That's it, ThinkPad Ordered.

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by SB-MBP, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. SB-MBP Suspended

    SB-MBP

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    #1
    It'll be an odd experience going from the MBP Mid,2012 to a new ThinkPad.

    Largely due to the fact I cannot justify the money for a new Mac atm. But having had the experience of Apple not allowing me to buy parts when something does break down, I don't think I'd be willing to risk it anymore.

    Ordered a ThinkPad E470 with Kaby Lake i5, 940MX graphics, Intel SSD.. Windows 10 being the biggest challenge I'll need to face now from macOS. I hear.. with time.. it's not so bad.

    I don't plan on coming back to the Mac. Windows 10 will really have to be p*ss poor for me to do that. Ubuntu is my second option, should all else look crap but given where it's headed another 'distro' may be my lifeboat from Windows issues.

    I love Mac hardware and other than the whole non sale of genuine parts from Apple I wouldn't mind sinking serious money into a new one. I get that for 90% of people, paying Apple to fix it makes sense and saves time. Most people are like that with their cars too.. and I see a LOT of not stupid people get ripped off by mechanics.. when I think of the thousands I've saved on my own car fixing things and not paying labour I can't honestly part with cash because Apple refuse to let me use skills I have to sort the problem. Sigh.

    Mac sales are up and Apples model clearly works, so I don't see that changing. Prices are going up and it doesn't stop sales, so again, it may be that I'll never be able to justify another Mac. Given long term convergence with the iPad maybe that's not so bad.

    I checked with Lenovo, they WILL sell parts to the tech enthusiast. A battery: £40 ish. A screen: £40. A charger: £22. Keyboard <issue I had with my Mac> £30. Once more, they actually build the things to be user serviceable which sounds good to me. I don't know how the model I ordered lives up to the reputation, but I hope with part replacement I can get 5 years of use.

    I didn't want to have to go to Windows, but it's not the end of the world. It's come a long way from Vista in early 2009 when I first made the move to a white MacBook.. With a little bit of PowerShell I can clear all that touch crap!

    Not sure if anyone on here (albeit in a DIFFERENT part of the forum from hereon out) will be interested in hearing updates on this experience but I thought I'd write my farewell to the MacBook Pro section. The final part of my MBP is the unibody frame - my favourite part of Apple machines and a memory to the three years I used it from new.
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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  3. flyinmac macrumors 68040

    flyinmac

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    #3
    OS X can run in a virtual machine. So that is an option if you decided you needed it.
     
  4. thesaint024 macrumors 65816

    thesaint024

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    #4
    Good luck dude. I remember you're the one who's post "didn't suck" when talking about your keyboard issues, so I'm glad you're doing what works for you. I personally would be curious to see how you compare the two computers. Obviously different machines but I don't think you're alone in making a switch like this. Not sure everyone else would be though. We all think we know what the differences are having used MBP's and that class of PC's, but maybe I'll be surprised in either way.
     
  5. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

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    #5
    well whoopiefriggindoo.

    While Windows 10 is better than Vista, and better than Windows 8, it's still Windows. You won't get Office for Windows for free like you get Pages, Numbers and Keynote. There's no equivalent to iMovie, Photos, or GarageBand in Windows.
     
  6. SB-MBP thread starter Suspended

    SB-MBP

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    #6
    Thanks. To be honest, when asking various questions about Windows and referring to the quality of the Mac I loved, a LOT of MacRumors users kept mentioning ThinkPads and along with the marketing I ended up going for it almost solely based on guys on here with ThinkPads as backup or former PCs!
    --- Post Merged, Apr 14, 2017 ---
    For £5.99 a month for the latest Officr and 1TB of OneDrive I really can't complain.

    For the next few years, I get it all FREE from my university anyway! As well as the 1TB though personally I prefer my own subscription so my files don't disappear when I leave uni!
    --- Post Merged, Apr 14, 2017 ---
    I wasn't aware it could at all on Windows! Does VirtualBox do the trick? The things I'll miss about the Mac are the nice calendar, mail, notes apps etc and how well synced they were. As for software most will be available for Windows so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

    I have one friend who maintained OSX could be installed natively on any machine and for aboht two years always challenged him about it. Eventually he got it running on his home Built gaming PC and man.. it ran like crap! Didn't last too long. Lol
     
  7. jbachandouris macrumors 601

    jbachandouris

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    Upstate NY
    #7
    Personally, I'd like a Thinkpad as my second machine. As my primary machine? Maybe.

    The thing is, when I do an update on my MBP, it installs. NEVER do I have to run updates multiple times because an update refused to install. I've lost track of how many times Windows unhelpfully said it couldn't install an update and wouldn't tell me why. Beyond annoying.
     
  8. flyinmac macrumors 68040

    flyinmac

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    #8
    It has been done in virtual box. But I don't know about newer versions of OS X. You'd have to google.

    VMware is likely going to be easier and smoother running. Virtual Box can be a bit sluggish.

    The link below is for VMware and Yosemite. I'd expect El Capitan or Sierra to be similar.

    https://www.pcsteps.com/2157-mac-os-x-virtual-machine-vmware-player/
     
  9. Rhonindk macrumors 68030

    Rhonindk

    #9
    I would be curious about your experience.
    Beside a rMB, I have a Lenovo X230 - 3 years old that I have replaced / upgraded a few parts on as needed. Easy to do and working like a champ. I have been thinking about getting an iMac when the new ones come out (when?) however the touch interface aspect is garnering my attention more and more. Pencil maybe but not looking like it. Just in case am looking at Lenovo and Dell ... Hp also.

    Let us know how things turn out.
     
  10. thefriendshipmachine macrumors regular

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    #10
    can it run xcode this way?
     
  11. Kcetech1 macrumors regular

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    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    #11
    sure can.

    I still use an insanely modded x220 as my travel buddy. 9 Cell plus slice still gives me about 18 hours of battery. got the SATA 512GB SSD card in it plus a 5T spinner in the 2.5" bay ( have to dremmel off the two bumps to use a 9mm drive ) and 16 GB in a machine I grabed in .... late 2011. best part no case, dongles or charger needed ;) downside the screen sort of sucks.

    OP, one tip on the some of the thinkpads if they come with a bunch of crap pre loaded is download the mocrosoft windows install tool and create a windows 10 boot USB stick and then clean load the machine after you grab drivers from the Lenovo support site. then you don't need to worry about slowdowns or bloatware, I have done this with my P50 which had some junk, my P70 didn't need it but I clean loaded it anyways since I added a pair of 2T PCIE cards to it.
     
  12. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #12
    The ThinkPads are good machines that hold up well to pretty extreme conditions. Win 10 will be a bit of an adjustment, but I think you will ultimately be happy with it. Please do provide updates. I use Windows side-by-side with Mac and always like to hear how people like the wide variety of Windows machines.

    I ran an OS X El Cap VM on my Surface Pro 3 and it ran so/so - I eventually wound up just using an older MacBook Pro to remote into using Chrome Remote Desktop, and am very happy with how that works out. Your mid-2012 might be a great candidate for doing this?

    Certain Apps like 1Password, OneNote, VMWare Fusion-ESX-Player, Malwarebytes, and VLC have good cross-platform continuity, if you are interested. :)
     
  13. Kcetech1 macrumors regular

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    Alberta Canada
    #13
    the surface and other laptops with the U/UL cpu's didn't tend to VM OSX too well I found. anything with a full volt Quad was damn near as fast as native, in the case of my antique 8740W it Vm'd El Cap faster than my 2012 retina could run it native.
     
  14. thefriendshipmachine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2017
    #14
    its bad of me to prefer OS X for this reason but I cant give up the UI. I could use gnome or xfce and be alright but not Windows. I dont know what it is about it but I dont enjoy the UI as much. Windows 10 is abit better, but I wish the font rendering could at least be changed. There is a third party tool to do this but it doesnt work so well with windows 10 for me.
     
  15. flyinmac macrumors 68040

    flyinmac

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    #15
    There are numerous themes / skins out there that will make Windows look / feel like the Mac desktop. I haven't tried them myself, but an example can be seen here:

    https://skinpacks.com/download/windows-7/mac-os-x-skin-pack/

    As always, investigate and make sure you're comfortable with whoever you download software from.
     
  16. daihard macrumors 6502a

    daihard

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    #16
    The best advice for someone who's getting a ThinkPad! :)
     
  17. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #17
    The older I get the more I realize that there are seasons of technology where sometimes all these factors point to getting a particular device. I've gone from powerbooks to macbooks to thinkpads to macbook pros and different OSes and learned something new each time.

    Thinkpads have their strengths for sure, as does Windows and Ubuntu. Remember that all this tech is meant to serve you and what you want to do, so I'm all for people that leverage strengths of different hardware and OSes.

    Looking forward to hearing your experiences.
     
  18. mrex, Apr 14, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017

    mrex macrumors 68030

    mrex

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    europe
    #18
    - Pages, numbers, keynotes for free: libreoffice
    - iMovie for free: da vinci resolve (and many other much simple alternatives starting from Windows Movie Maker).
     
  19. daihard macrumors 6502a

    daihard

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    #19
    Yes to all. You can also use Google Docs as an office app suite. However, the underlying OS is still Windows. Bash and shell scripts work both on Mac OS and Linux. Almost all command-line tools are common between them. SSH works natively on both. Window-based remote control is very easy since both Linux and Mac OS support X Window forwarding. None of those are available on Windows (except for the limited bash support with Windows 10 Anniversary Edition).
     
  20. v0lume4 macrumors 68000

    v0lume4

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    #20
    I'm super curious to hear about your experience with the ThinkPad. They are nice looking machines. Post back and let us know your initial impressions. :)
     
  21. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    #21
    Am using thinkpad L540 as my main office machine having semi retired my Mac Mini. So far seems plenty fast enough and pretty rock solid reliable!

    Bought it sight unseen not realising what a beast the thing was so haven't really used it much as a laptop (I.e taking it out and about!) though! :)
     
  22. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #22
    First of all, let me make it clear that I have no intention of criticising your decision. However, I think that some criticism of your post is warranted. You mention your desire to have a user-serviceable machine as being the major factor to getting the ThinkPad (if I understood correctly). And yet you don't mention the tradeoffs that come with this.

    Let us look at the ThinkPad E470 more closely. This is a computer that matches the size and weight of the 15" MacBook Pro (in fact, its heavier and larger). Performance-wise, it is inferior to the 13" touch-bar model (the dedicated 940MX is mostly a match to the Iris 550, sometimes winning sometimes losing). It uses a low-quality display panel, offers no high-speed connectivity, has very limited video output capabilities, poor WiFi performance compared to Apple laptops, and slow SSDs for nowadays standards. Even though the laptop might be user-serviceable, it does not offer you much opportunity for upgrades due to lack of internal slots. The battery life is tested at under 6 hours by external reviewers.

    What do we have here then? A budget-oriented laptop that uses lower-quality components. Despite relatively large size and weight and low-power CPU/GPU, its battery life is on the lower end of the spectrum. It does not offer any high-speed connectivity or other features often needed by professionals. Its not a bad laptop for the money, but comparing it to the MBP is something that I find very awkward. Technology-wise, these laptops are in two very different leagues. The MBP uses cutting-edge technological processes, is built to extremely high tolerances and has a much higher component density. The Lenovo laptop instead is fairly boring piece, from the technological perspective. It might use the most recent CPU revision, but it is built like a standard laptop of 200*, with no interesting or noteworthy technical features.

    And here were come to the main point that you don't mention in your post. The primary reason why ThinkPad is easy to service is because it sacrifices everything else. With a dense laptop like the MBP, you need special tools and knowledge to perform any non-trivial service task on the computer. This is also why your car example does not work — people are going to the dealers not because they are unwilling to save money by doing service themselves, but because modern fuel-injected, automatic transmission cars simply can't be properly serviced without special equipment that not everyone has in their garage. For this inconvenience, you get better full mileage and reduced emissions.

    In the end, everyone should pick the tools they are most comfortable with. If user-serviceability, its your choice. But don't pretend that this comes for free. There is always a tradeoff. I do not believe that its possible to make a precision instrument that is user-serviceable. And this has nothing to do with "Apple's model" or whatnot, simply with the fact that working within high tolerances requires higher technology than working with tech from yesterday.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #23
    Actually you're wrong, you get free alternatives to those apps. I think it was already pointed out about LibraOffice and the app store has alternatives for the others you listed. I will say that many consumers don't even need GarageBand or iMovie, and if they do, Windows does have a alternative.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2017 ---
    Your saying this as its a positive? Apple purposely went to non-traditional screw types and purposely made it hard to open up. Having a laptop that is easy to upgrade is not a negative like you imply. I'm looking at the Dell for that very reason. Why should I spend 199 for a new battery and need to get the top case replaced as is the case with the MBP
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2017 ---
    You can actually run bash scripts in Windows 10 now, as they include a bash shell.
     
  24. SB-MBP thread starter Suspended

    SB-MBP

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    #24
    I completely get what you're saying. Whilst it lacks a lot of Pro features such as say Thunderbolt, as a non professional the only time I ever used Thunderbolt on my MBP was with an expensive adapter to HDMI to put it onto the TV, personally the HDMI on the E470 and other machines suits me better.

    The configuration I have has a 1920x1080p IPS LED screen, with anti glare as an added bonus. It's got nothing on the Retina screen and new XPS screens, but it's an improvement from my non-Retina MBP for sure. The SSD, I have no idea about speed, but is faster than the SSHD I used and replaceable thankfully.

    Modern cars can be serviced at home, we do this! So far anyway, nothing has been too bad. Even the computer managed aspects with some software and cables can always be sorted. Unless you buy German scrap metal cars that are trying to stop the public!!! But still, the comparison I was making was that it is highly illegal for a car company to refuse to sell parts to mechanics etc in the way that Apple refuses to sell parts for their computers. I wish the same laws existed, but I can't see it happening. The MBP I had at least, was very well designed inside. I had it apart enough times to admire its beauty inside. Very user replaceable too as far as the unit is concerned. It's Apples policy I have the problem with. But I can see where they benefit this financially, as you either pay them a fortune to fix it or buy a new Mac. Unfortunately for Apple, that model led me away from their machines. The newer MBP is much less user replaceable or serviceable. Not strictly a bad thing, but for me, I admire the fact some other machines can be upgraded. I even saw an older ThinkPad where the CPU can be replaced without solder!

    Apple are successful for a reason and all of us fans are existent for a reason. But Lenovo, as seemingly the biggest computer maker must also be doing something right. The legendary reputation of the ThinkPad must stand for something. Whether or not it's comparable or 'better' than a MBP I don't know.

    I am ordering the cheapest model yes. It probably wont be built as well as the higher lines. No way can it be compared to a £200 HP at least though, the keyboard and trackpad for a start and some features like the cooling and other aspects mean it's had much more R&D attention though.

    Worth mentioning in 2009 I started with the cheapest white MacBook on sale. It couldn't be compared to the new MBP of their day and it had its flaws. But it got me into the Apple ecosystem and until now my needs were always met. I then owned and Air and Pro. If the ThinkPad entry model impresses me enough, I'll continue to be a loyal fan of it.

    But to summarise,

    Yes, Apples refusal to supply parts is a problem for many.
    You can't dismiss the latest 7th gen processors and discrete graphics are some improvement over my old MBP
    I'm not a video editor - who cares about the Pro requirements in my case
    Due to my budget, I know it won't be a work of art like a Mac is physically
    There are many benefits to it, though I fully accept the trade offs / compromises for the price but I can't see any of them that will affect me!
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2017 ---
    Configuration details for anyone whose curious!
     

    Attached Files:

  25. daihard macrumors 6502a

    daihard

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    #25
    True. I think I mentioned that in my original post, too. I have played with bash on Windows 10 Anniversary Edition a bit, but not much. Now they're talking if they do X Window support... :)
     

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