Laptop for CompSci Major for around $500?

penarddun

Honorable
May 9, 2012
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I'm a Senior CompSci major and currently my laptop is a Thinkpad T400 I got off ebay a couple years ago. It was working great, until last semester when the amounts and types of software the university had me install got to be too much for it. :(

The school uses Microsoft Visual Studio 2013, and it does take a while to compile, freezing up my computer in the process. The required antivirus software isn't helping either.

The worst software however is Microsoft Office 2013 (yes we are required to use this), and I spend as much time watching it say "Not Responding" than actually doing my homework. I read that it's kinda buggy and does this to a lot of people, but it actually freezes up my laptop and the last couple of times I had to do a hard reset.

TL: DR
I need a laptop that will get me through senior year, preferably a little longer, that will cover my class workload (Java, databases, MATLAB, Android dev, and data structures, senior project) and will also be able to run MS Office 2013 and the school's required Symantec Antivirus software in the background without being too sluggish that I want to pull my hair out. And if it can run a couple games that would be nice, but definitely not needed.

Any suggestions for a laptop under $500? I can maybe go a bit higher, but I don't mind getting refurbished or used as long as it's a reputable seller. Also, I am always feeling cramped with screen space. I like to have two windows open side by side for reference and assignments.

Thank you!
 

iceblitzed

Estimable
May 12, 2014
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5,960
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the lenovo g580 refurb for $360 -ebay - - http://www.ebay.com/itm/BM-LENOVO-G580-15-6-LAPTOP-INTEL-CORE-i3-500GB-4GB-HD4000-DVDRW-WEBCAM-/271541316998?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item3f391fad86#viTabs_0

I would also consider buying an solid state drive for a speedier computer but im not sure how much space you need.
Would look at these options:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820171646&cm_re=sandisk_ssd-_-20-171-646-_-Product
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KFAGD88/ref=twister_B00KG8HLLC
 

iceblitzed

Estimable
May 12, 2014
693
0
5,960
138
the lenovo g580 refurb for $360 -ebay - - http://www.ebay.com/itm/BM-LENOVO-G580-15-6-LAPTOP-INTEL-CORE-i3-500GB-4GB-HD4000-DVDRW-WEBCAM-/271541316998?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item3f391fad86#viTabs_0

I would also consider buying an solid state drive for a speedier computer but im not sure how much space you need.
Would look at these options:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820171646&cm_re=sandisk_ssd-_-20-171-646-_-Product
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KFAGD88/ref=twister_B00KG8HLLC
 

penarddun

Honorable
May 9, 2012
2
0
10,510
0
Thanks for your response! The g580 resolution might be a bit low at 1366x768. My current laptop has a 1440 x 900 resolution, which is matte (I know that's hard to find with the newer models). I wouldn't really want to go lower than that since I'm already feeling cramped on screen space. I don't need a lot of hard drive space though, currently have 320, but only use about 100GB out of it. I have 4GB ram on my current machine too.

Do you think maybe just replacing my HDD with an SSD could breath enough life into my T400 that I could stick with it? It currently has Win 7 Pro 64bit on it and Core 2 Duo T9600, 2.8GHz. The battery lasts forever too. It's a 9-cell I think, but literally will last me all day.

If i can't figure out a way to upgrade my current machine though, I could probably go up to $600. I may be getting some money from the university next semester.
 
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