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Old August 13, 2010, 04:15 AM
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Default Laptop for school ($700-1000)

Going to school for Software Engineering+ Computer Science.


I wanted a laptop thats 'quality' and can last me as long as possible (Dont want to buy 2-3 laptops to finish school).

Battery is important--I cannot predict when i'll be able to plug in all the time, having good B.L. just lets me go outside, library, anywhere I need to study/work/etc.


I know most of the programs i'll be using are more RAM heavy, but I dont know the full details down the road. I still dont mind jumping on and playing the odd game (SC2, BF2, ETC) between long class breaks, but i'm not picky for quality while on the road, i'd rather take very good battery life > short battery + good gpu.


I was looking at best buy, they had a Samsung 480 with 310M which is decent enough to cut it for me, however the battery at 3 hours is terrible ($699).

Heres my current list i'm thinking about...

==============================================

ASUS UL80Vt-A1 14-Inch Thin and Light Black Laptop (11.5 Hours of Battery Life): Amazon.ca: Electronics

-Plays MW2, Starcraft 2 extremely well for a entry level (210M).
-7-10 Hours usage (Gaming/web +/- 3)
-Small thin but apparently powerful.

Review - ASUS UL80Vt First Look: Mobility Redefined - AnandTech :: Your Source for Hardware Analysis and News

==============================================

ASUS UL30Vt-X1 Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Black Laptop ? 11 Hours of Battery Life: Amazon.ca: Electronics

Same system as above pretty much.

==============================================

Newer unit

ASUS UL80JT-A1 14-Inch Laptop - Black: Amazon.ca: Electronics

I3 + 310M (Same as 210, but with optimus instead of the manual switching--is taking 5 seconds to click a big deal?)


==============================================


Thats all i've seen so far, for good battery life + performance + reliability. I need some help choosing which Asus or any alternative model that will last me into school for a few years. The asus with the C2D can self over clock to 1.73, but i do want to know if its worth taking a big hit just for a small boost with the i3.

Any recommendations/advice is appreciated.

Last edited by MittWaffle; August 13, 2010 at 01:18 PM.
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Old August 13, 2010, 07:01 AM
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NCIX.com - Buy ASUS U30JC-QHDA1-A1 Intel Core I5-430M 13.3IN 1366X768 LED 4GB 500GB NVIDIA G310M 512MB W7P Notebook - U30JC-QHDA1-CBIL In Canada.

My friend just got one of these. Excellent laptop for school. Pricematch it down to 1050$
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Old August 13, 2010, 10:06 AM
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UPDATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackquelegs View Post

I had a look personally, for the 100 dollar difference you get an I5 vs an I3 (Not that big since any iX is already extremely efficient/overkill for general/light gaming usage, but that is what i've read and have not seen it hands on to know for sure.

1050+EHF+13% HST+Shipping = 1200+

Still a little pricey for me, is there a big performance difference between the C2D 1.73 model and the i3 version that make it worth the jump from $799 > $969?

Last edited by MittWaffle; August 13, 2010 at 01:15 PM.
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Old August 13, 2010, 11:20 AM
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Ive been doing alot of research into a similar laptop spec as you. I havnt found much else that piques my interest near as much as these UL model ASUS laptops. Its pritty slim pickings right now, every 'good' model seems sold out already, and thus discontinued.

I'm eying up the SU7300 VT models of the same ASUS ones you've listed, plus the other ULx series ones without nV chips. The pros? Longer batter life at virtually the same performance as the ix-M's. The drawback? no Optimus automatic switching or 3xxM GPU.

It really just boils down to if you want more battery life (8+ hours on the SU's with 'normal' usage) or better gaming performance. Since I'm not planning on gaming on my laptop, I'm probably going to go with just the intel HD gpu.
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Old August 13, 2010, 12:33 PM
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I'm a big fan of Asus products, but some of these models, just like Sagath mentioned, are either discontinued/sold out or don't have enough horsepower like. Next to Asus I would go for Dell, their newly redesigned Inspiron R laptops have been tweaked well, and for the specs, I find the price/performance ratio is big..

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

Something like this, what you get for $700 is a lot, an i5 450m, 4GB RAM, 500gb HDD, Intel HD Graphics and an option to get a better video card. For $100 less you can get a i3 350m even. The 5470 1GB extra card available is more powerful than the 310m in games...

But the one Jackque listed is a very nice laptop, just pricey, the same specs with a Dell costs about $300 less, that can even be put towards a dell advanced warranty, which covers accidental and is next business day service for repairs in your home.

Not trying to promote Dell, just my 2 cents really.
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Old August 13, 2010, 01:10 PM
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UPDATE

Well, Sagath all the models (C2D) have used the 7300 universally thankfully. I just havent been able to test this hands on to know if this chip will limit Internet/Email+School+PDF with a little gaming.
I have been scared to jump on it though, I've came across alot of issues with the 'video switching' being a pain in the ass with the display flickering and cutting out for a few seconds.

So i did some more searching...

14" Price Matched (931.99)
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS U45JC-A1 14IN HD Core I3-370M GeForce 310M Optimus 4GB 500G8 WIN7 Prem Notebook Silver - U45JC-A1 In Canada.

13" Price Matched (896.99)
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS U30JC-B1 13.3IN HD Core I3-370M GeForce 310M Optimus 4GB 320G8 WIN7 Prem Widi Notebook - U30JC-B1 In Canada.

For $96-$131 dollars I can get myself (Optimus, i3 370, 320>500 (+$131) and 310M Geforce (Better driver support))
Now I need to deiced if the extra 31 dollars is better for the bigger screen...which isnt very much.




I was looking over on dells website, I found that the battery life on the units are a huge deal breaker. Personally when I add in the warranty and dont even get drop protection and bad battery life makes me want to support a company that has impressed me. I appreciate the advice on the dell, however it seems +/- 150 better on the pocketbook at the loss of the above.

Last edited by MittWaffle; August 13, 2010 at 01:28 PM.
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Old August 13, 2010, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miggs78 View Post
I'm a big fan of Asus products, but some of these models, just like Sagath mentioned, are either discontinued/sold out or don't have enough horsepower like. Next to Asus I would go for Dell, their newly redesigned Inspiron R laptops have been tweaked well, and for the specs, I find the price/performance ratio is big..

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

Something like this, what you get for $700 is a lot, an i5 450m, 4GB RAM, 500gb HDD, Intel HD Graphics and an option to get a better video card. For $100 less you can get a i3 350m even. The 5470 1GB extra card available is more powerful than the 310m in games...

But the one Jackque listed is a very nice laptop, just pricey, the same specs with a Dell costs about $300 less, that can even be put towards a dell advanced warranty, which covers accidental and is next business day service for repairs in your home.

Not trying to promote Dell, just my 2 cents really.
Why is dells website the only site I know that doesnt load correctly on Firefox 3/4 the time?

Edit: Apparently its not firefox, IE8 does it too. I give up, dell. You just suck every way possible.
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Old August 13, 2010, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagath View Post
Why is dells website the only site I know that doesnt load correctly on Firefox 3/4 the time?

Edit: Apparently its not firefox, IE8 does it too. I give up, dell. You just suck every way possible.
Does it on Chrome, IE, FF to me all the time--I thought it was my router/internet for the longest time.
Dell has alot of traffic around this time I guess or its just badly routed to us...?
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Old August 13, 2010, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagath View Post
Why is dells website the only site I know that doesnt load correctly on Firefox 3/4 the time?

Edit: Apparently its not firefox, IE8 does it too. I give up, dell. You just suck every way possible.
I strictly use Firefox, and have no probs.. If you have so much hatred against Dell, might want to keep it off the thread please..
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Old August 13, 2010, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MittWaffle View Post
UPDATE

I was looking over on dells website, I found that the battery life on the units are a huge deal breaker. Personally when I add in the warranty and dont even get drop protection and bad battery life makes me want to support a company that has impressed me. I appreciate the advice on the dell, however it seems +/- 150 better on the pocketbook at the loss of the above.
Sir, like I mentioned in my earlier post, the advanced protection does cover drops, spills and it also includes the basic features, 1 yr battery failure protection.

Battery life, I kinda too agree with you, but.. don't tell me you're going to have your laptop not plugged in more than 8hrs, I go to college too, and as far as I know, most students when they are working on them sitting on cubicles, have the laptops plugged in, so it's charging, the battery should last you 3-4hrs at least..

Here's a link explaining the difference on warranties they offer.
Learn More: Service Plans | Dell Canada

Get an advanced plan that covers it all basically, including surges, and it is in-home service off course, so don't have to send ur laptop for weeks somewhere.
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