Thinking about a new laptop...

Brad737

This space for rent...
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Apr 27, 2012
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Hello all,

It's been 4 or 5 years since I've purchased a new laptop, and mine is definitely showing its age. For most online stuff, I use my iPad or iPhone, and I'm not into gaming. I basically use the laptop for paying bills, photo storage, watching movies, and I also write quite a bit on it. I've pretty much always been a Windows user. I was wondering if any of you can give me some advice regarding what's out there nowadays? Should I make the jump to Mac? Any brands you recommend, or can't stand? As far as "druthers" I'd like a decent keyboard for typing, fairly quick speed, a DVD player, a decent battery life, and obviously wireless.

I'd rather not spend an arm and a leg, just get a good performer that will hold up to travel. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Brad
 

markintime

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If you're a die-hard Windows user, there are a lot of options out there. Dell, HP, both have some great deals if you look at WalMart, BestBuy, etc... Gonna be what feels right and fits in your pocketbook. Mac is good if you don't mind spending that kind of money. IMO, they are so ridiculously over-priced that it seems like highway robbery. But, YMMV. They do work. I work in the IT business, and I am a GEEK. So my operating of choice is Linux and there are more flavors of that than Baskin-Robbins. Generally speaking, if you don't mind doing a bit of home work, you can find a distribution that will meet your needs. Unless you are a total geek, like me, you would probably do best with Ubuntu.

Don't know if this is of much help, but without going into a helluva lot of detail, this is what I suggest.
 

GTRMAV

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Brad, Take the Apple Plunge my Friend!
 

Mixstar

Just too tired . . .
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Personally I would never buy a Mac, I was just brought up that way, and they are expensive. It's not so much a 'jump' to Mac more a sideways slither while opening your wallet a bit more. Many laptops available today cover the specs. you're looking for and more, have a look at Toshiba they're doing some cracking deals at the moment.
 

WEDGE

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My laptop is Windows because my job paid for it and requires it. My home desktop and all of our tablets and phones are Apple. Guess which ones never have issues and are bulletproof? If i had to put out my own money for a laptop it would be a Mac.
 

veinbuster

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I basically use the laptop for paying bills, photo storage, watching movies, and I also write quite a bit on it. I've pretty much always been a Windows user.

For what you are doing you have lots of choices in Windows laptops for well under $1,000. You're generally going to get much more storage capacity than on a Mac. Speeds of just about anything you buy now are going to be much better than what you have and more than adequate for what you are doing. Go to Best Buy (or someplace with lots of models on display) and see what you like the feel of the keyboard on. If your eyes are good enough, consider a 13-14" screen because that size is much easier to lug around than a 15.6".

I would consider Asus and Toshiba first, but there are other good brands these days.
 

Mikegarveyblues

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If you're using your laptop for word processing, photo storage, paying bills, watching DVD'sthen a Mac is overkill in terms of price. In fact, most laptops out there are going to do what you need without fail.

If I was gaming then I'd spend the money to get one with good graphics, plenty RAM and a good sized screen.

If I was using it for recording music and video editing (which I do) then I really have to spend a lot of cash and a laptop will be more costly than a desktop. I have an i5 desktop with 2TB storage split over 4 HDD's, 8gb RAM and a good graphics card. I'll likely get another couple of years out of it and then possibly look at the Mac route if I can afford it simply because Macs seem to do that better. And even then, I may build one again but put iOS on it.

But for what you're looking to use it for then a Mac seems costly. I'd be looking for something with a good sized HDD for your photos and a good sized, good quality screen and good battery life. The screen can be where the expense really comes in.

So, my beef with Apple is that they seem costly for the specs. You can get a good quality laptop with much higher specs for less but they are well built.

Problem with Win laptops is that they start cheap and go beyond Apple prices. The market is flooded with low quality, cheap no frills laptops with poor quality components, poor screens, etc. but shop around and you will find a cracking laptop that'll go the distance for less than the Mac.

The pro with the Mac (other than it looks good) is that you know what you're getting with it. Expensive, but high quality. You will spend an arm and a leg with a Mac unfortunately.
 
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Mixstar

Just too tired . . .
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If I was using it for recording music
Not wanting to hi-jack this but I haven't been able to "record what you hear" since installing 7, I wouldn't have if I'd known. It's a known issue but I just wonder if you managed to get round it? I use an i7 with 16gb RAM for my music stuff and a good quality sound card (Omega Claro II) but still can't get "record what you hear" to work apart from if I hack the sound card which I can't on a permanent basis.
 

wardog

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the real answer for me is" ease of use". For whatever you use your PC for, ease of use is what makes the experience. I was a diehard PC person for along time. I was forced to become a pc problem solver so I can use the device as I needed. At times it was very enjoyable, but most of the time it was not. The blame is not the PC but the Market. 3rd party hardware/os/software are the main causes for problems with PC use. Now let me stress, competition is good, but not always. and the PC is a victim of it. Understanding this I was able to navigate the issues that come with having a pc.

IF you want low hassle, my best advice is stick with the same platform!!!!! Cost is relative to your ease of use for what you plan to do.
IF you like apple, then do apple for all your needs.
IF you like PC's then stick with it and as much as possible stick with the same family of hardware devices and software platforms.

I finally went to Mac because everything I use with it is specific to the apple operating system!!!!! Ie, Apple phone, iPad, Macbook pro. I have had my MacBook Pro since June of 2010 and it still operates great with today's enhanced software.
 

Spikedog007

Life is good, it really is.
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This may be a dissenting opinion but I don't like Macs at all and if it were me, I would stick with a Windows PC. I ran Motu's Digital Performer on a Mac for years and my wife still has a Mac Mini, so I have a fair bit of experience with them. For me, Windows is just better for a "power user" and allows me to do the things I want much easier. And the whole Windows is virus prone has not materialized for me. Windows 7 was an extremely good release, 8 not so much but 8.1 works very well, especially for touch screens. Even without a touch screen the desktop in Win8.1 is very similar to Win7 and there are tools to add a start menu if you want. I haven't used Windows 10 yet so no comment at this point. For the most part, you get more for your money with PC's as well.

Having said all that, there is definitely validity to what others have said about the potential pitfalls and if all your peripherals are from Apple.

imho, Just my $.02, ymmv, etc.
 

Mikegarveyblues

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Not wanting to hi-jack this but I haven't been able to "record what you hear" since installing 7, I wouldn't have if I'd known. It's a known issue but I just wonder if you managed to get round it? I use an i7 with 16gb RAM for my music stuff and a good quality sound card (Omega Claro II) but still can't get "record what you hear" to work apart from if I hack the sound card which I can't on a permanent basis.

What DAW are you using?

I've used the 'what you hear' thing on my laptop when ripping some YouTube audio for my girlfriends school projects. I use Audacity for that and the in built sound card. I can't remember the exact steps but I can mess with it later and let you know.

For my main music PC I have a dedicated external audio interface and Cakewalk Sonar (unfortunately now owned by Gibson!). I monitor through that and don't have any reason to record 'what I hear' as I'm recording a dedicated instrument such as guitar and that is monitored through the interface.

It's do-able but may depend on your soundcard drivers. I think the sound blaster cards had issues with it.
 

Mikegarveyblues

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If you do go with a MacBook then you'll need a Seperate DVD drive. And a second HDDfor extra storage.

I'm looking at £1000 for the cheapest 13" model with a dual core i5. Personally, I couldn't justify putting down that kind of coin for those specs but each to their own. Get the best you can afford and the one that will do all you need it to do well.
 

sergiodeblanc

Don’t you ever cry again for the rest of your life
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Hehe... You PC users sound like dudes comparing their Carvin to a PRS. Spec wise they sound equal or maybe even better than... but once you get the thing in your hands for a few weeks, you'll know whats up.
 

andross182

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It really depends what you go for. Apple right now has, hands down, the best build quality of any laptop on the market. If I were looking at Dell, I would go with a business line laptop to get a 3 year onsite warranty. My company loves lenovo for some reason, but we had TONS of issues with the T540 series laptops and X1 Carbons that I would never use Lenovo personally.
 
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