MacBook Alternative

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CylonGlitch, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #1
    Ok, my wife's crappy PC is, well, crapping out. I want her to get a MacBook; and even for now to use my work laptop, but she doesn't want to buy one because they are "too expensive".

    To complicate matters. Today is my last day at this job, well, not exactly. You see, today I stop getting paid. It's a startup and we are out of cash. I am being kept on as an employee and will be paid as we have work. I will be brought back full time if we get a real project. So, in the mean time, I get to keep my MacBook, because I may have to work on things at home from time to time. I want create an account on the MacBook for her and let her use it. She only does some browsing, iPhone stuff, and photo stuff.

    But since I'm not earning a paycheck she thinks $999 is too much to spend. OK I can see that.

    Anyway, finishing up this too long of lead in.

    Does anyone know of a good PC laptop that is similar in form and functionality as the MB?
     
  2. blitzkrieg79 macrumors 6502

    blitzkrieg79

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    currently USA
    #2
    I don't know what is your price range but since a MacBook is too expensive (starting at $999) I am assuming you are looking for something a bit cheaper. Of course you will not get the same craftsmanship as a MacBook but actually I am a fan of Dell Studio notebooks, I have good experience with them and the 15 inch models start at $599 ( http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/note...refid=laptop-studio-1555&s=dhs&cs=19&ref=lthp ). Spec for spec you can definitely build a much more powerful PC than a MacBook but then again, obviously, you don't have OS X. But honestly, you can get the same job done even on a PC (and with Windows 7 coming out soon, PC world is a lot closer to OS X than Mac people think).
     
  3. windels macrumors regular

    windels

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #3
    I find Dell to be the best if you look at price/quality ratio.HP is better quality , although more expensive. Sony looks nicer (IMO) and also has a higher price tag. acer is cheaper in comparison spec to spec. But, I've heard more complaints about acers breaking down than any of the other brands.

    hope this helps.
     
  4. ijyt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
  5. kate-willbury macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    #5
    lol mac craftsmanship? that title was lost long ago with white macbooks notorious for cracking along with unibody lcd hinges and a ton of crappily made iphone 3g/3gs's.

    certain dells *can* install osx. i had leopard 10.5.6 installed forever on my $400 htpc for a long while before i ever got an actual mac.
     
  6. brendu macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    there might be new macbooks at a cheaper price in about 3 weeks...
     
  7. CylonGlitch thread starter macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #7
    I just ran around to all the local computer stores to see what is available. Not a whole hell of a lot that is at all impressive.

    1) I was a PC guy, converted to Mac a few years back; glad I did.
    2) I don't think anything less then a Core2Duo is really good enough anymore (besides they are not super expensive)
    3) Bulk is an issue; it MUST be a laptop
    4) 2GB of RAM minimum, 4 is better. It has to support 4 no matter what.
    5) 250GB drive, minimum, would be nice, but not required (she only has 60 now).
    6) Around $500 is about right.

    What I did was hit up Dell and a few other sites, got some ideas, then hit up the local stores to see what was available. Here is what I found.

    * Netbooks are just too small for her needs. In terms of screen size, processor power, and memory.
    * Most laptops are either small and under powered, or OK powered but HUGE.
    * 2"+ thick is very common! OUCH!
    * Many play games with their specs. "CORE2" technology, only to find it to be the Core2 SOLO. :( Or 2GB of RAM* (shared with video card) -- lame.
    * Lots of CRAPPY designs, horrid places for USB ports and such, many with DVI out, no HDMI. :(
    * Most don't have 802.11n, just g.
    * HD size seems to be completely irrelevant to price anymore. (hell you can get a 500gb laptop Seagate for $99)
    * Everything seems to be a compromise, nothing very well rounded.
    * Machines I did see that I thought were a good choice, started at about $799.

    I'm not too sure what to do at this time. I think I'm going to use Windows 7 and an excuse. I'll tell her that I won't buy anything until it is out and available on the laptops. In the mean time, I'll make her a user account on the MacBook and she can use that. That give me about a month to get her used to OS-X and forget about Windows. :)
     
  8. blitzkrieg79 macrumors 6502

    blitzkrieg79

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    currently USA
    #8
    Well, but you are not comparing apples to apples, don't expect a $500 PC to look and feel like a $999 MacBook (anyway, most current PC laptops are about 1.5 in thick). Also, right now for $999 you can get a Dell Studio 15 ( http://configure.us.dell.com/dellst...1&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&kc=laptop-studio-1555 ) that absolutely clobbers the MacBook in every spec imaginable. To me it's rather funny how Apple always complained about IBM and lack of innovation (not keeping up with Intel) but whats Apples excuse now? They are not at the forefront of computer technology. They should be the first to release Quad Core laptops with above average GPUs that enhance video/sound processing capabilities. Even Toshiba a while ago released a Quisimo (Intel based) with a Cell Coprocessor that greatly improves video encoding speed (of course software has to take advantage of it). Right now MacBook is not a good buy, far away from it.
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #9
    Specs do not equal usability.

    With running windows, 10% of your processing power is lost to anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-adware out of the box, before other usability problems with windows.

    Portability is a feature.
    Multi-touch trackpad is a feature.
    Easy to connect to WIFI is a feature.
    OS X is a killer feature.
    Actually use the laptop as a laptop (without needing to plug into the wall all the time) is a feature.
     
  10. CylonGlitch thread starter macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #10
    Ok, but that laptop is out of the price range. I don't want to drop good money on another PC. For what my wife does, a Mac would suit her life better then a PC; but price is a barrier to entry -- especially now. There is more to a mac then the specs, of course, otherwise they wouldn't be selling so well.

    But not to bring this to PC vs Mac war, it's not. I have no problem with either system but I think a Mac would make my wife's life easier. But I'm looking for something as a stop gap measure, but I don't want something that is huge either. She had no need for a 17" laptop.

    I do agree with you though, I wish Apple would move forward faster. Especially with processors. I think it is about time to see the i7's and maybe that is why stock on some machines are low. Hopefully soon. But pushing more power typically means more heat, which means more fans, which means more noise. Loud machines bother me. :(
     
  11. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    #11
    You mentioned that you want to set up an account on the MacBook for her. You could simply do that. Hopefully, when your financial picture brightens you can then consider getting the laptop she really wants.
     
  12. CylonGlitch thread starter macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
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    SoCal
    #12
    Yeah, I think that is the right path to go that this time. At least for now, there is no reason she can't use it. I mean it is just going to be sitting around collecting dust. Sure it isn't ours, but the company wants me to hold on to it for now.
     
  13. blitzkrieg79 macrumors 6502

    blitzkrieg79

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    currently USA
    #13
    Anti-virus/anti-spaware/anti-adware is for sissies :p I practice safe computing thank you very much, but honestly, as long as you know what the hell you are doing PCs are not that troublesome. OS is a preference, but besides that, tell me exactly in which aspect does the current $999 Macbook bests the current $999 Dell Studio 15 laptop with the latest i7 processor? Even aesthetically wise the Dell is not that much worse than the Macbook. And with Windows 7 looming on the horizon, Apple better get it's act together when it comes designing computers with all the latest and greatest components.
     
  14. CylonGlitch thread starter macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
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    #14
    1. Asthetics, it does beat the Dell.. you just agreed to that.
    2. OSX > 7 >>> Vista
    3. iSight
    4. OSX
    5. Power Consumption
    6. OSX
    7. 802.11n

    It's not a bad machine, but if I'm spending that kinda money, I'm buying a MB, sorry. She doesn't need a super processor (it would be nicer to have a quad running at lower speed), nor a super video card. What she does need is an easy to port around, quiet, machine that gets good life on the battery and integrates well with her life.
     
  15. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #15
  16. CylonGlitch thread starter macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
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    #16
    Now that is what I'm talking about, that's not a bad idea. I had forgotten about them!
     
  17. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    #17
    If you do this, get an inexpensive external drive and software to make a clone of the internal drive to the backup (using Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper). That way, if you have to return the laptop at some point, you can easily transfer the data to a new Mac if/when you get one.
     
  18. nick1516 macrumors 6502a

    nick1516

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #18
    Also check ebay, I bought my first mac over the summer and it was one of the early '09 macbooks with the 9400m, I got mine for $710 and free shipping and it looks brand new, nothing wrong with it whatsoever.
     
  19. dirtydignity macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #19
    Well, I'll suggest you to buy a High end laptop from Dell and install Leopard over it (Hackintosh). This way you get the best of both worlds.
     

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