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Best Laptop to Start Research

  1. Sep 12, 2013 #1
    So I am a sophomore Astronomy and Physics student looking for a powerful laptop to do programming and to help me with research. I would like it to support things like Python, MATlab, LaTeX, Mathematica, LabVIEW, anything for astronomy, but relatively lightweight and has HDMI, Blu-Ray, high resolution. I liked what I read about the Dell xps 15 but I would like your help. I AM a college student so somewhat cheap is good... nothing more that $2000. That is still a lot but when you need the right stuff... Anyways, thank you for your help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Hey lightningmil and welcome to the forums.

    If you are going to do programming and research, I'd recommend you get something with a lot of RAM (and fast RAM) as well as something with a lot of cores (4 or more).

    In addition, if you are going to doing a lot of intensive data work, get a solid state drive (doesn't have to be the primary drive - it can be a secondary one). Reading data off a solid state drive is going to be way better than off a non solid state one.

    The above will help in all the applications you have mentioned and many popular mathematical and analytic packages have good support for using multiple cores.

    You should be able to get something with the specs I mentioned above for your budget. Just remember that there are different kinds of RAM and note that SSD drives will be more expensive.
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