College Laptop

AranyicAranyic Casstown, OH
edited May 2012 in Hardware
My brother is headed off to the University of Cincinnati this fall to study engineering (I know there are quite a few Cincinnati people around here maybe someone is familiar with the program). My dad is getting him a laptop for his high school graduation and was hoping to get by for about $650 but would be fine in the $750 range if that's what he needs. I'm thinking something in the Asus line of laptops they seem about the best bang for your buck right now? Anyone have other suggestions I'm open to them I'm just out of the loop any more. I've seen quite a bit of love for the HP Envy line but they are probably a little out of the price range? Min specs:

I-5 or higher processor
4gig ram
HD Video card (dedicated preferred but not required)
500gig 7200rpm hard drive
The rest of it is pretty basic gigabit NIC/802.11 g/n wireless, etc. They do want Windows 7 pro but I imagine in that price range I'll get home premium and then I can cover the any time upgrade to pro.

Thanks for any input.


  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA
    I can tell you right now that having a large laptop at school sucked. I started with a 17" and it was impossible to take anywhere. If you're going to get something, get something in the 13" range at most.

    Having something portable (even if you're not/can't be taking it to class) is a great thing. I spend far more time on my netbook than any other laptop in the house because of this, and that is just in my home.

  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan
    I have an Acer Aspire in the ballpark of what you're looking for. i5, 4gb ram, dedicated AMD 6 series video, 500gb hdd. Its a very solid notebook. Ive had it about a year without any issue. Similar specs on newegg in the 600 dollar range.
  • doabarrellrolldoabarrellroll San Jose, CA
    The average college student doesn't need a nice laptop. Unless they are doing heavy video, image, audio editing or for someone doing a CS degree it's not necessary.

    I know they are garbage, but, a netbook is a cheap alternative. With the money you saved, you could probably cover your books for 1 or 2 semesters.
  • A nice laptop is not a requirement for a CS degree. I got through most of my CS degree without any laptop at all, and finished it up with a very low-end laptop once I moved off campus (thus making a laptop a bit more necessary). It's unlikely anything written for a CS course will take much time to compile or run on even a low-end current generation laptop, and even if there is something that complicated, that's what terminal servers and computer labs are for.
  • AranyicAranyic Casstown, OH
    He's going into engineering, He'll be getting into Autocad type programs, 3d modeling, etc. The above specs are from his program's admission info. Has anyone purchased from recently? I got a laptop in 20003 from there and had a very good experience with it. The PowerPro J 5:15 looks like it might fit the bill for what's needed and fall into the price range.
  • A laptop in the 650-750 range will not be able to handle CAD very well, so he will still need to rely on the computer lab for that. To actually be able to run CAD well on a laptop, you'd need to drop around 2 grand (because you'd need a mobile workstation GPU). I'd say he should maybe forgo buying the laptop now and save up til he can get one he can run CAD on. Use the computer labs until that point. That's just my opinion though.
  • edcentricedcentric near Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    14"-14.5" is where I see the sweet spot.
    Get the oversize battery, it is lighter than carrying the charger.
    Can he hold out for IvyBridge with igp3000, if so then this would handle most.
    My girls both carried Toshiba through school.
    I would look at the Dell XPS14 and compare others to it.
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