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Need Help With Picking A Laptop For A Computer Science Major.

#1 User is offline   GoogleOS 

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 09:30 PM

I've been doing some work on which laptop I'm going to get for college. I'll be using it for some heavy gaming ( World of warcraft has it's claws into me @.@) and some programming. So, I'll need a laptop with some good hardware, yet have some battery that can last my classes.

Cost: No limit.

Screen Size: Meeting my specs it will have to be 16 inches and above.

Battery: 2-3 hours would be ideal. 9 cell or higher would be good.

Performance: At least 4gb of ram and a video card with 1gb of ddr5. The new i7 intel processor would be great, or anything that hits 2.8ghz.

OS: Windows 7

Hard Drive: Anything above 600gb. I don't really need SSD @.@

Other: Blu-ray player would be nice and a card reader would be more perfect.

I'll be carrying this laptop a lot. I've found that Toshiba's Qosmio x505 is quite nice with it's 3 hours of battery life and it's decent graphics. However, asus' g73jh has way better specs, but lack in over -1:30 hours of battery life. If you could help me figure out which one to go with or another laptop all together that would be great. Thanks in advance!
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#2 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 10:21 PM

Ah, the annual do my research for me and tell me what laptop to buy question.

You have already done some basic research. My advice is as it always is, spend some time looking at reviews, Visit the stores in your area and put hands on the machines. Most students like to go smaller and lighter (14" - 15" classes) so they can get it in a padded backpack to carry. I am not sure if you can get a 17" laptop in a laptop, which would narrow it to the 16".

Most HP laptops are available not only with their standard battery, but also extended life batteries. Keep in mind that at some point during your college career, you will probably have to replace the battery to maintain the long life as it shorts a bit with each recharge. Mine seem to last around 2 years of daily use, and that is not for gaming.

Rather than go around just comparing various models at online stores, go the the manufacturer websites and go through the customization process. I custom ordered this laptop from HP because I could not find any in online or brick and mortar store with a feature I really wanted. HP 17" laptops have a second HD bay and if you order it with the second HD, you get additional storage. (Its hard to add afterward because you have to buy the tray, adapter and screws from HP to mount the drive. I believe Dell offers a similar process on their website. I am not familiar with a lot of the others.

This post has been edited by rgreen4: 05 June 2010 - 10:21 PM

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#3 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 06:03 AM

Hi, Just to throw something else into the mix and muddy the waters Posted Image, I'll throw this into the mix: http://www.gateway.c...performance.php . I have a 17" "P" series, although it is a bit downpowered from these FX's, but does well.
Coolermaster HAF 912 Case....ASUS Z87Pro MOBO.....Intel Core i7 4770k Haswell ( OC'd to 4.6 Ghz ) .... Gelid Tranquillo cooler.... Samsung 830 256 GB SSD.... Primary HDD- WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA III /6.0 .... SECONDARY HDD - WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA II / 3.0....16Gb GSkill Ripjaws Series X 2133 Mhz Memory....Corsair AX850w PSU....EVGA GTX 680 Super Clocked Signature 2 Gb GDDR5 Video Card....Samsung CD/DVD RW, DL, DVD-Ram, w/ Lightscribe Optical Drive....Samsung SyncMaster 2243BWX 22" Monitor..... Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit OS




______________________________________________________________

Gateway FX6800-01e----Intel Core i7 960 ( 3.2 GHz)---- Seagate Barracuda 750 Gb SATA II / 3.0 Hdd---- 6 Gb Crucial 1066 Mhz memory, running in Tri Channel conf-----Corsair TX650w PSU----- EVGA Nvidia GTX 560Ti 1gb GDDR5 Vram ----DVD +/- RW / CD ,RAM/DL Optical drive w/ Label Flash-----Gateway TBGM-01 Motherboard.... Vista Home Premium 64 bit OS w/ SP2; Samsung Synch Master 2243BWX 22" Monitor.
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#4 User is offline   compnovo 

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 07:08 AM

And I'll vote for the Toshiba you mentioned because I've had very good luck with them.
Which points to the problem you're going to experience asking for people's opinions on a forum like this: we're all going to recommend something based on our personal experiences because there's no way most of us could test every brand out there. Follow rgreen4's suggestions and you should do fine.
By the way, high powered gaming laptops and long battery life don't usually go together.
Core i7 4771 - Gigabyte GA-B85-HD3 - 250GB Samsung 840 SSD - 2TB Toshiba HDD - PNY GTX760 - 16GB G.Skill Ares 1333 - Corsair Carbide 200R - Corsair 600w - Win8.1 Pro 64-bit
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#5 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 11:27 AM

View Postcompnovo, on 06 June 2010 - 07:08 AM, said:


Which points to the problem you're going to experience asking for people's opinions on a forum like this: we're all going to recommend something based on our personal experiences because there's no way most of us could test every brand out there.



Yeah, That is probably the only constant in a discussion such as this. rg usually comes up with some good points though and are worth considering.
Coolermaster HAF 912 Case....ASUS Z87Pro MOBO.....Intel Core i7 4770k Haswell ( OC'd to 4.6 Ghz ) .... Gelid Tranquillo cooler.... Samsung 830 256 GB SSD.... Primary HDD- WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA III /6.0 .... SECONDARY HDD - WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA II / 3.0....16Gb GSkill Ripjaws Series X 2133 Mhz Memory....Corsair AX850w PSU....EVGA GTX 680 Super Clocked Signature 2 Gb GDDR5 Video Card....Samsung CD/DVD RW, DL, DVD-Ram, w/ Lightscribe Optical Drive....Samsung SyncMaster 2243BWX 22" Monitor..... Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit OS




______________________________________________________________

Gateway FX6800-01e----Intel Core i7 960 ( 3.2 GHz)---- Seagate Barracuda 750 Gb SATA II / 3.0 Hdd---- 6 Gb Crucial 1066 Mhz memory, running in Tri Channel conf-----Corsair TX650w PSU----- EVGA Nvidia GTX 560Ti 1gb GDDR5 Vram ----DVD +/- RW / CD ,RAM/DL Optical drive w/ Label Flash-----Gateway TBGM-01 Motherboard.... Vista Home Premium 64 bit OS w/ SP2; Samsung Synch Master 2243BWX 22" Monitor.
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#6 User is offline   mjd420nova 

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 04:10 PM

I bought a Toshiba Qosmio X305 unit for my own use and have been very pleased with its performance and reliablity. My youngest son decided to enroll in computer classes that the VA/GI bill is paying for so I got another for him. It only had a 350GB drive but has provisions for a second drive to be mounted underneath the first and we bought a 500GB for the second drive. Expensive but is well suited for WIN7 upgrade and met the parameters of a unit for school work. Very dependable unit and has stood the test of portable usage and is upgradeable too.
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#7 User is offline   GoogleOS 

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 04:07 AM

View Postrgreen4, on 05 June 2010 - 10:21 PM, said:

You have already done some basic research
I've put maybe over 12 hours into looking for a laptop. I guess you could call that basic if you will, otherwise I wouldn't have pinned it down to 2 laptops, or anything better you have suggested.

Quote

Visit the stores in your area and put hands on the machines. Most students like to go smaller and lighter (14" - 15" classes) so they can get it in a padded backpack to carry. I am not sure if you can get a 17" laptop in a laptop, which would narrow it to the 16".
No stores near my have these laptops. I have checked through my "basic research" @.@. oh, what are you talking about in the second sentence? Are you talking about there isn't a laptop backpack for 17inchs and above? There are backpacks that can fit up to 20inch laptops.

Quote

Most HP laptops are available not only with their standard battery, but also extended life batteries. Keep in mind that at some point during your college career, you will probably have to replace the battery to maintain the long life as it shorts a bit with each recharge. Mine seem to last around 2 years of daily use, and that is not for gaming.
Asus and Toshiba. Not a word in my thread said anything about HP. I already know the fact that batteries have a limit.

Quote

Rather than go around just comparing various models at online stores, go the the manufacturer websites and go through the customization process. I custom ordered this laptop from HP because I could not find any in online or brick and mortar store with a feature I really wanted.
I've already done this multiple times through my "basic research"....

Quote

HP 17" laptops have a second HD bay and if you order it with the second HD, you get additional storage. (Its hard to add afterward because you have to buy the tray, adapter and screws from HP to mount the drive. I believe Dell offers a similar process on their website. I am not familiar with a lot of the others.

Yes, I know this too. It's not just 17inchs, other laptops have this too.

Anyways, I posted here so I can see if anyone had problems with toshiba and asus themselves. I've heard bad things about Asus' customer service. I wasn't looking for you to do my work for me. I was looking for reviews of these specific models, and anything related to them.
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#8 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 05:22 AM

GoogleOS - you did not let us know that you had done a lot of research, just that you wanted opinions about the two. My comments are also intended to the general audience. Every summer we get 20 to 30 of these requests as students finish up HS and get ready to go off to College, yours is the 4th in the last two weeks. Most have not done the research you have done.
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#9 User is offline   compnovo 

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 06:26 AM

"Anyways, I posted here so I can see if anyone had problems with toshiba and asus themselves. I've heard bad things about Asus' customer service. I wasn't looking for you to do my work for me. I was looking for reviews of these specific models, and anything related to them."
Wow, I didn't get that from your first post...
"If you could help me figure out which one to go with or another laptop all together that would be great."
Sorry about the confusion.
Core i7 4771 - Gigabyte GA-B85-HD3 - 250GB Samsung 840 SSD - 2TB Toshiba HDD - PNY GTX760 - 16GB G.Skill Ares 1333 - Corsair Carbide 200R - Corsair 600w - Win8.1 Pro 64-bit
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