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Help! Need To Buy A New Laptop

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Help! Need To Buy A New Laptop

Old 11-25-2009, 03:33 PM
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Default Help! Need To Buy A New Laptop

You guys have not failed me yet, so I now have another problem that needs fixing. For someone who is not geeky techy at all, I have two desktops at home and took the laptop to my coffee shop. The laptop died yesterday. Instead of trying to get it repaired, I think I'm better off buying a new one.

What kind should I get and where to get it? I need something to do the following:

- be the coffee shop/business computer and control the router that I am going to get soon
- a few emails here and there
- log onto the forums and do my share of moderation

Should I get the cheapie model at Costco? And what's this new fangled Windows 7? The now dead laptop was using XP and it worked ok.

Using my Palm Pre to do email is NOT a good thing. Almost went completely blind.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:48 PM
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Buy a Mac. Why? Because they work. They just do. Once you've crossed over you will never look back. And if you really feel the need, just load Windows onto it and compute away.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:02 PM
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I am sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but if you are not a computer person and you want a laptop that will do what you want without driving you crazy, get a Mac.

You will pay more, but you will rarely have any problems with it. A PC is great if you understand how to tweak all of the settings to maximize the performance for the various software and hardware options you have. A Mac is better if you don't feel like having to learn all that. There aren't really any settings to change because Apple knows what hardware is in the computer so all the adjustments are made beforehand. Also, the software is great because instead of countless companies creating various types of software that have to run on various types of PCs, Apple just has to create software that runs on their computers.

If you feel like spending some extra money on a Mac, you can get a laptop you will be happy with. If you want to get a PC for about $400, in about 6 months, it will feel like a dinosaur because all that trial software that came with the computer expired and every time you start the thing it will ask you if you want to buy it. Also, most PCs are underpowered. They may all have those great visuals when you look at them in the store, but when you get home; you quickly find out that those great animations really slow the thing down. Even the cheapest Mac still has a good processor because they know you need a fast one to run the fancy graphics we all like so much.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:08 PM
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Gosh. I just fired up my Toshiba running Windows XP after a year of laying dormant. Why laying dormant? Because I bought a Macbook for Christmas last year. I'm able to see the screen on the Macbook. The Toshiba has a cracked screen from having cans of beer thrown at it. This after getting a virus for the third time since owning it for two years.
I figure after you take it in to get the virus removed at $100 a pop, it's worth the extra few buck to buy the Apple.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:05 PM
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Get a Mac laptop, vagabond. Seriously.

>> Apple - MacBook - The $999 notebook, completely redesigned.

Then, learn about the Mac Snow Leopard operating system with this book by Robin Williams:

Amazon.com: The Little Mac Book, Snow Leopard Edition (9780321646910): Robin Williams: Books
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:35 PM
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I would say even better than taking sides on Mac versus PC would be the idea of getting a recent Consumer Reports and seeing what they have to say about laptops. CR is an objective outfit and they do not accept advertising dollars from manufacturers although they want you to subscribe, of course. Most public libraries have years worth of back issues in stock, so you do not have to subscribe if you do not want to. I use a new HP from Best Buys, which works fine and cost less than $600; it was a CR favorite. For what you are doing a "netbook" would probably be adequate. Macs are great for graphics and they are somewhat better computers all around, but the extra quality and cost is not required for what most people do.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:09 PM
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Consumer reports is always good, but just remember that 90% of consumers don't understand how to get the most out of a computer and are so used to the mediocre performance of most PCs that they don’t know what they are missing out on, so when CR says it is a good PC, what they mean is that it is good for a PC. Plus just look at the CR for any Mac computer: I have yet to find an unhappy Mac user.

The best people to talk to about laptops are college students. I remember freshman year, everybody had a brand new laptop that seemed great. Next semester, you noticed that those once blazing machines seem to lag a little. A year later, the paint is wearing off on the mouse pad, some of the keys don’t work, and you can’t have more than two windows open anymore. During that entire period, the few Macs on campus still look and perform like the first day of school. I own a 4 year old Toshiba laptop and it is good, but it cost the same as a Mac when it came out and it is nowhere near as good as my GF's 4 year old Mac.

A netbook might be a good option though. There aren't as many hardware options, so they are more standardized and have less problems. Also, since they have limited RAM, manufactures don't load all of those memory intensive graphics so they actually run at a decent speed. The only down side with them are the lack of a disc drive, small screens, and most can only run XP.

Go to some stores and check out netbooks, Macs, and some PC laptops. All the PC laptops will run Windows 7 which is very graphic intensive and I would not recommend a low model computer for that reason. You will need 4 gigs of RAM minimum and at least a 2.4 GHz processor. To get a laptop that actually performs really well, you will end up spending between $800 and $1200 and for that money, you are better off with a Mac because it will outlast any laptop and it will be much easier to use.
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Kasserine06 View Post
...You will need 4 gigs of RAM minimum and at least a 2.4 GHz processor. To get a laptop that actually performs really well, you will end up spending between $800 and $1200 and for that money...
You mean a Mac like this one? Mac for $1500. It has the 2.4 GHz and 4G RAM. But Vagabond doesn't need anywhere near that much computer. VB, consider something like this HP for $500, or if you can live with one a $200 netbook. The latter is not as bad as you might think, I have friends who manage to use netbooks as their only computer. The display is small and you do not want to run MSOffice apps or video games on one, but if you can live without that you can save the money for a new camera lens (Kass and I are one-stop advisers for that too).
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JobHopper View Post
Buy a Mac. Why? Because they work. They just do. Once you've crossed over you will never look back. And if you really feel the need, just load Windows onto it and compute away.
+1 billion.

I bought a mac after my third PC laptop took a dump on me, and I wanted to drop it off the sears tower. Hasn't locked up on me or dumped ONCE. Ever. It's so much more intuitive and the user interface with two/three finger funtionality on the touchpad is awesome.

If you absolutely have to have Windows, then spend $70 on VMware's Fusion. I needed windows to run Logbook Pro and Gleims test prep. Works seemlessly. I can run windows in it's own little window, or run it full screen in one of the desktop "spaces" on mac, and flick back and forth with a key stroke.

You can pick up a new Macbook Pro 13" for 1200 bucks.

You'll never look back.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Cubdriver View Post
You mean a Mac like this one? Mac for $1500. It has the 2.4 GHz and 4G RAM. But Vagabond doesn't need anywhere near that much computer. VB, consider something like this HP for $500, .
I was talking about a PC laptop when I mentioned those specs. I think the basic Macbook will be more than sufficient for her needs. And yes, if you can live with basics, a netbook is great (I was going to get one to replace my laptop, but I spent the money on a new lens ). They are cheap enough that if a better one comes out in a year or two, it wouldn't be that bad to get a new one.

Shop around and see what you like, but whatever you do, don't talk to any Best Buy or similar sales person. They do not know what they are talking about and are only trained to sell you warranty plans. Even the Apple Geniuses aren't too smart anymore. Too many college students who have iPods think they know everything about all Apples and I have caught a few of them making things up before. If you do go to an Apple store, look for someone in their 30s or older because that means they have probably been using Macs before the iPod and really understand them.

Have a good Thanksgiving everyone.
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