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I'm looking into purchasing a laptop for school. I have no budget. I'd prefer a larger screen. High amount of RAM. Decent amount of memory. A very durable one. Since I will be in college I will be moving it a lot in my car to my house and what not. Also I'm a little hard on my stuff. I'm not a fan of the whole touch screen hybrid lap tops. I'd like a very nice screen for reading and picture as well. I live in Illinois if that helps at all. It gets cold.

asked Jan 12 '13 at 16:21

Student's gravatar image


What applications will you be using? Do you prefer Mac OS or Windows or hell maybe Linux?

(Jan 12 '13 at 16:30) DJ Scooby Doo DJ%20Scooby%20Doo's gravatar image

What do you mean by no budget?

(Jan 12 '13 at 18:13) pavleap pavleap's gravatar image

First: Ram is memory, disk space is NOT memory, it is storage... That is a big pet peeve of mine and many others.

but what you are asking for is not really possible, you seem to want all the specs of a high end laptop without wanting to spend the money.

Normally I would recommend ThinkPad as it is IMO the best made computer out there, T530 mainly, but like any good laptop it comes with a price tag. You will need a minimum of $700.

I recommend a minimum of 4 GB of ram, 250 GB hard drive, and a i5 or similar processor.

answered Jan 12 '13 at 17:00

trueb's gravatar image


btw, i have had my first thinkpad for about 4 years now (T500) still runs just fine, I have since upgraded to a T530. You will want to upgrade your ThinkPad long before it has started to die.

Only part I have had to replace is the battery, and that is not uncommon with any laptop that you will use. it has a few scuff marks, but the ruberizd finish hides them nicely. They don't look pretty, but they last.

(Jan 12 '13 at 21:51) trueb trueb's gravatar image

Macbook Pro 15" since Macbook pro's are quite reliable and tough (despite popular belief). Most PC's still aren't as well build. I sugest you at least look into it. :)

answered Jan 12 '13 at 16:29

pavleap's gravatar image


but the issue is the budget, you cant even start to talk about a Mac for less then $1000.

(Jan 12 '13 at 21:55) trueb trueb's gravatar image

Well since you gve basically no restrictions whatsoever, I am going to suggest checking out the MacBook Pro with Retina 15". However, If you prefer Windows I would suggest the Dell XPS laptops. Both are great choices and since both are metal they will hold up better than ones made of plastic. Also, I live in Illinois northwest of Chicago and it doesn't get "that" cold here, however you should not leave it in a cold car over night if you do not have a garage.

answered Jan 12 '13 at 19:04

TheTechDude's gravatar image


Personally it's either Toshiba business laptops or Lenovo version that I have used in the past. And everything is fine that I have seen either new or used. You mean large amount of memory and large amount of hard drive space. Usually 4-8 gigs of Ram for a laptop and about 320-750 gigs would be a good amount of memory and hard drive space for a laptop for college.

answered Jan 12 '13 at 20:43

Compucore's gravatar image


If you plan to use the laptop in a moving car then you will need to go with an SSD

Also consider if you need a good GPU

If you want an all around good system when it comes to CPU performance and GPU performance (will handle many modern games)

then this laptop will work well


answered Jan 12 '13 at 22:12

Razor512's gravatar image


I'd love to help, but since you don't have a budget, you're not going to have a computer. The best advice I could possibly give for you to look on craigslist and buy a laptop for like $300. You really can't do better than that (since you have no budget).

answered Jan 12 '13 at 22:29

catchatyou's gravatar image


Hands-down, the Panasonic Toughbook series. If you can afford new, great. If not, go here:

Toughbooks on Ebay

As far as lasting five years, that's easily doable. Keep in mind though that it will depend on the uses. If you're talking school laptop basics- then a dual-core w/4-16GB RAM, older laptops benefit with the replacement of the HDD to an SSD. Any recent vintage laptop ought to be able to upgrade to Win 7/8.


answered Jan 13 '13 at 04:43

geekomatic's gravatar image


I have not used a toughbook, but being that he has no budget, that is out of the question. Also I recommend that you NEVER get a used laptop, unless it is refurbished by the manufacture and if you get it from their website.

(Jan 13 '13 at 15:22) trueb trueb's gravatar image

Actually, the OP has never defined what was meant by, "no budget". I took it to mean, price isn't necessarily an issue (as the specs listed would indicate).

As far as used laptops, they're fine. I've had them & I've recommended them to clients. Ebay has this system in place where good sellers are rewarded with positive feedback. It's pretty good at weeding out the riff-raff.

Buying a used & functioning Toughbook covers the "durable" part- & that appears to go hand-in-hand with the longevity the OP requires.


(Jan 13 '13 at 19:56) geekomatic geekomatic's gravatar image

Even if you wee to get a used toughbook from Panasonic. I know of a place that sells them used. The only thing missing is the hard drive and mayb augmenting the memory. For $99 used cannot complain. They were retired from the police force not too long ago. http://e-tek.biz/ I know the owners there personally. And two other places that I visit right close to these guys that sell used laptops and desktop systems.

(Jan 19 '13 at 16:16) Compucore Compucore's gravatar image

RAM and memory are the same thing. Anyway, it completely depends on what you intend to do with the computer. Do you like gaming? Do you work a lot with video? Do you just want something to browse the internet and do homework? There are plenty of notebooks with nice, big screens, but what's inside them varies enormously.

answered Jan 14 '13 at 21:07

Angelwork's gravatar image


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Asked: Jan 12 '13 at 16:21

Seen: 1,058 times

Last updated: Jan 19 '13 at 16:16