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Laptop Choices for school

  1. Nov 13, 2014 #1
    For the past five years I have been successfully using a MacBook Pro. However, unfortunately, I spilled beer on my laptop about a week ago so the MacBook is no more. I don't really stay up to date on the advancements of computer hardware, so I was hoping somebody could suggest to me a good laptop to use. I will primarily be using the laptop for school work, specifically, for running Wolfram Mathematica, MATLab, and AutoDesk Inventor, and PTC Creo. Thanks in advance :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2014 #2
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  4. Nov 14, 2014 #3
    Unless the laptop tripped a breaker in your home it is possible that it is not dead, just "mucked up". Since you assume it is dead, you have nothing to lose (but a little time) in trying to fix it and you may learn something valuable in the process. PCs are remarkably well protected with their own versions of circuit breakers and fast-response protection devices. Likely the residue is simply just shorting out important connections.

    Most laptops are fairly intuitive as to how they are disassembled since all connections are shaped and keyed in some way to avoid wrong connections and orientations. Many have free tech manuals with exploded views for assembly/disassembly available online. Once the keyboard and mainboard are separated and out of the housing, they can literally be washed in warm, mildly soapy water, rinsed, and dried (even a hair dryer will suffice for drying just not on a hot setting or in close proximity) and once THOROUGHLY dry, reassembled and reborn.
  5. Nov 14, 2014 #4
    I was very satisfied with my macbook, unfortunately I do not have the money at this time to buy another, however I will definitely check out your recommendations, thanks
  6. Nov 14, 2014 #5
    Thanks for the response. I know most PC are very easy to disassemble, however, I've been told that this is not the case for apple products, especially MacBooks. I was told I risk doing serious damage if I attempt to take apart the macbook, would you disagree?
  7. Nov 14, 2014 #6
    Again thanks for the recommendations, those are way cheaper than I expected. However, according to my schools Mechanical Engineering/ Mathematics departments, my laptop should have the following specifications:
    Windows 7 (latest OS for Mac)

    i5 Processor

    4GB Memory

    250GB 7200rpm Hard Drive

    N Wireless Card
    I noticed that the laptops you recommended have i3 processors, would that still be sufficient to run the aforementioned applications?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Nov 14, 2014 #7
    Yes, but certainly i5 or i7 would be better, although they would put the price up to $600-$800. What is your budget?
  9. Nov 14, 2014 #8
    I was hoping to find something for under $600. Also, I have a separate question that perhaps you could answer. On my Macbook, I had paid for MatLab, etc (all of the programs I mentioned above) will I have to buy these applications again when I get my new laptop?
  10. Nov 14, 2014 #9
    Most likely, but you can get student versions right? It also might be worth contacting the companies and asking if there is a solution or at least a discount.
  11. Nov 14, 2014 #10
    yes I get the student versions; however, the student versions are still about $100 a piece :(
  12. Nov 14, 2014 #11
    Except for PTC Creo/Inventor, which I believe is free
  13. Nov 14, 2014 #12
    Either way thanks a lot for the recommendations, that Toshiba seems like a bargain...one of my friends has had a Toshiba for at least 7 years and it still runs pretty well..
  14. Nov 14, 2014 #13
    Hey, if I order one of those laptops through Amazon how can I be sure that PF gets a % of the purchase?
  15. Nov 14, 2014 #14


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    Gold Member

    Really? Mathematica/Matlab is tied to a certain computer? Can't he just use his key in his new laptop? Wasn't the key sent by e-mail or something?

    OP: What about Lenovo? I've heard good things about Lenovo.
  16. Nov 14, 2014 #15
    I'll have to check and see if I can find my registration keys so that I can test that out. Also, my brother has a Lenovo, its an awesome computer; unfortunately, they are a bit out of my price range
  17. Nov 14, 2014 #16
  18. Nov 14, 2014 #17
  19. Nov 14, 2014 #18
    So as long as I go to amazon through that link PF will get a cut? Just want to make sure I'm doing this right before I order something..
  20. Nov 14, 2014 #19
    yup, it adds a little tracking code to the url
  21. Nov 14, 2014 #20
    Cool, thanks for the help
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