MacBook Pro owner needs help with PC Laptop purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kngelv, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. kngelv macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2004
    I hate to ask this but am in need of advice. My sister needs a laptop running Windows in the $500-$750 price range. I currently have a late 2008 MacBook Pro and have been using Mac's for seven years. I am out of the loop when it comes to PC's. She is looking to me for buying advice but I am at a loss. I don't like anything I have seen at the usual places. They all seem so cheaply built. I'd just like her to have one that is fairly reliable and has North American based tech support. If any of you HAD to purchase one which would you recommend. Thanks.

  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Unfortunately, if you're looking for a laptop in that price range, you're quite likely to find only machines that are cheaply built - regardless of what people may say otherwise. Yes, you can buy PC hardware cheaper than most Mac hardware, and even cheaper than the price range you named - but you get what you pay for.

    I use a Dell PC for work, and while I don't have any problems with it, it's design and performance are a bit underwhelming, to put it politely. My wife's old HP laptop I liked only marginally better.

    Like I said, the selection of laptops in that price range isn't going to cause your jaw to drop in awe, but you should be able to get something that's at least adequate for light to moderate use.
  3. ikermalli macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2008
    Go to then find some things you like there, post the links here, and we can tell you what is good and what isn't.

    - ikermalli
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Um, I may be a bit confused here, but why would anyone look for recommendations on buying a Windows PC in a Mac-oriented forum? Why not ask that in a Windows forum? It seems they would be more up-to-date on Windows hardware.
  5. kngelv thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2004

    I guess because this is the forum I am on the most. I figure a lot of people here use both and might have some insight as to which is the way to go. In my pre Mac days Dell was generally considered the best but now all I hear is complaints. I'm thinking Lenovo but am still a bit undecided.

  6. J71 macrumors member


    Jul 19, 2008
    If you are thinking Lenovo, go with a ThinkPad over the IdeaPad. I use a ThinkPad T60 for work and they are actually nicely built machines. The R series is in your price range and looks okay but I think for a little more $$, the T series has a better chassis.
  7. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    Dell Inspiron 1525 would fit your needs perfectly:


    It can come in lots of colours and girly designs which should satisfy your sister

    and the one in your price bracket has pretty good specs:

    Processor Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6400 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
    Screen Glossy, widescreen 15.4 inch display (1280x800)
    RAM 4GB3 Shared Dual Channel DDR2 (2 Dimms)
    Hard Drive Size: 320GB4 SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    Dell Wireless 1505 Wireless-N Mini-card

    Personally I hate all Windows laptops but if its what she wants...

    You could always spend a tiny bit more and get a Whitebook Macbook from Apple


    Or even look in Apples refurbished store, sometimes the stuff you get is even new.
  8. AppleMacTheBest macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2009
    I would recommend you not to buy any PC for your sister. I seen so many PCs that my friends use break apart. It makes me feel better when I show them my Apple.

    Spend something extra on top of your budget because it's well worth it. The initial investment might be bigger, but it will last you for much longer.
  9. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    Yes, that is so true! I know many people who buy a PC to save money, yet they have so many problems and have to get it fixed and have them break that it's not really worth the price from a MacBook. Only good PC laptops are probably in the range of the MBP.
  10. kngelv thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2004
    You don't have to sell me on all the advantages of a Mac. She has a limited budget and Windows is what she uses at work. I tried talking to her but you know how it can be with family. I also have not missed the irony of not being trusted on spending more now and buying an Apple, but am trusted on buying a PC. I'll be blamed either way. This is what I'm leaning toward.

    Lenovo IdeaPad Y 530

    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T6400 ( 2GHz 800MHz 2MB )
    Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
    Intel Integrated Graphics X4500
    3 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz
    15.4 " WXGA TFT with integrated camera LCD Glossy 1280x800
    Industry Standard Touchpad
    320GB 5400
    DVD Recordable (Dual Layer)
    6 Cell Lithium-Ion
    Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 5100
    Bluetooth Version 2.0 + EDRNone
    One year mail-in parts and labor (system battery: one year)

    It is just less than $600.00 as configured and seems to be the only one under $1000.00 that uses DDR3 instead of DDR2.


  11. mateus macrumors member


    Sep 30, 2007
    I'd go with...

    1) Lenovo - excellent build quality but can be expensive.
    2) Sony Vaio - generally well priced for spec & build quality.
    3) Dell - Apparently the build quality of new Dells are much improved

    (I have a Dell laptop but I got it years ago when they were making good machines, they went down hill after that - IMO)

  12. theITGuy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2009
    chasing the ghost in the machine
    The HPs are a nice budget consumer laptop with lots of features...just make sure it has enough RAM to satisfy the Vista monster..the Dell Inspirons are great but tend to fall apart during year two in my experiences...


  13. relativist macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2009
    No chance for a used MacBook, booting to windows via bootcamp? I think you can have it default to the windows instal even. If not, I think you have the right idea with Dell, Lenovo, etc. Remember to look for discounts, like those listed on the website under coupons and deals. Also search google. Good luck.


  14. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    most important

    you forgot the best feature of that laptop. xp downgrade.
  15. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
  16. utkillsall macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2009
  17. Cricketman macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    I got a Sony VAIO FW235J from Best Buy about two weeks ago. I got it for ~$750.

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it. It's a brilliant machine, has a 16.4 inch High Definition Screen, which blows the Mac screens out of the water to be honest.

    4GB Ram
    250GB Hard Drive
    2.0 Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

    Check out your Best Buy to see if they have it. This ( is a slightly 'upped' model, with Blue Ray.

    This is also a fine machine:
  18. NXTMIKE macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    If you're going to be going new, here's my recommendations:

    Dell usually is the easiest to online configure and purchase and gives you the most bang for your buck. BUT, Dell is probably also becoming really defective. :eek: Dell computers made before they put a bunch of kiosks into retail stores and started selling through retail usually were much better off in quality.
    If you're going Dell, take a look at there Studio Laptops, the mid-range consumer laptop from Dell.

    HP, glossy (its ugly) and slow even though they claim to have good internal specs. Enough said. They also overheat a lot.

    Lenovo probably performs the best, but they look....ugly.

    Sony Vaio - I was going to purchase a Vaio then I got my I'd recommend the Vaio. Sony, in my opinion has the nicest PC laptops, and they're also easily configurable online.

    Gateway, Compaq, Acer....cheaply built and cheap for the wallet.

    Thats all I can say. In the end I'd go with a Sony Vaio then a Dell Studio Laptop.
  19. kngelv thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Went with the Lenovo. Thanks for the help. Wish my sister luck with the horror that is Vista. I put the Windows 7 Beta on my Macbook Pro with Bootcamp and it's not that bad, though I still much prefer Mac OSX. The one program I have missed since my change years ago is Microsoft Money. It is far better than any comparable program on a Mac. Thanks again.


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