Am I going to go to the dark side?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jadekitty24, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. jadekitty24 macrumors 65816

    jadekitty24

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    #1
    It turns out I need a new laptop. I am planning on going to school, not for anything like photography or other media endeavors that would need the mighty apps like Photoshop. I currently own a Powerbook but it has many things wrong with it and to just order the parts needed for it would cost the same as new machine. However, to try to save money I have been thinking of (gulp) purchasing a netbook...if it wasn't for the "Windows" factor that is what I would get, but good God I love OSX!!! It's easy and just plain efficient. I don't need a god-awful fast machine. My only major concerns are the battery time, high heat (it would be on my lap a lot of the time) and having wireless. I was even thinking of getting the Mac Book Air, but don't know too much about it. I'm sure all these questions could be addressed by doing a search, but with a 2-month old on my hands I could barely get this post out. Anyone with either netbook, Mac Book or Mac Book Air experience please let me know what y'all think. I have yet to find a netbook whose battery times could compete with a Mac Book...that would be the deciding factor, I guess. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #2
  3. jadekitty24 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jadekitty24

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    #3
    It wouldn't be my main machine...I have my beloved iMac for that...this is kind of an extra/school/web-browsing machine...thanks for the link!! :)
    I do have my mind set, that if I get a Mac, it will definitely be refurb...I've always gotten them in the past and they are a great deal.
     
  4. JonMcDonald macrumors member

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    Jan 18, 2009
    #4
    The Netbook will work if you're simply typing papers, and browsing the internet. I've heard of people who have installed OS X (although, I'd imagine, it takes someone with technical know-how).

    Personally, I'd prefer to have a MacBook. While it's more, it can do so much more. I multi task and see no speed difference. It's useful in class, with fast boot times and load times for my Apps--so I'm never getting behind cause something is loading. The MacBook is also great because it can run most everything pretty fast. If you ever want to game, you can. If you ever want to create a powerful presentation, while listening to music, while you have word up, while browsing the internet you'll want the MacBook.

    It comes down to this: if you are literally only using the NetBook to take notes/type papers/email/and listen to music go for it. Just know that for about $300-400 more you get a lot more bang for the buck. (And if cash is the issue, look on eBay. I see a lot of the Black MacBooks going for roughly $500-700).

    As for the MacBook Air--well, I don't find it worth it--but go to an apple store and play around with it. Besides it being sexy, I don't know if it's worth the price.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    Any of the 3 machines you're considering would work for you.


    Even if a netbook was your main machine, it would be OK. It wouldn't be ok for them, but have they tried using it as their main machine? I know 3 people who use it as their main machine. All of them have a 10" MSI Wind, and all of them have it connected to a 1650 x 1080 external LCD when they're at home. They're happy.

    Installing OS X on a MSI Wind is also easy, even if you're not a techie person. Seriously, if you can read, you can do it. Installing OS X on a Dell Mini 9 is even easier, although I can't stand the keyboard quality or key layout.

    If you don't really care which OS you're using on your secondary portable machine, then HP's Mini-note 1000 has a fantastic keyboard. It's also quite small, and a beautiful looking machine.
     
  6. jadekitty24 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jadekitty24

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    #6
    Hmm. Abstract, I've taken what you said into account. However, I think I may have settled on the Toshiba Satellite L305-s5921. For the cost I think it exceeds what I could get with a netbook and as much as I love the new Mac lappies I just can't justify paying double that for what could essentially do the same (for my needs, that is). If anyone has had any bad experiences with this laptop please let me know, for I'm about to buy it for $450. Thank you all for your input!! :)
     
  7. SHOlover macrumors member

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    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    So Cal
    #7
    I have had a Tosh for about 2 years. I immediately removed Vista, installed XP and have been very happy with it. I got mine from Tiger for $550.

    It does not even come close to my 8 core Mac Pro, but it is great for travel! Even if I break or lose it twice, it still costs less than an Air. XP is finally a solid OS, and Toshiba products are great "midrange" pricepoint and quality.

    I love Macs, but when I travel, it is nice to do so with a full function, inexpensive product. I would be so nervous carring any mac product to the places around the world I've been. YMMV.
     
  8. jadekitty24 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jadekitty24

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    #8
    Is Vista really that bad? I've been really out of touch with the Windows world, so pardon my ignorance.
     
  9. JonMcDonald macrumors member

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    Jan 18, 2009
    #9
    Asking that here will get a pretty bias response :p. Yes and no. Once you get it configured properly, disable that annoying UAC, I find it to be a great operating system. It doesn't at all compare to OS X, but it is at least prettier than XP. When I was using it for the basics on my desktop (Gaming, Word, Internet, and music) it worked fine. However that being said--it's annoying because installing anti-virus is pretty much needed. All that annoying "demo software" is included too! Bleh annoying!
     
  10. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #10
    Friends don't let friends do PC

    Why would anyone choose a Windows computer? Did you forget viruses, system slowdowns, defragging, cleaning out the crapware, reformat and reinstall, Cancel-Or-Allow, crashing, Vista's hardware incompatibilities, blue screens, Plug and Pray, etc. etc. etc.?

    Do you remember the system resources hogging anti-virus program running in the background?

    You may get a computer for under $500, but what else do you need to buy? In your final cost, be sure to add in the cost of annual antivirus software, Windows specific word processors, DVD burning software, etc. etc. etc.

    What's the warranty on the PC? 90 days? How much is the extended warranty? $400? Does it even cover the screen or is that extra $$$$?

    Your iPod is either Mac or PC. Plan to backup? Your external backup drive is either Mac or PC (or format it in FAT 32 and deal with the file size restrictions.)

    What about getting it repaired? Do you really want to send off the computer and wait WEEKS for it to be repaired and returned to you, only to find that they didn't fix the problem? Did you forget the convenience of going to your local Apple Genius?

    What about the hardware? On one Dell I had, they built it with a generic disk drive and didn't have a usable driver available.

    Did you happen to check out the top of the Toshiba case - does it REALLY protect the screen or is one hard knock going to result in a broken LCD? Flex it a little bit and see it is solid or not.

    Do you remember the hours of waiting on the phone with the PC helpless desk (aka Customer Service) only to find out that the person on the other end is in some forsaken corner of the planet and English is not his primary language?

    If you decide to sell it in 3 years, what will the PC be worth? I can pretty much guarantee that the Apple product will hold its value far better than the PC.

    Add it up. You can buy Apple quality for slightly more or you can suffer through years of PC hell.

    +1 for the refurb MacBook.
     
  11. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

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    Mar 3, 2006
    #11
    let us not forget...

    linux is great on a netbook (I'm on an hp mini 1000 running ubuntu as I type this). None of the virus, etc hassles of windows and the same basic UNIX core as an apple (no pun intended). I think I may like it even better than OS X...
     
  12. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

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    #12
    Wow. That's one hell of a post. And probably the best arguments to buy a Mac over a PC (not the usual "Windows sucks" or "OS X pwns windows"..)
     
  13. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

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    #13
    A Demi-God on a Mac site liking Linux better than OS X?! Did you take your medication today?! :p
     
  14. jadekitty24 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jadekitty24

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    #14
    Whoa, whoa, hey guys...this is exactly what I wanted to avoid here...may I reiterate my iMac is my main computer. I am not straying from that, but merely need a note-taking occasional web-browsing laptop. My iPod is, of course, tied to my iMac. Anything done in a serious type of manner is done with that as well. This is just an "addition". That being the case, I just can't afford $1,000 for a new laptop. I have a son I just gave birth to in December and if I am to get another laptop just for note-taking, web-browsing, and the occasional Windows application I just can't afford the cost. Believe me, if I had money to burn, I would definitely go Mac all the way. That is part of the dilemma. I do understand the anti-virus issue. It is killing me that I have to even think of going with a Windows lappy. I was merely asking for anyone's experiences with said options, not a long-winded explanation of why Mac is better. Although you mean well TRUST ME, I know why it would be the better choice. But when it comes down to a better laptop or diapers, I have to think strategically. Money is a huge issue in this decsion. Please try to understand this...

    Yup...we are talking light browsing here. Nothing serious, and I do already own a family pack of anti-virus software for which I have 3 licenses free.

    Yup, I am not doing enough with it for that to matter.


    Answered above...

    I know me some geeks if the need should arise, and the warranty is pretty decent, compared to the "extend it for an arm and leg" that Apple charges. (no offense to Apple)

    There are ways around that and I have 2 externals, because as it turns out my boyfriend has his own back-up hard-drive for his PC. And that isn't the only way to back stuff up...

    Most minor things I can do myself, and like I said I know people.

    Umm, yeah...maybe I should have labeled this thread a wee bit differently...

    Not planning on taking it to a football field.

    No, 'cuz I fixed most problems myself.

    I'm not one of those "buy it and sell it" people. Everything technology-related I have ever owned I have passed on to a family member or friend when I upgraded. I don't look to make money off of things that are no longer meeting my needs yet exceed what my loved ones might own. They were more than happy to take what I had to give.

    Understood. You are a much different consumer than I. PC is not my favorite, but being a bit more deucated on it now than I have been in the past I wouldn't call it hell. I will agree OSX is much better.
     
  15. charliex5 macrumors regular

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    I'm a student and I have a new unibody MBP as well as an Acer Aspire One netbook that I take to class. It's light, small, and the 6 cell battery lasts me just about 6 hours. It has a 160 gb hard drive which is more than enough to load my iTunes with a ton of music to listen to while typing between classes. I absolutely LOVE this thing. Definately the best $350 I've spent in a while...
     
  16. jadekitty24 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jadekitty24

    Joined:
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    #16
    Nice to hear some constructive advice...that was one of the computers I was looking up.

    I'm still not totally decisive on this issue, but am still willing to hear any input anyone has to give.
     
  17. charliex5 macrumors regular

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    #17
    I've played with one of the HP netbooks and they feel a bit more solid and the keyboard also feels a bit nicer to type on but I don't know about the battery life of those.

    Acer did just release a 10.1" netbook for the same price and the case looks a bit better than the one I have.
     
  18. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #18
    I have the new revB MBA, and it is simply the most amazing Mac I have ever owned. It is so light, and amazingly portable. At the same time, it's powerful enough to be most peoples only Mac.

    Do not get discouraged by anythin you read about the original MBA. The revB is the one to buy. The new MBA has all of the same stuff basically as the MacBook, less the ports and optical drive. Yet its new video card can drive up to a 30" external display making it an instant desktop.

    After now being with the new MBA for ten days or so, I am convinced mine is the fastest computer I have ever owned. I have the SSD, but you could go with the 1.6 and HDD and have a great Mac for $1799 minus any discounts. I have played around on netbooks but they are not fun to type a paper on. The keyboards are small, the display is small, the power is not there and they get old fast. I played with one for a day this week and missed my MBA.

    If you want a real laptop sized display, yet light and portability and completely amazing, consider the MacBook Air 2.0 (rev B).
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    Fair enough. ;)


    To be honest, I'd still rather buy an MSI Wind and install OS X on it. What you'll get for around $400 or 500 US dollars is a small Mac, but with no Apple logo on it. Personally, it's the OS makes Mac computers what they are to me, not the appearance or logo.

    You're using it as your second computer. The netbooks with 6-cell battery will have a realistic, usable battery life of 4 to 6 hours, a machine that's far smaller and lighter than a cheap 15" Toshiba.

    The only bad thing is the screen resolution, which is low. However, new options by every netbook manufacturer are coming up very soon that will allow for a 1366 x 768 screen resolution. When the HP 1000 gets that and a 6-cell battery, it really will be special.


    For now......MSI Wind + OS X. ;) Then again, I'd wait a month to see how much the new 10" Acer Aspire One will cost.
     
  20. i7.920 macrumors newbie

    i7.920

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    #20
    Hello All first post and all . woot;) and yes I'm not a mac user. but this is sound advice above, though only partially true.

    Ubuntu is a great no frills operating system (in fact I'm using it now on my i7 based machine) as it comes loaded with a great range of software, is free and runs very fast. It runs fast because it's got no eye-candy. Just a basic easy to use operating system that's easy to find your way around. Not great for games (but that's when windows 7 comes in.) However if you want a free operating system to play music, surf the web, write essays, perform math, edit images (GIMP is more powerful than people give it credit for,) etc... Then a low end laptop wit ubuntu might be just what you're after. Keep in mind that like all Linux distro's there is plenty of power hidden underneath a thin vale of usability, should you choose to delve a little deeper.

    Unlike OSX Ubuntu is based on the GNU/Debian core, while OSX is based on the Darwin Core, which is an on-flow from BSD Linux.

    Hope this has been helpful
    J
     
  21. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

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    #21
    Student here, I opted for a Samsung NC10 netbook for it's long battery life (can get over 7 hours) and almost full size keyboard (with a decent layout), as a bonus it is also quite easy to upgrade. I dual boot Fedora 10 (Linux) and Windows XP.

    It's been working very well for note taking, web browsing, email, music, watching videos (it does stutter a bit on 720p) and for playing some old games.
     
  22. grkuntzmd macrumors newbie

    grkuntzmd

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    Location:
    New Jersey, US
    #22
    Re: Dark Side...

    I replace my laptops about every two years. I am planning on getting a MacBook for my next one (in one year). In the mean time, since I was almost constantly cursing Vista, I reformatted my HD and installed Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) 64-bit. I also installed VMWare and an XP guest (I need to run MS SQL Server for the project I am developing for my business and iTunes to sync my iPhone). I am much happier with my machine now---no crashes, no catatonic states, etc. Everything works. My machine is a 2.4GHz Dell Inspiron 1720 with 4GB RAM and a 160GB 7200 RPM drive. You might consider a netbook running Linux. Ubuntu installation is a snap now (all GUI) and takes about 30 minutes on my laptop.

    I didn't have to "fiddle" with anything. Sound, WiFi, USB, etc. all worked right after the installation.
     
  23. i7.920 macrumors newbie

    i7.920

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    #23
    Lucky you, I've got it all working but my sound card, but that seems to be an ongoing issue with some of the very new stuff.

    Cheers
    J
     
  24. janstett macrumors 65816

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    Chester, NJ
    #24
    I'm personally not too enamoured with the netbooks, but for basic surfing they're good. They are not particularly powerful (Intel Atom, which people have benchmarked running OSX at about the speed of a G4 PPC) and the screen sizes are relatively small and odd. Some of them offer Linux as a build option, that helps fight MS bloat.

    I have a MacBook Air, and here are my thoughts on it. While it is THIN, it's not particluarly SMALL. I.E. if I needed to use it on a tray table in coach or on a train, it's too big. While it is gorgeous and a pleasure to use, it's also very expensive compared to the netbooks. And I'm disappointed with the lack of features, non-swappable battery, etc.

    The third option is a true small road warrior, in this class I recommend the Thinkpad X series. Very small but very powerful and feature packed. And as far as battery life goes, they offer 8 cell batteries that bump out of the back and in the modular media bay you can swap out the DVD drive for a 2nd battery. Between the two batteries you can literally use it for 8-10 hours. The coolest model is the X300 but that will set you back as much as an Air will -- but you get so much more.

    EDIT: If you are still addicted to OSX, people have gotten it running in VMWare if you just need a fix. People also get it running in dual boot on bare metal but of course this is unsupported and likely your hardware won't be fully supported.
     
  25. janstett macrumors 65816

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    Chester, NJ
    #25
    It has settled down to the point where it's not that bad. I have to say that especially the 64-bit version has come a long way. Initially the problem was driver support (they changed the model again, apparently) and the over-aggressive user access control. But in its current state it's not that painful. However I still prefer XP.

    When Vista first came out many buyers were demanding downgrades to XP.
     

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