Torn Between 2 Laptops

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vihzel, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Vihzel macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2010
    I really need help deciding between 2 laptops. I have been a PC user for the past 10 years, but I have owned a unibody Macbook Pro for about 4 months (late 2008 model when it was first released) and no other Mac since then. I currently own a Sony Vaio laptop and I'm looking to replace it. I'm currently torn between the HP Envy 14 and the Apple Macbook Pro 15".

    HP Envy 14 will cost me about $1150 (including tax), while the Macbook Pro 15 will cost me about $1975 (that includes all taxes for the laptop and free 8gb iPod Touch - 8gb iPod Touch rebate - $150 estimate sell of 8gb iPod Touch). The $825 price difference is kind of scaring me.

    Now, I can easily afford the Macbook Pro but I just am not totally sure if it justifies the huge price increase. I have several questions...

    1. Does Apple have much better customer service as compared to HP and does it still cover when overseas? I'm going to study in Paris for 1 year and it would be a huge + if I would be able to just walk into the Paris Apple Store if I have any problems with mine. It would be far more difficult with HP, I assume.

    2. A major annoyance with my first Macbook Pro was that the keyboard wore pretty easily. I have naturally oily skin (damn!) and was paranoid about creating that shine over the most often used keys. I was so OCD about it that I had to wash my hands basically everytime before I touched my keyboard. If I couldn't, then I tried typing on my fingertips or fingernails if possible. It absolutely annoyed the hell out of me, so that's why I have a Sony Vaio right now. Their keys don't really have that problem. Is there anything that I can do to eliminate that problem? Like some kind of unobtrusive cover that is recommended?

    3. The front edge of the laptop was very sharp to me. It was a bit painful to rest my wrists how I would naturally have them with any laptop. Has there been any accessories that perhaps alleviates the issue a bit?

    4. Heat heat heat. Whenever I did anything intensive, the laptop would get so hot that it became very, very uncomfortable to rest it on my lap. So... it was like a "laptop", but without the "lap". :p Has Apple fixed that problem or at least cooled it down?

    5. I've been seeing issues lately that the Intel HD graphics card makes the OS X a bit laggy. I'm wondering if that will be an annoying issue. When does the nVidia card actually kick in? Does it let you know?

    6. What is "real" battery life estimates for the Macbook Pro? Can it really reach 8+ hours doing basic browsing and opening up some applications?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    You're asking this on a Mac forum, so most people are going to be biased towards the Mac.

    1. Apple have amazing customer service, every Apple employee has to be able to speak fluent english, so it's ok if you can't speak french :p Fast turnarounds in general.

    2. I've had no kinds of issues with either my 2009 or 2010 MBP with the keyboard.

    3. You could buy a palm rest, I believe Mophie makes one, but I've never really experienced any problems with them, however I guess it is possible due to them being aluminium and well... sharp LOL!

    4. It will get hot, because it's made of aluminium so it transfers heat away from the components and to your legs very well.. I find it works best when you're in bed, as it tends to warm you up nicely :)

    5. Yes.. The Intel Card sucks, and Apple are refusing to do anything about it. You can download 'gfxcardstatus' which allows you to manually control which graphics card you're using. Lately I've been using the nvidia all the time as it's been plugged in a lot of the time.

    6. I squeezed 7 out of it with airport turned on and web browsing at high brightness (outside).

    Overall, it's just personal preference. If you prefer windows, get the HP. If you prefer Macs and can justify the price, get the Mac.
  3. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    1. The above post is completely wrong. Their employees aren't required to speak fluent English where it isn't a spoken language. Their phone support tends to be outsourced as well abroad, and many people on the phone can't even speak the local language well enough to understand, let alone English. AASPs and local stores, though, should be able to communicate with you in understandable French. Both warranties will cover you overseas with the same service as you'd receive at home.

    FWIW, I've had much better service with HP's service abroad (mainly in DE, FR, CH, IT) than with Apple. That's mainly because there are many more service centers available for HP systems in most places that I've been.

    2. The key coating really hasn't changed at all. If you're really annoyed, get a cover.

    3. To my knowledge, nothing like that exists. Adjusting your typing ergonomics would be a free fix, though.

    4. The heat tends to spread across the entire bottom layer fairly well, so it definitely gets very warm if left on full power for extended amounts of time, but not uncomfortably hot.

    5. The current Intel chip is significantly better than their previous attempts, but, as mentioned above, if you hate it, you can manually switch it off. It won't lag the OS itself in any way.

    6. 6-7 hours would probably be considered "real," unless you're using more intense applications, in which case it would be lower.
  4. Identity Fraud macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2009
    1. The fact there are retail stores is a big boost. I value face to face interaction over phone support any day of the week. With that said, I had an issue with my iPhone 3GS where the bottom port was water damaged, the rest of the phone was fine so he gave me a free replacement (it would've cost me $200 for a replacement). With that said, any customer service experience will vary with the representative you speak too. Overall I think most people have decent interactions with Apple CS.

    2. This is my first MBP, I didn't even know this was an issue :-\ but its something I'll look out for.

    3. I know there are pads you can place for your wrist. I never felt the edges were sharp though....

    4. The bottom gets warm but I don't find any one place is going to burn skin. If you do anything intense I'd recommend using a desk just because it would naturally heat up. For going online though? It's fine, a bit warm but nothing that is bothersome.

    5. It's all seamless on the i5/i7

    6. I think 5-7 hours is more realistic.
  5. Vihzel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2010
    Thank you guys very much for your help!

    I was able to find a good looking keyboard cover for the Macbook Pro by Moshi and they have created one for the palm rest where a reviewer said that if placed closed enough to the edge, it'll help alleviate the issue. I've seen more and more battery life estimates for the Macbook Pro and it looks good. I am looking for a long lasting 14-15" laptop and it certainly fits in.

    I have just one more question. Since I HAVE to purchase AppleCare to get global warranty coverage (1 year warranty is US only as I've been told be a rep)... how well does that help in resale value? I like to purchase new laptops once every year. Perhaps if I'm really happy with this Macbook Pro, I will just update to the next major one.
  6. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    From my understanding, the Intel HD graphics i as good or slightly better than the 2008 Nvidia GeForce 9400M, so its not too bad. Remember, graphics card drivers also have to be good, or the graphics will suck.
  7. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    AppleCare is a huge selling point. It can add a good chunk onto the resale value.
  8. Identity Fraud macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2009
    Apple care will increase the number of people willing to buy if. No idea if you can mak the cost of AppleCare back in the sale, but it'll help a lot.
  9. Vihzel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2010
    Thank you guys again!

    I will do some final calculations and make my decision pretty soon. I still need to figure out for sure how well the support will be overseas. Time to make some short, expensive phone calls to France!
  10. djasterix macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2010
    Paradise City
    Applecare is international, so you have nothing to worry about that.
  11. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Why expensive? Just use Skype.
  12. Rithem macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2008
    Mostly everything was explained so far but here's my take on #1.

    Amazing CS. My friend dropped my MBP 1 week after I got it, causing a dent in the top case and bottom plate. I also had some video problems while running Windows, computer would freeze while playing Battlefield Bad Company 2. I went to the Apple store and they replaced my logic board and my top case for free. I then noticed the bottom plate was dented as well along with my display being off center (enough so that if I put a hard case on it the left side would grind when opening and closing). So I went in and asked how much it would be to get the display fixed and replace the bottom plate. He replied that it would be $60 for the bottom plate and they were going to exchange the display completely. I also asked if I could somehow get the display replaced with with a HR AG since I didn't like my HR Glossy all too much because of the glare. He said he "accidentally" put down HR AG for the display. So I went in today and picked up my MBP. For some reason my balance showed $0 so I went home paying nothing, but confused.

    tldr; got entire MBP replaced besides the HDD pretty much for free.
  13. Vihzel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2010
    Thank you all VERY much for your help! You guys are awesome! The price difference jumped even higher when I got it with the very limited 30% Bing Cashback. Here were the two specs of the Macbook Pro and the HP Envy 14 I was pondering in between:

    Apple Macbook Pro 15":

    2.4Ghz Intel Core i5
    4GB 1066Mhz DDR3 SDRAM
    500GB 7200rpm HDD
    1680x1050 glossy display
    256mb nVidia 330M switchable

    Total price: $2002.90 [includes all taxes - $199 8GB iPod Touch rebate - $150 estimate sell of 8GB iPod Touch + $24.95 Moshi Keyboard protector (no way I was getting the Mac without it)]

    HP Envy 14 (14.5" display):

    2.4Ghz Intel Core i5
    4GB 1066Mhz DDR3 SDRAM
    500GB 7200rpm HDD
    1600x900 glossy display
    1GB ATI 5650 switchable
    Beats audio by Dr. Dre (I don't know exactly how well it'll be on the Envy 14 but it sounds like a cool feature lol)

    Total price: $947.11 {includes all taxes [$1302.11 original price - 30% Bing Cashback ($357 discount)]}

    So the total price difference for me was going to be $1055.79.

    Since I was on the fence about this, I couldn't see myself paying $1055.79 more for a laptop that I felt was basically very similar. I feel that Windows 7 and Mac OS X are the same to me, since I've used both for extended periods of time. Windows 7 has some of its own benefits that really stand out to me that the OS X doesn't doesn't exactly provide, and vice versa.

    Another extra point that I found out more in my research is that the standard 1 year warranty on the Envy is global, while Apple's standard 1 year warranty isn't and would have forced me to add on the AppleCare, which I probably would've done but it's nice not to spend another $239.00. Also, there's no charge after 90 days for diagnostics from HP.

    Finally... biggest + for a first time Envy-line buyer... HP has a 21-day full refund guarantee (from date of delivery arrival) for it. It'll give me a good 3 weeks to see if I am really happy with it, if not, I can simply return it without any penalty. I'd have to pay $200 to return the Macbook Pro.

    Again, thank you guys very much for your help! I told you before that I would tell you my decision, and there it is. If I'm not happy with the HP Envy 14, expect me to be back on these forums with the Macbook Pro. :)

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