Students

Laptop Requirements for U of T Students

[OP]
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Jul 3, 2002
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Brampton

Laptop Requirements for U of T Students

I am researching laptop specs for a friend who is heading to U of T.
I heard from another friend that having Windows XP Pro is essential when using the U of T's network.

So I have a few questions:
Are there any restrictions on the type of laptop you can get?
Which software are offered freely by the school? I know with waterloo you can get XP Pro free, so you don't need to get Pro with the Laptop.
Anything else that should be known about making a laptop purchase for this school?
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16 replies
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Dec 28, 2002
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purchasing a laptop for school is slightly different than purchasing a new one for rec/hobby use. i usually recommend students to purchase used or from trusted forums such as RFD. you must consider depreciation, comfort, as well as potential theft while on campus. having the shiniest laptop actually works against you in the study library. don't forget you have to keep a strict budget throughout the year so if you blow too much cash in september you'll be scrounging for quarters in your jeans when february arrives.

i recommend a P3-M if available. they're manufactured in 2002/2003 so batteries will still hold a 2-4hr charge. sellers are eager to unload them because the centrino laptops are prices so low ($1000 range). you save on tax & it should hold onto enough value so you can recoup some money after finals in the spring. then with savings from a part-time job you can purchase a new toy during the summer when prices are low. research notebookforum.com and stick to your budget. i would try $450 to $600 for a complete laptop & grab a wifi card here or from factorydirect... if you want flashy components use your PC at home.

note: XP Pro is recommended because MS has a partnership on campus. if you contact the campus bookstore (campus computershop is located inside, college & st. george) they will offer accurate advice on how to obtain XP & other pkgs; i believe you can also find details online. there is no "rule" regarding what laptop to purchase -- there are lots of students limited to PII and even PI units because they can't afford to upgrade. heck, a few writing labs still have dusty Pentium Classic workstations and they're hookup up to utor. if averatecs appear on RFD for $600/$500 then grab it quick :lol:
[OP]
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Jul 3, 2002
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Brampton
Actually my friends Mom was gonna make this purchase, budget is ~$1000.
Basically need to know what free software can be had, so she wouldn't need to get it with the laptop.
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Nov 27, 2004
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Check the UofT Bookstore 2nd floor with all the electronics and stuff. I think they offer discount for students.
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Dec 10, 2004
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You don't really need a laptop for U of T. Unless you mean you don't have a computer at all to use at home/res.
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Nov 7, 2003
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You do not really NEED a laptop at U of T. But it would be nice to have one if you do a lot of humanities or social science courses. I have found taking notes with a pen in a 3 hours class where the professor just constantly feed you with overhead notes is a serious pain to your hands. I have found typing the lecture notes to be much easier for me.

One EXTREMELY important factor that you must take when choosing notebook is the weight factor. At U of T (St. George), you will find yourself walking quite some distance each day, (that is regadless of whether you take the TTC, drive to school, or live on campus). There will be times where you will walk from MS to Woodsworth, or BCIT to North Frye. When that happens, you'll be gald you don't have a 10 ib rock with you.

Lastly, a laptop could be good if you are running out of time and you gotta get that stupid CS assignment to complie. But for 1st year CS courses, you only need a computer that can run Sun Java SDK and a notepad to write the codes with (but this was true 3-5 years ago, not sure about now). BUT, there used to be this weird problem where a code that compiles on YOUR computer might not compile at Gerstein or the TA's computer. However, don't worry about it, just prove that your program can run.

Godd luck
Trying is the first step towards failure
--Homer Simpson
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Jun 21, 2002
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Toronto, ON
dont forget to get a light weight bag as well, if u decide on a laptop. no point getting a light laptop only to have a 8 pound bag :P
~Eternal~
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Feb 5, 2005
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I don't recommend spending on a laptop either if your program doesn't specifically require it, UNLESS you have a long commute... PC labs are littered everywhere on campus
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Dec 10, 2004
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You definitely need your own computer in your living space (desktop or laptop), but you don't specifically need a 2nd one in a laptop. Having a laptop around is only going to increase the chances of having it stolen and cause you to be a hermit instead of hanging out with people.
[OP]
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Jul 3, 2002
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Brampton
Lets focus here, people the topic isn't about "should I get a Laptop", its about "Laptop Requirements".
As stated before this isn't about me getting a Laptop, I have no input in that, what I do have input in is the Specs of the laptop.

Thank you napasah for that link.
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Aug 28, 2002
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I think they recommend Pro because of certain network features that might make it work lets say if you wantd to access some VPN account off campus. With that said like I'm sur eyou can grab XP pro for a $130 or so on campus at a discount which would roughly equal how much you'd pay to upgrade to pro from a retailer (i.e. [rfdlink=/forums/autolink/redirectpage.php?linkid=167]Dell[/rfdlink]) so you might as well get an activation free copy preinstalled :D
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Sep 4, 2003
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That's exactly what I got, a used T23 from RFD, and loving it.
itsmypostoffice wrote:purchasing a laptop for school is slightly different than purchasing a new one for rec/hobby use. i usually recommend students to purchase used or from trusted forums such as RFD. you must consider depreciation, comfort, as well as potential theft while on campus. having the shiniest laptop actually works against you in the study library. don't forget you have to keep a strict budget throughout the year so if you blow too much cash in september you'll be scrounging for quarters in your jeans when february arrives.

i recommend a P3-M if available. they're manufactured in 2002/2003 so batteries will still hold a 2-4hr charge. sellers are eager to unload them because the centrino laptops are prices so low ($1000 range). you save on tax & it should hold onto enough value so you can recoup some money after finals in the spring. then with savings from a part-time job you can purchase a new toy during the summer when prices are low. research notebookforum.com and stick to your budget. i would try $450 to $600 for a complete laptop & grab a wifi card here or from factorydirect... if you want flashy components use your PC at home.

note: XP Pro is recommended because MS has a partnership on campus. if you contact the campus bookstore (campus computershop is located inside, college & st. george) they will offer accurate advice on how to obtain XP & other pkgs; i believe you can also find details online. there is no "rule" regarding what laptop to purchase -- there are lots of students limited to PII and even PI units because they can't afford to upgrade. heck, a few writing labs still have dusty Pentium Classic workstations and they're hookup up to utor. if averatecs appear on RFD for $600/$500 then grab it quick :lol:
Jr. Member
Mar 4, 2005
142 posts
MDG seems to have some good laptop deals right now. I think a desktop is definitely a better idea if your friend is going to live in res, harder to get stolen (lots of laptops get stolen every year). And even perfomance wise, desktops give you a better bang for your buck. And they are everywhere on campus.
Also dont need to buy any software, just take whatever is free. You can get a lot of office software and i think even xp from robarts library for free to use until u are a student at UT.
[OP]
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Jul 3, 2002
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Brampton
Thanx, though I would never recommend a MDG computer.
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