Question

Laptop for a physics major

1. What is your budget? Preferably under $800

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 15.6 inch would be best, but I can go a little bigger or a little smaller.

3. What screen resolution do you want? Whatever is standard. As long as things don't look like crap.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Desktop replacement. I need to be able to do some heavy-duty computation and programming.

5. How much battery life do you need? Enough to last through a day of classes.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? It would definitely be a benefit. Being able to play games like WoW and LoL on medium/high settings is fine.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? Like I said, mostly computation and programming with the option for gaming. Obviously word processing and web-surfing are also important.

8. How much storage do you need? 500GB+

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Anybody that ships to the US. I was very disappointed to find out that Future Shop doesn't.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? As long as it takes me to finish my undergrad degree. About four years.

11. What kind of optical drive do you need? DVD writer is enough.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. Anything with decent build quality.

13. What country do you live in? US of A

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. A backlit keyboard would be nice. The most important things are RAM and processor speed, though. Graphics are a side concern.

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Comments
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Answer
Dead end I fear.

High performance and long days do not mix.

Try this. Look at those i5 and i7 based Ultrabooks.
Bob

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Answer
Hope this helps

1. It's slightly over budget but this is probably the sort of thing you'll be wanting to look at http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-NP550P5C-T01US-i7-3610QM-Processor-Windows/dp/B0082PZ0VE

3. 1366 x 768 is normal but some laptops do have the option of full 1080p HD (the one above is 1366 x 76Cool

4. It has a decent core i7 processor, lots of RAM (about double the average) and a decent graphics card that could probably be used to speed up the physics computations.

5. Any high performance laptop is going to struggle with battery life. Your best bet would be to carry a charger round with you or activate every power saving feature you can find or see if there are any bigger batteries that you can buy. This has a 6 cell battery but most laptops also have 9 cell versions.

6. It has a decent graphics card and processor so you should be able to play games with no trouble.

8. This has a 750GB HDD which is rotating at 7200 rpm which is faster than the normal 5400 rpm (this means it should be able to transfer data faster)

10. With the rate that technology is improving, if you want to keep at the high end of the spectrum you would need to upgrade after a couple of years so this is a bit tricky. But this is a good laptop (looking at the specs and reviews) so you could probably get away with not upgrading for 4 years.

11. This has a DVD rewriter

12. I'd go for a Samsung or an Acer, I currently own a Dell but I'm not really happy with the performance and their customer service wasn't very good.

14. I don't know if this has a backlit keyboard or not. As already said, it has a good processor, graphics card and lots of RAM

Note: This post was edited by a forum moderator to edit link on 09/13/2012 at 9:22 AM PT

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