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Looking to buy a laptop

GreasyKidsStuffGreasyKidsStuff Registered User regular
edited October 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm in the market for a laptop, because living in a house of five, who all use the computer, it can get pretty aggravating when either a) you want to use it and it's occupied, or b) you're using it and family members are badgering you for it. So having a computer of my own would be awesome. Thinking of a laptop just so it's there for when I go to school in the future, whenever that happens (graduated last year, taking a year off working). And just generally being able to use it anywhere.

I'm not sure what I wanna get though. I haven't really done a whole lot of research (I probably should've before I made this thread, but whatever). So I'll just start off with a list of what I'm using this thing for. It's pretty basic.

- Internet, instant messaging (windows messenger)
- Music (I use iTunes on the home computer, so familiarity with that is making me lean towards a macbook)

That's really it, as of now I don't do any actual work on the computer, not being in school at all. I'm not looking for a gaming rig, just a good all-purpose computer that won't give me too much hassle.

I'm leaning towards a Macbook because one of my friends recommended it, she uses it for the same stuff I'd use it for and she says it's awesome. Anything I should know that would deter me from this?

Another question I have is how easy it would be to transfer some files I have from one computer to the other. I have a big iTunes library and some stuff I bought off the store, and I'm worried that would be a pain in the ass to transfer to another computer, be it a Mac or something else. Would whoever I bought the computer from offer that kind of service?

My price range is kinda large, I have about 2500 bucks to spend on it, and my parents are lending 500 as a graduation gift. So price isn't really the biggest issue, I just don't wanna go blow it on something super high-end I don't really need. Basic uses and all.

Any help is appreciated, but please don't go dump a bunch of technical specs on me cuz I guarantee I won't know what it means or how it stacks up. Sorry for not coming in with a better idea but... that's what this is for I guess.

Thanks!

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Posts

  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I'd wait until tomorrow and see what wonderful wonderfulness Steve Jobs has to show off.

  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited October 2008
    If you have $2500-3000 to spend on a computer, drop $1000 of it on a nice desktop (with a monitor), and use the rest for a laptop.

    $1000 will get you a desktop system that will comfortably run *any* current game. With that budget, you could get a 3GHz Core 2 Duo, 2-4 GB of RAM, an 8800 GTS video card, and a 19-22" widescreen LCD monitor, plus of course the other necessary bits like a decent case and power supply, optical drive, hard drive(s), etc. You'd end up with something that would be incredibly comfortable to work on, and also powerful enough to handle anything you might want to throw at it within the next couple of years.

    Then, use the leftover money to buy a basic Macbook. That will fit your needs just fine as far as portability goes, and it'll still have enough horses under the hood to take care of browsing, IMing, etc.

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  • GreasyKidsStuffGreasyKidsStuff Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I'm not sure I need to go so far as to get a desktop and a laptop at the same time D:

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  • stawkstawk Registered User
    edited October 2008
    if your just instant messaging and using itunes you dont need a mac, just find a cheap acer or somthing at bestbuy half of what you pay for a mac is the apple symbol on it (much like you pay for the bmw badge not the car)

  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    MH79 wrote: »
    Another question I have is how easy it would be to transfer some files I have from one computer to the other. I have a big iTunes library and some stuff I bought off the store, and I'm worried that would be a pain in the ass to transfer to another computer, be it a Mac or something else. Would whoever I bought the computer from offer that kind of service?

    Unless your library is excessively large, this should at most require buying a $20 USB memory stick and copying files over a few times. If it's utterly gigantic you can (a) go a little crazier either networking the two computers, (b) putting the old hard drive in an external case to move them over, or (c) just hook the two computers up to the internet and send the folder to yourself overnight over aim/some other file transfer program. In any case, with the money you're talking about an external hard drive for storage (especially at college, and especially since laptops generally don't have as large internal HDs as desktops would) is always a nice purchase anyway, and would make this easier
    *edit

    for itunes purchases you will have to authorize the files on your new computer, but you can authorize itunes purchases on (I believe) something like 3? computers, so it's also fairly straightforward if you know your itunes account name/pw

    As for the laptop itself - judging solely based upon the fact that you think transferring itunes files will be difficult, I would say a Mac wouldn't be a bad idea. Like a couple of the above posters, I'd look towards the lower end of things - decide what size screen you'd like (which will probably be the most important decision for you, if you're going to use this computer a lot I wouldn't, say, get a 14" screen), and look towards the cheaper end of those. What people are saying is more that Macs in general are somewhat overpriced, and especially for gaming (which you don't seem overly interested in), desktops are faaaaaar more bang for your buck.

  • Drew_9999Drew_9999 Registered User
    edited October 2008
    If you'd be happy with a 14" screen, you could easily spend less than $600. If you wait until December, you could probably get one for less than $500. Basically, any new laptop will do what you need. Or a used one, for that matter. Save your money for school, or a desktop, or hell, a car. For what you do on the computer, blowing 2 or three grand is a total waste of money.

  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    When I was looking for a laptop I was pointed towards Notebook Review's "What Notebook Should I Buy" forum, and I would highly recommend the site. Read the stickies, and make a post, and the posters there are very good at identifying good matches for your needs.

  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I just got my Macbook in mid-July (kicking myself for a potential awesome new one tomorrow) and I absolutely love it. I've used PC's my entire life, but I love my Macbook somethin fierce. I spent the $1500 on the higher end regular Macbook. You could spend the $1000 or so on the bsaic one and do just fine.



  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    How large of a hard drive do you feel is needed?

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  • mechaThormechaThor Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    If you're just looking for a laptop to IM/manage music via iTunes really any laptop will do you justice. Since your looking for one to also use for school in the future I've heard Macbooks are wonderful due to their durability (Applecare) and the fact that once your battery starts loosing its strength go to an Applestore and they can replace it for you. I got an HP laptop and just trying to get a battery replacement is such a hassle that I didn't even bother and just use the AC adapter when I do use it.

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  • DichotomyDichotomy Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I made this thread myself a few months ago, with pretty much the same situation you did. In the end, all I really wanted the laptop for was internet, messaging, and music.

    I was steered towards the EEE PC. I ended up grabbing a 1000h, and I couldn't be happier with it. Does everything I want it to, it's fantastically small, has great battery life, and on top of that it was damn cheap

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  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    MacBook for sure - the simplicity of it is awesome and windows just can't come close. Just get the cheapest model too, don't let the salesperson talk you into the overpriced options. Save the rest of the money.

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  • LegbaLegba Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I made this thread myself a few months ago, with pretty much the same situation you did. In the end, all I really wanted the laptop for was internet, messaging, and music.

    I was steered towards the EEE PC. I ended up grabbing a 1000h, and I couldn't be happier with it. Does everything I want it to, it's fantastically small, has great battery life, and on top of that it was damn cheap

    I'd like to second this. I got myself a 701 recently and I'm totally in love with it. If I was going to do it over again I'd make sure I got a 901 or 1000 rather than the smaller 701, but unless someone offers me a straight swap, the 701 was perfect for me.

    The best bit about it is that it's so small and lightweight that I'm comfortably using it on the tube and bus. You wouldn't be able to use a big laptop comfortably in a regular bus seat, but the Asus Eee loves it. Also, it never gets heavy. A regular laptop tends to get kind of uncomfortable after sitting with it on your lap for half an hour, but I have no such problems with the Asus. I even use it when I'm lying in bed, as a portable movie player.

  • SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Im going to lend my support in with the EEE PC idea. They are absolutely amazing, portable, and do excatly what you want. Dont expect to run anything newer than Quake 2 on them game-wise, but for everything else they are lovely.

    Super cheap is a plus too. For the PC, case, and an external HDD you can spend about 600-650 and be fine. Save the rest for car/college/rent/entertainment.

    They also come with XP and XP can run iTunes just fine. No need to get a Mac just got iTunes.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    The only reason I would steer clear of a Macbook is what you want it for vs how much you will spend. Yea, they're great and all, but unless you enjoy Apple hardware/software and want the photo and video manipulation that they are quite so good at off the bat, it's not worth it.
    No need to spend more cash than you need.

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  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited October 2008
    MH79 wrote: »
    I'm not sure I need to go so far as to get a desktop and a laptop at the same time D:
    Well, my point was, spending $2500 on a laptop would be an absolute waste. Sure, you could get the BEST LAPTOP EVAR for that much money, but in terms of bang for your buck, you would be much, much better off getting a good desktop that you could actually upgrade down the line, plus a small, lightweight laptop for portable use. (The EEE is actually a great idea, I'm contemplating one myself if I ever have money again).

    I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight [. . .] So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
  • GreasyKidsStuffGreasyKidsStuff Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Ack well I'm split. Seems both sides have a decent amount of support. I also have a good number of friends who have macbooks and they all say they are quite awesome. Hmm.

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  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Brand new Macbooks dropped like, today. Might be worth checking out.


    Then again they might all explode upon boot up (thanks, Nvidia).


    Check out the Mac thread in the Moes Tech Tavern subforum. Great ppl there to help! (if you're interested)



  • GreasyKidsStuffGreasyKidsStuff Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Oh geez, when do those come out (staring at pics on apple.com)?

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  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User
    edited October 2008
    MH79 wrote: »
    Oh geez, when do those come out (staring at pics on apple.com)?
    According to Steve Jobs' comments in his keynote address, almost all of the new systems start shipping tomorrow. No paper launches here. Demand may be fierce though.

    Edit: Oh, I should mention, for my money Apple makes some of the best notebooks around, period. Their build quality for notebooks is really good, based on what I've seen. The new MacBooks should be especially tough, their made using the new unibody process. Essentially, the two halves of the main section (where the keyboard, trackpad, CPU, ports, etc. are) are carved out of solid aluminum with the scraps recycled. That means there are no welds or rivets in the main body, which should make it exceptionally tough for its weight. Apple puts of a lot of work into the physical design of their units, and that often gets overlooked by people comparing Apple and non-Apple notebooks.

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  • EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    EEEs are great, my girlfriend has one and she adores it. It's also perfect for her because she has the cutest little hands.

    Unfortunately, I have giant man hands of thick-fingered-doom. Thus my typing on her EEE can best be described as cumbersome.

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  • GreasyKidsStuffGreasyKidsStuff Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I think I'm definitely going to go the Macbook route guys. I'll give this an update this weekend when I stop by the Apple store.

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  • LegbaLegba Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Erios wrote: »
    EEEs are great, my girlfriend has one and she adores it. It's also perfect for her because she has the cutest little hands.

    Unfortunately, I have giant man hands of thick-fingered-doom. Thus my typing on her EEE can best be described as cumbersome.

    I was worried about my giant man hands interfering with my typing, and for the first day or so it was kind of awkward. But a week on, I'm touch typing without problem. My only complaint is that the screen is just a tad too small - so I'd recommend getting a 901 over a 701 (much better battery life, too).

    If not an Eee, I'd go for a Macbook. They're really nice, well-designed things. If I didn't need/love the ultra portability of the Eee, a Macbook would be my choice.

  • VeitsevVeitsev Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    If you are really considering an eee PC than go with the new ASUS N10. Its has pretty much the same form factor as the 1000H but the specs are alot better. I love my 1000H and will never buy a full size notebook again. Carrying this thing around to class is a fucking breeze. It also has a much better battery life than you will probably get on a laptop. I get 5-6 hours with wi-fi on, 6-7 with wifi off. The build quality is great and it weighs 3 pounds.

    The new N10 is the highest end netbook on the market and runs at 699 (the 1000H was about $200 cheaper even with a memory upgrade) off newegg. Its basically a 1000H with a face life, better speakers, vista, and a MUCH better video card.

    Honestly man with 3g's you are much better off getting a ASUS N10 and a high end gaming desktop/monitor. Spending that much on a laptop is a real waste. But hey if you want a macbook then I guess you can't really go wrong. Just go for portability with the mac. Get one of the 13 inchers. Carrying around a 15 incher will get cumbersome.

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