Best "Mac like" Windows 7 laptop?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Flynnstone, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    My wife needs a new computer. A 15" Retina MacBook Pro with a external monitor would be ideal, but she needs to run Windows 7.

    She needs:
    reasonable battery life ( > 3 hrs )
    high res screen ( 1600x900 bare minimum & that cow be too low)
    lite weight
    Fast as in boot and to run applications like excel. Do not need high "horsepower " for like video compression. I think I mean a SSD drive and high scalr performance.
    Easy to hook up a external keyboard & mouse & monitor.

    A MacBook Pro running Bootcamp Windows is an option, but I don't know about the issues with this.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Trying to figure out what other vendors offer (like HP ) is a nightmare. Their websites are simple awful!
  2. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Asus makes quite a few nice machines, but boot camp will not have any issues once it's set up. It makes it into a regular windows machine, you just have to hold option when booting up. Some here will tell you about gaming this, or advanced use case that, but from what you're describing there really shouldn't be a use case here that she would run into an issue with.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    My choice would be to get a MBP and run Windows on it only when needed. That may or may not fit your budget.

    To run Windows apps on your Mac, you need to install Windows via Boot Camp or use Parallels or VMware Fusion. If you don't have a Windows license, you can use CrossOver to run some applications. Not all Windows apps are compatible with CrossOver. Check their site for compatible apps. For more information about running Windows on your Mac, check out the Windows, Linux & other on the Mac forum.
  4. chrisrosemusic1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2012
    Northamptonshire, England
    If you want the quality of a Mac in a PC then it simply isn't there - I've looked many many times and the PC version simply doesn't exist (build quality and display).

    If you can afford the rMBP 15" then it is definitely a great option - bootcamp (free as long as you have a Windows installation exe) is fantastic or Parallels is another choice.

    My friend runs VM Ware (Windows, Linux, Chrome) all through Parallels on just a Macbook Air and they run flawlessly. Highly recommend it.


    Would also like to give you a nod good Sir. You are one of the most helpful people on this site.
  5. Flynnstone thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Thanks for the info.
    or ... reinforcing what I suspect.

    I have a iMac that I run Parallels on. Works great for me.
    I want the "Mac" experience with Windows for her. (Impossible)
    She needs Outlook to interface with an Exchange server. Many "apps" she will run are Cloud based. Not sure if they are web based or data in the cloud or what.
    What are the implications of running Windows 7 on a Retina display? Is everything small? Does Bootcamp use a different resolution?

    I'm trying to get the feel for supporting a Windows on Mac setup. I won't be the main IT guy. The main IT guy is likely a Windows only guy. I don know of some IT people that use MacBooks. They would be ideal in this situation.

    I have a old plastic MacBook I use & I used a high HP laptop at work.
    The Macbook, I close the lid, it goes to sleep. The HP some times goes to sleep, sometimes not. I get home, and the HP is hot and the battery needs to be charged!
    What happens on a MacBook Pro running Windows 7?

    The trackpad always works properly on the MacBook. Half the time I repeat the 2 finger scroll on the HP trying to get it to scroll. MacBook FAR superior.
    What happens on a MacBook Pro running Windows 7?

    My wife is not tech savvy. But she knows the the quality experience with Apple products. She has an iPad.
  6. mm201 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    Windows itself works fine with the display. (It doesn't play nice with external monitors AT ALL but this is supposed to be fixed in Windows 8.1.)

    Most built-in apps work perfectly too; exceptions: Character Map, Management Console. You will see pixellated icons in a few.

    MS Office (I'm using 2010) is generally perfect with a few exceptions. Certain email messages in Outlook with lots of formatting will have weird layout issues like columns being much too narrow for the big text to fit. Some icons will be pixellated.

    Internet Explorer and Firefox both support high DPI and will display Retina-optimized sites perfectly. IE's icons are sort of small (designed for 150%, not 200%) and Firefox's are fuzzy. (Bug 878288)

    SOME Flash and SOME Silverlight applets will be rendered too small. I haven't run into Java applets in a long time to comment on them.

    Chrome doesn't support hiDPI and looks fuzzy and upscaled.

    For third-party apps, it's a lottery. You may find a fuzzy app, an app with tiny elements, an app with half-baked DPI scaling, or one which is perfect. Also, Windows developers are extremely lazy and usually don't want to fix DPI scaling issues at all. Even when the developer has already fixed hiDPI on their Mac version (Chrome, Photoshop, Flash), they won't provide the fix for Windows.
  7. Flynnstone thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
  8. infinitech macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I agree. I have to recommend mobile workstations on a daily basis and the ones that want something "like a mac" are never satisfied by any windows laptops we try out.

    I deploy VMWare, full-screen and with a quick swipe the computer is moved into windows 7.

    I'm still not deploying Windows 8 and downgrading more machines to 7 actually but we'll see how 8.1 fairs when Microsoft finally decides to release the RTM version to devs.
  9. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
  10. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    There are many "Ultrabooks" out there that you can look at.

    I would purchase a notebook based on the operating system I would use primarily on it.

    The MacBook does run Windows well, but there are other machines that do it better. It is debatable the reason for this, but a theory is that Apple doesn't really put a lot of effort into making Windows run as best as it could on your machine. Power management is the biggest issue. OS X running on a MacBook Pro runs nice and cool. Even running OS X and Windows in a virtual machine such as Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion runs nice and cool. Fire up Windows natively, however, it is a different story. One of the possible reasons this happens is if you are running a MacBook with switchable graphics, the Boot Camp drivers do not allow you to disable the discreet graphics and use the integrated graphics. Battery life suffers dramatically as a result of the additional heat and discreet graphics running constantly. If you are plugged up most of the time, it could be workable with only minor issues, however if you plan on using Windows on battery power an extended period of time it will become a problem.

    I am not a huge fan of Samsung overall, but their Ultrabooks do get good reviews. Sony makes a few as well. You might want to look into those and watch some reviews YouTube to get a feel for them.
  11. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Lenovo makes a nice Ultrabook, the X1 Carbon. 14" screen and actually LIGHTER than the 13" MBA. Build seems to be pretty good. I support a few of them, though support is a relative term as I haven't had a call for one since the last one was deployed 6 months ago. I do have one on my desk (that's outside my normal support role but still supported by my group) but it's a result of OS corruption.

    It seems pretty good in the performance category, though I don't get to do much with them besides copying files.
  12. chrisrosemusic1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2012
    Northamptonshire, England
    You've just blown my mind with that. Love it! No UK love though :-(
  13. borgqueens, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013

    borgqueens macrumors member


    Aug 10, 2013
    Indeed and if they need to use windows 7 more then Mac OS they can in mac OS make the macbook go into windows 7 mode at start up by default press and hold alternate key to choose to boot in mac os when that is needed.

    How to chance default starting up os on mac
    start disc
    and then mac or boot cam

    Have a link to youtube that shows how to do it:

    On a secund note it will be cheaper to buy an Asus.
    However if she likes to use mac os and likes the way it looks it is no problem at all. Mac runs windows at least as good as "windows computers" in fact I think it runs windows better. But then again I am more for mac then windows kinda guy.

    Battery life on mac in windows 7.
    less then when you run mac os but I still get more battery life in win 7 on my macbook then I got on any of my windows notebooks in the past. Then again there is a few non mac notebooks with good battery life.
  14. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I agree about the Acer range...A friend recently bought one of their high end models which is very "Mac like" in appearance, and the build quality seems solid and well put together...I guess you have the HP "Detachable" models too, but I'm not a fan...took a look at them a while back, and wasn't that impressed with either the quality, or the performance....At least the little I could glean from a store mounted demo unit.
  15. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    I second the fact the X1 is a wonderful machine. It is all business black with a soft touch finish which is nice. I prefer this over the metal ultrabooks.
  16. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    Amazon US has it so it might pay to check out Amazon UK;)
  17. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2006
    NC, USA
  18. 4look4rd macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2009
    A much much more powerful clone.
  19. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    And very expensive.
  20. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Vaio Pro 13 would be my pick.

    I would say X1 Carbon as well, but it hasn't been updated for Haswell yet.

  21. philosopherdog macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2008
    To get anything close get your wallet out. Windoz runs flawlessly under bootcamp. I did a year of Windoz development on an air with bootcamp and win7. No issues. Runs better than any PC notebook.
  22. K___H macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2009
    Does she really need Windows?

    Have you looked at Office for Mac 2011? I got it with an Office 365 subscription, which let's me run it on up to 5 machines (Win or Mac). Of course Office 365 is a subscription which mean to have to "pay to play" and it will be useless if you cancel the subscription.

    Office for Mac 2011 includes Outlook for Mac which connects seamlessly to Exchange servers.

    I'd suggest getting her a Mac with Office for Mac and skip Windows until she really needs it.
  23. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011

    You need to stop looking at other vendors and just consider your options with Apple laptops. You'll end up driving yourself crazy trying to find the "perfect" windows machine that is only perfect for those few instances that your wife needs access to Outlook. My wife has a late 2009 iMac that she runs windows 7 on it through Virtualbox and it runs perfectly. Newer laptops would most likely run it even better.

    I would recommend a 15" cMBP, max out the RAM, and then have fun installing Windows any way you like. Don't forget about Apple refurbished machines either.

    And another poster said that outlook is available online now and even through Office for Mac. Anyway, just get a Mac and be done with it!
  24. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    The answer to this question might revolve around exactly how tech-savvy she is. If she's comfortable doing at least some of her own troubleshooting, this option might be fine. Otherwise, this could turn out to be more trouble than its worth.

    A lot of corporate IT types have scripts that lead you to follow step by directions to configure/fix/update things. They'll either tell you to follow their directions or they'll come to your desk (or remote in) expecting to do the same. If your setup is completely different, they may not be able to help (and/or will be upset with you).

    While I support the "everyone should just have a Mac" notion at heart, there are certainly times and places where this doesn't always work, and the corporate workplace can be one of them.

    Of course this varies with the employer, their IT staff, etc. This would never fly at my workplace and I could even be fired for trying (to connect a non-company standard machine to the corporate network). But other places are different, of course.
  25. malnar macrumors 6502a


    Aug 20, 2008
    Another vote here for the Sony Vaio Pro 13. I have one and, for a Windows machine, it is very nice. But make no mistake, there is NOTHING out there that is Apple quality. This is about as nice as they get and I still think it feels cheap - definitely not $1500 worth of high quality. But it's got an absolutely beautiful screen, it's incredibly light, "blazingly" fast. It's a real shame it has to be saddled with Windows 8, but I'm coming to terms with it.

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