OT: Buying a new laptop

Submitted by LLoydsFrown on August 25th, 2010 at 10:03 AM

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.



August 25th, 2010 at 10:08 AM ^

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. 


August 25th, 2010 at 10:16 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 10:27 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 10:34 AM ^

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 ?


August 25th, 2010 at 11:08 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 12:12 PM ^

... 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.


August 25th, 2010 at 11:29 AM ^

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)


August 25th, 2010 at 10:50 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 11:15 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 11:26 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 12:48 PM ^

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. 


August 25th, 2010 at 10:38 AM ^

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. 


August 25th, 2010 at 10:09 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 10:22 AM ^

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.  ;)


August 25th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 11:02 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 3:05 PM ^

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. 


August 25th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 10:10 AM ^

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.


August 25th, 2010 at 10:13 AM ^

Just last June I bought the $1100.00 version of the Macbook Pro and I love it. I am attending college for computer networking and before this laptop I had a HP with Windows XP, followed by Vista, and now Windows 7 and my Mac blows that computer out of the water day after day. I have had to restored my windows computer several times but my Macbook has not had 1 problem with it. I haven't had to restore this computer once and I use it for the internet, music, movies, video & music editing, and video chatting. The screen is about 13.5 inches and it is a beautiful HD screen. My Macbook Pro has a 120GB hard drive, 2 GB of RAM, and 2.26 Intel Core Duo Processor and it hasn't lost a step. This computer boots up and shuts off so fast it is incredible and is the same speed as it was on day one. Mac's stay cleaner than Windows computers because the Mac OS does not have a registry like the Windows OS, which means if you accidentally install a program on Windows it is much harder to remove 100% of it from your system, but with the Mac OS you just click delete on the program you want to remove and it gets rid of everything for you.


August 25th, 2010 at 10:31 AM ^

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.  


August 25th, 2010 at 10:35 AM ^

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.