Powerbook or Dell Inspiration?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by thomasp, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    Very soon (like within a couple of months) I'll be buying a new computer for university to replace this ageing G3 iMac. Ideally, I'd like a 15" PB, but my friends are trying very hard to convince me otherwise and go for a Dell Inspiration - which one should I choose?

    A bit of a stupid question really - I just want some reasons to convince my friends that the PB is the better choice.

    I really like the 15" 1.5GHz PB, and have been using macs for about 8 years and have grown to love them.

    The rivals are the Dell Inspiration 9300 and the Dell Inspiration XPS Gen. 2.

    So far, my reasons for preferring the PB over the Dells are:

    • PB is a Mac :D
    • PB looks nicer
    • PB is lighter
    • When all three are kitted out to near identical specs, the Inspiration 9300 works out cheaper (by £50), the PB is second cheapest and the XPS is the most expensive - £400 more than the PB
    • The 9300 has a slower processor clock speed than the PB - not sure how much to read into this
    • The PB actually appears cheaper to kit out with what I want
    • I'd be able to get the Student edition of MS office for the PB, but would have to spend an extra £130 to get Office on the Dell's
    • PB is thinner
    • PB has a better scrolling trackpad system
    • The PB wouldn't come with an "Intel Inside" sticker ;)

    And the reasons for the Dell's

    • They're Windows based computers (my friend's hate macs...)
    • Dell's have a 17" screen, PB only has a 15" screen (mind you I don't really need a 17" - the 15" dells seem to have poor specs)
    • The XPS appears fastest
    • I would be able to interract with the university network more (although my first choice has quite a good Mac support)
    • The 9300 is cheaper (just) than a PB
    • I probably don't need the same specs as the PB, so the Dell's would work out slightly cheaper still
    • "Macs suck" (according to my friends)

    What are your views on this. Should I go for the PB or one of the Dell's, and why?

    Of course, there are the obvious reasons for going for the PB, as in it runs OSX (and I have a strong dislike for XP...) and it's less prone to viruses.

    I'll probably go for the PB anyway - I'm just interested to see what people's views are :)
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    How about buying something on your own terms, not on your friends'? ;)

    PowerBook of course! No questions asked.

    Oh yeah, and the only slightly legitimate reason I can see to get the Dell is the network integration part but to be honest, most unis are pretty bad about this and they won't let anyone (Mac or Windows) do all that much externally. But that's just my experience, hopefully it'll be different wherever you end up going. :)
  3. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    The Dell doesn't run OS X, nothing to discuss really get the PowerBook.

    Most Windows/Linux users I know think Macs suck then I let them use 1 of my Macs and "Macs suck" becomes "Macs are too expensive". Let them think what they want, and use OS X and be happy!
  4. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    First, it's Inspiron, not Inspiration(far from it actually).
    Second, get some new friends. They sound like a bad influence.
    Third, PB's have 17" screen.
    Fourth, Get the PB. Why be a leming. Your 'friends' will respect you for being different if they are truly your frieds.

    I own a dell laptop, and I cant wait to dump it and get a PB. I'm just waiting for some sort of upgrade.
  5. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    This is really a no-brainer. I presume you are just needing a little support for your decision?
    C'mon, you know OS X is the best. So what if your uninformed friends rag on Apple? You're not seriously considering allowing their opinions to dictate what you will purchase, right? Right?? Go with the Mac, and you won't have to let them monkey with your new PowerBook, since it "sucks."
  6. Badradio macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2004
    We just had 3 of the 17" Inspirons delivered for some of the salesmen here. Man, they are 4 kilos of ugly apiece. These things are so thick and heavy you could use one to chock a truck's wheels and stop it rolling down a hill. A steep hill. OS and network compatibility aside, I'd have to recommend the powerBook on aesthetic grounds.
  7. Tamer Brad macrumors regular

    May 13, 2005
    Just get a powerbook and let your friends be jealous when they look at their Dulls.
  8. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    What uni are you going to? im sure that you will be ok with connecting to their network. Otherwise, dont worry about other people, seriously. You're going to uni and if i am honest, having an apple is infinately more credible than having a dell. nuff' said
  9. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    Sorry about the typo :)

    My "friend" (aka Mac hater) brought his Dell laptop (it might have been the Inspiron) into school a little while ago and it looked pretty nice, but not as nice as the PB. However, I was alarmed at how heavy it was! Even my dad's 3.5 year old iBook was lighter - it felt almost as heavy as my iMac.

    The main argument for buying a Dell is being able to run software that the uni give me. However, I'm not even sure if they will give/sell me any software (it seems that the only software they give/sell out is Virex for the Apple laptops...). I suppose a 1.5GHz PB would have enough power to run Virtual PC at a half decent speed if I needed to use a Windows environment a lot.

    I think the same about XP - I've had nothing but bad experiences with XP.

    Unfortunately, the 17" PB is way out of my price budget - I can only just stretch to the 15" and some more RAM.

    Just out of interest, why do you want to get rid of your Dell?

    Yeah - I just need some stuff to fire back at them to get them to shut up about trying to convince me to switch

    I was actually considering switching at one point, but when my friend brought in his laptop to convince me to switch, it pushed me back closer to macs :D


    My first impression on seeing the Inspiron up close was "The PB's look nicer".
    My second was "The PB's look thinner"
    On picking it up, I rapidly formed my third impression "My iMac feels lighter"

    I almost certainly will get a PB now :)
  10. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    I'm going to Loughborough University (pending exam results...) in Leicestershire, UK.

    The Halls of Residence network does seem to support macs, and you can't plug any computer direct into the main uni network.

    I think I've got enough to throw back at them now - especially the "using them [Dells] to chock the wheels of a truck on a very steep slope" comment. :D
  11. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    Your in for some fun, the illuminated apple on the back of the screen should be enough to shut them up for good! Just for good measure, my friends sister has just finished at oxford, and she said that out of everyone she knew at halls, ony those with macs had working computers after the three years. Everyone else left with another expense to add to thier student loan! :eek:

    PS. good luck with those exams!
  12. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    I have 4 computers total at home, so I dont need any more windows machines(I do software development, so I need to have some kicking around)

    The Dell is a heavy pig. I sometimes take the train into work, and I dont even bother bringing it along anymore. Just not worth the effort. I will likely farm it out to my 9 yr old son.
  13. shadowguy macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Excuse me while I go and gag from hearing the word Dell.

    I have a few reasons why Mac OSX would be better than buying the Dell with Winblows XP.
    1. No viruses for Mac
    2. No spyware for Mac
    3. Looks nicer
    4. Makers of OS also made hardware, so less hardware related issues.

    Reasons to buy Windows PC (I still wouldn't get a Dell)
    1. Larger software library available
    2. More games available(if thats your thing)
    3. If PC has Pentium M, extraordinary performace and battery life for a PC
  14. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    Not forgetting the backlit keyboard, which adjusts to ambient light levels! You don't get that on the dell :D

    lol - I heard something on the net ages ago that an American university had all bar 4 of their students fail a course because everyone (but those four) failed to hand their coursework in. The reason: the uni network got a virus and everyone's computer went down - apart from the four macs!

    Thanks :)
  15. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    I was put off the Inspiron by it's weight. And I'll probably be lugging my computer around university quite a lot.

    What kind of battery length (from max charge to completely flat) can you expect from the Dell? Their website didn't seem to say anything. Apply says you can squeeze about 4.5 hours out of the 15" PB batteries.
  16. shadowguy macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    On the 17", I think they claim around 4 hours.
  17. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    If your friends are telling you to buy a Windows machine, then you need to drop those friends. Real friends would never do that to one another :D

    Seriously now, one thing I've noticed about these so-called "Mac Haters" is that they've never used one and know absolutely NOTHING about it. Either that or the last Mac they used was an Apple II. :rolleyes:
  18. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    i agree with the above poster... real friends don't encourage you to buy dells...

    tiger is absolutely fantastic, whereas windows makes me want to stab pencils in my eyes
  19. mspock macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2003
    Dell what processor ?

    do the inspiron dell have a centrino pentium M derivative inside ? If yes, trust me it will be faster then the g4 if you do video and things like that. Not that the powerbook are slow (i have a 17" 1,5 ghz) but check www.barefeats.com low end centrino beat every powerbook in terms of power and battery. Dont trust people saying the ppc beat centrino clock for clock speed, its true for the pentium 4, not the pentium M.

    If you dont need much power, consider an ibook with 1 gig ram.

    That said, the inspiron dont run os X, wich is the only reason i have a powerbook (well they are indeed sexy).

    Unless you need all the power you can have for video rendering, the powerbook will feel fast enough.

    Are you a gamer ? if yes, take the inspiron.
  20. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    I was required to purchase a Windows machine for my freshman year of university. I bought a Dell Inspiron 8500, Pentium 4M processor and, after third-party help, 1GB RAM. It weighs enough that I had to buy a special, extra-padded backpack to carry it around. I was appalled when I first held it and even more appalled at its mobile performance. Even today, I get only about 1:45 hours of battery life when its using the mobile energy settings. The fans kick in with common tasks (i.e. web-browsing) and scream in high-intensity applications (i.e. CAD work).

    Additionally, my wireless range is about 30 feet from the line-of-sight of a router. As soon as wall comes between me and the router, my range is strapped to about 7-10 feet. It is horrifying. And it was horrifying enough that I ended up purchasing my current iBook. The advantages of it have been unending.

    I absolutely agree with shadowguy in that Apple's success is the combination of creating an operating system that is well integrated with the hardware. Using Tiger on my iBook is phenominal. Despite a two-generation old processor, the iBook races through the toughest of my Photoshop work and, honestly, Office 2004 for Mac is faster than Office is on my Dell Inspiron. If I had the choice between A) spyware, viruses, and blue screens of death or B) Expose, Spotlight, and the Unix Core, there's no way I could choose anything less than a Mac.

    To top off the achievements of Apple, they also make beautiful products. I urge you to not be swayed by your Windows-calling friends; some people have natural aversions and prejudices and it seems your friends are just attempting to control and manipulate you. If you want that PowerBook, go for it.

    I love my iBook so much, that currently there is a 12" PowerBook in the mail (somewhere) heading to my place.
  21. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    OK, I have both a Mac and a PC and I like them both. I would really judge it depending on what you need to do and which one you truly like better. If you're saying the cost isn't really a huge problem, go to an Apple store and test drive a powerbook and then go test drive a windows laptop at CompUSA or somewhere. It depends on what you need, what you have software for, etc. For example, if your uni says we'll give you free Office, Photoshop, etc. for Windwos but not Mac, I would choose the PC. I'm not attached to one or the other like many people here are (not saying that's a bad thing). I think generally, overall, I like Mac better. If you're considering which one is made better and easier to carry around (tougher), I would recommend an iBook adn they are VERY rugged. Of course the PowerBook will also probably be more rugged than the dell.

    If you are carrying around a laptop do NOT get an XPS, they're HUGE.
  22. Eevee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2004
    New Haven, CT
    Of course a Powerbook!!!

    Lots of my collegues have Dell laptops and they always have problems with it (memeory loss, hard drive died, the common "just won't start," virus attack and so on...)

    Goto your local apple store and check out the PBs
  23. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    thomasp, you might also want to get your friends to give you specific reasons why they think Macs suck. List them here and we, as a community, can rebut each and every one of these points as best we can. If they have no specific reasons, they are just being "brandists"...
  24. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Your out of your mind if you don't get the PowerBook. If you need a windows computer for one of your classes then thats a different story. Don't let your windows friend influence you into never ending headaches and blue screens of death. Get the PowerBook and rub in their faces how you never have any problems with the OS.
  25. xli_ne macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2005
    Center of the Nation
    i can't believe this was asked on a mac site. :rolleyes:

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