Alternatives.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JuanGuapo, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    Hey all,

    I'm looking for suggestions on PC notebook alternatives for the Macbook Pro. I know this is an Apple-centric board and I am an Apple owner (iMac, iPhone, iPad, Macbook Pro, etc.) but I'm seriously considering selling my Macbook Pro laptop and getting a PC laptop instead. Reasons are my own but for the most part I've had repeat quality issues with Apple's portable lines (both Macbook and MBP) and am looking elsewhere for a suitable, solid, laptop that can last me a few years.

    I've owned HP in the past and I am looking to avoid that brand, if possible. The Toshiba Tecra and Satellite models look nice, as do the Sony Vaios. Dell's XPS seems ok.

    I don't need a high-end GPU since I do not do gaming, integrated is fine. 15" screen at a minimum, sturdy keyboard with a solid build. I'd prefer something with at least a 4-6hr battery life.

    Has anyone had any experience with these makes, and any suggestions for PC alternatives? Much obliged if you could offer your experience(s) as well.

    Thanks, in advance.
     
  2. cookie.monster macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
  3. JoJoCal19 macrumors 65816

    JoJoCal19

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #3
    Hi Juan, I love Apple products (as you can see in my sig) but also working in IT, I have an appreciation of PC products as well. In my household PC and Mac live together harmoniously.

    I have a newish Toshiba Satellite 15" Core i3 laptop. I personally do not care for it. The only reason I got it is because my sister bought it last year and didn't care for it and I got it for dirt cheap from her.

    I personally am a huge fan of Lenovo laptops. I think the Lenovo's are top notch. I also hear good things about Sony and Samsung but I would still opt for a Lenovo.
     
  4. wct097 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    #4
    The Dell Vostro line is worth a look IMO. I've purchased 3 in the last 4 years for myself, my wife, and my mom. All three have be very reliable except for the last several months with Nvidia 8600m video card problems in my personal laptop. As that problem occurs in a wide variety of machines using the same card, I'll give Dell a pass on that issue.
     
  5. jimmyhii macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #5
    I personally quite like lenovo's thinkpad line because it's supposed to be built like a brick:)

    I would say get a 'business' model, regardless what brand you get. when i say business model i mean that some brands separate models into consumer and business. from experience with HP and Dell laptops, it seems that the consumer ones really aren't engineered as well as the business ones. Not really basing this on any solid evidence, just my feel. good luck choosing!
     
  6. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
  7. Azygos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    #7
    I've been using the ThinkPad brand for a long time, dating back to some of the earliest models that ran Windows 3.1.

    Although I can definitely vouch for the solidity and reliability of ThinkPads, I think it's worth mentioning that upon acquiring the brand from IBM, Lenovo did a few changes to some of the series - and not necessarily for the best. Basically, in my humble opinion, the classic "ThinkPad quality", although still alive and well, doesn't apply to all ThinkPad models currently on sale.

    Off the top of my head, you can't really go wrong with the T series. I would stay clear of the SL and L series though, which are definitely not as sturdy. The Edge line is IMO about halfway between a consumer laptop and a true ThinkPad (though there are new models coming this spring which might turn the tables). I haven't used the X200 series, but I heard good things about it. It's light, but not very thin (I know this is often an issue for the Apple crowd) and apparently gets rather hot. I haven't used the W series workstations, but these are for a more niche market anyway.

    Long story short, I would look into the ThinkPad T series. They're very sturdy, fast and have long battery life (on 9 cells). The downside is that they tend to be heavier and bigger than your average Apple notebook (unless you go for the more expensive T410s). Some people also call them ugly; I prefer to call them rugged.

    At the risk of taking the topic off roads, I'm curious to hear about those "repeat quality issues" you are having. I'm here because I'm currently on the fence between sticking to ThinkPads or trying a MBP/MBA, since my current needs are oriented more towards portability than pure solidity and performance, and I was under the impression that Apple's offering might be better in that regard while still being more reliable than your average HP/Dell/whatever.
     
  8. skidmarc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #8
    Lenovo, or Dell if you can handle potential computer repairs yourself, they will send you the parts rather than having to send in your laptop or take it to a center (I use to repair laptops in the desert, far, far away)...or they use to.

    I would also look at the customer support provided by the manufacturer you are considering.
     
  9. JuanGuapo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    Thanks guys, I really appreciate the responses.

    I'm intrigued by the Lenovo T series as you mentioned. I also saw they sell a tablet--any thoughts on that?

    Also, does Lenovo offer any sort of Educator and/or student discounts?

    Thanks again.
     
  10. laser71 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    Another vote for the T-series, they are awesome laptops. Not sexy, but built very well.
     
  11. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #11
    Lenovo does offer heavy discounts from time to time. Not sure about education related ones, but most manufacturers do offer education pricing.

    If you're all about the internals, Dell is going to net you the best price:performance ratio, but build quality is hit and miss. Lenovo is probably your best bet for quality but it comes at more of a premium. For a mix of quality and performance, I might recommend Asus, they've always been pretty good; although I haven't seen their latest offerings.
     
  12. JuanGuapo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #12
    Thanks all, much appreciate the info and advice.

    Any suggestions on a good asking price for a current gen 15" i7 MBP w/ AppleCare? I am going to gently start getting it ready to sell after I get it back from repair.

    Cheers.
     
  13. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #13
    If you're selling it, try to unload it before the refresh. I've seen used Macbooks go for ludicrous amounts, but to unload it quickly, I'd sell it a bit below what an equivalent refurb costs from Apple. Try about $100 below the refurb price and really tout the Apple Care.
     
  14. JuanGuapo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    Thank you for your advice, I am going to start looking this weekend.

    Ironically, the Macbook pro has to go back in for repair (again) because the store repaired the offending hinge, but neglected to repair the scarring on the aluminum done by the bad hinge.

    When I picked up the computer and noticed they did not repair the scarring done by the hinge, they said it was "purely cosmetic" and "does nothing to affect the performance of the machine."

    I told them it was a $2,300 laptop with a $350 extended warranty on it, and I am not satisfied with the repair or what they consider "cosmetic." I did not cause the damage, it was done because the plastic hinge was scrapping against the side of the aluminum body. Moreover, it affects the resale value of the computer, and they would not sell a new computer to me in this condition.

    The manager offered to repair the aluminum by replacing the (what they call) "Top Case" which has already been replaced once already because my first repair was for a bad keyboard.

    I asked that they notate the record and I'll be sending it in via Applecare instead. I didn't want to waste any more time + gas driving down there so i can have this happen again. The manager obliged but what is really disappointing is they kept the computer for four full days to replace a $10 piece of plastic (according to the repair paperwork) but to skimp on repairing the damage done by it.

    As an anecdote, I had a similar issue happen when my wife's white macbook was cracking--they said it was also "cosmetic" also but when I called Applecare, they took care of it.
     
  15. whyzdom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    #15
    Either you have a lazy store manager that doesn't push his people to fix things right the first time, or you have a strict store manager that wants to keep his store expenses down, thereby skimping on fixing things.
     
  16. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Washington State
    #16
    Man, that sux. I hear you about quality. If I didn't so strongly prefer OS X or if there were several different brands of laptop that ran it, I'd be staying away from Apple too.

    Just been my experience that the laptops, while having nice features and well thought out for use, have quality issues (judging from what you write I totally don't blame you for leaving, I think you've had worse experiences than mine. But I will say the white macbook cracking issue was one of the reasons I really lost faith in Apple quality, especially since everyone I knew who had that macbook had the plastic cracking. One had the keyboard replaced cause the keyboard went bad which involved the top case being replaced and the new one cracked too!).

    It is sad cause I remember my old Macintoshes were tough computers that ran for a long time (I've got a 10 year old mac being used as a bed side stand but it still works perfectly fine when you turn it on). All my previous (to the macbook) macs I've had lasted at least 3 years, all but one 5 years really, before anything went bad. It seems they just don't care anymore about quality of computers.
     
  17. JuanGuapo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    Thanks guys, the one thing I love about the Apple community is the "community." This will be my last post about it unless there is some startling new development. I have posted the pictures I took of it on Flickr for the curious amongst us.

    http://bit.ly/eWIuvC (Flickr)
    http://flic.kr/p/9iT1zB (This I took the night I picked it up)

    Wish me luck shopping...
     
  18. JuanGuapo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    Just an update. It was sent back to me unrepaired for the scarred hinge yet strangely their depot felt it necessary to replace the otherwise-perfect LCD instead. :confused:

    Therefore, after another call to Apple, they offered to repair it yet again. The box came today so I will be making a another trip to FedEx this weekend. I've never heard of anything this before. I'm looking forward to getting rid of this thing soon.

    As for an alternative computer, I am still looking.
     
  19. JuanGuapo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    I spoke to Apple corporate and managed to secure a refund on everything. The rep I spoke with was apologetic but offered no explanation for what the store or their depot did (or didn't) do. I was given the choice of a replacement or refund, I chose the latter instead.

    They sent me the FedEx labels for the box and I sent them the computer on Monday. A check would be cut/mailed within the next 2-3 weeks. Hopefully it'll arrive sooner rather than later.

    Incidentally, I did manage to find a replacement computer, however. I went with an HP DV7 that I picked up at Sam's Club (awesome buyer's remorse period--90 days--no questions asked). Specs are on my blog but all in all I'm quite happy with it. I still love my iPad, iPhone, and our communal home iMac works great. My wife hasn't had any problems with her white Macbook unibody in over a year so that has also been good news.
     

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