Do any of the laptop manufacturers come close to Apple?

blizeH

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 3, 2009
277
1
Hi,

It's my mums 50th birthday soon, and my nan is looking to get her a laptop. I'm a firm believer that for your average user, the actual technical specs don't mean anything (with the exception of maybe an SSD drive) and pretty much any laptop on the market right now will do what she needs it to.

So that brings us to the actual build quality - IMO the most important part of buying a laptop by far is that it feels nice. That it isn't too heavy, that it doesn't feel bulky on your lap, that it doesn't get ridiculously hot, that it has a nice trackpad (not those tiny ones with two buttons at the bottom), a nice keyboard, and a nice screen.

Now here's the problem - can I get something like that for around £500? Disregarding the spec for a moment, is there anything out there that feels nice to use for that kind of money? My nan would probably go higher if needed (maybe even to MBP/MBA levels) but I think that'd be unfair to get her to spend that much on something.

Thanks :)
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,000
544
Pennsylvania
Most people already suggested the Sony, vizio, thinkpad (lenovo) or dell vostro, as well as the Samsung 7 and 9 series, and HP Envy ultrabook.

If you want a specific model, try a Lenovo x131e or Dell vostro 3360.
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,990
589
St. Paul, Minnesota
In terms of build quality:

Only the Lenovo Thinkpads (Not the budget models, nor the edge series), High-end Sony (Such as the Z Series), HP EliteBook, and Samsung Series 9 are equal to, or better than Apple.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,601
384
Redondo Beach, California
...
So that brings us to the actual build quality - IMO the most important part of buying a laptop by far is that it feels nice. ...
No. What matters is the SOFTWARE. In fact software is the only reason to own a computer. Mac OS X is very different and quite a bit better designed then other OSes you might use on the notebook computer.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
In terms of build quality:

Only the Lenovo Thinkpads (Not the budget models, nor the edge series), High-end Sony (Such as the Z Series), HP EliteBook, and Samsung Series 9 are equal to, or better than Apple.
the dell latituids are pretty good as well.

Pretty much you look at the business grade computer. Not the consumer level crap.
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,990
589
St. Paul, Minnesota
Only the Asus high end computers and the Elite series from HP. Everyone else is too overpriced; specially Sony.
The Z is one of a kind. No notebook covers that niche. Quad-Core 13" 1080p lighter-than-ultrabook niche.

I liked the Dell Latitude up until the current design. Very ugly and not so professional looking. The build quality is probably up there, but I wouldn't want to use something I thought was ugly.
 

blizeH

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 3, 2009
277
1
Thank you all so much for the responses - lots of good options to look at :)

Unfortunately I've just checked out the Lenovo range and the design simply means they're not an option. They look like something from the 1980's and I think the look of it would be a factor for my mum, shame as they get such good writeups.

I think basically something as close to a Macbook Air as possible would be best for her, so will look at the various ultrabooks now :)
 

boss.king

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
3,238
54
Thank you all so much for the responses - lots of good options to look at :)

Unfortunately I've just checked out the Lenovo range and the design simply means they're not an option. They look like something from the 1980's and I think the look of it would be a factor for my mum, shame as they get such good writeups.

I think basically something as close to a Macbook Air as possible would be best for her, so will look at the various ultrabooks now :)
Lenovo makes ultrabooks too. Have a look at those.
 

garybUK

Guest
Jun 3, 2002
1,466
2
The only descent ones are the Lenovo's... I have a work issue HP Elitebook 8460p and it's rubbish, for the size it's very heavy and very plasticy, very cheap plastics also the default install of windows is rubbish... (easy to remedy).

I had a Lenovo ThinkPad x201i and by far the better of the windows laptops, but still not as good as the Apple Macbook Pro's / Air's imho.
 

J&JPolangin

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2008
2,564
5
Thule GL @ the TOW
So far I've been comparing a 11.6" MBA 4Gb/128Gb SSD, an HP Envy 4-1038nr and a Toshiba u845-s406 to replace an HP DM4-1060us that I upgraded to an intel G2 80Gb SSD with 8Gb of RAM from a purchase 2 years ago that met an untimely death on my staircase...

I like the MBA as I've always wanted one for that size but the Toshiba (I'm typing on right now) has the same CPU, 6Gb RAM standard, starts up fast (for a win7 machine) with a 32Gb SSD and a 500Gb HDD built in (so plenty of internal storage)...

The battery life is better than the MBA when running it on eco mode, it feels almost as solid as the HP but it is certainly faster than the HP in any of the benchmarks I've run on it and its WEI scores higher.

I also got it on a good price match so it was $730 NIB compared to the MBA at $981 OB so my decision is between these two units and the HP is out (its noticablly heavier than the Toshiba for the same size and everything about it feels slower = I just wish the Toshiba chasis felt slightly more solid than it does)...

The track pad on the Toshiba unit is much better than the HP but not quite as nice as the MBA...

Decisions, decisions:eek:
 

MacSignal

macrumors regular
May 8, 2010
241
1
After being on mac laptops for three years, I find most of the midrange and higher end laptops at Best Buy and Microcenter look and feel cheap to me now. IMO, the most comparable-to-mac models will be the higher end offerings from Asus, Sony, and Lenovo.

I think the Lenovo U300 from the Amazon link is not comparable to mac, but a decent prospect in the OP's budget. Likewise, I would keep an eye out for a similarly configured refurbished 2011 MBA 13 if the budget would reach that far.

Good luck with your shopping!
 

RUGERMAN

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2010
189
9
Hi,

It's my mums 50th birthday soon, and my nan is looking to get her a laptop. I'm a firm believer that for your average user, the actual technical specs don't mean anything (with the exception of maybe an SSD drive) and pretty much any laptop on the market right now will do what she needs it to.

So that brings us to the actual build quality - IMO the most important part of buying a laptop by far is that it feels nice. That it isn't too heavy, that it doesn't feel bulky on your lap, that it doesn't get ridiculously hot, that it has a nice trackpad (not those tiny ones with two buttons at the bottom), a nice keyboard, and a nice screen.

Now here's the problem - can I get something like that for around £500? Disregarding the spec for a moment, is there anything out there that feels nice to use for that kind of money? My nan would probably go higher if needed (maybe even to MBP/MBA levels) but I think that'd be unfair to get her to spend that much on something.

Thanks :)
If specs are not a problem, Apple's refurb section has a C2D MBA for $769, which is about £500. They also have a I5 for $829. And these have an SSD.
 

benjalamelami

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2012
31
0
Depends

Its hard to say which ones are better. In terms of hardware, those said on the list are very good. I have tried the high end Samsung (came a little more pricier than the MBA), they are very good and efficient. But its the software there what matters. I still prefer to use the Apple because they just work beautifully. They might not be as fast the Samsung in terms of hardware numbers, but it does work very, very good.

My parents seem a more happy with them now that they switched, they lag me less on how to do things.:D:D
 

Old Muley

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2009
753
179
Titletown USA
In terms of build quality:

Only the Lenovo Thinkpads (Not the budget models, nor the edge series), High-end Sony (Such as the Z Series), HP EliteBook, and Samsung Series 9 are equal to, or better than Apple.
My HP EliteBook that I use at work does an acceptable job, however I'm not exactly sure I'd say the build quality is better than Apple. The screen has definitely been a disappointment, even compared to my now 2 1/2-year-old entry level MacBook Pro. It lacks truly lit keys, opting instead for a rather awkward LED that is supposed to illuminate the keys from above the screen. On the plus side it has a full numerical keypad next to the keyboard and the ability to access the hard drive and memory is a snap.
 

blizeH

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 3, 2009
277
1
Thank all you so much for the responses guys! Will create a shortlist for my nan to pick from using your tips, and see which she prefers :) Not sure she'd be keen on buying a refurb unfortunately, otherwise a refurb MBA would have been a great shout!
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
In my experience Toshiba's build quality is horrible, rather go HP or ultimately a Macbook Pro if you can afford it, cheaper and more upgrade options.
Agreed. My last Windows laptop was a top of the range Toshiba satellite and the build quality and materials were awful. I think Acer should be added to the list of maybes...they seem to be making pretty decent laptops these days...

You should be able to get something for your Mother for under £400...I had my weekly newsletter from ebuyer today..might be worth looking there too:


http://www.ebuyer.com/store/Computer/cat/Laptops