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college laptop recommendations
posted in Hardware
1
#1
0 Frags +

been doing some research but it feels like everything I read is clearly sponsored / shills so I was wondering what you guys recommend.

budget: 1000$ CAD, willing to spend a bit more if you think it's really worth it.

Using it for: taking notes in class, typing essays, research, some coding (python/c++).

Ideally would like a touch screen/stylus set up so I can still get the benefit of physical note-taking.

been doing some research but it feels like everything I read is clearly sponsored / shills so I was wondering what you guys recommend.

budget: 1000$ CAD, willing to spend a bit more if you think it's really worth it.

Using it for: taking notes in class, typing essays, research, some coding (python/c++).

Ideally would like a touch screen/stylus set up so I can still get the benefit of physical note-taking.
2
#2
0 Frags +

Lenovo flex 14

Lenovo flex 14
3
#3
2 Frags +

if ur not gonna be gaming, id really recommend any of the surface products. they're pretty good and its really nice to take notes on provided u get the pen

if ur not gonna be gaming, id really recommend any of the surface products. they're pretty good and its really nice to take notes on provided u get the pen
4
#4
5 Frags +

Keys are really important, youre gonna be typing thousands of words on this thing, try and test the keyboard out before you buy. Having to put up with a keyboard you hate for years is insufferable.

Keys are really important, youre gonna be typing thousands of words on this thing, try and test the keyboard out before you buy. Having to put up with a keyboard you hate for years is insufferable.
5
#5
7 Frags +

if you're just doing notes, essays, papers, and a little coding you can go much lower than 1000 canada bucks. in my experience with surfaces the biggest drawback is the keyboard, the detachable keyboard thing sucks. if you don't end up going with a touch screen there are loads of good used laptops (thinkpads or similar specs/build quality) that are far below your budget and are nothing to scoff at.

if you're just doing notes, essays, papers, and a little coding you can go much lower than 1000 canada bucks. in my experience with surfaces the biggest drawback is the keyboard, the detachable keyboard thing sucks. if you don't end up going with a touch screen there are loads of good used laptops (thinkpads or similar specs/build quality) that are far below your budget and are nothing to scoff at.
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#6
7 Frags +

Seconded for older Thinkpad models, I own a T420 and X220, both have modern specs with ssds, may need to replace the battery when you purchase but they're -relatively- in expensive and come with high quality keyboards. You can get one for ~150-300 and invest 100-200 for any necessary upgrades be be set. (I advocate for T and X series personally)

Seconded for older Thinkpad models, I own a T420 and X220, both have modern specs with ssds, may need to replace the battery when you purchase but they're -relatively- in expensive and come with high quality keyboards. You can get one for ~150-300 and invest 100-200 for any necessary upgrades be be set. (I advocate for T and X series personally)
7
#7
4 Frags +

1000 bucks for a college laptop is extremely wasteful

go the your local used electronics shop and drop 200 bucks on a business class laptop with a removal battery so you can hot swap them if you run out of juice

1000 bucks for a college laptop is extremely wasteful

go the your local used electronics shop and drop 200 bucks on a business class laptop with a removal battery so you can hot swap them if you run out of juice
8
#8
0 Frags +
hooli1000 bucks for a college laptop is extremely wasteful

go the your local used electronics shop and drop 200 bucks on a business class laptop with a removal battery so you can hot swap them if you run out of juice

Are there good touch screen laptops for 200$ ? I haven't seen any

[quote=hooli]1000 bucks for a college laptop is extremely wasteful

go the your local used electronics shop and drop 200 bucks on a business class laptop with a removal battery so you can hot swap them if you run out of juice[/quote]
Are there good touch screen laptops for 200$ ? I haven't seen any
9
#9
3 Frags +

if you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming

if you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming
10
#10
1 Frags +

13 inch surface w/ student discount

13 inch surface w/ student discount
11
#11
0 Frags +
Hedgeif you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming

Wouldn't installing VirtualBox/VMWare and running a Linux distro on that suffice?

[quote=Hedge]if you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming[/quote]
Wouldn't installing VirtualBox/VMWare and running a Linux distro on that suffice?
12
#12
2 Frags +

buy a t440

buy a t440
13
#13
12 Frags +
Hedgeif you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming

if ur 100% not playing games on it id still just get a macbook because its way way way less work

[quote=Hedge]if you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming[/quote]
if ur 100% not playing games on it id still just get a macbook because its way way way less work
14
#14
3 Frags +

normally id agree cause if u have a grand to spend on a laptop no reason not to buy a macbook really but he wants touchscreen

normally id agree cause if u have a grand to spend on a laptop no reason not to buy a macbook really but he wants touchscreen
15
#15
-1 Frags +
CovooHedgeif you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programmingWouldn't installing VirtualBox/VMWare and running a Linux distro on that suffice?

i've never tried. sounds slow though

mHedgeif you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programmingif ur 100% not playing games on it id still just get a macbook because its way way way less work

ooh good idea. didn't realize macbooks were that cheap

[quote=Covoo][quote=Hedge]if you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming[/quote]
Wouldn't installing VirtualBox/VMWare and running a Linux distro on that suffice?[/quote]

i've never tried. sounds slow though

[quote=m][quote=Hedge]if you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming[/quote]
if ur 100% not playing games on it id still just get a macbook because its way way way less work[/quote]

ooh good idea. didn't realize macbooks were that cheap
16
#16
5 Frags +
Hedgeif you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming

tf2 runs really well on linux too if thats the only game you play

[quote=Hedge]if you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming[/quote]

tf2 runs really well on linux too if thats the only game you play
17
#17
1 Frags +

i recently got the baseline surface pro 6 for school but i noticed that whenever i would be running firefox or chrome, it would take up roughly 75% of my memory. i also am taking a ml course in python and mainly used wsl to host my programming environment, which would put my ram constantly around 90% usage. having all of this stuff open and running ml programs did take a toll and i noticed a drop in performance. i didn't mind it at first but over time it started to get annoying. i talked with a cousin about my issue and he recommended that i try looking into a installing linux since it is overall a lighter operating system.

i took his advice and have been running ubuntu 19.10 on my surface pro for the past 3 weeks. i installed a custom linux kernel that allows the touch screen, the pen, and the battery indicator to word as intended. i havent fully tested the pen yet but so far my experience has been solid drawing and should be good for notetaking. my overall experience has been I am able to have countless tabs open and run programs without it eating more than 60% of my memory. but linux does have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to installing and setting up certain programs. thankfully ubuntu does make it easier compared to other distros. i havent tried playing tf2 on it yet but i imagine it won't have any input lag compared to windows.

if you like and know how to use the macos/linux command line and would be fine with maybe voiding your warranty, i recommend you buy a baseline surface pro 7 and install a linux distro on it like ubuntu(since it has good documentation and is easy to use) if you are willing to spend extra money for all features of the device, a good development environment, and not kill your ram. sadly i am not aware of any other solid semi cheap laptops (besides buying secondhand) with touch screens and pens. once you set up your os, install this linux kernel that will get all the features you want on a surface pro to work. ultimately wanting a device with a good touch screen and pen does come at a premium and if you are willing to spend the extra buck, go for it.

tldr: i installed linux on my surface pro and it suits developing and drawing needs and recommend trying it out.
hope this helps, and if you decide to go down this path, i would be happy to help you :)

i recently got the baseline surface pro 6 for school but i noticed that whenever i would be running firefox or chrome, it would take up roughly 75% of my memory. i also am taking a ml course in python and mainly used wsl to host my programming environment, which would put my ram constantly around 90% usage. having all of this stuff open and running ml programs did take a toll and i noticed a drop in performance. i didn't mind it at first but over time it started to get annoying. i talked with a cousin about my issue and he recommended that i try looking into a installing linux since it is overall a lighter operating system.

i took his advice and have been running ubuntu 19.10 on my surface pro for the past 3 weeks. i installed a custom linux kernel that allows the touch screen, the pen, and the battery indicator to word as intended. i havent fully tested the pen yet but so far my experience has been solid drawing and should be good for notetaking. my overall experience has been I am able to have countless tabs open and run programs without it eating more than 60% of my memory. but linux does have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to installing and setting up certain programs. thankfully ubuntu does make it easier compared to other distros. i havent tried playing tf2 on it yet but i imagine it won't have any input lag compared to windows.

if you like and know how to use the macos/linux command line and would be fine with maybe voiding your warranty, i recommend you buy a baseline [url=https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07YNHXX8D/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_IIF7DbYMTMJPG]surface pro 7[/url] and install a linux distro on it like ubuntu(since it has good documentation and is easy to use) if you are willing to spend extra money for all features of the device, a good development environment, and not kill your ram. sadly i am not aware of any other solid semi cheap laptops (besides buying secondhand) with touch screens and pens. once you set up your os, install this [url=http://github.com/qzed/linux-surface]linux kernel[/url] that will get all the features you want on a surface pro to work. ultimately wanting a device with a good touch screen and pen does come at a premium and if you are willing to spend the extra buck, go for it.

tldr: i installed linux on my surface pro and it suits developing and drawing needs and recommend trying it out.
hope this helps, and if you decide to go down this path, i would be happy to help you :)
18
#18
0 Frags +

if you’re an autist with lots of time linux is hella fun to configure and use

if you’re an autist with lots of time linux is hella fun to configure and use
19
#19
11 Frags +
CovooHedgeif you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programmingWouldn't installing VirtualBox/VMWare and running a Linux distro on that suffice?

There is nothing more painful than writing code inside a virtual machine.

[quote=Covoo][quote=Hedge]if you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming[/quote]
Wouldn't installing VirtualBox/VMWare and running a Linux distro on that suffice?[/quote]
There is nothing more painful than writing code inside a virtual machine.
20
#20
0 Frags +

The surface is probably the best stylus on screen experience you can get for the price.(at least as far as I know) As far as typing goes, their keyboards are meh, but if you're writing a lot you'd probably be in your dorm anyway and in that situation I'd use a separate usb keyboard regardless of the laptop I have. Although I do get that a lot of people prefer to work away from their home enviroment so they can focus more easily.

I'd also not totally rule out all non touch-screen laptops. Writing on regular paper will probably be better than any screen if you're taking notes. Or just typing, which in my experience is faster anyway. Also most professors will give you the slides online if you don't want to write down everything they're reading off the screen. This way your notes can be written as your own interpretation of ideas being discussed, and specific important points (think things the lecturer writes by hand on the whiteboard) and you'll spend more time listening and less time furiously copying.

The surface is probably the best stylus on screen experience you can get for the price.(at least as far as I know) As far as typing goes, their keyboards are meh, but if you're writing a lot you'd probably be in your dorm anyway and in that situation I'd use a separate usb keyboard regardless of the laptop I have. Although I do get that a lot of people prefer to work away from their home enviroment so they can focus more easily.


I'd also not totally rule out all non touch-screen laptops. Writing on regular paper will probably be better than any screen if you're taking notes. Or just typing, which in my experience is faster anyway. Also most professors will give you the slides online if you don't want to write down everything they're reading off the screen. This way your notes can be written as your own interpretation of ideas being discussed, and specific important points (think things the lecturer writes by hand on the whiteboard) and you'll spend more time listening and less time furiously copying.
21
#21
0 Frags +
ondkajaCovooHedgeif you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programmingWouldn't installing VirtualBox/VMWare and running a Linux distro on that suffice?There is nothing more painful than writing code inside a virtual machine.

Yeah I imagine compilation times would be atrociously long and interpreted language performance would be abysmal

[quote=ondkaja][quote=Covoo][quote=Hedge]if you're gonna b coding make sure it supports linux... there are laptops out there that make installing linux really hard. In school I liked to dual boot with windows for video gaming and linux for programming[/quote]
Wouldn't installing VirtualBox/VMWare and running a Linux distro on that suffice?[/quote]
There is nothing more painful than writing code inside a virtual machine.[/quote]
Yeah I imagine compilation times would be atrociously long and interpreted language performance would be abysmal
22
#22
3 Frags +

You don't need to write code in a virtual machine, you just write locally and run a VM for easy dependency management and native runtime environment. Create a shared network mount that the VM has access too, navigate to the directory the files are stored in and execute them. Alternatively you can use a free VPS through amazon or something if you have prime. Obviously these solutions are ideal for entry level courses that don't have large computing requirements, if you start working with large data sets, or complex logic you may need to upgrade or find an alternate solution.

You don't need to write code in a virtual machine, you just write locally and run a VM for easy dependency management and native runtime environment. Create a shared network mount that the VM has access too, navigate to the directory the files are stored in and execute them. Alternatively you can use a free VPS through amazon or something if you have prime. Obviously these solutions are ideal for entry level courses that don't have large computing requirements, if you start working with large data sets, or complex logic you may need to upgrade or find an alternate solution.
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