Ultraportable/PC vs. Mac Lineup

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by queshy, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Hi everybody,

    So this January I ditched my HP desktop in favor of a 24" iMac, and I love it. After using windows since I was a toddler, using the mac for all but 2 weeks has won me over. My next desktop will without a doubt be a mac. The OS is incredible, and so is the design of the computer.

    Two and a half odd years ago I needed a laptop to replace my 10 lb compaq laptop which was too old and slow to be used efficiently. I bought a Dell Inspiron 700m. The portability of it is great, but compared to my iMac, it's slooooowwwww and the build quality is very platic-y and cheap. The keyboard is also pretty shrunken down. I'm looking to upgrade as I am starting university this Fall. I was looking to go ultraportable - maybe even go for a tablet. I was contemplating the x61 tablet from Lenovo. But the extremely long shipping times and me thinking I don't really need the tablet features are giving me second thoughts. I was then thinking about just going for the x61, but it seems to be missing a lot of "modern" features (i.e. LED screen, webcam, widescreen, etc) but I do know it's a business laptop. I really don't need an optical drive (Except to install software...) and don't really need a lot of gadgets because it's mostly just for taking notes in class and for use at school. At home, I have the iMac. But I really don't like Vista. My parents have a vista desktop and the OS is not only buggy but feels very very clunky in comparison to XP, and even more so compared to OS X. I was considering the new Dell XPS 13.3" that just came out, but I'm a little weary about buying a PC after my extremely positive experience with Mac OS X.

    I know a lot of people with macbooks and they love them. I think it's a great laptop, but the problem is that an ultraportable like the lenovo will undoubtedly be more portable, and the hardware seems to be more advanced. I like the new mbp, but I don't want a 15.4" screen, it's too large to carry around. And I don't want to buy the macbook as it is starting to show its age compared to machines that are being released around this time. I also really like what Leopard has in store (although I don't mind buying a machine in August and then upgrading to Leopard later on).

    So my question is - do you think Apple will "update" the macbook, or perhaps release a similarly sized mbp? I know this is the age old question, but as you can see, I'm quite confused about what to go with. Even if I go with a mac, I won't need to use front row and iLife with it...just office and internet stuff (but I really like OS X). So, what do you think? Thanks!
  2. Schroedinger macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I used an IBM x40 for the last three years for law school while running a mac desktop at home. Keep in mind what you are using it for. All it's going to do is basic tasks, taking notes, doing research, some web browsing. Also keep in mind that as it will be with you all the time, every ounce of weight counts.

    I would say go with the current lenovo non tablet ultra portable. Get the external cd/dvd drive and leave that at home for when you need to install software. I assume the Lenovos are built as well as IBMs were, and if so, the damn thing is a tank. Top notch build quality.

    Using Vista in such a minimal fashion shouldn't drive you too nuts. I hate me some Windows but I was fine as all I did with the thing was run a few programs. My friends who ran their entire lives through their windows laptop (how do people live with just one computer, sheesh), they were constantly calling me for help.

    Finally, with a windows machine you'll probably have better access to school facilities. This is assuming of course that you're school isn't primarily a mac school (as my undergrad was). A little thing like being able to print that paper in the library at the last minute may mean something at some point.

    Good luck.
  3. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Just get the Macbook. It's going to be the same size as the dell xps 13.3'', except it might be a hair thicker. But the Macbook is only 1.1 inches thick anyways. For class, you don't really need a true ultraportable (like those 10.1'' or whatever), the 13.3'' will do fine.

    I have a final revision iBook G4 (right before the Macbooks) and it's the perfect size. I use it for taking notes in class all the time, and its the pefect size for doing this and carrying it around campus.

    The Macbooks are a little bit wider but not as deep. When the iBook dies/gets too slow for what I need to use it for, I'll be replacing it with a Macbook.

    If you want to get it now, the current Macbook is a great machine. However, if you can hold off for a couple of months the Macbook might see an upgrade to Santa Rosa. IMO it will probably get Santa Rosa sometime between October to November. The rumor posted a while ago about LED screens targeted a Q2 rollout for 15.4'' LEDs (which happened in the MBP) and a Q3 rollout for 13.3'' LEDs. This points to a Macbook upgrade sometime during Q3 of this year. They'll probably try to clear out most of the stock with all of the back-to-school sales and then introduce new ones sometime in the fall.

    But since you are a student, you'll probably want to have it it when school starts, so you'll need to get it now. The current Macbook is great, and you can also take advantage of the free iPod deal.
  4. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    We are in the midst of moving technology to our field operations. As such, over the past 6 months we have been trying various types of portables and the vast majority of the vendors. Personally, I think the notebooks, ultraportables are a rip for what you get. They are selling their size and taking a big, wet bite for that alone. The hardware is on par with entry-level laptops, but the price is $1,500-$2,300.

    Compare a Macbook $1099 against the Lenovo X60. You find the Apple beats it at just about every point, and is (at least) $300 more expensive. Also, the total size for the Lenovo is 121.14 ci. The Macbook is 123.11 - hardly a distinction. The one difference is weight. The X60 weighs 3.15 and the Mackbook is 5.1. So, you get a 2.0 C2D, instead of a 1.83 CD T2400, but a bigger HD (80 vs 100). I really do not see where "...more advanced hardware..." is correct. When you start comparing the software, Apple really gets the nod there.

    It's your 'hard-earned', Boss. I hope school goes well for you!
  5. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Thanks for all of the insight!

    I'm going to be a medical student this fall and I know I'll just need the laptop for office / internet / adium (i.e. msn).

    To SMM:

    I would be looking at the x61, which features the new santa rosa platform. I have access to an employee discount from a friend so the deal would be around 1500 $ (canadian) for the x61 w/ 2 GB ram. To me, the money isn't such an issue - I want to get the best machine. If there's one for a few hundred more but it's way better, I Don't mind the added cost. I don't need to cheap out on something as important as this. I don't want to spend more than 2500$ tax in.

    I already own an iMac 24" - the software on the Mac is obviously so much better - and you can't argue against that point. So for that reason I feel compelled to buy a Mac...but I just don't think the hardware stacks up. The lenovo is much, much lighter and has a smaller footprint.


    The XPS has better specs, but the macbook wins in terms of software and design. If Apple updates the macbook this summer, I'm sold! But I'm also aware of the printer/iPod promo which is really nice. I don't even need an iPod though - I have a 30 GB video. Any iPod would go on ebay, lol (unless they update them...)

    To Schroedinger,

    It is very probably (pun intended!) that I'll go the lenovo route because of the good discount I can get. I really don't need the optical drive, I'll need it 3 times to install 3 CDs and that's it (office, antivirus, and adobe pro).

    Thank you to everyone - keep the opinions coming!
    you are all so helpful.

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