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What Kind of Laptop do I Need?

hen23499hen23499 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited March 2011 in College Computers
Im in my senior year at highschool, and the time is soon going to be here where I need to buy a new laptop. I would like to do aerospace engineering, but if for some reason that does not work out I would switch to any other type of engineering. What kind of computer do I need for this major or any engineering major? I have $1500 saved up for a computer, but if that much would not buy me a worthwhile computer I would not mind spending more.

Any ideas?
Post edited by hen23499 on

Replies to: What Kind of Laptop do I Need?

  • blue_boxblue_box Registered User Posts: 1,755 Senior Member
    $1500 is enough.

    Look for:
    4+ GB RAM
    i5+ processor
    1+ GB dedicated graphics card

    This should be more than enough. You won't need this stuff until your second or (more likely) third year though.

    Anyway, I went shopping for you, because $1500 is like a dream budget for me.
    Here are my choices:

    #1 Qosmio X505-Q894 Laptop


    #2 Qosmio X505-Q887 : Toshiba Laptops | Toshiba Direct

    If you want to keep some money aside to buy MS Office.

    #3 Portege R700-S1320 Laptop

    If the 18" screen is too big.

    #4 Dell Studio XPS 16 Laptop Details | Dell

    If you don't like Toshiba.

    And this was with 5 minutes of research..
  • hen23499hen23499 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Here's the other thing... I really wanted an alienware laptop and after looking around at them they seem to be more expensive and come with less than say the toshiba. I am a gamer and I like world of warcraft. Do you know about the difference in graphics cards, and if a computer is able to handle the games would it still be able to handle the engineering programs or vice versa?

    Also, the afordable alienwares come with only 1gb graphics cards. Are they worse than the toshiba ones? Is memory the most important part about a card?
  • rhythmgamingrhythmgaming Registered User Posts: 650 Member
    Look up benchmarks of the cards you are comparing. In general if one card is better it'll be pretty much better on everything.

    Looking at the Graphics card RAM says nothing.

    And my philosophy about the actual design of the computer is it isn't about how beautiful your case is, its about how beautiful your graphics are.
  • boramkboramk Registered User Posts: 338 Member
    For $1500? Jeez!

    Well, if you don't mind battery life, and would like something that would last you 4 years and more:

    CPU: i7
    RAM: 4GB+
    HDD: 500GB
    Screen: 17"+

    And all that would be only about $1000..

    Check on newegg.com
  • collegeherocollegehero Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    With that kind of budget the best would be the new MacBook Air
  • papertiger87papertiger87 Registered User Posts: 681 Member
    1500 saved up...
    You could get the 13" 2.7 GHz MacBook Pro for less than that with the student discount ($1,399)

    I'm bias though. I've been using Apple products throughout my years of schooling as the schools I've attended only had Macs. Once I left for to college I knew when it came to getting a laptop I'd eventually get a MB. I saved up enough and finally bought one in 2008.
    A purchase I have never regretted and have never had a single problem with it and they upgraded my HD space free of charge :D
  • pascal12pascal12 Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    MacBook Air is horrible if you want processing power and/or gaming. For gaming, your choice of OS is usually Windows.
    Alienware is usually known for being overpriced, as they just sell based on their name.
  • Big CatBig Cat Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    ^ Actually the newest models of Macbook Air have been found to pack a pretty sizable punch inside that small case. The core 2 duos are older processors, but they still perform very well. CNET did a ton of tests when they were released and they're benchmarks came up surprisingly high. With this boost, they went from being a novelty type computer to a real machine that can get the job done. That being said, Aerospace Engineering sounds like it would need some pretty serious programs which means lots of power, so sadly the macbook air is a no go. Use your cash wisely and you won't have to spend nearly $1500.
  • HawkwingsHawkwings Registered User Posts: 1,207 Senior Member
    Aerospace engineer here. From personal experience you won't be doing too much computer-intensive stuff on your own computer. You can of course, but it's not required, since you can go into the computer lab and have desktops that are giong to be better for this kind of stuff.

    Still, you want a laptop. OK then. I got this at the beginning of last year: Toshiba Satellite® A665-S6092 16.0" widescreen Laptop

    It's a great machine, reliable, powerful, the only marks against it are it's a bit heavy and the battery life isn't long.

    As for your preferences...

    Don't get an alienware computer. You're paying a premium for a fancy case and a name and it's not worth it. Don't get a mac. You're paying an even bigger premium for a fancy case and a name and it's not worth it. Plus you're not going to be able to run most engineering software in the max OS and you'll need to dual-boot.

    With $1500 you can get a beastly machine from a reputable vendor and you can even spring for the customer service or extended warranty if you like. WoW isn't terribly demanding of a game for computers, so anything you get should be fine for it. Don't base your computer decision on that game though - if you're going to a school that has a respectable engineering program at all, you're not going to have much time to play WoW.
  • DJ9900DJ9900 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Hey there,

    Check out the sony vaio SB series & the sony vaio c series. Both of these are new & contain the 2nd gen intel processors, good battery life (7 hours for c series and upto 15 hours for s series with extra battery splice. The s series is also almost as thin & light as macbook pro 13. Both laptops have good specs (4 gb ram, dedicated graphic gards of high performance). ALso, on a personal note, they both look stunning. You will easily be able to get a configuration in under 1500 us dollars as well. And if you are interested, the signature collection of sony vaio s & c are also pretty cheap (with good specs) starting at just around 1000.

    VAIO S Series PC | Sony | SonyStyle USA

    Signature Collection

    VAIO 14" C Series PC | Sony | SonyStyle USA
This discussion has been closed.