Need Help Finding a Laptop

Jan 5, 2014
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Hello everyone, I'm going to college in about 8 months and I know really good deals come around April and September/August.
However, in the time being I will build a custom desktop and I have enough money left over to get a laptop. I plan on majoring in Computer Engineering.

I can't seem to find a decent laptop. If anyone has gone through engineering and has wisdom to share please do. I didn't know if there was something I was missing or what but here is what I'm looking for:

15.6" screen
8gb ram
Strong cpu for CAD and such
Hard drive ssd but I can buy my own and put in it
Gpu don't really care cause I have desktop
***Backlit keyboard is perfered***
Under $500

Thank you all
 
Jan 5, 2014
7
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10,510
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Thank you for your input! Do you think a laptop Like that would last 4 years of college? Basic use?
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
If you will be running CAD programs on the laptops, you'd want something with a Intel i5 or even i7 CPU. In your price range i7 is a bit too much, and for a laptop that is actually made to run heavier programs you are also out of range of a new one.

This one may be good though, even though it's a refurb, great quality and has a pro video card, and a solid state drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3TX39N6551
 
Jan 5, 2014
7
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Thank you for your answer. I am leaning between these three:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834315131&Tpk=N82E16834315131
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019G7VOSO?ref_=cm_cd_al_qh_dp_t
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834321235&Tpk=N82E16834321235

I am planning on putting an SSD into any or all of these computer. But how important is the GPU for those kind of programs? Do you think a back-lit keyboard and DVD drive are that important??
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator


All those will be slower than the T430 I linked, the U model CPUs are low power versions, and for CAD programs a decent video card is helpful, although they will run OK on anything modern. For your price you will be in basic use systems, not anything made for engineering.
 
Jan 5, 2014
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10,510
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I was told that I probably wouldn't even be using those programs till like junior year so do you think it would be better to invest in a simple laptop that can handle basic things and CAD (just not as well) and get a custom built desktop? I was told I would need to spend +$1300 to get a laptop to last all 4 years and run everything effectively...
I could build a desktop that can be upgraded for after college and get a laptop for that price

Thanks
Ian
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
For a new system to run things very well, yes you'd need about a $1,000 system. But you don't need to get a brand new one. I don't think I bought a new computer in the last 15 years and all of my systems have run fine with no issues till I replaced them due to slowness. Up to you though, any new system in the $500 range is good enough to run CAD, just not very well. And for $600-700 you can build a good desktop for that if you want. My view is that a 2 year old $1,000 system is better than a new $500 one by far.
 
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