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Advise on buying a laptop

  1. May 23, 2009 #1
    i'm planning to buy a new laptop... i'll be using it for programming and other computing applications like matlab...

    friend's recommend 4gb RAM, dell, hp or mac...
    but another friend tells me that toshiba is better...

    what i'm sure right now is that i must get a laptop with 4gb RAM and dual core is a must. i'm not sure now which brand to consider... hope you could give some advise. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 11, 2009 #2
    A few questions for you first: do you plan on carrying this laptop around with you quite a bit, or is it more going to be a desktop replacement? Will you use it for anything aside from programming/applications (movies, music, gaming, etc.)? Finally, what's your budget?

    All these choices can have a huge impact on the system you end up picking. Let me know, and I'll try and help you get your search narrowed down!


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  4. Jun 15, 2009 #3
    Wow, thats not a bad deal. I have a Samsung X460-44G and its the nicest notebook I have ever seen. I would imagine their P460 series is very nice as well.

    BTW, stay away from HP, Dell, Mac, Compaq, Emachines, Gateway, and basically anything you would ever find at a store like Best Buy.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Jun 16, 2009 #4


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    Check out the ASUS brand. I have an M50 series laptop and couldn't be more pleased. For only $300 more, I have a much faster processor, another GB ram, and 1" larger screen size.

    ...the exhaust runs like a jet engine though.
  6. Jun 16, 2009 #5


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    Remember that if you get 4gb of RAM, the only way to take full advantage of it will be to get a 64-bit operating system such as Windows Vista 64-bit or Window 7 RC 64-bit. If you only use a 32-bit operating system you can only use a maximum of 3gb of RAM.
  7. Jun 16, 2009 #6


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    Others can help you with configuration questions for a laptop that fits your needs and budget. I would just recommend, from personal experience, avoiding Dell laptops. Our university has contracts with Dell, so anyone buying a PC who doesn't want a Mac pretty much gets railroaded into buying from Dell. The desktops seem okay, but the laptops are horrid. They're cheaper than others for a reason...I think they must use substandard hardware in them or something, because they don't get very old before hardware components are failing. And they're bulky and heavy too, battery life is awful...I could go on. Other brands of PC laptops seem better built.

    Of course, I'm biased toward Macs for myself, but realize that isn't the solution for everyone.
  8. Jun 16, 2009 #7
    Well, there's a deal at Dell for a $299 http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/linux_3x?c=us&l=en&cs=19 [Broken] with Ubuntu pre-installed, which can be upgraded (for a fee) to 4 GB RAM and a Core 2 Duo. Just a couple days ago I ordered this model myself. It's certainly one of the cheapest options, and the specs are pretty good. That's unfortunate about the possibility that Dell laptops don't last as long--we'll see. The most important thing is not to drop the laptop.

    I would recommend getting an external hard drive with your laptop and backing your stuff up, because laptop hard drives fail often (even if you don't drop them).

    My current laptop is a 3 year old Macbook, which is chugging along in sad shape, partly due to it being dropped 2 years ago--failed optical drive, noisy clattering fan, barely-working wireless card, failed ethernet port, short battery life, random strange errors while running, and sudden reboots when the temperature gets too high. Also I had to replace the hard drive when it got dropped. Aside from the hardware problems, however, I'm satisfied with the macbook (though for a new laptop it is a bit pricy, which is why I'm going with the Dell).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Sep 23, 2009 #8
    wasn't able to visit this forum when we got the laptop. thanx for the advise though. I hope this can help others.

    Got a Dell Inspiron. Running with ubuntu 9.04 and vista. so far so good. enjoying open source software and apps very much.
  10. Sep 24, 2009 #9
    Identify your needs, your price range, and do not worry too much about the brand. Some laptops are better than others, and some brands have better reputation for support, but ultimately, price, form, and performance are the two main issues one should consider.

    Other than Apple products, the performance versus price is going to be pretty similar, although sometimes you can find a great deal, so pay attention to that.
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