PC or MB, I need some practical advise

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iaddict, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. iaddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #1
    I have a relative that is going to be purchasing a laptop for her son that will be going off to college in a week or so. We bought our son a MB last year and he's been extremely happy with it. I don't know much about what's available in the PC market, so I thought I'd just ask here to see if people here have some buying advise. I tend to lean to the Mac side just because I am familiar and comfortable with the OS. I love it, actually. But I know it isn't necessarily the choice for everyone, so.... what's out there in the PC market that isn't too expensive but would make for a good laptop for a college student. I would imagine that he will mostly just be doing word processing, email, online tests, etc for school.

    Thanks
     
  2. kornyboy macrumors 68000

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    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5B108 Safari/525.20)

    I too am all for Macs but if you're looking for a Windows laptop that is fairly imexpensive and would be good for college, Dell and HP have some out there that may fit the bill.
     
  3. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

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    Location:
    Washington D.C. Area
    #3
    Are you looking for comparisons between the macbook and PC laptops or recommendations for PC laptops?
     
  4. iaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2007
    #4
    comparisons and or recommendations

    I am looking for both a comparison and actual recommendations of any PC laptops.
     
  5. FuuFuu macrumors regular

    FuuFuu

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    Jul 8, 2008
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    Roselle
    #5
    for recommending a PC laptop, if you have limited money, Dell or HP. if money isn't a problem, sony vaio for sure. comparison? have you used vista yet? if you don't like it, mac for sure. the only comparison imo between a mac and a PC is the OS. i don't believe specs are cheaper for PC than Macs. Apple just likes to rip you off in upgrades online even though you can buy it 3rd party for half the price.
     
  6. jroller macrumors regular

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #6
    Regarding PC laptops, the names that seem to draw the most praise are Dell and Lenovo (took over IBM's ThinkPad production). I would look to either of those for a laptop.

    That said, of course, I would recommend a Mac. Look to the refurbished models for a better price; they can be found in the Apple Store online in the Special Deals section. (There is a write-up and link about refurbs in the buyer's guide link in my sig, as well.)
     
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    Jul 29, 2008
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    The Far Horizon
    #7
    I'm a fairly recent switcher, so obviously, I'd recommend a Mac. These days, I have a MBP, and I've been using laptops as my main computer for over a decade. However, I have had both a Sony Vaio, and a Toshiba Satellite pro prior to that and both were very good machines, sturdy, well-made and designed to last. I also have a Dell laser printer which is sturdy and solid.

    While Apple is exceptionally well-designed, and is a beautiful machine, (good customer service) the real differences and problems are more with the differing operating systems; more hassle generally comes with Windows, more by way of virus attacks, much more by way of spam, and crashes, and seizures/freezes. The whole system is a lot more cluttered, and what you are working with simply works less well.

    I'd recommend that your friend go for the MB; my experience of Apple support has been excellent thus far. As price seems to be a consideration, I'd say go for a refurbished model, or wait until the updates are announced and seek out one of the current models. Quite generous price reductions can often apply if one is prepared to go with a model that has just ceased to be the most recent one. Good luck with it.
     
  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #8
    My friend's Toshiba with Vista was like a refuge for viruses/trojans/cookies/spambots/etc. Now my MacBook, different story. It's like my zen garden of tranquility and peace. No viruses.

    But if you're budget is limited, try a Dell Inspiron or HP Pavilion. If you do have a minimum of 1000 USD, try a refurb. mac. They look brand new, the polycarbonate shell is replaced and is shiny new. Sometimes you get a free upgrade (from the previous owner who upgraded it but had a defect) or upgrades with an S. Personally, I say PC with XP or Mac with Leopard. It's a matter or personal preference in the end.
     
  9. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    May 27, 2006
    #9
    What exactly do you mean by "spam"?
     
  10. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #10
    If he wants to play games then he should get something like a Dell XPS with a good video card, otherwise a macbook is more fashionable and nicer to use.
     
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    Jul 29, 2008
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    The Far Horizon
    #11
    Thank you for that, Neiltc13. I liked it. Lol.

    Beg, steal or borrow (well, actually, don't) a machine that runs on Windows, connect it online and sit back, wait for the attacks, and see what happens.

    What really struck me in the days of yore (ie Windows) was the frequency of the spam attacks - and I had actually bought the most robust anti-anti-anti package on the market - some mornings, on opening my mail, 80-90% of my inbox would be spam. Even after getting protection, it was still far too large a percentage, - around 20-30%, and I kept having to strengthen the filters, and adjust the setting on my email to ever-higher settings. Some of my friends, still with Windows, have come to visit my Apple and the security aspect is one which impresses them.

    A while ago, the BBC did an interesting experiment with a machine they called a "honeypot" in order to test what can happen in the absence of adequate online security; in other words, they set it up, online, without any protection whatsoever, and sat back to see how long the poor thing would be able to stagger along under the inevitable tidal wave of virus and spam attacks. It didn't last long before the whole os was fatally compromised. As part of that study, the BC did point out that most people (something around 90%) never bothered getting serious protection, a fact which stunned me. Perhaps the fact that most people feel physically secure when working at home, or in an office, may contribute to this sense of security, or complacency.

    That was also the same piece where I read that Apple had never been successfully attacked by a virus. This fact was what first brought me in to investigate Apple computers (I was already hugely impressed by the iPod) in a serious way. I visited an Apple shop within days to verify it. Cheers.
     
  12. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D.C. Area
    #12
    I would recommend HP, but somewhat recently the boot hard drive of my hp notebook failed requiring multiple calls to support which were not very helpful at all (they insisted that we buy their recovery disc even though we knew it was a hardware problem, but they eventually sent it for free and after like 12 hours later, the machine was back to normal with the OS on my computer's second HDD). And then the next big brand would be Dell although we have had horrible problems with a machine from them. All in all, I may have just had bad luck with my PCs, so you can try those brands. I'd still recommend getting a Mac because they aren't more expensive than comparable PCs even though some people continue to think so, and Apple's support is really great. OS X is quite nice to use and we haven't had any problems with our 4 Macs. As someone suggested, if you really are looking for a deal, check out the refurb models on Apple's website to save some money.
     
  13. mxelre macrumors member

    mxelre

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Quebec
    #13
    For college students I'd recommend Lenovo thinkpads or toshiba Tecra. They're very durable machines which are basically made for businessmen on-the-go or students in college/University. Here where I live the universities actually recommend either a Toshiba Tecra A9/A7 or a Lenovo thinkpad T61. I believe both of them cost less than 1K. Hope that helps!
     
  14. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

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    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Mainland Europe
    #14
    I'm happy with the macbook, so naturally I'd recommend that (it's a good all-round computer, especially for a college student). On the PC side of things I'd say Sony Vaio Z series. (Maybe because it's kinda been smiling at me as of late...) Dell XPS will do a student fine too though, as another user mentioned.

    I'd veer away from HP at the moment... I watched their laptop quality dwindle as of late (Had HP's for ages before I got the mac). The last HP laptop I got was a disaster, end of story. (the tx1000). It made me veer away from internet tablets into all eternity, I think.
     

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