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Old 2004-12-12, 17:19   Link #1
Buckie06
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Mac or Windows?

I'm going to be getting a new notebook for college and was wondering if i would be better off getting a mac? I have always used windows but have been getting very frustrated with it latley. I have played around with macs before and did not have any problems. Just wanted to know your opinions, thanks a lot!
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Old 2004-12-12, 18:55   Link #2
AnimeOni
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Oh no. Not again. Flame wars to ensure....

My take, go to an Apple Store and try out the wares. People will push you for Windows, Linux and apple. My take is does it work for you? It's you who is the ultimate end user and you should make your own decision.

My take is if you are a Windows user and don't want a learning curve, stick with it. Expect a learning curve with any other OS. I work with both Apple and Windows and from a corporate and home user, I usually recommend Windows since it's easy to troubleshoot and almost anyone can help you.

My take on laptops.

Windows: more widely used. More people can help you. Cheap... Must get Antivirus and use Firewall. Highly customizable. You get what you paid for so be careful of which vendors you purchase from. Go with a good company.

Apple: More 'user friendly'. OSX (IMHO) is more complicated to use but it's still very user friendly. Less users but less problems. Limited software unless you know UNIX and you can run many Linux/Unix apps. More expensive (hardware and software). Apple support is so-so. Some hardware issues recently (mostly laptops issues) but it's being solved in the court systems (Battery, motherboard issues).

Linux: More techinical users. Cheap. So-so support from Linux Users. Not many universities support Linux so you may be out of luck.
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Old 2004-12-12, 19:22   Link #3
Shadowlord
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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A question; are you going to be using the notebook for just note taking and homework? If you are going to use any applications from the school for your courses, they may not have the program for the Mac. If you have any programs that require the use of specialized applications, then you are best to go with a Windows machine since windows is pretty much compatible with all apps out there.
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Old 2004-12-12, 21:29   Link #4
Lina Inverse
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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I've heard some not-so-nice things about the supposedly poor durability of Mac notebooks (esp. the Tft screen on them). Dunno if they're true.
Also, Mac is clearly much more expensive, has less software for it and less users, so you won't get as much help with problems... also, if you need it for uni/work, you'd probably need a Windows based one to run specific apps.
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Old 2004-12-12, 21:51   Link #5
Kimura-sensei
Retired AOne Staff
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NYC
Your best bet is what you feel comfortable with... I used to fix laptops and here's my two cents on which laptop to buy:


If you're going for Windows:
Buy an IBM Thinkpad. Yes, they do cost a heck lot more with less options compare to Dell and other companies, but IBM's are designed better with more durable parts. Stay away from Dell laptops. They have the most hardware failures. Also purchase that has Pentium M 1.6Ghz or faster, those are more power efficient (meaning, more battery power).

Tip #1 - As soon as you get your windows laptop, remove Internet Explorer and install Firefox. That will keep 99% of your spyware junk off your PC.


If you're going for Mac:
Buy PowerBook G4. Stay away from iBooks, those are cheaply made and the keyboards are junk.


This is a general tip for any laptop you choose to purchase. Buy extended warranty that covers 3 yrs. Most laptop hardware parts fail within 1-2yrs and another 25% more parts will fail 2-3 yrs. Laptop parts aren't cheap.

Since you're going to college... get theft insurance coverage on your laptop. Insurance is cheap, your laptop isn't. I believe the statistics is like 10-20% of laptops are stolen in college. Mine was almost stolen. If your parents own a home and have insurance on it, you may want to doublecheck and see if it covers you when you go to college. Some policies cover you as well.
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Old 2004-12-12, 22:24   Link #6
音楽は死んだ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimura-sensei

Since you're going to college... get theft insurance coverage on your laptop. Insurance is cheap, your laptop isn't. I believe the statistics is like 10-20% of laptops are stolen in college. Mine was almost stolen. If your parents own a home and have insurance on it, you may want to doublecheck and see if it covers you when you go to college. Some policies cover you as well.
10%-20% ? Eech guess I'm lucky nothing got stolen between my laptop, desktop, or PDA o.o Maybe bringing your own good door lock is good ^_~
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Old 2004-12-12, 23:35   Link #7
AnimeOni
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I never had my laptop stolen - mostly because I invested in a laptop lock - $30. very cheap but worth it. You need a major cutter to get through these babies - unless you attach it to a wooden furniture and they cut through the furniture!

Actual stats: (USA FBI and British Defense Ministry)
10% laptop stolen in the first year of ownership.
- 90% will not be recovered
14% laptops are 'lost'
A laptop is stolen every 43 seconds.
57% of corporate crimes (business info/technology) is attributed to stolen laptops.


PC Brands (personally owned or used)
- Micron Laptops - CRAP. Nice biometrics though.
- IBM Laptops - Very durable and light but more expensive (may be cheaper due to sale to Lenovo - chinese company)
- Dell Laptop - Heavy and cheap feeling. Quality is above average
-> latitude is a workhourse
-> XPS - mobile workstation and powerful. Gaming system!
-> Inspiron - is so-so - depending on the model.
- Alienware - EXPENSIVE but powerful. If you are a male, do not use it on your laps!
- Acer - CRAP, nice biometrics.
- NEC - CRAP
- Toshiba - So-so. Mixed bags. Portege is good, Tecra is heavy, Latitute is bulky
- Sony - good until it breaks. Goodluck on getting replacement in good time.
- Panasonic - toughbook. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking (major beating). Heavy though.
- HP/Compaq - So-so. Heavy and lots of bundled crap that slows your computer.
- Gateway - So-So. Support is terrible.
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Old 2004-12-13, 07:37   Link #8
bayoab
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Join Date: Nov 2003
You may also want to look into what your college will provide in the way of software. My school has some of the advanced math programs for mac only leaving me SOL.
Otherwise, just get whatever has the stuff that will suit your needs and that you will feel comfortable using.

A couple of minor additional notes:
If you go windows:
1) I highly recommend against getting HP/Compaq. The reasons for this will turn into a rant. Hardware problems, strange issues, lack of support... etc.
2) Dell models really do vary based on the model number. If you want to get a dell, do very detailed research on that model number. There are lemon models out there. (The 8500 for example).
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Old 2004-12-13, 08:14   Link #9
ZeroKun
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Join Date: Jun 2003
One of my old teachers had a Thinkpad, looked very durable. But since I'm a linux guy I would rather go for the Apple(yes its bsd....), plus Aqua looks nice
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Old 2004-12-13, 08:51   Link #10
Ending
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Join Date: May 2004
Quote:
Linux: More techinical users. Cheap. So-so support from Linux Users. Not many universities support Linux so you may be out of luck.
Actually, since Linux is based on Unix, the all-time favorite of high-schools, it might be better to go with it. That aside, I would wait a bit more until they get it into such a form that nothing will require the use of command console, or shell. Hate it.
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Old 2004-12-13, 09:35   Link #11
Sylf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeOni
- Alienware - EXPENSIVE but powerful. If you are a male, do not use it on your laps!
OT: LMAO! It must be related to http://science.slashdot.org/article....tid=184&tid=14
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Old 2004-12-13, 12:44   Link #12
Kimura-sensei
Retired AOne Staff
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Ack... I really hate Toshibas... it's such a pain in the damn ass to fix them. The metal alloy they use in their screws suck ass, it's like butter. As soon as you turn the screw, you strip it. You need the special Toshiba screwdriver (fits precisely in the screw notch) to minimize stripping.


Yeah, I forgot about that... some college softwares will only work on certain computers. Better get a laptop gear towards your major.
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Old 2004-12-13, 18:01   Link #13
AnimeOni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimura-sensei
Ack... I really hate Toshibas... it's such a pain in the damn ass to fix them. The metal alloy they use in their screws suck ass, it's like butter. As soon as you turn the screw, you strip it. You need the special Toshiba screwdriver (fits precisely in the screw notch) to minimize stripping.


Yeah, I forgot about that... some college softwares will only work on certain computers. Better get a laptop gear towards your major.
That's true. Make sure you get a laptop that fits your major. Usually, PC is the standard but as bayoab says, there may be times when the other platform is supported - rare but it happens. Usually there are alternatives and many professors are open to alternative programs. e.g. My school engineering required us to use GCC (we used HPUX) but we were able to use Borland or MS VS as alternatives and recompile on GCC. There are ways to get around things like that.
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Old 2004-12-13, 20:24   Link #14
SlugZilla
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Age: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckie06
I'm going to be getting a new notebook for college and was wondering if i would be better off getting a mac? I have always used windows but have been getting very frustrated with it latley. I have played around with macs before and did not have any problems. Just wanted to know your opinions, thanks a lot!
Size does matter, how big do you want it? The largest ones are of course the most powerful, and packed with features, but not meant for carrying around. The smaller ones are not as powerful, limited in features but very portable. The medium ones have the best of both. You have to find out what kind of laptop fits your requirements.

If you wanna play games and leave it in your room, then go for the more powerful notebooks like a Dell XPS. But if you wanna take your notebook everywhere with you, then get a 12.1 inch Powerbook G4.
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Old 2004-12-14, 11:04   Link #15
killmoms
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Age: 31
I find the combo of a PC desktop and a Mac laptop to be computing heaven. I keep my PC desktop around for games/XviD-encoding/little weird stuff that's only on Windows, and I use my Mac for everything else (e-mail, web, AIM, music, video editing, graphic design, etc.). The Mac is my primary window to the Internet because there's no spyware, no adware, and no viruses/worms for OS X. You still might want to use a firewall, but you won't have any problems if you don't. Plus the Mac laptops are fantastic. And if you buy during the summer before you go, Apple runs a "Cram and Jam" deal where you can get a laptop and iPod together (already edu discounted) for an extra $200 off.

Someone mentioned the iBooks being cheaply made—there was a problem with the logic boards on some older ones, but those have been ironed out. In fact, if people don't need a whole lot of power, I usually recommend the iBook for college as it's more durable. Aluminum is pretty but dents/scratches easily—the acrylic cases on the iBooks are fantastically tough. I've seen one dropped down a whole flight of stairs and come out with two corner scratches and perfect internal functionality. However, if you need the nicer features of the PowerBooks (built in Bluetooth/WiFi, better graphics chipset, display spanning instead of just mirroring, SuperDrive in a 12" notebook, or the larger/higher-resolution screens on the 15" and 17" models) then go for it. The educational discount on all of them is quite nice.

Last edited by killmoms; 2004-12-18 at 15:12.
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