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Old May 12, 2013, 04:58 PM   #1
0bone
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Laptop for Apple Defectee

Is it okay for me to post this here? I figured there would be a thread like this already but didn't find one.

I've been buying Mac computers exclusively since I got my first desktop at age 16. Unfortunately for me, my budget is much smaller right now, and I need to find a new computer for under 600, which means I'm going PC.

My previous computer was an Air, and it was basically perfect for me. The only thing I would change is the price and maybe the max resolution/13" screen size. I would have liked a touch screen for the novelty, but I never suffered for lacking one.

Anyway, my priorities for this "Air-like machine" are the following, in order:
Warranty, Temperature, Battery Life, Screen Size
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Old May 12, 2013, 05:29 PM   #2
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http://www.amazon.com/VivoBook-S400C...8393847&sr=1-1

1 year warantee, including accidental coverage, optional extended warantee, 4-5 hour battery life, ULV processor so runs pretty cool, 14", touch, hybrid drive, $590. Just has a bad screen res.

Or this:

http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-Light-CT...8394224&sr=1-7

1080p res for $600.
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Old May 12, 2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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Wait for the Haswell ultra books or you'll be kicking yourself hard.
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Old May 12, 2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Samsung Chromebook if your needs can be met within Chrome OS. It's similar in size, runs extremely cool and handles the web extremely well. Comes with 100GB Google Drive free for 2 years. Has SSD (32GB) and 2GB RAM.

Not at all a powerhouse and quite possibly not what you're looking for, but if you haven't used one they are quite nice for many purposes if you stick to web, email, word processing, spreadsheets, some image work (not powerful image work like Photoshop) and other things. Offline apps are growing as well.

Just a possibility on the cheap if price is hugely important and you want to live virus free and not revert to Windows (Chrome OS is a Linux distro, but unlike any other distro).

Other than that, Acer's versions of smaller computers in the ultrabook range "look" nice but not sure about quality since Acer does not have a history of high quality machines. I haven't had luck with HP or Dell in recent years, but I also have not used their ultrabooks so take that with a grain of salt.
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Old May 12, 2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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Wait for the Haswell ultra books or you'll be kicking yourself hard.
The processor will be released in less than a month, but will there be actual machines using it available from the release date? Or could it take several more months for the manufacturers to come out with laptops using Haswell?

As for the Chromebook machine, I haven't used ChromeOS so I'm not sure how fully featured and capable it is compared to Windows or Ubuntu. A typical day in the life of my laptop involves running a basic programming IDE, a netflix browser window, a regular web browser window with multiple tabs, a Skype chat and of course a Gmail notifier, typically all at the same time. Can a Chromebook handle that?
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Old May 12, 2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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The processor will be released in less than a month, but will there be actual machines using it available from the release date? Or could it take several more months for the manufacturers to come out with laptops using Haswell?

As for the Chromebook machine, I haven't used ChromeOS so I'm not sure how fully featured and capable it is compared to Windows or Ubuntu. A typical day in the life of my laptop involves running a basic programming IDE, a netflix browser window, a regular web browser window with multiple tabs, a Skype chat and of course a Gmail notifier, typically all at the same time. Can a Chromebook handle that?
Only thing I'm not sure about is the IDE. Otherwise yes.
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Old May 12, 2013, 07:37 PM   #7
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The processor will be released in less than a month, but will there be actual machines using it available from the release date? Or could it take several more months for the manufacturers to come out with laptops using Haswell?

As for the Chromebook machine, I haven't used ChromeOS so I'm not sure how fully featured and capable it is compared to Windows or Ubuntu. A typical day in the life of my laptop involves running a basic programming IDE, a netflix browser window, a regular web browser window with multiple tabs, a Skype chat and of course a Gmail notifier, typically all at the same time. Can a Chromebook handle that?
I know apple is definitely releasing soon afterwards. I've heard that samsung and asus are waiting in the shoots. If you can hold off I'd definitely wait.
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Old May 12, 2013, 09:44 PM   #8
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I know apple is definitely releasing soon afterwards. I've heard that samsung and asus are waiting in the shoots. If you can hold off I'd definitely wait.
Will the current gen models be greatly discounted when the new ones are released?
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Old May 13, 2013, 02:23 AM   #9
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Will the current gen models be greatly discounted when the new ones are released?
I know in Australia you can get upto 15%-20% off from Apple resellers.
Have you tried the refurb store?
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Old May 13, 2013, 07:55 AM   #10
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Why didn't you just keep the MacBook Air?

Having said that, the Lenovo IdeaPad U510 is an option - 15" screen, 1.8GHz i5, 6GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, 6 hour battery life for $650. As it's 100% Designed and Made in China, it even looks like a MacBook with a number pad. I wonder how many people would suffice larger keys for a number pad, though.
Thumb resize.

Alternatively, if you're a little more patriotic than that, the Dell Inspiron 15z i15z-1200sLV. 1.9GHz i5, 4GB of RAM (you'll want to upgrade that to 8GB or 16GB eventually anyways), 500GB hard drive (and replace that with an SSD as well).
Thumb resize.

Those 15" Ultrabooks are rather rMBPs minus the retina, minus the MacBook and minus the pro, but really, just get a MacBook Air.
They may look like they'd cost $650, but won't be as snappy as the MacBook Air unless you add 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and then you're looking at $850-900. A refurb 2012 1.8GHz MacBook Air on the other hand goes for $999.

Last edited by Giuly; May 13, 2013 at 08:18 AM.
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Old May 13, 2013, 10:22 AM   #11
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That vizio is the best looking windows laptop I've ever seen, in my opinion. Im impressed. And for 600. NICE. If I would need a cheap slim laptop I would so get this one.
Pretty sure it doesn't have soldered RAM so you could stuff 8GB in there
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Old May 14, 2013, 05:08 PM   #12
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Is "Square Trade" the best/only warranty option for a non-Mac computer?

Edit: And does it matter where I buy a computer nowadays? Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples, NewEgg.com...

Last edited by 0bone; May 14, 2013 at 05:17 PM.
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Old May 14, 2013, 05:50 PM   #13
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Is "Square Trade" the best/only warranty option for a non-Mac computer?

Edit: And does it matter where I buy a computer nowadays? Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples, NewEgg.com...
Not really. Amazon has a good return policy, Best Buy is best if you have a Silver card membersip. I would steer clear of NewEgg.com and Staples, thougj, unless their price is unbeatable by a long shot.
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Old May 15, 2013, 05:33 PM   #14
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Why not try to pick up a 2011 Air or Classic here on the Marketplace or Ebay? I've seen 2012 Pro's go for $800 so I know 2011's will go for $600-650. They have Sandy Bridge which is a little older but remember, OSX runs a lot better than Windows. My ex girlfriend has a 2010 Pro and I upgraded her to 8GB of ram and Mountain Lion and very few people notice the difference between her machine and a 2012 Pro.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:33 PM   #15
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Why not try to pick up a 2011 Air or Classic here on the Marketplace or Ebay? I've seen 2012 Pro's go for $800 so I know 2011's will go for $600-650. They have Sandy Bridge which is a little older but remember, OSX runs a lot better than Windows. My ex girlfriend has a 2010 Pro and I upgraded her to 8GB of ram and Mountain Lion and very few people notice the difference between her machine and a 2012 Pro.
For 600 there's no way they're covered by Applecare. Right? I can't afford to use a computer that is not warranty-covered.
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Old May 18, 2013, 12:21 AM   #16
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I've been giving it a lot of thought, and I really want my new computer to have a touch screen. The initial novelty of a touch screen will distract me from the lack of OS X long enough for me to get the hang of modern Windows. Do you guys have any ultrabook recommendations with touch screens?

I'm willing to wait for Haswell except that I can't find any info about what will be available or when. I'm concerned I could wait a month and discover that they don't have a decent, affordable ultrabook line for several more months. Haswell comes out at the beginning of next month; how long will it take to trickle into my price range?

And are the prices of current models already lower as a result of upcoming Haswell updates?
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Old May 18, 2013, 12:33 AM   #17
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Have a HP Envy TouchSmart then. I doubt that the touch screen can make up for OS X at all, though.

Thumb resize.
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Old May 18, 2013, 12:46 AM   #18
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Have a HP Envy TouchSmart then. I doubt that the touch screen can make up for OS X at all, though.

Thumb resize.
Thanks but that's substantially more than $600.
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Old May 18, 2013, 01:03 AM   #19
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Here it is for $50 less. Or if you want something different than that, the Sony VAIO T, which is even less expensive and has a slightly faster CPU.
Thumb resize.

<$600 is technology from 2011, and you might be better off just looking for a used 2011 MBA. If you look around, you can even pick up a refurbished 2012 MBA for $899.

Last edited by Giuly; May 18, 2013 at 01:15 AM.
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Old May 18, 2013, 01:16 AM   #20
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Why didn't you just keep the MacBook Air?

Having said that, the Lenovo IdeaPad U510 is an option - 15" screen, 1.8GHz i5, 6GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, 6 hour battery life for $650. As it's 100% Designed and Made in China, it even looks like a MacBook with a number pad. I wonder how many people would suffice larger keys for a number pad, though.
Thumb resize.

Alternatively, if you're a little more patriotic than that, the Dell Inspiron 15z i15z-1200sLV. 1.9GHz i5, 4GB of RAM (you'll want to upgrade that to 8GB or 16GB eventually anyways), 500GB hard drive (and replace that with an SSD as well).
Thumb resize.

Those 15" Ultrabooks are rather rMBPs minus the retina, minus the MacBook and minus the pro, but really, just get a MacBook Air.
They may look like they'd cost $650, but won't be as snappy as the MacBook Air unless you add 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and then you're looking at $850-900. A refurb 2012 1.8GHz MacBook Air on the other hand goes for $999.
Not to get into a quasi political discussion. I am just asking to avoid buying from Lenevo. They have been dumping on the market and also are trying to truly destroy competition leaving us with only this Chinese company's offerings.
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Old May 18, 2013, 01:20 AM   #21
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Not to get into a quasi political discussion. I am just asking to avoid buying from Lenevo. They have been dumping on the market and also are trying to truly destroy competition leaving us with only this Chinese company's offerings.
Buy a MacBook, and don't have those problems. If you want to get something American, get a Dell from Round Rock, Texas, HP from Palo Alto or Mac from Cupertino.
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Old May 18, 2013, 01:32 AM   #22
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Buy a MacBook, and don't have those problems. If you want to get something American, get a Dell from Round Rock, Texas, HP from Palo Alto or Mac from Cupertino.
While I don't fancy laptops of any sort unless absolutely needed for a job/gig, I would be happy to use a Mac offering. 90 percent of the time whatever the laptop item is, I would end up hooking it up to a real screen and use a real keyboard and (in my case) trackball.
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Old May 18, 2013, 06:40 PM   #23
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http://www.amazon.com/VivoBook-S400C...8393847&sr=1-1

1 year warantee, including accidental coverage, optional extended warantee, 4-5 hour battery life, ULV processor so runs pretty cool, 14", touch, hybrid drive, $590. Just has a bad screen res.
590? Did they raise the price since you posted this or did you find it for that price elsewhere?

The resolution appears to be the same as Macbook Air.

EDIT: Oops, resolution is the same as 11", not 13". Ignore this post.
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Old May 18, 2013, 06:43 PM   #24
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590? Did they raise the price since you posted this or did you find it for that price elsewhere?

The resolution appears to be the same as Macbook Air.

EDIT: Oops, resolution is the same as 11", not 13". Ignore this post.
Yes they raised it. I say bad screen since it has the same res as the 11" Air in a 14" body. Other than that, seems like a good comp. for around $600
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