Should i get a Thinkpad instead?? (help me stay with my PB decision...)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Ryan1524, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    i was eager to get a powerbook, but once the first rush of excitement from the prospect of getting a powerbook dies down, i begin to re-evaluate my decision. my decision to get a PB was first based on the idea that OS X is much much better than windows and it'll be computing heaven where nothing will ever go wrong, etc know, the usual sales pitch.

    but as i read more and more on about 3-4 different mac forums, OS X is not without its own problems and sometimes it can just be as stubborn as windows (prove me wrong here....) on the other hand, i'll have to be confined by limited software...well, okay not really cause everything i want is also available for OS X. but games are limited.

    i know there are other alternatives for a game...but it's just that it'd be nice to have something just for the sake of having it. and althou gaming is not priority on my list, it's nice to know i can play when i want to. especially after my old love for gaming hsa been re-kindled my my old friend. (damn you...)

    so the options are: PB 15" or Thinkpad T41p
    even based on price, beleive it or not, the PB will be around 2000$ cheaper than the Thinkpad. yea, i was quite shocked too, at first. but the PC option in this case is actually a lot more expensive than the PB. PB: 3249CDN VS. T41p: 5299CDN i know there are cheaper PC notebooks like the Toshiba M30 which is also quite nice with its PB-ish wide screen and silver tone all over its body (PB copy-cat really) and it's a bit cheaper than the PB, but it's also 1.4" and not really a real competitor to the PB in my eyes. (it's subjective i know...)

    okay, now that i think OS X is not invulnerable, let's see what windows offers. i've always used windows, so i'm very familiar with it. and frankly, the only gripe i have about it is that is freezes every 2 days. other than that, it's great. that story about drivers not working, BSOD every few hours, viruses, etc etc they don't exist on my computer *knock wood. i'm smart enough to sit behind 3 firewalls and a reliable antivirus and wise enough to not downlaod every single crap that might have a virus in it. and so far, my computing experience with windows has been quite good. everything works as soon as i plug them in, none of that hours looking for drivers crap. except for the fact that windows' kernel is rotting into crap by day. it used to freeze or need restart every few months, but now it's every few days. a re-format would solve all that, i'm sure.

    so...on top of this not so bad computing, i can play any games i want...but i'm still compelled to get a powerbook. or let me put it this way....i want a powerbook, despite the Thinkpad or the Tosh M30 seeming like a better deal overall. i'm beginning to think....should i get the thinkpad instead?? but i still want a yea...please help me stick with my original decision to get a PB.

    thx for reading all this long you can see i'm quite confused now...any comments and advice are appreciated. thx. :)
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    my personal belief is that if you have to be convinced to buy something, you won't really like it. you know about powerbooks, and you know about OS X, and if you're not convinced, maybe a Mac isn't right for you. It has a lot of great features, and i wouldn't use anything else, but it all boils down to what you want to do with it.

  3. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    as weird as this may sound...i think what i'm trying to do is get convinced to not get a thinkpad instead. i WANT a PB, with all that it offers. but i'm a cautious buyer and always tries to get something that will benefit me most. and somehow...the Thinkpad seems to be luring me's trying to convince me that it's better than the PB...

    problem is...i've already convinced myself that i want a PB and it's better than a PB. yet...when i compare both offerings...the PC is quite tempting really..what i need is not to be convinced that PB is better...but that the Thinkpad is not for me. see the difference??

    you all must think i'm crazy now...:p :D
  4. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)
    hey, if you get the PB...i'll take that extra 2G (and buy me another PB ;) )

  5. Felix_the_Mac macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2003
    1. Quality
    2. Pride/Adoration !
    3. Fantastic sleep capabilities, never have to reboot
    4. Unix core - ssh, x windows, man pages
    5. Zero viruses
    6. Security
    7. Some people will be interested and impressed

    1. Migrating your life away from windows
    2. Networking in a windows enviroment
    3. Some people will give you a hard time
    4. Fewer applications
    5. Fewer people to talk to
    6. Could be quicker.

    1. Purchase the special offer of MS office when you get the PB
    2. Don't forget the cost of Apple care, Airport, external bluetooth mouse & keyboard, extra memory, second battery etc,etc.

    I switched 2.5 months ago. I love my PB deeply ... but it is not perfect.
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If games are important get the PC.

    The new OS, while a simple dot upgrade from your end -- includes huge changes to the kernal, compiler, etc. -- worthy of a full version or .5 release. And a reason that some programs need to be recompiled, repaired, and also watch were they deposit themselves a little more under Panther.

    But once you get the machine and the programs settled, there no reason to jump in every time there's an upgrade -- quite a few wait to see if people experience problems with critical apps before appying upgrades anyhow.
  7. chancellor macrumors member


    Jul 15, 2003
    The only two specific problems you have with the PB are:

    1. gaming
    2. familiarity

    Just focus on those. Are they important enough to hold you back or not?

    For what it's worth, I switched to a 15" PB 10 days ago, and I'm not regretting the switch one bit.
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Hey, I'd think really hard before dropping several thousand dollars on something, too. Besides, if you spend enough time using your computer, your choice of computing environment can make more difference in your everyday life that what kind of house/apartment you live in and even what your Job is.

    Personally, I'd get the PowerBook without a second thought, but I'm not afraid to recommend PCs to people who ask (I have a $3000 Dell workstation sitting in my bedroom being set up right now, because that's what I thought the client needed for his particular application).

    But, I've recommended Powerbooks to the last three people who asked me for notebook buying advice. Two of the three actually did get a Powerbook.

    Of the one who didn't (bought a Toshiba instead because he, like you, is a longtime PC user), it's not like his life was a disaster afterward, but he's asked me about enough annoying issues that I don't think he made the right decision.

    This may well be my biased or misunderstood perception, but Windows just seems to have more trouble dealing with the proprietary hardware in a laptop than the MacOS does. To a degree, it would stand to reason; every Mac is Proprietary to a degree, while non-laptops have far more standard parts and chipsets than laptops. Again, I could be wrong, but I have a lot of firsthand experience that points in that direction.

    (For example, a USB CD burner the Toshiba fellow above bought absolutely refused to work with his laptop, despite the fact that everything implied it would be compatible. It eventually turned out that for some reason the laptop's chipset just wasn't compatible with the burner, despite the "standard". He returned it and got one that worked.)

    Powerbooks have fine build quality, are very sexy, and in my experience the MacOS, once you get used to it, will just do more fore you than Windows, providing you're not a hardcore gamer (which I hope isn't a deciding factor with a laptop).

    No computer is perfect, no OS is perfect, but on average going Apple is just a safer bet. Takes a bit more for the new Mac user to settle in initially, but it's worth it in the end. I doubt there's a huge speed difference in favor of the Thinkpad, either, at least not enough to make it worth choosing on those grounds alone.

    Good luck either way, though. I can sure say that if I'm forced to buy a PC, I always try to go with IBM.
  9. revenuee macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    I had second thoughts when i got my G4 four years ago.

    but that went away once i had my own desktop background, all my software installed, files organized, and i started working on it, and after 8 hours of having the computer on, and pushing it harder then i've ever pushed a computer, i realized that it took every hit i threw at it, Heck i had a file open for 8 hours that i was working on and forgot to save it, and nothing, didn't crash, didn't even stall

    ... At that point i knew i made the right decision, and i decided that i will never go back.

    It took about a year to get myself fully settled in, i ran VPC for that year, because i needed to run OFFICE, but once i got the copy of office for mac, i never looked back.

    i had a copy of MAC LAN running under Win 98 so that i could have file sharing between the two computers, i formated the PC and reinstalled windows without mac lan so i don't know how well OS X will work with Windows without, but from what i read, there are no problems.

    I wasn't a gamer on PC and i didn't miss it under Mac, i've played a few ... I have a friend who is pretty into mac gaming and he never complains

    The only thing that would make me stop was is the Mac cost more, but your configuration there shows that it's cheaper ... get the mac, start working and you'll quickly realize that it was a wise decision
  10. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    I have both, sitting right here. In fact, this airport connection is being subnetted to the IBM because the thinkpad lacks a wireless card (ordered it sept 29 - don't ask).

    I still prefer the Mac, price beside the point (it was cheaper), if I were to boil all of my resons to one overarching reason it would be:

    I can trust the Mac.
  11. Sheebahawk macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2003
    Long Beach California
    Id covet your computer if it were a PB, but not if it were a PC

    you won't regret getting the powerbook. I would bet money that it will be the best computer purchasing decision you ever make. heck, if games are really an issue, (and it shouldn't be unless you have to play the latest and greatest as soon as its released) you should be able to get a lot of gaming hardware with the 2 grand that you save.

    I bet after you switch to osx, you'll kick yourself for using windows all this time. Really, if you want the very best operating system available, and the best portable 15" available, the PB is the way to go. I'll bet you it would last twice as long as the thinkpad too. I sometimes go to the apple store, just to pick up and hold the powerbooks. My next CPU purchase will be a powerbook. There really aren't many ways that you can go wrong. and if you don't take the plunge, you might think back and wonder if you made the right decision. Two grand can get quite a bit of extra hardware. you could get an xbox playstation gamecube and a library of games, 0r even an alienware laptop :eek: The PB should run the latest and greatest better than could be expected from a portable anyway. Damn, buy it already, or wait until the next round of upgrades and buy one of those.
  12. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump

    I was thinking at first of writing down all the things that makes OSX and the Powerbooks such a great match, and then I realized what I think needs to be said. The reason we all bitch and moan, complain and argue here is because we love these machines and we can't be ambivilent about it. Someone is going to quote this thread and then argue about it, and someone is going to call me a zealot, but the fact is we are all sitting here looking for news about a corporation that makes computers; this is a kind of love.
    The reasons are many-fold, but I can't imagine anyone getting a Mac that suited their needs and not being just a little bit happy.
    Just go get the Powerbook, get what you need done. And then go buy a PS2 and some really great games.
  13. csubear macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2003
    Re: OSX

    If it is gaming that is holding you up, then you should go buy your self a PS/Gamecube/or Xbox... You will save a lot of money if you think about it. If i bought a new computer every two years that would be 1,000+ a year just to make sure that i could run the newest PC game there is. But if i had a PS whatever ever three years then it would be something like 100 a year for console gaming(or more if you want more consoles).

    I don't plan on play many games on my ibook, and i don't expect to run the newest badest game. I also am not going to be buying a new computer for at least 3 more years..

    Well anyways i hope that little ramble helped
  14. macrumors12345 macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2003
    Re: Should i get a Thinkpad instead?? (help me stay with my PB decision...)

    I wouldn't really use forums to judge what kind of computing experience you will have, because the ppl who visit forums are a self selected group. To be specific, they are generally people who are having problems with their machines, and that is why they are visiting the forum (to get advice on fixing them). So their experiences will be in now way representative of the "average" user's experience.

    That said, my own experience is that I have a Dual G5 at home which is running great, and I had an iBook before that which served me well. But right now I am at my parents' place for the holidays, and they have 3 Windows boxes (two XP, one Win98)...and wow, what a nightmare. Ironically, the Win98 box (an e-Machines!) is doing the best, though that's not saying much (it basically sucks). One of the XP machines is hopelessly infected with viruses (it's a Dell's given us nothing but trouble from Day 1...a real piece of junk), and the other XP machine appears to be clean but apparently has been brought to its knees by background processes from either Norton or Ad-aware (it's a Sony takes 10 to 15 minutes just for the thing to start up, I kid you not).

    At this point I think I am just going to buy my parents an eMac or something, even if I have to do it with my own money, so that there will be at least one stable, non-infected computer in the house. Certainly I can't afford to waste any more time doing tech support for them, and I can think of about 8 billion other things I'd rather be doing on vacation than mucking around with Windows...
  15. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    I use an IBM laptop at work. They are good value but I think my PB 12'' is even better.

    First of all, what ever you read, dont ever believe that OSX is anywhere close to XP in term of security. The bugs that have been reported needed the hacker to have physical access to your computer and some some other special conditions.

    About familiarity, I used win most of my life and I have a mac for about 3 months now. There is nothing on the pc that I cant do on my mac right now and I learn everything by looking around in the interface. So dont worry, its VERY easy to learn...

    Finaly, the IBMs do a lot more noise than my PB, the fan spins most of the time and it can get very annoying...
  16. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    I want to second what 12345 pointed out, Windows is great out of the box, but it steadily degrades overtime. Adware, spyware, virii, poor registry managment, poorly coded APIs, eventually bring a Windows box to its knees. I know Windows fans who simply reinstall the OS every six months as a kind of 'spring-cleaning'
    I've done the same to my Powerbook because of Upgrades! Jaguar and Panther. This was by choice and for new features, not because my computer stopped working properly, I believe if I left the Powerbook unmolested it would run for years without a performance hit. One of the things that works very well on OSX is the intall/uninstall functions, almost every app can be deleted without breaking another part of the OS, meanwhile I managed to break XP by deleting a mail program.
    OSX is a really nice operating system, and the Powerbook is the best computer I have ever owned. It's thin, light, fast, it looks cool, it has numerous connection options, the screen is brilliant and it doesn't have any annoying doors or latches to break off.
    'Nuff said.
  17. gdanko macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2003
    Escondido, CA
    I used an IBM T40 at work and as slick as it was, I prefer my iBook G4 800. The only downside is resolution. I'd love a nice 1400x1050 screen. :) Aside from that, I will take a Mac notebook over any Wintel. The OS is much nicer, more robust. I have all the apps I could need. And if I want to play a game I power on the Xbox :)
  18. live4ever macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2003
    What do you plan on using this computer for?

    Are there any PC only programs that you MUST use and are not availiable for Mac?

    How much $$$ do you have invested in all your PC software (it can be expensive to switch all these necessary titles)?

    BTW I picked up a Powerbook in the fall and it has been greatt.
  19. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    It's hard to "convince" someone, really, because you can't crawl inside their head and see what the underlying questions are.

    I could try to tell you all the reasons I picked a Powerbook after being a Windows, then Linux user. Thing is, most of them wouldn't be all that important to you. I use the Unix (BSD) underlayer a lot because I am a sysadmin - but probably you'll rarely if ever touch it.

    The work apps are all going to be there on either platform. The game apps... Mac is catching up but it'll never be the same as the PC just because of the installed user base.

    So basically in my mind it comes down to this. Are you willing to live with the security headaches? Sure you can patch regularly and catch most of them - but not all. 2003 has been a banner year for bugs that took advantage of Microsoft's design problems. I'll tell you that our group (a departmental computing support at a state university) spent over a month where NOTHING got done because we just kept having to run around full-time playing find, disconnect, patch/rebuild, start over. (BTW don't buy the FUD that this is due to "features" Windows added for ease of use. These holes were directly caused by MS attempting to use their desktop monopoly to leverage other markets by incorporating every thing into the system layer - the DCOM exploit is a case in point, as was the SQL-slammer).

    OS X has its share of bugs - but they pale in comparison. They're not in the same league - they're not even playing the same game. :)
  20. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    This is a very good point. I manage several Windows boxes at work, and know at least a couple of hardcore Windows pros, and the general concensus is that Windows gets slower the longer you use it. There are tricks that help, and it seems to have gotten a bit bettern in later versions, but it's practically part of the design.

    OSX isn't immune to these sorts of built-up junk slowdowns, particularly if you don't preform some sort of routine mantenance on your system, but they're just not the issue they are on Windows. I've seen this firsthand the contrast between regularly used Windows boxes and OSX boxes where I work, and an even more dramatic example at home: I installed OSX 10.0 on the day it was released. That was upgraded (not reinstalled--upgraded) through every point version, then to 10.1, then 10.2, and now to 10.3. I also switched from a G4 to a G5 in there, but at no point did I ever reformat or "start fresh"--just upgraded what I was using, occasionally cloning directly to a new HD when I upgraded my storage. Still runs great.

    Depending on your use, this may not be as much of an issue, but I also spend a significant amount of time dealing with security patches on Windows boxes, as well as the occasional virus flare-up (and this is with very strict internal security, and educated users), whereas I haven't seen a single virus on any of a dozen Macs in the past five years.

    I'm coming off as a zealot here, but I'm really not--I've just had these experiences personally, and it's confirmed my belief that Apple makes the best OS out there at this point.
  21. HasanDaddy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I use to only edit (movies) and do my arts work on macs......... the day-to-day, internet, and word processing would happen on WinDoZe

    as of around three years ago, I switched my entire set of operations to OS X because I'm amazingly IN LOVE with it!

    believe me....... its pretty awesome when your computer NEVER freezes (okay, maybe once every 4 months, but that's about it)

    the best thing about OS X is that your computer (at least for me) seems to work as nicely as it did the first day you bought it ---- windoze on the other hand, one notices a genuine dropoff in performance

    and lastly, any prob I've had with OS X has always been a manageble one, with a quick solution ----- if it was something bigger (like a hardware prob) its usually detectable in a relatively short amount of time

    ..........but windoze is an ENTIRELY different ballgame for problem solving

    so your first instincts are right --- buy the mac and believe me, you'll be happy

    I love Mac so much, I bought an iBook for the gf! --- everyone deserves a Mac!
  22. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2003
    RI -> CA -> ME
    I use both

    1. That is not a con, unless you prefer Windows, in which case don't switch. Personally I would put that in the PROs list.
    2. OS X and Windows neteworkiing is IP based and VERY easy. From a win box its just \\mac\username and from OS X its just smb:\\wintel\share Nothing more to it (well, you have to put in your username/password)
    3. So what? Base your decision on functiionality, not the lowest common denomintor.
    4. Sure, but if the ones you want and use are available for OS X, so what. Most people use 20-30 apps on a regular basis (I forget where I read that). Email, browser, word processor, spreadsheet, accounting package, photo tool, music tool, etc.
    5. Again, true, but you won't need to talk to as many people about computer problems, and you can always talk to Windows users about how happy you are! :D
    6. Sure, so could any computer. Unless you are doing something that is processor intensive and not optimized for OS X, then chances are you won't notice. I have a 6 month old Compaq Evo P4 laptop with 512mb of memory, and except for the apps I have to run on it for work, I use my G3 slot loading iMac most of the time. Sure, I would like it if it loaded iPhoto faster, but I need more memory, disk space, etc. And this is 3 years old, not a few months.
    Any typing, web surfing, etc, is all going to be fine on the PB and you won't have to worry about as much.

    As far as the games go, if you have a working PC with games, then keep it and play your games on it. When a game comes out that you can't play on it, then decide if you want to spend $1000 (US) or more to get a system that can handle it, or just $220 on a PS2 and the game instead.
  23. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Thinkpads are great hardware. I used to get them--they're well made and rugged. If you get a PC laptop I think this is the way to go. However, they're expensive. As you found out, you can get a PowerBook for less money. Why pay more to use Windows?

    I think that unless games are a huge part of your life you'd have a better overall experience with the PowerBook. Unfortunately you'd only know that after buying it though. They can't quite market the feeling you get using a Mac.
  24. Packetloss macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2003
    Ok, let's see what i can come up with as i am in the same situation as you are.

    I have been lurking back and forth between the PB 17" and a Thinkpad T41p and even the R50p.

    However i do own a Thinkpad T20 right now and i love it, no complaints, it's built like a tank, it really is, and i haven't been nice to it either.:)

    So, as a PC user and a Linux user i thought that the PB would kick ass and i would get OSX with a nice GUI and i could use all my knowledge in OSX from my past Linux experience.

    I don't like some of the things of Linux, like there is different file structures for every distro and the configuration files are spread at different places depending on what distro you are using.

    I hated that and felt it was immature, that's the backside of open-source, there are no standards and all people works towards different goals and it gets confusing.

    I tried the PB and i thought it was fast and nice, not what i thought it would be, eg slow....

    I liked the design and everything but felt a bit limited to what i could do with the Mac.

    I do alot of stockbroking and to the Mac there are absolutely no stock software like Metastock i use for Windows.

    So after that i started to think, maybe this is too limited for me.

    The Thinkpad or PC world gives me more freedom, i can do whatever i want.

    After that i started to think about BSD and Linux again and that it works great on the Thinkpad and i can do anything with the Thinkpad.

    Later i read that Mac users are using MS Office and think it is so great, i didn't like that and began to think why Mac users are buying Macs when they are running Microsoft software.

    I still don't understand it, if you run Microsoft software, you buy a PC because it runs much faster and smoother on a PC.

    Secondly i started to look at alternatives as i hate Microsoft software and everything the company makes, so i looked at OpenOffice i used in Linux alot, however i read you need to run it in X to get it running in OSX, there is no native Cocoa GUI.

    That's cheap i thought, and the development isn't either getting anywhere for getting it to be a native OSX application on the mailinglists i read.

    I then started to look at Staroffice from SUN, however they have released it to nearly all platforms except OSX, so this time i was really dissapointed and thought "I won't run MS Office in my Powerbook, then i can buy a fast Thinkpad instead"

    So after much afterthought the Thinkpad i am considering got it drawbacks also, however i miss the DVD-R and Firewire and DVI thich comes standard with the PB.

    I did look at the Thinkpad R50p which is one kickass machine, but i think it's soooo ugly and bulky compared to the T41p.

    So much haven't changed yet, i still haven't bought anything yet and i am still thinking back and forth but i am more to getting myself a new T41p with a Minidock which got both DVI and Firewire.

    Also i think the Thinkpad are sturdy in the construction and can take more violence if you are out on the field working.

    The Powerbook are very sexy hardware and the design is awesome but i think now it's too much showoff and less business.

    Powerbook is nice on the CEO officedesk, not for a engineer out on the field working that needs a laptop that works day and night without getting scratches all over it which i think the PW might get.

    I do also agree that Windows XP is very stable and doesn't crash much at all, i have had uptime for 2 months now with no crash.

    However i don't like XP as everything from Microsoft is boring to use and got no innovation as OSX.

    It all comes down to what you want to do with your computer.
  25. revenuee macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    A lot of mac users use MS Office because they still need to keep in touch with the windows world ... my friends send me files in .doc .xls we work on the occasional Power Point Presentation. So rather then fighting and worrying about compatibility issues. I just run MS office

    And i think that is the case with most issues .... Besides MS Office for Mac works much better then MS Office for Windows :)

    In regards to the PB being rugged ... well the Ti had problems with paint chipping off ... but the new ALU are quite resistant as is my understanding.

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