Need laptop

Solafaa

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Hello, my younger brother would be attending online college soon and since i am the guy who knows computers the most he came to me for advice. I would advice an ibook or PB but he would need a PC laptop. I called them and they said that a PC laptop would be best since he needs one to post text and use all the stuff online.

I would like something light that is very portable and has good battery life somethign like an iBook but with Windowz on it.

Thank you.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Solafaa, two things: if you really want to think about the Mac route, try to press for details and find out whether they are talking about stuff that is browser-based, or actual software that runs separately on the computer. If it is browser-based, unless it uses ActiveX, it is highly likely it will work on a Mac. If it is something that is a separate app, like that thing that they use in law school, just have him get a PC, because it will be very painful if even possible.

As far as PCs for your shopping list, these are some of the major notebooks that have similar form factors to the iBook 12":

- IBM has a thinkpad in this size class -- I think X32 or X40 are the right ones to look at. They're considerably pricier than an iBook 12", AFAIK.
- Sony has the PCG-V505 series. I think it's somewhat, but not insanely more expensive than an iBook.
- Dell 700M -- one of the few that is in a comparable cost class, or even cheaper.

Before anyone flames, no comment on whether they match the stylistic quality of the iBook. If I had to pick one of those three, without regard for cost, my order of preference would be IBM>Sony>>>Dell but YMMV.
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
The Thinkpad T series is the way to go. The X series has no optical drive (combo or superdrive), so you can't burn discs or watch DVDs. My 14" T42 with 1400x1050 resolution weighs the exact same as a 12" iBook, is thinner and has a brighter screen. It is about 1500 dollars for a decently configured machine, however, it will be more powerful than even a powerbook g4, with the powerful Pentium M processor.

Thinkpads are also more durable than any laptop for PC or that Apple puts out. If you can deal with windows, Thinkpads are the best laptops by far.
 

topgunn

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2004
1,459
1,264
Houston
The biggest difference maker in PC laptops is the processor. I would not recommend any laptop with a P4. Don't be fooled by the higher GHz. They cannot compete with the Pentium M on a clock for clock basis. It's not even close. Also, the P4 is a power hog. The Pentium M on the other hand is very frugal. Its maximum thermal output is a fraction of the P4's minimum thermal output. This translates to lower heat and longer battery life.

Get a laptop based on the Pentium M somewhere in the range of 1.6-1.8GHz and it will fly plus you get great battery life somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-6 hours. I think Gateway currently has some great laptops for good prices and HP has decent offerings as well. If you order from Gateway, talk to someone on the phone or in online chat. You will get a better price this way; possibly $100-$200 less.
 

ironMonkey

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2005
39
0
the dell closest to iBook in size is the 700m. has a widescreen 12" and 1.6 Pentium M. it will cost you a few hundred more. a little bit lighter too.
 

Solafaa

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
mkrishnan said:
Solafaa, two things: if you really want to think about the Mac route, try to press for details and find out whether they are talking about stuff that is browser-based, or actual software that runs separately on the computer. If it is browser-based, unless it uses ActiveX, it is highly likely it will work on a Mac. If it is something that is a separate app, like that thing that they use in law school, just have him get a PC, because it will be very painful if even possible.
Well you would need IE 6 in order to post test on the college forum which is a must atleast twice a week. To access some sort of flash lesson which is 4-6 mins long you need IE 6 aswell, to get tech help you must use IE 6. Its kinda like the MS windows update, in order to get it you need IE.

It is possible to use a mac with VPC but its way to slow :(
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Wow, I'm skeptical about some of that, like Flash that only works in MSIE, but sounds like you're going to need a PC definitely. :rolleyes: But it's kind of sad that even for the PC owners, they do not officially support FF1.0+.... There are even lab computers here now that have FF on it. It's in the IT department's own self interest, and most schools had not deployed a lot of stuff that needed ActiveX / COM stuff anyway.

That thinkpad Ryan mentioned does sound nice.... Isn't there also a TP with an integrated optical drive and a 12" screen? I thought it was the X, but as he stated, that has no optical drive. :( But still, Thinkpads rawk!!!! :D
 

Mood

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2005
220
0
NY
topgunn said:
The biggest difference maker in PC laptops is the processor. I would not recommend any laptop with a P4. Don't be fooled by the higher GHz. They cannot compete with the Pentium M on a clock for clock basis. It's not even close. Also, the P4 is a power hog. The Pentium M on the other hand is very frugal. Its maximum thermal output is a fraction of the P4's minimum thermal output. This translates to lower heat and longer battery life.

Get a laptop based on the Pentium M somewhere in the range of 1.6-1.8GHz and it will fly plus you get great battery life somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-6 hours. I think Gateway currently has some great laptops for good prices and HP has decent offerings as well. If you order from Gateway, talk to someone on the phone or in online chat. You will get a better price this way; possibly $100-$200 less.
Gateway and HP have horrible customer support.

Just get yourself a cheapo dell laptop to tide you over untilt he mactels come over. Get the cehapest one, which'll be like 600 dollars or so

go on notebookreview.com, and look for the section called "Dell Coupons" and notice how they have 750 dollar off coupons on many laptops.
 

iSaint

macrumors 603
mkrishnan said:
Solafaa, two things: if you really want to think about the Mac route, try to press for details and find out whether they are talking about stuff that is browser-based, or actual software that runs separately on the computer. If it is browser-based, unless it uses ActiveX, it is highly likely it will work on a Mac. If it is something that is a separate app, like that thing that they use in law school, just have him get a PC, because it will be very painful if even possible.
It's entirely possible that the personnel at the school in question either know nothing about Macs, and/or don't want to support them. I agree that you should push for details on compatibility. I don't know what "...post text and use all the stuff online..." means or how it would be different on a Mac. Just say no to Windowz.
 

topgunn

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2004
1,459
1,264
Houston
Mood said:
Gateway and HP have horrible customer support.

Just get yourself a cheapo dell laptop to tide you over untilt he mactels come over. Get the cehapest one, which'll be like 600 dollars or so

go on notebookreview.com, and look for the section called "Dell Coupons" and notice how they have 750 dollar off coupons on many laptops.
Who uses customer support?
 

Zukatah

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2005
15
0
Montréal, Qc
If you have to go for a PC laptop, I'd strongly advise taking a good look at IBM's T series or X series if you don't need an optical drive. They simply are the best laptops in the PC world judged on design, reliability and quality of construction. But if he expects to be able to play games on it, well IBM's aren't made for that, just have a look at the different GPUs that they're offering right now!

If this is too expensive for your brother, have a look at HP dv1000, it's very powerful and although it's bigger and heavier than a 12" laptop you get alot of features for your money...

On the 700m, I suggest you stay away from it unless you can physically see one and play with it. It has almost nothing to do with Apple's 12 inchers since the keyboard is smaller, it's also much thickier and you get dismal battery life unless you choose to get the extended battery (6 or 8 cell, I don't remember which) which will stick out on the back of the laptop and add even more weight to that little brick. Also, Dell's quality isn't the greatest, what they do is fast and cheap laptops...
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,388
114
Location Location Location
Yeah, that Dell 700m is not bad. I wish Apple had a 12" or 13" widescreen.

Anyway, I think that's the way to go if your bro doesn't want to spend a ton of cash on an IBM T42. Those things ARE the best (although ugly as sin :p ), but they are also pricey.
 

Solafaa

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
iSaint said:
It's entirely possible that the personnel at the school in question either know nothing about Macs, and/or don't want to support them. I agree that you should push for details on compatibility. I don't know what "...post text and use all the stuff online..." means or how it would be different on a Mac. Just say no to Windowz.

It does not work i tryed. There was also some people with threds about this same problem. When i use my mac i can post like i could here, i would click the reply icon and would get a blank test area where i am typing now. The online lessons which is "like" flash does not work on my mac but does under VPC which takes 15 mins to load and get to where i need.

I would really like to get him to get a mac but it would not work.