Laptop for a friend who is a math graduate student

anonymnon

Estimable
Sep 1, 2015
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1. What is your budget?
<$1000 if possible

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Probably 15 inch to make viewing comfortable

3. What screen resolution do you want?
No preference

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
No preference

5. How much battery life do you need?
Not much, I think 3 hours should be good since friend will likely be plugged in most of the time.

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)?
No

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Run software like Mathematica, Matlab, and Python.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Not a lot. Maybe 256-512 gb?

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
None

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

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
I'm not sure if he needs one, but it might make it easier for him to install software if there is a drive. He isn't super tech-savvy.

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.
None

13. What country do you live in?
USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Hi, I have a friend going to a math graduate program who has a rather terrible laptop right now (bought it on sale at WalMart for like $300). It is a piece of junk and he needs something to do everyday tasks and run Mathematics software when he is away from school. I do not suspect he will be using the laptop exclusively for his math stuff, rather he just needs something to do modest amounts of work when he doesn't have access to a more powerful computer. I am completely ignorant about math software and current laptops, so I'm turning to you guys for help! Thanks guys.
 

Math Geek

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Oct 15, 2014
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none of those programs is very gpu hungry so a decent i5/7 laptop with the features he wants (screen size/resolution, full keyboard ...) that fits the budget is enough. we ran those programs at U of alabama on some ancient pc's no problem ( i have a masters in math myself). a nice i5/i7 would be stronger than any of those pc's ever was.

i just got my niece a new laptop for this year and spent $850 and got a nice i5, 8 gb ram, gtx 960m gpu plus a 1080p 15" screen.

watch the sales on newegg and other sites and pull the trigger when something like this shows up. he'll be good to go then.
 

anonymnon

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Sep 1, 2015
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4,510
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Hi Math Geek, thanks so much for your reply! If you wouldn't mind, could you recommend me a brand?
 

Math Geek

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Oct 15, 2014
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i personally like hp laptops. the one i bought my niece was an msi laptop as was very sturdy.

i would avoid the cheap brands like lenovo, acer and the other "holy crap look at the specs for hundreds less" brands. there is a reason they cost less despite the lofty looking specs.

i'd stick to the better brands like hp, asus, msi and the like. read some reviews for any model and look for things like " feels brittle/cheap" "keyboard feels terrible" " won't survive the first drop" " monitor is a little dim" " colors seem a bit off on the screen" these are the type of things that tell you the build is not very good and the monitor sucks. there will always be someone who has a problem but if most are good reviews then it is likely a good quality laptop. if majority are "avoid like the plague" then obviously move on and keep looking. asus and msi seem to have a lot of sales on newegg for their laptops and can be had for easily under $1000 yet still great specs. just have to keep looking. check the shell shockers and flash sales for those killer deals. that's where i found the one i got was a shell shocker. $1199 reg price but $899 on flash sale.
 
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