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Best Laptop

Faresx25xFaresx25x 112 replies17 threads Junior Member
edited January 2008 in University of Florida
Hey guys i'm planning on buying a laptop before i head off to college. It's between the XPS M1330/XPS M1530 and Mac book/Macbook Pro.

I plan to study mechanical engineering. I've always used windows and dont feel like switching to Mac but many say i should. which would you say is best for college? Also is 13 inches too small? i'm not planning on playing games or anything like that. I'm looking for something portable, but if most of you tell me that people keep their laptops in their dorm then i'll get somehting a little bigger. Any info will help, thanks.
edited January 2008
22 replies
Post edited by Faresx25x on
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Replies to: Best Laptop

  • toydiamondringtoydiamondring 151 replies14 threads Junior Member
    I use Mac, could never, ever go to a Windows machine and unless someone tells you that you'll have compatability issues, I would strongly recommend going with the MacBook or the MacBook Pro.

    And personally, I don't think 13 inches is too small... it certainly makes the laptop lighter and easier to transport. Even if you were to leave it in your dorm, it would take up less desk space, which I hear there is never enough of.
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  • dvm258dvm258 1022 replies40 threads Senior Member
    Go here:

    http://eng.ufl.edu/students/computerrequirements/index.php

    You could get a Mac, and I believe it will work for everything you would be doing. However, if you run into problems, you would have to install Boot Camp and later buy Vista (or XP, if you prefer). It works well though and I use it sometimes. The requirements do list a CD drive, so that eliminates the new (but cool) MacBook Air from your list of possibilities unless you were to buy the optional external CD drive for when you needed it. Because you don't need too much processing power, the MacBook looks like a good choice.
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  • kristendotcomkristendotcom 190 replies13 threads Junior Member
    My roommate has a mac and never had any problems with it (she is pre-med). She always has internet connection as well, it makes me very jealous some times, lol.

    Also, if you plan to bring it to class, the smaller the better, I have a 15 inch and can only bring myself to lug it to the library when my internet doesnt work (which is every other day it seems.).
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  • vonlostvonlost 18830 replies14698 threads Super Moderator
    If you're on the fence and don't otherwise care, go with the college's infrastructure. If the college says it supports both Mac and Win equally, go with what you've been using. If you still can't decide, go with a Mac; you'll love it, and it can also run Windows.
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  • Faresx25xFaresx25x 112 replies17 threads Junior Member
    ok thanks for the info everyone
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  • physhphysh 40 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Get the smallest laptop you can. If you ever want to take it anywhere, you will appreciate it.
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  • LiistLiist 1741 replies46 threads- Senior Member
    Get a small and not-so-powerful laptop. A Dell, HP, or Lenovo is all that you need. I wouldn't recommend using Mac but since you're not gaming, you can try. A laptop shouldn't cost you $2000, just pay $600 at most for a laptop. I got a very nice Dell for $400 because I bought it in small business and technically ordered it from my employer's company. I just reimbursed him.

    The thing that really matters is your dorm computer. I recommend building it yourself so you can save money and replace parts as you need to keep it up to date. I have a desktop that cost me about $1200 to build and it's as powerful as any Dell XPS I see at Best Buy. I saved tons of money this way.
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  • Faresx25xFaresx25x 112 replies17 threads Junior Member
    oh i was never really planning on having a dorm computer. i was just going to use a laptop for everything
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  • big_al_40big_al_40 188 replies13 threads Junior Member
    I don't know if you should go with the smallest laptop possible unless you are going to have a desktop in your room also. Not many people take their laptops to class, so when choosing a size think about the keyboard size and screensize for when you are using it on your desk.

    Also, go with the dell over the Mac. My choice would be the M1530 with a T7250 CPU, 1440x900 screen, 2-3gb RAM, 200gb 7200rpm hd. I think that the most important part of having a laptop run quick is a high capacity 7200rpm drive.

    As for people who argue that a Mac can also run windows, why buy a Mac then? The hardware in a Mac and PC are identical, the only difference is the operating system. All you'll end up doing is paying the extra price for a Mac, plus the price of windows.
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  • vonlostvonlost 18830 replies14698 threads Super Moderator
    As for people who argue that a Mac can also run windows, why buy a Mac then?

    So that you have the ease of use and safety (no germs) of a Mac, but you can run Windows if you have the odd need to.

    The hardware in a Mac and PC are identical, the only difference is the operating system.

    Built-in camera, microphone, speakers or jack and WiFi in every PC?
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  • big_al_40big_al_40 188 replies13 threads Junior Member
    Go ahead and try to find a laptop PC without speakers or wifi.

    As for a webcam/mic again you will be pushed to find one with them, even the cheapest dell inspiron for $599 has it. Not to mention they are hardly ever used by most people.
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  • windywindy 152 replies5 threadsUser Awaiting Email Confirmation Junior Member
    Take a look at Staples. They are selling a Dell XPS M1330 (I am on one now) for $999. It is a beautiful machine and hundreds less than a comparable Mac. My son has a MacBook Pro which he likes. My daughter has a T61 Thinkpad which is also great. I have owned Macs since the Apple Lisa the first icon based machine $15,000 back in 1981 and they are great, but they are expensive and not necessarily good bang for the buck anymore. The Dell at $999 is a great machine.
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  • vonlostvonlost 18830 replies14698 threads Super Moderator
    The MacBook is also $999 (with college discount). People only *think* all Macs are more expensive. The Dell may have more speed/HD/memory, but it's still not a Mac. I know I'm biased; I have to use PCs at work.
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  • windywindy 152 replies5 threadsUser Awaiting Email Confirmation Junior Member
    Yes it is but the Dell 1330 is built like a MacBook Pro not the all plastic $999 mac. The cheapest pro is around 1800.
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  • Faresx25xFaresx25x 112 replies17 threads Junior Member
    hey windy you recommend that M1330 for college? you think it's a good size. anything that you dislike about it?
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  • big_al_40big_al_40 188 replies13 threads Junior Member
    People don't think they are expensive, when compared to a PC with similar specs they are expensive. The bottom of the line MacBook costs $1000 while the bottom of the line Dell cost $500(you might need $100 of upgrades to the bottom of the line dell to make it comparable) so $600, still $400 cheaper than the Mac.
    That is only looking at dells. When you are looking at more expensive Macs dells are still cheaper but you can buy a whitebook and build your own laptop for much less.
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  • vonlostvonlost 18830 replies14698 threads Super Moderator
    Ok, I admit that people don't buy Macs because they are cheaper. But still, no matter how much I've spent, I can't find a way to turn a PC into a Mac. ;)
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  • windywindy 152 replies5 threadsUser Awaiting Email Confirmation Junior Member
    For the money I think it is a great machine. Solid as a rock, pretty screen, good keyboard, 120 gig hard drive, 2 gig ram, small power brick, comes with a cover case and a fancy faux leather folder for the manuals (no big deal but a nice touch). My one child at Williams has a T61 and loves it, no problems. My other at UVA has a mac and no problems. So I think it comes down to money and I think the Dell and also the T61 are better machines for the buck. They are enterprise systems unlike the lowest priced mac.
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  • windywindy 152 replies5 threadsUser Awaiting Email Confirmation Junior Member
    The 13.3 in screen is slightly small for us older folks but the kids like it. Always a trade off for weight. I like the 14.1 form of the t61 but it is sort of a dull looking industrial laptop.
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  • rogracerrogracer 1195 replies10 threads Senior Member
    For engineering, I would pick a PC. Don't get me wrong, Macs are great and I own a one. But engineering software such as MatLab, Mathcad, Pro/E is all native windows software. So, you will end up needing windows. Since your engineering apps will be windows based, the most logical thing (to avoid switching OSes) is to get the windows version of Office. If that's true, you will seldom be in the Mac OS. So why buy a Mac, just to run windows the vast majority of the time? If you do go the Mac root, I would verify (through people that have actually run them), that the engineerings apps do not have compatibility problems on the Mac, just to be sure.
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