Alternatives to Apple Laptops?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Fouracre44, May 29, 2013.

  1. Fouracre44 macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2012
    Hi guys,

    I am currently a Mac user, and I have a 15" 2010 MBP. I have used both Apple and Mac systems in the past and I enjoyed both.

    Now I'm looking for my next machine, however I don't really need a 15" Retina Macbook Pro, the cost is sort of outrageous for me. I am looking for a machine to use as my primary machine at home, it will be used for music production, browsing, music, movie backing up etc.. mostly just for music.

    I really like the look of windows 8, but there's no solid reviews out there for this type of laptop. Everyone's got ultra books. For me, I really need an optical drive, and I'd like an i5 or an i7, and something that will be a reliable machine for the next few years. I was originally looking at the Toshbia Satellie p850 and there doesn't seem to be any reviews on google.

    I really just want a reliable machine & a solid system that won't frustrate me as my primary machine. Preferablly without spending too much.

    My budget is around $1750 at most $2000. Please give me some advice guys, I know this is a MAC forum but I still own a mac and need advice from people who have experience in both types of laptops.

  2. InfinitiG macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2010
    this is a mac forum buddy
    if you dont want a mac good luck with windows 8 :D

  3. kbt1020 macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2010
    With 1700-2000 dollars, you can always get a cMBP instead of a rMBP if you don't like it. Always have an option to use bootcamp or virtual machine. I think I would wait until WWDC and see what apple has in store.
  4. SMDBill, May 29, 2013
    Last edited: May 29, 2013

    SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2013
    For that money and to use only at home, keep the 15" MBP (for the optical drive and portability), get an iMac base model, maybe upgrade RAM in it, and buy an iPad for portability. Then you have a great marriage of Apple products to cover all the bases. If you want to speed up the 15", add RAM and replace HDD with SSD (if possible). That would eat the entire budget, but you would have THREE machines to get it all done on and you would never worry about portability.

    I personally do not like Windows 8 after using it. Windows feels like a regular OS with bloatware in terms of how you navigate the OS and manage it. Windows 8 tiles just add another layer of BS to an already disorganized OS. It may be ok on a tablet but it would annoy me on a machine where my hands are meant to use input devices, not be the input devices. The last thing I want on my laptop screen is a smudge from an intentional finger touch.

    If you're looking for Win 8 machines specifically, good luck. I have not found any comparable to a Macbook that doesn't cost more. And by cost more, I mean competitively when you compare on a fairly equal basis of hardware and form factor. In my eyes the 15" MBP is VERY expensive, but nobody builds a competitor to it with the amount of memory, dedicated GPU, etc. and the unibody design or similar. Yes, there are some plastic cased machines with cheap displays that have hardware specs far exceeding Macs for less money, but plastic vs. unibody is NOT an even comparison and in that regard, you get what you pay for.
  5. sarakn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2013
    How funny - one of the reasons I decided to leave the windows world was windows 8 - seriously, that OS disgusted me and I'm reformatting my desktop to get rid of it. I have a laptop with win7 and I'm counting down the days to enter the Mac world.

    Since you like win8 so much, why not stick with Mac and run win8 OS.
  6. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Good/powerful PC notebooks are out there. The challenge for a MBP user going to windows is the trackpad. Get something that uses the Synaptic trackpad. Closest thing you'll find that simulates some of a MBP's gestures albeit still lacking.

    No you don't. At least not built in.

    Then skip the tiles altogether. Get one of the many free or cheap hacks out there that allow Windows8 to boot right into the Desktop. I haven't seen tiles for months.

    Or… just wait a few months until Windows 8.1. The functionality to skip the tile screen will be built itn.
  7. mentalcase macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2007
    My 2010 cMBP 15 died so I went laptop shopping to see what was out there. I was extremely impressed with the samsung series 9, but in the end there is no way I can put up with windows again after leaving years ago.

    Windows 8 looks pretty, but in the end it is the same frustrating OS it has always been. I bought a 15 rMBP refurbished for 1600 yesterday and it arrived this morning. You can't go wrong with retina!
  8. Fouracre44 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2012
    No I simply won't be buying another mac, and I don't need an iPad - that answer made me laugh, tablets are a fad for most people, seriously no one even needs an iPad. To me the price is simply not worth the product. Windows 8 is excellent, and it's not frustrating for someone who knows how to use it. Tiles are easy to navigate and easy to bypass completely.

    I bought a mac in 2010 and while I'll say the build quality is exquisite, the prices are considerably bad. The only machine I'm considering is the imac, because they keep making the things blooder smaller and smaller.

    Yes, I do need an optical drive. Built in, too. As hard as that may be for you to believe, I like the solid weight of the laptop. Sure, I could use an external but what the hell is the point if having a laptop if I have to plug in an external drive to it all the time.

    I suppose I should expect this response from Apple people that are so heavily invested in the ecosystem that they will never see that apple just isn't worth the cost anymore.

    It's dissapointing that I would get such a negative response and almost no one bothered to even read the whole thread and answer my intial question. As a current mac user and ios user, I would at least expect my fellow members to be a little more friendly.

    You guys realise that other than the screen and unibody, a windows 8 machine is everything a mac is. I don't know why this debate still goes on, windows 8 is still more popular than mac for most people. Sure graphic designers want to use the mac for it's software packages, but most programs are available on both platforms. I think your all deluded and convinced yourselves that MAC is going to continue to be the best. Look at the imac delays, they aren't going to be the best forever.

    I think the iMac is priced well and descent. Nothing else. I won't actually be back here because I laughed at all the responses from what seems to be young children who just bought their little retina mac book pro's. Unless your sitting 10cm away from your screen, it's going to look like retina anway...

    Whatever guys ;)

    enjoy your fanboyism! Bye
  9. Matthew9559 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I would check out Dell, Alienware, Sager, Acer, Clevo laptops. Find the ones near your budget and go somewhere like notebookreview forums to get opinions from current owners in addition to tech review sites.

    I was looking for an ultra book last Christmas (didn't want mother Mac laptop) but everyone I looked at had at least one or two glaring issues. The best of the bunch was the dell xps 13. Way too man complaints with fan noise and bad trackpad support. Went with a MBA 13" and really happy with my choice.

    Not trying to sway you or anything. For that money you're going to get a sweet windows laptop. Just do a lot of research comparing models and brands. I don't have any particular models in mind but Dell has always been good to me.
  10. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Another one who thinks Macs are overpriced, heh. You don't just compare specs, need to weight the entire package.

    Anyway, it may be a good idea to wait 10 more days to see what Apple has in store for next gen laptops at WWDC, then buy whatever you want.
  11. Veinticinco macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2009
    What a bizarre OP and follow-up response :confused:

    Seems to me that ostensibly you wanted some advice on a PC options, but then having received some standard replies, began a thinly-veiled criticism of Apple hardware prices and indeed members here. Is that a faint whiff of troll...?

    As I said bizarre. If you want PC advice you're in the wrong place. As for your rants about price/value, there's plenty of excellent premium PC laptops with excellent features out there from the likes of Sony and Samsung. Getting one for less than a MBP? Good luck with that. And that's even before you start comparing OS's.


  12. SanJacinto macrumors regular


    Nov 3, 2011
    Milky Way Galaxy
    Then, after 3 years you never really got the advantages of a Macintosh or maybe you don't need them (which is ok, this is not a "hate-post" ;) ).

    Once you got used to Expose and Spaces or now Mission Control or all the Multi Touch capabilities, the very silent and stable system, the non-disturbing UI, a life without a registry, uptimes of 100+ days ... the magnificent hardware enclosure of the Macbook Pro, the smooth feeling of an Apple Trackpad the non-disturbing fans (even at 3000rpm no comparison to Windows notebooks) and the lifespan of 5+ years of serious useful life ...

    OS X Snow Leopard on a HDD ran as fast as a Windows System on SSD.

    For me there is no way back to MS Windows.
  13. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    Here is a review of a Toshiba Satellite P855:

    it seems to be related to the P850.

    A good day to you sir,
  14. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I saw a rather beautiful Lenovo ultrabook at Office Depot for $600 (marked down from $750). It was the closest thing I've seen to Apple build quality outside of an Apple store. It had no optical drive which I know is a must for the OP but I'd have to say if somebody really wanted a Windows 8 machine, the Lenovo deserves a look. It was the only model they had in stock that had a touchscreen.

    I spent a few minutes with the thing. The sales guy kept coming along and hitting some hidden key combination to get to the start button. He did it so quickly, I didn't see what he did. For the few minutes I spent with it, the gestures seemed like an awful mess. I really should install win 8 on a virtualbox so I can learn it properly as my experience walking up to a machine in a store was not a good one.

    I just got a new work machine with Win 7 running on an SSD. It's almost as fast as my 2008 Macbook was with its 5400 RPM drive. Still I must admit that an SSD makes Windows tolerable. For me if the choice was between having an SSD and an external optical drive and having to put up with Windows on spinning media, I'd take the SSD every time.

    My current home machine is a 15 in non retina MBP. It's nice and fast. I've been thinking of putting in an SSD when the prices come down a little more.
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Another vote for Lenovo, great reputation on build quality. If I were leaving the apple platform, this would be on my short list.
  16. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Oh no. I got sucked into a Mac vs. PC thread. :eek: I'll never learn.
  17. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Dell Vostro's are some of the nicest machines I have ever used. Lenovo thinkpads are good computers too. I would buy either of those brands sight unseen.
  18. carlos700 macrumors regular


    Dec 17, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    For me it's all about the build quality, OS X apps and UNIX core. I do web app development and design, so OS X is perfect for me since I can run apps like Sketch while running MongoDB or Node at the same time.
  19. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    And another vote for Lenovo. At home i use Macs, but at work i've had loads of different stuff. The Lenovo Thinkpad range really is top quality stuff. I use an x230 running Windows 8 Enterprise at the moment and couldn't be happier with it. They may not be "Retina" "Thunderbolt" or carved out of a single block of gold by a young virgin girl to the fault tolerance of the molecular level etc but in my experience its the most solid, durable and practical range of laptops out there.
  20. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    And another! If I had to buy a PC laptop today, it would be a Thinkpad. I use an older R400 at work and it's actually been trouble-free and I like the matte screen. Touch pad is fine, but I don't like the bumpy thinkpad trackpads I've run across.
  21. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    isn't it a bit early for a 2010 cMBP to die?

    But you CAN go wrong with no RAM or HDD upgrade and limited expasion capabilities.

    Acer?? Come on! Every PC user knowns they're pieces of crap, badly built, badly serviced, with a ****** OS.

    And I wouldn't recomment Clevo to anyone. Their failure rate is very high, and, as Acer, there's no service available, or seldom. I got a very high spec'ed one before my MBP, and got three major failures in less than two years, back-shipping for repair was unpaid for, and they didn't offer any sort of compensation for an unbelievably bad service and device.

    Benn there, done that.
  22. mentalcase macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2007
    It was way to early for my cMBP to die, but she needs a logic board replacement to fix a micro fracture related to one of the ram slots. Didn't buy applecare for it.

    And the upgradability is just something that has to be dealt with. When the retina announcement was made I said to my self that I was never going to buy a laptop where I could not upgrade the ram. Then I played with one at the apple store as a genius was putting my cMBP through the ringer. It is one hell of a machine and is simply the most impressive computer I've ever used.

    I'll be able to upgrade the hard drive eventually and when 8gb of ram is not enough it'll be time to unload this machine (which refurbished was a great deal) to fund an upgrade. It's not the end of the world and certainly not enough to send me back to windows.

    Call me a fanboy if you want, but I use windows on a daily basis as a work machine and I hate it. OSX is a masterpiece and windows 8 can't hold a candle to it IMHO.
  23. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    I'm inclined to say people are falling victim to a trolling OP based on the followup post.

    However, if you're looking for a main machine at home, get a small desktop... Buy a mini. Your uses don't look very taxing. It sounds like you want a powerful machine but don't need power.

    My laptop is a crappy compaq with a celeron processor. It's a mobile word processor with inter web access that I used for law school. For more permanent computing, I use a desktop. I find that works for most people with low power needs.

    In your case, I have trouble seeing where a 2010 macbook isn't more than sufficient for your needs...

    As for your comments about Win 8 being sufficient for anyone, I've never met a person that liked win 8. It's horrible. The end.
  24. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Silly you. This is blunt, but AppleCare is a must on a laptop. Anything breaks, and you're out top shell $300 minimum. Even so minor as a loose antenna connection, since whole screen has to be replaced.

    On the other hand, I am not read to give up on upgradeability since 1-Apple doesn't provide, even as BTO option, very fast SSDs; 2-16GB RAM option at market's price. Eight wasn't enough for me with virtualization.

    Basically I see the Retina as a beautiful machine where one pay much for the wonderful screen, but give up (a lot) on upgradeability. And it has still no much more horsepower than my 13" cMBP as we are still talking about the almost same dual core i7, same battery life, same absence of dedicated GPU. And I am not accounting for software incompatibilities.

    Large progresses would have to be made for me to consider a rMBP. On the other hand, my current is a beefed-up late 2011, probably not old enough to warrant an upgrade.

    Can you hear your beard growing while law texts load on this thing? ;)
  25. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010

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