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Tylerthigpen!1!
05-23-2009, 07:47 PM
The parents are buying me a $600ish laptop that I get to pick outfor my high school graduation present. Not too sure on what I should get. I plan to major in Mechanical Engineering. Right now I am looking at a Studio 15 mainly because it is $150 off. Would the 15 inch screen be too bulky to carry around? Any advice is welcome.

Count Alex's Losses
05-23-2009, 07:49 PM
You can always steal one.

Der Flöprer
05-23-2009, 07:50 PM
Get a netbook.

Jenson71
05-23-2009, 08:04 PM
I guess it depends on how big your backpack is, or if you do one of those over one shoulder across the body bags.

Netbooks seem to be popular because they are cheap and easy to carry around and work for homework purposes, surfing the internet and writing papers. As far as I understand, they don't have much power to do other things. I've seen a few kids on my campus have them. But if you're looking to load games or heavy media, I don't think a netbook will get you far.

$600 though you (your parents) can get more than a netbook. Just be sure you turn it off when you're not using it. You want to save energy right? No, the real reason is because your laptop might burn up if you sit it too long for too often. Then you have to get one of those air blower things. And that makes it a lot bulkier.

I never carry my laptop to and from classes though. I would advise against it at first. I don't think it helps more in taking notes, plus, I've seen students fool around on the internet in the middle of a class. You don't want to be that kid.

SPchief
05-23-2009, 08:06 PM
Dude, you're gettin a dell

Sure-Oz
05-23-2009, 08:18 PM
www.slickdeals.net
they usually have good deals on lappys

Gravedigger
05-23-2009, 08:35 PM
Well obviously you won't be able to get a Mac with that price tag, but I have a 15" and its nice, I don't think bulk is really a problem anymore with laptops.

Fat Elvis
05-23-2009, 10:07 PM
If you can pitch in an extra $300, this is the one to get....

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9173262&type=product&id=1218044029168

BigMeatballDave
05-23-2009, 10:10 PM
Dude, you're gettin a dell
I did a few weeks ago...:)

DaKCMan AP
05-23-2009, 10:10 PM
Often the engineering college or individual departments will have recommended laptop specs for students. If available, try to meet those. From my experience, get something light. When I started college back in '03 I got a $2300 top-of-the-line desktop replacement. It worked great, and I still have and use it. However, it was heavy and a major pain to bring to/from campus and often I left it at home.

You should be able to find a laptop with enough speed, memory and disk space that's light/compact enough to drag around campus. Since you're going into mechanical engineering something with a good graphics card would be nice for your cad/modeling tools.

Jewish Rabbi
05-24-2009, 01:25 AM
A 15" laptop is barely a laptop. No need to get that big of screen, IMO, if you're going to be using it outside your house.

The_Doctor10
05-24-2009, 02:51 AM
600 bucks for a laptop, you better spend the required money to get the best anti-virus on earth, and don't download a thing onto it, because within 8 months you'll be seeing blue-screens like they were pigeons; everywhere, all the time, and accompanied by shit.

I myself am going into my third year, and I had my previous laptop (799 at Future Shop) for maybe half that time. The rest of the time it was in Surrey or Toronto or God knows where getting fixed for the same damn issues over and over. With laptops especially, you get what you pay for, and with a 600 dollar computer, you're not getting too much.

I've since bought a Macbook, and it's been the most incredible machine I've ever owned. Despite it's admittedly steep price, I think the benefit of having my own computer throughout the course of a full academic year makes up for it. If you're in your first year, I'd hold onto your money and save to buy a Mac as soon as you can; not only is everyone at your school going to be telling you this within a week of you having been there, but in all honesty you won't likely need to write more than seven or eight papers anyway, depending on your major, which can most likely be done in your library. And as a first year, familiarizing yourself with the library's inner workings is going to be an invaluable skill as you progress. Trust me on this.

AMDChief
05-24-2009, 05:46 AM
I got my daugther a refirb'd Gateway laptop last year from Newegg. Added a gig of ram and it's been great for her. I have purchased several things from them over the years and have never had a problem.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2004940032%204021&name=%24500%20-%20%24750

Infidel Goat
05-24-2009, 06:27 AM
You could spend an extra $400 of your own money and get this one:

http://dealmac.com/Apple-Mac-Book-Air-Core-2-Duo-1-6-GHz-13-Laptop-for-1-000-after-rebate-10-s-h/296433.html

DaKCMan AP
05-24-2009, 07:34 AM
600 bucks for a laptop, you better spend the required money to get the best anti-virus on earth, and don't download a thing onto it, because within 8 months you'll be seeing blue-screens like they were pigeons; everywhere, all the time, and accompanied by shit.

I myself am going into my third year, and I had my previous laptop (799 at Future Shop) for maybe half that time. The rest of the time it was in Surrey or Toronto or God knows where getting fixed for the same damn issues over and over. With laptops especially, you get what you pay for, and with a 600 dollar computer, you're not getting too much.

I've since bought a Macbook, and it's been the most incredible machine I've ever owned. Despite it's admittedly steep price, I think the benefit of having my own computer throughout the course of a full academic year makes up for it. If you're in your first year, I'd hold onto your money and save to buy a Mac as soon as you can; not only is everyone at your school going to be telling you this within a week of you having been there, but in all honesty you won't likely need to write more than seven or eight papers anyway, depending on your major, which can most likely be done in your library. And as a first year, familiarizing yourself with the library's inner workings is going to be an invaluable skill as you progress. Trust me on this.

Not really. There are some good laptops that are very inexpensive right now. As far as the virus, as long as you have protection software, and aren't dumb, you shouldn't have trouble.

Braincase
05-24-2009, 08:04 AM
My wife is tenured Mechanical Engineering faculty at KU. Very few students in ME use Mac's, and this is at KU, which has a pretty substantial population of Mac users. What you should look into is the software they use in the department, and if they are using Solidworks, get a PC. Solidworks isn't available for the Mac. Besides, if a Mac is $400.00 more, it's kind of silly to go that route, as a good anti-virus & internet security package is a whole lot less than that.

Where are you going to school?

ArrowheadHawk
05-24-2009, 08:54 AM
www.slickdeals.net (http://www.slickdeals.net)
they usually have good deals on lappysThat site is awesome.

EyePod
05-24-2009, 09:03 AM
What school are you going to? I mean, most schools have some sort of design lab which have much better computers than any laptop you'll get. Plus, you're in engineering, so that means that you won't be taking notes on your laptop. You're going to be doing tons of math/physics, so it's really hard to take notes and write equations on your laptop. I suggest not bringing it to class at all, because you'll just be playing games instead of paying attention (I learned this the hard way freshman year).

DaKCMan AP
05-24-2009, 09:12 AM
What school are you going to? I mean, most schools have some sort of design lab which have much better computers than any laptop you'll get. Plus, you're in engineering, so that means that you won't be taking notes on your laptop. You're going to be doing tons of math/physics, so it's really hard to take notes and write equations on your laptop. I suggest not bringing it to class at all, because you'll just be playing games instead of paying attention (I learned this the hard way freshman year).

Maybe as a freshman you don't need it in class, but once you're an upperclassman (and especially a grad student) you have time between your classes when it's useful to complete classwork/projects while on campus. I don't know about other universities, but when I left UF they were transitioning their general engineering computer lab from having desktops students can use to being a portal where students bring their own laptops in and connect.

EyePod
05-24-2009, 09:29 AM
Maybe as a freshman you don't need it in class, but once you're an upperclassman (and especially a grad student) you have time between your classes when it's useful to complete classwork/projects while on campus. I don't know about other universities, but when I left UF they were transitioning their general engineering computer lab from having desktops students can use to being a portal where students bring their own laptops in and connect.

I'm in Chemical Engineering, and we had a small design lab. Then ABET came through (they give accreditation), the biggest complaint was that there wasn't enough computers there, and it was impossible to get work done, especially because teachers were trying to prepare underclassman by letting them use the simulation programs that were needed senior year. So ABET told our department that they needed to have a new design room or they wouldn't accredit. So they built a new one, with 7 plasma screen tv's and 11 great new computers. This is where I spend my time, and I need to limit myself to what I can do other than school work. By bringing my laptop, I would play games instead of doing work. When I'm on a school computer, there isn't as much that I can do other than HW. So maybe as a freshman it would be harder, but I found it to be better when I just used a school computer instead of my own.

DaKCMan AP
05-24-2009, 09:42 AM
I'm in Chemical Engineering, and we had a small design lab. Then ABET came through (they give accreditation), the biggest complaint was that there wasn't enough computers there, and it was impossible to get work done, especially because teachers were trying to prepare underclassman by letting them use the simulation programs that were needed senior year. So ABET told our department that they needed to have a new design room or they wouldn't accredit. So they built a new one, with 7 plasma screen tv's and 11 great new computers. This is where I spend my time, and I need to limit myself to what I can do other than school work. By bringing my laptop, I would play games instead of doing work. When I'm on a school computer, there isn't as much that I can do other than HW. So maybe as a freshman it would be harder, but I found it to be better when I just used a school computer instead of my own.

I'm very aware of ABET. I guess each school is different. At Florida they were getting rid of desktop labs. All of the Engineering software was being put on a network with licenses. You could login either on campus or at home on your laptop to utilize the tools.

Tylerthigpen!1!
05-24-2009, 11:02 AM
Im going to Arkansas. Hot damn.

patteeu
05-24-2009, 11:23 AM
Not really. There are some good laptops that are very inexpensive right now. As far as the virus, as long as you have protection software, and aren't dumb, you shouldn't have trouble.

Furthermore, as much as I like macs, I'd think twice and double check with your school before I bought a mac as an engineering student. Today's macs can run windows programs, but if you're going to be required to run some windows programs you might as well just get a windows machine and save a few hundred dollars.

88TG88
05-24-2009, 11:25 AM
I hear windows is giving out money for laptop hunters. Ask them to buy you one.

patteeu
05-24-2009, 11:26 AM
Im going to Arkansas. Hot damn.

What do you need a laptop for then? Are you missing any fingers or toes?

:p

Skip Towne
05-24-2009, 11:33 AM
Im going to Arkansas. Hot damn.

They have computers at Arkansas? I thought they just got electricity.

EyePod
05-25-2009, 12:10 AM
They have computers at Arkansas? I thought they just got electricity.

I didn't even realize they had that. I mean, this is the home state of Slick Willy...

http://www.afunnystuff.com/uploads/1190272808.jpg