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$350-450 laptop for a college student

#1gsf4lyfePosted 8/5/2013 3:56:51 PM
A family friend is going to college in the fall, and their mother asked me to help pick out a laptop for them as I'm kinda the resident tech guy. I unfortunately know next to nothing about laptops though.

All they would be doing on it is MS Office, Facebook, Netflix etc. Battery life and portability are the top priorities.
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#2blazin_azn117Posted 8/5/2013 4:04:13 PM
If thats the case then get him anything on sale at Best Buy or Newegg. Just make sure it has good storage and a processor
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#3KalammerPosted 8/5/2013 4:10:42 PM
Just give them the $450 as beer money, and they'll be much happier.
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#4gsf4lyfe(Topic Creator)Posted 8/5/2013 4:19:54 PM
In that price range what should I be looking for in a processor, an i3?
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SteamID: gsf4lyfe
#5blazin_azn117Posted 8/5/2013 4:38:51 PM
gsf4lyfe posted...
In that price range what should I be looking for in a processor, an i3?


Yeah an i3. You'll get like 500 gb space and 4 gb memory. It will be enough for a basic student.
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#6JonWood007Posted 8/5/2013 5:06:13 PM
Look for a netbook or ultrabook if you don't plan on gaming or doing anything intensive. It maximizes portability and battery life, but is complete **** as far as specs go.
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#7megamanfreakXDPosted 8/5/2013 5:08:10 PM
http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/05/engadget-laptop-buyers-guide-summer-2013/
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#8DragnfyrPosted 8/5/2013 5:27:24 PM(edited)
Unfortunately there's nothing with great battery life at such a low price range. The sub $500 range is dominated by entry level 15.6" laptops with AMD A series CPUs. $700-$800 is really the minimum to get a decent ultrabook. Honestly I'd just go with a tablet if I could only spend $500. You won't be running Microsoft Office but there are other word processors available and a tablet will provide much better battery life and be much more portable than any laptop in a similar price range. Just tell him to get a keyboard dock and a capacitive pen to take notes with.
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#9ThePHiLsTeRPosted 8/5/2013 5:26:54 PM(edited)
I am a student. At first I got a netbook. DO NOT get a netbook. I couldn't stand it. The keyboard is extremely cramped and the netbook I got was considered one of the biggest netbooks (Acer aspire one).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215663
(this laptop goes on sale every once in a while for aprox 450)

This is the laptop I bought. It's light for a 15.6'' laptop. Its fast. The keyboard feels great.
Read the great reviews. I just read them now. Someone said this laptop runs hot at 90 C which is not true. It runs around 45-50 on light processing.

For getting any amount of work done you need to get a full screen 15'' for school.

Take it from me I go to nursing school and an A student.
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#10DragnfyrPosted 8/5/2013 5:30:48 PM
ThePHiLsTeR posted...
I am a student. At first I got a netbook. DO NOT get a netbook. I couldn't stand it. The keyboard is extremely cramped and the netbook I got was considered one of the biggest netbooks (Acer aspire one).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215663
(this laptop goes on sale every once in a while for aprox 450)

This is the laptop I bought. It's light for a 15.6'' laptop. Its fast. The keyboard feels great.
Read the great reviews. I just read them now. Someone said this laptop runs hot at 90 C which is not true. It runs around 45-50 on light processing.

For getting any amount of work done you need to get a full screen 15'' for school.

Take it from me I go to nursing school and an A student.


5.8lbs is pretty standard for a 15" laptop. I'm in university as well and I'd say a 15.6" screen is a little on the big side to use in the lecture hall. Honestly I only got my 15" MacBook because there are no 13" ultrabooks with mid-end graphics cards. I have seen my friends' laptops and I'd say a 14" screen is the sweet spot. A 13.3" screen is okay but only if it's 16:10. 16:9 13.3" screens are a little on the small side.
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MacBook Pro with Retina Display | 15.4" 2880x1800 | Core i7-3615QM @ 2.3GHz | 8GB DDR3 1600MHz | GT 650M 1GB GDDR5 | 256GB SSD | OSX 10.8.4 | Windows 8 Pro