13" C2D MBP vs. 17" i5 Dell Inspiron?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by KidZgOtMac, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. KidZgOtMac macrumors regular


    Jul 20, 2010
    Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
    So, here we go yet once again. Soon to be College freshman, initially majoring in Office Administration but will most likely transfer to CS, CIS or CE. Really confused on what laptop to get, not a gamer but I like to spend most of my day on the computer either on every single social network, photoshopping, youtube, etc. I start in September but I will most likely not have the full budget to buy a laptop by the first day of classes but I will sooner than a month after. I really want to make the switch to Apple but I don't want to blow $1799 plus tax on a 15" MBP that just seems ridiculous & I would only have that budget maybe come christmas. As of right now, I really narrowed things down to two laptops. The 13" MBP C2D or the 17" i5 Dell Inspiron. I don't want to wait that long to get my College laptop & I really dont care about portability I just want something thats going to last me more than if not only my 4 years & have enough screen space for my major. I don't want to have problems doing things on a 13". I seriously just left Earth on a crash course to Mars, somebody help? please? thanks!

    *Note: NO Apple stores where I live, no credit card & Best Buy refuses to honor the Ed. Discount, so I will not be able to get the educational discount, I'm screwed. I will have the budget for the 15" MBP but I would have to wait about 2-4 months after I start College.

    $1282.93 13" MBP C2D:
    Well, you already know the specs on that..

    $1016.49 17" i5 Dell Inspiron:
    ◦Intel® Core™ i5-430M processor
    Features 3MB cache and 2.53GHz Turbo Boost processor speed.
    ◦Intel® Core™ i5 processor
    Features smart 4-way processing performance with a speed boost.
    ◦Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
    Delivers extra performance when you need it and increased energy efficiency when you don't.
    For multitasking power, expandable to 8GB.
    ◦DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
    Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media.
    ◦17.3" LED HD+ widescreen display
    Delivers intense detail and clarity.
    ◦500GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 rpm)
    Offers spacious storage and fast read/write times.
    ◦ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics
    Feature 512MB dedicated video memory for impressive image detail. HDMI output for connection to an HDTV or HD monitor.
    ◦Built-in 1.3MP webcam
    Makes it easy to video chat with and send video mail to family and friends.
    ◦7-in-1 media reader
    Supports Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, High Density Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, MultiMediaCard Plus, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO and xD-Picture Card formats.
    ◦4 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
    For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
    ◦Dell 1520 Wireless LAN card (802.11a/b/g/n)
    Connects you to the Internet without wires.
    ◦Built-in 10/100 Ethernet LAN
    With RJ-45 connector for quick and easy wired Web connection.
    ◦Weighs only 6.4 lbs. and measures just 1.3" thin
    For portable power.
    ◦Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit operating system preinstalled

    Edit: Shoot, I'd even consider a 15" Dell Inspiron if I ever find the 17" too big...
  2. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
  3. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2009
    You get what you pay for. Apple is a premium brand, I don't care what people say when it comes to reliability and durability Macbook Pro series is second to none when it comes to consumer grade. If you're going the Dell route you will want to look into the business route. Their consumer grade has very poor build quality.

    Also. You're basically going to be using your computer for writing papers and doing excel worksheets you're not going to need haalf the power the Dell provides. And at the same time OSX is just much snappier and quicker than Win7. Boot faster, programs open faster, resources are better utilized, etc, etc.

    But at the same time if you don't care about OSX, battery life or portability there's no real point in looking at a Apple computer.
  4. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    Almost $1300 for a 13" C2D is a lot in 2010 when you can get a 17" i5 for less...

    How do you feel about the screen size? Apple's equivalent system would be twice as expensive as the Dell. Unibodies are nice, but the C2D is ancient.
  5. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    And what exactly is he going to do that might take advantage of an i5 over a C2D?

    His benefits would come from using multitouch shortcuts and smooth scrolling. Those would far exceed any speed gains he would ever notice on that Dell.
  6. tim100 macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009

    get the macbook. why would you want a big pc thing probably weights 10 lbs. :eek:
  7. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well maybe not the CPU .... yet .... but the Dell has at least 1600x900 resolution which is nice overt the tiny 1200x800 of the MBP13 (although 17" is really big in my book)


    well people say that a lot around here, but I've read reports claiming this is not true ..... anymore at least.

  8. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Your forgetting that that survey goes back three years, where apple had nvidia 8600m GT in every single MacBook Pro, the most unreliable graphic card ever made (possibly), I'm sure next survey where the 9600/9400 series was introduced, it did look a lot different.
  9. TZRaceR6 Guest


    Jun 8, 2010
    United Kingdom
    If you plan to buy a Dell, don't expect it to last 4 years. Don't expect it to last 1 year. If it does, be happy. If you need help via their phone center, I hope you know how to speak Hindi.

    If I were you I would go to cnet.com and have a look at their reviews. They have several on laptops, including a review on laptops for college students. While I have loved all my various Mac's, I think you might fare quite well with a windows based laptop... just not Dell. Probably the biggest pieces of junk on the planet.

  10. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...if you plan to buy a Dell, get at least the 3 year on-site warranty with it so they come to you when it needs fixing (usually its a couple day turn around which is great), really comes in handy if you have a work assignment due in a hurry!

    I still have my ~12+ year old Dell dimension 8100 desktop working after all these years... it ate 3 HDD's during my 3 year warranty and its been great (knock on wood) ever since the warranty "ran out":confused: as its usually the other way around...
  11. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Can't go wrong with a ten hour battery life in college....
  12. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Are you a current Mac user? If so, you won't be happy with Windows - at least I wasn't... when I bought my MBP I did the same thing ("oh look, I can get an i5 and more this and that for less money!"). Thankfully, I intentionally bought mine (an HP) at Walmart so that I could return it if I wasn't happy. It went back 3 days after I bought it and I ordered my MBP.

    It was fast, had better specs, worked perfectly... but it just wasn't a Mac. It was plastic (I know you can get nicer PCs...), it was thick, and the "multi-touch" trackpad was a joke. Extremely happy with my 13" MBP... just wish that I'd had the coin for the 15". :D
  13. Salacion macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2010
    Well, back in the day when I used Windows, I owned 3 Dells. Each one lasted no longer than a year. For one, the motherboard fried, for the second, the screen just broke of the laptop, and for the last, the OS slowed down to such a ridiculous speed that I couldn't use it. A virus.

    As for Macs, I've owned two. One Black Macbook, for 4 years (2006 - 2010), and now this aluminum baby. In the end, if I had stuck with Dell, I would have payed twice as much as I payed for my Black Macbook.

    The macbook lasts, the dell doesn't.
  14. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If you have a debit card, you can most likely use it as a credit card on Apple's website to get the edu discount.

    Having said that, if money's tight, drop the dell down to a 15" Inspiron or go refurb.

    If I was in your position, I'd get the Dell Vistro 3400 and add on a 3 year, next business day warranty, for about the same price as a macbook. It looks good, has some decent specs, and it's not too large (I find the 17" machines to be too large to lug around every day).

    Coming here and asking for a rational opinion is like taking a kid to a candy store and asking him to make healthy choices, especially when it comes to spending other people's money! If you can keep a computer running without it getting riddled with spyware, at least 1/2 the reason to go OS X just disappeared.
  15. Yimbie macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2010
    lol 10 hours
  16. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    If all you do is taking notes, you get almost 9 hours on the 15 inch. So probably 10 hours on the 13 inch then.
  17. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    Asus gives 2 year waranty on their machines, Apple only 1 year. So Apple is basically saying their machines are more unreliable than those of Asus regardless of using new GPU's. Else Apple would have also given atleast 2 years of warranty.
  18. I'mAMac macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2006
    In a Mac box
    OR they just want our money and for us to buy AppleCare?

    Maybe they know their laptops won't breakdown so why give us a longer warranty?
  19. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Umm. Everyone here is going to be biased and say get the Mac, heck.. It is a Mac forum.

    Buy I say get what you can afford, if I were in your situation and required the extra real estate within my budget, I'd *gulp* go for the Dell.

    However if you can wait to save up, I do recommend a 15" i5/7.
  20. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    1.) **** happens. You cannot guarantee that Macs won't have problems. They often do, I know from experience.

    2.) The OP stated that no student discount, so the cost of AppleCare might push the price of the computer even further. All that money just to make sure that the C2D will be serviced if anything goes wrong after the statutory warranty period...

    3.) Your name is 'I'mAMac', but your avatar is a picture of the i5 processor. You have to choose one. :) Here, the i5 MBP is not an option as it would be twice as much.

    To the OP: if you wanted a C2D and a smaller screen, you would have checked alternatives, I guess. If you want the 15", the 13" will be small. If you prefer portability, then the 13" MBP might be better, but you have to be aware that there is a speed difference between the two computers. Whether you will notice that immediately, I don't know.

    Does that Dell come with matte screen? For me, both my unibodies (13", 15") are seriously restricted when it comes to outdoors use. You could buy a temporary laptop and wait for the 13" MBPs to feature i3/i5 and at least optional matte screens.
  21. MaxMike macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2009
    I'd get a debit card. I have one and know that Bank of America has a specific account setup for students. I plan to use the debit card I have with my own bank when I get my MacBook pro next year for college :D
  22. KidZgOtMac thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 20, 2010
    Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
    Well, if I transfer to Computer Engineering or Computer Science I might need the extra real estate and faster processor for running aplications, coding, etc.

    No I'm not a current Mac user. I've had PC's all my life. I do have a main desktop which I use alot and still manages itself although sometimes it goes into slow mode for no reason. There is also a Toshiba Satellite which my grandmother initially bought for her for me to teach her how computers work but we never got to that part and my cousin kinda took over it and has it most of the time so it's not mine.

    I'm currently looking into this, I live in Puerto Rico
    & I don't know of any Bank of America's here but I do plan on opening my own account to save the extra money I'll have from Scholarships. Thank God College is not as EXPENSIVE here as in the states.
  23. csjo00 macrumors regular

    May 17, 2010
    I have the 13" 2010 Macbook Pro.

    I couldn't imagine using any larger screen size. And I'm a college student and I plan on taking my laptop to all my classes. Although I plan on getting a larger screen when I move into my dorm.
  24. 0r30 macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2010
    I would go with a Mac, I came from a Hp windows 15" man it was a struggle carrying it to classes especially when turning it on from sleep, with the mac pro 13" its light quick from waking up and easier to use when on the go, I carry it everywhere I go.
  25. chris2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2010
    Refurb White MB from Apple Online: $759

    Works great for you.

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