Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    Need a laptop for the course. Got it narrowed to Dell XPS 15, ASUS UX430UA and HP Envy 13. Will any of these be sufficient also if anyone has one of these, how are they?
    Any other recommendations are appreciated. ( No Mac's though).
    Thanks
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    My experience, and what I've heard of others' experiences, with Dell laptops has been abysmal. I'm not sure I could really recommend that brand as a result...I've heard mixed things about HP as well.

    Realistically the main thing is, are you planning to do any of your coding on your laptop rather than at uni - if so, anything which has a decent CPU and a nice bit of extra RAM on what you would normally need is a good option. Personally (having previously been studying electronic engineering, which is related to CS distantly) I've been using Lenovo's for quite a while - however of late some of their model lines have deteriorated in quality, so it's a bit hit or miss, but overall they're pretty solid. The IdeaPad/Z series in particular though, seems to have gone downhill, I've switched to the Legion/Y Series as a result.
    • Wiki Support Team
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    My only tip is to make sure it has an i7 so that you can do multithreading if you're going to end up needing virtual machines. It makes a huge difference.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Realistically, it shouldn't matter - if you have a specific hardware requirement for your course, above and beyond what a standard library computer can do, your University should provide a machine with the required specs. For the most part, you won't be asked to do massively intensive things anyway.

    That said, it can be handly to have a powerful machine for personal use. What are your requirements? A good CPU is important, yes, but if you move into an area of programming which is GPU-reliant, then having the latest i7 with all of the multithreading can trip you up if the card is garbage. And vice versa.

    My approach for laptops has always been to carve out the budget I am willing to spend and then try and get the best value for that price. I don't focus on brand so much as I do things like CPU, GPU and RAM - and will I get what I want out of each area. On the one hand, no point buying a laptop which exceed the use I'd have for it, but at the same time, I'm not *really* making a saving if I have a computer which lags.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by FallenPetal)
    Realistically, it shouldn't matter - if you have a specific hardware requirement for your course, above and beyond what a standard library computer can do, your University should provide a machine with the required specs. For the most part, you won't be asked to do massively intensive things anyway.

    That said, it can be handly to have a powerful machine for personal use. What are your requirements? A good CPU is important, yes, but if you move into an area of programming which is GPU-reliant, then having the latest i7 with all of the multithreading can trip you up if the card is garbage. And vice versa.

    My approach for laptops has always been to carve out the budget I am willing to spend and then try and get the best value for that price. I don't focus on brand so much as I do things like CPU, GPU and RAM - and will I get what I want out of each area. On the one hand, no point buying a laptop which exceed the use I'd have for it, but at the same time, I'm not *really* making a saving if I have a computer which lags.
    Thanks for your reply. Uni hasn't given any spec. I believe 8gb ram should be enough though. Also the laptops above come with Series 7 i5 or i7 processors with dedicated graphics. For the start I doubt there will be highly demanding tasks however I'd prefer to have one which lasts at least 4 years and can still keep up.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    My experience, and what I've heard of others' experiences, with Dell laptops has been abysmal. I'm not sure I could really recommend that brand as a result...I've heard mixed things about HP as well.

    Realistically the main thing is, are you planning to do any of your coding on your laptop rather than at uni - if so, anything which has a decent CPU and a nice bit of extra RAM on what you would normally need is a good option. Personally (having previously been studying electronic engineering, which is related to CS distantly) I've been using Lenovo's for quite a while - however of late some of their model lines have deteriorated in quality, so it's a bit hit or miss, but overall they're pretty solid. The IdeaPad/Z series in particular though, seems to have gone downhill, I've switched to the Legion/Y Series as a result.
    Thanks for your reply. You're right, HP seem to have good specs but when searching more some seem to have issues. Tbh I'm skeptical to get a gaming laptop as I feel they're a waste for me as I won't be playing any games on them and most are pretty chunky.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stark21)
    Thanks for your reply. You're right, HP seem to have good specs but when searching more some seem to have issues. Tbh I'm skeptical to get a gaming laptop as I feel they're a waste for me as I won't be playing any games on them and most are pretty chunky.
    Yea I definitely wouldn't recommend a gaming laptop if you're not that into it - I only have one because I do

    But yes they are extremely heavy and moreover quite large due to usually bigger than average screens. Plus a huge chunk of the cost is the graphics card, which you wouldn't be using for basic programming/development, unless you specialise in computer graphics/vision (which you might )
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stark21)
    Thanks for your reply. Uni hasn't given any spec. I believe 8gb ram should be enough though. Also the laptops above come with Series 7 i5 or i7 processors with dedicated graphics. For the start I doubt there will be highly demanding tasks however I'd prefer to have one which lasts at least 4 years and can still keep up.
    I have a laptop which can competently play games, but I know will soon fall behind (not an issue as I also have a PS4). For gaming though, a lot of people will spend money on a fancy top-of-the-range i7 processor and tons of RAM, but a substandard graphics card, so the lifespan is limited (especially as laptop parts aren't interchangeable). Inversely though, for my work, I have a GPU-intensive laptop which absolutely does the trick, but the CPU is worse than my home laptops one - despite it costing twice as much. Unfortunately, the *best* laptop specs are dependant on what you want to use it for.

    New-ish i5 or i7 processors aren't going to become outdated in 4 years, especially for uni courses. Redesigning the course to incorporate the latest i9 series 14 Intel chips and Nvidea Titan 1980 XXXXs not only increases the academics workload (as they have to rewrite course material), it also represents a financial burden to the University, as they have to make sure everyone involved has access to the resouces to complete the task. Most mid-to-high range laptops will be fine.

    All else failing, I'd go for durability (I learnt that one the hard way - my previous laptops casing is falling to pieces, meaning I coudn't carry it around with me anymore. I had to replace it).
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.