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Well its come to be that time because I'm about to start college and I need to get a new laptop. What do you guys have? Do you like it or not? If you could get something different what would it be? I'm open to all suggestions Mac or PC and I want to hear your pros and cons not just "I really like this computer". I don't want to go to crazy on the price but it doesn't have to be cheap (under $1800) and I'm majoring in mechanical engineering so I'm looking for more of a data computer not a design type computer. Thanks
 

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I have reviewed many laptops prior to buying my current. I usually buy a new one every 6months to a year and the one I got was the best on the market at the time. I have an HP multi-media laptop. I got the 17'' screen but they also offer it in a 15'' screen.

4ghz processor (duo-core)
4GB ram
1024 dedicated video memory
64-bit operating system
vista premium
wireless remote that stores in the expansion port.

Great wi-fi antenna. I'm able to pick up my buddies network 1 block away.

One down side to it though is it has a "pretty" finish. Copper/silver design with chrome around the keyboard and the outer frame.

Anywho I paid $650 for it. Has 500gb hard drive, and dual layer dvd burner. Lightscribe. It does pretty much everything! Got it at best buy.

With the outter finish I was thinking of sandpaper it, and spray on some bedliner. Right now its a magnet for finger prints. But it does look good lol
 

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A few words of advice from a tech junkie...

1) If you can afford it, stick with a "business" model laptop, not a "consumer" model laptop. This means you'll get a better built laptop and better technical support (USA based) when you need it.

2) At a minimum, go with an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 4GB of RAM, a dedicated graphics card (if you are going to be doing any CAD or graphics work), and at least a 120GB hard drive.

I prefer the Intel chips over the AMD chips for laptops, 50/50 toss up for desktops, and AMD for servers (better cooling).

I would recommend going with a smaller screen and taking the $$$ you save and buying and external LCD monitor. The laptop will be easier to take with you on trips or an airplane.

3) If you're not comfortable with repairing/working on your own laptop, make sure to add some type of extended warranty (but look at SquareTrade, before you go with an OEM warranty). The most expensive items to repair on a laptop are the motherboard and LCD screen, which can be several hundred dollars to fix.

4) If you're just starting college, see if they offer some type of student discount on laptop purchases. Or, before you buy, at least check out xpbargains.com. This site has coupons for almost every manufacturer (Dell has different coupons every week).

5) As far as reliability is concerned, today most manufacturers are about even, so it might make sense to just go with who has the best deal at the time. All PC manufacturers are hurting these days, so configure one online, then call them up and see if they'll throw in any extras (warranties, upgrades, etc.) to earn your business.

If you still need assistance, send me an IM and I'll be glad to review your configuration to see if it meets your needs and that you're getting a good deal.

I'm a PC guy, so I'll let the Mac guys chime in for their platform.
 

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I'll be starting college soon myself. I was also debating buying a mac for school vs a PC.. so I'm intrigued to hear what others say (mac wise) for school.
 

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In my opinion, it is Mac or Bust. But I have had issues with PC's and will never go back. I think MacBook Pro's are the best computers money can by and the Mac OSX Operating system only gets better. However, you are a mechanical Engineer so I don;t really know. But, If you want a good computer, Mac is the way to go. Good Luck shopping
 

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I have a dell XPS M1330 for school and a 1700 for home. Im a mechanical engineer student too in my sophomore year. I payed around 3k for it but is a gaming laptop with the best of everthing dell offered. It was actually a little less then that with dells student discount. But I love it, its lightning fast and the graphics and audio are amazing.
 

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I have reviewed many laptops prior to buying my current. I usually buy a new one every 6months to a year and the one I got was the best on the market at the time. I have an HP multi-media laptop. I got the 17'' screen but they also offer it in a 15'' screen.

4ghz processor (duo-core)
4GB ram
1024 dedicated video memory
64-bit operating system
vista premium
wireless remote that stores in the expansion port.

Great wi-fi antenna. I'm able to pick up my buddies network 1 block away.

One down side to it though is it has a "pretty" finish. Copper/silver design with chrome around the keyboard and the outer frame.

Anywho I paid $650 for it. Has 500gb hard drive, and dual layer dvd burner. Lightscribe. It does pretty much everything! Got it at best buy.

With the outter finish I was thinking of sandpaper it, and spray on some bedliner. Right now its a magnet for finger prints. But it does look good lol
Im gonna call BS on the 4ghz processor, for $650
 

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Good advice triadpc.

I've supported users with all major name brand laptops and i've had the least amount of problems with Dell laptops. I'd say Compaq gave me the most problems.

I'd also try to avoid buying from a retail store, you will be better off buying directly from the manufacturer.

I currently have a Dell Latitude D630, my wife has an Inspiron 1525. The Latitude is a business class and the Inspiron is home user class. They both run great and I haven't had any problems with them. The Latitude has a stronger chassis and can with stand a little more "abuse" than the Inspiron.

I also prefer dell's support site over other manufacturer's sites.

If I were buying a new laptop I'd get a Dell Latitude with the specs triadpc listed, then I'd add a docking station/port replicator w/monitor stand, LCD Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse.

Hope this helps and PM me if you have any other questions.
 

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Im gonna call BS on the 4ghz processor, for $650
If I can find the recepit I'll take a photo of it.

But nope that's how much I paid, plus tax ofcourse. I think what it was though is it was a discontinued model? They had another laptop that looked EXACTLY like the one I bought that had a tv turner built in, and I think a lil more processor power for $1198. Either way I got a good deal :redblob"
 

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A co-worker owns both a mac and pc. When someone ask him if they should go with a mac or pc he always tells them "For business or school work (writting papers, research, etc.) go with a PC, if you are using it for working with videos, pictures, or music go with the mac."
 

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I switched to Mac 2.5 yrs ago and REFUSE to look back! lol. I really loved my pc's, until I used a friend's macbook for a couple hrs. I had a blackbook for a couple years and I just bought a new aluminum unibody macbook the day they were released. It's the most amazing laptop I've ever used. LOVE IT. The glass trackpad with multitouch is amazing, battery life is excellent, and the build is just Solid. And Mac OSX? The best. Really man, for school I think this unibody macbook can't be beat. I can run windows flawlessly using VMWare Fusion, so compatibility is no issue. Oh, and I haven't had any antivirus programs since I made the switch. ZERO virus/spyware problems and she still runs as fast as when brand new.

If you HAVE to go with pc, like if your engineering program requires it, then get a Lenovo.
 

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It is a single processor with 2 cores. So to the Operating System, it is like having two 2ghz processors.
Thats exactly what I was thinking, you cant just say you have a 4.0GHz processor cause its a duo core, thats like me going around flaunting that I have 4.8Ghz cause I have a dual core processor.
 

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Thats exactly what I was thinking, you cant just say you have a 4.0GHz processor cause its a duo core, thats like me going around flaunting that I have 4.8Ghz cause I have a dual core processor.
wait, what kind of Apple laptop do you have?
 

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oh yea well i have duo core 4 so thats 8 boo ya!
 

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Oh, and I haven't had any antivirus programs since I made the switch. ZERO virus/spyware problems
If you don't have antivirus programs, how do you know you don't have a virus on it? LOL.

MAC don't have to deal with virus/spyware problems like PCs do because MACs aren't used near as much as PCs are in the business world.
 
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