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TransitGuy

Laptop Suggestions

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Hello everybody I was wondering what are some really good laptops out there? I might be in the market for one but I am not sure. I have looked at some including Apple Macbooks, Macbook Pros, Dell XPS, and HP pavilions but I'm not too sure which one I want and what exactly I want in it. I would mainly use this laptop for internet access, Microsoft office, music storage, iPod/iPhone, photos, and other things like that (basically I'm a student). I'm used to Windows but willing to change to Mac if its really good. I would like something thats not bulky and looks pretty good (preferably black but it really doesn't matter). If you guys can give me some suggestions in terms of models, specs, and pricing I would really appreciate it. Thanks

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The Mac vs PC is issue is not one I want to get into, but a MacBook pro is the obvious best choice in the Mac arena.

 

For PC, the best depends on what you consider best. Best gaming, best build, best expanability etc. For gaming, I'd look at ASUS, although I'm not a laptop gamer in general. For build, there's no comparison to Lenovo (formerly IBM) Thinkpads (THE black laptop), and Panasonic Toughbooks. Sony VAIO laptops are supposedly designed with multimedia in mind, so if it's movies and music, that's probably a better line.

 

Lenovo is doing a lot of sales, so you can probably get a good deal with them. In general, you should search slickdeals.net for various deals from them and Dell among others.

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On the windows side i'd say stick to lenovo/toshiba.

 

As for mac, you could also buy used/refurb etc from apple or other sites.

 

The macbook pro 15 inch is probably the best for the money.

 

Good luck! :)

 

- A

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Thanks for some of the suggestions. Originally I was looking at the Dell XPS and the HP Pavillion but yesterday a couple of my friends showed me their macbooks (one was white, the other was black which looked really cool) and some of the things on there were pretty neat. I heard that theres some sort of program already preloaded where you can actually have vista (although you need to buy it separately) in the macbook and choose each time when you start up whether you want Mac or Windows. Is that true?

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Thanks for some of the suggestions. Originally I was looking at the Dell XPS and the HP Pavillion but yesterday a couple of my friends showed me their macbooks (one was white, the other was black which looked really cool) and some of the things on there were pretty neat. I heard that theres some sort of program already preloaded where you can actually have vista (although you need to buy it separately) in the macbook and choose each time when you start up whether you want Mac or Windows. Is that true?

 

Apple has a program called Boot Camp where you partition off some hard drive space and install Windows on it. As a Mac user I find that I hardly need to boot into Windows (though I did install it), and would definitely recommend a Mac for you. As long as you aren't gaming a MacBook will do you well, though the MacBook Pro is a nice computer regardless of your needs. Apple's refurbished store helps you save a little money on a like new computer, so unless you want to spend a few hundred more dollars on a fancy box I would go the refurbished route. Of course, it is a different operating system so I would have to recommend you read up on it a little before you buy, but Macs are a pleasure to use as long as you know what you're doing. Of course, if you're planning on buying now I would hold off on a new Mac for a little while as there a rumored to be updates in the very near future. Another forum I belong to is a Mac and Apple related one, so if you have any questions I should be able to answer them for you.

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Wow thanks a lot, thats cool I actually just watched some videos about it. Is it worth it doing that though? I mean having Vista and Mac would be cool but in terms of budget I don't think I can spend more cash on Vista (its expensive). Also, I'm leaning towards the Mac Book in Black with 2.4 ghz intel core duo, 4 gb (I'm not too sure whether or not I want 2 or 4 any ideas on that? And would it be ideal to have 4 GB since I'm thinking about the Vista partition?), and 250 gb for the hard drive. Is there anything that is necessary or unnecessary in that combo? How long does it take to get used to the Mac? Also, say if I have all of my songs and videos in Itunes in my desktop, is there any way to transfer that to a laptop? Thanks a lot R1.

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Wow thanks a lot, thats cool I actually just watched some videos about it. Is it worth it doing that though? I mean having Vista and Mac would be cool but in terms of budget I don't think I can spend more cash on Vista (its expensive). Also, I'm leaning towards the Mac Book in Black with 2.4 ghz intel core duo, 4 gb (I'm not too sure whether or not I want 2 or 4 any ideas on that? And would it be ideal to have 4 GB since I'm thinking about the Vista partition?), and 250 gb for the hard drive. Is there anything that is necessary or unnecessary in that combo? How long does it take to get used to the Mac? Also, say if I have all of my songs and videos in Itunes in my desktop, is there any way to transfer that to a laptop? Thanks a lot R1.

 

The more memory the better. You will notice a difference in performance between 2 and 4 the more you press the system. The HD has more than enough space to hold 2 operating systems. To use a mac, it's really simple, just forget how to use windows when you first use it & it just all kind of clicks. Too many people try to use macs like they use a windows computer. Doesn't work too well if you do it that way. Everything is more thought out and seamlessly integrated into the hardware. :P

 

- A

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Wow thanks a lot, thats cool I actually just watched some videos about it. Is it worth it doing that though? I mean having Vista and Mac would be cool but in terms of budget I don't think I can spend more cash on Vista (its expensive). Also, I'm leaning towards the Mac Book in Black with 2.4 ghz intel core duo, 4 gb (I'm not too sure whether or not I want 2 or 4 any ideas on that? And would it be ideal to have 4 GB since I'm thinking about the Vista partition?), and 250 gb for the hard drive. Is there anything that is necessary or unnecessary in that combo? How long does it take to get used to the Mac? Also, say if I have all of my songs and videos in Itunes in my desktop, is there any way to transfer that to a laptop? Thanks a lot R1.

 

The black MacBook was my first Mac, so naturally I'd have to recommend it as it is a great machine. It was a refreshing transition for me, it only took me about 2 days to learn everything I would need for day to day usage, but there are always some little things to discover later on. Anyway, Apple overcharges customers for RAM, so if you wanted to upgrade to 4 GB I would recommend another source (I like Other World Computing for my memory needs). To be honest, you probably won't even notice a difference between 2 and 4 GB of RAM, 2 GB is still a good amount of RAM for the average user. The 250 GB hard drive is enough for Windows and Mac OS X with plenty of space to spare for your files. There are a number of ways to transfer songs to a new Mac, the easiest would be to backup your iTunes library to a CD/DVD (or a few depending on size) from within iTunes and then once you get everything setup on your Mac you would just open iTunes on it and insert the backup.

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The black MacBook was my first Mac, so naturally I'd have to recommend it as it is a great machine. It was a refreshing transition for me, it only took me about 2 days to learn everything I would need for day to day usage, but there are always some little things to discover later on. Anyway, Apple overcharges customers for RAM, so if you wanted to upgrade to 4 GB I would recommend another source (I like Other World Computing for my memory needs). To be honest, you probably won't even notice a difference between 2 and 4 GB of RAM, 2 GB is still a good amount of RAM for the average user. The 250 GB hard drive is enough for Windows and Mac OS X with plenty of space to spare for your files. There are a number of ways to transfer songs to a new Mac, the easiest would be to backup your iTunes library to a CD/DVD (or a few depending on size) from within iTunes and then once you get everything setup on your Mac you would just open iTunes on it and insert the backup.

 

 

 

You would actually do better to use the migration assistant which automatically copies everything itunes and safari related from windows right onto the mac os when you first run it, everything on those 2 apps is there.

 

You can also, with FW cable or usb2 cable transfer everything automatically. I have not done a windows to mac migration, so i'm not sure 100% how it works, but i'm pretty sure it also organizes photos as well, even if it takes a secondary step to import them from wherever its located on the HD.

 

- A

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You would actually do better to use the migration assistant which automatically copies everything itunes and safari related from windows right onto the mac os when you first run it, everything on those 2 apps is there.

 

You can also, with FW cable or usb2 cable transfer everything automatically. I have not done a windows to mac migration, so i'm not sure 100% how it works, but i'm pretty sure it also organizes photos as well, even if it takes a secondary step to import them from wherever its located on the HD.

 

- A

 

I'm pretty sure that migration assistant doesn't work with Windows, so the best way I've found (for simplicities sake) is to just backup things to discs, but, if possible, a connection to the computer that the things are being moved from would be best, either wired or wireless will do, you just need to set up the items you want to transfer to be shared (but I'm not sure how to do so on a PC).

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I'm pretty sure that migration assistant doesn't work with Windows, so the best way I've found (for simplicities sake) is to just backup things to discs, but, if possible, a connection to the computer that the things are being moved from would be best, either wired or wireless will do, you just need to set up the items you want to transfer to be shared (but I'm not sure how to do so on a PC).

 

It's designed to help windows users "migrate" to macs, not so much mac to mac, because you simply move the folders via firewire target disk mode.:cool:

 

- A

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It's designed to help windows users "migrate" to macs, not so much mac to mac, because you simply move the folders via firewire target disk mode.:cool:

 

- A

 

Are you sure? The last time I used it it asked me to boot the Mac I was transferring from into target disk mode and connect it with a firewire cable. I think Apple says somewhere that they'll transfer your data from your PC to a Mac if you take it in to an Apple store, but I don't think that migration assistant is intended so much for switchers as it is for Mac users to migrate to a new Mac... at least from my experience :confused:.

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Are you sure? The last time I used it it asked me to boot the Mac I was transferring from into target disk mode and connect it with a firewire cable. I think Apple says somewhere that they'll transfer your data from your PC to a Mac if you take it in to an Apple store, but I don't think that migration assistant is intended so much for switchers as it is for Mac users to migrate to a new Mac... at least from my experience :confused:.

 

Take it to the 5th ave store if its 2 laptops. :P

 

- A

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Wow seriously thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate it. I have one question though. Say I do partition the hard drive and decide to put my itunes music in Mac, would I be able to access it on the windows side? Also, I might be pulling the trigger on the black macbook soon but I'm not sure yet. The pro seemed a bit expensive (maybe in the longrun I'll look into it). Is there any essential programs that I should get for my laptop. I'm already getting Microsoft office if I do purchase one, but is there anything thats a must have or something that I should look into? Thanks a lot.

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Wow seriously thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate it. I have one question though. Say I do partition the hard drive and decide to put my itunes music in Mac, would I be able to access it on the windows side? Also, I might be pulling the trigger on the black macbook soon but I'm not sure yet. The pro seemed a bit expensive (maybe in the longrun I'll look into it). Is there any essential programs that I should get for my laptop. I'm already getting Microsoft office if I do purchase one, but is there anything thats a must have or something that I should look into? Thanks a lot.

 

You'd want dual identical libraries from the get go. Make sure they don't get lop sided. This will insure you got the same tracks no matter what OS you're using on the machine.

 

- A

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You'd want dual identical libraries from the get go. Make sure they don't get lop sided. This will insure you got the same tracks no matter what OS you're using on the machine.

 

- A

 

Dual identical libraries, sorry man you lost me. How do I go by doing that? Thanks

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Dual identical libraries, sorry man you lost me. How do I go by doing that? Thanks

 

Just copy the music over 2x. One while in itunes booted to winders and one for itunes booted to osx. :cool:

 

- A

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Just copy the music over 2x. One while in itunes booted to winders and one for itunes booted to osx. :cool:

 

- A

 

B) well that would make a lot of sense. Alright I have yet another question, Office 08 for the mac seems to be getting bad reviews. One question, would I be able to use a doc from office 08 in my pc which has 03? Some of these reviews are saying yes while others are saying no. If office mac is a big pain I might just get it with vista. Wow this is hard but I just want to make sure of everything since its pretty much 2K for this thing. Oh also, if I use the partition how much space should I allot for Vista? I'm aware that it gives the option of 32 gb but it also allows me to customize how gb I allow for it. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thanks again seriously.

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B) well that would make a lot of sense. Alright I have yet another question, Office 08 for the mac seems to be getting bad reviews. One question, would I be able to use a doc from office 08 in my pc which has 03? Some of these reviews are saying yes while others are saying no. If office mac is a big pain I might just get it with vista. Wow this is hard but I just want to make sure of everything since its pretty much 2K for this thing. Oh also, if I use the partition how much space should I allot for Vista? I'm aware that it gives the option of 32 gb but it also allows me to customize how gb I allow for it. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thanks again seriously.

 

Office for mac is a superior product than for pc. Everything should be compatible if it's a standard office format. As far as partition, just make the windows one like 80 gb. Store documents on the other partition as the mac side can read the windows side, but the windows side cannot see the mac side.

 

- A

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Alright, sorry for being a little late with the reply, but anyway... for iTunes music there are alternatives to wasting space with identical libraries. The best way would be to put your music on the Mac's part of the hard drive and then install something along the lines of this (so Windows will recognize the Mac OS X's share of the hard drive) on the Windows side of things and then point iTunes in Windows to the iTunes music folder on your Mac.... voila, you just saved a bunch of space. As for partitioning the hard drive, I used 32 GB (I still haven't used more than 2 GB of the space I allotted) because it can be formatted to FAT 32 (which OS X can both read and write to) where anything over that must be formated to NTFS (which OS X can read from but can't write to). As for Microsoft Office, I use Apple's iWork (cheaper and better than Office, in my opinion) which can read Word documents and can save your documents in that format if you choose.

 

PS, you might like to know about OpenOffice, a free alternative to Microsoft Office.

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Alright, sorry for being a little late with the reply, but anyway... for iTunes music there are alternatives to wasting space with identical libraries. The best way would be to put your music on the Mac's part of the hard drive and then install something along the lines of this (so Windows will recognize the Mac OS X's share of the hard drive) on the Windows side of things and then point iTunes in Windows to the iTunes music folder on your Mac.... voila, you just saved a bunch of space. As for partitioning the hard drive, I used 32 GB (I still haven't used more than 2 GB of the space I allotted) because it can be formatted to FAT 32 (which OS X can both read and write to) where anything over that must be formated to NTFS (which OS X can read from but can't write to). As for Microsoft Office, I use Apple's iWork (cheaper and better than Office, in my opinion) which can read Word documents and can save your documents in that format if you choose.

 

PS, you might like to know about OpenOffice, a free alternative to Microsoft Office.

 

Very useful contribution, thank you. B)

 

- A

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I've been doing laptop "window" shopping for a while now and the laptops I've been more impressed with are the HP laptops. Features are great, the laptops looks like a beauty.

 

I've also been impressed with the Acer laptops. They aren't as reliable but they're a working technology.

 

I've also looked into Macs, and they look pretty great, the problem is the price. Thats my only gripe about Apple's laptops.

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Apple sells premium products with their own software on it and should not be compared with products half the price. Often you'll find that the compared apple product is superior in several key areas, and areas you'd normally not care about or notice. Macbook air is a good example. People complain that it doesnt have this or that, but it's not targeted at those buyers. It's targeted at folks with a specific need, namely folks who travel a lot.

 

- A

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Apple sells premium products with their own software on it and should not be compared with products half the price. Often you'll find that the compared apple product is superior in several key areas, and areas you'd normally not care about or notice. Macbook air is a good example. People complain that it doesnt have this or that, but it's not targeted at those buyers. It's targeted at folks with a specific need, namely folks who travel a lot.

 

- A

 

Indeed, Apple does sell computers unlike any other (and if recent rumors come true, the gap will widen), the MacBook Air has come under a lot of fire from many people because it is an "ultra-portable" laptop and doesn't measure up to some people's needs because it wasn't made to suit their lifestyle. Anyway, there are many arguments to the price point... software, hardware, many things one won't find on many (if any) PCs... but I must agree that Apple doesn't supply a sub-$1000 notebook (if they did it would probably be $999 like the last generation of iBook) and thus they miss many consumers, but from my observations, Apple takes pride in its computers and won't make a (what they believe to be) substandard. If all goes well, the price of MacBooks should go down with Apple's supposed new in-country manufacturing process, potentially as low as $700 in a few years. Of course, for now all we can do is wait and save up more money for a product that is worth it (IMO).

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