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Author Topic: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?  (Read 6136 times)

BlueGreen

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2008, 10:32:51 PM »
^^ I figure I can use my toshiba for exams and my mini notebook for everyday. It just seems so much better than lugging around my big toshiba.

Hey, there's an idea...I'm taking my huge-ass Toshiba to LS too. A mini for everyday and the Toshiba for exams sounds like something I should consider.

Alhough I must admit my Toshiba is old and teetering after years of abuse. I should take it in for a checkup.
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abn319

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2008, 09:21:10 AM »
I'm thinking about one of those mini-things too.

Too many resources, no simple place to turn. I want some kind of online test, where I click what I want to do with the computer and it returns several recommendations. For instance, I'm definitely not a "gamer." All I do is wordprocessing, in fact, and web browsing. Email. I don't even do MyBook or YouFace or whatever you children waste your time on ... :P ...

I own an Inspiron I got about 3 years ago.  I'm sure I'll have to replace it soon. Tulane pretty much insists that we remain on the IBM platform, because of the exam software (unless you want to hand-write ...).

Another point: DON'T GET VISTA. Get Windows XP Pro.

I agree! I need an online test to tell me what kind of notebook to purchase too.

How is the Inspiron working for you? There seems to be quite a few people who do not like Dell, but I don't exactly know why.

Why not Vista? What is wrong with it??

fbartela

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2008, 09:50:02 AM »
Your going to have a hard time buying a laptop from a major manufacturer that runs on XP instead of Vista

abn319

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2008, 10:47:42 AM »
Your going to have a hard time buying a laptop from a major manufacturer that runs on XP instead of Vista

That is what I thought too.

non parata est

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2008, 11:04:09 AM »
Really?  If I remember correctly, most websites let you choose XP Pro instead of Vista.

Although I am curious to hear your reasons for sprinting away from Vista.
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ZooLander

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2008, 11:18:10 AM »
For me, a big consideration was wanting a laptop that does not run Vista.  First of all, for Vista to run properly, you need a lot more RAM and a faster processor.  That = more $$.  Second of all, I like the XP platform.  Plus, it's an older platform meaning there may be less features, but it's also a lot sounder.

I chose to buy a refurbished 14.1" Vaio from overstock.com.  I got it for around $660 which was awesome for me.  My old laptop was a Dell, and the screen quality difference is insane.  It is much nicer to look at my Sony.  I also used Toshibas when I worked, which are reliable and excellent notebooks.  I just finished my 1L year and my Sony has held up very nicely.  A couple of my friends with MacBooks had hard drive issues (one lost all of her 1st semester notes in November) which was a problem with some of the older models, but has been fixed now.

DEFINITELY get as light a notebook as you can.  Mine weighs between 4.5 and 5 pounds and is a nice size/weight.  I would shy against getting anything new or top of the line- believe me, I worked for a software company- new means buggier.  They will send out fixes, but new is unknown and for the prices you get charged, it's a risky game to play when you need your laptop to function 12 hours a day.  You can always count on a Toshiba and I have a friend who has a 6 year old IBM that's been holding up incredibly. 

abn319

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2008, 11:56:22 AM »
Wow, that was all very informative. I remember hearing stories over the years about how horrible the customer service is! It is weird because I grew up in a home with a computer programmer and he has always used Dells. I have never heard him have a complaint about Dell once.

With all that said, I am just nervous to invest money into something that will cause me problems. Going into law school this Fall, it is not like I have tons of money that I can just go out and buy whatever laptop I want. I want it to last and function, for exactly what I need it for.

Again, thank you for the great advice and I will keep shopping around! :)

VitaminE

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2008, 12:13:07 PM »
I started school off with a Dell Latitude; I picked the lightest weight one; no CD/DVD drive. It was nice because it was so lightweight.

The power adapter cord ripped during the beginning of 2L, so I had to get a new one. No big deal

Then during the beginning of my second semester of 2L, it started mysteriously shutting itself off for no reason. Turns out there was a problem with the motherboard or something. It's covered under warranty, so they sent someone to our house to fix it.

Still decided to get a new computer, though. Windows was always crashing and making me nuts. I bought the cheapest MacBook and used my student discount for it. Love the photo programs. Rarely crashes. The screen makes everything prettier. No problems running exam software. I don't think I will ever go back to a PC. I even bring the MacBook into my summer clerkship, because I work @ Legal Aid and the computers the clerks use make it impossible to research anything online. I love it :)

I have heard a few MacBook and IMac horror stories, though. Apparently the hard drives on the MacBook are being crappily made now. My friend has had her MacBook for 9 months and it has crashed twice. She bought Apple Care (so did I). The guy at the Genius Bar told her (the 2nd time) that you pretty much "have to" buy Apple Care because they are constructing the MacBook hard drives so poorly now. I bought Apple Care and the student discount applies; I think it's worth it. Also, back up weekly (at least). My friend's IBook did the same thing; complete crash & the hard drive was wiped. He hadn't backed up for 3 months (he's human) and there went the photos he was working on for a gallery show in July. He was pretty upset. I had gotten lax about backing up; but now I do it regularly.

If I were a 1L, I would definitely buy a MacBook or any sort of Mac, even with the hard drive problems. I would just be sure to get AppleCare. 

jeffislouie

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2008, 12:24:10 PM »
I'm a fan of Acer notebooks.
They aren't the prettiest, but mine has been rock solid and problem free for almost 3 years.  It still runs perfectly.  AND for $200 or so, you can get a total replacement warranty that includes screen damage.  If your model is no longer in their active line, they will replace it with a similar current model.
Some folks don't know alot about acer, so take it from a former tech salesman in a fortune 500....
They make Dell's laptops in an Acer factory and slap on the Dell branding.
They are the #3 PC manufacturer in the world and last I heard, #1 in Europe.  Until recently, they haven't cared too much about the US market.  Now they do and their business is booming.
That said, check out the eeePC for note taking, email, internet and portability.  It's around $400 and tiny.
For serious computing, I like Acer, Toshiba, HP business class, panasonic TB's, and SOME Dell business class machines.
Sony Vaio's are ok, but they sometimes have problems and Sony is NOT good about taking care of the customer.
My GF bought a Vaio and a year later, the motherboard burned out.  It was 2 days after the standard one year warranty passed and they wanted to charge her $1000 to fix it.  A new system, the same model she had problems with, runs for $899.  They wouldn't budge and as a result, I stopped recommending them to my customers.  My rep in sales was based on giving good advice and selling Sony's was a great way to lose business.
If you do go Sony, get a replacement warranty.
If you buy any notebooks that you plan on taking to and from school, get a warranty that lasts at least 3 years and covers everything, including screen damage, and allows for replacement.
Unfortunately, there is really no solid answer to your question.
It's sort of a crapshoot.
Like buying a car.  My friend had a '98 VW GTI that he got new that was problem free.  He loved the car.  I was shopping for cars at the time and ended up test driving one.  I loved it and bought one.  A month later, the rear windshield washer fluid line was blocked up and needed to be replaced.  2 months after that, the driver side window actuator needed replacement.  A month later the passenger side had the same problem.  In 4 years of ownership, I had to replace the driver side window actuator 3 times and the passenger side 4 times.  My transmission blew 4 times (I've been driving stick since I was 16 and this is the only problem I'd ever had).  The wiring harness under the engine needed replacement 3 times.  My experience was decidedly negative and I'll never buy VW again.
But my friend has had 3 and each has been perfect.
Too many pieces can fail for anyone's opinion to be golden.
Good luck!
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abn319

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Re: Forget MAC or PC, what laptop is the best?
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2008, 12:25:59 PM »
If I were a 1L, I would definitely buy a MacBook or any sort of Mac, even with the hard drive problems. I would just be sure to get AppleCare. 

Thanks for that advice! I have been leaning towards a Macbook, but I know I will devastated if something happened with my hard drive. I mean for law school, what do you really need a laptop for? (This is what I have been asking myself) From what I know, I would need it to take notes, check e-mails and be able to run exam software on it. With that being said, why not get a Macbook? I can do all of that on a Macbook, and I can use it to edit my photos. :)