13.1-14.1" Laptop for college


Jun 16, 2008
1_What is your budget?
Not of concern; the price of the laptop must simply be within reason of my described uses.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13.1" to 14.1" with the latter preferred.

3_What screen resolution do you want?
WXGA+. Nothing lower than that. The laptop must also be able to pump out up to 1920x1200 via DVI or DisplayPort.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

5_How much battery life do you need?
Fours or more.

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
School work, Mathematica.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
Little. I plan to discard the included mechanical drive in favour for a relatively cheap 64GB SSD from Newegg.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.
The laptop is up yet, but I was thinking the Lenovo T410s. My father is an IBM employee so we get a small discount as well (but I reiterate that price is a relatively minor factor here).

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Four years.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Standard CD/DVD drive will do just fine. Writing capabilities aren't needed, although from what I can tell, are almost always included in new drives.

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.
I don't have unfounded brand bias.

13_What country do you live in?
The laptop will be purchased in the United States.

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
If the laptop has a docking accessory that's a plus, although it isn't required.


Jun 16, 2008



Jun 16, 2008
Sorry about the double post. I tried to edit/delete the post and got: "tom's hardware You are not allowed to edit this message!".

Question 5. should be "four hours" rather than "fours".


Feb 1, 2010
I know a decent amount about the HP line out right now, so I can tell you what I would look for in your situation (basically the exact same I am looking for, but you dont game).

Here are the two models I would consider and why (classified as ultralights on HP's site):

13.3" 1368x768 res, 1" thick, 4.2lbs
aluminum top and framing
intel CULV processor - only build this with the SP9300 (2.26ghz 6 meg cache!)
solid state drives are an option on this unit (160gig SSD for $300)
chicklet style keyboard
lithium polymer battery

no cd/dvd drive, can use USB external though
DV4i (14.1")
new core i3/5 option
quickweb boot option (not many ppl know this unit has this, basically a linux boot interface ~ 30sec from start to web)
ATI 4550 for 50% off right now (not that you need it)

lower screen resolution (1280 x 800)
only gloss black or white color options (black gets smudged pretty easy)
6 cell batter life about 2-3 hrs (if lucky) 12 cell battery is an upgrade option for $50 or so (which I'd get)

Both units are nice, and HP will give you a 10% student discount if you set up a login with them, roughly, the DM3 with a standard HD would run you about 7-800 and the DV4i would be about 650-700 depending on options. I am actually trying to decide between the two units myself at this moment and have done extensive research on both. I think I am leaning towards the new core i5 chip in the dv4i, the quick boot and convenience of having an optical drive are pushing me that way.

Hope this helps, good luck.

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