Need suggestions on mac alternative

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Staindsoul, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Staindsoul, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011

    Staindsoul macrumors 6502

    Staindsoul

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    Ok, before I get flamed... I am typing this on my 2010 MBP and it is by far my favorite laptop ever.

    However, I deploy to Iraq next month and want to leave the nicer MBP stateside with my wife.

    So I am trying to get a decent used macbook for $600 or less but no luck (the newer MB with glass trackpad)

    So if I can't find one, what windows laptop (since they are cheaper) would you guys suggest based on this criteria:

    Must be 14" or smaller
    I prefer something lighter and thinner (like the MBP)
    And prefer if it had a multi touch trackpad like MBP (do they even make any?)
    Must have an optical drive for dvd watching

    I will only be using it for internet and movie watching as thats all there is to do in Iraq

    Thanks in advance for any help
     
  2. Staindsoul thread starter macrumors 6502

    Staindsoul

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Thanks, definitely taking a look at those. I have had bad experiences with AMD processors. Well maybe it was the HP laptop, but man that thing couldn't go 10 seconds without the fans kicking on and getting hot.

    Oh and I forgot to mention an optical drive is a must. I will add that.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    Have you considered picking up a used MB/MBP as a beater?

    B
     
  4. Staindsoul thread starter macrumors 6502

    Staindsoul

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Yes I have but all the wrongs that have been for sell around me have been pretty beat up. Cracked cases, etc. I figure for $500-$600 I should be able to get something decent.
     
  5. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #6
    I would consider a netbook. They are small and light. They aren't exactly a pleasure to use but I'd rather take a $300 machine in the field than a nice MBP.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    New England
    #7
    Doesn't fit the, must have ODD criterion though.

    B
     
  7. Staindsoul thread starter macrumors 6502

    Staindsoul

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    Seeing how they only have bootleg DVD's in Iraq for entertainment (been there before) an ODD is a necessity. Don't really want to connect a USB external drive
     
  8. Synthion macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    #9
    Something form Dell, or if you can, IBM. They make SOLID stuff. Wouldn't get an HP if my life depended on it. ASUS computers are OK, but if you are good to them, they last forever. No Toshiba, Sony is probably a no-go too, but some people really like Sony's stuff. So, overall, a good IBM or Dell would do it. Here two of my favorites...

    Dell Inspiron Mini 10 LINK
    -Solid, portable, powerful, HD, and the 10v (it's cousin), also makes for a good Hackintosh LINK

    Acer Aspire One 532h LINK

    BTW: Have you ever heard of LINUX? :eek:
     
  9. MacHamster68, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #10
    so as you say you are only watching dvd and internet and dont need much power
    i have a suggestion
    the
    PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK CF-T5 (cf-w5 )
    12.1 inch screen
    a 1.2 ghz core solo processor and intel gma 950 /128mb shared graphics (later models cf w5w or so did have a core2 duo but should be around the $600 too)
    combo drive (w5 has dvdrw) hidden under the palm rest

    and these are semi thoughbooks means nice aluminium /magnesium case and thin so nothing to feel embarressed about
    ultra quiet as they are fanless
    they are from 2006 onwards
    so used will be even cheaper then the $600
    new had been really expensive in regions of the Macbook pro
    but they withstand even drops up to 30 cm with ease and you can stand on them the lid is safe for up to 100kilo weight before the display is in danger
    and because it has no vents is absolute dust proof (could be important in iraq)
    and the keyboard is waterproof to , just in case you spill some coffee

    here read more http://gizmodo.com/200012/panasonic-toughbooks-hardened-cases-long-battery-life
    and review here http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/100156/panasonic-toughbook-cf-t5


    i had one and its a nice looking laptop and all you really need for watching dvd /emailing/surfing and such for hours on one charge and panasonics toughbooks are well known for reliability
     
  10. Staindsoul thread starter macrumors 6502

    Staindsoul

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    Yes I have heard people rant and rave over Linux and ubuntu but I have no experience with them whatsoever
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Finland
    #12
    Those don't have an optical drive which is a must for OP
     
  12. rjbruce macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #13
    There are a number of sub $600 PCs on dealnews.com including a few i3 machines. Also Dell has the Vostro line laptop in 13", 14", 15", 17" from $600 down. Lots to choose from.
     
  13. Staindsoul thread starter macrumors 6502

    Staindsoul

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    Yeah I saw those today. Will look into more.

    Anyone ever used a Samsung laptop? Saw some aluminum looking ones at Best Buy
     
  14. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #15
    I have an HP Elitebook 2530p, they go for around $4-500 on ebay. 12.1", 1280x800, most have an optical drive (second hard drive bay was optional).

    not many laptops have multitouch. you can install a Synaptics driver that enables it, but it doesn't work very well, and most touchpads are tiny anyway.

    Sony makes some good 13.3" laptops, don't remember the series though...old Dell Latitudes are also worth a look.
     
  15. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #16
    The Samsung QX-410 got really good reviews. It's about the same size as a macbook 13 inch, has a metal exterior, good battery life, a core i5 chip, and a whopping 640 gb hard drive. It also has edge to edge glass which some people like, wimax 4G, and intel wireless display.
     
  16. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #17
    If you decide to try Ubuntu, make sure to install the following: (most of these can be installed from Ubuntu Software Center)

    - Ubuntu restricted extras
    - LibDVDcss = https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats/PlayingDVDs
    - Arista Transcoder
    - DeVeDe
    - VLC and mozilla-plugin-VLC

    These are only suggestion related to video media. A lot of other good software can be found in Ubuntu Software Center.
     
  17. MacHamster68, Feb 3, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #18
    i dont know for how long you might be in iraq , but if i would have to chose a laptop with a dvd player that able to go online to send some emails , and you might know you are unlikely to have have a repair centre of the manufacturer around the corner
    i would look not on stuff like operating system or system power ,
    the tasks you are planing could be done with a ibook g3 or with a old pentium 3 notebook but neither i would consider as reliable by now

    i would try to get the most reliable i can buy for the money and then look into getting the fastest possible processor /ram/ graphics / operating system in that order

    and that leaves only 3 manufacturers that are more reliable then apple (% of failure rates within the first 3 years ) 3 sony, 2 toshiba ,1 asus
    http://lifehacker.com/5524704/laptop+reliability-study-highlights-the-most-sturdy-laptop-makers
    http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/laptop-reliability-1109
     
  18. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

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    Mar 6, 2007

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