a god sign, if it's true and I have had a look at the Sony Vaio T but that has all the same problems with rubbish screen except more exspensive, as well as having a useless touchscreen and Widows 8 mad.gif

I was considering to get a 2011 model but with only intel HD3000 graphics it does seem a bit expensive, especially with the new ones not being that much more and other products out there
Current build
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i5 3570k AsRock Z77 Extreme4 MSI R9 290 8Gb Corsair DDR3 
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500Gb WD  1Tb WD Kingston SSD Windows 7 64 Bit 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
23" 1080p LG IPS 23" 1080p LG IPS 21.5" 1080p Samsung LED Corsair k70 MX Red 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
700W CoolMaster +80 Corsair Graphite 230t Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury Razor Goliath 
Audio
ASUS Xonar DG 
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Current build
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570k AsRock Z77 Extreme4 MSI R9 290 8Gb Corsair DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
500Gb WD  1Tb WD Kingston SSD Windows 7 64 Bit 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
23" 1080p LG IPS 23" 1080p LG IPS 21.5" 1080p Samsung LED Corsair k70 MX Red 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
700W CoolMaster +80 Corsair Graphite 230t Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury Razor Goliath 
Audio
ASUS Xonar DG 
  hide details  
Reply
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