HP notebook vs 13 inch Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mrprescription, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. mrprescription macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2011
    Ok guys, I need your Mac wisdom.

    I'm looking into buying the low end 13 inch Macbook Pro for pharmacy school in the fall and I need a push in the right direction. I keep thinking I want a MPB but at the same time I am your typical PC gamer that can't help but to stare at the specs of a computer.

    I'm thinking I can get an HP notebook with the same processor and memory, but a 1gb video card for around $850, or for a price similar to the low end 13 MBP I can get an i7 and 8gb of ram and the 1gb video card. All in a 14 inch HP notebook, btw, so the portability is still there.

    I already have a pretty powerful desktop with two 23 inch monitors so I can do pretty much anything on that.

    But, I guess my question is what are the benefits of spending more money on the MPB. I'll be in school from 8-5 pretty much every day, taking notes, using office, watching youtube videos, and on a side note I am an extreme multitasker.

    Is the OS that much better than windows?

    So I need some guidance.
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I wish you the best in your academic endeavors. ;)

    Same advice as always - if you're buying for college, talk to your academic department before you buy. See if they have any particular requirements or recommendations.

    I think it is, but my uses might be different from yours. If you're heavily into gaming, a Windows rig might suit your needs better and save you a bit of money. If you think OS X is worth using, then paying a bit extra for an MBP is a good idea. Naturally, gaming is possible on any Mac using Boot Camp and installing Windows, so if your primary reason for buying is for using OS X, you should be in good shape. Otherwise, a Windows machine might be more your style.
  3. Predemptionz macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    Hey mate, I had the same problem some months ago.

    Essentially I would not recommend a HP if you are eventually going to pick a windows computer.

    Anyhow you say that you do have a desktop, which also happend to be the situation for me some months ago.
    The 13"-inch will not be able to handle games very weel in comparison to a windows machine with the same pricetag.
    I had a desktop and a xbox, so I made up my mind and decided that two gaming systems were enough for me.
    So I sold my old laptop, which was about a year old (really neat computer), and bought the 13"-inch. The great thing about it is the fact that it's so reliable, stable and it simply just works and have a nice battery which is important for me attending school.

    And on a site note: No, I'm not a windows hater of any kind, I really enjoyed it and I'm also a heavy gamer (been rank 1 in 2v2 @ WoW on my realm *geek smiley*)

    Conclusion: For your needs I would suggest going for a 13-inch MBP, that is if you like OSX etc. In your situation you already have a desktop for gaming so that need will be covered and if you are willing to spend the extra money, do so ;)
    Have a nice day etc. etc.

    PS: The macbook gets freaking how running flash, but that's the only thing that I don't really like about mine :D
  4. AFPoster macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    OS X is a lot better than Windows with reliability, stability and speed. Since you're a big PC gamer use Boot Camp (free in OS X), Parallels or VMFusion. OS X provides ways to use Windows, Linux, etc.
  5. mrprescription thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2011
    I probably should have made it more clear. I won't really be gaming on the MPB as I have a pretty powerful desktop PC.

    As far as what kind of computer the school wants us to have, its so basic anything would work. lol

    And I don't necessarily mean youtube videos during class but hey if I can make it into a professional school hopefully I can manage a few videos during class. lol.
  6. mrprescription thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2011
    When I said I game, I meant I played WoW. lol. Kil'Jaeden here. But its been a few months since i've played unfortunately :/ Cataclysm killed it for me.
  7. mtip macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Get the 13", you won't regret it. It will be plenty powerful for your needs. Specs aren't everything, they really aren't.
  8. fibrizo macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2009
    As an owner of the 2011 13 inch mbp... I here's some thoughts. I am not as happy with it as my previous 2.4 c2d 2010 mbp. But I can deal with it because it's mainly an itunes syncing device for me. The resolution on the display is not what I would like. I was disappointed that it did not get the same 1440x900 display the mba has. Also the lack of a discrete chipset does mean that it's not going to be a gaming machine really whatsoever. (some people may argue, but if you have a gaming desktop you'd understand)

    Your choices really come down to what do you want to do with your laptop.

    1. You use your desktop primarily, your notebook would be for on the go computing and handle office etc and basics. If that were the case, there is a lenovo deal recently with the 13 inch i5-2410 etc 4gb ram 500gb hd at 4.4 lbs for 559$. This will be 1/2 the price of the macbook pro for the same specs (except no thunderbolt, no apple logo) The same model with 1gb nvidia 410 and 2.5ghz proc +6gb ram is about 150 more. (granted this deal will be gone soon)

    2. If you want to do some gaming or other stuff, I'd go with a 13-14 inch pc with a higher res display and discrete graphics. (even if it's not often, lugging a desktop around to game with some friends is painful)

    3. You like using mac os, and like some of the features of a mac and don't mind the premium. Then by all means the 13 inch mbp is a great machine, but mostly if you plan to run mac os. It does get hot when running flash though and battery life is no where near advertised if you are using flash.

    If you are like me and end up selling and upgrading every year, the macbook pro is a decent choice too due to retained resale value.

    If you want something completely practical no frills( ie backlit keyboard, ambient light sensor, glass trackpad , then the lenovo 13 inch is probably the best bet.

    Here's the lenovo deal I saw.

    Lenovo has Ideapad Z370 13.3" Ultraportable Laptop for $559 using coupon code USPLENOVO526 with free shipping. Thanks PrPr


    Intel Core i5-2410M Processor (2.30GHz 1333MHz 3MB )
    4 GB DDR3 Memory
    500GB 5400RPM Hard Drive
    DVD Recordable (Dual Layer)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics 3000
    Lenovo BGN Wireless
    Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR
    Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64
    6 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
    13.3" HD (1366x768) Scree w/ integrated camera
    One year parts and labor warranty (system battery: one year)
  9. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    As someone who also multitasks a lot on the computer, consider the screen resolution on the 13" MBP. I had one for a few months and it drove me mad - everything had to be maximized just to see what was going on and I was constantly switching between windows.

    For me, it was either a high-res 15", or a PC with a high-res screen. The HP (or other options too) may be a better choice if the 15" is out of your price range.
  10. mrprescription thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2011
    Now that we kinda got the ball rolling, here's what I was thinking:

    -I want a stable OS because the MPB would be used mainly for school and on the go.. my HP desktop has even crashed on me once out of the blue and I had to reformat and all of that, so I really don't want to have to deal with reformatting if I were to get a HP notebook or worry about it getting a virus.
    -I've never had a Mac and everyone I know with one...they love it.
    -I have the two 23 inch monitors at home I use when I want more screen real estate and I have young eyes so I don't think I would mind the 13 inch so much.
    -All of my PC's that I have had in four years are usually on their death bed, so if the MPB will still be going strong in four years, a $1350 investment (with the SSD) i think would be worth it.

    I'm still in the middle right now, the safe bet for me would be the HP, but I don't want to miss out on something that could be way better if I spend a little more cash.

    Keep it coming though, all the different thoughts are helpful!
  11. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
  12. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    OSX is definitely more stable and easier to backup/restore. Windows 7 is compatible with more software and generally very stable regardless.

    Can't argue there (but keep in mind they cost a lot more)

    It's not a matter of eyesight, but the opposite - everything is too big and you can't make it smaller. A normal website width would be 90% of the screen width. I also have big monitors at home with a decent resolution (dual 24" 1920x1200's), and that's what made it hard to use the low-res 13".

    The internal components are pretty much the same, so the Mac only wins the longevity contest because of it's build quality (but you're paying for it). Something like the 14" Envy would probably last just as long, as it's an aluminum body similar to the MBP.

    The best part of the MBP, in my opinion, is the unibody case, the trackpad, and OSX. Since you're looking at a 13" with the student discount, the price difference between a high end Windows machine like the HP Envy and the MBP isn't much - I'd say go with the MBP (I actually just went from the 17" Envy to the MBP). If you're looking to save cash though, for $500-600 you can get a Windows laptop with similar componentry (maybe better), but with a plastic case. This will last just as long, but only if you're careful with it.
  13. Wafflausages macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    I didnt even read your post because I just want you to know dont EVER buy an HP laptop they're complete garbage. My first laptop ever was an HP and all the wireless card broke and the video card overheated so now my HP is just a big paper weight also I've heard from other people their customer service is ****. Just stay away from an hp laptop and save your money.
  14. mastaofdisasta, Jun 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011

    mastaofdisasta macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2011
    If your needs are basic, I would save some cash and go with a PC laptop. I had an HP laptop before I got a Mac, and with the exception of the build quality (it was an old plastic core2duo) she treated me well. Plus Windows 7 works well too. I really don't understand why so many people hate on Windows 7 sometimes. If I were you, I would get an 14 inch HP laptop with the upgraded build quality specs. I'm not sure what the model series is, but I know they make em.

    EDIT: Congrats on getting into pharm school btw. A lot of my friends are heading out to pharm school this year so I wish you luck.
  15. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    It's not that bad. I've been using a 13-inch MacBook for five years and I've never once had to make an application take up the entire screen to make anything usable.
  16. mrprescription thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2011
    Thanks a bunch. I'm looking forward to a long summer. lol

    Alright, for those of you who say save the cash and go with the HP laptop, what is it about the MPB that made you purchase it? (What do you mainly use it for or what features make it worth it?)

    Thanks again for the help everyone.
  17. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    OS X...and Apple's customer support is second to non IMHO.
  18. jesterscourt macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2009
    Good luck at pharmacy school.

    Macs are not gaming computers. Period. They have decent graphics cards in the higher-end models, but they are not gaming computers. And to be honest, from a cost perspective, laptops are a poor gaming computer, you can get a much better graphics cards and faster RAM for considerably less in a desktop. My opinion?

    Get the 13" MBP, your choice on i5 or i7. Buy 8 gigs of aftermarket RAM. There you go, Sandy Bridge, Snow Leopard (soon to be Lion), and a Mac. Save up and throw an SSD in later.

    If you already have a capable desktop rig, just upgrade that. Put in one of the new mobos so you can have Sandy Bridge in that as well. Or hold off, as Intel just announced the next chipset.
  19. mrprescription thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2011
    My dekstop is just a little over a year old. HP with quadcore i5, 8gb ram, and a 1.5gb discrete video card. It's definitely not the best, but its more than capable of doing anything I want. lol.

    The MPB won't be for gaming, but as long as it is a beast with the SSD for all school related things, and watching netflix, hulu, and being able to hook it up to my 23 inch monitor without any hiccups, (which i read in another thread that its no problem) than i think it would be great.

    I'm already leaning that way i just needed the push, and the back to school sale to open up. lol
  20. Laxaria macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2011
    If you're looking at the HP Notebook, and if my guess is right, you are probably looking at the HP Pavilion dm4x, which is the only other laptop on my shortlist of potential college computers alongside the base 13.3" MBP.

    If you are getting the dm4x, give it a month or two for the reviews to set in. Fall term starts in at least 2 months away and you should be able to spare some time to have an idea of its reliability and stability before making a purchase.

    However, with the Back to School offers and Apple's education pricing, I too am leaning on the MBP. Sure, I pay about $300-400 more, for less specs, but I do not find myself in dire need of a dedicated GPU. Having Applecare and the ability to get it repaired at a nearby Apple shop or having access to such customer service is more valuable to me than 1 year of HP Warrenty. The amount I pay more isn't factoring the Back to School offer.

    If you don't need a gaming rig, I will likely suggest the Macbook even though I have yet to own one. From my own understanding, it is in many ways superior to HP Pavilions.

    If you're not talking about the HP Pavilion, then fret not. I only wanted to post cause I'm a little happy that I'm not the only one considering it :p
  21. Duluth Baptist macrumors member

    May 9, 2011
    Duluth, MN
    A question nobody has asked: What software do you need to buy for it? Do you have a Windows version of Office that you can install on a Windows laptop, but need to buy Office for Mac? That's another $130 out the window. On the other hand, if you need to buy Office for both, it's a wash--or if you can use iWork (I like it), you spend less for the Apple software.

    I'm considering a laptop to accompany my iMac-iPad setup, and while I don't want to spend premium for an Apple logo, the software compatibility I get by purchasing a MBP is very compelling. Everything I do works well and works better if I keep it in the OSX ecosystem. I have an Office license ready for when I get a Mac laptop, for example, and all my Keynote presentations will move seamlessly. Not so much if I get a Windows machine.
  22. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    I tried to get that deal and it says the code isn't valid. Bummer.
  23. jasin macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2011

    If he installs windows and uses boot camp there should be no incompatibility problems. If they want him to use a specific program that is only for windows and pcs he could just boot into windows. He could keep windows around for that. So the only reason he should get a PC over the mac in this case is if money is an issue or the pc is just way more powerful and he wants the power stuff.
  24. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    With the back to school deal and student discount, I don't even know if you would be saving much money with that HP.

    For me, I recently migrated to a 13" MBP because I wanted to try something different. I like the Apple OS (it has some excellent features for my field of study), physical design (I am an industrial design enthusiast), customer support (stores + applecare), and excellent apps (especially in my field).

    You might want to think about how you will use it at school, and then you can determine better if you'd benefit from a Mac.

    Here is some of the stuff I use.

    Here is my workflow.

    Here is my organizational system.

    Of course, everyone has their own system. This is one that happens to work well for me, and the Mac fit a lot better into my workflow than Windows. Perhaps you'll find the MBP to be a good for your needs as well.

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