Should I Switch?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 10, 2006
New York, NY
I am a fed up windows user who has really been jonesing for a mac laptop. I am also a writer who likes to spend hours in a cafe, meaning I need good battery life. First I was going to buy a 12" iBook G4 because of the rumored 5 hours of battery life (is this true?). Then I heard 13.3" intel iBooks/Macbooks would be coming out, so I've been waiting for that. However, I know I can buy a high-speed, high-memory Dell with extended battery life of 7 hours for much less money than any of the Macbooks currently out. Should I wait for the 13.3" Macbook? Will it be able to get the battery life I need (5 hours would be sweet)? Would it really be better than the Dell I could get for the same money? Help me out.



Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
Andover, MA
The iBook battery life is true, but no one outside of Apple and their vendors can tell you what the MacBook's life will be. Likely comparable, but we'll see.

As far as whether it's better to get a Dell or a MacBook, that's entirely up to you. 95% of the people here who use Macs use them because of OS X and think the nice laptop packages are a nice bonus. If OS X appeals to you, then the MacBook (or a cheap iBook) is a no-brainer. If you don't care about the OS, then Dell will be cheaper.

Personally, as a professional software engineer, I prefer OS X over Windows, although I use both. As a writer, I'd say that OS X brings out your creative side - but that's just me.

And you can always buy a spare battery - it'll all still weigh less than the Dell. ;)


macrumors 65816
Jan 17, 2006
New York City
the Dell may be cheaper, but remind yourself of the hassle you've had with windows.

In my opinion, after switching last year, the ONLY reason ANYONE should choose a windows machine is if their job/school requires it. Especially now that macs can run windows, it's a no-brainer.

Go for the new MacBook. It might have 30 min. less battery time than a Dell, but you'll free up many hours that would've been spent with Dell customer service.


macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2006
I know the Macbooks are coming out, but the iBooks have been fully debugged and are known by just about everyone within the mac community. They're relatively powerful and versatile machines, and you might think about getting a refurb, or even a new 12 inch.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2005
i have extensive experience with both mac and PC computers, both at school, at my job (which is in a computer lab run by my university's campus), and the computers at home, and i think i'd always pick a mac over a PC if given a chance, even if i have to pay more.

macs are just awesome computers with fantastic OS and they will last you a long time.


macrumors member
Jan 30, 2006
hey there,
im a switcher too switched in march and bought a mbp...
os x....OMG amazing.. so easy and way better looking than windows tbh...the feeling under os x and a mbp is just WOW...also while im typing this there is a strange feeling on the kboard its seems so light as your a writer i would say that small feeling would certainly appeal to you, i dont know if anyone else had this strange feeling with the mbp
Get the Mac BUT if you can, wait a few months.

Firstly, assuming a MacBook is coming soon, you will want to wait a short while for early adopters to give some feedback on battery life. All manufacturer's figures are optimistic and there is no substitute for real world usage.

Secondly, you don't say what you use for writing, but if you are using MS Word bear in mind that you will need to buy another copy of MS Office. Your Windows version will not work on a Mac.

In addition, MS Office will have to run under Rosetta (an emulation layer required by some software on Intel Macs) which comes with a significant performance hit. I have an Intel Mac Mini (with 1Gb RAM upgrade) and a PowerBook (main computer) and have found that if you are mostly writing short articles, this is not a problem, but larger works, say 50+ pages depending on content e.g. tables, pictures, graphs, it will slow down significantly.

If you use Office add-in tools, e.g. Endnote or MathType, expect an even greater performance hit.

Microsoft have promised an upgrade for Intel Macs but whether this will be free or not remains to be seen, or even if it is a completely new version of Office for the Mac. It is quite likely that after a few months you will find yourself forking out for this upgrade (if you qualify for educational versions, IIRC, Microsoft don't let you upgrade these, making it a possible two full purchases).

Of course, there are other word processing options available and these might fit the bill.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2006
I would wait and purchase the macbook (ibook). If you need a bigger screen then the macbook I would purchase a macbook pro on or as they are both cheaper them direct (even with student discounts, as you have to pay tax as well at You can also check out and see if anyone is selling a macbook pro. I found a brand new macbook pro for $1,600 still sealed on

Do yourself a favor and leave windows :D It's so worth it afterwords. You won't be sick of your mac after a month goes by like you would your dell..


Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
New England
AlmostThere said:
Your Windows version will not work on a Mac.
Assuming you have a full retail and transferrable copy of Office all you need is a Windows OS to use with Boot Camp or Parallels and the Windows version will work on a Mac, at least the Intel ones. Or maybe by then CodeWeavers will have their version of Crossover Office for the Mac ready...



macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2006
It should have been obvious to you that this site would be biased towards the MAC and it is true. Ask yourself, why Dell??? And then, why Apple??? eigh up the pros and cons and then decide. I'm buying a MB when they're out though.


macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2006
I can get up to 6.5 hours of usage on my 12" iBook g4, if I turn off airport and bluetooth, and dim the screen slightly. If I am playing a game, or watching a DVD, I generally get about 2.5 hours.


macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
dextertangocci said:
I can get up to 6.5 hours of usage on my 12" iBook g4, if I turn off airport and bluetooth, and dim the screen slightly. If I am playing a game, or watching a DVD, I generally get about 2.5 hours.
6.5 hours !!!!! thats a screen grab i'd like to see

4.5 was what i used to get from a 12" iBook 1.2