Can you give some advice what kind of laptop and smartphone an aspiring IT student should buy?

Nouri Alnahawi September 12, 2012
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I don’t know if this falls into the category “Tech-Help”, but I’m planning on buying a new smartphone and a new laptop. I haven’t been following the tech-market very well lately; only the stuff I see in the internet or here at MakeUseOf.

I’m starting uni in a couple of weeks and I’m gonna study IT actually. So I’ll probably need something that wouldn’t be outdated fast. You know, one can’t buy a new PC everyday. The good news is that I have neither a phone, nor a laptop. Oh wait, that’s not really good news. ;) Anyway, I’m looking for some tips from a technical point of view.

Thanks a lot in advance! :)

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  1. Edmar Diego
    September 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    THIS IS JUST SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT TO BUY.

    I SUGGEST A GAMING LAPTOP CAUSE IN A SENSE YOU NEED THAT PROCESSING SPEED FOR RENDERING AND IT REALLY HELP WHEN COMPILING TOO BASED ON EXPERIENCE.

    AND FOR SMARTPHONE ITS JUST PREFERENCE, BUT PERSONALLY I USE WINDOWS PHONE FOR FUNCTIONALITY AND BEST OF ALL IT GOES BEST WITH ALL MY ACCOUNTS AND INTEGRATION WITH WINDOWS 8.

    HOPE THIS HELPS.

  2. Ahmed Khalil
    September 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I suggest
    i pad 3 or samsung galaxy note 10.1
    for PC i suggest MAC book pro or IMAC

  3. Erlis Dhima
    September 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    For laptop:
    Acer, HP, Toshiba, Sony...
    RAM at least 4GB,CPU - Core i5 or maybe better, with nVidia or ATI graphics card.

    For smart phone:
    I am more into a Android based phone! :)
    So, I would prefer Samsung, HTC, or maybe some Sonny Ericsson that has android in it!

  4. Mike
    September 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I suggest not go into the low range. At some point you might want to run some virtual machine which means you should definitely have some mid to high-range CPU like an Core i5 or i7 and at least 4GB of RAM.

    If you want to play games look for a powerful laptop with a dedicated GPU.

    If you don't care for OS X than simply don't look into it. Lenovo/IBM, ASUS, MSI, hp ... they all got nice devices for reasonable prices.

    If you do want to keep all options open a MacBook Pro sure is a nice choice.
    You can run OS X without worrying about all the hackintosh stuff.
    You can perfectly run Windows in a virtual machine or even dual-boot via Boot Camp and with it's GT650M you even got the graphical power for games (when using Boot-Camp). Obviously this does come at a high price.

  5. Alex Perkins
    September 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Well an android phone lets you use cool root apps if you root it.

    Laptop with an I7 would future proof it for a while, a 1080p screen will give you more real estate for programs, but text size would be decreased. At least a 500GB HDD and 4 or 8GB of RAM for those large programs. Windows 7 64 bit is a must also. If you're hoping to do some gaming then you'll want a decent discrete graphics card. Here's a link for comparing graphics cards:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benchmark-List.844.0.html

    I'm getting the ENVY 15-3040nr this xmas. Here's the review:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/HP-Envy-15-3040nr-Laptop-Review.72051.0.html

    Hopefully this helped some!

  6. Saurav Azad
    September 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    please read the post given on make use of
    http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/buying-laptop-computers-your-2012-guide-to-finding-laptop-deals
    and if you really want to buy a professional laptop don't go for windows os
    rather go for mac or linux system .
    and regarding cell phone it doesn't really matters what u are using until you are buying a high end cell phone . so , better get a professional laptop and get a phone in low budget.

  7. jrasulev
    September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Nice reviews of 2012 laptops for students http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2389390,00.asp

  8. Nicky Angel
    September 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I too am about to start my new educational career with a new laptop and a smartphone, I'm getting myself a Intel Core-2-Duo 2.53 GHz, PS I wanted an i5 but they are too expensive. You will be able to get a decent spec laptop with core2duo, 4gig ram at a cheap rate. For the phone, try htc if money is not an issue, or you can always get yourseld a Nokia Asha 305. Its cool.

  9. Nouri Alnahawi
    September 12, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Thank you all for the great advice :)

  10. susendeep dutta
    September 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I would like to say that wait for few months as Windows 8 OS is going to be launched and products related to it like hybrid laptops with touch screens on it will be available on market.Moreover,Windows phone 8 is also going to be launched soon which has added many features for IT persons.Windows 8 is designed with one ecosystem in mind,so if you get Windows 8 - phone and laptop,then you can have a unified ecosystem with less head ache to learn it.It's new thing in computers and laptops so it won't get outdated soon.

  11. Ahmed Khalil
    September 12, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I suggest to check the articals related on PC in this site

  12. Kannon Y
    September 12, 2012 at 6:24 am

    :-) Very funny! My smartphone is the greatest thing I've ever owned, next to my laptop (Toughbook). However, sometimes I wonder if we really need to be so heavily wired.

    Anyway, I think anyone going into the IT field is going to need Windows 7 64-bit on a laptop AND a smartphone (of any kind). Windows 7 runs virtually any kind of program out there, which is something you're going to need in the field. There are lots and lots of different kinds of applications covering such diverse subjects as proprietary software suites using RDP, VNC (etc) that have no exact analog in iOS. But a smartphone is great a keep tracking of project deadlines, contact info, etc... which helps in emergencies.

    As far as specs go, if you are working with a tight budget, go with the Trinity platform, specifically the A10-4600M CPU. For a mobile platform, that CPU gets solid benchmark scores and high GPU scores. Overall, it's a good CPU for a diverse array of tasks and, if you're using a "Sleekbook", it gets around 12 hours of max battery life. I know Matt Smith would disagree, but the Intel machines tend to run a little high priced and aren't all around machines. However, Intel chips are in many ways better if price isn't a major concern.

    The reason is that you'll be going from your apartment/dorm frequently and having a computer for managing each specific task is going to be crucial to your efficiency as a student. I highly suggest using a combination of a system like Dropbox to backup your files. I've known many a graduate student/professor who failed to backup their critical files and consequently lost months if not years of hard, hard work.

    But if your budget supports it, a third generation HD 4000 Core i-5 or i-7 is a great machine! Perhaps it's a little bit overkill, because you're IT not CS, but the newest version of Android takes around 16GB of RAM to compile.

    • Usman Mubashir
      September 12, 2012 at 11:08 am

      Bingo!!!

  13. Mohammad Hamzani Salleh
    September 12, 2012 at 5:10 am

    here a post above how to determine what u should consider when buying a pc or laptop
    http://pcworld.about.net/news/Jul182003id111575.htm

    and here the top 10 laptop in current system that top in their spec
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369981,00.asp

    this should do the trick if u want to find the best phone.
    http://www.pcmag.com/reviews/cell-phones

  14. Jack Cola
    September 12, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Hi Nouri,

    Anything that is the latest smart phone will be a good buy. In IT, people are grouped, those who like Apple, and those who don't - so that the first choice to make. Personally, don't buy an Apple.

    After completing an IT course, I have written a lot about your very question which I think you would like to read.

    http://www.jackcola.org/blog/217-what-type-of-laptop-should-you-get-for-uni

    This post outlines what to look for in a laptop specifically for a Uni student. In summary, Battery
    Size / Performance
    Software you need
    Base your decision on your course and needs
    Know your tools to get the most out of using a laptop

    http://www.jackcola.org/blog/112-what-you-should-look-out-for-when-buying-a-new-laptop

    If you are studying IT, then you should know this already, but for those who don't, this link contains a few tips to look out for when purchasing a laptop.

    http://www.jackcola.org/blog/28-save-paper-by-printing-lecture-slides-to-ms-one-note
    In this link, I used my computer for everything. I didn't have a notepad or anything. Just my laptop. Here out show you how to keep lecture notes with Microsoft One Note. I original wrote this post to be published on MUO, but they didn't like it as it didn't suit there theme at the time.

    And with this, in one of my subjects, I conducted a small study on what is better to take notes with, a laptop or pen and paper. You can download my report and findings here http://www.jackcola.org/blog/86-report-which-method-of-taking-notes-enhance-a-students-grades-laptop-vs-pen-and-paper

    I hope you find this posts useful.

    Jack

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