Apple MacBook Pro Review a laptop for students

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Apple MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro is the premier Apple notebook for consumers. The Retina model is geared towards video and photography professionals, as the rest of us do not need the insanely high pixel density of the Retina display.

On the other hand, the MacBook Air is perhaps more suitable for students and professionals without the need for very high computing power.

High-End Specifications

The MacBook Pro is a high-performance machine. Its specifications are customizable at purchase, and even the base model will provide you with a powerful tool. The 15.4-inch screen hosts a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels, which is higher than 720p standard high definition but lower than 1080p full high definition.

The processors that power the machine range from an Intel i5 clocked at 1.8 GHz, to an Intel i7 clocked at 2.7 GHz, depending on which version you decide to get. You can expect to get the those running the i5 processors at around the $1700 mark, whereas being ready to cough up $2000 or so for the higher end i7 CPU versions.

The base model comes with 4 GB of RAM, which is more than enough for basic computing tasks such as web browsing, streaming HD video from Netflix, playing games, word processing, and presentations. It can likewise handle moderate photo-editing. It does, however, allow you to install up to 8 GB of RAM for more demanding programs.

Apple MacBook Review

Excellent Graphics Capability

As with all notebooks that come equipped with Ivy Bridge processors, it comes with built-in Intel’s HD 4000 graphics, which is fine for moderate gaming. This 15-inch model adds a powerful Nvidia GeForce GT 650m graphics card with 512mb of dedicated video RAM to that, which will handle the latest games without a problem.

This is where the real value of the MacBook Pro comes out. After all, if you are spending to get the top end display quality, it doesn’t make sense to have a slow graphics engine that won’t be able to push out excellent images and animation. Doing would negate the benefits of the high-end resolution capability.

Apart from gaming, the Nvidia GeForce video adapter is also why the Apple laptop is a favorite among advertisers, designers, video editors, computer animators and even professional photographers. If you’re a student or someone starting out in these industries, this is one of the notebook computers to consider.

To whom is the MacBook Pro aimed?

It can be considered a desktop replacement, though its relatively light weight and thin chassis make it easy to travel with.

And while the MacBook Pro Retina model is aimed at professionals, the 15.4 inch Pro model is aimed squarely at consumers. They have more than enough computing power here to manage their daily computer tasks: most of us do not need high photo and video editing programs that require 16 GB of RAM and hyper-threading that tricks your operating system into thinking a quad-core processor has eight cores.

Can it handle Netflix, email, moderate to heavy gaming, word processing, and browsing? Yes, with ease and much to spare! The MacBook Pro is best utilized as a desktop replacement. If you need the space and want a beautiful, sturdy and efficient machine, then the MacBook Pro is an excellent option.

MacBook Pro

Is the price justified?

It depends on your situation. While it is true that you can buy specs Windows laptops similarly for less than you’d spend on a MacBook Pro, you won’t be able to experience its build quality or the resilience of Mac OS to malware and viruses.

Though it is worth noting that the limited market share of Mac OS is probably the reason why computer villains haven’t developed viruses for it: it isn’t worth their time,

Most laptops are made out of polycarbonate and synthetic plastics: the MacBook Pro is composed of an aluminum unibody, a single piece of aluminum that makes it incredibly resilient to bumps and scratches.

The downside of this, of course, is that customization is mostly out of the question. Most of the variations will be based on the models Apple decides to produce. And while there are a lot of applications that now work on both Mac and Windows, there are still some developers who do not create versions of their software that are compatible with Mac users.

It’s a tradeoff: do you prefer aesthetics and toughness over functionality, or do you place a premium on upgrading parts and having the freedom to customize.

Pros:

  • Excellent overall performance. Very fast, smooth transitions and responsive.
  • Sturdy build quality and made with high-quality components.
  • The display is excellent. Both video and graphics come out sharp and clear.
  • Slim design and very quiet during operation.
  • Battery life lasts a lot longer than your standard laptop.

Cons:

  • More expensive compared to a Windows notebook carrying similar technical specifications.
  • Not all programs and games have Mac versions, though the more commonly used ones like Microsoft Office and Photoshop do.
  • The memory of the base 15-inch model is only 4 GB, while hard drive space is 500 GB. You can opt for higher amounts, but that option costs more.

Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV Laptop Review

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Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV

For anyone who’s looking for one of the best laptops under $500, the Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV laptop has some features that are very likable.

Ideal for people who want a machine they can use for all their different needs be it writing documents, balancing personal finances or updating your social profiles at an affordable cost.

The central machinery of this machine is the Intel Core i5 processor. At this price range, you’ll often find notebook computers that come with less powerful CPUs. When running multiple applications at once, or just booting up, the i5 makes a difference in speed and responsiveness, cutting down any wait or lag time.

Both the 4 GB of RAM and the 500 GB hard drive are mostly standards for laptops today. They offer excellent temporary and permanent storage programs and allow you to run Windows 8 without it hogging all the computer’s resources.

Inspiron users can get a lot more work done or have faster fun that can allow them to keep up with the demand of the recipients or their expectational results. It allows you to play tons of games, download your favorite apps, and save all your relevant documents. Whether you’re a fan of music or want to keep a copy of home videos, you’ll be able to do so without having to rely on USB or external hard drives.

Dell Inspiron

The Inspiron 15 i15RV has 4 USB ports, 2 version 2.0 and 2 version 3.0 connectors. These ports allow you to transfer files over to an external drive or connect PC peripherals like mice, printers, and scanners.

If you work in an environment where you need to install new software through a CD or DVD copy, this Dell laptop is equipped with an Optical Drive (8X DVD+/-RW). Many new laptops, especially the ultrabooks now forego this accessory because of most people prefer using USB drives to move files.

But when you need to install new programs, often a CD or DVD is used. The other method software developers use online download, but you’ll have to make sure you have an internet connection at that time, and the speed isn’t slow, or it could take a while.

The optical drive also lets you watch your favorite DVDs wherever you want. While its recordable feature allows you to create CDs or DVDs to distribute to clients as marketing materials or promotional copies.

The six-cell battery offers an average charge while the 15.6-inch screen works well not just for surfing the web or reading text documents. You get to see graphics and movies in high quality without having to position your head up close to the screen in discomfort. You can relax at a distance, eat popcorn with enough room in between you and the screen to allow multiple people to watch at one time.

Overall, this Dell notebook is a great value laptop for the money. Priced under $500, it is only one of a few that will let you avail of a Core i5 processor at below that price. If you’re looking for a plentiful sized hard drive, RAM and hours of business and fun, this is the laptop to invest in.

Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 Laptop Review

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Lenovo IdeaPad Z580

In this review, we focus on the Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 and evaluate whether it ranks among the best laptops for college.

While Lenovo is a favorite in the workplace, it is now producing some more affordable notebook computers geared towards budget-conscious students and anyone who’s looking for a good value for money computer that’s reliable.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 is perfect for individuals seeking a sturdy, affordable and high-performance laptop. With a 15.6” display, a resolution of 1366 x 768 and impressive HD graphics, the Z580 will always provide the user with an exciting visual experience.

This has become more important over the past few years because the video is becoming a more significant part of everyday online and offline activity.

Top notch, realistic graphics are a massive plus for users who plan on gaming or watching videos. It doesn’t come with a dedicated video card, so it may not be the best option for college students or users who want to run top of the line 3D games during their spare time. However, it does well with the moderately demanding sports, so you’re not left out.

While many HD screens pose the problem of screen reflectiveness and poor viewing at an angle, the quality Lenovo Z580 screen has a low level of reflectiveness and functions well in poor conditions with its anti-glare display.

Lenovo IdeaPad

Its Intel Core i5-3230M processor allows for the user to perform multiple tasks simultaneously without any lag. The user can play an interactive game in one window, surf the web in another and watch a video in this laptop’s DVD burner without the interruption and annoyance of slow-loading times.

Another small but positive feature of the Lenovo Z580 is its comfortable AccuType keyboard, which includes touch-sensitive hotkeys.

Pros:

  • 15.6” display, resolution 1366 x 768 and HD graphics provide for excellent visual experience
  • Low screen reflectiveness
  • Affordability
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Sturdy build
  • Significant amount of storage space (1000 GB Hard Drive)
  • Good multi-tasking capability- does not lag even when multiple applications are running
  • Comfortable, well laid out keyboard

Cons:

  • Weak battery
  • Low Maximum Sound Volume

Whether doing your research paper or completing your summer job internship at your dream company, you’ll be happy to know that typing on this chiclet-style keyboard is comfortable and the keys are firm.

This is a common concern of people who need to type a lot of writers, students, and bloggers. It also comes with a number keypad which makes it faster to do those Accounting class homework or financial statement modeling.

 

One drawback of the keys is they aren’t backlit, so you don’t get the benefit of seeing them in the dark unless you have a desk lamp.

No concern is needed as far as damaging this laptop. Its sturdy exterior is built to prevent dents, bends, scratches and even fingerprint smudges. For users with a past of damaging their devices, the Lenovo Z580 is their solution.

Although the Z580 is sturdy, it possesses a compact, sleek and aesthetically pleasing appearance (colors to choose from are bright white, red or brushed metal). The Lenovo Z580 also has the benefit of a 6 GB DDR3 Memory and 1 TB 5400RPM Hard Drive, storage space which is among the highest of laptops currently available in the market.

The RAM assists the already powerful CPU so you won’t have issues in not being able to load or run any of the required applications. Overall speed is breakneck.

The massive one terabyte hard drive, on the other hand, is a music and file downloader’s dream. Save all the video, apps and movies you want, and install games and software as needed, you’ll probably still have some space left over.

This attribute makes this laptop ideal for professional use in a workplace or classroom setting. Transferring data is made simple through the Lenovo Z580’s two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, and another two more of the standard USB 2.0 version.

Laptop IdeaPad

One of the few disadvantages is a weak battery, which will “die” if the computer is running unplugged for more than four or so hours. And, if the user is performing a function such as playing an elaborate video game, will give out after two hours. This negative aspect may inconvenience users who are on-the-go and not next to a power outlet.

While the Dolby Home Theater sound settings do not exhibit any sound distortion, the maximum volume is relatively low when compared to other laptops in today’s market. This problem can easily be solved with a pair of high-quality headphones; the Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 headphones are a significant affordable investment for sound enhancement.

If you’re worried about after sales services, there are warranty upgrades, warranty extensions and accidental damage protection are available with the purchase of the Lenovo IdeaPad Z580.

For those looking for an affordable notebook computer for school, the IdeaPad Z580, with its features and performance make it to our list of best laptops for college students.