questionscan you help me find a laptop?

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I was looking on Newegg and found this one that looks good based on the reviews and price, but I'm not sure, simply because I've never bought a computer for myself before. More than anything, I'm going to need a computer that will stay in good shape for the two years I'm going to be in nursing school and that's the thing I'm not certain about with this computer. Help me deals.woot users, you're my only hope.

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To help things moving here,
using SquareTrade for an extended warranty is not a bad idea. Here: http://www.squaretrade.com/
They are more cost effective compared to Newegg.

Also you do not need MS office, OpenOffice is a great "free" choice. Here: http://www.openoffice.org/

For the laptop:
You should try to get the largest hard drive you can, as they always run short and cost more to up-grade later.

The same thing holds true for memory, but, in this case it would cost less to up-grade later, NOT true if you don't know how ! So, bottom line more is better now.

Now, the 17.3" machine is bulky and on the heavy side to carry around all day along with other books and such. Maybe consider a 15.1" ?

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If it is just for school work, anything current (new) on the market will work. Set an amount you are willing to spend, and decide what is a must. Must for me is not for everyone. IF it is just for school work, no gaming, not alot of music or not that picky on sound, sd movies or not picky, no big internet videos, I would stick with AMD processor to save money and 4 gb of ram. Since it is just school work, 250gb would be ok. (I have over 25,000 books approx. 500+/- pgs each on a 32gb microsd card with more space available than used). But I agree with the more is better. Again it depends on the amount you set. With hard drive space, you do not have to be technically inclined to add more if you know how to plug in a usb or insert sd card. Either adding by external hard drive or using cards and drives (more portable) is easy and basic.

Just stick to your budget and do your research. I would set budget at $500 or less for just school work.

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What to stay away from...

Don't spend more money than you have to
Buy the best available in your price range (ie specs are same except on hard drive, same cost, get bigger hard drive but watch speed of said drive too.)
Pick processor speed over 2.0 ghz
IF you have to have MS Office, buy it from your school. I paid $64 for office 2010 Professional.

The one you are looking at is great for what you are going to do with it, but I agree with looking for a smaller screen size, and a cheaper laptop. I have never had an Acer, but their reviews are consistently good.

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@pyxientx: You are right about the M$ office deal. (EDU only)

I completely forgot about it, some professors insist on it, so if it is a requirement then there is no choice. Otherwise I would definitely go with a freebie.

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My gf is a teacher and she has a lenovo thinkpad x120e which she really likes because it is very portable and has great battery life and still has a full size keyboard.

You could get the 130e:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834246453

You might want something more powerful, but this guy is fairly cheap and compact and has good battery life. Bigger computers with faster processors may not give you as good battery life.

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Here's something that Sears has as a Deal of the Day today:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/hp-pavillion-15.6inch-intel-core-i3-2310m/p-SPM4763280901P

Includes free shipping.

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Also think about the dell outlet. You can get new items (orders that have been built but cancelled by the customer) as well as refurbished. I have purchased close to 100 systems from them and never had a problem.

Also browse their VOSTRO line in the small business section. A lot of good deals come up on those when they get them.

Dell Outlet puts out coupons all the time. Follow them on twitter @delloutlet for coupons.... Here is their current offer...

48 Hour Sale - Take 20% off any Dell Outlet XPS 13 Ultrabook! Enter 33GWLJMXXBJXV$ @ checkout: (Exp.6/14, 12:59pmCT)