Laptop Suggestions - Help Me Spend My $600 From Uncle Sam!

  • Imagine you are sipping tea or coffee while discussing various issues with a broad and diverse network of students, colleagues, and friends brought together by the common bond of physics, graduate school, and the physics GRE.

Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:36 am

Laptop Suggestions - Help Me Spend My $600 From Uncle Sam!

Postby hpharty » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:14 pm

I'm looking to buy a new laptop. Here's what I'll do with it:

-Some programming (C, C++, MATLAB)
-Tons of music - I have a huge collection and a modest home studio set-up
-A sweet optical drive would be nice (DVD-R/RW, Blu-Ray?)
-I will do no gaming at all on this laptop so as long as the video card can keep up with the optical drive and MATLAB I don't care much about it
-A nice wireless card is absolutely crucial
-Durability, I drag my laptops around with me everywhere
-Price < or = $1250

So what do you all use/recommend?

User avatar
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:08 pm

Postby zxcv » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:43 pm

I'm a fan of Dell as you can find cheap deals and they have good customer service: you may have to try a bit to work the system, but if your machine is defective they'll replace it for free, on occasion even with a better model.

Macs are great but I can't see it worth it to pay the price premium for a Mac Book Pro when I can get something like a Dell XPS M1530 with essentially the same quality for a fraction of the price.

Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:42 pm

Postby doom » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:25 am

I'm thinking of switching to a Mac myself, when I get myself my first good laptop. And by good, I really mean a MacBook, not a MacBook pro.

My main concern would be compatibility issues. Does anyone know about problems with connecting macs to a school's network? What about if I have to use it to do any programming or Matlab or Mathematica?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:36 am

Postby hpharty » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:52 am

I worked with a guy who used a Macbook in the lab. He would just run a virtual Windows desktop for programs like Matlab and Mathmatica. You could also set up a dual partition, but I hear that is difficult with man and windows OS, easier with max/linux or windows/linux.

My only problem with the macs is that I find it difficult to justify the cost. They do look good and seem nearly invincible though.

Return to “Physics Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest