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Thread: A budget laptop for school..

  1. #1
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    A budget laptop for school..

    Hello there I'll be starting school in the spring I'm going for web development and web design in hopes to start my own business one day with that being said I work a min wage job with bills to pay but I need a laptop for school it does not have to be anything fancy I just need it powerful enough to make it through college my budget will probably be around $450-$500 so is there a laptop I could buy with the ram and processing power I need for that price or maybe even cheaper then that the more money I can save the better and I will be using adobe dreamweaver fireworks and possibly photoshop any help I could get with this would be awesome and thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    You don't necessarily need huge amounts of processing power, but I would concentrate on more ram versus spending money on the latest/greatest graphics card. (You don't need amazing 3-D graphics capabilities for code editors, FTP tools, and viewing web pages. )
    "Please give us a simple answer, so that we don't have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don't fit the way we want the world to be."
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  3. #3
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    should I go for 4gb of ram or 8?

  4. #4
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    More RAM might be better for development if you get deep DEEP into "testing" -- where you might install VM's for multiple OS so you can test the differences in font rendering, font availability, and goofball browser differences...

    Like how FF on OSuX behaves entirely differently from how it behaves on Winblows or Linsux. Like how Linsux's font renderer makes a right mess of damned near everything, or how fonts that look good on Win might be rubbish on OSX and vice-versa.

    Much less REAL WORLD you probably should at least TRY to have anything you build work in legacy IE, and native environments for them can really help.

    You also might want VM capability so when/if you learn about server administration

    ... and VM's need RAM. 512k is rubbish in most cases, a gig is usually sufficient for testing -- so if you were to have OSX, Linsux and older versions of windows all going at once under a Win7/8 host (or any mix any way you like) that can be 4 or 5 gigs of RAM used up separate from what you're doing in the host OS.

    Also, since you said Adobe's pointless crappy overpriced bloatware, you're gonna want RAM, RAM and more RAM given how their memory management of the past five to six years is almost as bad as their web knowledge and methodologies. There's a reason I say that from a web development perspective the only thing about Adobe products that can be considered professional grade tools are the people promoting it's use! Needless to say "educators" and I get along like sodium and water since most colleges it's about getting kickbacks from Adobe than it is teaching you something USEFUL.

    In terms of a laptop, we're actually in interesting times as the hardware you can get even for a few hundred is ridiculous over-the-top for things like web browsing or even web development. The new "bay trail" Celerons for example have over-the-top battery life (11 watt max TDP cpu), come in quad core, and would be MORE than sufficient for web dev work and/or learning. AMD has similar offerings as well, though they are more about price than performance per watt.

    One thing I would suggest is resolution -- you might even want to consider getting a dirt cheap laptop and a separate 1080p display. If you're going to learn web development and design for the web properly, you're going to need to test at the very least up to 1600 wide.

    I'd think something along the lines of this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834231816

    Might fit the bill. Don't let the clock speed scare you, it's a quad and you'd likely love the battery life.

    You might also want to look into open box or refurbished from vendors like newegg. Usually they're just as good as new, and get the same warranty/coverage. You can often pick up a 17" i5 with 16 gigs of RAM for around $500 if you don't care about "new new new" and only need "oh gee, someone opened it, not that"

    Something like this for example:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834257833

    Hope this helps.
    Java is to JavaScript as Ham is to Hamburger.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by XtraigoX View Post
    should I go for 4gb of ram or 8?
    I think 8 is a good minimum. I have 8 on my work laptop (now a 3-year-old i7 quad) and have never noticed any memory issues. (But then I don't use any of the Adobe tools, just a decent editor, several browsers, and a Linux VM or two.
    "Please give us a simple answer, so that we don't have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don't fit the way we want the world to be."
    ~ Terry Pratchett in Nation

    eBookworm.us

  6. #6
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    I think so too!

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