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A laptop for an engineering college student?

Hello there!

As the title suggests, I'll be studying engineering from this next year on and I'd like to start my studies with a laptop that hopefully sticks to me for the whole career (6 years), but there are soooo many options out there that I find it hard to choose on my own, specifically I'd like it to have a long battery life, since I'll probably be using it during recess, classes, or lunch times with no plug laying around, I also would want my laptop to be portable and light, since the trip from my house to college is a long one and a laptop that weighs more than 3 or 4 pounds will take a toll in my back xD, about performance, some light gaming (LoL or maybe Overwatch at low graphics) would do it.

All of this within a budget of $1500USD, if I can save some, that also would be nice. Are my requests possible?

P.D: I have been offered a deal of a MacBook Air 2017 13-inch Intel i5 1,8Ghz, 128Gb SSD at $700USD, since I already have an iPad and a iPhone I was considering this offer, also because all three devices would work and sync together with the Handoff feature, and that sounds great. Plus, I'd be saving about $800USD. But my concern is if MacOS is a good OS for the engineering career, since I'd probably be programming stuff, simulating mathematical models and other things that I can't even think of! And what if some if not all of the programs used in college aren't available for MacOS? or if some functionalities of the apps (like Office, for starters) are blocked in MacOS?

It's also worth considering that I'll probably be using Linux for some tasks, as I already have seen on actual engineering students at the college I'll attend.

Thanks to everyone and have a happy 2019!

Love and hope, from an excited to-be engineering student.  

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I'd be looking at something like a ThinkPad P52 first, a Precision 7520 or 7530 second, or possibly a ThinkPad X1 Extreme. The P52 would definitely be my first choice.

Sincerely,

 

me

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7 minutes ago, Marclo260 said:

MacBook Air 2017

the screen is terrible, that i5 will be super slow after 6 more years. you might want to consider the new macbook air or 2017 macbook pro, get them used if it exceeds your budget, as for storage you can just get a 500gb external ssd from samsung so don't worry about storage.

CPU: Ryzen 7 1700 @3.85Ghz, MotherBoard: Asus ROG Strix X370-F, RAM: G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 16GB 3000Mhz

GPU: GALAX GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti EXOC White, Case: NZXT S340 Elite Matte White, Storage: Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB, PSU: Corsair CX650M

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9 minutes ago, Marclo260 said:

But my concern is if MacOS is a good OS for the engineering career, since I'd probably be programming stuff, simulating mathematical models and other things that I can't even think of! And what if some if not all of the programs used in college aren't available for MacOS? or if some functionalities of the apps (like Office, for starters) are blocked in MacOS?

I download windows onto my macbook, so dont worry about that, its nice to have both macOS and windows :) 

CPU: Ryzen 7 1700 @3.85Ghz, MotherBoard: Asus ROG Strix X370-F, RAM: G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 16GB 3000Mhz

GPU: GALAX GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti EXOC White, Case: NZXT S340 Elite Matte White, Storage: Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB, PSU: Corsair CX650M

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Just now, PokiDaSpitz said:

that i5 will be super slow after 6 more years

Whaaaaaaaaat? All hardware becomes outdated and obsolete after a few years. 

 

For the OP: Get a Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 RAM: Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 (1x2GB), Crucial DDR3-1600 (2x4GB), Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600 (1x4GB) GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II 2GB SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 2.5" 1TB HDDs: WD Green 3.5" 1TB, WD Blue 3.5" 1TB PSU: Corsair AX860i & CableMod ModFlex Cables Case: Fractal Design Meshify C TG (White) Fans: 2x Dynamic X2 GP-12 Monitors: LG 24GL600F, Samsung S24D390 Keyboard: Logitech G710+ Mouse: Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Mouse Pad: Steelseries QcK Audio: Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones

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13 minutes ago, Marclo260 said:

I'd like to start my studies with a laptop that hopefully sticks to me for the whole career (6 years)

 

1 minute ago, r2724r16 said:

Whaaaaaaaaat? All hardware becomes outdated and obsolete after a few years. 

 

For the OP: Get a Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1

op said that he wanted something that could last 6 years, I do know hardware becomes outdated really fast.

CPU: Ryzen 7 1700 @3.85Ghz, MotherBoard: Asus ROG Strix X370-F, RAM: G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 16GB 3000Mhz

GPU: GALAX GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti EXOC White, Case: NZXT S340 Elite Matte White, Storage: Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB, PSU: Corsair CX650M

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just get some cheap 13" with long battery life. youll probably have access to desktop in classes that require pc.

youre not gonna be playing games in class i hope so performance shouldnt matter much.

 

what id look for:

13" IPS

at least i5

ssd

ethernet port (without some stupid adapter)

MSI GX660 + i7 920XM @ 2.8GHz + GTX 970M + Samsung SSD 830 256GB

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Many thanks to all of you! I know that hardware becomes obsolete way before the six years that the career lasts, but at least I'd want a laptop that doesn't age that bad, so it hopefully remains usable after those years.

Thanks again, everyone! ❤️

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On 12/30/2018 at 10:56 PM, schwellmo92 said:

Dell XPS line

+1. The Dell XPS is one of the best "all-round ultrabooks" out there and they perform well enough for some light gaming and college work. (The XPS 15 with 8Gb ram is what I'd recommend.)

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33 minutes ago, Achintya Mohan said:

+1. The Dell XPS is one of the best "all-round ultrabooks" out there and they perform well enough for some light gaming and college work. (The XPS 15 with 8Gb ram is what I'd recommend.)

It has many issues. Popular doesn't mean good

My Desktop specs:

Spoiler

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 Nvidia RTX3060Ti 8GB PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB 16GB (8X2) 3200MHz CL16 Team Group MP33 Pro 1TB
ID-Cooling SE-224-XT White Gigabyte B550M DS3H mATX Tecware Forge M2 mATX White Case Montech Century 650W Gold

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Under no circumstances should you EVER get the old Air. It's incredibly bad value and you won't be able to use it for any kind of heavier lifting. You wouldn't be happy with it at all.

 

On 12/30/2018 at 7:45 PM, Marclo260 said:

Many thanks to all of you! I know that hardware becomes obsolete way before the six years that the career lasts, but at least I'd want a laptop that doesn't age that bad, so it hopefully remains usable after those years.

Thanks again, everyone! ❤️

This is just my personal experience and I am uncertain if this remains true to-date, but I used to own several Windows based machines that have all either gotten very slow, or downright unusable after about a year. So, you could get a Macbook Pro or Air. But in both cases you'll be limited by either 128gb or 256gb of storage which fill up faster than you might expect. Also I think over the past few years Windows did get better at managing junk files and such, and even though I'd still say that a Mac is probably going to last you longer with better resell value, I'd say you can use a windows based machine quite some time. Specially if you keep it in good shape (both hard- and software-wise). So I wouldn't recommend you go that rout.

 

Instead you should be looking at a XPS, or a Y730. They have enough brawn to handle the software used for engineering. This is the best option if you really want to be able to work from where you live and can't be bothered to go to Uni to work on assignments there. However, I think that what @Neftex said holds very true.

On 12/30/2018 at 7:34 PM, Neftex said:

just get some cheap 13" with long battery life. youll probably have access to desktop in classes that require pc.

youre not gonna be playing games in class i hope so performance shouldnt matter much.

The computers provided by your Uni will most likely be much more suited to the work you'll need to do in terms of software. Also a lot of the work you do might be either team based, so meeting at Uni will be likely for that as dorm rooms are usually cramped and even if it's not a team assignment it's always nice to go to Uni and work on stuff there. You can talk about what you have to do and get advice form fellow students and vice versa. This would help you both at getting done faster, and at getting better as you'd be actively talking about what you are doing stimulating ideas and such. Also you can make connections etc. etc. working at uni rather than staying at home has numerous benefits IMO.

 

So maybe something like an LG Gram? :D 

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I was recently in the same place as you with a similar budget. I researched just about every laptop possible and tested out everything from the 2018 Macbook Pro to the Dell XPS 13. I loved the Dell and was fairly set on it, but after more research I found that many people were having issues with it. I attempted to contact dell support about the issues many people were having and received a response 2 weeks later, which turned me off from it. The Macbook is very well built, but the price to performance is outrageously high. I ended up trying out the Lenovo C930 and fell in love with it. I bought it on sale for under $1200 with an 8th gen i7 and 12GB of DDR4 RAM. It has a phenomenal keyboard and offers a much better typing experience than other laptops I tested. I wasn't wanting a 2-1 laptop originally, but was swayed after using it. If a store local to you has one I'd definitely suggest going and testing it out. Another great option as mentioned above is the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. I planned to purchase that until I found the C930 on sale.

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