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Aguymac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
94
7
I have (had at the moment) a late 2011 mbp, top specs, etc. But I've wanted/needed a windows machine for a while, and now it's even more needed.

What can I get that won't feel like a massive downgrade?
I don't have $2500 for a new mbp.

I love the hardware of the the 2011 mbp, the keys, their layout, the trackpad and its gestures that work so well, the trackpads placement, etc.

I don't want one of those POS windows laptops you can get at shoppers drug mart with points you've saved up for the past couple years (a relative has one, lol). The screens are utter trash on them as well.

I'm not sure where to start, what brand/manufacturer even, hp? Dell? (Acer seems to only make toys?) Lenovo?

Surfing (with silly amount of open tabs), streaming (UL. DL), word processing/email, the odd use of handbrake, or basic photo editor software, using an external monitor (along with main screen) constantly. That's more or less my needs.

Thanks for any recommendations.
(edit, typo).
 
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MBAir2010

macrumors 604
May 30, 2018
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there
I LOVE MY DELL XPS 13"!
256GB-8gb ram not 4K screen for $999- in 2019 brand new
the laptop is great, light. thumbprint passwords, fast, sturdy and great screen!
i purchased mine at a micro center so i didn't not get that bloatware.
just windows is not sinkable to my iPad and iCloud compu_system as the macbook air.
 

Aguymac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
94
7
I LOVE MY DELL XPS 13"!
the laptop is great, light. thumbprint passwords, fast, sturdy and great screen!
i purchased mine at a micro center so i didn't not get that bloatware.
just windows is not sinkable to my iPad and iCloud compu_system as the macbook air.
Thanks for that, and for the quickness. I'll have to check that out. I need at least a 15" screen. But I don't need, or want, biosecurity features so hopefully that reduces cost, doubtful though.

Is this a new model or how old is it?
 

glenthompson

macrumors demi-god
Apr 27, 2011
2,983
844
Virginia
I used company assigned Lenovo laptops for years. They were always reliable. Currently have a super cheap Lenovo model I bought on Woot. Does the job for the occasional Windows app I need to run. Haven't used it in almost a year so I'm pretty well over Windows. The new M1 Air is reasonably priced if you don't need a lot of disk space. Base model with 256gb SSD and 8gb Ram is $999. Will run rings around any PC you get for that price.

If I were looking for a main Windows machine the top 3 in my list would be Lenovo, Dell, and HP.
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 604
May 30, 2018
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there are several Lonovo laptop lovers here as well
i had a powerbook in 2006 i thought was sturdy and light-weight and great!
then purchased the MacBook air in 2010 and was flabbergasted!
until my cat knock that off the desk in 2017 without too much effort.
that messed up the typing so i used a bluetooth keyboard
since  laptops could not type back then, so i had to purchase the Dell XPS
they are great machines!
 
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MBAir2010

macrumors 604
May 30, 2018
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The new M1 Air is reasonably priced if you don't need a lot of disk space. Base model with 256gb SSD and 8gb Ram is $999.
if only we can purchase a Macbook M1 today or even this week at an  store, that would be great!
i enjoyed reading your post tho, laptops are great nowadays!
update: silly me, some are available today at our local  store.
 
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Aguymac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
94
7
I used company assigned Lenovo laptops for years. They were always reliable. Currently have a super cheap Lenovo model I bought on Woot. Does the job for the occasional Windows app I need to run. Haven't used it in almost a year so I'm pretty well over Windows. The new M1 Air is reasonably priced if you don't need a lot of disk space. Base model with 256gb SSD and 8gb Ram is $999. Will run rings around any PC you get for that price.

If I were looking for a main Windows machine the top 3 in my list would be Lenovo, Dell, and HP.
I've not hear of it. You talking brand new Macbook air, with first of its kind tech of some kind. Sounds like early adopter territory, haha.
But I'll look into it a bit.

Lenovo, Dell, hp. Cool, those are three I would be looking into.

PS, I assume that's $999 USD? Or $3999 CAD?
lol.

Thank you.
 

Quackers

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2013
1,938
708
Manchester, UK
One option would be to wait and see how Parallels/Windows 10 on ARM pan out.
An M1 using Parallels would be more than sufficient, I'm sure. Sadly there's no time frame for that at the moment.
Base M1's are quite cheap for their performance, I'd say.
 

Aguymac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
94
7
Dell XPS, HP Envy or Spectre, Lenovo ThinkPad, Asus ZenBook, Huawei MateBook, Surface Laptop...all are very nice, MacBook-like designsg
Great, ok. Thanks for the list.
If I narrow it down I may be back for further advice.

Another, separate but related question:
If I had another Mac, could I remove the HDD from my current mbp which is GPU screwed and access it/use it in the new one without much difficulty? Or at least get the files off it.
 

Quackers

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2013
1,938
708
Manchester, UK
Great, ok. Thanks for the list.
If I narrow it down I may be back for further advice.

Another, separate but related question:
If I had another Mac, could I remove the HDD from my current mbp which is GPU screwed and access it/use it in the new one without much difficulty? Or at least get the files off it.
You could take it out and put it in an appropriate enclosure then it would be seen as an external drive on another machine.
 
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Erehy Dobon

Suspended
Feb 16, 2018
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I use a pedestrian Acer Swift 3 (10th generation Intel CPU). I paid $740 back in April last year.

Your usage case is utterly mundane, you have no special hardware requirements although I suggest getting a model with a lot of RAM since you surf the web with a lot of browser tabs open. Google Chrome is a notorious resource pig so you should throw as much RAM at it as possible.

Today, I might look for an 11th gen Intel model, maybe one with the new Intel Xe graphics. A lot of PC manufacturers are backing away from sticking 4K panels into their notebooks. That makes sense, going 4K provides relatively few gains on notebook screens than 1440p or 1080p. 4K requires more graphics performance which in turn requires more power, generates more heat, and shortens battery life.

The best usage would be to plug this into an external monitor for extended work sessions. Everything about notebook computers is wrong from an ergonomic standpoint.
 
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MBAir2010

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May 30, 2018
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exchanging ssd from windows and apple osx is iffy, i cannot m'hackintosh my dell xps with anything like wifi bluetooth or trackpad work because of that GPU thingee something. there has to e the same slot pin as fund in a macbook pro and a windows laptop.
 

glenthompson

macrumors demi-god
Apr 27, 2011
2,983
844
Virginia
Another, separate but related question:
If I had another Mac, could I remove the HDD from my current mbp which is GPU screwed and access it/use it in the new one without much difficulty? Or at least get the files off it.
Can't put it into any of the current MacBooks since they don't take 2.5" drives. As mentioned you can put it into a USB enclosure and use it. Expect to pay about $20 for the enclosure.

You mention your 2011 has the infamous GPU failure. It's possible to disable the GPU and just use the integrated GPU. Lots of into available online for doing it yourself if you're handy with hardware. Otherwise it can be done for about $80. I just had it done to my 2011 MBP and it now works fine with the exception of not being able to use an external display.
 
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Aguymac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
94
7
You could take it out and put it in an appropriate enclosure then it would be seen as an external drive on another machine.
Could you link an enclosure or better yet a cord with which I could connect the HDD to another PC and access the files please?
The HDD is in the spot where the optical drive used to be.
Theres a Samsung ssd in there now as the second drive.
I have an enclosure I bought when I did that "upgrade" but it's for an ssd.
 

Aguymac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
94
7
I use a pedestrian Acer Swift 3 (10th generation Intel CPU). I paid $740 back in April last year.

Your usage case is utterly mundane, you have no special hardware requirements although I suggest getting a model with a lot of RAM since you surf the web with a lot of browser tabs open. Google Chrome is a notorious resource pig so you should throw as much RAM at it as possible.

Today, I might look for an 11th gen Intel model, maybe one with the new Intel Xe graphics. A lot of PC manufacturers are backing away from sticking 4K panels into their notebooks. That makes sense, going 4K provides relatively few gains on notebook screens than 1440p or 1080p. 4K requires more graphics performance which in turn requires more power, generates more heat, and shortens battery life.

The best usage would be to plug this into an external monitor for extended work sessions. Everything about notebook computers is wrong from an ergonomic standpoint.
Yea, of course. That's kinda what I meant to convey. I had a mbp from 10 years ago(!), that I was still almost entirely satisfied with its performance (I'd upgraded ram, ssd - which hadn't even used yet).

I don't think I should need to spend even $1000 for something comparable... to a 10year old mbp.
As for hardware, Yea. I know. But I just don't want crap materials or ergonomics (hence the keyboard and trackpad mention).

I don't use Google chrome...
But since you mentioned ram, I'd like a machine that isn't locked down as far as components. But I duno how realistic that is.

I couldn't care less about 4K, fingerprint bs, touch screen, or any of the other stuff. I don't care if it's 2mm thin, or weighs 1Lb.

Maybe I should consider a desktop, hah. Of course then I'd want to buy components and build it myself, and I don't have the time.

Thanks for your input, much appreciated.
 

Aguymac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
94
7
Can't put it into any of the current MacBooks since they don't take 2.5" drives. As mentioned you can put it into a USB enclosure and use it. Expect to pay about $20 for the enclosure.

You mention your 2011 has the infamous GPU failure. It's possible to disable the GPU and just use the integrated GPU. Lots of into available online for doing it yourself if you're handy with hardware. Otherwise it can be done for about $80. I just had it done to my 2011 MBP and it now works fine with the exception of not being able to use an external display.
Yes, I'm in the dosdude1 demux thread. But i duno what'll get me a working computer faster, waiting 6 weeks for a lattice tool and of course whatever else that procedure *might* need (caps, etc, pogo pins), and then potentially messing up the soldering of 72awg (joking) wires and screwing the mbp.
Or getting something that'll work *now*, and then attempting to fix the mbp.

I don't mind buying used. I don't care about having model from last year or anything like that.

I think I was seeing used 2012 mbp going for 600-700USD. *Sigh*.

Thank you.
 

Quackers

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2013
1,938
708
Manchester, UK
Could you link an enclosure or better yet a cord with which I could connect the HDD to another PC and access the files please?
The HDD is in the spot where the optical drive used to be.
Theres a Samsung ssd in there now as the second drive.
I have an enclosure I bought when I did that "upgrade" but it's for an ssd.
No I'm sorry but I've never done it myself. I would imagine you need a caddy. You might know more when you get it out and have a look at it. That should give you an idea of the caddy required, maybe.
 
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Aguymac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
94
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No I'm sorry but I've never done it myself. I would imagine you need a caddy. You might know more when you get it out and have a look at it. That should give you an idea of the caddy required, maybe.
I figured it'd be known, off the top of the head, by 75% of the users on this site, honestly. Haha.
I have the optical drive out, shouldn't it have the same connection as the hdd that replaced it?

What am I looking for here, anyone? A usb to sata or something? Or does it have to be an enclosure? i don't see why it would.
 

Quackers

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2013
1,938
708
Manchester, UK
I figured it'd be known, off the top of the head, by 75% of the users on this site, honestly. Haha.
I have the optical drive out, shouldn't it have the same connection as the hdd that replaced it?

What am I looking for here, anyone? A usb to sata or something? Or does it have to be an enclosure? i don't see why it would.
That sounds reasonable :)
what size drive is it? 2.5 inch, 3.5 inch?
SATA II, SATA III?
Presumably a USB at the other end :)
 
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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,717
I may be late to this thread, but I have to say, I really do love my ThinkPad, its a tank (in a good sense). Great hardware, great quality, very good performance. I highly recommend it
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 604
May 30, 2018
6,638
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I may be late to this thread, but I have to say, I really do love my ThinkPad, its a tank (in a good sense). Great hardware, great quality, very good performance. I highly recommend it
and you can probably fix or upgrade most hardware as well

PC world ran an article recently on how they are developing a Framework laptop that can be upgraded, even the keyboard!
too bad osx won't work on these.
 

Herbert123

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2009
234
247
You mention your 2011 has the infamous GPU failure. It's possible to disable the GPU and just use the integrated GPU. Lots of into available online for doing it yourself if you're handy with hardware. Otherwise it can be done for about $80. I just had it done to my 2011 MBP and it now works fine with the exception of not being able to use an external display.

I did that repair on a friend's 2011 macbook. Removing a resistor which is smaller than a grain of sand with only a regular sized soldering iron and a magnifying glass was... stressful. :)

But it did work.
 
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Aguymac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
94
7
That sounds reasonable :)
what size drive is it? 2.5 inch, 3.5 inch?
SATA II, SATA III?
Presumably a USB at the other end :)
The drive caddy was throwing me off. So I removed it and then remembered that it holds the actual drive. The drive fits in this: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06XWRRMYX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Which I have, but cannot find the cord for, so another is on the way.
I'm not sure that a windows machine will be able to "see" my files. I don't know (if anyone does, lemme know).
 
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