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Which laptop !!

  • # April 13, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Hello all.

    Just wanted to pick your brains about what i should do :o

    Just about to get internet at mine and my girls house, so i need to get a laptop. Now i really enjoy learning about designing sites and i will be starting my web application programming course in September.
    So just was thinking which laptop should i go for. Obviously it would have to be good for running all the programmes (PS, DW etc), plus i do surf the web a lot as well.

    Now at the moment it would have to be a laptop not a desktop coz where we are living is pretty old school and the electric is on a meter….so desktop no good !!

    I was just thinking about getting a Dell for about £400 – £500 until i started to look at the Macs…so then I had my heart on a Macbook, until my mum got chatting to some IT dude who didn’t recommend them for some reason…think he said somehting about price if things go wrong, etc !!

    So i havent got a clue what to get now :?

    Has anyone got any thoughts ?….i havent got a money tree in the garden so price is an issue here !!

    Really sorry if this post has been covered before

    # April 13, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Well, I’ll try not to stir up a hornets nest with my 2 cents worth :D

    If you can afford it go for the Macbook, no question.

    On the other hand, if money is a big issue, then buy a second hand laptop and install Ubuntu. It’s free and there are equivalent apps for just about anything you need, all gratis (and legal). Plus it’s a lot of fun to learn :)

    # April 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I’m sure we could go back and forth on the PC v Mac debate, so skipping that, it really depends on your budget.

    Myself, I’ve been using Macs for just a little over a decade now, but only started getting into design a few years ago. For me, price isn’t an issue anymore. I know that I am paying premium for (personal opinion coming up) a better machine and a far better OS.

    Right now I own a Macbook (when I’m at home I plug it into a big monitor w/ a keyboard and mouse, so it feels like I’m running a desktop). Sold my iMac because I wanted to be more portable, although now I’m looking at buying one of the new iMacs. Need a little bit more power out of the machine when I’m at home. I won’t sell the laptop though, it’s nice to have the portability when I need it.

    The Macbook will certainly handle your needs, however. Runs Photoshop/Illy/etc very well, and the newer laptops will only do it better. If you go for a Mac, I would recommend ALWAYS going with a refurb (you can find them only from Apple’s website). They get tested more thoroughly than any other machine and generally do not breakdown. Plus, you get a discount! The same warranty applies and you’re still allowed to get the extended warranty. In fact, I really have no idea why people don’t exclusively get the refurbs!

    I will say, however, that Macs aren’t for everyone. There is a learning curve if you’ve been using a PC all of your life. The price can certainly be off putting when comparing to cheaper PC’s.

    As for non-Macs, I don’t really have much useful info there. I like Dell as a brand (I like their monitors), and I’ve heard good things about their machines. If I were forced into getting a PC, I’d probably go with a Dell.

    # April 13, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Depends who you talk to. I like Macs, and wouldn’t switch back to a PC for anything, but definitely agree that they can be a bit pricey. You can probably get a more powerful PC than a mac for the same amount of money, assuming you are looking in the under $1500 category. You do get what you pay for though.

    One advantage of a Mac, despite what your IT guy said, was that there is a pretty good chance that there will be an Apple store nearby if issues arrise (assuming you don’t live in a rural area), and you should be able to take it there and get it fixed for free within your warranty. I’ve had a couple minor issues with mine, and having a repair place close by, and for free, was invaluable.

    That said, are you going to be OK with a 13" screen? I would suggest going to an Apple store before you buy, just to make sure. The upgrade to a 15" is a bit more expensive – it starts at $2000, so that is important to check.

    From a power perspective, web design doesn’t really require much processing power, though it is helpful if you use Photoshop a lot. You don’t need to buy the most expensive or powerful computer around.

    Rob
    # April 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I would have to agree with the general consensus.

    If I was going to by a laptop (I work on an XP machine at home) it would be a Macbook – and if I could afford it a Macbook Pro.

    The guy you told your mother that was an IT techy. I used to be one of these types, I bet he knows nothing about Macs. I have learnt more about macs out of IT Tech support than all of my years as a techy.

    For laptop – go Mac.

    # April 13, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    If you’re very comfortable with a PC, go for a PC. There are plenty of laptops that could trump Macbook’s and run what you need just fine. I suggest a Sony Vaio AW Series. I’ve used one of these alongside my Macs for a very long time and they are splendid little things. The battery life isn’t amazing, but it certainly gets any job done easily. I also like the keyboard.

    The first computer I used was a Mac, and then I moved along to Windows 95/98, back to OS 8, used Me, and finally moved over to Mac OS X when XP was released. I’ve used both side by side for a while now. Windows trumped Mac when OS X 10.1-2 were out (Apple was using very cheap hardware at an outrageous price), but now it’s up to the user to decide which to use. If you’re used to a PC, use a PC. Using a Mac will only make it more difficult. Only use Mac if there are specific apps you really need or if you want to branch off into another platform.

    P.S. Buy a mouse. Don’t use Mighty Mice; they’re possibly the worst thing Apple has produced other than the puck mouse.

    EDIT
    P.P.S. I’m an IT tech, and I know a lot about Macs (I’m certified in it). The support from Apple is AMAZING. I’ve had many Mac’s repaired at Genius stores. If it’s a hardware fault, they may not charge you at all. Be aware that Mac Pro repairs do cost a lot though. Laptop repairs go from free (flawed hardware – Apple’s fault) to around $150 (IIRC). Even then, the problems are serious. I have a Wallstreet, PowerBook G5, and a MacBook Pro. I’ve only had an issue with the G5, for which the repair was free due to faulty hardware. Never been happier.

    # April 13, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    price if something goes wrong on macs?

    apple care is about as good as it gets.
    best buy sells macs now and they have extra protection you can get there too.

    most importantly.. almost nothing ever goes wrong on macs. that dudes a PC snob and it should be noted that if everybody bought macs, and his IT job has to do with repairing comps, then hes out of a job. he never works on macs bc they get sent back to apple AND again, they hardly ever mess up. listen to a radio commercial for computer repair shops. every problem listed doesnt occur on mac. PC’s on the other hand fall apart constantly and hardly work right out of the box without uninstalling TONS of software which is what makes the PC able to sell at $400. not to mention spyware and viruses that Macs dont get. on top of that, if you get a PC for $400 good luck running PS/DW without wanting to pull your hair out immediately.

    get a mac and dont listen to anybody that tells you anything different including what you’re used to.

    this is coming from a former avid PC user who switched to mac a year ago to the month.

    # April 14, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Ya’ll probably know I’m a Mac dude. I try to not be obnoxious about it but it’s kind hard =)

    I have the very cheapest MacBook ($999) and it’s just fine for most things I do. Even runs Photoshop CS4 just fine for web stuff. Although, I really don’t use it as a work-horse, it’s just my couch/plane/coffee shop computer. I find it hard to actually do serious designing and coding on a laptop. Just a personal thing, I have my real desk and iMac for "working".

    # April 14, 2009 at 2:49 am
    "chriscoyier" wrote:
    I have the very cheapest MacBook ($999) and it’s just fine for most things I do. Even runs Photoshop CS4 just fine for web stuff. Although, I really don’t use it as a work-horse, it’s just my couch/plane/coffee shop computer. I find it hard to actually do serious designing and coding on a laptop. Just a personal thing, I have my real desk and iMac for "working".

    It’s not as bad as you think, Chris! I plug my Macbook into an external monitor, have a wireless keyboard/mouse. Feels just like a desktop except I have a secondary 13" monitor (the laptop) to throw my iTunes into. Of course, I’d rather have the iMac/MP with two large monitors… all in due time!

    # April 14, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Hey thanks for all the help.

    Mac it is then i think….i forgot to say i wasnt too sure about 13inch screen, but didnt clock on about getting an external monitor if needs be !! :D

    Plus there is an apple store 20 mins away form me too…so thats gotta be a plus.

    # April 14, 2009 at 11:26 am

    If that’s your decision, here’s a link to the UK Refurb Apple Store:

    http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/s … ac/macbook

    They’ll almost always have something available.

    For an external monitor, I would go with a Dell (imo, the 2nd best monitor in the industry, 2nd only to Apple. Apple monitors are amazing, top class for sure, but just not worth the dime).

    Here’s a monitor I would start with:

    http://accessories.euro.dell.com/sna/pr … sku=185544

    # April 14, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Cheers Doc for that…i will defo look into both ideas.

    Havent got that much time too look at the refurb at the moment (damm cant wait to get my own laptop !!). But do you know if they sell them by finance? so i could pay off monthly. Because that is what i planned to do. Use the money i have already (about £450) for deposit then pay off the rest monthly for 6months.

    Thanks anyway…i should be able to answer my own question when i have time 2look tomorrow :D

    # April 14, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    I know they have personal financing in the US, but I’m not sure about the UK. They don’t have it where I am (Canada), so they might not have it for anything outside of the US.

    # April 14, 2009 at 6:40 pm
    "Digital Skraps" wrote:
    most importantly.. almost nothing ever goes wrong on macs.

    What utopia do you live in?

    # May 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Hey everyone

    Just thought id let every one know that i bought a Apple Mac laptop today…..thanks for all the info/help….loving it so far….just gotta get dreamweaver and photoshop now !!

    Thanks

    Regards

    dave

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