College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

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investor4life
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by investor4life » Mon May 14, 2018 9:59 am

Apple all the way. Anecdotally: DD went through 2 Win laptops in 2 years (both failed due to hardware issues). Got her a MBP in 2011 and it is still going strong, seven years later. DS is anti-Apple and is on his fourth Win laptop, three of which had various hardware issues. Yours truly made the switch 3 years ago to MBP and has not looked back. In the process of convincing DW to go Apple as well. Zero issues (h/w, s/w, virus, etc.) with the Apples. Everything just works so seamlessly. Sure, you pay a premium up front, but it our case its been worth it. YMMV, of course.

Material Guy
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by Material Guy » Mon May 14, 2018 2:28 pm

Buy a Mac.

I'm still using a 2011 Macbook Air bought refurbished at home. Its used daily. Still trying to find a reason to replace it, though it is getting a bit slow now and the wifi card is not the latest ac. Never had an issue.

My son did buy a Dell since he wanted a gaming computer when he went to college. But we have had to replace it twice in three years. I have had bad luck with Dells (from Costco no less with 3 going bad).

I have been very happy with the HP Elitebooks at work but they may be overkill for school.

As others have mentioned, whatever it is, make sure it has a solid-state drive and preferably a dedicated video card.

Pigeon
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by Pigeon » Mon May 14, 2018 4:51 pm

Both of my college kids and I have the Dell XPS 13. You want something reasonably rugged and small for hauling around in a backpack. A lot of college kids have Macs, but a lot don't. I work at a college and did some talking to students. Checking with the department is smart. We un-Apple wherever possible so were glad both colleges didn't care.

Don't buy Office now. The school may either provide it or offer it at a discount. You can use the online free version until you find out.

abner kravitz
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by abner kravitz » Mon May 14, 2018 5:02 pm

Pigeon wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 4:51 pm
Both of my college kids and I have the Dell XPS 13. You want something reasonably rugged and small for hauling around in a backpack. A lot of college kids have Macs, but a lot don't. I work at a college and did some talking to students. Checking with the department is smart. We un-Apple wherever possible so were glad both colleges didn't care.

Don't buy Office now. The school may either provide it or offer it at a discount. You can use the online free version until you find out.
I am researching PCs now for my wife, and the Dell XPS 13 seems to be the big winner in all the trade magazines.

kjvmartin
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by kjvmartin » Mon May 14, 2018 5:14 pm

Quickfoot wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:24 pm
Don't pay the Apple premium, the Mac line of computers are aging and for the first time in memory are considerably behind windows computers both in build quality and performance.
Do you own a current MacBook Pro? They are exceedingly snappy. I compare mine to my high end gaming laptop, and outside of gaming, the MacBook Pro wins for overall speed and user experience. Specs =/= performance.

kjvm

mxs
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by mxs » Mon May 14, 2018 9:11 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 5:14 pm
Quickfoot wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:24 pm
Don't pay the Apple premium, the Mac line of computers are aging and for the first time in memory are considerably behind windows computers both in build quality and performance.
Do you own a current MacBook Pro? They are exceedingly snappy. I compare mine to my high end gaming laptop, and outside of gaming, the MacBook Pro wins for overall speed and user experience. Specs =/= performance.

kjvm
I think this is a good point. I liken the Windows vs macOS computers to Android vs Apple phones debate. The hardware can be the same or drastically different, but the software makes such a big difference that you can't look at hardware alone. This is where benchmarks and real world experience come in. Of course, one device is better than the other in certain usages, so you should pick what you personally need and forget all the hype otherwise.

On a side note, I am glad that Apple got away from their own proprietary processors for computers as I think that hurt their performance. The processors in their phones seem to be doing just fine however. Interestingly, AMD has caught up and surpassed Intel in some situations with the latest gen processors. This should bring back real competition and innovation which has been lacking for many years.

Looks like Apple is planning to go back to their own processors... https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2 ... ompetition

Quickfoot
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by Quickfoot » Mon May 14, 2018 9:20 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 5:14 pm
Quickfoot wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:24 pm
Don't pay the Apple premium, the Mac line of computers are aging and for the first time in memory are considerably behind windows computers both in build quality and performance.
Do you own a current MacBook Pro? They are exceedingly snappy. I compare mine to my high end gaming laptop, and outside of gaming, the MacBook Pro wins for overall speed and user experience. Specs =/= performance.

kjvm

That's actually not the case, while Macbooks are remaining popular with people invested in the Apple ecosystem the premium Windows laptops such as Spectre, Dell XPS, and Microsoft's Surface Books all match or out perform the Macbook with just as good or better build quality often at $750 to $1,000 less. The Macbook pro runs a lower resolution screen so you can't edit or view 4K content, is limited to 16 GB of memory (you can put 32 in a Spectre or XPS) and is using previous generation processors. Battery life is not great, SSD storage space is unjustifiably expensive, the keyboard design has proven to be prone to failing, and the touchbar has turned out to be a failure.

You can do a lot worse than buying a Macbook but they are neither the industry or the performance leaders any longer. There certainly was a time where Apple had the best build quality; I've been in the technology field for a long time and for quite a while many people would buy a Macbook and then install windows on it just to get Apple build quality but that's simply not necessary anymore. Between the stabilization of Windows 10 and the release of high quality Windows laptops there's actually been a significant trend of Macbook users purchasing Windows laptops.

Apple's computer / laptop line is in serious jeopardy because it has been neglected for a number of years and simply hasn't innovated sufficiently to justify the price tag, quality concerns about the Macbook and Macbook Pro keyboard are also not helping. Apple has also neglected OS X in favor of IOS and failed to innovate there. I've used Linux and BSD for 20 years, once had a white hot hatred of Microsoft and can openly say Windows 10 is an exceptionally good operating system and that OS X no longer has any significant advantage over Windows.

That isn't to say OS X is bad (it isn't) it is just a bit long in the tooth and has lost its competitive advantage over Windows. Windows actually can now do some things OS X can't while performance, reliability and security have all converged. Apple is expected to increase the ability of OS X to run iOS apps largely in an attempt to make OS X relevant again.
Last edited by Quickfoot on Mon May 14, 2018 9:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Alexa9
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by Alexa9 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:27 pm

Quickfoot wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:20 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 5:14 pm
Quickfoot wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:24 pm
Don't pay the Apple premium, the Mac line of computers are aging and for the first time in memory are considerably behind windows computers both in build quality and performance.
Do you own a current MacBook Pro? They are exceedingly snappy. I compare mine to my high end gaming laptop, and outside of gaming, the MacBook Pro wins for overall speed and user experience. Specs =/= performance.

kjvm

That's actually not the case, .....
This is spot on. Check out www.macrumors.com for all the complaints about the current keyboards failing and touchbar complaints. Not to mention the price tag. Otherwise MacOS is good. Windows 10 can be annoying in some ways but it has all the programs. I think Linux Mint is great and simple and you should run it alongside whatever OS you go with.

cjcerny
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by cjcerny » Tue May 15, 2018 9:57 am

Dell XP3 13 is a great choice.

DVMResident
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by DVMResident » Tue May 15, 2018 10:09 am

Another vote for Dell XPS 13 or Lenovo 720.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 version and Lenovo 720 both has pen/stylus inputs, which is useful for an art student.

shawndoggy
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by shawndoggy » Tue May 15, 2018 10:23 am

Quickfoot wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:20 pm

That's actually not the case, while Macbooks are remaining popular with people invested in the Apple ecosystem the premium Windows laptops such as Spectre, Dell XPS, and Microsoft's Surface Books all match or out perform the Macbook with just as good or better build quality often at $750 to $1,000 less. The Macbook pro runs a lower resolution screen so you can't edit or view 4K content, is limited to 16 GB of memory (you can put 32 in a Spectre or XPS) and is using previous generation processors. Battery life is not great, SSD storage space is unjustifiably expensive, the keyboard design has proven to be prone to failing, and the touchbar has turned out to be a failure.
Look at the build quality of the XPS. Half plastic, big vents, noisy fan. There is no free lunch. Are macbooks priced at a premium? YES! Is All of that premium apple just ripping off rubes? no.

(believe me, I wanted to (and did) believe what you wrote, but my son's XPS 13 experience has soured me.... and it's not the OS that I'm talkin' about)

Dyloot
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by Dyloot » Tue May 15, 2018 11:42 am

shawndoggy wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:23 am
Quickfoot wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:20 pm

That's actually not the case, while Macbooks are remaining popular with people invested in the Apple ecosystem the premium Windows laptops such as Spectre, Dell XPS, and Microsoft's Surface Books all match or out perform the Macbook with just as good or better build quality often at $750 to $1,000 less. The Macbook pro runs a lower resolution screen so you can't edit or view 4K content, is limited to 16 GB of memory (you can put 32 in a Spectre or XPS) and is using previous generation processors. Battery life is not great, SSD storage space is unjustifiably expensive, the keyboard design has proven to be prone to failing, and the touchbar has turned out to be a failure.
Look at the build quality of the XPS. Half plastic, big vents, noisy fan. There is no free lunch. Are macbooks priced at a premium? YES! Is All of that premium apple just ripping off rubes? no.

(believe me, I wanted to (and did) believe what you wrote, but my son's XPS 13 experience has soured me.... and it's not the OS that I'm talkin' about)
Totally understandable. Any reasonable person would be soured after your experience.

I deployed about 600 XPS 13s a few years back to a sales team. The majority survived a beating. It wasn't my favorite laptop ever--I prefer the Latitude 12s and 14s--but they did the job.

Macbooks are pretty sweet machines, but they cost a ton and you're stuck in the Apple ecosystem. That's fine for many people.

Unless I was entering a niche profession (like graphic design) I'd stick with the Microsoft ecosystem. It's better training in the long run.

EDIT: And, by the way, I'm a happy owner of an iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. I love lots of what Apple does.

TheGuitarMan
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by TheGuitarMan » Tue May 15, 2018 11:52 am

Unfortunate to see a lot of Apple ignorance here. Are they the absolute best? No, but some of the "claims" made in this thread are just silly.

That being said, first I would check with the department to see if they have recommendations.

If not, I would get a MacBook Pro. Remember, you can run MacOS and Windows side by side at the same time on a Mac using Parallels with zero performance hit. The same cannot be said on the Windows side where you'd need to use VMWare or Virtual Box; neither of which are as good as Parallels.

A MacBook lets you run both operating systems and switch between them as needed, a PC, not so much.

Happy Hunting.

JoeRetire
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by JoeRetire » Tue May 15, 2018 12:04 pm

shawndoggy wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:23 am
Look at the build quality of the XPS. Half plastic, big vents, noisy fan.
Maybe you are thinking of older XPS versions? Mine is not half plastic, doesn't have big vents, and the quiet fan hardly ever turns on.

Dyloot
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by Dyloot » Tue May 15, 2018 12:47 pm

TheGuitarMan wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:52 am
Unfortunate to see a lot of Apple ignorance here. Are they the absolute best? No, but some of the "claims" made in this thread are just silly.

That being said, first I would check with the department to see if they have recommendations.

If not, I would get a MacBook Pro. Remember, you can run MacOS and Windows side by side at the same time on a Mac using Parallels with zero performance hit. The same cannot be said on the Windows side where you'd need to use VMWare or Virtual Box; neither of which are as good as Parallels.

A MacBook lets you run both operating systems and switch between them as needed, a PC, not so much.

Happy Hunting.
Which ignorance are you referring to?

Quickfoot
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by Quickfoot » Tue May 15, 2018 2:19 pm

The comments I've posted are 100% fact, my entire family uses iPhones and I actually considered purchasing a Macbook because of Apple's customer service but at the end of the day the customer service just didn't offset the negatives of the MBP. Apple itself has admitted that it knows the Macbook Pro, Macbook Air and Macbook are lagging the industry and are in need of redesign.

They've got the same problem with Macbooks that they have with iPhones which is they haven't done anything new in about 5-6 years with them (iPhone X was a huge let down, first major change to the iPhone in almost 4 years and it was minor). Changes have been minor refreshes such as faster SSDs or newer processors but they've been passed both in quality and performance and they are aware of that.

Nothing against Apple that's just the current reality. If you buy a MBP you will be paying up to 1K more for a laptop that is slower, has a lower resolution screen and has pretty significant reliability issues (keyboard reliability and even battery swelling). They aren't bad machines but they aren't top tier anymore either, they are usually ranked around the 5th to 6th best laptop.

ALL virtualization software has a virtualization overhead INCLUDING parallels, usually it's in the neighborhood of 5-10% on CPU and I/O performance and can be much, much higher on graphic performance (sometimes orders of magnitude slower than running bare metal).

02nz
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by 02nz » Tue May 15, 2018 3:04 pm

I'd recommend something fairly light (3.5 lbs max, 13-14 inch screen), definitely an SSD instead of spinning hard drive (runs MUCH faster), and an eighth-gen Core i5 CPU for futureproofing (these are much faster than any previous-gen Intel mobile CPU; don't bother getting an i7, which is only a little bit faster). A two-in-one design is useful for college students. I'm typing this on an Inspiron 7000 series (model 7373), which is well-built and fast, but battery life is subpar (4-5 hours) by today's standards. This was on sale at Best Buy last week for $700, a reasonable value; at the regular price of $850 (same from Dell), not so much. The Acer Spin 5 is similar, and a good value at $600 from Costco. If you're willing to spend more, consider the hp Spectre x360 - the most premium-feeling of the 2-in-1's.

raveon
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by raveon » Tue May 15, 2018 3:14 pm

Look at Acer gaming laptops.

shawndoggy
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by shawndoggy » Tue May 15, 2018 3:40 pm

Quickfoot wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:19 pm
ALL virtualization software has a virtualization overhead INCLUDING parallels, usually it's in the neighborhood of 5-10% on CPU and I/O performance and can be much, much higher on graphic performance (sometimes orders of magnitude slower than running bare metal).
I've never used it but doesn't bootcamp result in booting windows natively? I mean I guess parallels is cool to be able toggle between OSes, but aside from that, what's the point vs bootcamp?
JoeRetire wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:04 pm

Maybe you are thinking of older XPS versions? Mine is not half plastic, doesn't have big vents, and the quiet fan hardly ever turns on.
My son's is the 9360 purchased August of 2017? Inside is black plastic, has the big side to side "heater register" vent across the bottom of the case? Maybe he got a lemon but his runs hot and the fan is ALWAYS on. But that's part of the complaint really too -- customer service = "meh, it's 'working properly' according to our standards, deal with it."

[imghttps://i1.wp.com/laptopmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/IMG_20161129_142736.jpg][/img]

westie
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by westie » Tue May 15, 2018 5:39 pm

Dell XPS

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DaftInvestor
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue May 15, 2018 6:50 pm

If you go Mac you will get half the performance for the same price or have to pay twice the price for same performance.
Depending upon your student weight might be a major consideration as they trudge around campus. Trade off is larger screen or smaller/lighter - most students seem fine with the smaller screen - I like the XPS 13 but lots of other good suggestions.

tibbitts
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by tibbitts » Tue May 15, 2018 7:17 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:17 am
I was discussing this very topic the other day with DW (we have two nieces graduating high school this week and going on to college). She pointed out that it would be good to check with the college to see if they have any particular requirements. From what little I've heard, some colleges are downright anal about what sort of computer the incoming student may or may not use to prepare their assignments.

Seems foolish to me to have such a requirement, but I'm not on the board of any college, so I guess my opinion is not relevant.
:annoyed
The OP posted the college's requirements. It's not foolish to have specific requirements, although this college doesn't, because students will scream if they can't connect to or make use of any college network-based service. The college can't test every combination of hardware and software for compatibility.

mxs
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by mxs » Tue May 15, 2018 7:53 pm

Yes, the generic school computer requirements were extremely generic. I wish they would have said something like 6th gen i7, 7th gen i5, or newer (or something to that effect). Still waiting to hear what the professors suggest, and if there is a specific program they use that necessitates a Mac. The 2in1's seem to be what my niece likes so we'll look at specific models and sizes in person and hope for a sale this summer.

When I went to this same school years ago and I remember taking either C++ or Java and having to use the school computer lab to login to a Sun Linux machine to do some of assignments. All of that to say I think if there is a specific requirement the school will provide a means to that requirement at no cost to the student.

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Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Wed May 16, 2018 1:39 am

I wanted to add some things that haven't been brought up: ergonomics and avoiding Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) and long-term hell.

Laptops seem to be much more ubiquitous these days than when I was in college just a short while ago, where most people had desktops with CRT monitors.

Thing is, a laptop is an ergonomic nightmare:
1) If you use the laptop keyboard, then it's very likely positioned far below where it needs to be for your eyes/head/neck/shoulders;
2) If you elevate the laptop screen at just below eye level, then the keyboard is then too high to type on without leading to tons of wrist, carpal tunnel, and shoulder issues.

So when using a laptop in one's dorm room or desk or home -- heck this advice applies to those of us who aren't in college anymore -- it's ideal to:

1) Elevate the laptop using a laptop stand. I bought the Allsop Redmond stand from either Amazon or Staples.com -- all metal construction and somewhat adjustable -- but there are many makes and models of good laptop stands.

2) Use a separate keyboard and mouse, and position them so they are in compliance with ergonomic best practices, such as being low enough that you can type without hunched/rolled shoulders. Also, the keyboard should be at a neutral or, ideally, negative slope AWAY from you to avoid wrist strain. In other words, the little keyboard stands on most keyboards? That's the opposite tilt that should be used. Ensure to sit up straight and not have forward head posture, which WILL lead to gnarly neck issues. Same with asymmetrical head/neck positions such as leaning to the side and resting your head in your hands.

a) Ideally, an ergonomic keyboard (look into Kinsesis for some affordable ones that are $100ish) that has adequate "tenting" is good since it prevents overpronation of the hands in a typical flat keyboard. (Our natural hand position has the thumbs pointed closer to the ceiling instead of at each other, so an aggressive tent angle is healthier.)

b) Same with horizontal mice...one's hand is way too flat/pronated, and it's healthier to have a more tented/vertical hand position in a mouse. Newer mice are more vertical.

I used to be clueless about all of these things and couldn't care less. I didn't have problems develop until my late 20's and early 30's, issues with neck/shoulders/upper back/collar bones/sternum. I wish I knew then what I know now, as prevention is worth a metric ton of cure!



Second thing I'd like to recommend -- and someone beat me to it -- is a good cable lock for your daughter's laptop. I remember reading in the campus police reports just how often laptops were stolen from the library, classrooms, and even dorm rooms. I recommend the Kensington brand over Targus -- the "Kensington slot" on laptops and other devices were named after that company. I also recommend spending more and getting a Kensington cable lock that DOESN'T use a cylindrical key/cylinder, as these can be defeated with a Bic pen. Recommend getting the regular key kind. My "red" series uses a disc-shaped key. I think about $40-50 on Amazon, and I've used mine for over 10 years. No lock or cable is foolproof, but it deters opportunistic, impulsive thieves.


Third recommendation is no matter what laptop you get your daughter, consider buying a cheap external monitor for her dorm or apartment desk. Even a 22" or 24" are $150 or so from Costco or Amazon. A larger screen gives more real estate to "get stuff done" when you're working at home/dorm/apartment. Plus if you use the laptop screen + the monitor at the same time, you can really get some productivity boosts. Maybe work on a paper on one screen, and goof off on YouTube conduct relevant research in the other screen

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DaftInvestor
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed May 16, 2018 12:08 pm

Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:39 am
I wanted to add some things that haven't been brought up: ergonomics and avoiding Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) and long-term hell.
.......
Great post. I offered my kids external monitors, keyboards, and mice to go along with the laptops we outfitted them with at college time. One took me up on it but later admitted she rarely took the minute to plug in - the other said she initially wanted to wait and decide and them later, after she moved in, said "No one in my dorm has them, and it wouldn't help me either - I do my homework sometimes on my desk but often on my bed and usually in the library or some other quiet place". Surely - when I was on a visit and had a walk down the dorm hall with most dorm doors ajar I was surprised no college students had monitors on their desks. Not sure if they are considered "un-cool" or "un-necessary" or what.
The one that didn't take me up on it does have a 2-in-1 Dell XPS that can convert into a tablet which is how she often uses it for reading and other simple assignments. She also says she puts the laptop in "tent" position to watch Netflix when she needs a break from school work.

Pigeon
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by Pigeon » Wed May 16, 2018 12:21 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:08 pm
Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:39 am
I wanted to add some things that haven't been brought up: ergonomics and avoiding Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) and long-term hell.
.......
Great post. I offered my kids external monitors, keyboards, and mice to go along with the laptops we outfitted them with at college time. One took me up on it but later admitted she rarely took the minute to plug in - the other said she initially wanted to wait and decide and them later, after she moved in, said "No one in my dorm has them, and it wouldn't help me either - I do my homework sometimes on my desk but often on my bed and usually in the library or some other quiet place". Surely - when I was on a visit and had a walk down the dorm hall with most dorm doors ajar I was surprised no college students had monitors on their desks. Not sure if they are considered "un-cool" or "un-necessary" or what.
The one that didn't take me up on it does have a 2-in-1 Dell XPS that can convert into a tablet which is how she often uses it for reading and other simple assignments. She also says she puts the laptop in "tent" position to watch Netflix when she needs a break from school work.
This is similar to my experience also, regarding the external devices. Mine don't use them and almost never do any studying in their dorms. I don't recall seeing any standalone monitors in the dorm.

SimonJester
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by SimonJester » Mon May 21, 2018 7:06 am

Any one think a college bound student could get away with a Microsoft Surface Pro? My son was liking the ability to detach the keyboard and size of it. His lecture hall seats are very cramped and a full sized laptop would be a real challenge to work on in that environment.

We played around with the 2-in-1 laptops and were not thrilled with the keyboard on the bottom when you turn in into tablet mode.

I have concerns as to if it can really hold its own against a laptop for running applications and battery life...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

bondsr4me
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by bondsr4me » Mon May 21, 2018 7:13 am

SimonJester wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:06 am
Any one think a college bound student could get away with a Microsoft Surface Pro? My son was liking the ability to detach the keyboard and size of it. His lecture hall seats are very cramped and a full sized laptop would be a real challenge to work on in that environment.

We played around with the 2-in-1 laptops and were not thrilled with the keyboard on the bottom when you turn in into tablet mode.

I have concerns as to if it can really hold its own against a laptop for running applications and battery life...
I have a SP4 and like it; not near as good as my iPad Pro, but I like it.
I have Office 365 on it but don't hardly ever use it .
The battery life of my SP4 is nowhere near as long lasting as my iPadPro.
If you son has access to charging the battery during the day then the SP "might" be a good choice.

Office 365 is available for the iPad, so it might be a wiser choice to get an iPad Pro with the Pencil.
I use my Apple Pencil with the Apple Notes app to make notes when I am reading WSJ or Barron's or any other news.

Good Luck with your choice!

Don

fundseeker
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by fundseeker » Mon May 21, 2018 7:36 am

OP, If you haven't bought yet, I very highly recommend buying a MacBook Pro. We bought them for our college students and they have worked out great! We have had hardly any problems, and they are still going strong after seven and four years each. And, if they develop issues, Apple is usually on campus and can handle it. Their MBPs have never had any problems like the tons of problems our Dell desktops and Gateway laptop have had. And no problems is a blessing when they are off at college doing maybe 90% of their course work on the laptop. So, spend a little more and get the best!!!

bondsr4me
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Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by bondsr4me » Mon May 21, 2018 8:02 am

fundseeker wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:36 am
OP, If you haven't bought yet, I very highly recommend buying a MacBook Pro. We bought them for our college students and they have worked out great! We have had hardly any problems, and they are still going strong after seven and four years each. And, if they develop issues, Apple is usually on campus and can handle it. Their MBPs have never had any problems like the tons of problems our Dell desktops and Gateway laptop have had. And no problems is a blessing when they are off at college doing maybe 90% of their course work on the laptop. So, spend a little more and get the best!!!
+1

Agree.....yes you spend a little more...but you get the very best.

Nothing out there compares to a MBP...it is the top.

ncbill
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:03 pm

Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by ncbill » Mon May 21, 2018 10:25 am

fundseeker wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:36 am
OP, If you haven't bought yet, I very highly recommend buying a MacBook Pro. We bought them for our college students and they have worked out great! We have had hardly any problems, and they are still going strong after seven and four years each. And, if they develop issues, Apple is usually on campus and can handle it. Their MBPs have never had any problems like the tons of problems our Dell desktops and Gateway laptop have had. And no problems is a blessing when they are off at college doing maybe 90% of their course work on the laptop. So, spend a little more and get the best!!!
My kid was already using a MacBook Pro (8GB memory, SSD) with an external monitor/keyboard/mouse for their high school classes.

So I'm just going to buy Windows 10 retail and install it to run in a VM.

They are not a STEM major, so realistically Office (cheap or free via the university) will be the most taxing thing run under W10.

cocoon
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:32 am

Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by cocoon » Tue May 22, 2018 8:41 am

I am a huge fan of Mac but I think you can find something cheaper which will suit you better (Windows) Trust me, no need to pay that much money just for the brand. However, I cannot suggest anything specific since I am searching myself. :oops:

EJS22
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:36 am

Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Post by EJS22 » Tue May 22, 2018 10:34 am

SimonJester wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:06 am
Any one think a college bound student could get away with a Microsoft Surface Pro? My son was liking the ability to detach the keyboard and size of it. His lecture hall seats are very cramped and a full sized laptop would be a real challenge to work on in that environment.

We played around with the 2-in-1 laptops and were not thrilled with the keyboard on the bottom when you turn in into tablet mode.

I have concerns as to if it can really hold its own against a laptop for running applications and battery life...
I use a surface pro 4 for work. Great upgrade from my old laptop especially in terms of portability. At my desk I have a docking station that connects it to two large monitors and standard keyboard and mouse. I would recommend it.

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