Laptop alternative to Apple

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ross Henderson, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Ross Henderson macrumors member

    Ross Henderson

    Apr 6, 2006
    Hi. I'm looking to buy a laptop. Apple notebooks are very nice, but have far to many problems (personal experience) and don't run the BSD variant I need for work.

    What other manufactuers to apple users see as good quality / value? Having used Macs all my life I would like something simular, any ideas?

    Oh and I live in the UK.
  2. laidbackliam macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2006
    the intel macs won't run a BSD distro? odd

    that said, people have good things to say about thinkpads, but this is my first laptop.
  3. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Sony are making some exceptionally nice laptops at the moment. The nice thing about going Sony is that you don't give up all the pretty design that Macs have, though obviously they're not quite in the same league.

    Gerra MacBook or a MBP, they'rrrre great (as Tony the Tiger would say). Surely using Parallels you could get your distro to run?
  4. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    "They're gonna be greeat,
    they're gonna be greeat,
    they're gonna be AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!! *shoots work colleagues*
  5. LoveMacMini macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2006
    Viao's are all flash, crap build quality.

    Buy yourself a ThinkPad and never look back.
  6. other macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2005
  7. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    That's why the two I owned are still in my family and running like champs. :rolleyes:
  8. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth

    You are the first person I know that has had a vaio and not crap out on them within a year
  9. LoveMacMini macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2006
    Just to add something, ThinkPads have fantastic FreeBSD support since the developers who wrote that OS use ThinkPads day in and day out.
  10. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    We've always been happy with ThinkPad machines when OS X wasn't necessary. Sony hardware tended to be a royal pain when it came to obtaining device drivers for anything but Windows, and even sometimes with Windows.

    In any case, check your OS' mailing list or Web site and see if someone else has got the combination running satisfactorily before you buy. Device drivers are a perpetual problem with new PC hardware and open source systems.
  11. benthewraith macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Thinkpads, though I don't know about the quality since Lenovo took over.
  12. LoveMacMini macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2006
    Checkout this forum. I know you're not going to believe me, but the quality got BETTER, altho people aren't liking the minor color changes. The ThinkPad I have has some red accents on the mouse buttons, the new ones don't.
  13. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    strange.. everyone at my school has a thinkpad (the uni requires a laptop, and that's the one they support).. and 1) they're hideous looking and 2) they break down nonstop - it was so bad that last fall our support center ran out of loaners. perhaps it's user-inflicted, but my roommate was pretty good with computers and she was in our computer support center constantly...
  14. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    go with a thinkpad. mine is performing very well for everything i need and they seem to have a model for every type of consumer so you're sure to find something that fits you well.
  15. sunfast macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    I have a 4 year old VAIO, a 2 year old VAIO and my girlfriend has a 5 year old VAIO. My flatmate has a 1 year old VAIO. All running perfectly.
  16. TheBrazilianGuy macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2006
    Asus without a doubt

    I recommend an Asus.

    There are many reasons for that but I will be concise :

    I have an Asus Z70Va (P-M 2.16 GHz, 2Ghz, 120Gb, Ati X700 128Mb, etc)

    Case : it is really good. Actually, not a long time ago, Apple used asus
    cases to build the powerbooks or ibooks. It also light (5.5 lbs).

    Config : It is your choice, which is the best part. You do not get stuck
    with fewer choices.

    Price : It is not expensive as an IBM/Lenovo and you can build whatever
    config you want. There are many online resellers which build
    these machines. I am including a list at the end of this message
    for you. I would avoid proprietary brands like Sony (check
    other forums) but some people like their products.

    Heat : My Asus Z70Va does not come any close to what a Macbook
    produces. I was going to buy one Macbook but after going to
    the store I decided to keep my Asus. I do not want a heater
    in front of me all day long.

    Linux : I am running Kubuntu (Ubuntu also works fine). Other people installed
    Fedora but I just need a *nix environment to work.
    To make thinges better, I have a dual boot with XP with a
    common partition which shares my Firefox/Thinderbird folder (hence
    no dual bookmarks or messages). Anyway, there are reports
    of successfull Suse instalations either.

    I was worried to buy a non-famous brand but a little Google/forums
    research paid off. It is the best computer I had so far. You may want
    to check other opinions but Asus is one of the best you can get.

    Good luck ! (I bought mine from them. Excellent services)

    Forums :
  17. TheBrazilianGuy macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2006
    Oh...UK...I am nor sure if the sites will deliver for you then.
    Should have read better..:rolleyes:
  18. imacintel macrumors 68000

    Mar 12, 2006
    Get a Compaq Presario. Running awesome, even with 80 viruses and a defective HD.
  19. Ross Henderson thread starter macrumors member

    Ross Henderson

    Apr 6, 2006
    Wow. Thanks for the reply's. So the general opinion is that Sony's notebooks are comparable in looks, while perhaps Thinkpads don't share the same characteristics as apple hardware but are better for running alternative OS's, yes?

    I've noticed the speeds of these machines are quite slow compared. Does anyone know if HP's are any good, they look it.

    I was looking at ASUS / ACER machines and thought they were the same thing :confused: (four letter, starting with A etc. :p) I think I'll take a closer look at them.

    In the remote chance you are interested in my OS. It's a modified version of OpenBSD. We get to change our graphical environment, so I'm hoping to run compiz for general usage (I want a Nvidia GPU so I can get drivers) and fluxbox when doing hardcore stuff.

    Oh and I don't think my work will except parallels, too bad, as that would be my preferred option.
  20. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    as a thinkpad owner, i feel i have a duty to convince you to buy a thinkpad because they really are the next best thing to apple (by a long shot, but still). the support is great and the computers are very thin and light but powerful. my friend's HP is good looking but bigger and clunkier and heavier. he says if he could change one thing, it would be better hardware/software integration - which we all know apple is king of but i would never suggest that with a thinkpad. they have great services built in and they work seamlessly with the hardware.

    for people suggesting vaios, i can only share my experience with one. a friend has one and its hard drive has been replaced twice (sony admitted it was their fault), one of the USB ports doesn't work (sony can't figure out why) and there is something wrong with either the battery or the power adapter (i can't remember which, right now). so, he's giving up and going for a MBP after WWDC. were he getting another windows machine, he said he'd go for a thinkpad because of their quality and dependability.

    and that's all i have to say about that.
  21. CEAbiscuit macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    The Kitchen
    I am typing this on a 4 month old VAIO that is crapping out-already needs a new CD drive and the darn USB ports are linked to some funky Sony "wizards" that screw things up every time I insert a jump drive. Unfortunatly, they do not have macs at my office... mine stays at home.

    However, I have to agree with the Thinkpad idea. I used a T42 for 6 months prior to the VAIO and found it very reliable (as reliable as a windows machine gets).
  22. CEAbiscuit macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    The Kitchen
    And, BTW- I can dry my hands with the loud fan on the right side of my VAIO. The thing blows heat like a hairdryer.

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