Laptop for University

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shaun.P, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Shaun.P macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #1
    Hey all,

    I currently have a MacBook Pro which I've had for about 2 months and I'm very happy with the machine.

    However, I have just recently swapped Uni's and the University offers a laptop initiative on Lenovo laptops. I understand these laptops have an excellent track record for reliability, and I know they are built really well. These two factors really appeal to me, and the idea of having a laptop which is very rugged sorta appeals to me.

    The laptop they are offering is the T61 (I have attached a picture will all the specifications). It comes with a 3 year warranty, and Vista Business and Office Professional.

    However, I have Vista on Bootcamp on the MBP, but I don't think I would feel to comfortable taking it to Uni as I know it could get scratched and dented easily.

    My dilemma is down to money. I suppose I have the credit available to buy the laptop, either using credit card or overdraft (which is interest free). But on the other hand, I know I don't really need it, but I have certainly wanted a ThinkPad for a while now.

    I have even thought of ordering it, selling the MBP (which I should hopefully get much more for than the cost of the Lenovo Laptop) and buy a new MacBook when they come out in September (hopefully!). Or even buying an iMac in its place?

    I know a lot of you here have ThinkPads and you tend to speak very highly of them. Any guidance is appreciated.

    P.S. I should mention that I will be traveling to University daily, as it is a 30 minute train ride away.
     
  2. jTreu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    #2
    if your happy with the MBP stick with it, since you'll be traveling back and forth i think your much better off have 1 machine, the MBP, rather than the thinkpad plus macbook or imac. Also there's no sense going into debt for something you really dont need.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    The Thinkpad is somewhat more rugged than the MBP, yeah, but purchasing a new computer on overdraft (or CC debt) just because you're afraid of damaging your MBP sounds kind of insane to me.... I could see getting a second notebook because it was notably smaller and lighter (I wouldn't want to lug anything as big as a MBP with me every day, but I am very picky about that), but not purely to avoid damaging the Macbook.

    I would say that either of these two are reasonably good options:

    - Just get a good protective bag and use your MBP
    - Sell your MBP and get the Thinkpad.
     
  4. 204467 macrumors 6502a

    204467

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #4
    I agree with JTreu. Since you'll be traveling, a notebook is a must. If you like you current laptop, then I really don't see any reason to sell it and get a new one. Save the money for something nice, like real food and not the crap from a college campus.
     
  5. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Roskilde, DK
    #5
    I really think you need a more holistic view on your actual needs and not your actual wants.Why vista? Why os x? What does the machine offer you that makes life on uni easier etc.?
     
  6. Shaun.P thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

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    #6
    I don't think I could be Mac-less, so simply having the ThinkPad would be out of the question!

    I use the computer for playing videos, using the interest, iTunes, spreadsheets, word processing, blah blah :).

    I don't have a need for a second machine, but I suppose the idea of having a ThinkPad, which I wanted a while, knowing it'll probably last me ages, appeals to me a lot.

    I'd take it to Uni and use the Mac at home.

    But you're right, I don't need it, I would just *like* it :).
     
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
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    The Far Horizon
    #7
    I'd just like to point out that the MBP is a pretty rugged machine, too; after all, it is Apple's top "professionally" styled laptop; it is designed to be worked hard, and used a lot; moreover, as a laptop, it is designed to be portable. Remember, it is made of aluminium, not plastic. Sure, the Thinkpad is especially rugged, but I'd be surprised if there were/are vast volumes of complaints about the MBP's build quality; such complaints as exist on this forum, and others, tend to refer to the MB.

    I'm the very pleased owner of a MBP and I'd go with mkrishnan and jTreu - namely, get a good sturdy protective bag, and keep the MBP. It will last you years, and you may well need to spend your money on other things, college being college. Cheers and good luck.
     
  8. AC773 macrumors member

    AC773

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #8
    I couldn't be without a Mac, but for a second computer, my ThinkPad X40 is amazing. Smaller and lighter than anything Apple's ever made; great battery life, stunning build quality, I like the look, etc., etc. My Mac stays home, and my X40 goes with me wherever I need it.

    If you want a ThinkPad, I would recommend you keep your Mac and look into something used. Old IBM stuff comes off of corporate lease all the time, and if you look hard enough, you can get a deal. I got my X40 6 months ago for the equivalent of 140 GBP, including Ultrabase.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    I should clarify that I did mean ruggedness and not build quality. I think the MBP and TP lines are roughly a wash on build quality, traditionally. The TP is the standard bearer, though, for ruggedness, outside the "ruggedized" notebooks like the Toughbook. There's a significant reason that the TP series has maintained nearly that same Elvis Costello look throughout the years....

    The MBP is also very rugged in the business sense -- that you are not as likely to sustain damage to it sufficient to stop you from getting your job done with falls, drops, and bangs, as you are with most anything else -- but it does sustain minor dents and scratches fairly easily. It's that Aluminum shell. It lets the notebook be very thin, and it's remarkably light for everything packed into it, but an Al shell like that is just not going to be resistant to dings....
     
  10. Shadow macrumors 68000

    Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Keele, United Kingdom
    #10
    There's no need to having more than 2 computers unless you specifically need 2 (or more) to do your job or whatever. I'd keep the MacBook and buy a protective case.
     
  11. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #11
    Ditto.

    If the MBP is too heavy for you to carry around without feeling like you're going to drop it or damage it, maybe get a 7"-9" netbook (like an eeePC) instead. A lot of people use these as their second notebooks for when the need to have compact systems.
     
  12. Shaun.P thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
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    #12
    Yeah I think this would be a good idea.

    Is there any particular model you'd recommend?

    Can you install VPN clients onto them? Also, can you plug in flash drives so I could save documents onto a drive and pop it in the Mac to work on it at home?
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    Most of them are able to run Windows and available in Windows variants, and do all the things, disk space delimited, you'd expect a Windows notebook to do. Right now, the newest Lenovo one (S10 or something like that) is hot, although it's quite big (closer to 3 lbs and 10" screen, but specification-wise, considering it's available for about $360 with coupon codes, it's excellent). The Asus 901 is fairly popular also (quite a bit smaller and lighter).

    If you run Linux on them, it varies from brand to brand, but the things you want are definitely possible. On the Asus Eee's, plugging in flash drives is fine out of the box; VPN takes a little hacking, as far as I remember (mine runs Ubuntu now and does all the things you'd expect an Ubuntu notebook to do). I don't know the specifics of Linux on the Lenovo or others.
     
  14. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #14
    I'd recommend the EEE 901. It gets ~5 hours of battery life, has XP, 12GB internal flash drive, SD reader, 2 usb ports, etc…

    It's basically a small but full-featured laptop, so you could run your VPN client, plug in usb sticks, monitors, etc…
     

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