hp vs dell laptops for college

<p>which one is better? thanks</p>

<p>I think it is just a personal preference. My husband the engineer prefers Toshiba laptops so we have two at home. My college D (musical theatre freshman) has a Mac for school and for recording.</p>

<p>There's no clear answer. </p>

<p>They're all about the same in that they each have different levels of laptops within their line from low end to medium to high end and that they all buy their components from the same few companies that actually make the components (which are generally not the laptop manufacturer). In other words - it's not just HP vs. Dell (or another brand) - it's a particular laptop (CPU, memory, OS, video, screen, etc.) vs. another particular laptop.</p>

<p>Pay attention to the warranty and support for the brand. Ideally price them with a 4 year (to get you through college on one laptop) warranty and also ideally a 4 year accidental damage warranty in the event a drink is spilled on it or it drops off the bed.</p>

<p>You'll hear lots of anecdotes from people who've had both good and bad experiences with most brands.</p>

<p>I bought a Dell because it's sleek and pretty.</p>

<p>The insurance we purchased for our D's personal belongings in her dorm room covers accidental damage to her computer.</p>

<p>I'm a senior in college and can tell you, based on how many complaints I've had from friends, do not get an HP. I've watched as so many of their laptops have just fallen apart--controls on the keyboard stop working, the paneling comes off, etc. Sure, HP laptops are cheap, and that's why they fall apart.</p>

<p>People also complain about Dell's a lot--and for desktops, HP > Dell--but here I'd say go for the Dell.</p>

<p>To be honest, though, I'd opt for something studier than either. For a PC, ThinkPads are excellent (known for extreme durability--see youtube wherein they throw them, smash them, ride motorcycles on them, drop them off buildings, pull them out of raging fires, etc. and still they're just fine). I personally though have made the switch over to a MacBook and have never been happier--but of course, MacBooks are pricey. IMO it's worth the investment.</p>

<p>Have bad experiences with HP lop-top two in a row.....May be just bad luck. I recommend buying computer at University store with insurance and service plan.</p>

<p>Although they are more expensive, Macs are very popular on college campuses for many reasons. Apple makes the hardware, many software applications, and the operating system. A single company is responsible for design, manufacturing, sales, service and support. This means you get a very well integrated system. There are Apple stores all over the place these days. If you have a problem, just drop your laptop off at one and they can have it back to you very quickly (in my experience, within a few days). </p>

<p>If you are majoring in a natural science, technical, or social science field, Macs have advantages due to the Unix-like operating system. For art & graphic design, Macs have been a preferred platform for decades. Windows is the preferred platform for business applications and for games, but not so much for academic work ... though of course either platform can be serviceable for many uses.</p>

<p>I know zero about laptops, but DS' college has a deal with Dell and Mac with very good prices. In fact, in looking at a Dell laptop, the school's negotiated price is better than any other price we can get. Just a thought.</p>

<p>As most have said, go with neither and get a mac! I am notorious for damaging computers, but I switched to a Mac almost two years ago and haven't been able to kill it yet! Great little computer, definitely worth the extra dough.</p>

<p>Don't judge a laptop by its look, check all the reviews online.</p>

<p>At work, we have good and consistent experience with the Thinkpad T-series from Lenovo, they are powerful and last. </p>

<p>In addition, HP and Dell are always preloaded with a lot of junk software.</p>

<p>Another consideration - think about the software you'll need to run. For most majors it won't matter whether it's a 'PC' or a Mac but for some majors, like computer science, there might be specific requirements that make the platform (Windows vs Mac) required or at least recommended to make your life easier which might drive the decision. For example, my CS kid needed to run Microsoft Visual Studio which necessitates a Windows laptop. You can run Windows on a Mac with their boot camp or VMWare but that means buying a copy of the Windows OS which will add to the cost of the laptop.</p>

<p>I just had a horrible experience with HP. When the hard drive crashed after only 4 months it was hours on tech support then when they shipped the new HD it was NOT easy to install. Unlike Dell which designs it so the removal and replacement of the HD are easy for a user to do, HP had teeny tiny screws and multiple awkward steps with poor directions. They also sent the OS on CDs instead of installing it there on the HD. They did not have good instructions there, either since you had to going the F instructions and change the order of loading to go to the CD drive instead of the HD so it would read the CD. When that did not work it was more hours on tech support before finally computer had to go in for repair. When computer came back they refused to help with their own backup software so I could recover from the backup that was not working. Software support is not included. </p>

<p>The Dell HD always came with the OS and image installed. It was easy to replace myself. I will not buy another HP.</p>

<p>If at all possible try to work with a brand that your school tech offers onsite support and loaners for. We've had no experience with Dell. I wouldn't use a HP again if you gave it to me.</p>

<p>I like that Dell comes to your home to fix it if there are problems.
Mac is better than both of them.</p>

<p>I'm currently a college freshman and have a part time job at Best Buy Geek Squad. Trust me when I say HP is the worst, stay way from them at all costs. 80% of hardware failures are HPs. Dells are slightly better but not by much. In turns of reliability, macs are the best. If you have the money, buy ur kid a MacBook pro, if not, get either a Samsung, Asus U series, or a high end toshiba. Those are reliable and will have a decent battery life. If you kid likes to game, I would suggest get an alienware Mx11, it is portable and powerful.</p>

<p>horse9118:</p>

<p>Since Alienware is now Dell, have you seen any differences in quality and support between the two generally speaking?</p>

<p>My kids have Dells and we have two more at home. No problems--we're happy with them.</p>

<p>Although Dell bought alienware, alienware's manufacturing process is still separated. So in turns of quality, alienware is still better. Only other laptop that I would recommend for gaming, that's portable, reliable, and powerful would be the MacBook pro 15, which is like $800 more expensive than Mx11. Spec wise, also look into HP envy 14. It looks great on paper but then again, a buddy of mine has one and his hard drive failed after 6 months is is kinda sketchy in the reliability area like all HPs.</p>

<p>I really, really would not get a Dell. I have owned many Dells in the past and they all seem to get a strange problem around 2-3 years of age where they won't hold a charge whatsover - accidentally unplug the computer for less than five seconds and it will die. This has happened to ALL Dells that I have had or known someone who had, though at varying times (2-3 years, my sister's held out for 5) and if you google the error message that it will give you every time you boot it up (forgot what it was), you get thousands of results.</p>

<p>I have an HP now, and I like it, though I'll have to admit it's only a few months old. I just will never get a Dell again after all of them died like that.</p>