~$1300 School Laptop


Nov 5, 2013

I'm a university student and I've recently received a $1300 (before tax) bursary, by my university, to purchase a laptop. Its minimum requirements are supposed to be 2.5ghz i5/i7 intel processor, 200+ gb hard-drive, and nothing larger than 15.5". I'd like a PC that's light, quiet, and has a long battery life (is 8 hours possible? -- I don't want to drag around an adapter). I'd like to pack in as much high-quality hardware as I possibly can to get the bill to $1300, without going $200 over ($1500 max, excluding tax).

Any suggestions would not go amiss!

Thank you! =)


1) What is your budget?

$1300, but i can go as high as 1500

2) What size notebook would you prefer?


3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.

I suspect somewhere online, for Canadians (i don't want to mess around with import fees)

5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?


6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

School-type stuff. I'm finishing up a degree in genetics and a degree in biochemistry, so I do alot of bioinformatics rsearch (protein folding, linux (unix?) programming, ect). I intend to record lectures (using One Note). Also, I've got ADHD, so I will be using Kurzweil to help with reading.

7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?

To school, every day.

8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?

I don't intend to, but it's always possible (i tend to play games like Civilization or World of Warcraft, still an avid fan of Battlefield 1942 wake)

9) How many hours of battery life do you need?

4 to 8. I really dont want to mess around with a heavy adapter; if it's just a cord, then shorter battery life is fine, but i'd like to minimize messing around with peripherals, as I have ADHD and tend to lose things, easily.

10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?

I'm cool with just buying.

11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, etc.

Windows. Me using a mac is like a caveman doing brain surgery. In order to prevent me from throwing it out a window in frustration, I need a windows machine.

14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?


15) When are you buying this laptop?

in the next 2 days.

16) How long do you want this laptop to last?

5 years, minimum.

Notebook Components

17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?

200 GB should do it, i always have my main computer to store files.

18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?

I will need a DVD player.


Jul 18, 2013
Take a look at the Thinkpad T series. It is supposed to have great battery life, some fairly decent hardware ( i believe they are currently refreshing the product line into 4th gen processors at the moment). And it is supposed to be built like a brick (as in it's solid). They are a bit chunky from what i've heard, but are surprisingly light.
Up to core i7 4th gen cpu
up to 16 gb ram
more than enough storage space
up to gt 730m gpu
Optical is there (and swappable for some other parts when wanted)