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Good school laptop?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm currently a senior in high school and am looking into laptops for next year since my current computer is dying (the keyboard doesn't work, it beeps whenever it turns on, it takes up to 25 minutes to turn on, it doesn't turn on without being plugged in, it shuts off if I leave it plugged in for too long, etc.).

I don't want a Mac... I want a computer with good battery life, will be be used mostly for essay writing, research, some miscellaneous internet things, and music downloading and picture uploading. I'd prefer it to be small but 10 inches seems too small...

I don't know what else I should look into. I've looked at some, but I don't know...

I'd also prefer it to be less than $1,000.

Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 16
If you're wondering what brand to get, Lenovo is generally considered to be 2nd (next to Apple, naturally), and they just so happen to have a decent sale on Thinkpads, Ideapads, and Essentials for the next few days.

Nothing you stated demands a powerful system really. Uploading photos depends more on your internet connection than your computer, and if your primary purpose other than that is typing essays then you probably don't want to go too small. A few essays on a tiny laptop will start to get tedious real quick.

I would suggest checking out both the Thinkpads and the Ideapads. If you do opt to go for a smaller one, I might suggest also getting a separate USB keyboard for when you're not in transit to make all that essay writing a little less uncomfortable.

As for the hardware... Don't worry too much about processor speed, they're all going to fit your needs. If you end up with money to burn and want to beef it up a bit, I would suggest either more RAM, or if you don't think you'll need a huge amount of storage space, a solid state drive as opposed to a conventional hard drive is an upgrade available in the Thinkpads. A solid state drive would add about $250 to the base price, and can't hold nearly as much data, but is lighter and consumes considerably less battery.

You shouldn't have any problem getting something that fits your needs for under $1000.

My girlfriend has had an Ideapad for a few years and it has traveled to over 40 different countries with her and is still going strong. I'm personally a fan of Alienware, but they honestly aren't worth the price for most purposes, I just like to splurge.

"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

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"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

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post #3 of 16
Lololol for all your needs and for less than a thousand bucks you can even get an Alienware M11x and almost a M14X with all the lights on the keyboards and more power than you will ever use bwahahahaha.

Seriously if you want battery life, go for a linux, they last way longer, especially the lighter ones ( avoid gnome and kde window managers, but be warned that the lighter ones like openbox can necessitate some basic knowledge... nothing awful, but it can take you a few hours to stop being scared and understand if you choose to use for example a crunchbang 32 bits wich will eat less than a 100 megs of ram )

For the screen the recomended minimum is 11 inches if you don't want to kill your eyes, but i wouldn't go under 14, you loose in practical use what you gain in practical move and weight.

For what you ask, i would recommend like 14 inches screen, 4G ram is the standard and should be overkill, 500+ graphic card ( a strong one will consome more ram ), nvidia or intel, avoid ati ( better compatibility with linux ), at least 250G hard drive to wich you can add an external hard drive or an online storage. A 32 bits operating system will take less ressources and therefore your battery will last longer.

I would aim between 250 and 500 bucks max, search for nice promotions and take your time. You can spend the rest on the bag, headphones, external hard drive and perhaps even a solar energy charger or a second battery for change if you are ready to spend a thousand lol.

Note also that you can ask a refund for you windows operating system if you plan to install linux, wich will make you gain some more bucks on the price of your laptop according to the windows edition.

Don't forget to disable all the useless programs at start like printer, bluetooth or even ucp or whatever the name of the daemon that synchronizes your clock with internet. A few of those off and your battery can last longer. You can also disable the smoothness of the letters, all the graphical effects, the index for file searching ( wich means that you won't really be able to find a file via a search box ) etc etc. If you are not scared you can even simply delete the related code rather than disabling it. Make also your screen luminosity a little darker.

Have fun ^^

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http://www.enigmail.net/  http://www.openbsd.org/  https://www.ixquick.com/

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post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks!
It seemed like all the computers I found were only 10 inches, which seem ridiculous. My sister's laptop (a Mac) is 13 inches, so I just went with that. I'll look into both Lenovo and Linux
post #5 of 16
I got an 11 inch macbook air for 999. I've had it for 6 months and love it.
post #6 of 16
I got a 13" mac air for $1300. It is my most favorite possession.
post #7 of 16
I have an alienware laptop actually, though one of the more expensive ones. I would just add that because they come with an integrated video card (to save power) and a normal one (for gaming), you may not actually want to install linux on one unless you can be sure it allows you to switch between those (you could try it with a liveCD or something). Using the separate card does seriously reduce time between battery recharges (mine lasts like 4 hours).

However unless you're really dedicated to gaming on linux and like messing around with WINE and such, I'm not sure why you'd bother with alienware.
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post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegan cyberpunk View Post

Don't forget to disable all the useless programs at start like printer, bluetooth or even ucp or whatever the name of the daemon that synchronizes your clock with internet. A few of those off and your battery can last longer. You can also disable the smoothness of the letters, all the graphical effects, the index for file searching ( wich means that you won't really be able to find a file via a search box ) etc etc. If you are not scared you can even simply delete the related code rather than disabling it. Make also your screen luminosity a little darker.

Have fun ^^

With windows you can still do file searching, if file indexing is disabled. It just means a file search takes much longer. As well as doing file searching in windows, you can also do file searching in a command window - which is unindexed but which goes faster than an un-indexed windows file search. Not sure about windows 7 but Windows xp allows no control over how it does processoror-consuming file-indexing. You can get a separate file indexing and searching program over which you have more control.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteracea View Post

I'm currently a senior in high school and am looking into laptops for next year since my current computer is dying (the keyboard doesn't work, it beeps whenever it turns on, it takes up to 25 minutes to turn on, it doesn't turn on without being plugged in, it shuts off if I leave it plugged in for too long, etc.).

I don't want a Mac... I want a computer with good battery life, will be be used mostly for essay writing, research, some miscellaneous internet things, and music downloading and picture uploading. I'd prefer it to be small but 10 inches seems too small...

I don't know what else I should look into. I've looked at some, but I don't know...

I'd also prefer it to be less than $1,000.

Thanks for any help!


Depending on what your major is, you may want a mac.
You may want to look at your potential school's website
and see if they have any requirements or recommended
laptops. The first university I went to, if you were a
teaching major, a tcomm major, journalism, or art
major you were required to use a mac due to the programmes
that macs offer.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by xiii View Post



Depending on what your major is, you may want a mac.
You may want to look at your potential school's website
and see if they have any requirements or recommended
laptops. The first university I went to, if you were a
teaching major, a tcomm major, journalism, or art
major you were required to use a mac due to the programmes
that macs offer.

I m agree with this, it is the good suggestion for purchasing the laptop as per the requirements mac is also my favorite machine.

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post #11 of 16
Here's a good cnet review of laptops under $1000. http://m.cnet.com/news/laptops-we-love-under-$1000/57485614
[Edited for clarity], the article is a bit outdated, and since it was written, Apple has lowered some prices recently.

Check with your uni though, my daughter's required a windows machine.
Edited by LedBoots - 2/21/13 at 5:11pm
post #12 of 16
Oh btw Windows 8 is horrible imo. I have a laptop with that horror.
post #13 of 16

Lowered apple prices ? 999 bucks for 4G ram, 64G SSD, 1,7Ghz and an 11' screen ? Seriously ?

 

i got 18' 8G ram 500 HDD 2,2 Ghz laptop at half this... years ago.  just sayin'.

 

I wouldn't pay more than 150 bucks for that apple thing.

 

today for 999, i would rather go for an overclocked watercooled 16G ram i7 tower at over 4Ghz minimum than this baby toy.

 

Even the notoriously overpriced alienwares are cheaper than mac. And they got cool lights at least.  ( oh, yeah, at 999 bucks, i totally want my cool lights )

 

 

 

Agree for windows 8 thought, it's a horror.


Edited by vegan cyberpunk - 2/21/13 at 4:19pm

http://www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/ https://www.eff.org/ https://www.torproject.org/

http://www.enigmail.net/  http://www.openbsd.org/  https://www.ixquick.com/

http://www.opennicproject.org/ https://www.autistici.org/en/index.html  https://riseup.net/en

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http://www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/ https://www.eff.org/ https://www.torproject.org/

http://www.enigmail.net/  http://www.openbsd.org/  https://www.ixquick.com/

http://www.opennicproject.org/ https://www.autistici.org/en/index.html  https://riseup.net/en

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post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegan cyberpunk View Post

Lowered apple prices ? 999 bucks for 4G ram, 64G SSD, 1,7Ghz and an 11' screen ? Seriously ?

 

i got 18' 8G ram 500 HDD 2,2 Ghz laptop at half this... years ago.  just sayin'.

 

I wouldn't pay more than 150 bucks for that apple thing.

 

today for 999, i would rather go for an overclocked watercooled 16G ram i7 tower at over 4Ghz than this baby toy.

 

 

 

Agree for windows 8 thought, it's a horror.

I'm not a big Apple fan either, but they did lower their high prices on some laptops since the article I posted was written. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE91C0V320130213?irpc=932
post #15 of 16

Arf, didn't check the date of the cnet review, i understood you were saying lowered compared as to before the review, my bad.

 

After check, the same config i mentioned before is at 850, so a notable reduction in price indeed, althought still 700 bucks too high for my taste :-)

 

btw sorry if i appeared a bit brusque, link to a pro comparison is appreciated, recent reuters source for anything as well, i just always tend to jump a bit when i hear apple prices, reductions or not :-)

http://www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/ https://www.eff.org/ https://www.torproject.org/

http://www.enigmail.net/  http://www.openbsd.org/  https://www.ixquick.com/

http://www.opennicproject.org/ https://www.autistici.org/en/index.html  https://riseup.net/en

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http://www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/ https://www.eff.org/ https://www.torproject.org/

http://www.enigmail.net/  http://www.openbsd.org/  https://www.ixquick.com/

http://www.opennicproject.org/ https://www.autistici.org/en/index.html  https://riseup.net/en

https://pay.reddit.com/r/privacy/wiki/index

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post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegan cyberpunk View Post

Arf, didn't check the date of the cnet review, i understood you were saying lowered compared as to before the review, my bad.

 

After check, the same config i mentioned before is at 850, so a notable reduction in price indeed, althought still 700 bucks too high for my taste :-)

 

btw sorry if i appeared a bit brusque, link to a pro comparison is appreciated, recent reuters source for anything as well, i just always tend to jump a bit when i hear apple prices, reductions or not :-)

Don't worry, I hear about Apple from my son, who is very much an open-source advocate. smiley.gif
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