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Looking to upgrade from a Chromebook. Should I build a system or buy a laptop?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So I have a kid who's going off to college this year, and the issue i'm having is whether she needs a PC for college, or can a laptop get her by. She's majored in chemistry. And she's going to type essays, web browsing, make presentations, and do some video editing on a fairly light editor like VSDC or Kdenlive. I'm looking at laptops with ryzen 5 with now. I know the laptop is enough for classwork, but is it enough for her video editing for her filmmaking class? She's going to use light editors like VSDC or Kdenlive, which are very light editors and make me thing she can get by with a laptop, but building a PC gives her the experience cause she plans to build herself a workstation after college. What should she do? Most people say build a PC and get a chromebook, but power consumption is a major concern for us, since we pay the dorm's electricity. The video editor she is using are very light editors, which can work on a laptop, but I don't want to get a cheap laptop or a super expensive one. The video editors she will use will work on a mid range laptop, but she's going to build herself a workstation after college, so for experience reasons. What should I do? Thanks. Sorry for a super long description. 

 

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Laptop is perfect for college.  Space savings, portability, and touchscreen (if you want), etc etc etc.


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Lenovo 720S Touch 15.6" - i7 7700HQ, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, 1050Ti, 4K touchscreen

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, Dedayog said:

Laptop is perfect for college.  Space savings, portability, and touchscreen (if you want), etc etc etc.

Is it worth getting a cheap laptop, a super high end laptop, or should I stick to mid range? Not for college but just in general because cheap laptops always are too slow and break down, and expensive ones overheat too much and are expensive. Should I stick to mid range laptops? What specs would a mid range laptop have? Ryzen 7? i5?

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We paid $1350 for this 2 years ago for my son when he went to college.  He's had no issues with it and loves it...i7 + 1050ti...

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B079T8MJYS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I think a current spend of $1250-$1500 for a laptop.... probably the beast AMD new chip would be the best bet all around.

 

Light enough to carry anywhere, powerful enough to do anything you want, and sleek enough to get you laid :)

 


Emma : i7 8700K @5.0Ghz - Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Gaming 5 - Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate - G. Skill Ripjaws V 32GB 3200Mhz - Gigabyte AORUS 1080Ti - 750 EVO 512GB + 2x 860 EVO 1TB M.2 (RAID 0) - EVGA Supernova 650 P2 - Fractal Design Define R6 - AOC AGON 35" 3440x1440 100Hz - Mackie CR5BT - Logitech G910, G502, G933 - Cooler Master Universal Graphics Card Holder

 

Plex : Ryzen 5 1600 (stock) - Gigabyte B450M-DS3H - G. Skill Ripjaws V 8GB 2400Mhz - GeForce 8800GTS 640MB - 840 EVO 256GB + Toshiba P300 3TB - TP-Link AC1900 PCIe Wifi - Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 500 - Antec Nine Hundred - Dell 19" 4:3

 

Lenovo 720S Touch 15.6" - i7 7700HQ, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, 1050Ti, 4K touchscreen

 

MSI GF62 - i7 7700HQ, 16GB 2400 MHz RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD + 1TB 7200rpm HDD, 1050Ti

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22 minutes ago, youngboy said:

So I have a kid who's going off to college this year, and the issue i'm having is whether she needs a PC for college, or can a laptop get her by. She's majored in chemistry. And she's going to type essays, web browsing, make presentations, and do some video editing on a fairly light editor like VSDC or Kdenlive. I'm looking at laptops with ryzen 5 with now. I know the laptop is enough for classwork, but is it enough for her video editing for her filmmaking class? She's going to use light editors like VSDC or Kdenlive, which are very light editors and make me thing she can get by with a laptop, but building a PC gives her the experience cause she plans to build herself a workstation after college. What should she do? Most people say build a PC and get a chromebook, but power consumption is a major concern for us, since we pay the dorm's electricity. The video editor she is using are very light editors, which can work on a laptop, but I don't want to get a cheap laptop or a super expensive one. The video editors she will use will work on a mid range laptop, but she's going to build herself a workstation after college, so for experience reasons. What should I do? Thanks. Sorry for a super long description. 

 

The college IT department may know how much of what will be needed for incoming students.  Couldn’t hurt to ask.   


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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So, this might not be the most popular opinion for this forum, but I'd get a Macbook Pro; the larger one.

If your daughter was just doing word processing etc, I'd say get an old Lenovo, since they have the option for massive batteries and run time is king. However, if she has to do editing as well, you really can't beat a Macbook and Final Cut Pro. Which still works perfectly fine on a laptop, and is generally faster than other programs. Though you'll want to make sure that her college doesn't use Windows only programs in any of her classes.

 

Definitely don't get a Chromebook. It's too restrictive; it might be fine for high school, but for college you don't want to be left in a jam.

 

Don't worry about power consumption. It's not like she's running an oven at full tilt the whole time. Power costs between systems will hardly be noticeable, if at all.


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Spoiler

 

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Chem majors don't do editing that takes a MacBook Money Payment Pro.

 

Light video editing for a presentation can be done on a phone.  

 

It's not a popular opinion because it's incredibly pricey and overkill for the workload.  Just not a good call for the user's needs.

 

Now if the parent wants to spring for the full pimp mode, then yeah get one :)


Emma : i7 8700K @5.0Ghz - Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Gaming 5 - Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate - G. Skill Ripjaws V 32GB 3200Mhz - Gigabyte AORUS 1080Ti - 750 EVO 512GB + 2x 860 EVO 1TB M.2 (RAID 0) - EVGA Supernova 650 P2 - Fractal Design Define R6 - AOC AGON 35" 3440x1440 100Hz - Mackie CR5BT - Logitech G910, G502, G933 - Cooler Master Universal Graphics Card Holder

 

Plex : Ryzen 5 1600 (stock) - Gigabyte B450M-DS3H - G. Skill Ripjaws V 8GB 2400Mhz - GeForce 8800GTS 640MB - 840 EVO 256GB + Toshiba P300 3TB - TP-Link AC1900 PCIe Wifi - Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 500 - Antec Nine Hundred - Dell 19" 4:3

 

Lenovo 720S Touch 15.6" - i7 7700HQ, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, 1050Ti, 4K touchscreen

 

MSI GF62 - i7 7700HQ, 16GB 2400 MHz RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD + 1TB 7200rpm HDD, 1050Ti

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12 minutes ago, dizmo said:

So, this might not be the most popular opinion for this forum, but I'd get a Macbook Pro; the larger one.

If your daughter was just doing word processing etc, I'd say get an old Lenovo, since they have the option for massive batteries and run time is king. However, if she has to do editing as well, you really can't beat a Macbook and Final Cut Pro. Which still works perfectly fine on a laptop, and is generally faster than other programs. Though you'll want to make sure that her college doesn't use Windows only programs in any of her classes.

 

Definitely don't get a Chromebook. It's too restrictive; it might be fine for high school, but for college you don't want to be left in a jam.

 

Don't worry about power consumption. It's not like she's running an oven at full tilt the whole time. Power costs between systems will hardly be noticeable, if at all.

I like it.  The problem is I remember there being a hard price limit that wasn’t even close to adequate for that.  Macs do make the best college machines though.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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9 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

I like it.  The problem is I remember there being a hard price limit that wasn’t even close to adequate for that.  Macs do make the best college machines though.

There's no price mentioned in the OP.


Current PC:

Spoiler

*WORK IN PROGRESS*

 

Mothballed PC:

Spoiler

 

CPU: Intel i5 4690k Cooler: Corsair H100i V2 Motherboard: MSI Z97i AC ITX

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR3 Storage: Kingston Fury 240GB GPU: Asus Strix GTX 970

PSU: Thermaltake TR2 Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX

Monitor: Dell P2214H x2 Mouse: Logitech MX Master Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

 

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2 minutes ago, dizmo said:

There's no price mentioned in the OP.

I might be conflating two posts then.  In that case I back a Mac.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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What about the Lenovo Legion 5? The Price in Germany is 1000€ for 8 Zen2 Cores and a 1650 Super. It's not very flat but I recently read a review about thin and long battery life notebooks and with 6 Cores + Iris Plus / UHD graphics you pay nearly double the price.

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How much are you trying to spend? I would look at picking up a used Dell XPS 13 9300 on Dell Outlet for about $1000, it's just a really good laptop. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
12 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

The college IT department may know how much of what will be needed for incoming students.  Couldn’t hurt to ask.   

Probably going to reach out to them later. 

 

5 hours ago, Aereldor said:

How much are you trying to spend

Trying to stay under 800

 

11 hours ago, dizmo said:

There's no price mentioned in the OP.

800 us dollars

 

12 hours ago, Dedayog said:

Light video editing for a presentation can be done on a phone.  

 

But a phone is tiny and hard to edit on

 

12 hours ago, dizmo said:

Definitely don't get a Chromebook. It's too restrictive; it might be fine for high school, but for college you don't want to be left in a jam.

 

She had a chromebook all of high school. Got her through fine. Most people say chromebooks are enough for college. why do you say that?

 

12 hours ago, Dedayog said:

Laptop is perfect for college.  Space savings, portability, and touchscreen (if you want), etc etc etc.

Remember she has to edit video

 

Okay here is my final thought: 

I will reach out to the IT department of her university if I can, or try to research the majors she is taking, and see whether they must use any heavy software. I know engineering, graphic and web design, and programming use high end software, and even recommend you to have a powerful laptop or a desktop, so if she has to use powerful software, she can built a PC, but if she doesn't need any powerful software, a laptop will do fine. I'm looking at HP Envy laptops right now. Seem to be good. I'm curious to know 2 things. one: why is a chromebook bad for college and two. should I get cheap or expensive laptops? What is a mid range laptop? I know cheap laptops are slow and go out after a year, but expensive laptops overheat and are expensive, and could build a better desktop for that money. So I will stick to mid range. Would a ryzen 7 or i5 laptop be a mid ranger? 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have a daughter going off to college, and needs a new computer. She used a chromebook all of high school and it got her through fine, but is a chromebook good or bad for college? A lot of people say chromebooks are enough for college, but some say they are too restrictive in their features. Are chromebooks good or bad for college? Like typing essays, presentations, and that kind of stuff. 

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Depends on the user I'd say. If they only need a word processor and facebook machine, I'd say a Chromebook is enough.

 

Although, personally I don't see the point of low-end devices when you can have used Thinkpads for as much or less.


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6 minutes ago, youngboy said:

Probably going to reach out to them later. 

 

Trying to stay under 800

 

800 us dollars

 

But a phone is tiny and hard to edit on

 

She had a chromebook all of high school. Got her through fine. Most people say chromebooks are enough for college. why do you say that?

 

Remember she has to edit video

 

Okay here is my final thought: 

I will reach out to the IT department of her university if I can, or try to research the majors she is taking, and see whether they must use any heavy software. I know engineering, graphic and web design, and programming use high end software, and even recommend you to have a powerful laptop or a desktop, so if she has to use powerful software, she can built a PC, but if she doesn't need any powerful software, a laptop will do fine. I'm looking at HP Envy laptops right now. Seem to be good. I'm curious to know 2 things. one: why is a chromebook bad for college and two. should I get cheap or expensive laptops? What is a mid range laptop? I know cheap laptops are slow and go out after a year, but expensive laptops overheat and are expensive, and could build a better desktop for that money. So I will stick to mid range. Would a ryzen 7 or i5 laptop be a mid ranger? 

Cheap is slow or cheaply made, expensive is fast and well made, midrange is slow OR cheaply made.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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I mean, if you are talking about taking notes, studying, watching YouTube, audio recording lectures and simple stuff, chromebooks are 100% fine.

 

But when it comes to more, a used MacBook would really be a good option or a i5 Windows Laptop will also do! 

 

Any laptop that can run MacOS or Windows with an SSD would be more than enough! 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

expensive is fast and well made,

They are expensive and overheat a lot. I could build a faster desktop for that money

2 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

midrange is slow OR cheaply made.

The mid ranger I'm looking at is fast, but kind of cheaply made

 

2 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

Cheap is slow or cheaply made, expensive is fast and well made, midrange is slow OR cheaply made.

What specs, like processor and RAM, can I expect out of a cheap, expensive, and mid range?

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Isn't that like the 3rd time you asked that ?


Don't forget to quote (arrow bottom left of the message) or use name tag (@name) for us to see your answer.

 

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Chromebooks are bad for college when used Lenovo Thinkpads exist on ebay that are much more powerful than a for the same or lower price.

 

But I guess if she already owns one, it would be okay for word n' stuff.

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Just now, CircleTech said:

Chromebooks are bad for college when used Lenovo Thinkpads exist on ebay that are much more powerful than a for the same or lower price.

Girls and chonky used Thinkspads do not mix well lol.

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2 minutes ago, youngboy said:

They are expensive and overheat a lot. I could build a faster desktop for that money

The mid ranger I'm looking at is fast, but kind of cheaply made

Generally a faster desktop can always be made or bought.  Cheaply made can work if a person is careful with their things.  Something people at college are not famous for.  Good chance the thing will be dragged to every class.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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Lol, I wasn't being serious about the phone, I meant the power it has not the size.

 

If you want to buy the most expensive laptop for some light editing go right ahead, but you're incredibly naïve if you think she's going to be producing 8k video content like LTT.

 

My friend's kid produces his YT channel on my old 4670K and 1060 3GB.


Emma : i7 8700K @5.0Ghz - Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Gaming 5 - Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate - G. Skill Ripjaws V 32GB 3200Mhz - Gigabyte AORUS 1080Ti - 750 EVO 512GB + 2x 860 EVO 1TB M.2 (RAID 0) - EVGA Supernova 650 P2 - Fractal Design Define R6 - AOC AGON 35" 3440x1440 100Hz - Mackie CR5BT - Logitech G910, G502, G933 - Cooler Master Universal Graphics Card Holder

 

Plex : Ryzen 5 1600 (stock) - Gigabyte B450M-DS3H - G. Skill Ripjaws V 8GB 2400Mhz - GeForce 8800GTS 640MB - 840 EVO 256GB + Toshiba P300 3TB - TP-Link AC1900 PCIe Wifi - Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 500 - Antec Nine Hundred - Dell 19" 4:3

 

Lenovo 720S Touch 15.6" - i7 7700HQ, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, 1050Ti, 4K touchscreen

 

MSI GF62 - i7 7700HQ, 16GB 2400 MHz RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD + 1TB 7200rpm HDD, 1050Ti

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Personally I would suggest buying a used laptop off eBay over a Chromebook. Chromebooks have come a long way in therms of software support, with most having Linux and Android support, though many of the sub-$400 models have weak Celeron processors.


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2 minutes ago, Den-Fi said:

Girls and chonky used Thinkspads do not mix well lol.

Thinkpad X1 carbon with a RAM upgrade:

 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=thinkpad+x1+carbon+1st+gen&_sacat=0&LH_BIN=1&_sop=15

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