Re: OT: Laptop for College Bound Student?
On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 09:34:14PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
> On 06/12/08 20:45, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:
> > If Windows isn't a requirement, you could also consider an off-lease
> > business Thinkpad. In Kingston, Ontario, at Computer-Depot (a buisness
> > class place not a clone of home-depot) last I saw they had thinkpads for
> > around $250. You'd need to determine what specs are required, in other
> > words, what apps he needs to run: does he _need_ 2 GB ram? If he just
> > needs to write notes and essays, browse the web but doesn't have to
> > interact with campus-specific software, then almost any functional
> > laptop that runs Etch would do. He doesn't even have to use OpenOffice
> > to write essays unless they have to be submitted in .doc format: he can
> > use Latex.
> > Basically it comes down to this: the decision on hardware is the last
> > one to make when money is tight. Most consumers just buy a new piece of
> > hardware and it will meet the requirements for a year or two: they stick
> > to the bleeding-edge. When money is tight, you define the interface
> > requirements (e.g. able to print out, or able to interface with the
> > campus software), determine the software to do that, then determine the
> > hardware required to run that software. Part of designating the
> > interface is the physical realities: which will survive life in a
> > back-pack better: Dell or Thinkpad?
> The problem is that an entering freshman might not (probably won't,
> unless he already knows someone in his general field at the Uni)
> what software he'll need in 3 years.
> A cutting-edge laptop will future-proof him. The problem, though,
> is that cutting-edge laptops are juicy targets for theft.
> Unless there's a requirement to have a *powerful* laptop in the
> classroom or laboratory, I'd buy him a nice desktop and an el cheapo
I don't think a cutting-edge laptop today will provide three years of
future-proof; perhaps 18 months. A $300 off-lease laptop (or two: one
for backup incase of theft, ready to go when he gets home) should serve
him well unless he knows that he needs something better up-front.