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Old Apr 3, 2010, 02:57 PM   #1
Goodfella2
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Best MacBook Pro alternative?

First, let me first apologizing for asking for a Mac alternative on a Mac board, but I'm a big Mac equipment and OS fan. I own a sweet 24 inch IMAC that is the best piece of computer equipment I've ever owned. I'm now looking for a laptop of that type of quality that will allow me to do my e-learning work for my company (which uses PC applications- but I can a lot of stuff in OSX). I need it to last me the next 3 years so I want something pretty powerful that isn't going to be outdated after a year. I do mostly word processing, internet, a small amount of video editing, and use about a dozen other PC applications. I would love to get a new MacBook Pro and use boot camp for the PC based applications, but obviously there's no telling when Apple is going to update their laptops to the new processors. I travel about every other week so nothing bigger than a 15 inch in my briefcase would be reasonable.

Sooo.. I'm obviously sadly looking at a Windows 7 machine, but I want it to be as close to the quality as a Macbook Pro as possible. What are some recommendations? Thank you all!
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 03:15 PM   #2
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Internet, Word Processing, and small amount of video editing... the current MBP's are not so wimpy that your modest needs will not tax it. Just my opinion. Unless your small amount of video editing is actually extensive, why are you so worried a C2D MBP wont be enough computer.

If it's more a matter of heavy video editing, or in the future you are wanting to possibly accomplish more than you listed, then for sure start looking at a Windows machine.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 03:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Taheen99 View Post
Internet, Word Processing, and small amount of video editing... the current MBP's are not so wimpy that your modest needs will not tax it. Just my opinion. Unless your small amount of video editing is actually extensive, why are you so worried a C2D MBP wont be enough computer.

If it's more a matter of heavy video editing, or in the future you are wanting to possibly accomplish more than you listed, then for sure start looking at a Windows machine.
My thoughts as well.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 04:16 PM   #4
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Thought of getting a refurbished MBP from Apple and then treating yourself to a copy of Parallels? You can get AppleCare so the thing will be guaranteed to last you.

Other than that....the only manufacturer of PCs that I would even think of buying from is Dell. They have pretty good reliability on their Latitude line, but most of their machines are ugly as hell compared to a Mac =/.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 04:20 PM   #5
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Exclamation Answer

For $1899
you get


Operating system Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-720QM Quad Core processor (1.6GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz
Memory 4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
Hard drive 640GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
Graphics card 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5830 Graphics -
Display 15.6" diagonal Full High Definition LED HP Ultra Brightview Widescreen Display (1920x1080)
Personalization Webcam Only
Networking Intel Wireless-N Card with Bluetooth
HDMI out
Beats HD Audio
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 04:55 PM   #6
Coldmode
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The Envy got mixed reviews from Engadget. Aesthetically it's pretty nice and plenty powerful, but the thing runs hot and has terrible battery life. It does matter, of course, how you plan on using it.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 04:57 PM   #7
Goodfella2
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Originally Posted by Taheen99 View Post
Internet, Word Processing, and small amount of video editing... the current MBP's are not so wimpy that your modest needs will not tax it. Just my opinion. Unless your small amount of video editing is actually extensive, why are you so worried a C2D MBP wont be enough computer.

If it's more a matter of heavy video editing, or in the future you are wanting to possibly accomplish more than you listed, then for sure start looking at a Windows machine.
I was told by my coworker that for the occasional video & photo work he's seen me do, and for what I wanted in the future, that the specs of the current Macbook Pro will be outdated and too sluggish in a year.

I record 1/2 hour to 2 hour clips of HD video and do very light editing. I've been working with this video on my IMAC and it's a breeze, but for the laptop he just told me to get something more powerful. Thank you.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 04:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rmbrown09 View Post
For $1899
you get


Operating system Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-720QM Quad Core processor (1.6GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz
Memory 4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
Hard drive 640GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
Graphics card 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5830 Graphics -
Display 15.6" diagonal Full High Definition LED HP Ultra Brightview Widescreen Display (1920x1080)
Personalization Webcam Only
Networking Intel Wireless-N Card with Bluetooth
HDMI out
Beats HD Audio

Is that the specs and photo of the Envy? Thank you.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 05:00 PM   #9
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The Envy got mixed reviews from Engadget. Aesthetically it's pretty nice and plenty powerful, but the thing runs hot and has terrible battery life. It does matter, of course, how you plan on using it.
Wow. Great recommendation. I love the look of it. For those that have used both the MBP and the Envy, is it a "quality" imitation MBP? Or could it compete with the MBP? I just read the Engaget review, and it didn't really sway me one way or the other. It's almost as if they say the pluses are all offset by the heat and low battery life issues. Hmm......
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 05:04 PM   #10
Gabriel GR
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I saw the envy in person and it's nowhere as well made as the MBP, Thinkpads and Elitebooks.

If you have the money for the MBP and want "new hardware" look for thinkpad T series, Vaio Z and HP Elitebooks.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 05:04 PM   #11
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I was on the fence about switching from Windows to mac, and the waiting turned me off to apple in general. I just picked up a Sony Vaio Z, and so far I'm very happy with it. Probably just as fast, if not faster, at normal activities than the Envy 15.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 05:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Goodfella2 View Post
I was told by my coworker that for the occasional video & photo work he's seen me do, and for what I wanted in the future, that the specs of the current Macbook Pro will be outdated and too sluggish in a year.

I record 1/2 hour to 2 hour clips of HD video and do very light editing. I've been working with this video on my IMAC and it's a breeze, but for the laptop he just told me to get something more powerful. Thank you.
get the 2.53ghz processor 4/8gb of ram. upgrade yourself, its so easy. don't buy ram from apple. and also upgrade the hd yourself to a 500gb/7200rpm. i recommend the hitachi 7k500. everything i just listed will eat up anything you need to do. you could even get the white unibody macbook with those same specs and save some money. i did everything i listed and i love mine.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 06:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Coldmode View Post
The Envy got mixed reviews from Engadget. Aesthetically it's pretty nice and plenty powerful, but the thing runs hot and has terrible battery life. It does matter, of course, how you plan on using it.
And NOISY !!!

Hot + high speed turning fan = PC with 1 year and half expected life
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 06:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Goodfella2 View Post
Is that the specs and photo of the Envy? Thank you.
Yes that is the picture of the 15, not sure what specs the photo one has, but It will look the same no matter what.

That was not the top config, you can go upto a 820m i7, 16 GB ram, dual solid state HDD's and more
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 06:30 PM   #15
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And NOISY !!!

Hot + high speed turning fan = PC with 1 year and half expected life
Wow. Year and a half lifespan? Disappointing to say the least. The Sonz Vaio Z seems like a good prospect, but when I had it in my hands at the store yesterday it seemed like the mousepad was of the small variety that I did not like. I got used to that silly little mouse knob on my current Lenovo and when I have to go back to the flat touch mouses I can't stand the little ones where you have to keep picking your finger up and then trying again.

Anyone know if any of the other manufacturers have anything quality on the horizon?
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 07:07 PM   #16
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The Z has everything you could want in a MacbookPro refresh.
Core i5 or i7
Discrete switchable graphics (Nvidia 330M)
RAID 0 dual, triple, or quad SSDs
high res screen (1080P available)
AND
3lbs

http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/11/s...14gx-s-review/
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 07:08 PM   #17
mooble117
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Since you mentioned thinkpads, maybe a T410?
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 07:17 PM   #18
choco
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Originally Posted by Coldmode View Post
Thought of getting a refurbished MBP from Apple and then treating yourself to a copy of Parallels? You can get AppleCare so the thing will be guaranteed to last you.

Other than that....the only manufacturer of PCs that I would even think of buying from is Dell. They have pretty good reliability on their Latitude line, but most of their machines are ugly as hell compared to a Mac =/.
really? i'm currently using a dell latitude d531 (about three years old) and it's quite possibly the worst computer ever. then again, i only have 800mb of ram. i really can only surf the net with it, and even then it only lasts for about 5 minutes before it overheats and is noisy as heck. i can't even THINK about listening to music. haven't heard a tune on here or watched a youtube clip since last june. it just crashes this thing.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 08:05 PM   #19
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There is no alternative.
HP envy looks and feels cheap.
Toshiba laptops are horribly ugly.
Sony Z's assembly quality is appalling.

Remember, MacBook Pro and MacBook/MacBook Air are the only laptops which allow you to open them with one hand.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 09:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by rmbrown09 View Post
For $1899
you get


Operating system Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-720QM Quad Core processor (1.6GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz
Memory 4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
Hard drive 640GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
Graphics card 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5830 Graphics -
Display 15.6" diagonal Full High Definition LED HP Ultra Brightview Widescreen Display (1920x1080)
Personalization Webcam Only
Networking Intel Wireless-N Card with Bluetooth
HDMI out
Beats HD Audio
Look at all the ports on the right side where you use the mouse, it's amazing computer design engineers haven't figured it out yet ...

That HP laptop imo is a poor purchase, runs hot, not a pleasure to use or type on. They are selling, but not for me for sure ....
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 10:11 PM   #21
mooble117
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Originally Posted by raykhrud View Post
There is no alternative.
HP envy looks and feels cheap.
Toshiba laptops are horribly ugly.
Sony Z's assembly quality is appalling.

Remember, MacBook Pro and MacBook/MacBook Air are the only laptops which allow you to open them with one hand.
I don't think that a very fair statement. While the Z may not be quite as robust as the Unibody macs, i think it's quite durable in its own right. The top half of the shell is also made of milled aluminum and the lid and other critical areas are made of carbon fiber or carbon fiber composites.
If durability is a concern take a look at thinkpads, which are more durable than macs, from what I've heard.

For a user looking to switch from Windows to Mac, like myself, there current hardware is not enough to get me to pass over alternatives like the Vaio Z, Thinkpad, or Envy with more modern hardware.

For users like raykhrud and from what is sounds like Goodfella2, requiring Windows software is not a good enough reason to switch entirely to windows. If it suits you, get a current macbook pro and run bootcamp. If your looking to switch, there are plenty of alternatives.

And FWIW, here's a video of durability testing on the old Z. The new one is supposed to be even better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kh7V...eature=channel
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 10:11 PM   #22
CP123
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Why didn't you do a search first? This very topic has been talked about ad nauseum.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 11:07 PM   #23
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The first generation HP Envy 15 WAS noisy and hot. The second gen (with Arrandale) is cool and quiet. There are very few reviews, sadly, because few people have noticed the second gen Envy. I'd get it myself if I wanted a 15-incher, but I want a 13-inch Arrandale, and there aren't any yet released to my specs.
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Old Apr 4, 2010, 01:15 AM   #24
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The first generation HP Envy 15 WAS noisy and hot. The second gen (with Arrandale) is cool and quiet. There are very few reviews, sadly, because few people have noticed the second gen Envy. I'd get it myself if I wanted a 15-incher, but I want a 13-inch Arrandale, and there aren't any yet released to my specs.
Didn't realize there was a second generation Envy. Reviews look great. Two things bug me about it though- no backlit keyboard and no DVD drive.
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Old Apr 4, 2010, 08:29 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by entatlrg View Post
Look at all the ports on the right side where you use the mouse, it's amazing computer design engineers haven't figured it out yet ...
Figured what out yet? That more ports is better than Mac offerings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodfella2 View Post
Didn't realize there was a second generation Envy. Reviews look great. Two things bug me about it though- no backlit keyboard and no DVD drive.
Slim, external USB superdrive is included with the Envy. Reads BluRay/DVD/CD, and writes DVD[DualLayer]/CD.

I rarely use optical media, so the Envy bundling a slim external optical drive would be fantastic for those one-off times when one is needed (such as installing a dual-boot OS, or importing your DVD/CD collection). For the rest of the time, you don't need it and will never need to carry it around. A nice touch, and a great tradeoff.
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