Help choosing new computer

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by malibuboats91, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. malibuboats91 macrumors regular

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    Sep 30, 2011
    #1
    Hi everyone! I've been a mac user for about 10 years now and have been telling my parents to switch for a long time now. Historically my parents would buy a $3-400 Toshiba and use it for 3 years and when it dies get another.

    They are now in the situation of wanting/needing a new computer and are considering getting a Mac or a Dell. They tropically use it for just typical web browsing and my mom does a lot with selling stuff online. They are on board with getting a mac, but have always used a 15" screened laptop. To get a 15" MacBook you're looking at $1,700. They think that's crazy so I suggested an Air or standard MacBook. What would you recommend in a situation like this when screen size is an issue? Thanks for the help!
     
  2. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

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    #2
    In most of these cases it's more a matter of habit than actual need. But it depends on how and where they mostly use the laptop. If they have it in a fixed location most of the time, because carrying around a huge 15" is annoying, an external screen might be an option. Have a nice 27" at a desk or table with even more space, and a nice and light laptop for when they're on the couch.
     
  3. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks for the reply! My mom primarily uses it while sitting on the couch. She's on it probably 5-6 hours a day and her cheapo laptops are like having a cinder block on your lap.

    I just did more research and I think to be comparing apples to apples she'd be looking at the following:

    1. Dell XPS 13 non touch - $899
    2. Latest MB Air 13 - $799
    3. Last gen MBP 13 - $999

    Thoughts if I can convince them to get a 13 inch? I told her to go try one out as my old MacBook is another one that's like a brick. Still running strong though
     
  4. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #4
    Get something with a good screen - that rules out the Air, which has a similar low-res ugly screen as a cheap PC. My old £1000 11" Air had a screen which was indistinguishable from the crappy screen on my 11" HP Stream, which was £150 brand new. It really makes a difference, and could be the one thing which convinces her that a Mac is worth the extra money (for the record, I don't think it is - I recently bought a Surface Pro 4). High resolution makes everything better.

    Other than that, for the uses you've mentioned, anything will do. Perhaps a Chromebook? Or have you considered an iPad? It's perfect for light web surfing, though the 12" Pro is in the same price range as the laptops you've already mentioned.
     
  5. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

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    #5
    In my experience it's difficult because they'll often just look at the specs and price, and go more by feeling than an objective evaluation of their needs. And since 15 is more than 13, it must be better, etc. So... having them try it out in the store might not change that mindset.

    The MBA is a terrific machine though, very well priced nowadays, and probably way too fast for anything they'll do with it. If you can find an even cheaper MBA from a year earlier it'll most likely be good enough as well, and an easier sell. The only downside is the screen quality, but that's generally not something they'll notice since they don't have a retina screen already.

    If your older MB is a 13" as well, have them try out all their day-to-day things for a while. As soon as they notice they can check their email, FB, and do everything else they're used it, it takes away a lot of uncertainty. And then it's just a matter of annoying them until they give in :)
     
  6. Appleaker macrumors 68000

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    #6
    I think the best option may be the 13" MBP. I'm thinking in terms of performance and the display (sharper and possibly scaling could help coming from a 15").
     
  7. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #7
    I would leave well alone if you want peace and quite making them swap OS and fork out 4 times more for their usage is not worth it IMO.

    I would suggest that a smaller/lighter laptop would help them to get more from a portability point of view only especially if they travel
     
  8. Clix Pix, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #8
    With the retina screen, everything is much sharper and that does make a difference......your parents might realize that they don't need a 15" screen after all when they take the time to check out what Apple has to offer. As for the issue of costs, switching platforms and OS......yes, a Mac is going to be more expensive than some Toshiba thingy that they can pick up for a few hundred bucks, but remind them that the Mac also comes bundled with very good software which is immediately usable right out of the box -- none of this having to clean out "trial" software and such. Also remind them that they will not have to pay for a subscription to antivirus software or install ad-aware type software, either. I don't know how much McAfee and such cost these days since it's been years since I've needed to use anything of that sort, but when looking at dollars and cents expenditures, being able to eliminate purchasing that will tilt things more favorably in the Mac column when it comes to pricing out everything.

    With respect to their typical usage it sounds to me as though they could actually do just fine with a 12" MacBook. It is lightweight, it is very functional and it is not nearly as expensive as a 15" rMBP would be. As others have said, too, if your parents really, really wanted a larger screen they could always purchase an external monitor and use that when they have the machine on the desk. Using a 12" rMB on one's lap is a delight -- it's so light that it's almost unbelievable. For travel it's also a delight, too.

    The 12" MacBook is a forward-facing machine (as is the latest iteration of the MacBook Pro). The MacBook Air, which was ground-breaking and wonderful in its day, now is a look back at the past with its non-Retina screen and older hardware.
     
  9. andy9l macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Just so this thread remains completely fair for each OS / route for the OP. This no longer appears to be an issue on Windows.

    I hadn't used Windows properly for nearly 12 years until I very recently built a gaming PC. So long as you install Windows 10 straight from Microsoft, you don't really need to uninstall any bloatware. All I had to do was switch off One Drive, I think. As for anti-virus, the built in Windows Defender is absolutely fine so long as you have an ounce of common sense - just like you need when using macOS.

    What Windows does lack, though, is the free niceties such as iMovie, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. They are brilliant. I still couldn't switch to Windows as my primary OS!

    @OP - the quality, longevity and customer service you tend to get with a Mac is the main reason I still would not consider switching to Windows. The fact that your parents would be able to just use a Mac without thinking about it, without the silly "oh yeah it does that sometimes" moments is the reason I would recommend a Mac. They cost more, but you generally get more out of them too.
     
  10. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #10
    Whilst I agree with your corrections to the previous posting :) the OP parents presumably already have the software they require being Windows users so they are not starting afresh and need new software free or otherwise as with a MAC

    Adblockers are common place regardless of OS as you note AV is not mandatory these days but even so there are some very good free ones like AVG for basic needs

    I often think comments on so called bundled bloatware is a bit in the realms of OCD IMO. It's often easily resolved and many lessor experienced users often find it useful

    Quality is just a factor of price and not an exclusive of MAC's nor is longevity, MAC's have no better or worse lifespans than the equivalent premium product

    Whilst Apple customer service is second to none it's not free and you pay a premium for this and it's purely locational biased and a preference if you feel you need to pay for that extra level of support

    I agree a rMB would be more than enough based on information we have been given subject to real estate issues but switching OS is not as easy on laptops as with phones and even more frustrating in the first weeks when you have paid 3 to 4 times more and stumbling along which is far worse than your "oh yeah it does that sometimes" which they are accustomed too only to be replace with "well that's how Apple does it"

    Why put your parents and your patience to the test for marginal gains if any IMO
     
  11. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
  12. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #12
    They will be happy, your ears will be happy and you can say I told you so :D

    Plus the money they saved they can buy you a new IPhone next B'Day :)

    Win Win
     
  13. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #13
    Best to them! Hope they enjoy their new machine.....
     
  14. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #14
    I would agree it's cheaper, and probably sufficient for your parents. But in terms of specs, it's not comparable to the MacBook: The MacBook has better CPU (dual core versus quad core), ram, and screen (retina versus non-retina), weight. There is a reason for the higher price of the MacBook pro.
     
  15. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Update: they used the computer for a few hours last night and think it's too heavy. Another thing is the trackpad feels loose compared to any of the other laptops they've owned in the past and my MacBooks. They have 14 days to use it so they're going to play it by ear. I personally think they should just get the 13" MBP but that's just me.

    In response to your comment....even this MBPr would be better? It's the same price as the computer she bought, just 13" vs 15"

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/apple-m...-flash-storage-silver/8532557.p?skuId=8532557
     
  16. andy9l macrumors 68000

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    #16
    For what they're using it for, that 13" MacBook will be absolutely fine for at least two years. They will also love the build quality, since that's something they obviously care about - it'll be a world away from what they're used to.

    You can forget about 'specs'. Any modern laptop will be more than enough for them - Mac or otherwise. As an example, you'll notice clock speeds haven't increased much at all over the past few years - this is the reason. Current CPUs are quick enough for the vast, vast majority of the population, so the focus has shifted to efficiency for improved battery life and smaller heat dissipation designs. For your parents, just make sure you get enough SSD space!

    Problem with the MacBook is that it comes with macOS not Windows.

    So, I see your options:

    1. Your parents get the MBP and spend the time learning macOS - breaking ten years+ worth of habits
    2. Your parents get the MBP for the physical build quality and just use Windows on it
    3. You spend the time looking for a Windows-based laptop with better build quality

    If your parents are already very used to Windows, option 1 will come with frustrations. Option 2 is an expensive version of option 3. I would suggest option 3, unless your parents have the time and desire to learn a new OS.
     
  17. Clix Pix, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017

    Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #17
    Actually, I don't think that there are THAT many differences in actual day-to-day use of Windows vs macOS. There were greater differences between the pre-Intel platform on Macs and Windows, and even at that it was surprising how many functions were similar. Back in 2005 I purchased my first Mac, an iMac, which at that time was still on the PPC platform. I had been using computers for a number of years (late 1980's), had gone from DOS to Windows and through the various iterations of Windows right up to WIN XP, and when I brought my new iMac home I was concerned that there might be a major learning curve with this new platform. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that things weren't as different as I'd thought after all. One thing I did was to purchase a copy of David Pogue's "The Missing Manual," which was very helpful when I had a question about how to do something on my new Mac that I couldn't intuitively figure out. He still publishes these books so there is one available for macOS Sierra. Also there are books specifically geared to those who are switching from Windows to Mac. Pick up a copy of one of these books and as they arise questions and concerns will quickly be answered and resolved. Also Apple offers information for switchers, too, on its website. If all else fails, doing a quick Googling will bring up answers as well. In other words, switching from Windows to Mac is not really a big deal. Also, with a son (or daughter?) who already uses a Mac, the parents will be able to directly ask any questions they have, too!

    About that 13" rMBP: first off, wasn't the initial concern about getting a machine with a 15" screen? Secondly and more importantly the SSD in that machine is only 128 GB, which really is not enough unless a user stores very, very little in the way of documents, photos and music on there. It would feel cramped and the user would always be concerned about running out of storage space. Depending upon one's use case and storage needs 256 GB SSD would be better and 512 GB even more so.

    If weight is more of an issue than initially realized, then again the parents might want to take a look at the lightweight, small MacBook, which truly IS light and easy to carry around and/ or use on one's lap.

    Yes, the line of rMBPs and also MBs is much more solidly and well built than most machines offered by other manufacturers. To get quality, one has to pay more. That's why one can walk into a Best Buy or Microcenter and pick up a Windows computer for a few hundred bucks and take it home, only to have to replace it within a couple of years and only to be continually frustrated by the operating system. Many Macs last for years, as can be seen by comments on this very site. Quality costs.....and quality is worth it.
     
  18. andy9l macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Removing the start and task bars is pretty fundamental to a lot of people who are not in the same demographic that frequent on tech forums, I'm afraid.

    As I mentioned and you have elaborated on, it just requires time and a desire to learn. Some people don't have one or both of those privileges for one reason or another.
     
  19. malibuboats91 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Thank you everyone for the replies. I went over to my parents house today and they had the new 13" MacBook Pro home! I set it up for them and went through the basics with them. With Best Buy they have the 14 days so I'm hoping they like it.
     
  20. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #20
    That is great news! I, too, hope they like it! I'll bet they will......
     
  21. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #21
    I bet if you bootcamp it with Win10 they will like it more :D
     
  22. niploteksi macrumors regular

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    #22
    It's a great little laptop for sure and now you aren't the one that pushed it on them, win win.. hehe
     

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