Which laptop for school?

someone2639

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I'm looking for a school laptop, and 3 entries are on my list:
Surface pro 3
Lenovo yoga 3 11
ThinkPad yoga
I'm just using it for homework, Office, Java, and 3d design. But the catch is that I have to keep it for 4 years. Any suggestions?
 

xandros9

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Sophomore year I picked up a refurbished ThinkPad T400 (an older model) from Micro Center, so if you don't need high end horsepower, thinness and a price to match, those are worth a go. (repairable, tanky, won't play Crysis though) My friend has a Dell Latitude (my laptop and his were direct competitors) and that works for him.

If it were me though, out of those, I'd get a ThinkPad Yoga. If I were off to college and needed a laptop now, the ThinkPad Yoga is probably the one I'd take, if cost wasn't an objection.
My problem with the Surface Pro's is the zip repairability.

Although I'd definitely consider the Dell Venue 11 Pro (a midrange i5 model at least) + accessories. (easily replaceable battery, for a tablet, especially compared to the others.)
 

someone2639

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Sophomore year I picked up a refurbished ThinkPad T400 (an older model) from Micro Center, so if you don't need high end horsepower, thinness and a price to match, those are worth a go. (repairable, tanky, won't play Crysis though) My friend has a Dell Latitude (my laptop and his were direct competitors) and that works for him.

If it were me though, out of those, I'd get a ThinkPad Yoga. If I were off to college and needed a laptop now, the ThinkPad Yoga is probably the one I'd take, if cost wasn't an objection.
My problem with the Surface Pro's is the zip repairability.

Although I'd definitely consider the Dell Venue 11 Pro (a midrange i5 model at least) + accessories. (easily replaceable battery, for a tablet, especially compared to the others.)

Might have forgotten to mention... It has to be Best Buy.
 

jojoe42

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I'm looking for a school laptop, and 3 entries are on my list:
Surface pro 3
Lenovo yoga 3 11
ThinkPad yoga
I'm just using it for homework, Office, Java, and 3d design. But the catch is that I have to keep it for 4 years. Any suggestions?

I'd recommend the Surface Pro 3 personally - it's powerful, thin, light and has the pen (which is arguably killer for taking notes in class using OneNote). I used my SP2 to replace my books for this year and I was able to do some CAD work, video editing, multitrack editing and everything else without ever touching another school machine. Obviously not cheap, but worth the money IMO. OneNote is literally designed for the Surface line
 

someone2639

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I'd recommend the Surface Pro 3 personally - it's powerful, thin, light and has the pen (which is arguably killer for taking notes in class using OneNote). I used my SP2 to replace my books for this year and I was able to do some CAD work, video editing, multitrack editing and everything else without ever touching another school machine. Obviously not cheap, but worth the money IMO. OneNote is literally designed for the Surface line

How about, say, $1000 budget?
 

xandros9

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Might have forgotten to mention... It has to be Best Buy.

sounds like a dumb limitation, why is that?

The Pro 3 will have the best support from MS.

but these are full PC's and laptops we're talking about, I think support isn't as big of a thing as it is on phones. (I still see 5+ year old PC's still going and being upgraded)

You can get student discounts through the Microsoft Store as long as you're at a registered tertiary education facilty: Microsoft Store - EDU Portal

Also take a look at this article on Windows Central: Students can buy the Surface Pro 3 for as little as $650 | Windows Central

This. Use your .edu email address and you should be good to go.
 

mathsisbest

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Buy a second hand laptop off ebay/amazon. One with a good processor for your needs (core i3 at the very least). You're just a student, you don't need the latest technology. Windows XP is good enough for you
 

xandros9

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Buy a second hand laptop off ebay/amazon. One with a good processor for your needs (core i3 at the very least). You're just a student, you don't need the latest technology. Windows XP is good enough for you

I'll say the opposite regarding specs and OS, I get by perfectly find on a Core 2 Duo unless you need more gaming and 3D horsepower than your casual CAD or League of Legends round.
Requirements have, if anything, gone down since Vista launched.

But don't you dare touch XP. Vista at the oldest. (but long-term support might expire before you graduate, so get 7 at the oldest, or heck, a Linux distro that's supported to be safe.)

At launch it saw a lot of driver issues and stuff, but if I had to use Vista today, I wouldn't have any major issues with its reliability/speed. (except for features, but that's besides the point)

My only issue with older hardware is my battery life cratered after a year or two.
But then again replacements shouldn't be hard to source.
 

BatteryLife

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Buy a second hand laptop off ebay/amazon. One with a good processor for your needs (core i3 at the very least). You're just a student, you don't need the latest technology. Windows XP is good enough for you

Get at least windows 7.

Windows XP is not supported already fyi. Vista is not as stable.

Take a look at the Asus T100TA. It's versatile, has long battery life, cheap(er), has a keyboard, undockable. What's more, it comes with full version of Microsoft Office 2013.
 

jojoe42

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Take a look at the Asus T100TA. It's versatile, has long battery life, cheap(er), has a keyboard, undockable. What's more, it comes with full version of Microsoft Office 2013.

I also looked at that machine when I was in the market for a new workhorse, and for a low-cost machine it is a lot of bang for buck. However I still think if OP can afford to reach to $1000 for a machine, and is planning to use the machine for 4 years, I think it's probably better to spend a little more on a machine that is more powerful and capable, that will probably last longer than end up spending more money on another machine when the Bay Trail processor starts struggling with more modern programs and such. Also I don't think Atom processors do well with CAD programs and 3D design. I'd also agree with xandros9 in recommending a Yoga 2 Pro (but not the 3 Pro), as I've heard good things about that laptop.
 

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