Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Overstreet

So... I need a new laptop computer.

Recommended Posts

opus   
Check out this new website: dontbuyjunk.com -- really cool!

Ooh, thanks for this. I'm looking into getting a new TV and need all of the resources I can get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want to sound like I'm coming out against Apple laptops. My next laptop -- or the laptop after that -- is definately going to be a Powerbook. Those are some beautiful machines. I'm not fond of Steve Jobs, but the product his company puts out is high-quality stuff. When I was thinking of laptops for Jeffrey, I'd forgotten about the iBook -- I was thinking PowerBooks only, and the lower-end PowerBook will wind up out of his price range if you add the warranty to it.

The iBooks could work. For my part, I'd find the 14" screen size very frustrating.

But the advantage a PC laptop would have is that in that price range you have more room to "trick it out" -- you can get some very nice AMD-based laptops with a good bit of RAM and hard drive space for $1600. At Xtremenotebooks you can get an AMD laptop with a 17" screen (displaying 1600x1050) and a full keyboard (with integrate number pad) for a little over $1400, though if you get the full warranty it goes over the $1600 range. The 15.4" screen models, however, can be pretty thoroughly tricked out without breaking the $1600 limit.

You have a lot more options for a PC-based laptop than you have for an Apple-based laptop... and if you're experienced enough with the PC world to manage the idiocy of windows on a PC then you can manage it on a laptop (or do what I did, and put Linux on it instead) and save a fair amount of money in the process, because you don't have invest in new software. And investing in new software can be just as significant an expense as buying the laptop to begin with.

Anyway, that's the biggest reason why I'd recommend a PC solution: if money is a limiting factor for buying the machine it will also be a limiting factor for the software that will go on the machine, and if you switch from PC to Mac you're essentially starting over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...the biggest reason why I'd recommend a PC solution: if money is a limiting factor for buying the machine it will also be a limiting factor for the software that will go on the machine, and if you switch from PC to Mac you're essentially starting over.

I agree to a point. If you must buy a notebook this year and you have a significant investment in Windows software (that is, the type of software that does things that iLife -- the free high-quality software that comes with a new Mac -- cannot do) that you must use for production-work, then you're probably better off purchasing a very inexpensive Windows notebook.

If you can wait until the new year, you may very well have the opportunity to buy an Intel-based iBook or Powerbook that can run both your old Windows operating system (and software) natively and Mac OS X which is taking the computer world by storm.

Jeffrey, I recommend holding off if you can, but if you must buy now, then take TBDR's advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't want to sound like I'm coming out against Apple laptops. My next laptop -- or the laptop after that -- is definately going to be a Powerbook.

[Mr. Burns] Ex-cell-ent[/Mr. Burns] approve.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOO HOO!

Here I am, at Hotwire Internet Espresso Cafe, connecting via wireless network for the first time on my brand new Toshiba Satellite M45-S359.

Sorry, TexasWill, but my other machine started giving up the ghost, and I'd blown the deadline for renewing the warranty, so we had to act now. Got a good deal on this machine, which has more than a gig of DDR2 SDRAM and 100 gigs on the hard drive, Intel Pentium Processor 760 (2.00), and a 15.4" widescreen WXGA display. I watched Revenge of the Sith on it last night and it looked fantastic, better than it does on any other computer or TV screen in my house.

This is going to do wonders for my ability to work on my books (much stronger battery, which will help me write on my commute to and from work), and it'll give me the freedom to participate here and update Looking Closer far more conveniently.

I've got a three year service warranty plus accident coverage too, so if I ever spill another vanilla latte on the keyboard like I did with one previous machine a few years ago, it won't be a complete nightmare. (I gotta say, though, I enjoyed the days after the accident when I would fire up the machine and a warm vanilla perfume filled the air....)

Thanks for the good counsel. I'm sure waiting and investing more heavily would have had its benefits, but I was reaching a crisis stage and had to act now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here I am, at Hotwire Internet Espresso Cafe, connecting via wireless network for the first time on my brand new Toshiba Satellite M45-S359.

blowup.gif OH THE HUMANITY!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ann D.   

That's what I have. Unfortunately, a trojan got in and really did a lot of damage, so it's no longer the great laptop it used to be.

I loved the DVD capability on it, when I had it. I hope you enjoy yours for a long while. smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry, TexasWill, but my other machine started giving up the ghost, and I'd blown the deadline for renewing the warranty, so we had to act now... I'm sure waiting and investing more heavily would have had its benefits, but I was reaching a crisis stage and had to act now.

If you're trapped in a desert and desperately need transportation, a Yugo can be a good short-term investment.

That's what I have.  Unfortunately, a trojan got in and really did a lot of damage, so it's no longer the great laptop it used to be. 

I loved the DVD capability on it, when I had it.

Yep, that's one of the many sad stories of the Windows world.

For what it is worth, the high-end Windows box at work has started giving me the "Blue Screen of Death" almost everyday now for a week. I guess I shouldn't complain... it has given me nearly a year of service without completely coming apart.

[Obnoxious comparison of Windows to Mac OS X]By way of comparison, I've been running the various incarnations of OS X since the day it was released March 24. 2001. and I've only had three crashes where I needed to reboot the system -- and one of those was when I was using version 10.0 with software that was known to be incompatible with the operating system.[/Obnoxious comparison of Windows to Mac OS X]

Congratulations on your new notebook!! By the time you are in the market for its replacement, the Intel-powered Power Books and iBooks will have converted many. biggrin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, I've got a Toshiba Satellite of some sort, myself.

Two nights ago, it became a bit problematic. I am used to it losing contact with my personal wireless router every now and then. What I am NOT so used to is clicking on the "View available wireless networks" feature and getting a screen that tells me there are NO wireless networks in the area. Suddenly, my laptop isn't detecting ANY of them.

Correction: Over the past 36 hours, my laptop has typically detected the wireless networks in my neighbourhood for the first 10-15 minutes after I've turned it on. It is only after those 10-15 minutes that it goes into this "I don't see ANYthing" mode.

Anybody know what the problem might be here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can wait until the new year, you may very well have the opportunity to buy an Intel-based iBook or Powerbook that can run both your old Windows operating system (and software) natively and Mac OS X which is taking the computer world by storm.

Here's the first of the Intel-based Macintosh notebooks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
opus   

And let's not forget the new iMac, which will most likely be taking its place on my desktop in the next couple of months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where's the new WMC / TiVo killer? I thought that was expected, too...

If the rumors are true, it will probably have its own press conference in a few weeks. The iPod was introduced in a special press conference a few years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we're now in the market for a laptop. I managed to fry the display of my wife's laptop within 3 months of marrying her.

Um...her, being my wife, not the laptop.

So we're looking. I'm initially drawn towards an Apple, mainly because it's based on a Unix OS and this is very helpful for work. And they're cool here in the Bay Area. I've grown up a Windows man, but my very limited experience with Macs has been positive.

I was doing some research yesterday and I'm a little confused about the pricing issue, i.e., are Macs really more expensive than PCs? I compared a Dell and an iBook with the following specs:

12'' screen

500G RAM

~40G HD

DVD-ROM/CD-RW

CPU: Dell-1.7GHz, Mac-1.3GHz

plus more or less standard accessories

Price: Dell-$1500, Mac-$950 (student pricing on both)

Am I missing something here? 1.3GHz is more than enough for most of today's computing. Are 400MHz worth $600? Or are Dells particularly expensive among PCs? Furthermore, the Mac comes with a full software bundle and the Dell with just the bare-bones. Maybe the price difference changes with the screen-size...? I think most people are looking for 14-15" screens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
opus   

GHz alone do not determine computer speeds, just like a digital camera's quality cannot be totally gauged in megapixels. We're talking about two very different processors, that have different ways of doing things, with two very different hardware set-ups (in terms of bus speeds, cache levels, and other techno mumbo-jumbo) running very different operating systems and software.

But you've hit on an interesting point... most people have the idea that Macs are always more expensive than PCs, and numerous studies have shown that not necessarily to be the case. Sure, you can get a super-duper Mac with all of the bells and whistles, which will cost you a fair chunk of change... but as you pointed out, the Mac comes with a pretty nice software bundle that contains apps that accomodate most computer usage.

However, to be fair, a better and more accurate comparison might be to compare the Dell laptop with a 12" Apple PowerBook, rather than an iBook. But even so, a "barebones" 12" PowerBook will cost you $1500, same as the Dell, and you still get all of the software the iBook comes with, and then some. Plus PowerBooks have better screens than iBooks, allow you to do video mirroring, come with a DVD burner (the 12" iBook can read DVDs, but can't burn them), etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Opus, that was helpful.

I really enjoy getting tech advice on the Arts and Faith board... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was doing some research yesterday and I'm a little confused about the pricing issue, i.e., are Macs really more expensive than PCs?

Here's a comparison of very comperable hardware:

Apple's new Intel notebooks

Some of Dell's notebooks with similar hardware specs

While there are some differences in packages (Apple includes an iSight camera built-in and has some other nice features), the hardware is similar enough for a solid comparison.

Apple is NOT more expensive than Dell. Furthermore, Apple's customer service and reliability is quite a bit higher than Dell's.

EDITED: Apple's hyperlink didn't work properly since it was tied to my individual account. I modified the link to point to MacMall's site for the comparison.

Edited by TexasWill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And it is purchased!

A 12" Apple iBook is the newest toy in our home. We're pretty happy; here are some initial reactions.

There are notable differences in apparent quality between iBooks and Powerbooks. Our iBook has very click-y, plastic keys that feel a little flimsy. The Powerbook keys are metal and depress much more smoothly. The iBook CD/DVD drive is very noisy, even when it's just reading; I don't recall the Powerbook drive being this loud. And I'm a little skeptical of the bright, white plastic housing (as opposed to the Powerbook's subtle grey).

Still, those are minor issues that really don't seem to be worth paying much to alleviate.

I'm getting used to the OS environment. It's a little strange at first, but things are pretty intuitive. I find the Help options much more usefult than those of Windows. In fact, I find myself actually using the suggested method to complete a task, as opposed to trying to skirt whatever obnoxious "helper" or "wizard" that Windows tries to get me to use.

Similarly, I've always been skeptical of systems and programs that try to do "too much" and anticipate your wishes. But I'm pretty happy with how integrated Macs are. I turned it on, clicked one button, and my wireless connection was set up.

The styling is really fun, too. All the components seem to be carefully and elegantly designed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crow   

I've had my Ibook for about three months now, and I really like it. Spotlight and the widgets are useful tools, and I like the layout of the toolbar on the bottom of the screen. I love having a battery that runs for more than an hour, like my last Windows laptop. The Ibook does everything I need it to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
opus   
FWIW, Yahoo! is publishing 'widgets' for the PC. They're pretty cool!

And for Mac OS X as well. They're based on a program called "Konfabulator" that Yahoo purchased, and that many feel Apple ripped off when they came out with their "widgets" (both are heavily based on JavaScript, add similar bits of functionality, etc.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
opus   
Introducing Boot Camp

I'm actually very excited about this. As a web designer, it's imperative that I be able to test my designs and programming on both Mac and Windows browsers. Now, if Boot Camp works as advertised, I don't need to buy a PC laptop (my original plan).

It is worth noting that Boot Camp will only work with Intel-based Macs. Good thing I just bought one of the new iMacs...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×