Wife Needs a PC Laptop. Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Designer Dale, May 26, 2011.

  1. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #1
    My wife needs a Windows laptop to be able to access her work files and email on the road. Both of these are confidential documents. The IT department will support it but she has to pay for it, so it needs to be a good general use system as well, And yes, they are cheap - her employer, that is.

    Her work system is a PC desktop that runs a custom interface due to the secure nature of the files she accesses. We have never owned a Windows machine and her current home laptop is the original G4/400 Ti Book. I can survive with Windows, but I don't have the confidence that I have with the Mac OS.

    Recommend a Windows laptop that is light and easily set up on the road, tends to behave itself and has good battery life. The perfect machine is the 11 in. MBA, is there anything on the Windows market that can match it?

    If it interests you, she is a psychiatric nurse.

    Thanks,

    Dale
     
  2. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #2
    You could get the MBA 11" and run windows in Boot Camp...but if she needs a real windows computer, maybe the Samsung 9 Series? There's a 11" version of that and it seems to be a pretty good computer. You should check it out.
     
  3. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #3
    I thought about that, but adding the price of a retail copy of Win7 to the MBA is a bit much. And it needs to be accessible to IT if (when) is goes screwy..:)

    I like Samsung products. I'll check that out.

    Dale
     
  4. interrobang macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    #4
    Are you sure she's not just running Citrix or something?
     
  5. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #5
    I'll ask. This just came up last night. Her position has her on the road and she has been after IT to loosen the grips and give her mobil access. They gave in, but she has to foot the bill. She needs to "download a some-thing-or-other" I wasn't paying attention. A Mac may work, but they won't support it.

    Note: That Samsung 9 costs more that a base MBA and a copy of Win7...:eek:

    $500-600. Or so.

    Dale
     
  6. dacapo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #6
    Couldn't she cut a deal with the employer so that they load up her laptop with a corporate licensed Windows? After all, she is footing the bill for the hardware. They can at least give her that much. It shouldn't cost them anything more than wiping off the license off of her current machine.

    But what kind of a company is this that requires an employee to be on the road but does not give her the necessary hardware and software to do her job properly? I know jobs are hard to come by, but this doesn't seem like good news.
     
  7. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #7
    you should find out what she has to download and check back here before you commit. it may just be a VPN client and Remote Desktop Client, both of which are available for Macs.

    On the Windows side, you can't go wrong with a ThinkPad - the X1 is almost Air-like.

    If you have to go Windows, make sure you know which version of Windows is required - if for example they expect you to use BitLocker Disk Encryption, you have to get Windows Ultimate (or Enterprise, but you can't buy that pre-installed).
     
  8. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #8
    She works for the State Department of Social and Health Services. Budget cuts have forced her to take one day unpaid leave per month.

    Dale
     
  9. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #9
  10. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #10
    I would go with a Thinkpad or HP envy if those could be afforded.
     
  11. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #11
    Thanks for all the replies. Yes, she will be having Citrix installed on the computer. The State IT people at work are at least five years behind in technology, so even though this can be done from the Mac platform, we are going with the PC. She has to give it to them for installation and configuration and we don't want to give them something they aren't familiar with.

    People at work have been trying to point her to Dell, but I am trying to lobby for one of the HP or Lenovo machines mentioned here. Both look solid.

    Thanks again

    Dale
     
  12. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #12
    If the MBA is too much, look at getting a standard white Macbook from the refurb shop. White macbooks are due for a hardware update very soon, so it may be worth waiting a few weeks, if you are planning on buying a new one.

    Her employers have a standard volume Windows license that should cover all work use. You shouldn't need to buy your own Windows license if it is for work use.

    If you *have* to buy Windows, ask IT which version is the cheapest to buy that meets their needs, and where to get it from. Then look at trying to get it deducted from your taxes or something (if you can deal with the paperwork).

    Get your Macbook, install bootcamp / windows, and set it to always load Windows as default. In that state, it's exactly the same as a PC laptop. Send it off to IT.

    When you get it back, you can put it back to loading OSX by default, and load up Boot Camp for Windows. Or use Parallels / VMWare (whichever you prefer) to access Windows and OSX at the same time.
     
  13. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #13
    It sounds like your wife's employer is only begrudgingly allowing this, so if she turns up with a Mac they'll have kittens.

    My wife has been using my old ThinkPad x41 for the past few years. It must be 5-6 years old & the technology is laughable by today's standard, but she loves it. It still looks pretty shiny, it's small & light, nothing's broken off it or gone wrong, the battery still lasts for almost an entire hour (gasp!), and it seems to run XP, Office, Thunderbird without seeming *too* slow. I've been impressed.

    I'm not recommending an x41, but I am recommending a ThinkPad - small, light, solid - they do a great job & hers has lasted really well.

    Otherwise I'd be inclined to head over to the "Apple of the PC world" - Sony. Some of their Vaios are nice
     
  14. p3t3rsn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    I would highly suggest going with the HP. Dell just isn't what it use to be. The HP Elite books are about as close to Apple as you are going to get. The second option would be Lenovo. IMHO.
     
  15. Internal Fury macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
  16. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #16
    Bingo!

    The HP and Lenovo machines I have looked at seem fine. It's a bit hard to find the true business class machines retail, though. Thinkpad and HP Pro seem to be unlined only.

    Thanks

    Dale
     
  17. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a

    100Teraflops

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Elyria, Ohio
    #17
    Dale, out of curiosity, does her employer have a list of approved computers? Does she receive a government discount? Which model computers do her colleagues use? Has she talked to the IT department about a reference for specific computer specifications? I hope my questions are not driving you nuts! :) Honestly, I would not spend a lot of money and I would swap laptops every few years to avoid OS rot. Hope this helps.
     
  18. islandit macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    AK
    #18
    HP Netbook 110 with Win7 on newegg and also HP's site for under 250. Light and mobile.
     
  19. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #19
    Got back from shopping and wound up with this one: HP DW4. Good mix of power and portability. It seemed to be the best available locally. The Pro Book from HP and Lenovo ThinkPad T series machines are only direct order and she wants to be up and running next week. Those two are true executive class systems and are a bit of overkill for her needs - mostly a VPN setup through Citrix.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Dale
     
  20. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #20
    Seems nice enough. Still don't quite understand why a macbook set to only boots Windows would be any problem for the IT dept. In that state, it's exactly the same as a standard Windows laptop.

    There are some people who do buy Macbooks solely for running Windows (they like Apple hardware). Currently on the Apple refurb store, an 11'' MBA is $829, and a white MB is $850. Compare that to $775 (after rebate) minimum for the HP book.
     
  21. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #21
    This is a State IT department that will be responsible for setup and support. I would be surprised if they could even turn a Mac on! No joke. A Mac running Windows isn't just like a pc. The keyboard layout is different. There still are people who think a Mac has no right-click. And they work in IT...:eek:

    Dale
     
  22. islandit macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    AK
    #22
    eh...I'm an MCSE from a few years back and now am running a network comprised completely of Apple products. There's nothing it can't do. The ONLY thing I wish was that the passwords for the time capsule and the g drive attached to it could be different from each other. But thats for another thread!
    I think you can actually do more being its unix, and also tie in PC's when you want...
    Congrats on finding the spousal unit a PC!
     
  23. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #23
    Thanks. You are far more enlightened that the IT folks at the local state mental hospital. :).

    Dale
     
  24. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
  25. Krovem macrumors 6502

    Krovem

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Indiana

Share This Page