What laptop for university? Watch

Adamburgess38
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I'm planning on studying computer science.

I'm considering a Dell xps, a surface laptop or a macbook.

Does anyone take a similar course, what do you recommend?
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frostfly
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My sister is doing the same course as you and she went with the MacBook Pro 15" 2017. I think that's an overkill tbh.
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Adamburgess38
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(Original post by Mystelle)
My sister is doing the same course as you and she went with the MacBook Pro 15" 2017. I think that's an overkill tbh.
Was thinking an air purely because the logo still lights up haha. I know all of the computers I'm considering are powerful enough just more about which would suit the course best if you get me.
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frostfly
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(Original post by Adamburgess38)
Was thinking an air purely because the logo still lights up haha. I know all of the computers I'm considering are powerful enough just more about which would suit the course best if you get me.
Yeah I was actually considering the Air for myself too. It's the only model that still has the more tactile keyboard, whereas all the other MacBook models have the butterfly keyboard, which I hate. I think Apple computers are definitely worth more consideration than Windows computers, unless you're a PC gamer, because the Apple ecosystem is so easy to use.
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NataschaQueLinda
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If you are going to study smth in technical or engineerring fields, or design, you will have to install such softwares like autocad, mathlab, 3d max, photoshop, etc. So the laptop name almost doesn't matter. What matters is RAM and hard drive size, coz you dont want your laptop to be slow.
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NataschaQueLinda
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(Original post by NataschaQueLinda)
If you are going to study smth in technical or engineerring fields, or design, you will have to install such softwares like autocad, mathlab, 3d max, photoshop, etc. So the laptop name almost doesn't matter. What matters is RAM and hard drive size, coz you dont want your laptop to be slow.
it almost makes no sense to buy a laptop with less than 8Gb RAM.
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Acsel
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(Original post by Adamburgess38)
I'm planning on studying computer science.

I'm considering a Dell xps, a surface laptop or a macbook.

Does anyone take a similar course, what do you recommend?
I'm on a CS-like course (Forensic Computing) and can definitely say the XPS 13 is an excellent device. Would be my pick for sure (and I currently own two of them). You can get an entry level model (i5, 8GB RAM) but with student discount you can pick up a beefier model if needed. Realistically you probably don't need top end hardware though.

Would steer clear of a MacBook if you're only considering the Air. And the Surface Laptop is nice, but imo doesn't compare to the XPS.
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Adamburgess38
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(Original post by Acsel)
I'm on a CS-like course (Forensic Computing) and can definitely say the XPS 13 is an excellent device. Would be my pick for sure (and I currently own two of them). You can get an entry level model (i5, 8GB RAM) but with student discount you can pick up a beefier model if needed. Realistically you probably don't need top end hardware though.

Would steer clear of a MacBook if you're only considering the Air. And the Surface Laptop is nice, but imo doesn't compare to the XPS.
Does the XPS have USB type C? Would like it to be future proof.
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Acsel
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(Original post by Adamburgess38)
Does the XPS have USB type C? Would like it to be future proof.
Yes, although it's a double edged sword. The XPS 13 is only equipped with USB C ports (no type A) and while you also get thunderbolt support, it also means you're reliant on dongles. IMO the I/O on older XPS devices (full sized SD card, mix of USB A and C) was better. USB C offers very little benefit nowadays and realistically speaking, you'll be more future proof with USB type A. But it's not something that should really factor into your decision because really it boils down to whether you need a dongle or not.

The notion of future proof is also somewhat flawed. The hardware is outdated by the time it hits the shelves. Depending on what you want to do with it and what you get, you may find it lasts several years or you may find you need an upgrade within a few years.

If you want something futureproof, you're better off buying a desktop and upgrading parts as necessary. The idea of futureproof doesn't really exist with technology because everything advances and your requirements will change.
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ground_cinnamon
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I’ll be doing Computer Science next year and I’m thinking of opting for the 2018 13inch MacBook Pro. It’s small and light which is great for taking to lectures and it’s a lot more powerful than last years due to the 2 extra cores and RAM(otherwise I would’ve opted for the 15inch). I’m a little disappointed it’s only got integrated graphics though rather than the RX chips in the new 15”, although I don’t suppose that’ll affect me much due to the nature of the CS course, as in no video editing, gaming etc.

Of course USB-C Dongles are going to be a pain but honestly it doesn’t even bother me, and I’m thinking it might actually be a good move as I’m seeing more and more devices coming with USB-C and thunderbolt support which is great.

My reasoning with going for Apple is I like the OS, the SSD’s in the MacBooks are BLAZING fast, personally find the butterfly keyboard really nice to use (not a common opinion), and I’ve seen people going around with 6/7 year old MacBooks and they’re still perfectly happy with the performance of them which is excellent.

I’ve used Windows Laptops/Desktops all my life and the only problems I have with them is constant Windows Updates (infuriating), and on the Laptop side, hardware tends to degrade/die (especially the battery) after about 2 years in all my experiences. Also used a handful of Laptops running Ubuntu which takes away the Windows Updates annoyance but the same hardware issues as usual. And going with Apple seems to be a smart move as it may actually be more cost effective to buy an expensive MacBook now and have it last 2/3x longer than a slightly less expensive laptop of which I’d have to buy or upgrade (getting harder to nowadays) multiple times.

This is all my reasoning and justification, at the end of the day it comes down to what you can afford / prefer, as long as it’s powerful enough.
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Last edited by ground_cinnamon; 2 months ago
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Adamburgess38)
Was thinking an air purely because the logo still lights up haha. I know all of the computers I'm considering are powerful enough just more about which would suit the course best if you get me.
Why on earth would you take an expensive laptop into a school? Buy something cheap and bullet proof as you will be picking it up / putting it down lots. As long is it does PowerPoint you will be fine. Vanity doesn't go very far in a school. People couldn't care less about what laptop you have.
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Acsel
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Why on earth would you take an expensive laptop into a school? Buy something cheap and bullet proof as you will be picking it up / putting it down lots.
That's why people buy and use expensive laptops. Because they don't break when you pick them up and put them down. But in all seriousness, even the cheapest laptops won't fall apart from simply being handled.

They've also mentioned they're at university, not school. But in either case, having an expensive (premium) device is absolutely worth the money and it has nothing to do with vanity. We buy expensive laptops because they're better, not because we're showing off.
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