Laptop suggestions other than mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hogpen, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. hogpen macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2008
    I know this might not be the best place to ask, but what kind of laptop should I get if I don't get a macbook?

    I've been thinking about buying a macbook for a long time, but I don't know if I'll be able to afford it right now. What would you recommend for a laptop in the price range of $500-700? Dell, HP, Gateway, Compaq?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. FuuFuu macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2008
  3. tmelvin macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2008
    Well, not knowing what you're doing with it, and what specs are acceptable, I'd consider an HP or Lenovo. But my experience with both have been their business laptops [HP-nc/nx series, and Lenovo-T Series, like the ThinkPads].

    I can't personally say I'd recommend any of the others. I've used the DELL Latitudes; the older ones were great, but the newer ones [D820/830] are junk for what you pay for them. The Best Buy/Circuit City specials are, well junk IMHO. The difference in price for a low end MB/Refurb and that of a $500 Wallie Mart special isn't that much. With the MB, you can at least sell it, and get some of your $$ back...
  4. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I'd suggest refurbished machines in that price range.

    While the major brands have good features, they also seem to have a lot of failures, so refurbs are a good choice to avoid losing your machine temporarily to a maintenance facility.

    I believe it was Tiger Direct where I was looking for such a machine, as they had a good selection. As much as I would cringe just a few years ago, I would suggest that Gateway/eMachines actually have reliable machines these days, all things considered.
  5. jroller macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    Not sure what PC laptops are in that price range, but Dell and Lenovo have fair reputations.

    I, too, would urge you to look into the refurbs at the Apple store.

    Keep in mind, you often get what you pay for...
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you buy a $500 "junk book" you will use it for a while then you try to sell it and find you can't. But if you buy a $1000 Apple refurb, later you will have no trouble selling it for $500. In the end both cost you $500.

    If you just can't come up with the cash and you care more about the up front cost and don't casre about "total cost of ownership" then buy a used notebook and then load Ubuntu Linux on it. Linux rund fast even on low end hardware and the "feel" is very mac-like.
  7. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Dell. Cheap. Common. Relatively reliable (the thousands of horror stories are only because there are millions and millions out there...if only 1% of all Dell laptops have major problems then that is a *ton* of laptops - but you still only have a 1% chance of a bad one)

    Thinkpads are pretty good too.
  8. Shackler macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2007
    behind you!
    I second this post. Dell and Lenovo would be my pick if i wasn't getting a Mac.
  9. RainForRent macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    What are you planning on using it for? I mean, heck, if you want something cheap to just browse the internet and type papers while you save for a Macbook, buy an EEE PC.
  10. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
  11. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    If you don't want a MacBook, your best bet is buying a HP laptop. They have a huge variety to choose from, and they perform pretty well for their prices. :)

    Dell is great too, try to shy away from the cheaper Sony VAIO models. The high-end laptops are great, but there under $800 models aren't great.

    Make sure you purchase some sort of extended warranty/coverage, those cheap laptops have cheap parts, and more likely than not you will have problems with the hardware.

    I sell these on a daily basis, so I kind of know what I'm talking about. :p
  12. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    Is it better to throw away $500-700 or wait a little longer to get a macbook?

    That's for YOU to decide.
  13. fr4c macrumors 65816


    Jul 27, 2007
    Hamster wheel
    I actually helped my cousin pick up his laptop today, and after an entire day of shopping around, he finally settled with a Macbook.

    Reason? If you were to buy a decent laptop around $700, you might as well spend a little more for a Macbook. I don't know if you're a student or not, but I was able to get him $100 education discount, as well as a free iPod Touch and a HP All-In-One printer. After rebate, total came to $1060 and change. With this laptop, we can expect him to use it for a good 3-4 years.

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