PC vs. MacBook laptop in Windows company

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Stevekelner, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Stevekelner macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2008
    I'm at a company where Lenovo ThinkPads are standard, more or less, and it's a Windows-based IT system. We're just introducing new security functions, such as encryption, and we use ASAP Workplace for webmail. We use Outlook for email. IT will not officially support me if I get a Mac laptop, but there is at least one IT person who is knowledgeable, because one of my colleagues bought one of his own.

    I would either have to run Parallels, which would cost some processing power, or use BootCamp, in which case it would just be another Windows laptop, however nice and well-designed. I have no experience with either -- would Parallels slow it down so much as to drive me bananas, or would the fastest one still be as good as my current Lenovo T60?

    Here's the question: given the extra work I would have to undertake to make sure everything works (e.g., can't automate my backups with Time Machine, making sure I really link into the network), is it worth getting the Mac? My boss is fine with my getting it and has encouraged me because I need a strong, reliable computer (and because he thinks I deserve a bit of slack), but I am worried that it would cost me more time and aggravation. I have to decide soon, as my current T60 is having some serious problems, and I have to either get a new one or a Mac. Any suggestions?
  2. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
  3. bamaworks macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Lexington, KY
    I don't think it would be all that hard, especially since you know someone who has already done it, aka you can ask for help/advice.
  4. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I would go with your company standard, as at least they're letting you buy Thinkpads (HP's great also).

    Here at work, we're stuck with dHell... :mad:
  5. cyclingplatypus macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2007
    Set up the MB with a BootCamp partition that you use at work and then use it as a MB (w/Parallels or VMWare) when not at work. Remember once you install the Windows side it is just a PC when it is booted that way and it is fairly easy to do, well it is much easier than buying two separate notebooks and if the company is willing to let you use it (as a PC) on the network there isn't any reason why you shouldn't.
  6. nsbio macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Not worth the hassle, IMHO. As much as I would have liked to recommend a Mac, in your case Lenovo is the better choice.
  7. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I use a Mac at work in a "Windows only" environment, and for me, in the end, it's just OK. I work in IT and was able to finagle this Mac because we're starting to use manage the 15 other Macs in the building (graphics design/printshop), so we use me as the guinea pig before we do anything that touches them.

    About the only advantage I get out of it are the Expose and Dashboard features.

    Otherwise, I spend the majority of my day working in an XP image that runs in VMWare Fusion.

    The stuff I love using my Mac at home for .. iTunes, iChat, Transmission, VisualHub, Quicken, Aperture, iMovie, etc .. I don't use at work.

    So my personal feeling on the matter is that if the Mac will really affect your daily workflow so that you're really more productive, etc, then go for it. If not (i.e. you'll be working in a virtual copy of Windows most of your day), then what's the point?
  8. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    I use a MB in a hard-core Windows-only environment, and in fact our two products are Windows/Oracle-based and Unix/Raima-based. I can run our Windows product--along with the Oracle db--in either VMWare or Boot Camp (letting clients map to my share for training), tap into our Unix product through Terminal (it's in HP-UX, so I can't run it directly, but then, nobody can without an HP server), create all my training presentations in Keynote, converse with everybody with Entourage, and generally get along perfectly fine without using the company-issued Dell, which has sat unused in its box since last year.

    Our IT policy doesn't allow me to connect physically to the network, but wireless is allowed (silly, I know), or VPN in from home or the road. They don't provide support, but then, I don't need any, either. ;)
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Is this a "work-only" laptop, or do you use it for personal use too?
  10. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    It's my "everything" machine, so personal use as well. My job requires me to be on the road 70-80% of the time, so I decided to go the MB route so I could have "my" stuff always available. As it turns out, I'm a lot more productive, since I use more Mac apps than Windows apps for work purposes.

    On a side note, it was entirely at my own expense. I'm still waiting for a more "enlightened" IT policy towards the Mac users in the company--especially since our client base is known for fairly heavy Mac usage (and our Chairman uses one, too!). ;)
  11. tmelvin macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2008
    If you're buying it, and using it as both business and personal, go for the MB. I use my MB in an all Windows IT environment. I use Office 08 with no issues. If I need to use a Windows based App, I fire up RDP or CoRD. Run the app I need, disconnect and on my way!

    Do it, and don't look back...
  12. Chrispy macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    I would go with a Thinkpad T61. I have one at home and it is a tank. If you really want a solid laptop that can take a bit of a beating, that is your best bet.

    That said, I use a Power Mac G4 at work as my primary machine in an ALL Windows environment (only one other Mac besides mine on the network). I have absolutely no IT support using it but I do a lot of graphical work and it is easier for me to work with. Entourage allows me to use our Exchange Mail and I can connect to the network tree without any problems.

    I guess it really just depends on exactly how your office is structured. If you are going to be traveling with the computer on a regular basis then just get the Thinkpad and save the hassle.
  13. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    I work in consulting and I am considering the same thing - I currently do not travel for my current project but chances are I will for my next gig so I am thinking of using my MBP as my work machine - that way I will have my personal stuff and my work stuff while on the road without carrying two laptops. My only concern is theft at client sites or somehow damaging the MBP during my travels. Other than that I would probably use bootcamp for work purposes and have OSX to do personal things at the hotel.
  14. AppleFan333 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2008
    MacBook – Run Windows through Boot Camp at work, then run OS X for everything else. That's what I'd do at least.
  15. tmelvin macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2008
    Doing it right now...it's awesome. I don't have all the problems everyone else has...it's almost comical...
  16. Whorehay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2008
    Apple products seem to run Windows better than PCs do! It really is quite comical.
  17. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    That really depends on if what you need / want to do involves OS X as an application platform, i.e. a program that you like the look of runs under OS X.

    What's not discussed here often - because it is a den of fanboys, many of who have no real concept of a work IT environment - is that there is a significant amount of work to do to make your Mac Windows-ready, and more importantly to continue maintaining two operating systems on your PC. For some, it's no big deal. To others, it takes up too much time.

    If running Windows takes up a significant amount of your computing time and you have no hugely compelling reasons for switching other than being influenced by Apple marketing and considering it for the sake of it, I'd be wary.
  18. mobi macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2004
    Penn's Woods
    Running a MBP with 2 identities works great for me. Run XP mostly via VMware Fusion and it is rock solid for 2 years.
  19. goinskiing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    Meridian, ID
    Yuck to Lenovo :eek:. Before I came onto a local law firm as their IT Technician they had bought several Lenovos, and every one has some hardware issue that has made us replace it.

    Aside from my Lenovo rant, I think you would be perfectly fine with a MB running either Parallels/VMWare Fusion or Bootcamp. Bootcamp is MY preference as I like that you run windows natively and is just a fancy PC.

    Now depending on the company's infrastructure and databases you may be able to do most things in OSX. If you have an Exchange Server, then I can't really help as our business isn't set up that way, but if your on a network where your not on a domain and you share files through files sharing and have your own desktop then you can use Mail instead of Outlook, iCal for calendaring, and my Mac was able to connect to the network quite easily.

    EDIT: Odds are whatever database you have it MAY be windows dependent.

    Wow, hope that made sense, kinda stream-of-consciousness, my apologies. In other words, a MB would work just fine (again depending on the infrastructure, which brings you right back to Bootcamp anyway) and it is a good reliabl machine that should alow you to get your job done. That is is just what I would say IMHO.
  20. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I'd buy exactly the MBP you want, and then I'd go the bootcamp route.

    I loaded bootcamp on an older MBP I had around, because I knew that from time to time I'd have to have XP access for hours at a time, even a few days.

    It happened two weeks ago, and I had no problems. Then for the last week I've been on the MBP running XP all day and into the night. Again, no problems.

    Before I did the bootcamp thing I was worried that starting up in XP would be a hassle. But it's not, at all. The MBP gets to the choice screen very quickly. Before the installation, I had visions of having to make the choice each time...big hassle. But no. You choose the default OS and then hold down Option to get to choose the other. You can do that for Windows, too, if you have a long stretch ahead of you when you'll be rebooting and always need to boot into Windows. (At least I'm pretty sure you can choose that..I haven't ever done it.)

    I think it's a great solution -- it really keeps you computing in two worlds. What's better than that? To me it's a no-brainer, because Windows and the Windows environment aren't going away anytime soon for people who work out there in the world. Just hold down that Option key and you're soon there. Don't hold it down and you're in OS-X. It's that simple.

    The Windows downside is that you have to invest in, or go out to find, anti-this and that applications. Since I don't go out on the web when the MBP's in Windows mode, I haven't bothered. But you might have to.

    And of course you have to get that Windows license. Hurry before XP's all gone!
  21. goinskiing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    Meridian, ID
    It's very easy to choose the default OS and you can do it with Boot Camp Control Panel in Windows or Under OSX System Preferences -> System -> Startup Disk

    Again, I do exactly this on my MBP and i couldn't have been easier. Want Windows, BAM, your win Windoze-Land, want OSX, well, it'll just do it.

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