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Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macgeek77, Mar 24, 2007.
I plan to go into engineering in college. I am not sure what laptop to purchase. Any thoughts?
I'm finishing up my fifth year of engineering (this past year has been for my masters). For my undergrad I only had a desktop pc and it served me well. This past summer I bought a MBP; i never used a laptop as my main computer, especially a mac, but the fact that i could put windows on it pretty much sealed the deal. I rarely use bootcamp (i don't use parallels; everything i need to use in windows won't work in parallels, i.e. flight sim, Inventor (CAD), etc), but when I do everything i need (engineering wise, and other) works perfectly. As a matter of fact, as I noticed while running a huge matlab code recently, matlab does run about 60% faster on windows than on os x, but it's common knowledge that it's not optimized for os x. All of my engineering work, for the most part, is either in matlab or excel and 95% of the time i'll get done what i neeed to in os x.
That said, I'm not sure what your budget is, but i think that a macbook would definitely be able to do what i do with my MBP. I know a few people that have gotten by the past few years (in engineering) with ibook's so that would not be a problem. I absolutely love my MBP, and the screen real estate (17") really comes in handy when doing work. Also, a lot of your work might also be done in computer labs with machines that have the specific software you'll need on them, so your personal computer need not be the greatest, most expensive and fastest machine. Good luck with your decision!!!
What do you intend to run on it?
Do you play games?
Do you commute?
Do you intend to carry it around with you?
How much do you want to spend?
Well, the perfect engineering laptop is probably the 17" MBP, although I expect you will want to wait until the Santa Rosa revision, probably 12th of June. The more realistic student engineer laptop is either a maxed out macbook, or one of the 15" MBP's, mostly depending on the software you intend to run, whether you want to play games on it or not, and how portable it needs to be.
I would say get either the low or high end 15" MBP's after the Santa Rosa revision, depending on how much money you want to spend. At least one of them will ensure that you can throw almost any software at it, and it will run it blazingly fast, most likely for the full (4 years?) time that you are at Uni.