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HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS??? HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS???

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  #1  
Unread 11-24-2003, 09:48 AM
HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS???

I'm no techie, no siree,
I'm no techie, no not me!

We have 2 kids going to college next fall and would like to buy them new computers this Christmas. I don't keep up with the PC world at all and am wondering if anyone can offer guidance?

What should I look for?

What should I avoid?

Cost is an issue but we don't want to go el cheapo and wind up with something inadequate.

Thanks for any help you can give!

s
xena
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  #2  
Unread 11-24-2003, 10:59 AM
HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS???

Hello. I purchased a Compaq home PC bundle for around $600.00 (without monitor) for my kids schoolwork and my regret is that it does not have a Pentium 4 processor in it. Buyiing a computer without a pentium was a mistake.

If you check out Dell or Gateway for their bundle prices, I would go with a Pentium 4 processor as a minimum requirement. It'll probably end up costing around $800.00 or slightly higher.

I would go straight to either Dell or Gateway instead of CompUSA or Office Max uness a place like Best Buy or Circuit City can match or beat their prices.

Good luck!
  #3  
Unread 11-24-2003, 11:17 AM
HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS???

s Xena! It has been my experience that Dell computers are great! We have ordered several with little problems . You can actually go on their site and build your own as to what you specifically want and need. Delivery is quicker than they tell you even. They are reasonably priced and have good tech support. Most come with free printers or scanners depending on what model you get. I would check out their site for more info........


Emily
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  #4  
Unread 11-24-2003, 11:18 AM
HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS???

If you have a Best Buy or a Comp USA by you, they have good package deals. I have seen very nice computers, whole package 400 or less, includes printer, monitor, computer.

Basically, if the kids want them for school reports:

Pentium 4 processor. Celeron OK, but get the more powerful pentium 4 if you can.

RAM. minimum 512, preferably more.

Flat screen CRT monitor, minimum 17 inches. You don't need the plasma thin screen, waste of money, they will come down in price in a year or so and you can get a nice one cheap later. Get a big ole clunky box monitor but at least 17 inches.

Windows XP Office and Windows XP. Home or student version is fine. That will do what they need for school and web surfing.

Printer. Lexmarks are dirt cheap but the replacement cartridges are pricey. Epsoms are good, I had one for 10 years. Other than that, if you want to print pictures, buy a HP or a Canon, and good paper. You don't need bells and whistles, a decent printer can be had for 100 or less.

DVD-R CD-RW drive. so you can play and burn CDs, and play DVDs.

Floppy disc drive. Still useful.

And spend 10$ on an optical wheel mouse. They're very nice.

IF they want to play games, you might consider a good graphics card, 128 mg or so.
  #5  
Unread 11-24-2003, 03:49 PM
HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS???

I can agree with most of what you have read here. One thing I would definitely stay away from (having 2 kids in college right now, I speak from experience) is buying the computer through the college. For our oldest son, we purchased a Gateway through the school and it just did not work right. We had problems from the get-go. They ended up replacing the monitor, sound card, motherboard, etc. until they realized it was configured incorrectly and he needed a whole new computer. We then purchased a Gateway (from the Gateway store) and it's been fine. I have 5 Gateway's in our family and have not been sorry. Dell is also a very good computer, that is all a friend of my has.

Also, if your kids will be staying in a dorm, I would definitely suggest the flat monitor (plasma not necessary). The desks in most dorms are ancient and were built in the dark ages. The size is just not big enough to accommodate a large, boxy monitor. My son had to store his keyboard on top of the monitor and then put it on his lap to type. And he only ordered a 15" monitor!

Pentium 4 is great, get as much RAM and memory as you can afford. It makes the programs run better and the computer won't freeze up.

Whichever printer you decide to get, one piece of advice my kids learned - ALWAYS have an extra ink cartridge on hand. It's not fun if you have an 8:00 class with a paper due and the bookstore is closed, and you run out of ink.

Good luck with your purchases!

Pam
  #6  
Unread 11-25-2003, 10:36 AM
HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS???

Ah, thanks you guys!

This information will be very helpful! It's sort of a jungle out there if you don't know what you're doing (I don't!) and pretty confusing.

I hate how in the ads & on the websites the description for each computer highlights different features so it is difficult to make a point by point comparison.

Hopefully we'll do this soon & I will DEFINITELY be using your suggestions!

Many, many thanks to you all.


xena
  #7  
Unread 11-25-2003, 06:35 PM
HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS???

I have a Dell and it's wonderful. I got the cheapy for $500, but it works for what I need it for. Look at Dell's site and see what they have. For a young adult their cheapy should be great for school work and even playing some games if they want to.

My kids have a clone computer. Meaning...the hub's put it together. Not much, but they are happy to play games on it and research.

Linda
  #8  
Unread 11-26-2003, 06:38 AM
HELP PLEASE, How to Choose COMPUTER for COLLEGE STUDENTS???

Well thank you all so much!!!

Last night we ordered two identical computers from DELL. Dell is what we have at home now.
We used your suggestions and think we have nice machines coming!
we ordered flat 17" monitors, Pentium 4, 512 RAM, Windows XP, optical wheel mouse, internal floppy, cd-dvd thing that burns & plays...now I can't remember everything but let me just say that your ideas were a huge help!

They happened to be running a special & we got free shipping, 2 free printers, and 2 free digital cameras! WOW!

The kids don't know we have done this & will be very happily surprised!

Happy Thanksgiving ladies!
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