Advice about buying a laptop please

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by w72009, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. w72009 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    #1
    Hi.
    I have been lurking around these forums for some time and I have now come to a point where I really need some help making a decision.

    I have previously used both Macs and PC's but have always switched between the 2 (started with a G3 iMac, PC, G5 iMac, PC, PC, G4 Powerbook, PC, MBP, PC, PC).

    I currently use a custom built Intel Quad Core PC running Windows 7, but I have hackintosh'd it a couple of times with OSX10.5.8.

    Anyway, I am going into my 3rd year at uni in a few weeks and as I will need to spend alot of time in the Library, I want/need to get a laptop to take with me. However, I really don't know what to get.

    As an IT student, I thought Windows PC's would be better for my course but I don't think that's the case anymore. Mac's are perfectly usable (esp with Bootcamp). I will be using the computer for Web Development (Silverlight, PHP, Javascript, XHTML, etc), as well as word processing and other day to day tasks.

    I also use a piece of software that converts my web designs into Joomla/Wordpress templates, but this is Windows only software but can be used with Parallels or something.

    In the PC/Windows world, I'd say most people fall into the trap of higher numbers = better computer (me included), but I know from using Macs that this isn't always the case - My G4 Powerbook was far better than the 2GHz Core 2 Duo windows laptop that replaced it.

    So, my situation is, I can get a 2.26GHz 13" MBP for £770 or a 15"/17" Dell Laptop with 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, and 6GB Ram (4GB on the 15") for £729.

    I'm not a fan of the design of Dell laptops, and certainly love the design of a MBP but I don't want to go for something just because it looks good.

    So, please help me out. Offer your suggestions and advice please.
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    dallas, texas
  3. w72009 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #3
    I don't understand, sorry.
     
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #4
    If you felt comfortable about hackintoshing the Dell, that seems like the logical solution. The concern I would have, would be running a hackintosh as the primary machine.
     
  5. w72009 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #5
    Yeah, that's my concern too really. Any other comments/suggestions would be great :)
     
  6. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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  7. w72009 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #7
    To be honest, I really don't know. A bigger screen would be nice but it's not the end of the world.

    Please keep the comments coming.
     
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #8
    Since this is Mac community, I of course own a Mac, and haven't worked with Windows since 3.1., I don't know what you courses you are taking or what their requirements are. Which means I have no qualifications to answer your question, and yet.... it won't stop me expressing my opinion. :D That's what happens when you ask your question here....

    Get the biggest Apple laptop that you can afford to carry around. Even if the budget allows (hypothetically) getting a 17" laptop - if you never bring anywhere it is not a good use of money.... so go heft a few laptops and see which ones you like carrying around.

    The refurbished section on the online store has some good prices on occasion... just check in there constantly. I suspect there will be some good deals in the weeks after all the 'back to school' shopping is done.

    Good luck with university.
     
  9. w72009 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #9
    Thanks for your opinions. I am doing a web development course but also do a networking module with Windows Vista and Linux.

    I can only afford a 13" Macbook Pro if going down the Mac route. I have looked in the refurb store, and the prices are generally the same as I can get new using the HE discount and with the HE discount you get 3 years warranty as standard.

    I would prefer to buy a Mac but I'm just wondering whether it's the best option for me.
     
  10. RoboChef macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chi town
    #10
    Hey man,
    I so know how you feel. I just got my MPB last Sunday after years of waiting. I have been forced to live in a PC world and I give PC's seizures a few times a year. I love my MBP i am still getting used to being back on Mac last time i used one was in the 80's.:cool:
    I say go for the Biggest MBP you can afford you can also add RAM on your own for far less than the Apple store.
    They have a great promo going on till Sept. 9th i think if your a student you get a 10% discount and a free iPod touch. So I got mine for about the same price as I would have spent on a PC that would hope to keep up. Remember you cant compair the RAM and CPU speed Aples to Oranges (PC's) or should i say Lemons!:eek:

    Only issue I am having is my connectivity my PC's keep the Wi-FI signal at my home but the Mac keeps telling me it's off line then 20 secconds later it's back?!?!?! :confused: Im using a 2wire base that came from ATT with my package I think thats the problem. Anyone?
     
  11. w72009 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #11
    As I previously posted, I can only afford the base 13" Macbook Pro so it's more a matter of screen size really. After using 15" laptops, would I struggle with a 13"?

    I know people will say 'go to an apple store and look at them' but you can't tell how usable it will be until you actually use it for day to day tasks.
     
  12. brendu macrumors 68020

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    i have the 13, the screen is great, its really not too small... i almost went with the 15 for the same reason but decided its not needed... also the unibody macbook pro design is so solid none of those pc's can match it in build quality... my vote is the 13"mbp.. you can also always upgrade the HDD later if you want a bigger one..
     
  13. londonmystery macrumors 6502

    londonmystery

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    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    I sold a brand new 15" dell xps laptop and bought my mbp in june this year and didn't notice the difference in screen size.

    My advice go for the mac. :):)
     
  14. w72009 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #14
    Thanks for the comments so far.

    I have just been looking at specs, etc, and I have noticed the screen resolution of the 13" MBP is 1280 x 800 whereas most 15" laptops seem to be 1280 x 800 or 1366 x 768 (on 15.6").

    So in real world uses, the I won't have any less pixels on the 13", so how usable is the screen?

    Thanks
     
  15. RoboChef macrumors newbie

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    Chi town
    #15
    does size really matter?

    Once again I know where your coming from.
    I have used a 15" Laptop for the last 10yrs. My Mac Guru buddy even ask me why i was going with the 13"MBP for me it was a cost issue as well. I have had no issues using the 13" and I have a 19" desk top monitor that I will be "docking" to when I need to do video editing and I plain on running a duel boot for the 1 Windows program that i still need. I will have Mac on 1 screen and PC on the other. He felt that was sound reasoning.
    I also love how light and small the MBP is for travel and I do that a ton.
    Hope this helps!
    Finally i know of guys who buy new Mac's every year cause they want the latest tech. and they get good price for their used Mac's apparently they hold value very well.
    So if the 13" isn't what you need sell it and spend a few bucks more in 6 months or so.
     
  16. w72009 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #16
    Thanks, it's reassuring to hear someone else's experiences of going from a 15" to a 13".

    Can anyone comment on the graphics card? Will I have any problems editing videos, etc, with an onboard graphics card? Similar priced PC laptops seem to have 256MB - 512MB discreet graphics in them.
     
  17. pranavss11 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose
    #17
    While I do not own a 13" MBP, I do own a 13" MB and so I'll go ahead and contribute to this discussion.

    To give you a bit of a background, I am in my 3rd year Software Engineering and thus have to write a lot of code. To be honest, I really have a hard time coding on 13" screen; it feels too small and so, I ended up buying a 22" monitor to make up for it.

    So, I think you should really consider going to an apple store and getting a feel for the 13". If you like it, you are all set; but if you don't then you can consider other options.


    Just my 2c.

    Good luck.
     
  18. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    Jul 29, 2009
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    UK
    #18
    I find it really difficult to 'get the feel for a 13"' in an Apple store. Realistically, you can't get a true feel for it until you're using it for the purpose you'll be using it for day to day (i.e. web dev). I mean, I can't exactly go into an Apple store and design a website can I? :D
     
  19. RoboChef macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chi town
    #19
    Play at the store

    I played in this MBP and some iMac's for about 3 hours at the store here in Naperville and the staff was great at answering questions.
     

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