I would like to save up for a new laptop. My current laptop is an original (2006) black MacBook. Should I save up for a new/refurb MacBook [Pro/Air], or are there less expensive but high-quality PC laptops out there?
I would like to save up for a new laptop, but a Mac, even a refurbished one, is almost too expensive to wish for right now. All my experience with Mac laptops is that they become obsolete speedwise long before they wear out physically, when treated right. All my (limited) experience with PC laptops is that they feel cheap and some part inevitably breaks with regular use and needs to be replaced for a disproportionate cost.
I'm extremely partial to Macs, even when I don't run Mac OS X on them. I love the feel of the keyboard and the solidity of their build. Trying to use my roommate's netbook's trackpad is like trying to write left-handed.
It'd almost be no question that I want another Mac, but recent models are much less upgradeable (and thus less future-proof) than they used to be. Can't replace the battery, can't upgrade the RAM or the hard drive (on the Retina models, at least).
Basically, I'm looking for a very solid, sleek laptop with a lot of thought to UX design and enough power and upgrade potential to last for 5+ years.
As far as my usage patterns: I have a desktop that I use for work (software development). I use my MacBook on the couch for web surfing with plenty of Chrome tabs open, a Twitter client, and other basic things. I would like to do basic time-passing gaming (anything where orientation doesn't depend on the mouse, because of the trackpad), running Flash or HTML5 apps and games, watching videos on occasion, and so on. A few times a week I take my MacBook out on battery and do dev work.
- Dual core minimum
- 3+ hour battery life with moderate usage
- RAM upgradeable to 8GB+
- Hard drive upgradeable
- Multi-touch trackpad with Mac-like features (two-finger scrolling, etc)
- Mid-size: 13-15", good resolution
- Well-built, no history of faulty power connectors, hinges, trackpad buttons, power bricks etc.
- Significantly cheaper than a comparably-powerful Mac
...Am I better off just buying a Mac?