Comparable non-Apple laptops?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Apolloe, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Apolloe macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2010

    I am looking at buying a new laptop, and considering Macbook Pro 15" i7 (my first Mac). Before I make this purchase, I've been reading up a lot. Seems that many people are saying that Apple charges a "premium", meaning the laptops cost a bit more than equivalent laptops, but you maybe get better polish, Mac OS X, etc.

    However, whenever I've followed up these laptops, at least in Australia, they've either lacked some relavant feature the Macbook Pro has (battery life, portable design, speed, etc), or even cost more.

    To try and evaluate if this purchase is right for me, I thought I'd ask: what laptops do you think have comparable battery life, power (CPU, GPU), portability, etc, but cost less? ie, an alternative to the 15" i7 Macbook pro that fills a similar niche (excepting the OS).

  2. macDonalds macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2007
    Maybe a Sony Vaio Z or something in the business line like - hp elitebook or thinkpad.
  3. RockstaForEver macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2010
    To my knowledge most other systems with better performance have at most half the battery life, and nearly 1.5x the mass. Here's some ideas of spec-amazing laptops, I wouldn't get them though... for prior reasons.

    Toms Hardware - 5 Laptops that Destroy the New MacBook Pros

    *** By the way, since you are reading reviews anyways, here is a really good one. It is a tad long, yet very detailed. Macbook Pro 15 inch, i5, it talks a bit about what to expect from i7 too.
  4. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    No clue. Since battery life is a non-issue to me, the comparisons were all with machines that cost less, had much better performance, and had lower battery life.

    Look at it this way:

    If Apple sold non-hardware-restricted OS X licenses for, say, $800, I would not have ordered the MBP.
  5. wikoogle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    I love the design of the Sony Vaio's. Aesthetically, they look very similar to MBPs.

    Apple uses Sony screens in their own laptops and as a result, the screens are quite similar.

    The build quality is quite good.

    If you're looking to replace the 13" or MBA, the Vaio Z is fantastic option in a similar price range.

    If you're looking for a seriously budget alternative to the 15" or 17" for around $700, I bought this (and love it to death), all while using Bing Cashback to knock another $100 off the price.

    Another option is the HP Envy or the Dell Studios but IMO, Sony is the better option.
  6. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010

    I've never previously heard anyone say they were Sony. Pretty sure most of them are Samsung.
  7. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    I think Apple uses Samsung and LG screens.

    I had a Sony Vaio F but returned it since the screen looked great, but had awful vertical viewing angles.

    Otherwise the F was killin' it. Quad core i7, eSATA, HDMI, 6GB ram out of the box 1920x1080 screen (would prefer 1920x1200 but that's hard to find on PCs these days) and the price was $1250.

    If Sony fixed the screen I'd buy another one.

    Vaio Z is pretty cool too. 13" 1600x900 screen, 3 pounds, i5 chip, SSD under $2000.

    Sony is missing an opportunity here. They need to make the screens first rate and they'd be raking. I was a little shocked that my issue would be with the screen. I only buy Sony TVs and love them.

    I don't care about the 8 hour batter life, I'm plugged in usually.
  8. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    Sony's PC hardware has been a non-issue to me because it's always full of weirdly non-standard and undocumented crap, meaning no good Unix support most of the time. Also, overpriced. I'm not gonna pay that kind of markup for PC hardware and not get Unix.
  9. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    These comparisons are ridiculous because they just compare spec sheets with spec sheets. Aside from the fact that almost all PC laptops have poor build quality with inferior enclosures, etc, they run Windows. If you are happy with Windows or want a true blow out system then by all means by a PC. Nothing wrong with that. Some of my best friends are PC users.

    But if you appreciate OS X and Apple's build quality then just deal with what Apple offers. The PPC days were a lot worse than now when it comes to pissant updates, and Apple has rarely led the pack on internal guts since before the Ghz wars started up. The one stand out is the first MP.
  10. aneks macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2006
    i pretty much was looking to buy an envy or a nice sony and run hackintosh. Walked into a store and layed eyes and more importantly hands on a few of the top high-end models.

    Litterally not one of them made me want to pay money. They are all cheap poorly built trash. I realise that there are internal components that are impressive, but they are all lowend toys. When it comes down to actually buying an item, not just posting on the internet about figures there is no comaprisson.

    Ordrered my 15" i7 MBP today.
  11. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    $1250 is overpriced for a quad i7, HD screen, eSATA port and 1GB 330M? ok

    Unix is on you, that forces a whole other set of requirements that you need to figure out between you and the Unix/Linux gods. I've found better Linux support on less than cutting edge equipment in general due to support issues.

    I always heard Sony was a lil' freaky, but I liked my F aside from the vertical viewing angle issue.
  12. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    My last PC laptop was a thinkpad, which has outlived several macbooks.

    Admittedly, it's not especially pretty, but it's much better build quality and functional design.
  13. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Um, this is a thread about non-Apple laptops?

    I don't care as much about build quality when the machine is 1/2 the price of Apple's hardware in some cases.

    I also don't think OS X has any particular edge on Windows 7 at this point, especially if you don't need to run Apple only software like Final Cut.

    I use Windows 7 and OS X every day, and have no real preference at this point. Both work well and get the job done. I like computers and what I can do with them, not Apple.
  14. gadgetfreaky macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    For 15 inch-- the Envy

    For 17 inch. the HP Elitebook 8740

    that's it imo.
  15. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    Having compared Cygwin to OS X's native shell, I don't consider Windows 7 to be a viable alternative. Maybe some day they'll have a real Unix-like environment complete with working fork() semantics (huge performance win for shell scripts -- and shell scripts are a HUGE part of my workload), but it's not there yet.
  16. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    I can agree with this sentiment. I was shopping for a laptop for my girlfriend, and she does not like spending money like I do, so, budget was her #1 priority, and that ruled Apple out since they start around $1100 and only go up from there.

    I was disappointed with what PC makers were putting out there at retail. It was often very plastic junk. I was especially disappointed with what HP and Toshiba were offering.

    It was clear watching shoppers in stores like Best Buy that "most" people shop on price point and do not know anything about screen res, chips or features.

    Anyhow, ended up with a $750 Dell with a 1600x900 screen and an i5 chip. Works great, fast, she's ok with it.

    I think if PC makers gve up this quest for ****** style and focused on building solid laptops they would be in a much better position to take advantage of Apple's pricing structure.

    There are solid Windows laptops, but not at Best Buy for the most part.
  17. PAC88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2009
    I was about to buy a 15" mbp with antiglare the other day.. I called my apple store and was told they had all the new ones in stock. So 20 min. later I got to the store and was told they do not have any of the ones I wanted yet and to come back another day..
    So then yesterday, I called again to see if they had the hi-res AG model on display just to look at it, was again told yes they had it on display.. so I drove there again to look at it on display only to find out that it was still the old AG model on display..

    I was ready to purchase on the spot after waiting months for this new MBP but then dealing with the uninformed apple employees, it really threw me over the edge and crushed my excitement. so for that and many other reasons including sub par wi-fi connection (on mbp's) and lack of express card slot on a $2k notebook etc..

    yesterday I custom ordered a Thinkpad t410 with everything I could possibly want on it and more. This will be my first Thinkpad ever.. I've always liked the classic look and functionality. Also my dad just bought one about a month ago and it's awesome.. so I'm much happier going this route.
  18. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Yeah, calling the Apple store sucks.

    I get rude high school kids who just want to get off the phone ASAP.

    I was asking if they had the 15" high res in stock and was told no, and then yes. Who knows without actually go to the store.

    Was it the glossy or matte hi-res? No idea, punk just wanted to get off the phone.
  19. Stangs55 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2007
    The Lone Star State
  20. RockstaForEver macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2010
    Wishful thinking

    Guys you know... I was just thinking. There is a new battery technology that's in final development. Li-air batteries, and practically they have been shown to have a practical capacity 10x greater than the current ones used. I really wish Apple would jump on those... then they would be able to create truly amazing machines.
  21. Apolloe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2010
    Thanks for all the replies guys - I've looked through the laptops that were mentioned, that I hadn't already considered.

    I do wonder if the pricing situation here in Australia is different to the US, or other parts of the world. For example, this link listed some laptops with prices:,10191.html

    Compare the Alienware M15x to the top Macbook Pro on that page and you have a price of $1624 vs $2199. That's close to a $600 USD difference.

    I went to the Australia dell page, and configured an M15x that was similar specs to the top Macbook pro - its price (in AUD) came to about $2400->2500, while the top Macbook Pro was $2700 (student pricing). That's a $200 AUD difference, which is smaller than a $200 USD difference, if you don't know :) (the alienware I fitted would probably be a little faster than the macbook, particularly at games, but lacks the battery life and is a bigger machine).

    In other words, it seems like here at least, the Macbook Pro is competitively priced with other laptops, so far as I can see. For the balance between power, portability, design, etc, it seems quite competitive. Thoughts? Anyone else from Australia noticing the same thing, or found a laptop here that compares very well compared to the top 15" Macbook Pro?
  22. Apolloe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2010
    Upon reflection, it may be the student pricing that is bringing the Apple price down to a competitive level.
  23. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    I've been using the T60 thinkpad as my only machine for 2.5 years. It's good. Elegant in a no frills way and sturdy (matte black is just elegant - I prefer it to the bling-bling unibody MBP). I've lusted after the T410s (slim version). About the only negative about the (old) T60 that I have is the CCFL LCD viewing angles and brightness are poor. But at least Lenovo give you a bunch of screen options (including some with 500nit use-em-in-Saudi-Arabia panels)
  24. vasuba macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Asus makes the G73JH for $1600 that blows the doors off pretty much everybody and is better than most desktop PCs. In full Game mode it will only last 2 hours on battery but I dont think most will be gaming on battery power.

    I7 Quad core
    8GB DDR3 Ram
    1TB HDD
    17.3" Screen
    ATI Mobility™ Radeon® HD 5870, 1G GDDR5 VRAM
    Blu Ray optional
    Built in Webcam etc

    And for the people doing the whole you are buying Apple Quality. Asus for the last few years has rated the #1 Computer Company in the world for Laptop reliability and Quality.

    Apple has fallen to #4 for reliability and Quality so let that arguement die ok? Most of the parts inside are all made in the same chinese sweatshops for use by every laptop manufacturer.

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