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Another "shopping for a new laptop" thread

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

Postby Cartman69 » Thu Oct 11, 2007 6:39 pm

If the problem is the backlight or the display control board they both can be replaced relatively cheap.
I replaced the backlight on an old 600E with good results.
http://forum.thinkpads.com/index.php

Here's the guide for the 600E replacement.
http://personal.bellsouth.net/d/r/drsen ... index.html
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Postby fennel » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:52 pm

paulie wrote:Presumably you'll be using this for work, so an Apple may not be the best choice, given that everyone you work with probably uses a PC.

Dude, you need to get out more. The choice of an OS is not about fitting in with one's golf buddies. Nor does the choice of OS restrict you to a machine that can't run other OSs.

If your workplace is buying the machine and the IT department is clueless about Macs, well you're probably out of luck. But if you're shelling out your own money, you should buy what works best -- whatever OSs are supported.
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Postby Thusnelda » Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:31 am

What kinds of apps do you run for work, Jason? I know that many publishing/creative environments are part- or all-Mac, but even if you aren't I can't imagine you'd have issues with things like Office. I suppose some of the tech-side stuff might be better suited for a PC, but would that even be done on a laptop when you're bumming around in a coffee shop or whatever? (I assume this is not meant to be your primary machine, though I do use my MacBook Pro for everything.)
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Postby mrak » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:21 am

To help inform the whole Mac vs. Windows decision : jjoyce, I seem to recall that you have some degree of responsbility for a certain local Web site.

Do you need ready access to Windows Web browsers, to ensure that the site is displaying as it should in the browsers that most of your site's users are running?

To me, this (and your lukewarm reaction to what you saw on Apple's site) helps to tip the balance away from Apple. But in case it's still on your mind:

I run both Mac OS and Windows XP on two Macs (iMac and MacBook Pro); here are a few more pros and cons:

Pro:

Parallels Desktop makes it easy and smooth - and it lets you maintain multiple Windows environments. I have one virtual machine with the basic install of Windows XP with IE6, and a second on which I've installed Office and upgraded IE to version 7. This easily allows me to test out my work on two versions of IE that MS doesn't allow to coexist on a single system.

Con:

You have to ante up for a full retail copy of Windows, which costs quite a bit more than having it preinstalled on your PC. You can try buying an OEM copy, but sites like newegg.com have tightened up their sales requirements so you have to buy a significant amount of hardware (e.g., a motherboard) in order to get the OEM disc.
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Postby Beer Moon » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:42 am

If he needs to run windows apps why not just get a windows laptop and resign himself to the fact that he will have saved $500 over a similarly-performing machine with an apple logo? Also, he won't need to spend extra to purchase a copy of windows to run on his apple machine. There's another $200 savings.

I can find a laptop with bottom-line MacBook Pro specs for $1400. MacBook Pro cost: $1999. Make it $2200 if he needs to add Windows to that.

I don't get why you'd pay the extra cash unless you absolutely needed to run some app that Mac had that Windows didn't. A Core 2 Duo 2.2Ghz with compatible mobo, an 8600M GT video card, a 15.4" LCD, 2GB of RAM, 120GB hard drive, and a DVD/CD burner, is a frickin' machine with a Core 2 Duo 2.2Ghz with compatible mobo, an 8600M GT video card, a 15.4" LCD, 2GB of RAM, 120GB hard drive, and a muthaflippin' DVD/CD burner.

Did you guys not get ripped off enough paying $600 for $280.83 worth of hardware on the ultra-proprietary open-source-locked iPhone?
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Postby fisticuffs » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:52 am

Comparing a MacbookPro to a consumer machine isn't fair. If you want to compare Apples and PC's spec out a regular Macbook and compare it to all the Dells and HPs of the world. Not to mention built in wifi and bluetooth, Built-in camera and mic, better user experience, better support, better apps, and best of all Mac OSX. Do you know how many times Ive had to restart my Mac because it just randomly froze up opening a program or something. None. You know how many anti virus and pop blockers I use. None. You know how invested with spyware my mac is. not at all.
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Postby jjoyce » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:53 am

I'm not averse to anything about a Mac but it's price. I would probably only buy one off the refurb site that fit my needs.

I'm not particularly harsh on my laptop, but I'm not easy on it either. It gets hauled around my house quite a bit, outside, various press boxes and courtside tables, to the coffee shop and the occasional bar.

The reason why the mac is tempting is that I'd like to futz around with video a lot more and I like what I see in the entry-level iMovie much more than anything Windows offers. I haven't yet taken the afternoon to locate, download and learn a decent editing product that works on a Windows machine. I'm not a gamer and find that I edit my photos a lot less than I did before I bought a decent camera. I've started using Google docs for writing, which means having a fully featured word processor is no longer important. I have no desire to use a Vista machine.

What it comes down to is that I want a basic laptop that isn't likely to have hardware failings, as I'm not loading or using a ton of software at this point. I won't be using my laptop for my day job much, either.
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Postby fisticuffs » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:59 am

You should buy a Macbook. You'll love the iLife apps and the learning curve really isn't very steep. They start at 1099 put in an additional gig of RAM for the future and you will be one happy camper. The iLife apps are exactly what you're looking for and a PC equivalent well there just isn't especially not for free and as well integrated.
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Postby mrak » Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:01 am

jjoyce wrote:The reason why the mac is tempting is that I'd like to futz around with video a lot more and I like what I see in the entry-level iMovie much more than anything Windows offers.

It's important for you to know that Apple has just overhauled iMovie in a way that took it in a more back-to-basics direction. A lot of longtime users feel it's a downgrade.

This, too, may tip the balance in favor of a Windows notebook for you. I don't know what's out there for Windows video editing (I use Apple's $300 Final Cut Express).

Does anyone here use and like Sony's (formerly Sonic Foundry's) Vegas products? I see you can download free demos on their site:

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/
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Postby fisticuffs » Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:06 am

Trying to find a Dell Laptop with comparable specs to even the cheapest Macbook. Shockingly more expensive than the Mac. I agree I liked the previous version of iMovie but jjoyce has no frame of reference and may prefer it. Still nothing on the PC to compete.
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Postby barney » Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:38 am

fisticuffs wrote:Trying to find a Dell Laptop with comparable specs to even the cheapest Macbook. Shockingly more expensive than the Mac. I agree I liked the previous version of iMovie but jjoyce has no frame of reference and may prefer it. Still nothing on the PC to compete.


Agreed. I was in the market for a laptop for work myself over the summer. When I spec'ed the HP, Dell, Sony and Lenovos similar to the MBP, the Mac came out right along with them price-wise, some were $500-$750 more.

As far as a full price install of XP within Parallels or Fusion, you can usually find a deal on MacMall or MacWarehouse with a preinstall.

Come on Jason, drink the Kool-Aid. You'll like it, trust us.
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Postby Dark Meat » Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:37 pm

barney wrote:
fisticuffs wrote:Trying to find a Dell Laptop with comparable specs to even the cheapest Macbook. Shockingly more expensive than the Mac. I agree I liked the previous version of iMovie but jjoyce has no frame of reference and may prefer it. Still nothing on the PC to compete.

Agreed.

Nonsense.

Let me say that I've used both PCs and Macs in my worklife and have owned both for home use as well. The Macbook Pro everybody seems to be pushing will run about $1800. For about $1500 or less you could find a similar spec PC notebook, especially if you look for sales (try finding a sale price on anything but a closeout model Apple product sometime).

I actually prefer Macs for my own use, but honestly it all depends on what you plan to do with it. And the Macbook Pro may indeed be a sweet machine, but unless you're doing really graphic-intensive stuff (3D gaming, CAD, etc.) the difference between the Pro and the cheaper Macbook is negligible. The specs are nearly identical except for a dedicated graphics card and larger screen on the Pro and a virtually unnoticeable bump in processor speed. Given the $700 difference in price, I don't think it's worth it for the average user, unless you've got money to burn or are the sort of user I mentioned previously. You could double the RAM on the lesser model for a lot less money and get a better bump in performance than the Pro's processor will give you and it will handle basic video editing just fine.

I say this as someone who recently shopped around for one (although I actually wound up getting a deal on a closeout iMac desktop when the new ones recently came out).
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Postby Beer Moon » Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:49 pm

jjoyce wrote:The reason why the mac is tempting is that I'd like to futz around with video a lot more and I like what I see in the entry-level iMovie much more than anything Windows offers. I haven't yet taken the afternoon to locate, download and learn a decent editing product that works on a Windows machine.


Like Windows Movie Maker?

As far as not comparing "consumer machine" - that strikes me as total bullshit. What's not consumer about all the same hardware in a MacBook Pro as in any other laptop with similar specs. Now that they've moved away from the IBM chips, the only difference between them and a windows laptop is the price and the OS.

I just configured a Toshiba with everything the $2000 MacBook Pro has, plus a REAL professional-class GPU (Nvidia Quadro) for video/graphics editing, and a 3 year warranty, yes bluetooth and wifi (these aren't magic Mac-only features boys)and I came out at 1850. That's from Toshiba's own site. I would be willing to bet you could find that with a discount somewhere. That was with XP Pro btw.

FYI for you ladies and gents, the Apple 3 yr warranty and iLife software would take that $2000 MacBook Pro to well over $2400. I still see a $550 difference here. Why are none of you apple fanboys able to spec out a similar machine during all the research you supposedly do for your latest purchase? This took me all of 5 minutes.
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Postby mrak » Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:00 pm

Dark Meat wrote:I actually prefer Macs for my own use, but honestly it all depends on what you plan to do with it.

That's all I'm sayin'.

I appreciate the intentions of my fellow Mac users on this thread, wanting to sing the praises of their platform of choice,* but in the long run, if you try to sell a computer buyer on a Mac when it's contrary to his needs, you're not doing the Mac platform any good.

(*I especially like it for the way it easily provokes shrill, Tourette-style, anti-Apple rants in the otherwise very sensible and coherent Beer Moon. Keep up the good work!)
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Postby The Center Square » Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:12 pm

VMWare's Fusion loads and operates XP faster than Parallels we've found. With speeds, and memory usage (now malleable on the fly! for BOTH processors), and Vmware's simple snapshot rollbacks, not getting a Mac to run XP apps (other than REAL specialty apps) is questionable I think.
You'll eat a little cost up front, but in the long run, you get way more for your $$.







and shit, we got OS/2 to run on it.
This site looks NICE in Netscape with Java 1.1
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