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Old Apr. 8, 2008, 03:15 AM   #1
Windmill
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Default Help me buy a computer

Hi guys!

I'm going to university next year (classes start next March) so I am starting to figure out stuff like what my degree is going to be, what classes I'm gonna take, how I'm going to get to uni and, first and foremost...

What computer I should have!!!


OK. Ideally, I'd like to spend no more than $1,500 NZ. But I may have to splurge and go for $2,000 NZ. Because whatever I get will likely be what I'm stuck with for the next 5 or so years of university that I'm setting myself up for. Right now the sweet spot I'm looking to spend is about $1,700.

Now I am also open to both suggestions concerning PC's and Mac's. I also realise that prices when I buy much later will be totally different but the principals of selecting computers is still the same.

Some notes;
  • I'm not a gamer but if possible I'd like to be able to play some casual games you know? Like even spore but that'd be a pipe dream! Something like, I dunno, Warcraft 3?
  • I DO like to use photoshop. Ideally I'd like to keep the computer costs under $1,700 to allow for me to add on some accessories/software like a LEGAL version of photoshop (thinking for my needs Photoshop 7 or CS/CS2 I'd like it to be the commercial version.
  • I'm going to be needing a computer to take notes in class.
  • I'm a very small person with limited carrying capabilities.
  • I don't plan on watching HD movies on this or anything or even DVD's most likely. Perhaps I'd like to make movies and burn them but thats it.
  • I don't need a big harddrive- 100 gigs is more than enough probably.
  • I REALLY want my computer/s to be QUIET. Super quiet.
For reference purposes on prices in NZ, visit here.

OK. So here are the different combinations I was considering-

1) Get a HP 2133. Its light, its portable, and a 8.9" screen should do the job- shouldn't it? Reviews aren't plentiful right now but it looks like its running vista, and since I'd be getting the low end model which would cost me $700 (US $500) which would essentially be a bigger Eee PC. The bigger screen I feel would warrant the purchase by far as it'd mean I could seriously use it. This would be the version with linux on it.

So thats $700. Now for $1000 I go for a desktop + LCD combo. I could get very powerful computers with dual core processors, 2 gigs of RAM, good video games etc + a 19" LCD. This could therefore be both a media PC and a very modest gaming PC. Examples are here here and here.

So far, thats what I'm thinking is the best option for me.

2) Spend it ALL on a laptop. I can get multiple laptops on trademe for good prices. E.g. gaming laptops. Check it out here and here. The downside I see to this, is that these computers are going to be a reasonable weight to lug around, like 6 pounds + or it is going to sport a small screen. I don't want to have to dread carting around such a necessary piece of equipment. I want it to be seamless and easy so I don't get put off study etc. It seems to get a portable, quiet notebook they charge you the earth. So I could invest it all in a 12 inch notebook but I will get one that is underpowered- yet portable. I also have a 15 inch LCD screen (not widescreen) that I can always plug it into if I'm at home.

3) Buy a average laptop for $1,000 and get a ultra mobile thing like the Eee PC for $600. Laptops here and here for example. With this, I've got something I can take to school and around me easily to take notes, surf the web etc on the go like at a cafe or something- but I've also got my more power computer in a portable version in case I ever need to take it anywhere (do you think I'd need to? Perhaps I could just use a data transfer device) however if I don't need to cart it around, why go for this instead of the more powerful desktop? Because these are honestly pretty underpowered in comparison to the mighty gaming/media desktop.

4) Dunno about this about after rebates, student discounts etc I can get a MacBook for less than $1,700 + iLife software. Oh and this is with 2 gig's of RAM. Dunno about whether this would be a good option or not. I mean it wouldn't be video game ready or anything and I'd have to get XP for it which would mark up the cost- but whats its portability like? Really this probably is NOT the best option but for you Mac freaks its in there!

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by Windmill; Apr. 8, 2008 at 03:34 PM.
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Old Apr. 8, 2008, 02:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help me buy a computer

I'm also thinking about these new UMPC's that are touch screen free and like little laptops- anybody know of any upcoming good ones like the Eee PC? I'd like one with like a 9 inch screen.
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Old Apr. 8, 2008, 03:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help me buy a computer

OK, I am updating it now to include the HP 2133 instead since thats got a street price of $500. It runs Vista which sorta sucks considering its spec's, but if its too slow I'll just take off that operating system and stick something like XP or else if thats not viable Linux on it.
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Old Apr. 9, 2008, 01:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help me buy a computer

It sounds like you're after an Ultra Portable. Mind that UPs cannot play DVDs (they don't have an optical drive), storage is limited (they use SSD's or soldered flash memory) and most of them aren't very fast (the fastest UP is the MacBook Air), so don't expect them to run Vista or even casual games and Photoshop.

However, it is a perfect machine to take notes on and browse the internet wherever you want. I have used the Eee PC a few days ago and I must say it's a very well built machine that will last all the way through college and beyond.
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Old Apr. 9, 2008, 03:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help me buy a computer

Does the screen size bother you? I have pretty good eyesight but I don't want to strain it or anything.

I want something thats light, portable, and can have notes taken on it, thats all really.
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Old Apr. 9, 2008, 04:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help me buy a computer

To be honest, the screen was a little on the small size, but I used the Eee PC with the thick black border (I believe it was 7"). The new Eee PCs don't have that black border anymore, which increases the screen size dramatically (to 9" if I'm not mistaken).

9" is a pretty sweet size for a machine like that.
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Old Sep. 2, 2008, 02:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help me buy a computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windmill View Post
I'm also thinking about these new UMPC's that are touch screen free and like little laptops- anybody know of any upcoming good ones like the Eee PC? I'd like one with like a 9 inch screen.
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