Need a laptop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by M888, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. M888 macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2011
    Okay, so I am in need of a laptop. I'm looking at a Dell XPS 17, Macbook air (Maxed out) or the $1499 macbook pro.

    XPS 17:
    PROCESSOR 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM processor 2.00 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 2.90 GHz

    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® Home Premium, 64-Bit, English

    HD DISPLAY 17.3" HD+ (900p) LED Display with 2.0MP HD Webcam & Facial Recognition

    MEMORY 8GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 Memory

    VIDEO CARD NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M 3GB graphics with Optimus

    HARD DRIVE 640GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive

    BATTERY OPTIONS 92 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery

    INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE 8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)

    WIRELESS + BLUETOOTH Intel© Centrino© Advanced-N 6230 and Bluetooth 3.0

    KEYBOARD Backlit Keyboard - English

    SOUND OPTIONS JBL 2.1 Speakers with Waves Maxx Audio 3 + Creative SoundBlaster X-FI MB 1.2

    Total: $1519.99

    The X17 definitely has more bang for it's buck, but its really big and has 3 hours of battery life. The MBA, I would snatch up, but I'm not sure whether I should stay with core 2 duo or move up to the sandy bridge. The MBP itself looks really underpowered compared to the 15 inch model and I'm stuttering on the graphic card options. Mainly, I'm looking to do ordinary web browsing, music production and I want to be able to play WoW at low/mid quality with around 30 fps average in crowded areas, but more fps is always better. My questions are:

    1: How dangerous is it to move a laptop around while the HDD is moving?

    2: Does the SSD and 320M make up for the 2.13 ghzz C2D in the MBA?

    3:How would an SSD OG, 4gb Macbook compare to a maxed MBA?
    (If you must know, My budget is around $1500 andn my friend is selling his maxed out MBA for just that)

    I've been using windows forever, but just yesterday I went into an apple store and the Air is AMAZING.
  2. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    You're comparing three very different machines! I suggest you have a think about what you need in a laptop.

    The Dell is a PC desktop replacement, the MacBook Air is an ultralight portable laptop and the MacBook Pro is a regular laptop.

    They're very hard to compare which could be why no one else has posted yet!

    If you like the look of the power of the Dell laptop then a more suitable Mac comparison would be the 15" $1799 MacBook Pro. Same CPU for starters. Graphics on the MBP is better but if it's just WoW then you probably wouldn't need better. Far better battery life though and the screen res is the same. $100 extra will also give you a higher res screen if you prefer. Of course the Mac costs more but it's not necessarily worse bang-for-buck since you're getting a lighter laptop with nicer materials, in my opinion a nicer look and substantially better battery life.

    As far as the MacBook Air goes... well it *is* amazing in my opinion. My better half has a previous generation Air and it really is lovely. Super thin, really fast. The SSD does make it feel substantially more snappy. It is a completely different beast though and is probably more of a lifestyle choice. PC users will laugh at you because of the 'low' specs compared to what you pay but then most PC users don't understand the value in ergonomics, engineering, battery life and weight!

    Graphics wise all of the laptops should be fine with WoW although I haven't played it since before Cataclysm so I couldn't tell for sure - might be worth asking in the gaming forum here.

    In answer to your questions:

    1. It's not really dangerous at all. If you give it a sharp jolt then there's a slight chance the read head might hit the platter and lead to drive corruption but it's not really that big of an issue. The benefit of SSDs is primarily the speed - especially compared with laptop drives that are significantly slower than desktop drives even if using the same rpm due to the radius of the platters.

    2. This is kind of a 'how long is a piece of string' question! SSDs make computers feel very quick. In many instances an SSD is far more noticeable than an octo core computer vs a dual core. Loading times are far faster. Pretty much everything feels faster unless you're doing processor intensive stuff such as video rendering. It really is a different kind of speed.

    3. I don't know what you mean by "OG". If you mean a 13" MacBook entry level with a 128/256GB drive then the MacBook will be faster. It'll be about the same in WoW though because the Intel graphics card is supposedly about the same as the 330m. It will also be heavier and bulkier though!

    By "maxxed out MBA" do you mean a 13" 2.13GHz, 4GB RAM, 256GB SDD MBA? If yes then it sounds like a good enough price. Some people say MacBook Air updates with Core i5s are on the horizon but it's still mid-product cycle so probably a couple of months off at least. $1500 sounds pretty reasonable if it does have those specs.

    It sounds like you've suddenly been offered this deal and you're spinning a bit and don't know what to do! If you have a reasonably powerful desktop then I'd say take your friend up on his offer. If this laptop is meant to be your only computer then take some time what you want out of your computer - power, battery life, graphics, weight, portability etc. :)

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