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Thread: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

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    Question Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    So, I'm going to uni around the end of September and I'll need to get a laptop sometime before then. Should I get one now, and sort out any niggles with it before going, or should I wait for Centrino2 or Puma to filter through? I'm looking at Dell mostly so how long do they usually take to build and ship laptops?

    On another note does anyone know how much of an impact discreet graphics cards have on battery life? Some gaming capability would be nice but not if it knocks an hour off the battery life even in 2D mode. Is there any difference between ATI/Nvidia cards in this respect?

    Thanks.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    I don't know how fast Dell implements laptop technology but last time I checked they were still using the, lacklustre at launch, 650i motherboards on their desktop systems; that tech is nearly 2 years old!

    Do you have to buy from Dell? Because if I were you I would hold out for another month to see if they sell Centrino 2/Puma and if they don't then buy one from another manufacturer. I really like the idea of the detachable GPU on the Puma systems should save a lot of battery on the go. If nVidia's hybrid power is available on laptops then that would help a lot too.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    Well i have the dell xps M1330 with 2.2GHz C2D and nvidia 8400gs with the less power consuming LED screen. My mum has the 1.6Ghz C2D, integrated with the CCFl screen (still M1330).

    With a 9 cell battery in 2D I will get about 4 hours with reasonable brightness on wifi etc.. she can get about 7!!

    So it can make a lot of difference.

    I would always go with dell due to the reasonably high quality, the great customer service and about the fairest pricing you can get on laptops with decent specs in the UK.

    As for PUMA.. there are next to no PUMA laptops in the UK except for one HP tablet as of yet and afaik.

    Centrino 2 will no doubt get implemented towards the end of the summer. During one of the slowest periods in laptop production due to the screen shortage last summer mine took about a month I think, perhaps a little more. But my mums came after about 8 days which is fairly typical for dell

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    If I had the cash, I properly get an Apple Mac Book. The battery last longer than any others I have seen. By Sept, Apple should bring out new MB...fingers crossed. As I'm waiting for one too.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    Dude, save yourself money, effort and heartache, buy an Asus Eee-PC-901*. A normal laptop will get old quickly and isn't worth lugging around, and mines a lightweight 15'4 inch widescreen with good battery life. A little one Micro laptop is just a million times easier and as soon as I can afford it after my PC, i'll be getting one.

    Laptops never work as good as you really want them too for Uni, too many of us found that out last year the hard way, and most of the time you'll be using Paper and Pencil anyway cause laptops are just not fast enough. If you get an Asus Eee-PC get a 2.5" enclosure for a tenner and steal an old 2.5" IDE drive from pretty much anyone for extra storage if you need it. If you want to draw diagrams on it, get a little USB A5 tablet for next to nothing, it'll all fit in a little bag and save you arsing about alot.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    seriously, try and wait as long as u can until u need it, lol wait until october. cause it will be the same ole case, u buy one, and then they bring out another after 2 weeks and ur one would of become cheaper etc.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by richieuk View Post
    Dude, save yourself money, effort and heartache, buy an Asus Eee-PC-901*. A normal laptop will get old quickly and isn't worth lugging around, and mines a lightweight 15'4 inch widescreen with good battery life. A little one Micro laptop is just a million times easier and as soon as I can afford it after my PC, i'll be getting one.

    Laptops never work as good as you really want them too for Uni, too many of us found that out last year the hard way, and most of the time you'll be using Paper and Pencil anyway cause laptops are just not fast enough.
    Thing is, I won't have a desktop at uni so the laptop needs to facilitate all my pc needs and I just don't see the Eee doing that, especially where typing is concerned.

    I never considered using the laptop to take all my notes, I'll be doing physics and there's no way I could take laptop notes for that even with a graphics tablet. However, I do want it to be comfortable to type on for writing stuff up, general use, and I wouldn't mind the option of a few oldish games now and then.

    From what StaffsMike said about the battery life, the gaming bit may have to go unless Centrino 2/Puma significantly improves this. What are modern integrated graphics like for fairly old games?...I'm thinking Star Wars: Battlefront or Half Life 2 at low resolutions or is that over optimistic?

    My main worry is that if I do wait for Centrino 2/Puma there will be a mad rush when they finally do become available and I wont get it in time. I will then be at uni with no computer.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    Half life 2 and CSS can run quite happily on integrated. Puma doesn't do a great job with battery life from what I've seen so far. Better than dedicated but worse than most other integrated solutions.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    will you actually be using it on the move much?

    when I was at uni people with laptops spent their time on msn messenger didn't see many taking notes.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by cougarslam View Post
    when I was at uni people with laptops spent their time on msn messenger didn't see many taking notes.
    QFT

    I always had a laptop with me while living at uniersity but never took it to class. Had a bulky 15" that sat in my room. Only in my last year did I go more portable with the xps M1330 because I needed it for travelling a lot more.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    I'm not planning on taking notes with it, but I would like to carry it around fairly comfortably and type things up outside for instance.

    From the posts so far I guess I could wait a bit longer and see if Centrino 2 gets a move on. I don't really want to sacrifice processing power and get Puma unless there's a good reason to do so. Is there anything significant in Centrino 2 that I really should wait for? And if I decide to go down the discreet graphics route is there still reason to avoid Nvidia or have they fixed that midrange fiasco?

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    New nvidia cards will be the 9000 series and so nothing to worry about ATi cards are good too.

    What sort of budget do you have? Although I'd hate to have another one due to them being a pig to upgrade and next to non existant customer service the new sony vaio SR or Z could be right up your street.

    The Z has a beautiful 13.1" screen with a 1600 x 900 resolution. Centrino 2 and switchable graphics bewtween a nvidia 9300gs (like the 8400gs but cooler running) and integrated for power saving.

    SR is much the same with a 13.3" 1280 x 800 screen and an ATi HD3450 gfx card still switchable with integrated and a fair bit cheaper than the Z.

    They are built really well and tend to last the test of time. It's just if things go wrong like HDD faliure outside of warranty (like my old one has) because you literally have to take them to pieces to change it (unless they have had a change of heart).

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    Budget is flexible...I was planning around £500 but if less then great, if it's worth paying a couple of hundred more then so be it. I really don't like paying for brand names though so whatever I get it'll have to be reasonably priced for the specs.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    Oh ignore the sony's then ..value for money they are not.

    The dell studio 15 is very nice. Some lovely options on it like the 1440 x 900 WLED screen In august you will probably start to find very nice back to school deals on them

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    I'm planning on an Acer Aspire One (1GB RAM version) combined with full keyboard and monitor for at home, and on its own for travel.

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    Re: Laptop for uni - when to buy?

    I did consider getting a cheap laptop to be portable and a desktop for main use but I think that would stretch my budget a little far atm, especially including monitor etc. I might get myself a desktop next summer when nehalem has arrived...

    Is there a huge difference in how portable a 15.4" Studio or a 13.3" Vostro or XPS would be?

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