College Laptop?

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College Laptop?

Postby Conf3tti » June 17th, 2016, 12:17 pm

I'm heading to college next August, and I've been told by people that I need to buy a laptop. So, two questions;

1: Do I need a laptop?
2: If yes, what would you recommend?

I've argued that I don't need one, since I'll be staying at home, and that laptops are glorified note taking machines in college. I'm focusing on general computer science, in case that makes a difference.

Thanks for the help, friendos.
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Re: College Laptop?

Postby Gangsta Luigi » June 17th, 2016, 12:25 pm

I'm currently in a community college and I don't live at campus and i would say that you don't need one. A laptop is an excellent all-in-one machine that would be useful for research and note-taking as well as keeping up with your friends and family with social media (and if it's a good machine maybe even some gaming) but that's only if you have room and board on campus. If you have a PC at home than there's really no reason to make the investment in my opinion. I own one as it was a gift from my years in high school but I rarely, if ever, use it.

If you still feel you need one though I would recommend that you get one of those Surface Pros that Microsoft recently came up with. They can do almost everything a standard laptop can do but are much more compact and easy to take with you anywhere (similar to a tablet). If you want a more traditional laptop then I don't have much advice all I can say is AVOID APPLE COMPUTERS. Macs are overpriced and underpowered pieces of garbage.
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Re: College Laptop?

Postby Clone » June 17th, 2016, 12:30 pm

I agree with Luigi. If you have a couple of hundreds to spend go with a Surface. Apple have the best customer service and the best quality merchandise but you don't get much for the price you pay.

EDIT:

Here's the Surface pro 4 in action

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Re: College Laptop?

Postby Justin » June 17th, 2016, 12:39 pm

You do not need a laptop - most colleges have computer lounges you can use.

If you feel like you need a computer to call your own, I would recommend just getting a fully fledged pc (just a cheap pre-built would suffice).

If you have a smartphone or tablet you can use that for on-the-go work, I highly recommend getting familiar with Google's suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms) and just using those over Microsoft office.
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Re: College Laptop?

Postby wllmbr » June 21st, 2016, 8:01 pm

Depends on the college.

When I was doing PSEO at Mankato State, they didn't require having a laptop but it sure as hell came in handy. Also, most professors wouldn't accept things through google docs, not to mention that while google's services provide decent low level document production, Office is by far a thousand times better. Microsoft a few years back decided to give pretty much any college student access to Office 365 for free which is pretty nice. You can look to see if your college is listed here.

Also it heavily depends on what you plan on majoring in. If you're doing anything science related, you're going to need a laptop. Most universities will say you don't and they may be correct, but it will make your life sooooo much easier when you have the option of doing homework and looking up stuff online whenever and wherever you want.

For the love of god, don't get a mac. Their hardware is decently built but vastly overpriced, the OS hides things from you and its one of those things where it if wasn't approved by Cook, it ain't happenin on your machine. You're better off getting a Windows machine, and now that 10 has been out for a while things are a lot better.

So, price range breakdown:
$0 ~ $400
This price range is usually pretty terrible. You're not going to get a great machine and it will likely die in a few years unless you really take good care of it.

Acer tends to get a lot of shit for their build quality and I would have to say its pretty hit or miss with them. That machine is nothing fancy but I would say that is as low as you should really go.

Dell has similar problems as Acer when it comes to their consumer line, pretty hit or miss. Again, not that good, but not terrible either.

$400 ~ $600
If you're on a budget but still want a decent machine, this is the range for you. At this point you're getting into better machines and a lot more manufacturers pop up.

$600 ~ $800
Here you're getting into a little bit more higher quality. Component wise there isn't that big of a jump from the 4 to 6 range but what you're mostly buying here is build quality (and name in some cases). A machine from this range should easily last you through 4 years of college with pretty moderate levels of abuse too (depending on the brand).

$800 ~ $1000
Anything in this range better have some pretty good bells and whistles to it. Touch screen, SSD, Backlit keyboard, the works, it should have it otherwise its a pretty shitty deal

$1000+
Above a thousand is when you start getting into more specialized machines. Gaming laptops really start in this range as well as good business class. Workstation laptops start to show up too but to be honest, unless you want a gaming system, you really shouldn't spend this much.


I'll fill in actual machines when I have time and other bits of advice when I think of it.
Cheers!
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Re: College Laptop?

Postby Minnie Mouse » June 22nd, 2016, 5:20 pm

The college I went to provided the laptops (for a hefty price). It was very handy and made taking notes a lot easier and more organized - depending on what your major is, you can insert pictures/diagrams to add to the notes.
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Re: College Laptop?

Postby Gangsta Luigi » June 22nd, 2016, 6:33 pm

I recommend just getting a Surface tablet.

Don't shell out a ton of money for a laptop when that tablet can do everything a traditional laptop can do and more. Just my two cents.
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