please help me choose a laptop for engineering college

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Sep 12, 2017
16GB DDR4 ram, i7 7700hq,decent graphics card
hybdrid drives or hdd
display size doesn't matter and fine quality is acceptable
size and weight does not matter
battery life can be average
durability matters, issues like coil whine,over heating problems not expected
will be multi tasking, will run some heavy programs related to my study field
won't be gaming on it
my budget is $1300


It much depends on your use-case. You might consider a cheap Chromebook, if you're willing to invest the time. Let me explain. I have a Chromebook that lasts 12 hours battery wise, has no moving parts, is both passively cooled and runs on an eMMC (SSD-like) storage. I SSH into an Amazon instance whenever I need. I actually have private, virtual, and remote servers, but it all works.

With Amazon basic service, it costs $0.13 + $0.08 a month. Whenever I need more power, it's there.

If it's your study field, you can actually usually SSH into your university servers. You don't need much power local when you are doing real work.


Dec 17, 2012

Pick your poison I would say.


Another option is the Pinebook. At $89, it's actually a bargain. I have one, and my complaints so far is the short battery life (it's 5 hours tops), and also to change the OS, you need to either change the eMMC chip, or go to the U boot bios through a UART microcontroller connected by a 3.5mm headphone jack (I kid you not).

Be aware that with Chromebooks, you can't install software. It's a browser and that's it. Google does provide an AWESOME ssh app. It used to be native, but now you need to install it from the app store.

The pinebook, it's either android or their version of Linux. It's a new platform, quickly evolving but still not polished. It's an ARM architecture, so if you need local linux apps, make sure it can compile as ARM.

I'm not familiar with what engineers use as software. Also, ask your teachers if you can get an SSH account. My university (mathematics department) provided me with such an account for free, and (this was 15 years ago), everything we did was in a (believe it or not) Unix. As in genuine SCO type Unix. I did all my computing on one of their mainframe servers from my house or one of the labs. The computer labs were open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it was really fun to hang in one of these huge 200+ computer labs at 3 am with maybe 2-3 friends, just hacking (ethically) and compiling stuff. We would order pizza and play punk music.

The first few times, the security guards would intercept us entering or leaving the building, or doing their rounds. Some told us we were trespassing or had to leave, but we had our ID cards and authorization proof. I was a bit of a jerk (still am), and I'd tell them that my research was too important to be disturbed. Ah, the fun times we had!
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