Suggestions for Laptops?

<p>We need to purchase a laptop for D soon. We don't think she needs a Mac, just a good, lightweight computer for college. Any suggestions would be very welcome.</p>

<p>I would check with the college to see which brands their IT department supports. Some schools support just Macs and 1 brand of Windows laptop (e.g. Dell). At my son's school they support Macs and Dell. When his HP laptop had problems, it was much more difficult to get support from the college IT department.</p>

<p>HP has a new 14.5" screen I'm liking, since its portable but a little larger than that tiny 14" (at least, I think so). I'm debating between the 14" and the 15.6". Each one has great merits but since I will need a desktop replacement, I'm siding witht he larger screen. Anyway, since this 14.5" HP is brand new, it also has fairly up to date hardware and hardware options.</p>

<p>Buy</a> an HP Pavilion dv5 and dv5t series notebook PC from HP | HP Official Store</p>

<p>My daughter is buying a Mac - I have asked many people the same question as the OP over the past few months and the answers aren't always clear. However, in this long anecdotal canvasing for opinions campaign, I have noticed that people who switched from PC to Mac were, in overwhelming majority, happier with Mac. One of the IT people at the university, which sells Mac and Dell through their computer store, advised me to buy the Mac from Apple because of the great customer service and training available. Since my daughter can get from the U. to the Apple store via free shuttle, that's what we're doing. The Apple store told us that if she has a project and needs help learning how to use one of the Apps. to complete it, she can come into the store and they will teach her how to do it. I believe this free training lasts for one year after purchase with the Apple Care 1:1.</p>

<p>On the other hand - a PC would be a lot cheaper!</p>

<p>See what computers are supported by the on-campus tech support.</p>

<p>I'm thinking most major campuses will support both Mac and some PC but yes, do check it out. Good schools should have a link that tells you most or all you'd need to know, with further links to departments with special requirements (or check with those departments specifically, or with a student currently enrolled.)</p>

<p>Thanks to all your suggestions I did go onto the college website (Pomona) and it looks like they basically support any laptop you decide to purchase. I will take your recommendation and contact their IT department.</p>

<p>There can be varying levels of "support." IT may "support" a brand of laptop in the sense of helping you with software glitches, but at S1's school they'll fix things like crashed hard drives in Dells no questions asked, but if you bring in your HP with similar hardware issues, they tell you to contact the manufacturer. As usual, YMMV.</p>

<p>I have been suggesting to everyone with this question to look into getting a PC tablet. They are much more powerful than in the past, and matched to a nice docking station, about as versitile a machine as money can buy. You can use the keyboard or simply write out your notes like pen and paper -- the handwriting recognition technology works great. The One Note software is also a great way to maintain organization. Unless your student is a major power user I highly recommend them for college.</p>

<p>My son elected to go with the Mac Book Pro 13" screen over the 15" screen for ease of carrying in a backpack and general portability. It seemed that most everyone on his dorm floor had smaller screen pcs or macs.</p>

<p>If you choose a Windows notebook, google "microsoft ultimate steal" Microsoft offers very low-cost software to college students. And definitely contact their IT dept before purchase. Windows home versions can present limitations on some campus networks.</p>

<p>MAC... Son likes 15in a lot especially for reading and it fits fine in his backpack to get to and from the library.</p>

<p>I have never had a virus with 10 years of a mac. ever.</p>

<p>PS - his school offered free software for Microsoft bundle of word, excel etc etc</p>

<p>We've been using PCs for 10 years and I've never had a virus either :-)</p>

<p>My husband and son love to research electronic products and then wait for a sale to get the one they want (thank goodness!) They chose the Toshiba Satellite A505 and it was on sale a few weeks ago at Best Buy, maybe it still is?</p>

<p>He loves it and I hope he'll love it just as much when he goes to college!</p>

<p>I've been on a PC since before Songbird was born --certainly over 20 yrs. Never had a virus either. In the early days, probably luck. Subsequently, powerful antivirus protection.</p>

<p>I would look at this laptop: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/UL30Vt-X1-Light-13-3-Inch-Laptop-Battery/dp/B002XZLURC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1274818853&sr=8-1%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.amazon.com/UL30Vt-X1-Light-13-3-Inch-Laptop-Battery/dp/B002XZLURC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1274818853&sr=8-1&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>it is nice and lightweight with a great battry life. It also comes with a 2 year warranty standard and a 1 year accidental warranty. I have a Asus laptop and have had a good experience with it and their warranty service</p>

<p>My son just got this one a few days ago for a college graduation present - Asus</a> UL80Vt Review - ComputerShopper.com He and his techy brother both researched this endlessly before deciding. Really long battery life.</p>

<p>Bought the HP tablet for DD. She used a tablet before and can take notes as if they were paper, including pictures, etc. Not always convert to text but the notes are all in one place and could be printed if necessary</p>

<p>Also purchased printer/scanner, I know she will use it and it was almost free with the computer.</p>

<p>On the Mac vs. PC debate--Macs are undoubtedly more user-friendly, especially if you don't understand or care to research (in order to understand) technology. PCs are undoubtedly cheaper (much better specs for X amount of money) and, due to the plethora of alternative free software developed for PC only, offers a significantly greater degree of control to the advanced user. You don't have to be an engineer type to enjoy advanced control options, either; I hate hardware, but I love the flexibility of open-source software, where Mac versions are usually nonexistent or a year behind in development.</p>

<p>Btw, I've never gotten a virus in nearly 10 years of personal PC use... although my parents have, several times :rolleyes:, and nowadays I'm the go-to person to fix them.</p>

<p>The laptop I'm currently typing this on is a Dell Vostro 1500, a few years old, heavy but GREAT battery life (4+ hours continuous memory-intensive use)--and $400 from one of the periodic tech bargains that come up online. Thus I am flabbergasted by the $$$ people willingly spend on Macs, but YMMV.</p>

<p>As a power user (both PC and Mac), I'm going to have to disagree with your statement about lack of free software. If you look long enough, you can get anything for any purpose. The difference I've found is that it takes longer to find mac free software, but once you do, it's going to work forever. On the other hand, because there's such a plentiful amount of free software for windows, it will take forever to find one that isn't shareware or fits all your purposes right away.</p>

<p>On the other hand, the one thing I've noticed about macs (having experience at an IT desk for my college the past year) is that there's either nothing wrong or they're toast. Every time, it was either A. User error (The user didn't know how to do something because they're new to it) or B. Computer is dead/Have to go to Apple to repair it. </p>

<p>I don't know why this is the case, but it's definitely a trend I noticed. On the other hand, Windows computers have a wide range of problems--things that we fixed within a day, other s that took several days or a week.</p>

<p>Hope this helped.</p>