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I have three laptop options for college, which one to go with?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm going to University of Iowa this fall and plan on majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I need a new laptop sometime between now and my second year at Uni of Iowa for college work and light, occasional gaming (Wargame Airland Battle, medium settings at most).

1. Buy a 14" laptop this summer.

2. Stick with my current N61Jq 17" (i7 720qm) laptop and a little 13" i3 Sandy Bridge Samsung laptop until Christmas shopping season.

3. Stick with my current N61Jq 17" (i7 720qm) laptop and a little 13" i3 Sandy Bridge Samsung laptop until Kaveri/Broadwell laptops arrive.


My main grip with my Samsung laptop is that it has 2 hours of battery life. I do believe that may be an issue in college. However, it does weight around 3 lb, and I plan on keeping the 17" laptop in my dorm.


EDIT: The ENVY 15z-j000 looks interesting with 4.68lb, 1080p screen, backlit keyboard, Radeon 8750M and A10-5750m for $720.
Edited by A Bad Day - 7/27/13 at 3:04pm
post #2 of 8
Wait, do you plan on your new laptop replacing both? Or are you just trying to replace the 13"?

I bought my Sager NP7370 because Im going into Mechanical Engineering too! Although at Penn State.
    
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lombax View Post

Wait, do you plan on your new laptop replacing both? Or are you just trying to replace the 13"?

I bought my Sager NP7370 because Im going into Mechanical Engineering too! Although at Penn State.

I want to replace both 17" and 13" laptops. I prefer a weight under 5lb. I know what it's like carrying around a 6lb 13" laptop (tried it, then replaced it with the Samsung laptop that my dad stopped using).
Edited by A Bad Day - 7/27/13 at 3:11pm
post #4 of 8
Small world, I actually work as a student consultant at the Engineering Helpdesk at Iowa! I can tell you that the lab machines are plenty powerful and the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) means you don't need that much for raw processing power - feel free to PM with any questions.

I never brought my laptop to class freshman or sophomore years since all my notes were done by hand, but if you rely heavily on your computer to take notes then you should look at something with longer life. As far as laptop recommendations go, I like the Thinkpad X-series of ultraportables. If you can stand the design, they're powerful enough and have awesome battery life (7-8 hours) on Windows. Full disclosure: I just bought an X220 used for about $500 with an i7 and 8gb of RAM.

EDIT: added link to VDI page
Edited by evolveS - 7/31/13 at 6:55pm
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post #5 of 8
Honestly I would wait and see what you really need. I finished my mech eng degree recently, and the one thing I wished I had more in my laptop was battery life. I would say most decent computers can run MATLAB and Solidworks/other CAD software fine. I used to game a lot, and I can say that I stopped almost altogether. DO NOT BUY a gaming laptop for college, its a pain in the ass. Battery life, screen size, screen resolution matter most, and obviously you want some nice specs.

Why are you buying a new laptop anyway, you have two...? You probably won't need one for "college" stuff.
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizrd54 View Post

Honestly I would wait and see what you really need. I finished my mech eng degree recently, and the one thing I wished I had more in my laptop was battery life. I would say most decent computers can run MATLAB and Solidworks/other CAD software fine. I used to game a lot, and I can say that I stopped almost altogether. DO NOT BUY a gaming laptop for college, its a pain in the ass. Battery life, screen size, screen resolution matter most, and obviously you want some nice specs.

Why are you buying a new laptop anyway, you have two...? You probably won't need one for "college" stuff.

Boy do i agree.. I hated carrying around 17 inch computer.. Now I carry ultrabook ~2.8lbs


Pick your favor of ultrabook and have fun. I can run solidworks nx, matlab etc on my ultrabook
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post #7 of 8
I'd keep both and just use them till they die. As long as you have a decent internet connection where you will be living using remote desktop links will give you all the power you need. Unless you are just looking to upgrade for the hell of it!
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post #8 of 8
Yeah. Use them until they die. And keep an eye on outlet.lenovo.com . . .
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