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  • Laptop for College

    Well, I'm heading off next year to study Music Education, and I need to take a laptop with me.

    My school does not have any really specific requirements other than it needs to be able to connect to the internet wirelessly.

    First: What is the best anti virus software out there right now?

    Second: What laptop would you recommend?

    I want a screen in the 15" range. I'll be carrying it around with me quite a bit; huge campus so I'll be on bike a lot and braving the cold in the winter.

    Honestly, not sure what else I need to ask. Help?


  • #2
    Re: Laptop for College

    If you can ask some other students at the school in similar programs what qualities they think would be best. A lot of schools and programs that require a laptop, either do not need one or only make minimal use of it.

    Microsoft security essentials is a free basic security program. There are better ones but they tens to be more bothersome and resource intensive.
    |TG-12th| Namebot

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    • #3
      Re: Laptop for College

      I am entering college as well in an engineering program next year and they require a laptop as well, however I believe the individual engineering-specific applications/programs require a bit more beef then most do. Is the laptop going to be strictly for essay/research purposes or are there specific music programs you will need installed? If that is the case you would need to look at what the individual application requirements are.

      I personally like the free Norten that comes with my Comcast, as in the recent years Norten has gone from being rather horrid when it comes to security suites to quite effective. Also, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will be essential no matter what you use, and Super Anti-Spyware can help as well, however those are not complete replacements.



      Former TG-21st
      Swift Mobile On Target

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      • #4
        Re: Laptop for College

        Something with an Intel i5 proc would be nice and 6+ GB RAM (4GB absolute minimum; I like Intel processors for laptops over AMD). I like the 14in screen to carry around but a 15in would be fine too. The spacing of the keys is may be something you want to pay attention to. Lately, I have been liking the Toshiba, Samsung, and ASUS brand laptops. In a retail store, the ASUS and Samsung are not on sale as often as other brands; the Toshiba's tend to be my go to brand (on sale a lot) followed by HP or Acer (if they have the above specs). You can normally find a nice Toshiba with the specs above for about $600 ($800retail-$200savings=$600). I wouldn't spend more than $650 on the PC itself unless you are really in a rush, then $700-750. If you wait and watch prices, you can sometimes get the above specs for $550 (rarely) or $600-650 (usually) on sale. That said, $100-200 price different between one PC and another isn't that much compared to normal tuition and book costs so buy what you like (over $900 is a bit much though).

        Concerning software, you only really need security software and Office. Most schools will give you security software, and they require you to use the software they give you if you want to use the wireless; ask the school tech support. If they don't, I recommend ESET (online) or Norton if you hate ordering online(retail $40 on sale). You may be able to get Office through your school tech support or the College(Dept) of Education. If not, it is $100-120 retail (depending on license; 1-3 PCs) when purchased with a PC or you can use OpenOffice or LibreOffice for free. Most other degree specific computer programs are provided by the school in computer labs and from my experience tend to be kind of expensive to buy yourself(Engineering major). I wouldn't expect much beyond Office for a Music Education major.

        Other stuff--- Mouse (go by feel in your hand), backpack with laptop pouch, maybe security cable (dorms?), and a flash drive or external hard drive to back up you papers/presentations. (4-8 blank dvds for recovery disks; very easy to do so make them!)

        Concerning the retail salesman --- Don't get any tech services at all (setup is extremely simple and we have a good forum here if you have problems). Protection plans ("convenience plans") start after the manufacture warranty is over, and they are not worth the money unless you are very prone to dropping large items. Laptops usually only last about 3-4 years anyway, and your battery about 1-2 years. These things have the most margin and salesmen push for them since the company loses money on most laptops that are on sale.

        That is my prospective as a retail computer salesman/technician for 3 years. My pricing may be off a little bit, but not much.
        Last edited by DaViking; 05-01-2012, 12:48 AM.
        Viking

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        • #5
          Re: Laptop for College

          "Extended Warranties" are 50-60% commission anyways.



          Former TG-21st
          Swift Mobile On Target

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          • #6
            Re: Laptop for College

            Most major retail stores do not have commission anymore, but the managers are on your case about your numbers constantly. You are right about them having high margin. I think it may actually be a bit higher than that....
            Viking

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            • #7
              Re: Laptop for College

              What's your budget? Are you going to be using it for school work only or do you plan on gaming on it also? If you can give out a budget, I can throw a few suggestions at you. Otherwise...

              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834227043
              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834152337
              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230141

              I'll just throw you suggestions like these.

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              • #8
                Re: Laptop for College

                I'm quite happy with Kaspersky, but here is a report of antivirus suite test results for your consideration.

                Also, your credit card issuer may offer an extended warranty as part of your purchase, at no additional cost. I know my old card used to add a year to warranty coverage on all purchases.




                Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
                --BlackMirror
                <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
                Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
                --Blackraven93

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                • #9
                  Re: Laptop for College

                  Budget: Graduation present payed for by excess scholarship money. So nothing more than $2000 but I don't want to buy anything I don't need.

                  I do have a backpack with a laptop slot which I plan on carrying so I'm set on that!

                  Really, it will be my general surfing needs plus essays; I won't need any music specific software so no issues there.

                  The third laptop mangeface mentioned I was looking into: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230235. Not too expensive, still powerful, etc. What do you think of this?

                  As for a mouse, I might just take my Logitech G500 with me. When I'm on the go, I probably won't use a mouse. But I plan on having a decent setup for my comp and stuff in my dorm room. Laptop lock will be a must (I'll keep the dorm locked, but it certainly can't hurt) and I'll get one for my 1TB WD HDD I'll be taking with me too. I assume the standard of this will work with both?

                  I'm also thinking of taking one of my monitors along so I can duel it up when I'm in the dorm.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Laptop for College

                    Originally posted by DrBeat View Post
                    The third laptop mangeface mentioned I was looking into: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230235. Not too expensive, still powerful, etc. What do you think of this?
                    FYI, that graphics card is made for video entertainment, not gaming. So don't expect too much out of it. A $2000 budget? Hell, we can have fun with this. :)

                    Might I suggest this one though?

                    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230257

                    It has a little better video card (still for video entertainment though), 8GB of RAM, better resolution on the screen (1920x1080 vs. 1366x768).
                    Last edited by mangeface; 05-02-2012, 12:53 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Laptop for College

                      Lastest and greatest MSI GT70.

                      17.3" version http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834152336 $1549+tax

                      15.6" version http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=msi%20gt%2060 $1499+tax

                      This has the newest and best video card for gaming. It might be a bit heavy. This will play all the newest games and classmates will be envious of this laptop.

                      I have the last gen of this laptop with the 560m and I can play BF3 on medium and its butter smooth.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Laptop for College

                        Originally posted by Canada2005 View Post
                        You're a little late on that one buddy.

                        Originally posted by mangeface View Post
                        What's your budget? Are you going to be using it for school work only or do you plan on gaming on it also? If you can give out a budget, I can throw a few suggestions at you. Otherwise...

                        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834227043
                        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834152337
                        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230141

                        I'll just throw you suggestions like these.
                        Second one on the list. Anyways, judging by what he's responded he just needs a good media laptop, not a melt your face and your classmates face off laptop. Although, I personally would go after that MSi also. Epic price.

                        Oh, and he wants a 15"ish screen.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Laptop for College

                          Thanks for all the replies. Oh, and mangeface, it's "she." ;)

                          The graphics card isn't a big issue; I really don't anticipate having time to game.

                          I really like this one that you posted: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230257

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                          • #14
                            Re: Laptop for College

                            Originally posted by DrBeat View Post
                            Thanks for all the replies. Oh, and mangeface, it's "she." ;)

                            The graphics card isn't a big issue; I really don't anticipate having time to game.

                            I really like this one that you posted: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230257
                            You are not gaining much except resolution and some speakers for the extra $300 over the other ASUS you linked: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230235
                            You said you may take an external monitor with you so if you need high resolution you can get it there via hdmi output.

                            About locking up an external HDD, I am not sure if they have the little slot it put the lock into, but if it does I would assume they would keep with the standard. I would check though.

                            Battery life (and weight) is something that should be important to you. Generally, the i7 draws more power and runs a bit slower and warmer than the i5. You may get more cores but since it is going to be a school PC, you probably won't benefit from having the extra cores. Battery life is important when planning to use the PC around campus. You may not always have a wall socket to plug into and that is why I tend to recommend the i5 over the i7 (and smaller screens) for someone wanting to carry the PC with them everywhere.

                            Kyle is right to mention MSI. They make good stuff too. Here is a laptop from MSI that looks great for the purpose you have stated!
                            MSI : http://www.msimobile.com/level3_prod...x?cid=4&id=352
                            Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834152319

                            It most likely has about 2-3 hours more of battery life, basically the same internal features as the $1100 ASUS, faster core clock speed, smaller, weighs about 2lbs less, and cost about the same as the laptop you were already looking into. As I said before, if you are not looking for a "gaming" or desktop replacement laptop, you probably should be spending over $900.

                            PS: the i7 PCs linked in the thread are 4core, 8 thread cpus; the i5 linked here is 2 core, 4 thread.
                            Last edited by DaViking; 05-02-2012, 06:35 PM.
                            Viking

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                            • #15
                              Re: Laptop for College

                              Originally posted by DrBeat View Post
                              Thanks for all the replies. Oh, and mangeface, it's "she." ;)
                              Well...I feel like an ass. :/

                              Originally posted by DaViking View Post
                              You are not gaining much except resolution and some speakers for the extra $300 over the other ASUS you linked: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230235
                              You said you may take an external monitor with you so if you need high resolution you can get it there via hdmi output.
                              Very true. Only thing is making sure the video card is compatible to higher resolutions...which shouldn't be a problem with it. Here's a link with info and performance benchmarks.

                              http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-...M.63759.0.html

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