Laptop Help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by FlynndelAmitri, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. FlynndelAmitri macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2007
    G'day all,

    Well I guess im just one of the many visitors here, who bother you folks for advice and suggestions on computers, but any help is much appreciated.

    My Predicament/Story:

    I have been an HP fan since my first computer purchase back in 1997. About two years ago, I purchased a near top of the line HP Pavilion zd8000 series notebook computer worth 3000$ with the train of thought "higher specs" meant "longer system life" (I had a bad feeling since HP bought out Compaq), but I shrugged it off since my previous systems were great, however soon after purchase I realized my notebook was a lemon series (tons of problems)... and a little research uncovered many people with the same issues I was experiencing, some near the range of 700$ to repair. After contacting an HP rep, apparently my warranty expired (and was a whole other battle on its own), they knew nothing about my, and many other people's problems. I have lost all faith in HP and mind you, many other pc brand computers.

    I used to be big on gaming, but now a days, Im far too busy and frankly not interested.

    Back when I was in high school, my school was "renting" apple notebook computers for each student... this was incredibly impressive and amazed me back then, but they were two years dated and heavily loaded down with security software. Many students complained that apple "stunk" etc etc and that they crashed a lot. I believe the systems crashed so much due to constant abuse, I mean students would throw their mac notebook down the stairs (I saw that happen once). As for me, I kept my notebook for three years without any problem (except for a cooling fan issue which was fixed promptly), until my school terminated the lease.

    Sad to say, but most of my pc knowledge stopped with the PIV chip, and I absolutely HATE windows vista.. its garbage.

    Currently, both financially and in the aspect of interest, I am leaning towards the 15" macbook pro line and comparing it to pc notebooks within the same category. I will mainly use my notebook for Adobe software and Microsoft Office.

    (Sorry for the long rambling but here are my questions)

    1) In the past there was rumor that Apple used higher quality parts in their systems, but when they switched to Intel motherboards, they changed to generic parts. How sturdy are the instruments? I will be travelling and need a solid notebook with a very good battery life (something that can at least last 1 hour doing excel, word, and perhaps play a movie or adobe).

    2) Im kind of iffy about purchasing something so expensive again in the notebook market, and am worried that it will be rubbish within a year. How long would you say your apple's lifespan is?

    3) Windows pc's tend to slow down after a while of use due to a clogged bios. For intel mac users, how is your one year old mac holding up? Does it still run like new?

    4) Apple offers two macbook pro 15" versions. In all honesty which would you suggest is the better deal? I dont know if paying 500$ more for something as miniscule as 0.2 ghz and a little boost in graphics is worth it.

    5) Previously I mentioned briefly how I would use my notebook. Do you think a macbook pro is a good choice for me? Or even an apple at all? (after comparison, I havent found a notebook in the same class thats cheaper).

    Again (and in slightly more detail), I will be running the following:

    Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc) for scientific application
    Adobe Creative Suite Premium or Adobe Production Premium (personal use)
    Second Life
    Music (already use iTunes)
    Surfing the web (I moved away from Opera and use Safari beta for Windows)

    6) Bringing up surfing the web, reminds me, I havent used Safari beta (windows) for very long but it has an awful bug. Usually, whenever I attempt to download something it freezes and crashes. Does this happen on the mac os? Perhaps this is just a beta bug. How secure is Safari??

    7) Are Macs really as secure as the hype claims they are? I mean are they less at risk against tracking cookies, trojans, keyloggers, etc?

    8) I will not be purchasing Apple Care with my purchase of a macbook pro, but will sometime before my insurance expires (There is a store right in town, so phone service isnt needed after the 90 days expire). How helpful is Apple with computers? I had a 2nd gen ipod (and still do) and they promptly fixed it for a nominal fee; my general feeling was friendliness, quick service, and no bs.

    What happens when my Applecare expires? Say after 3 years, something goes wrong with my notebook... does Apple ignore you?

    9) Im considering of purchasing a refurbished apple flat screen monitor at a later date and am wondering if its worth the price. Compared to other monitors out there, Apple is fairly pricey with its flat screens.

    10) Have I worn you out with questions? :cool:

    The bottom line is that I want a notebook that will be sturdy, have a great batterylife, is secure, and will last more than three years (hopefully thats not asking for too much).

    Many thanks.
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    1. ONE hour? Try fiveish. For simple tasks like that, you'll get far more than an hour.

    2. There are really no worries here about obsolescence, I'd say that unless you need it to be bleeding edge, you'll get three years of awesome out of it. As an added bonus, the resale value of Macs is incredible, so when you DO need a new one, eBay your old one unless you're too attached and could never do that to a Mac (like me).

    3. Yeah, that's the Registry. They slow with age as a feature of the operating system. Doesn't happen with Macs. At least, not to my knowledge. My Apple ][ is as fast as it was in '77, but I wasn't around back then, so I can't vouch for that. My LC 575 from 1994 hasn't slowed, either.

    4. You won't really notice the 200Mhz. Get it if you want it.

    5. Absolutely. You'll fly on the thing. Wait until January, though.

    6. I only trust Safari to send things across the Internets (Bush). The bug is just in the Windows version, but I use Safari for Windows in Vista in Boot Camp and haven't had that problem. (I only use Vista for The Orange Box, otherwise I wouldn't have Windows at all) I consider it to be monumentally stupid to send a SSN or other personal info on a Windows machine and refuse to do so at my school (the others in our corporation all use Macs... go figure)

    7. No keyloggers, no trojans (one proof of concept, but it's been patched), no viruses, no spyware, no cookie trackers (you can turn them all off or to just take them from the sites you go to and not their advertisers), no worries. Live free! Yeah, and about the security software you mentioned.. it exists for Macs, so as not to let them spread viruses to Windows, but all it does is slow your Mac down. Don't get it.

    8. I've never gotten AppleCare, and none of my Macs have ever had any real problems (not even my 575 or Apple ][... not like they'd support them!) Can't really help with the after part, then. Maybe someone else...

    9. Apple displays are high-quality, but you pay out the ear for the design these days (the specs are relatively out of date). I was going to get one 24" of the next model (with built-in iSight!), but couldn't refuse getting two 24" displays for $500 day-after-Thanksgiving. Cinema Displays do have two USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 ports, though.

    10. Nope! This was fun!
  3. Surely Guest


    Oct 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Good answers sir!
    Saved me some typing....:D
    I think that would have put me over the top towards buying a MBP.
  4. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I'm not sure just what you mean by "sturdy" but my mbp isn't about to "fall apart" if you know what I mean.

    As for battery life, the mbps get fairly good battery life. If you're running Word+Excel+Safari, and with BT off, expect about 3.5-4 hours. The exact number will depend on what else you do and the brightness of your screen/brightness of your keyboard.
    The mbps are excellent machines. They have fairly good specs, are thin and light (for their size) have LED backlighting in the display, and are all around fairly worth it in my opinion. In terms of "how long will it last," that is a tough question because it depends on what you do. Considering what you've told us you do, I see no reason why your mbp won't last for at least 3+ years.

    Based on past models, Apple will at least support this current line of mbps for at least another two OS releases (whether they be OS X or a new OS series).
    My macbook pro isn't quite a year old, but it does have a solid 6+ months behind it, and it's just as fast as the day I bought it. I think you'll find that Macs don't "slow" as much as Windows machines.
    If you're not going to use the graphics, then I say it's a complete waste. The .2GHZ won't get you anywhere any faster. Save your money and go with the base model.
    Safari 3 in Leopard is great. I haven't had many problems with it at all (just one random quit when I was running 10.5.0, but with the update to .1, it hasn't happened again).
    They are safer in the sense that you won't get a virus in the traditional sense, but trojans are fair game (if you give your permission o/c).
    They won't ignore you, but they'll want hundreds of dollars for the simplest repair. My advice is that if something does go wrong after 3 years, just consider buying a new notebook. You'd probably enjoy the faster computer anyway.
    They are pricey, and there's no reason why you can't get one from Dell for half the price.
    Of course not! That's what we're here for! :)
    It's not asking for too much, and I think you'll enjoy your mbp.
  5. FlynndelAmitri thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2007
    Thanks so much!

    One last thing, do you think the macbook pro series will be updated by next March?
  6. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    The Buyer's Guide is one of the best features of MR. And I agree with its advice regarding the MBP. Intel mobile chipset updates will find their way into the MBP prior to March. And then there's the rumored sub-notebook to consider...
  7. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003

    Totally agree. And in case you weren't aware, by January he means WWDC (January 15th?).
  8. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Yes. January most probably. Wait until at least mid January. :)

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