questionswhat is the best and least expensive laptop for…

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I hear woot sells pretty good laptops for $3 + $5 shipping, it also comes with a bag and at least 2 other items.

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What's your budget looking like? I, too, am starting nursing school soon (we're like brothers, unless you're a female, then we're... I don't know, but I've gone too far on this tangent already) and had to buy a laptop with certain specs. I wound up on Newegg and bought this one which has proven to work very well for me so far. It was about $480, which doesn't seem too bad for me, considering that it has great battery life and seems like it'll hold up for a while. My advice is to set aside a certain amount of money and use it to find the best laptop available for that price.

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[Continued]
Here are some things you'll wanna look for:
-Battery life. You don't want your computer dying in the middle of class or when taking an online test do you?
-Hard drive. An HDD will work fine and make sure that you get enough storage. I got a 500 gig because I'm gonna have non-school stuff on it.
-Memory isn't all that important. 2-4 gigs and you'll be fine.
-Warranty. I got mine through Squaretrade. It's for 3 years (long enough to get me through nursing school) with ADH (accidental drop handling or something like that. It covers any damage that can come from you i.e. dropping it, spilling something on it, etc.) and it cost around $130, not bad for all that coverage.

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@biancaxb: I forgot to mention, the one I bought isn't in stock on Newegg anymore, so you'll have to find it somewhere else if that's the one you want.

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@captainsuperdawg: You're going to nursing school and you don't know the word 'siblings'?

FYI, to the OP, be sure to try the actual keyboard feel out first. Some cheaper laptops have equally cheap keyboards that could make writing long, technical reports quite a chore.

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Nursing major here too.

For myself, I bought myself an iPad 3 and slapped a keyboard on it (like the logitech ones). I could have sworn there was a better one but I guess they pulled it out 'cause of the bulk.

Reasons are:
- Under $500 if you know where to look.
- Lasts longer than my Macbook '09 (which lasts for less than 2 hours, while iPad goes for like 4-5 hours).
- Could draw on your notes with the right app (might be a little hard to do at first.. but I'd get a nice smooth stylus with it).
- Pretty lightweight and small/flat to carry.

Only downsides I guess would be no CDs on the iPad (obviously) but power points still works on the iPad (the good ones are paid apps I believe). But go with whatever you think works best with you.

Just my two cents. Good luck!

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Ditto on what's your budget?

I bought this Dell a little while back when it was $290. After a memory, it's fast enough for what I do (AutoCAD) on the go. I'm getting a 4.5 to 6 hours of battery life, depending on what I'm doing.

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My only reply was going to be contact @captainsuperdawg but I see that he has already enlightened you with his experience. This community is cool like that. Thanks CSD.

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I'm not sure what specs you're looking for, but I got a refurbished laptop from secondipity.com and so far have no complaints.

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I'll pretty much second what @captainsuperdawg said and add a few things:

First, I strongly disagree with @joshobra about the iPad. In order to spec it out with enough memory, you are looking at $600, plus keyboard and accessories. And it won't do what you need it to.

Second, while on the topic, if you are very concerned about money, stay away from Apple generally. You will spend $1000 minimum, and that sounds like it is out of your price range.

Third: Stay within your budget. You can go nuts here, but don't. You are probably taking loans, so every dollar you don't have to take out is about 10 you don't have to pay back.

On specifics, I'd differ with the memory recommendation: more is always better, so go 4GB if you can swing it. If you are buying a new Windows 7 system, be sure that the computer you are buying comes with a free upgrade to Windows 8.