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laptop for architecture student

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by sheldon77, Jul 17, 2007.

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  1. sheldon77

    sheldon77 Notebook Evangelist

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    ~upto $2800 (AUD) (which is ~$2450 US)

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    14.1" - 15.4"
    i want these size screens mainly because i can see myself using it for long periods of time and want to be able to see what im looking at easily for those all nighters and still want to retain portability.


    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    -

    5) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook?
    autocad, photoshop, archicad, 3dsmax, other modelling programs i havent come across yet, word, some gaming, most of the time it'll probably websurfing.

    6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places or leaving it on your desk?
    notebook will move around a bit, maybe take it to uni 1-2 days a week. not sure about this at all though because this is my first notebook.

    7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games?
    yes but im not much of a gamer, maybe some FEAR, C&C 3, THPS games, nothing too specific

    8) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    2.5/3+ would be nice, but i guess not a complete deal breaker

    9) Do you mind buying online without seeing the notebook in person?
    no, but would prefer to see it in person first.

    10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    windows, although the new MBPs look nice.

    Screen Specifics

    11) Would you prefer standard or widescreen?
    widescreen

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer?
    1440x900, but maybe a 1680x1050. although i find fonts on a 1680x1050, (seen running on windows xp) a little small but the extra real estate might be useful for my graphics programs.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?
    unsure, most laptops dont have a option anyway.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    yes i guess but not as important as other features

    15) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?
    3-4 years

    Notebook Components

    16) How much hard drive space do you want; 40GB to 200GB?
    160gb would be nice but not a deal breaker by any means most notebooks hard drives can be change quite easily anyway.

    17) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD-ROM, DVD-CD/RW or DVD-RW drive?
    yes, cant imagine burning too many dvds but i guess a DVD-RW drive because it'll be the only option in a notebook of the price range im looking at.


    PS. just as a side note i have been looking at the santa rosa MBP, in particularily the cheaper 15.4" and spec wise it fits what im looking for quite nicely, but i have been using windows my whole life, and my uni teaches/forces me to use programs that are windows only. so i'd imagine i'd probably be using windows 85% of the time and OS X 15%, and i have a few questions about this:
    - windows compatibility, exactly what works and what doesnt, (i would probably be dual booting vista).
    - the amount of space OS X occupies, and how small can the smallest functional partition of OS X be?
    - battery life in windows compared to in OS X? i know how much people are getting in OS X but was unable to find out about windows.
    - does anyone know if features such as no tap-clicking in windows and accidental input and other unsupported issues will be supported in future versions of bootcamp?
    - are the heat issues really a problem, especially in windows, or has this issue just been sensationalized, like most problems generally are.

    i know this sounds pretty bleak towards the OS X side but i do want to give it a chance but i know i will have to keep windows as my primary os because of certain constraints and ease.

    If anyone has any ideas of other laptops i am completely open to suggestion or if i have something wrong and you want to clarify thats the reason i have posted here, for example i have been closely looking at the Dell xps m1330, the Asus F8 and V1S. But unfortunately the later 2 arent going to be out in time (i dont think so at least) and i kind of need to get the notebook soon seeing the semester has already started.

    Thankyou for reading, i know its long.
     
  2. sesshomaru

    sesshomaru Suspended Disbelief!

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    The Dell Precision M4300, Latitude D830, are options worth considering.
     
  3. jetstar

    jetstar Notebook Deity

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    The HP Compaq 8510p would be an excellent choice. Great build quality, along with a powerful graphics card.
     
  4. sheldon77

    sheldon77 Notebook Evangelist

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    the precision and latitude when spec'd similar to the MBP are quite expensive, m4300 coming in at $3500 AUD and D830 at $3200, and i feel quite uninspired by the design and also the weight is greater than the MBP. why are there no equivalent windows based machines to the MBP in terms of power/weight/size? i always thought the MBP to be overpriced but they seem like a pretty good deal with student discounts.

    and for the hp 8510p im going to have to get this laptop soon and apparently according to what seems like a pretty dodgey source it isnt going to hit the australian shores until october.
     
  5. ffkol

    ffkol Notebook Consultant NBR Reviewer

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  6. Alcyon

    Alcyon Notebook Consultant

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    If you want to be able to use AutoCAD (or nearly any autodesk product), you'll need a PC. FormZ and ArchiCAD work great on Mac's though.

    Perfect solution might be the Thinkpad T61p. You can actually customize it, whereas the hp 8510w is not "truly" customizable. Unless someone can tell me I'm wrong (I'd like one, but only if I can get it with 512MB of RAM and a 60GB HDD, otherwise the hp is way overpriced).
     
  7. sheldon77

    sheldon77 Notebook Evangelist

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    i have had a look at the zeptos a bit but i dunno about buying from a smaller brand. also im not so sure about their battery life. im not sure about the availability of thinkpads in australia.
     
  8. ethanhunt123

    ethanhunt123 Notebook Evangelist

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    1. With Bootcamp, Windows runs natively on MBP just like any other PC Laptop. So there are no issues with Bootcamp at all.
    2. Ummm, not sure about this, but i think that you can get away with around 10GB for Mac OS
    3. Havent tested yet, my machine is mostly plugged in
    4. Keep in mind that the current version of Bootcamp is still in Beta, i think all the issues u mentioned should be resolved in final release of Bootcamp
    5. Maybe the older generation MBP had heat issues, but the newer gen MBP has had no heat issues at all till now.
     
  9. sheldon77

    sheldon77 Notebook Evangelist

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    hey ethanhunt, mission impossible fan im guessing, how often would you say you use your mbp under windows?
    i have also heard something about the fans not working 100% in windows?


    from what im saying i guess im looking for someone in the same position, someone who wants to use windows as the primary os on MBP, although i do really like OS X. i think i might give it a try but windows will still be my primary os still because of compatibility.

    So does any MBP users have some advice about windows on mac?

    and one last question how much more space will leopard take than tiger?

    thanks for the help so far guys.
     
  10. sheldon77

    sheldon77 Notebook Evangelist

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    bump bump?
     
  11. :mike:

    :mike: Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have the same problem as you do. I need a laptop and will be using it to run exactly the same applications as you will, but… Although I NEED windows to run AutoCAD I still want MBP. So I’ve done some researches and…
    A
    utoCAD – you will have to run windows
    ArchiCAD – OS X
    Photoshop – OS X
    3dsMAX – AutoCAD, but you also have Maya that works on OS X
    word – you also have M$ office for mac​

    From what I found out so far the best option is first to boot camp Windows and then install parallels or vmware and choose boot camp partition instead of virtual partition. That way you can run windows with parallels in OS X when you are not doing some demanding things like simple 2D drawing in autocad, word, … (I’ve tried quite intense 2D and 3D drawing in AC2007 on dell inspiron 630, 1 GB RAM, integrated graphics, … and it worked perfectly! – maybe a bit slower in 3D) so I don’t think you should have problem with that using parallels (or vmware). For 3dsMAX you can boot camp windows and run them natively.

    I never really tried using parallels so I don’t know how it works in reality but as I said I did try ACAD on a much slower laptop and it had no problems and I did read lots of users experiences on different forums so…. O, and I did try ArchiCAD 11 on MBP at the ArchiCAD presentation and I loved it! I am considering switching from autocad to archicad… :)

    I hope this helped… I understand what you are going through… :) I decided that if I am going to spend so much money on a laptop, than it is going to be MBP and not M4300 or 8510w. But if I decided that it is too much money for me to spend on a laptop than I will consider buying D830 for some 600 € less or even inspiron 1520 for even further 300 € less – getting tired of waiting for 8510p!

    If you do decide to buy MBP please let me know if it works for you and if you are happy with your choice.

    -m-
     
  12. sheldon77

    sheldon77 Notebook Evangelist

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    really im to the point where i have been looking for a laptop for probably 4 months and i orginally needed it asap, and put off getting one for a whole semester because i couldnt decide. i guess its to the point where i should just go ahead and do it.
    for the archicad vs autocad, i think autocad wins out because in arhcicad it seems very limited, ie cant do anything to crazy in terms of design.
    anyway if anyone else wants to share anything please do so.
    thanks
     
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