Envy 14 I7 VS MBP I7 IT Student. Please help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bRi07, May 29, 2011.

  1. bRi07 macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2011
    Hello! I'm Brian, Very pleased to be here. Now, if you may, please let me drill your brains on this very difficult decision of mine! :)

    I know this website has heard this many times, and I can only already guess the answers I am about to receive. (lol) Please, try to make an unbiased decision and help me in the correct way.

    I'm 25 years young, and am employed full time. I had made the decision to go back to school, to be able to go further in my career. In the past, I've used older notebooks. Currently my line up consists of an Older Acer Aspire 3100, an Acer Aspire ONE, an ASUS Eee netbook, and my old trusty iBook G4 that I've had since when I first went off to a community college.

    I'm going for Networking Securities/Technology. SO lets "say" They tell me MAC or Windows is fine, and we can make the decision from there. (I do believe the IT department is much more windows prone, as I was told If I wanted a MAC "Graphic design is down the hall" All in spirited tones, mind you. I still don't think it matters)

    Computer Numero Uno:
    HP Envy BEATS edition with Windows 7 Ultimate.
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-740QM Quad Core processor
    1GB DDR3 ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5650 graphics [HDMI]
    6GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    640GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
    14.5" diagonal High Definition HP BrightView Infinity LED Display (1366x768)
    SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support
    HP TrueVision HD Webcam
    Red Backlit Keyboard
    Microsoft(R) Office Home and Student 2010

    All for a Grand Total of....$1,387.99

    Computer II
    Apple MacBook Pro 13"
    2.7GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    Microsoft Office Mac 2011 - Home and Student Edition

    All for a Grand Total of.....$1,518.95

    So, on PAPER it clearly looks the ENVY shows much greater strengths in the hardware department. I also KNOW the MBP battery life is better, a few hours better actually. What about construction of both notebooks? I hear both are superb, and I would expect that from the HP trying to "knock off" the MacBook look.

    So, INSTEAD of the whole "It comes down to whether you like Windows or Mac" argument. Can somebody give me real examples, Why is the MBP better, or why the ENVY? As you see I'm making a fairly large purchase and the help of the community would greatly help
  2. Thisisgeorge macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2011
    I mean you are coming to an obviously pro apple forum comparing an apple product with a non apple product. There obviously will be bias. Subconsciously you've made the decision already which is why you are posting on an apple forum and not a PC forum.

    You just want that one more reason to justify your purchase of the macbook pro, and here it is OP. Enjoy your new mac.
  3. rovitotv macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Ironic but I have a HP and Mac Book Air

    I have a HP Elitebook 8440P (work) and a 11" Mac Book Air Ultimate (personal). The 8440P has better specifications by far yet it never brings joy to my life like the Mac Book Air. I can't explain it but after 10+ hours of using the POS HP at work then going home to use the Mac Book Air actually makes me smile. Some would say it is just a computer and it shouldn't make a difference but it does. The OS and hardware are nicely integrated. I use MS Office lightly and C/C++ creating scientific applications the other time. Its amazing how much I dislike my HP. The build quality, keyboard, reliability is sub-par compared to the air. Judging a computer by its technical performance only is foolish. If you want technical performance the last place you would go is a notebook anyway. The best part about Apple Products is you can have Mac OS X and Windows 7 why make a choice when you don't have to. Use either bootcamp or a Virtual Machine. Good luck....
  4. bryan.cfii macrumors member

    May 13, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    I've heard of unsatisfied, disenchanted apple customers before, but have never met one personally if that means anything to you.
    I could be going out on a limb here when I say this, but I think we've all pretty much met someone that is pissed at Sony or HP or even Dell.

    First up, I'd say OS is where I would start. That is your choice as both are pretty good. I give win7 credit. there are work flow issues for me personally with win7 that I personally think apple have ironed out pretty good. Again on the surface, they are both good. They both have their faults you know?

    Diving deeper though, I have gone back to the PC for school stuff simply because that was the portable that was available to me at the time (free). I find it a pain to update files across computers so for now I stick with the win7 notebook as my "machine."
    Are there things I miss about my mac? Hell yes; everyday...

    It is a matter of what you work with and find important.
    I am going through this too as I am in the market for the fall semester myself. If hardware is important, the PC options for the money will win out everytime. That is just how it is and think this is one of apples short comings. No one wants apple to be like KFC (one million choices it seems) but come on apple.
    Sony however makes an S series notebook that is the same size as a macbook, weighs less than a macbook, has just as much battery and has the option of a sheet battery for like 13 hours total or something like that! All that with a cpu option, a graphics card option,etc, for the same money!?!

    Seems like a hard choice... until you start missing the engineering of your macbook. The lack of issues with hardware and new updates. The mysterious incompatibilities that are there with your win7 machine operating with apparent "standards."

    I miss my macbook because everyday for a whole semester, I used to just go over to it and open it. it would wake up and be fine. My win7 machine is better than vista, but whether or not I put it to sleep in what ever power mode will determine if I come back to a dead battery, a hibernated machine, etc... It's what I would say borderline reliable.

    In my opinion, the PC's require a lot more management. management to keep them going software wise, hardware wise, day to day. you have to deal with a PC a lot to keep it healthy. Not that you can be an idiot with OS X, but I think it is more forgiving and in the end more smooth.

    I used to wonder if being on the mac was keeping me from doing things on the web or just in general. I wondered, "am I that red headed step child?" Now after a year or so on the PC again it is what I suspected. There are a few obscure things that won't work or are behind on OS X, however they are few and far between.
    Many schools are getting better about incorporating the mac into the ecosystem, some are not good though. My math software is PC only. My schools web conference software was also PC only. They have been both updated to include mac versions as of now so you know...

    If your going to feel cheated on the hardware then that is a though call. I think for me, I've decided to go back to the OS X platform, so that makes it a little easier. I don't like that a 13 inch MBP doesn't come with cpu or graphics options that rival Sony or HP for the money. But a smooth running machine is worth a few frames per second, for me...

    Good luck!
  5. Peteman100 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I think you'd probably be happy with either one
  6. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I took a course in Network Security and it is all Windows and UNIX. If you want to learn to work in the field, don't even bother with a Mac unless it's your personal machine for personal use.

  7. imswimmin macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2011
    I actually have the very Envy that you are thinking of buying. Although, instead of the 640 GB 7200 RPM, I have a 500 GB 7200 RPM, and 8 GB of RAM as opposed to 6. I purchased this computer in October, over the macbook pros of the time, mainly because I needed the quad core processing power for editing videos. To this day, the computer is brilliant, and has served me well.

    In the end, it comes down to whether you truly need the eight threads this computer comes to offer. I am not aware of current benchmark comparisons, so I do not know whether this configuration of the sandy-bridge dual core i7 would be faster than the 740 QM.

    Oh yeah, if you dont need to make the decision just yet, you may consider waiting. Some new specs are coming out soon.


    Just my two cents ;D.
  8. bryan.cfii macrumors member

    May 13, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Sorry to say something off topic, but "even Dell"? While I don't hear too many HP complaints, I can't off the top of my head think of a single Dell laptop owner I've met who wasn't pissed at their computer. Admittedly, I usually see people in a support role, so I only tend to see the problem machines, and it could just be because they're popular, but I hear no end of insulting things about Dell laptops, and very few about HP or Sony (although I've only ever worked on one Sony).

    For what it's worth on the original question, I'd unsurprisingly get the MBP, but I will add that the couple of HP laptops I've set up at work seem to be decent machines. A little chintzy, a little clunky, and a horrific bloatware suite out of the box, but decent hardware for the price.

    Thing is, MBPs (I got a 17" Sandy Bridge the day they were announced) are of meticulous build quality--you can feel it when you pick up the computer in the rigidity of the chassis, the feel of the keyboard, the thinness, the lack of exposed screws, seams, doors, and vents, and how quiet they run (functionally silent on mine--I was really impressed). I beat the living daylights out of my previous 17" MBP for 4.5 years of heavy daily use, and it still ran smoothly when I sold it last month (for $550 with a dead battery, I might add--try getting that for a 4 year old HP or Dell laptop on Craigslist). I've only ever seen two truly dead Apple laptops, one of which was archaic and had been dropped, and the other had a cup of coffee dumped in it.

    After getting used to a machine like that, it just isn't the same when you pick up even a higher-end Windows laptop by one of the big brands--they're nice, and perfectly sufficient for a lot of people, but for an object that sits on my lap 4 hours a day I prefer the sculpture.

    That said, even if you switched the hardware but not the prices, I'd still buy the Apple, just for OSX--that alone is worth a huge premium. I'm not an OS snob--I work with and maintains a few Windows XP and 7 machines at work every day in addition to a dozen Macs at work and the three I have at home, and there are times I recommend a Windows box when it's the right hardware or software for the job. At the end of the day, though, I want a Mac at home.

    In the field you're looking at going into there is no conceivable disadvantage I see to a Mac, either--the inherent security advantage (and UNIX toolbox) is a plus, and you can of course run Windows in a VM so you can have XP and Win7 installs on hand and ready to run--simultaneously, even--as needed. Plus, if it's just for testing or troubleshooting, you can freeze your VM Windows install so that if something untoward happens to it you just revert back to the clean slate.
  10. macsmurf, May 30, 2011
    Last edited: May 30, 2011

    macsmurf macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    Why do you need so much power? It's not as if you'll be able to program any faster on a 1000 core 1 PHz machine. ;)

    *nix has lots of nice little tools for network stuff: dig, nmap, tcpdump etc. AFAIK, Windows doesn't.

    I would buy a MBA 13" and be done with it or stick with the EEE.
  11. bRi07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2011
    Thank you for all of the different suggestions and information. While physically my brain sees better hardware, I still know how polished OSX is and how crafted their machines are. How do you guys like MS Office (for those who use it) on your MAC? Easily transferable and saved to open on a windows machine?

    I never even thought of being able to run windows on a mac either. Instead of running it in a virtual environment, can it also dual-boot and be able to boot into windows, truly? (Like my aspire 3100 booting WIN7 and Ubuntu)

    Damn being such an enthusiast! haha
  12. lilcosco08 macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2010
    Yes, via bootcamp
  13. miabadboys macrumors member


    Jan 18, 2011
    On Top of The World
    Both machines are good. The HP beats edition would be my 2nd choice if i was spending my own money. I was looking at both too a few months ago. I went with the MPA for better/stable OS, better quality hardware, better customer support and. As one poster said earlier, i got tired of closing the lid on windows laptops and they locked up. Not being able to get a reliable backup and restore done sucks. I have a Dell laptop and new corei5 Thinkpad Lenovo laptop and i miss the MBP every time i have to use them. The touch pad on windows laptops suck and get less responsive after a few months, they never seem to shutdown right and don't get me started about all the different Antivirus s/w that has to be loaded. My experience has been that the MacBooks are a better value.
  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I much prefer Office 11 on a Mac to Office 10 on Windows, as do most of the people at work. Then again, Office 04 on the Mac was also probably better than 10 (or any prior version) on Windows, and some people prefer it to 2011 or 2008 as well. Apart from occasional issues with fonts not present on both systems (which you can have with two PCs as well), all Office versions use the same file format, and there are rarely if ever cross-platform issues anymore. We have users running 07 and 10 Win and 04 and 11 Mac at work, and there are almost never problems with exchanging documents.

    Although... that the Windows version of Office seems to have problems with embedded images on large (100+ page) documents--at least through 07 it had a tendency to corrupt them and render everything in low-res preview quality. 11 on Mac, however, doesn't have the same issue (I use it to fix bad docs we get from other people); 10 on Windows might be ok, too. That's not a cross-platform issue, though.

    On an unrelated note, miabadboys mentions a good point--Windows seems to occasionally have trouble with hibernation (or sleep), causing lockups on laptops. Maybe Win7 fixes this--I we only recently got a Win7 laptop at work--but XP is incredibly unreliable when it comes to waking from sleep/hibernation.

    Whether that's a problem on Windows or not, though, I can guarantee it works perfectly on a Mac--slap the screen closed, and the computer sleeps. Open it, and it wakes. 100% of the time, promptly, without issue. I routinely sleep and wake my laptop a dozen times a day, and regularly get up to a month of uptime before needing to reboot for a software update. (Just checked; 25 days currently.)

    And as already answered, you can of course boot directly into Windows off of a Windows hard drive partition in addition to running an install in a virtual machine.
  15. jljue macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Brandon, MS
    I use to almost never let my laptops running Windows XP sleep when closing the lid due to lockup issues. My fiance's laptop with W7 has been a much better animal about sleep mode, but it does have a nasty habit of getting hot and locking up when shutting down, especially when installing Windows updates, which happens almost every time that she uses it. The worst that I've seen from my late 2008 MBP is the keyboard and trackpad not working when coming up from sleep in OS X, which isn't very often and is curable by closing the lid to let it sleep and then wake it back up again or plugging in a USB keyboard and mouse.

    Most IT these days tends to be done in the Windows environment, but many IT people are moving towards Mac at home because they are simply tired of playing the same games in the Windows environment that they play at work when they get home. Also, a Mac can legally run both OS's with ease.
  16. lilcosco08 macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2010
    Just a warning; HP support blows. I literally had a machine catch fire under warranty and the told me I was SOL

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