next computer a mac or pc from a current mac user

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Freyqq, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    The age old debate..mac or pc

    I really cant decide. I was tired of windows xp and crashes during my time in high school and before, so I got a mac for college. I've had a mac for my time through undergrad and it's been pretty nice. Mail and ical are great and all the freeware in osx seems very well done. MS Office was adequate, but it felt lacking in a number of areas compared to windows. Mainly, the lack of onenote really is unfortunate. For those that don't know, onenote is essentially a very flexible notetaking program. OSX word has a watered down equivalent - notebook view - but it doesn't hold a candle to onenote. I'm now going into grad school, where i will be taking a whole lot of notes, and considering whether to switch back to windows. I hear windows 7 is actually pretty decent now and the new taskbar at the bottom of the screen shares many similarities with the dock and expose. Time machine is great, but all the external hard drives these days ship with something similar for windows. It's a tough choice, and I'm debating between a new macbook pro 15 (base model w/ HR-AG) or an hp laptop and desktop (I already have a 24" monitor). HP laptop:

    dv6t select edition
    2.53 i5
    4 gb ddr3 ram
    500 gb 7200 rpm hd
    ati 5650 with switchable graphics to intel integrated
    6 cell "high capacity" battery
    weight: 5.5lbs = mbp weight

    battery life will be lower, though, im sure, but it should be around 4 hrs with integrated graphics on and low brighness.

    hp desktop:

    i7 860
    8 gb ram
    1 tb hd
    ati 5770

    comes out to be just over 2k together, which is about what the mbp would cost with apple care

    the hardware is obviously better, and i'm getting 2 computers vs 1 essentially, but osx is pretty slick. Then again, MS office for osx is far behind the windows equivalent, so it's a tough call. I also don't want to bother with virtualization (aka parallels) b\c it'll cut the battery life in half. Crossover also isn't a very good option b\c the software will be very buggy and it's really a mac vs pc question. What do you guys think?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Don't get both, desktop and a laptop unless you really need the desktop for intensive tasks. Invest your money on a good laptop, maybe even smaller than 15" so it's more portable and then get a dock for it so you can easily and fast connect it to your external display.

    Windows 7 is very good OS, I still like OS X more but seeing that you want OneNote, it might be better to get PC than Mac. Don't overspend if you don't need money, prefer lightness and battery life, they are important. You have a lot uses for money when in school so save it towards those ;)
  3. Reapur macrumors regular

    May 5, 2010
    It seems like you are looking for a computer for office productivity. In your case a PC would suite your needs better. If you were going to be doing photography, video editing, or audio production I would say Mac. But seems like MS Office is your main focus. Mac version is good but I would never suggest getting a mac to anyone just for office.
  4. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Sounds like for the OP the best idea would be to switch back to a Windows machine. It should be good for him.
  5. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    i am in the same boat as you. currently deciding between a MBP or a pc laptop on which i would run ubuntu 10.04 most likely.

    i am currently leaning towards the base MBP15 high res AG, but at €1880 it is a chunk load of money. wouldnt get a desktop myself, but rather a better laptop with a docking station or external monitor/keyboard.

    i would prefer something smaller, but it has to be AG ... so choices seem limited in pc land for that.

    my mind says pc (like a dell inspiron R 14" or dell M501R, it has a quad core AMD and 1gb dedicated ATI card ... seems like a really cool machine). My heart says MBP though since i always wanted one ....
  6. Freyqq thread starter macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    yeah i've really become accustom to expose and apple's awesome keyboards and trackpads, so idk. Tough call lol. Thanks for the advice from everyone so far tho!
  7. rdthedo macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    First post, from a Windows user, but I wanted to chime in. I'm a second year medical student using a year old Dell Vostro 1320 with pretty decent specs and XP, and getting ready to make the jump to a 13" MBP as I'm frustrated with crashes.

    While I ran Office Enterprise all last year, I only stumbled upon OneNote in my last semester. At first, it seemed like a great program for class - the ability to record lectures synchronized in real-time to the note typing is a remarkable advantage over word processors. However, I would challenge the actual feasibility of using this software day-to-day.

    OneNote does what it's made to do, but you may want to ask yourself if you truly have time to listen to a lecture in 1:1 speed while reading your notes. For me, it was far too tedious and slow. To my knowledge, the software lacks the ability to speed up sound clips. Professors, even at a graduate level, often waste time with jokes or by struggling to find their words (they're still human :rolleyes:).

    It's good software, but you might think twice before jumping platforms, especially if you're using it primarily for notes.
  8. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    What I don't understand is why do you need such a high spec laptop if its for general use and Office type apps. Don't you think getting an i5 or i7 laptop is a bit excessive? I would rather get a lesser computer and spend the change on a snow boarding trip, booze or whatever. Then again, not everyone are like me.
  9. Freyqq thread starter macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    i want it to last through grad school, so i went for higher specs

    i was going to go with a desktop and a laptop if i went the pc route b\c, with onenote, you can automatically sync notes over a network between computers. Rather than having a docking station with a laptop and a monitor, etc, you get a full computer with the ability to run 3 full sized monitors, which sounds kinda sweet to me lol. I'm sure over the years of grad school i'd pick up a couple monitors and have a massive 3 monitor setup, like 1 for notes, 1 for pdfs, 1 for internet or something. I've done the 1 computer route before, but plugging and unplugging the 2nd monitor and all the peripherals in and out multiple times a day gets pretty annoying and the windows are always in weird positions b\c they expect the 2nd monitor to be there.

    idk i'll prob keep this setup for 5+ years, whatever i decide on, so i kinda wanted to make sure it's a good one.
  10. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    +1. Even then, you can get a mac and bootcamp it. Best of both worlds :]
  11. Protonk macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    I would get a PC desktop or a Mac laptop, but not the reverse. Even though some laptop manufacturers have made tremendous strides, the macbook pros are simply head and shoulders above any PC laptop in terms of design and functionality. However, the amount of graphical power and versatility you get per dollar from a PC desktop is unrivaled.

    If you are keeping the setup for 5+ years, then my advice is to look into a desktop with lots of ram, plenty of hard drive space (or bays) and a decent video card. the big advantages of a desktop are price and upgradablity. If you don't care about either of those two, then just get a macbook pro and bootcamp it, like people have said above.
  12. iSax1234 macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    Ok correct me if I'm wrong.

    You're switching back to windows for the sole use of one note? Lets looks at three Pros of a Macbook Pro that you like and may have not discovered.

    Great Hardware: Keyboards, screen, touchpads, I mean its built out of a block of aluminum

    OS built very usable, expose and such, and built for specific hardware increasing speed, very reliable

    Bootcamp: You can have great hardware and run Windows 7 when you need it and still enjoy OSX

    Get a 13in Macbook Pro and a 27in monitor, windows 7 and enjoy!
  13. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    You could also get a cheap windows laptop and an iMac, thus best of both worlds.
  14. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I think going with a mid-range Windows laptop or entry level MBP (with Boot Camp) would be more than adequate for your needs in the long term.
  15. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    I own a HP DV laptop and while it's a pretty good computer it came with a HORRIBLE case of bloatware. I would NEVER buy another HP after experiencing the cr@p bloatware they loaded. Screw them and the horse they rode in on!

  16. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I have access to an HP DV6. The third party bloatware isn't hard to remove. The proprietary HP bloatware, however, is remarkably hard to remove, and disgustingly time consuming as you need to thoroughly check each of the programs to be sure which ones can really be removed without compromising or completely disabling laptop features. You could do a clean install, but that's even harder since it doesn't come with a Windows install disc.

    Though having said all that, I'd still go with an HP Envy 14, if I got a Windows laptop.
  17. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Windows 7 is a good OS, but unfortunately PC laptops haven't really improved at all. Macbook Pros simply have a better design to pretty much anything else out there.
  18. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Unless you'll actually be using the power of the desktop to its full extent, I also think that a notebook and monitor/mouse/keyboard setup should be fine. All a matter of personal preference, though. I find Windows 7 to be overall very comparable to Mac OS at the moment, though Office is obviously much better and more robust on the Windows side.

    As for the new Pavilion line, I have been using a dm4 as my new primary system for about a week and the build is very solid. The build is pretty much identical to the notebook that you referenced but in a smaller size. Though lacking the backlit keyboard option and using a 5450 instead of a 5650, I've been walking away with a bit over seven hours of use on the standard battery. Contrary to previous posts, the third-party and HP software that was pre-installed probably took about fifteen minutes of effort to completely remove; it wasn't too difficult.

    You may want to wait until next week to take a look at the specs and pricing on the Envy 14, but I would highly recommend the dm4 if if fits your needs and budget. Also take note that you'll be able to use your .edu email address to upgrade to Windows 7 professional for $30 using the anytime upgrade feature. It takes about ten minutes to move from Home Premium to Professional and could very well be a good value if you'll use the extra features. Certainly no need in paying the $120 for an OEM license, though.

    Good luck in grad school!
  19. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    just get one good computer
    no point having 2 cause one will most likely gather dust somewhere.
    hardware wise the studio xps 16 from dell is awesome, ati 5730 and i7-740QM......if i didnt like osx so much i would be drooling
  20. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I took a couple hours checking through some of the HP proprietary software. Taking out one particular program would mean the camera wouldn't be usable, until you spend the time to find a good freeware version online. Whatever the name of the program or multimedia suite, it's equivalent to Photo Booth on OSX, except it takes about 20 seconds to load and is extremely sluggish, so I didn't uninstall it as it's a core feature.

    However, that concerns just one aspect of the hardware-software integration. There are other programs I need to check more thoroughly before I remove them so that I don't ruin this person's computer--my dad's. And then there's an HP program that keeps the system up to date. Power users won't want this, but novice users like my dad may prefer this. So again I'll have to inspect that further to see how much more difficult it would be without it.

    Maybe it's different with your dm4, but this dv6 is profoundly difficult to clean out. Even for someone like myself, who was a power user on Windows. For now I've taken a break from cleaning the system. It's too tiring; I'll return to it later.

    The most thorough option would be to do a clean install, but without a Windows disc included it requires a considerable amount of tech savvy and time.

    Freyqq, if you end up getting an HP, you may find this very helpful:

    The entire forum there is incredibly civil and wildly knowledgeable. That links to the HP sub-forum, where there's comprehensive guides to walk you through a clean install for your model and legally obtaining a copy of Windows 7.
  21. toffa813 macrumors regular

    May 10, 2007
    I say get the MBP and run Windows 7 through Fusion/Parallels (I hear Fusion's better overall- more stable but slightly slower, but maybe not with recent update) since it seems like you really just want Onenote, which is not worth moving to Windows for. I already have my MBP for when I start undergrad in the fall, and I think I'm going to get Fusion soon, and I can get Windows 7 for like $20 at my bookstore and I'll be sure to check out Onenote.
  22. bward24601 macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2010
    One the Fence

    I hate to say it but I'm on the fence. I hated all the crashes with windows but I never had any major hardware problems using PCs. Even if I had it would have been somewhat inexpensive to get parts to fix it.

    I had the login board blow on my two year old MBP. That was not fun. :mad:

    OSX is still much better than anything microsoft has. Windows 7 is the best OS they've ever releases but it's still not on par with OSX.
  23. Freyqq thread starter macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    how much cpu is used if I use vmware? The last time I tried it was a couple years ago, and it was using about half my cpu and 1 gig of ram just idling on a 2.2ghz mbp. Is this still the case? How much battery life would I lose doing it? Seems like a possible solution would be to vmware windows and use msoffice from there.

    just considering all the options :)
  24. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah
    School gave me a Macbook for my design work, and my wife a compaq 610 for her business degree. I absolutely hate using her laptop. Windows "is searching for a solution to the problem."

    LOL. Yah, Windows is still very much crash prone. I don't like it. I have to force quit something maybe... once every 2 weeks or more? The registry is an archaic thing and the search option in windows sucks balls. Not to mention the hideous control panel.

    I can get Window snapping in OSX, and not have any crashes. Also one side note... I am using the 2011 Office Beta 4. Wow.

    Not to mention Windows bloat-ware.
  25. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    Also be aware that Office for Mac 2011 is coming out soon and the feedback from the beta testing has been very positive so far. I don't think Onenote is in it though but you might want to run Office in a Windows VM until the Mac version is released.

    Running a VM will indeed suck up some resources (but not half the CPU in my case) and I find that it also makes my mbp run a little hotter. I think for what you're doing, a MBP will cope pretty easily operating with a VM.

    Before I forget, well done on getting into grad school and best of luck.

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