Notebook for school use...

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by hillaaron, Jan 18, 2004.

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  1. hillaaron

    hillaaron Notebook Enthusiast

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    I am looking for someone to give me some advice on a laptop for a college student. I am a Chemistry major and will be using the laptop on campus to access the wireless network. In addition I may need the laptop to run simulation software for chemistry/engineering projects.

    I have been looking at Dell's X300. Through the college's Dell rep I can give the laptop with XP Pro, 640MB RAM, 60 GB HD, TrueMobile 1300 Mini PCI Card, media base w/24X CDRW/DVD, D-Bay with 8/24/10/24X CDRW/DVD and 3yr. warranty for $2219.15 tax included. Is this a good laptop to use for school? Is it durable enough if I get a good case? Is it a good idea to get the extended battery?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. srdhkl

    srdhkl Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    If you want purely mobility, the Latitude X300 would be a good choice. I believe it is the smallest of the Dell notebooks. However, things to think about with this particular model is a small screen. Also I have never been a fan of shared video memory. So if you think you are going to be doing a lot of multimedia work, with intense graphics, this may not be the best computer for you. Because it runs a slower processor, I would highly recommend getting 1 GB of RAM. Part of the 640 MB ram you would purchase would be going towards the video memory.

    If you want a good balance of power and mobility, I suggest taking a look at the Inspiron 8600. You can get a much powerful computer, with great battery life. It will be heavier, around 7.5 lbs, but still with good mobility as it's Centrino technology.

    That being said, if you purely want mobility and aren't too concerned about high end applications, then get the X300 but I would upgrade the memory a bit more. To be honest, I don't know much about the durability issue with X300 so I don't want to give you any wrong advice on that, although in general Dell seems to have a bit of some quality issues lately, so you would be wise to get the 3 year warranty no matter what system you get.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Andrew Baxter

    Andrew Baxter -

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    the X300 is a nice and light laptop, but you'd better be sure you want it purely for toting around. If you have a smaller laptop, you will likely take it more places than if you had a heavier one so that's a plus.

    With that said, the 8600 as Nesbo says will be a better solution for something that can replace a desktop yet still be mobile -- it's twice the weight of the X300 but you can configure a higher end machine for a lower price. It's somewhat durable I'd say, I mean, don't drop it on the ground or kick it across the floor, but if you carry it in a decent laptop bag it'll be just fine. If you think you'll be pounding on a laptop Dell is the wrong manufacturer to go with -- the casing they use tends to be hard plastic that could be cracked with a hard drop. Checkout the ThinkPad T41p series , Panasonic Toughbook line or Fujitsu Lifebook S to find a laptop you can abuse. They're all more expensive than Dells because they have either a metallic case or shock absorbtion technology to counter damage during drops.
     
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