Help! Buying My First Laptop for College

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Guide community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.
Not open for further replies.


May 3, 2012
Hello, I'm a senior in high school and I'm going to be attending college in a 3-4 months and I need help on purchasing my first laptop! The type of laptop I'm looking for is one that I can use for everyday things for college, but also be able to play some games on it. As of right now after doing a little bit of research I've come across the Alienware 17x R4 (which just came out a week ago I believe) and the HP Envy 17 3D. Suggestions, recommendations, and opinions of what I should purchase would be incredible!

1. What is your budget?

Around $1500-$1800 or a little more if necessary

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?


3. What screen resolution do you want?

1080p/ Full HD

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Portable, as mentioned I will be attending college

5. How much battery life do you need?

2-3 Hours, I've heard that's how long a typical class lecture would last

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)?

Yes! Battlefield 3, Diablo 3, SWTOR. I would prefer to have these games run at high settings

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

Typical college needs and maybe some video editing

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

Enough to be able to put games, work from college, as well as movies and music

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.


10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

Preferably 3-4 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

I just want to be able to play some bluray movies on it

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.


13. What country do you live in?

United States
No reason to stop looking. Hang around here for a few weeks.
I think you'll pick up enough info and knowledge to make a good choice.
Having more options and some flexibility about when you buy is a good thing right now.

Have you gone on any campus tours and looked around the lecture halls?
Not open for further replies.