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Looking for Guidance/Suggestions for a College Laptop

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Greetings, All.

My son is going off to college in the fall, and needs a laptop for school.

He is going into chemical engineering, so I would like it to be pretty beefy.

Unfortunately, I know nothing when it comes to laptops, so I am hoping the community would be kind enough for some great suggestions.



Standard Q&A:

What is your maximum budget? Max ~$1,200

What country are you in? USA

What will be the uses of this laptop? Primarily school for my son (engineering major)

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you? No preference

What screen size do you require? Comfortable to work for hours on - sorry for non-specific answer.

What screen resolution do you require? I know what I have for my desktop, but I do not know if that would equate to laptop specs. - Please suggest options.

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay? New would be preferable, but refurb is not out of the question

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet) I will accept recommendations on this...

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings? We play WoW together, but I do not know that he will have much time for gaming. At least mid-end graphics capabilities would be desirable just in case.

What operating system do you need? (if any) He has Windows 8 on his desktop which he seems to like.

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.) No preference, but something that can take a bit of punishment is advisable.

How much hard drive space do you need? I like the speed of SSDs, but do not know how cost prohibitive they are for laptop size. Plus, he likes his music, so I am thinking maybe 2TB?

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.) I have no specific requirements for this.

Is there anything else we need to know? Not at this time.
Edited by daishomaster - 5/11/15 at 10:25am
post #2 of 6
I'm in the same boat I have gone through 3 years of my engineering program (mechanical) so far without a laptop while just using my home desktop. I would ask him if he will be using any rendering, modeling, encoding or computer aided design programs. I am not sure if he actually will be since he is a chemical major. Me for example, I am taking a 3d modeling class in Solidworks this semester which mandates I bring a laptop to class hence why I am looking for one right now as well. If he will not be using any of the types of programs mentioned above, it is a safe bet he will completely fine with ANY laptop at the $1200 price point for what most students would use it for.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
He is not sure at this point, as he will just be entering the program in the fall.

Thanks for the response - I will keep reading through the other post here for ideas.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by daishomaster View Post

He is not sure at this point, as he will just be entering the program in the fall.

Thanks for the response - I will keep reading through the other post here for ideas.

His university should offer a "flow chart" or "projected courses" diagram.
It should state whether or not a computer aided design class is needed for his degree.
If not, then as stated earlier, anything bought at the 1200 price point should be fine.
If yes, then check the forums about mobile workstation graphics processors.
With a $1200 budget you should be pretty well off.
post #5 of 6
If your not sure what kind of hardware to get for professional production work, you might want to consider AMD just to be safe, as my best understanding is that AMD is better well rounded option.

However, if they are using applications that take advantage of "CUDA" technology then obviously that might be the better choice.

Really depends on the applications in question
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2670 @ 2.8Ghz m4600 m5100 @ 1100c/1500m 16GB DDR3 1333Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
c300 128GB SSD 2TB FireCuda 7mm 2TB Firecuda 7mm 1TB 5400rpm 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
750GB 5400rpm Windows 10 x64  1920x1080 @90hz 150w 
Mouse
Corsair M40 
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post #6 of 6
lenovo yoga 2 pro
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