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Which laptop is right for me?

HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User regular
edited October 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a check for $10,000 on the way, and one thing I really want to do with part of the money is replace my laptop. I don't know much on the subject of laptops, though, as the meaning of specs are largely a mystery to me and I find it very hard to imagine the image on a store's website as a tangible object.

Primarily, I want something portable (lightweight and small) that I can take with me to the variety of wireless hotspots in the area. I don't want to be tied to my room just because I'm tied to my computer, be it because of an essay I need to write or having to keep an eye on my e-mail, and so mobility is a must.

Ideally, however, I don't want to sacrifice performance and utility in the process. While I'm not looking for a monster that can do anything, this will be my sole computer and, as such, I'll be using it for everything. Still, I don't game much or have any other reason to chase the bleeding edge of technology, and I'd much rather save some dollars than purchase power someone with distinctly average needs has no need for.

If there's such a thing as a laptop with a keyboard that's easier to use than others, either by virtue of key size or layout, then I'd like that as well. The fewer typos I make the better, for all the frustration that saves me.

I think I'd like a Macbook, especially with the recent release of Leopard (which I don't know anything about, but sounds cool), but I know nothing of the alternatives or even which Macbook I would get if I went that way. Currently I'm using a Gateway with Windows XP as well, so there's the whole PC to Mac transition to consider as well. Really, I'm at a near total loss.

So, any suggestions, not just in the way of what to buy but what add-ons I ought to include?

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    Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I bought just some gateway on sale at Bestbuy. Hell of a deal too as I got a lot of bang for my buck. Nothing super crazy, but it handles vista well and has an intel Core 2 duo processor in it as well as a gig of ram. I certainly cannot complain about performance. I would just say try and get a good laptop carrying bag somewhere for the thing. I had an old dell bag lying around and it's pretty good to have. Nothing fancy, but it's just what I needed.

    Also, if it is at all possible, I would try and spend a bit more on the battery than anything else. I think on my current laptop I have a 6 cell lithium ion battery, but I think the 9 cell one they showed me would have come in very handy for me. No big problem though as I plug it in whenever I am around the house or am going to be in a room for a while.

    As far as just general performance, unless you are doing photoshop and a movie while surfing the web, you really shouldn't need anything beyond mid range specs that are offered in laptops for it to work very well. As far as using Macs, well, you are going to have to get used the whole interface but it shouldn't be too rough to get used to. Just be sure your favorite programs and such are compatible. Worst comes to worst, you can install Boot camp to your mac if you get it and if you need windows.

    Hope this helps.

    Lucky Cynic on
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    HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Thanks for the assurance about the Mac.

    I'd rather not get another Gateway. My experience with their customer service was poor and my laptop has a few problems such as freezing when I use it on an uneven service like my lap, the CD Tray popping out for no reason, words taking longer to appear on the screen after typing than they should, and a keyboard that somehow results in more typos than I was accustomed to making, but that last part may just be in my head. Also, for a while it was freezing all the time for no reason, though I was able to fix that by deleting a ton of stuff and doing a system restore so maybe that wasn't due to it being a Gateway.

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    blanknogoblanknogo Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I absolutely love the Macbooks and I think they'll deliver on all of your needs. Only one thing I think you need to look out for and thats the keyboard. It's a little bit different than your normal keyboard. Not that it is bad at all (I like it) but definitely check it out before you get it.

    I personally would get the Black Macbook but really that's because I like the look. If black isn't your thing then get the middle white Macbook (it's one step higher than the base white). Upgrade it to 2 gigs of ram and your golden.

    blanknogo on
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    HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    blanknogo wrote: »
    I absolutely love the Macbooks and I think they'll deliver on all of your needs. Only one thing I think you need to look out for and thats the keyboard. It's a little bit different than your normal keyboard. Not that it is bad at all (I like it) but definitely check it out before you get it.

    I personally would get the Black Macbook but really that's because I like the look. If black isn't your thing then get the middle white Macbook (it's one step higher than the base white). Upgrade it to 2 gigs of ram and your golden.

    The only difference between the black and the one below that I see is hard drive size and color, and if I upgrade the middle white macbook's hard drive to 200 GB it's still cheaper than the black which starts with a 160 GB hard drive. Why is this?

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    Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The Macbook is just a really solid option. I've got an iBook and am looking to go to Macbook now that they've made the jump to Leopard. I used to own an IBM and went to the iBook after the IBM got destroyed. The transition really wasn't all that difficult and, for basic purposes, I haven't ran into anything that was absolutely pc-only that mattered to me. I don't game, and the most hardware intensive thing I do with my lappie is photo editing which, with a gig of Ram and a 1.33 GHz processor, even my little iBook can handle perfectly well.

    Like I said, it's an all around good option, and for someone like you, I think going with the Macbook is your best option.

    If color isn't of particular importance I'd go with the 2.16 GHz in white, up the Hard Drive to 160 GB (the 200 would be nice but I'd rather keep the performance of the 5400 RPM and ditch the extra forty gigs) and then get the full 2 gigs of RAM. I know apple usually way overcharges on RAM but, and I'm too lazy to do the research here, the 1 gig would be two sticks of 512 not just a 1 gig stick, so you'd have to buy 2x1gig sticks and, I think you'd be in the same ball park unless you got a deal. And then you have spare 512s you can try and sell.

    Uncle Long on
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    FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I am a recent "switcher".
    I bought a MacBook Pro (becaue I play the odd game). The safety net for me was bootcamp. I installed both OS's on it and started using it. 3 months later I started using my 360 for gaming. A month after that I uninstalled Windows... I've never looked back.

    Hardware wise. The Apple laptops are top notch. Light, powerful, have added extras that are really nice - the camera and mic, mag-safe connector etc.

    I would reccomend mac. The only thing I'd suggest (mentioned above) is buy extra RAM from somewhere else - and put it in yourself. Instructions will come with the Macbook, its really not that hard.

    Fallingman on
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    Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Yeah, buy the RAM seperately. They charge extra for the color black.
    But get a MacBook... it is sex.

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Go into an Apple store and play with their Macs, see if they click for you.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
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    tectonictectonic Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    get a fujitsu tablet. they're crazy awesome, especially if you're a designer or artist of any kind.

    Fujitsus are compact, durable, and energy efficient. They're also mighty powerful. Laptops all around from that company are quite good, as are Toshibas. Vaios are really strong and lightweight, but they're fragile and more expensive than they should be. Can't go wrong with a mac, but if you're like me there's things it simply can't do that you really need it to do i.e. gaming. Heck i'd switch to linux if i could.

    tectonic on
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    Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Alright, so, doing a quick ebay search, the PC2-5300 you'd need for the macbook are really fairly cheap. Just get the 1 gb and install anything above that yourself.

    Uncle Long on
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