Computer guys, I need your help. I'm looking for a new laptop. I'm willing to spend up to $1000 but what I really want is the best value. I don't do any online gaming. I mainly just DL movies/shows and browse the webz. I was thinking a Macbook, but wasn't sure if there was a PC out there that would be a better value (for the money). I also don't want something that is going to get real hot. Screen size isn't a huge deal, anywhere from 13-15. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. TIA.
OT: Buying a new laptop
and for god's sake don't come back and check this thread. The Mac basher's will show up and convince you otherwise and you will end up with a Windows POS that takes 5 mins to freaking shutdown (how can a machine take that long to just stop doing everything!!).
My macbook shutsdown faster than I can pull the screen down. It boots up in 20 secs and is already connected to the wifi when it does.
kidding...macs are great but PC's are cheaper for the equivalent specfications. The whole boot/shutdown time is a non-issue with windows 7. For the under $1000 market the choice of maker (acer, toshiba, dell, hp, etc.) is irrelevant IMHO.
If you take care of your computer a Windows PC boots up in 20 seconds and shutsdown almost instantly as well. However, if you are careless with your computer, it will start to slow down.
Macs are for people who don't know how to take care of a computer. If you are willing to admit that you can't, then buy a Mac, but bashing PCs is self-admission that you can't to the people who can.
booting up in 20 secs and shutting down "almost instantly" and I will gladly nuke my account here as a bet.
What does "taking care of the computer even mean". I run regular scans (virus and Ad-aware), do regular disk cleanups (temp folders and such) and de-fragment my hard disk. What the hell else can I do ?
My windows machine at work , right out-of the-box was slower (by a huge margin) than my macbook (which isn't even as fast as the pro). How do you explain that ?
Shutdown in < 10 sec, startup in 20 sec. Seems to fit your requirements.
My startup is even faster than this one.
Still going to nuke your account?
PC in about a minute and 30 seconds. They are sorta quick.
Wait, so loading the bios doesn't count as startup time now?
That's not due to windows. Every operating system has to wait until the BIOS loads.
Right, but if we're talking about how long it takes for computers to boot, shouldn't it be from the time you push the button? Ignoring the BIOS loading time doesn't make sense.
Yes it does since bios usually has a full boot mode where it runs a full barrage of tests and a quick boot mode where just the essentials are tested. So boot times will vary depending on what setting the manufacturer has configured.
It makes sense in general, but in this context (20 seconds or I'll delete my account type stuff) it's pretty clear he's not talking about boot time minus BIOS boot time.
In all fairness, I doubt he has clocked his Mac in under 20 seconds either. The point is that he thinks that he can start a clean Windows PC, go make a hot pocket, come back, and still have to wait to post on MGoBlog. That's just not true.
Agreed. Glad we're back on the same page.
If you look around there are videos posted of Windows 7 booting in 20 sec including bios.
We're not comparing computer boot times, we are comparing OS boot times. Mac vs. Windows is independent of hardware. If we take into account the BIOS loading then you are adding an extra variable to the mix and the times could change from machine to machine, including those built by Apple.
Also you can't hit stop on the timer as soon as you see the screen in Windows because it only *starts* all the startup applications then. It still needs to start connecting to Wifi and start the AV software at a minimum.
In Windows 7 my wifi connects almost instantly and an anti-virus program shouldn't take more than a second to startup. If it does you are using the wrong one.
... what do you recommend? The Norton Security Suite that Comcast provides for free is good protection. But, it won't stop scanning when the system is idle, no matter what you do.
And since I am a cheap bastard with a 5 yrs old XP box, it dominates resources like a bitch.
I guess now I know why it's free.
I use Microsoft Security Essentials. I've tried AVG and Avast but I didn't like them. Honestly, the best anti-virus is just being smart about what you download and what you install on your computer.
And we are talking about laptops in this thread. a Q6600 is the same processor that is in my desktop. Mine is OC'd to about 3.6 GHz a nice HD, nut not SSD, and when new and clean it will load just as fast as my macbook pro laptop, if I don't count the bios lol. (which apparently doesn't exist)
I'll give it a try when I get out of work.
And I'm guessing your work computer is probably outdated/underpowered/loaded up with corporate software and probably slowed down by the network as well, like most of our non-CAD devoted towers.
Work machines connect to a server at work for updates, settings, etc. rather than connecting directly to Microsoft or storing settings on you computer. I have no idea if Macs have anything similar to that, but it doesn't matter because my Windows 7 machine at work takes 3 minutes to startup while my home computers startup very quickly.
Taking care of your machine means only installing what you need on your computer and not every piece of software that comes with your camera or router* or that your friend sends you a link about. It means not needing to run anti-virus on your computer because you only install programs that you have checked to be legitimate in the first place, but when you do run anti-virus you don't run a god-forsaken program like Norton or McAfee. It means not having so much crap on your computer that your disk gets fragmented in the first place.
I'm guessing by how far you've fallen down the Mac hole that you had XP on your old machine. XP is almost 10 years old now. You wouldn't run Mac OS 9 or any older version of OSX on your computer would you?
*Macs answer: "We don't need to install software, all of the drivers are built into the computer for me." The drivers are all on the USB device or built into Windows already, but people still feel compelled to install Kodak Image Viewer any way.
don't use your computer and it will be fine. Do you also take your car only 1-2 times out of the garage before trading it in for a new one?
"Using your computer" doesn't have to include installing Bonzi Buddy and all his friends.
No, but I also don't drive on the freeway in 3rd gear then ask why the car is overheating and making noises.
OOOO, good analogy. Macs are like automatic transmissions; they might do more for you but they are going to cost more and you won't get as much out of them.
Yeah, I'm calling shenanigans on the 20 second boot up as well. Unless you've got a SSD in there, which would definitely push things out of the OP's price range.
I haven't timed it, but my new laptop with an SSD running Ubuntu boots like lightning. It was only $700, but I got it fairly stripped down to just what I needed.
That's awesome. I'm jealous. Once those things are a reasonable price I'm running to get one.
To BlockM's point, any macbook you buy will come with a SSD. Pricing is about $2/gb for the latest generation drives.
You could buy a spec-comparable laptop (core i5, 4gb ddr3, etc), buy a separate 2.5" SSD, and be out the door for $700. Then, if you're really worried about boot times, you can go the hackintosh and install snow leopard. Boot time of windows 7 with SSD should be sub-5sec. There are limitations with SSD drives which you should research (you need to run a cleanup util every other month or so), but it is realistically going to be the largest factor in your boot time differences.
You mean MacBooks come without a SSD right? It's an option, but they definitely don't just come with them in the base configuration. If they do, I got royally screwed.
Guess I'm off base here. Why buy a MBP without it though? Cost is already high enough ...
Macs are also for people who need to be productive, and not spending their working hours keeping their laptop maintained. The time I do not have to spend to keep my macbook maintained, I spend on mgoblog.
The time that I don't spend on maintaining my 4 Windows 7 machines I spending fixing others computers and on MGoBlog.
I find this post ridiculous, my computer runs just as well as it did when i built it. I rarely I mean rarely do anything to keep it maintained maybe once every few months organizing and deleting stuff i don't need anymore. An auto run spyware, and anti virus and windows firewall does all the "work" hands free. People need to stop acting like PC's are 10% fun 90% fixing. As long as your not an idiot clicking and downloading things you know arent kosher. Such as don't click on the video your in supposedly from a friend on facebook.
I bought my first Mac a few months ago and love it. For one, you don't need a mouse, the touchpad has multiple gestures that you can use. As stated above, the thing starts up and is ready to go immediately.
If you go to the Apple site you can buy refurbished computers directly from them for usually a couple hundred off the retail price and come with a full company warranty. I bought the newest Mac book and it was $300 off and just released 3 or 4 months ago. That is the best way to buy one.
That's what I always look for in a laptop.... how quickly it can shut down.
Asus. Check their machines before you buy a Mac, especially if you aren't an artist or photographer.
And although you can easily have three OSs on any machine these days--and might want to--the evidence is that the Apple OS hangs up MUCH, MUCH more often than do Windows or Ubuntu/Linus these days.
If you pay for the eye candy or the name, just be honest with yourself that that's what you're doing.
the evidence is that the Apple OS hangs up MUCH, MUCH more often than do Windows or Ubuntu/Linus
Really? My experience says otherwise. I've found Mac OS X to be very stable. I've rarely, maybe once in the past 3-4 years, have the machine lock up entirely.
The latest version of Apple's web browser, Safari, however, I can't vouch for. Firefox FTW.
As for OP - If you're a student at UM, however, you'll find most kids have macbooks, and the computing environment is very Apple-friendly.
Having said all that I'm planning to replace my iMac with a PC running Ubuntu. ;)
I got a brand new top of the line macbook pro from work at the start of the summer and multiple times it's taken 5 minutes to log me in and won't shut down at all until I hold the power button. It has also frozen and crashed to the point of forcing me to restart multiple times. My Windows XP box never does this.
Not saying don't get a mac (I love love love their track pad), but anyone who says macs have no problems is lying.
If you're in LSA, it's 90% Macs. If you're an Engineer, 90% PCs.
As an engineer I find Macs very counter intuitive and harder to use
Just my $.02
My macbook pro has crashed just once after hundreds of hours of use. My PC desktop, which I'm using right now, wouldn't load windows and had to be reset this morning. Where do people come up with these statements? I have to use both OS's all the time. If a mac is used to run OSx and not windows, my experience is that it is much more stable than a windows machine. No Ubuntu/Linux experience so I can say there.
on another blog I visit where the site founder was bragging on the new Apple OS and said that over a long day of intensive work he only got hung up (I assume he meant in various programs, not the whole machine) a couple of times. The Windows and Linux people immediately pounced and said, "I go WEEKS without hanging up at all!"
It's been a while since I had a Macbook, so I don't have direct evidence--only this anecdote and from my bro, who complains he is constantly hanging up. You really can pay less for much more machine these days, not only by staying away from Apple, but from Sony, too. I've had both.
and I love it. Mac's are nice but they are pricey. If you are big into art or photographs, the Mac is to be considered, but otherwise you get more bang for the buck with a PC. I do hear you don't have to upgrade as much with a mac, fwiw.
There was a thread about this not too long ago, not sure where it went.
Just got my first Mac a few months ago, and love it so far. It does get hot, but I've got the 15" MBP, so I don't know if there's a difference between that and the 13" MacBook in the "burning your nuts" category.
If you're looking for the best value as far as processor/hard drive/RAM for your money, the MacBook is probably not the way to go. Dell is making good laptops now, and the ASUS ones I've seen haven't been too bad either recently. You can get a laptop that will be plenty powerful for web, downloading movies, word processing, and most other tasks for $600 these days.
With what you described for the parts in your mac book, you could get a PC laptop from Acer, Asus, Dell, or HP for less than 400 dollars. You basically just paid 700 dollars for an operating system and a logo. If the guy just needs to surf the web, email, word processor, and watch movies, buy a pc and save some big cash.
It's not a waste of $700 when you get the Apple logo on the back.. it even glows!
What have you been doing to your Windows machine that you've had to restore multiple times? The only sluggishness I've ever had with my 2 year old HP (now running 64bit W7) was with firefox, so now I have invested even more into our Google overlords and switched to Chrome. Registry issues? Use CCleaner. I have only used macs at my workstudy job and one belonging to an ex and didn't see anything to justify the extra money, and the ones at my job (running OSX) had plenty of issues of their own. Also I'm personally more comfortable with Windows and use it to install custome roms and nonmarket goodies for my droid.
Do you have a pocket protector?
I'm sure I could find a way to overclock it.
Of course you haven't had any problems with your Mac, it's only 2 months old. I would shit if I spent $1100 on a product and 2 months later it fucked up.
Ah, the Mac vs PC debate (where Mac folks tend to be rather rabid), but basically if you're looking at spending more money then get a Mac. If you're looking to cripple the function of a PC, use McAfee or Norton (else use one of the free antivirus solutions out there) along with Internet Explorer. There really isn't that much of a difference in performance between the two anymore, especially since Apple switched the architecture of Macs to Intel. The security differences are pretty small also, if you avoid using IE and opening strange things, you won't get a virus on a PC, and both Macs and PCs have gaping security holes - Mac users tend to lull themselves into a false sense of security.
Basically - buy a Mac if you're willing to spend a significant amount more and want something to work out of the box with little ability to customize or control your experience. Get a PC if you want something which is cheaper, you can customize the experience, and has more capabilities since you can add a nearly infinite amount of programs, but takes a little bit more work out of the box (downloading programs, etc).
For deals - head over to http://www.slickdeals.net - there are always amazing deals posted there and just sit on it til you find something you like.
uh...have you seen these boards address this before? I'm a perfectly happy PC user who doesn't know shit about computers, but the dressing down Apple regularly receives from this community is a lot more vituperative and condescending than what comes from the Apple defenders (not saying it's wrong necessarily, just the style and tone of responses)
Here it's a little more PC friendly, if you hit any of the major tech sites though the Apple folks get really bad, that and they tend to live in their own world where anything with an Apple on it is a gift from God (Jobs).
you could actually get away with an iPad. Seriously, and that would definitely be under $1000, even with an added bluetooth keyboard.
Not very well - you're limited since there's no Flash and Silverlight (no Youtube, Hulu, etc). A netbook would work but doesn't fit his screen size requirements (nor does an iPad).
I'm sure he probably needs something that is more like a computer with the ability to do word processing and other similar programs.
Edit: I apologize I did not realize the iPad had a word document program on it. I googled it and found out it does.
No YouTube? I've been watching YouTube on my iPhone alot. I wonder how mine is different. IMO, Flash sucks donkey nuts. 95% of the flash crap is ads and you cannot block them without add-ons.
FYI you can get all the add-ons you want on non-stock Android browsers like Dolphin.
Youtube runs in a separate application, you can't natively browse it and you can't use it integrated to the rest of the internet.
Flash isn't the greatest, especially with wide scale adoption of HTML 5 on the horizon, but it's what the internet runs on.
Youtube uses HTML5 to play movies now. Hulu and Netflix don't.
I still love it.
Friends that bought pc laptops at the same time are not content with those ones anymore and are wanting to get a new one.
I've had no desires of getting a new one. That's contentment, I always want new electronics.
Mac won me over and continues to. My usage needs sound similar to OP.
It died a month ago. That's 6.5 years of computer life.
In that time, my friends/family have gone through multiple machines, although each were purchased at a lower price. FWIW, I bought another Mac.
Most of the computer engineering professionals I know , and I know a surprising amount here in the Chi, also own Macs. The ones who don't are militant about not liking all things Apple.
I have a 4 year old iMac with a 24" monitor, never had one problem with it, next up is an iPad
One laptop that I really like is the HP DM3 series. The screen size is 13.3" which is on the smaller side, but this will result in greater battery life. This laptop is very thin and has a very nice keyboard, which doesn't sound like a big deal but it will be if you hate the keyboard. The only negative in my mind is the AMD Neo processor. AMD mobile processors have typically run hotter than Intel in my experiences (feel free to refute that). If DM3 doesn't have the specs you like, then chekc out the DM4 which is the newer series. I have no experiences with the DM4 models, but if they follow the DM3 series, they should be great. Good luck finding your laptop!
I would check out this link.
The studio on the far right is currently $800. The specs on it will last you until it breaks. The Intel HD Graphics on it is designed specifically for playing 1080p video, but not video games. Wireless N will work with current routers and future ones. 9-cell battery to give you pretty good battery life. The shape of the battery also helps raise the back of the computer to help ventilation and keep the computer cool. 2yr Warranty that should cover all reasonable damage to the computer.
I just bought something very similar to it and I love it so far.
I can get a MacBook for $950 and a free Ipod Touch (8g that I will put on ebay) through a student discount. Here are a few I like:
Your BBY links don't seem to be working for me, as an FYI.
And to compare the ASUS and Macbook (13 in), assuming that you can net around $200 for your Ipod
Asus vs. Macbook
$680 vs. $750
2.26 Ghz i3 vs. 2.4 Ghz dual
15.6 in vs. 13.3 in
4GB RAM vs. 2 GB RAM
500 GB HDD vs. 250 GB HDD
intel graphics vs. NVIDIA 320M
Everything else is similar enough that you won't really know the difference. And to recap, you'd be paying at least $50 more for a less capable processor, smaller screen, less RAM, less hard drive, but better graphics card, which you actually mentioned you don't need.
Of course, if you love Apple's OS, then go ahead and buy the Apple because you'll hate your PC. Otherwise, the Asus is the clear winner.
I just bought an HP dv6t two days ago. iCore 5 540 processor, 8 GB Ram, 640 GB hard drive, 15.6 inch touchscreen, dvd read/write, backlit keyboard and windows 7. Cost $1084, this was after 150 off instant and a $200 off coupon I found by typing "hp coupons" into yahoo. The $200 coupon only works if the total configuration is over something like $1250 but for what you want it for you could swap out the touchscreen or ram for a blue ray drive. The laptop's base price was 799 with free upgrades to 6 GB ram and 640 GB hard drive.
edit: I also meant to say that I have had an HP leptop before and was very pleased with it and after searching for a laptop the last two weeks this was the best deal I found.
Nice. I got an HP G62 about 4 months ago. It was a display model (long story; I bought it online for pickup at Best Buy, and they didn't have it, and so I took the display model). I got out the door, with Chicago's absurd 10% sales tax, for under $500. It has 320 gb, Intel I3 processor, 15.6" display, 4 MB DDR3. Windows 7 64 bit (also: if you get Windows 7 and it isn't W7 Pro, KNOW that you have to actually "opt in" to automatic backup/setting restore points.)
I definitely thought about getting a Mac, but, really, I have a work laptop, and I also want/need to have a Windows PC so I can access/use programs for PC easily if I am in a jam and want to do some work from home and not bring the work laptop home. Also, honestly, for the price I paid, I couldn't get a comparable mac.
I like Apple. I'm a definite iPhone fanboy, and think the iPad is cool. But, honestly, I feel like you get more bang for your buck with a Windows PC, and also I feel like in the business (legal/finance) world, most everyone uses PC's, so it's just easier to have one at home and become as proficient as possible in using the Windows-based software, especially when you're trying to edit a document intensely in Word, etc. (I know- you can get all of the MS programs for Mac, too). Just one man's opinion.
i got a preconfigured HP DV6-2170us for about $730 after tax/shipping and including instant rebate, coupon code, double-cash back (6%) special from ebates, and office max price match (bought direct from HP). 4GB RAM, Core i5-430M, 500GB HDD, and 12 cell battery. It's a bit of a hoss, but mostly stays home. I've found it to be very fast and reliable. Since I bought it back in February, it has crashed once. Otherwise, no big issues at all. Bluetooth and wireless work very reliably. Good deal too on a machine we expect to keep for a while. Then again, you're talking to the same guy who still has a desktop from 2001 running (after a few upgrades, using it as the kids' computer in their play room).
And it isgreat...Windows 7 is Ok too.
I wanted a Mac really bad, but I could get 3 Toshibas for 1 MacBook.
It works well and gets good Consumer Reports Grades for reliability and customer support.
I just bought a Tosiba Satalite with the I7 core. Its a really good computer.
Macbook Pro enough said
I have had lots of new Dell Laptops configured for road warriors, including my most recent one with Windows 7.. Last November, I bought a 13 inch MacBook Pro for my personal use. The MacBook blows the Dell out of the water on just about every level except for the cost.
One of my sons, who has a BS in computer engineering and is getting his MS in computer engineering (both from Michigan) got a MacBook Pro last fall when I did. His area of concentration is operating systems. He comment was he wishes he had gotten the MacBook sooner. My other son, who has an MS in EE feels the same way - loves the MacBook.
One other comment - the current MacBook Office Suite from Microsoft sucks big time. I can't wait for the new release and hope it emulates what MS did for the Windows version.
Meeting you up with your requirements, I doubt you need anything better than a core i3. I bet a dual core would work pretty well for you.
This puts you in the $500-650 range for a PC laptop around 15 in screen size. If you're really going to use it to watch movies, you're going to want the bigger screen size.
For the equivalant price from Apple, you can get an ipad. This would also probably meet your needs. You could also go with the macbook, although its generally priced $150 or so above an equivalant PC.
I am in the market for laptop. It is for work so I am locked into a PC. (No, I don't know why other than that's what the computer guy says. Please don't pull me into the MAC v. PC debate.)
I assume that now is a bad time to buy a laptop since it is "back to school time" and the demand is really high. I also assume that is better to wait a month or so. Does anyone know if I am right about this.
Thanks. Resume MAC v. PC argument while we wait for some football.
The best time to buy is generally when retailers transition out of their models, usually 1-2x a year. I know that the transition period this year was in June, there might be another one in October, but don't cross your fingers. If it does happen, you won't see crazy discounts, usually something along the lines of $20-40 off.
They alwayz wait to release the latest and greatest until around Christmas, but you can get some great deals on last years models by shopping now.
If you can hold off till November, Black Friday deals on newegg.com always have amazing laptop deals. Yes, you are correct, prices are 50 to 100 dollars higher right now.
I've found that there are usually a lot of deals going on right now because the demand is high and companies are competing for those sales. What I would do is watch the deal pages and jump on one that is too good to be true. You probably won't wait longer than a month if you watch them diligently. You will obviously need to do your homework on what is too good to be true for this to work though.
EDIT: The others' suggestions to wait until Black Friday are good, but I wasn't sure if you can wait that long. I was just trying to point out that buying right now would probably not be considered a bad thing if you found a great deal.
basically your locked into buying a pc since 90% of work software is pc only.
I would recommend a core 2 duo, SSD, @ least 3 gigs of ram, with a a good graphics card if you like to watch movies. From what you said you don't do any hard multiple tasks. This is all the PC you need. You could actually get by with a P4 with hyper threading.
I have been building PC's for about 10 years now. The SSD will make a huge difference. It is like night and day for boot ups less than 10 seconds. I would also go with a 15.4 or 17.1 screen size as it makes watching better and cant forget make sure you have a blue ray player. You don't want to forget that.
If you are not a graphic designer, engineer doing super heavy lifting, or playing the latest and greatest games get the cheapest new laptop you can get your hands on. Then spend some of that money you just saved on getting a really good warranty. As long as you buy a good name brand (Asus for example) you will be fine. If you have even the smallest bit of computer common sense, you can handle keeping your laptop in good shape. Get a decent anti-virus and run malware bytes on a regular basis. If you can wait a bit more than a month the best thing to do is to go out on black friday and you can get an excellent laptop for $299. You just have to get up early and hit an office supply store, staples for example, not best buy where the great mass of folks go. Also if you are a student make sure to contact your school, as most colleges get huge discounts for their kids. Honestly though if you spend more than $400 or $450 for the needs you showed us in the original post you are an idiot.
don't know if this was brought up yet, but if you buy a mac, you can get a free 8GB 2nd gen iPod Touch, or 32GB 3rd gen for $100 or 64GB 3rd gen for $200. Also, go through a site like ebates or similar to get an additional rebate.
and total whoring, but feel free to use my ebates referral link if you sign up. Are we allowed to start congas? probably not...
I got my first Mac (iMac) about 4-5 years ago and she's still running like a champ (typing this on it right now).
That being said I finally have a need for something more portable, and because I've been so happy with Apple I'm sticking with them (if you prefer PC's that's all cool - one love).
I tried the iPad (already have a full computer and that was the cheapest option). I found out that that wasn't enough computer for me to work on so decided to get a laptop.
Now, I was this close to getting the base Macbook Pro for $1100 (still have my student id) however the rumors swirling about the Macbook Air have got me waiting for a couple more weeks.
Basically, word on the street is that Apple is planning on upping the specs / lowering of the price of the Airs to replace the Macbook line with them to create a non-premium-priced alternative to the Macbook Pro for people who don't need to do intense graphics processing. This is rumored to be happening mid-September.
Now, this could all end up being bullshit, and in which case I'll just get that Pro, but I figure it's worth my time if I can get a $1000 Macbook Air that will be thinner and lighter than the current model (new liqui-metal technology), does all of the work I need it to do (web based work/word processing/minor video work) and will last me at least 3 years.
That's my plan that I put far more thought into than anyone actually should but if it can be of any help to at least one person than I'm more than happy to share. If not than I apologize for wasting the board's time.
If you don't think you're good with computers (which you make it seem like you aren't) then shell out the extra ?00 bucks and buy yourself a nice mac. Doesn't really matter if other people can do blah blah on their windows if YOU can't...
I'm not sure why this thread went on to boot times and such. I work with the USMC in purchasing computers for the past few years. We primarily deal with Dell and HPs which are just okay. Its hard to compare to a home computer since we load up our systems with a lot security software and run GPOs that make our computers slower on boot and during regular use.
For home use I purchased a Lenovo u450p w/ Windows 7 and absolutely love the computer. It has a 14" screen and is very light. I don't game much (although I do play Starcraft 2 on it), but this machine is perfect for most people.
I typically suggest a PC over MAC only because you can get more bang for your buck, and Windows 7 is substantially better than Vista, and simply a good OS.
I'm not a MAC hater, but if you simply match spec for spec between the two types of computers you will see they run $300 to $400 more.
Good luck getting any laptop that has any kind of power and have it not get hot. Even my newer MacBook gets hot, and when it gets hot it gets REALLY hot. Alluminum may not be the greatest choice for casing, oh and having no exhaust ports can tend to be a bad idea as well.
Are you a lefty? You'll probably hate the Mac a little if you are. ALL the ports (USB, Power, Mini-DV, Ethernet, SD reader) are on the left side. It can get crowded if you have a lot plugged in, and you'll find your mouse hand way out in the middle of nowhere if you're a lefty.
If you have money to burn, get the MacBook Pro, but also buy Windows 7. You can use Boot Camp to dual boot your MacBook with Mac OSX and Windows 7. That way if you ever come across things that don't work in Mac, you can boot over to windows. Or you could drop another $80 and pick up VMWare Fusion or Parallels. Which will allow you to run windows inside Mac as a virtual machine. Best of both worlds. It is a little flakey though doing things as a virtual machine.
If you don't have money to burn, a mid priced PC is still the way to go. You get way more, hardware wise, for your buck. And don't listen to the devoted Mac fan boys, they're really not THAT much better. If you know what you're doing and keep your windows install clean, 7 runs really well on modern hardware (I'd recommend at least a core i5 and 4 GB of RAM).
the issue has been conclusively settled. Thanks, Mgoboard!