What to tell friends who are buying new computer?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wyatt23, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. wyatt23 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    Forest Hills, NY
    I have a friend whose little brother is buying a computer and asked me for my advice. she doesn't like macs. ask her why: "she just doesnt". that's fine (but also lame).

    her and her family know nothing about computers nor about shopping online, so they don't know what to buy or where to buy it. they just know that they don't want an apple. i told them they should get anything with intel c2d, 1gb ram MIN, 120GB, wireless-n, and 10/100/1000 ethernet.

    i recommended lenovo and alienware for them to buy. Her brother isn't good with computers and doesn't want to learn mac. i tried to explain, if you don't know windows well, you're going to have to re-learn windows vista. still doesn't want an apple.

    i explained, even if you don't buy an apple, please buy online. they are going to best buy. (i've read MANY a horror story).

    does anyone encounter similar situations from family and friends that ask for educated opinions but completely disregard it?

    and. What should i be telling people to get once they turn down apple? (and trust me. they are stubborn and cannot be convinced to buy one. i even offered to test drive my macbook for the weekend)
  2. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Two separate approaches then. Have them look at Alienware. A high-end configuration. Or have them look at eMachines. Something with Vista Basic loaded on it with 512 MB of memory. If they get Alienware, they will notice your Mac is just as fast but for a lot less and wish they got a Mac. If they get a basic limited system, they will hate how much faster your Apple is for just a little bit more money. Or perhaps they go with a mid-range machine, they will notice how much better Apple is compared to their system anyways.

    Remember to have them grab Norton Utilities, Microsoft Live Care, and Adware Pro to keep their PC in top shape.
  3. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Who really cares? I have plenty of friends who would never buy Apple computers. Why? They want to play Windows games and Apple don't have a decent gaming video card in any of their machines. Seriously who is really going to buy a Mac Pro with a X1900 XT for gaming? It's over priced, and the graphics card is a joke.

    What do I tell them? I just point them at Alienware or a cloneware computer shop.
  4. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    I've never had problems making recommendations to family members or friends because I listen to what their needs are and what they want.

    Here's what you're doing:

    Them: Can you recommend a good PC for us?
    You: Get an Apple
    Them: But we want a PC.
    You: Just get an Apple.
    Them: Umm.... we don't like Apple's. We want a PC.
    You: Get an Apple. I'll even let you test drive my MacBook.

    It seems like you're making a recommendation based on what you like and not one based on their needs or wants. If you tried telling them about Macs and they said no, just leave it at that and recommend a PC if you can. If you can't, then tell them so and that'll be the end of it.

    But anyways, I take it they're looking for a notebook PC since you mentioned wireless N?

    If so, I'd recommend

    1. IBM (Lenovo) Thinkpad
    2. HP
    3. Dell
    4. Toshiba
    5. Sony

    I'd stay away from Gateway. I've heard and seen too many issues with their build quality (I'm a PC tech). They seem to overheat and the motherboard dies and ends up needing to be replaced. As for Acer, I don't really care for them. But they're a good bang for the price.

    Ordering a Dell would have to be done online or over the phone. Pretty much the same thing for the Thinkpad.

    As for HP, Toshiba, and Sony, you'll usually find better deals in a physical store (B&M) than on the Internet. Have them check out places like Best Buy, Circuit City, Staples, Office Depot, etc. Since it's back-to-school season, they should be able to find some pretty good deals, but some may require rebates.

    If they're looking for the best bang for the buck, then go with Dell. They've been having some really great deals off and on lately for the back-to-school crowd.

    I'd personally stay away from Lenovo unless it's a Thinkpad. As for Alienware, they're overpriced and really no better than HP, Dell, or ThinkPads. Actually, if they're looking for something with a very good build quality, go with the Thinkpad. End of story.

    As for the specs you recommended, what are they going to be using the computer for? If it's just basic web surfing, email, IM-ing, papers/school work, downloading music, etc., then they really don't need to limit their selection to just the Intel C2D's. Intel's Core Duo, their Pentium dual core, and AMD's Turion x2 line will be able to handle those things with no problem. As for RAM, definitely at leat 1GB for Windows Vista; 2GB recommended.
  5. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    I'll agree on the Norton Utilities and to some extent AdAware Pro. I prefer Webroot's SpySweeper or Spyware Doctor. But MS Live OneCare? You have got to be kidding. That came in dead last in the lastest PC World tests. A better solution would be Kaspersky Internet Security or even NOD32.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Until Apple offers a mid-range upgradeable mini-tower sized machine for about $1,000 I really can't recommend a mac of most people. There is no "mainstream design" Mac. Hopefully Apple is working on this.

    Also the Mac is not the best for games and that is what most people do with their PC. The Mac is great if you want to run Final Cut or iPhoto or whatever but let's face it, how many people are seriously into Photography or video post production? If not any el-cheapo box can run Firefox.

    I could recommend running Ubuntu on generic PC. For many people this is ideal. It's prety much Mac-like and has the stability and lack of virus problem of a Mac but runs on main stream hardware that people can afford and upgrade.

    I'm on a computer 12 hours a day, I use Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris. The Ma''c only advantage is that it can run iLife, FCE and Photoshop and theothers can't. Other than that they are close enough.
  7. Jaunty macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2004
    London, England
    remember to remind them that intel macs can run windows too, so they can give it a go anyway
  8. blueicedj macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2007
    Don't ever recommend Norton...It's terrible software that will slow the computer down like crazy. Zonealarm is awesome, you can pay for it and get a spyware/adware remover, or just get the firewall for free, which you can download on the internet. I'd just download it for free then get Avast! antivirus, which is also free. Get ad-aware as well, which is free for download, but will not take care of live threats unless you buy it. Download Spybot Search and Destroy for this, which is also free. So instead of buying Norton which will slow down your computer A lot and is very intrusive, just download these free products.
  9. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    When someone askes me what kind of computer they should buy, I say "You should buy a Mac." If they respond with the usual slew of nonsense about not liking Macs for no reason, I tell them "good luck" and walk off.

    I've tried recommending other brands, and I always end up feeling really crappy about it afterwards. I know that they are going to end up using Windows and it's going to be just awful. I don't like giving people bad advice. I'd rather just give them no advice at all.
  10. levitynyc macrumors 65816

    Aug 19, 2006
    Its a disgrace that in 2007 people still have to go crazy about spyware and viruses. I recommend macs. If they dont take my advice I dont offer any other solutions
  11. blueicedj macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2007
    Well it's because it's 2007 that there are more threats. People get smarter as well as the firewalls are getting smarter...the main reason macs don't get Virus's is because there aren't enough people on macs for the virus writers to care about.
    In the end though, no virus for macs! Just gotta keep the population somewhat small...
  12. razyorv macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2007
    I agree, never get Norton.
    Anti-Virus: Avast
    Firewall: ZoneAlarm
    Adware: AdAware

    While I haven't used PCs very much, I do know Dells offer a good value. (the Inspiron 1420 for laptop) IBM Thinkpads are solid as well.
  13. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    wireless n can be omitted if it adds more money, its practically useless now in most environment.
  14. wyatt23 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    Forest Hills, NY
    sorry party weekend. haven't been around comps.

    i'm not actually telling them to get an apple. from a what is the best situation for them to buy a computer. they asked me for an opinion, and i don't buy PC's anymore. i'd say get a VAIO or an alienware, but now you're already in the pricerange of an apple.

    for this kid, he DOESN'T know how to use computers. So suggesting anything to him not apple is not being a good advice giver. why get someone who can barely type documents be given a computer that's going to be overrun with viruses and spyware, only to get the inevitable phone call of.. "my brothers computer is broken, can you fix it?"

    they are going to spend 1100 on a computer ANYWAY. microsoft employees on apple's homepage even says... my next PC is going to be an apple.

    i've worked as a computer trouble shooter at college, and i've only ever fix HP's, Dells, and Compaq's. The only time i ever had to fix an apple was because a girl couldn't make her pictures bigger in iPhoto!

    i don't tell people other computers, because i've never enocountered another computer maker whose quality matched apple.
  15. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    Use avg free, with pc cillen house call weekly. use windows firewall and windows adware thing i think its called defender and that sould be set. To the op recormend a nice cheep acer with a new video card if its for games.
    Recormend them Windows XP over vista.
  16. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    Don't give them advice. They will still go to best buy and get ripped off. Trust me. I have been down this road many times. They see that $349 notebook at Best Buy and they buy it because they don't know a damn thing and they see that it is cheap..

    Just let it go.
  17. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Tell them what I tell them: If you don't buy a Mac, I AM NOT FIXING YOUR COMPUTER.
  18. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    That's very true. But try and give them some sort of minimum spec to work with, then let them go and do their thing. At least you've given them something.
  19. darthraige macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2007
    Coruscant, but Boston will do.
    I hate people that don't want to listen when it comes to buying computers. Hence why I'm waiting for the new MacPro... Anyway, I have turned a lot of people over to Mac. They actually listened to me. When it comes to the other side, you are better off building your own. Soooooo much cheaper.
  20. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Better yet, do what I do. Tell them: If you don't buy a Mac, I won't fix your computer... for free... ;) Gotta save for that Stoakley-Seaburg Mac Pro!
  21. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    That has never worked either. I tell them what they should be looking for and they come home with a celeron with 256MB of RAM. Ha. :rolleyes:
  22. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    Oh dear. There's just no helping some people. I blame the stores for selling under powered equipment :rolleyes: Hehe.
  23. reflex macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2002
    On the other hand though, when people ask for advice and you want to help them, at least try to find out what it is they want and need.

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