Which laptop should I purchase?
July 13, 2009 12:20 PM   Subscribe

I need to get a new laptop. I'm considering a Mac or a Lenovo (based on what I've read on AskMe), and I am in need of some advice.

My current laptop is a Dell Latitude D410, and after 3 years, I need to replace it. It is overheating every time I use it, the wireless connection is constantly up & down, it's incredibly slow, it doesn't have much memory, and the battery has no life in it.

I primarily use my laptop for Internet browsing, music files, & preparation for my classes (lots of documents, Power Points, and spreadsheets). I need a laptop with the following characteristics:

--long battery life
--dependable wireless connectivity
--light to medium weight

Which computer should I go for, a Lenovo or a Mac? Please be specific about the type of Lenovo or a Mac if possible. The type of operating system is not important to me, and I would like to keep the price below $1500.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl to Computers & Internet (44 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have a Lenovo ThinkPad T61p from work. All of the status LEDs below the screen (Bluetooth, WiFi, Num Lock, Caps Lock, etc.) have stopped working and the machine is not always able to tell if it's closed. I would never spend my money on one based on the performance of this computer, but I am a Mac fan outside of work.
posted by mkb at 12:23 PM on July 13, 2009

Refurbished Macbooks can be cheaper than comparably equipped non-Mac laptops.

Also, what about a netbook?
posted by mdonley at 12:25 PM on July 13, 2009

Macbook Pro 13" is light, has an exceptionally long battery and is relatively cheap. For lightness + quality in Lenovo I strongly suggest the xSeries.
posted by furtive at 12:27 PM on July 13, 2009

I'm a mac fan. If you've got the budget, a Macbook would be an awesome machine. The battery life is ridiculously good on the current models. I have a two year old Macbook that is really sweet, handling all my image work, audio shenanigans and film editing that I do relatively well. A 13" Macbook Pro is better built and has better battery life for an extra $200, which I'd personally go for, but part of that is the better screen that would help me.

Actually, if light weight is important to you, you could just about afford a Macbook Air for your budget. That's a really lightweight computer. Really sweet.
posted by Magnakai at 12:29 PM on July 13, 2009

Another data point: Macs have much, much higher resale value, so if you change your mind later, you're in better shape.

I try to sell my everyday Mac every year or two to buy a newer model (with fresh warranty), and every time I sell it it's within $100 of what I paid. Sometimes it's more. Perpetual upgrade.

The same has been true of older Macs for me. Four year old PCs are doorstops, eight year old Macs can still fetch $100's on eBay.
posted by rokusan at 12:29 PM on July 13, 2009

I agree with furtive... 13" MacbookPro all the way. They have newer batteries that blow the competition out of the water (up to 7 hours on a single charge, according to Apple).
posted by mpls2 at 12:30 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would advise you to go for a Lenovo. I'm a huge fan of the Mac interface and think they're absolutely gorgeous from a physical aesthetics point of view, but they're not very durable and practical. Presentations made in Mac sometimes will not port over correctly into Windows (and unless your school computers are all Macs and the overwhelming majority of your teammembers are Mac-owners, that will be a problem), and you'll run into lots of other small snags like these that just become irritating over time. You can get faster processors, HDD and RAM for a Lenovo for cheaper than its equivalent in a Mac, and the majority of reviews I've read on them indicate that they are incredibly durable.

Even if you did graphics work, a Mac wouldn't be that much more advantageous on a student budget and with limited control over your work environment.

Furthermore, what I believe to be one of the most improtant things in buying a computer (that sometimes gets overlooked) is the after-purchase support. If anything goes wrong with your laptop, you want them to be accessible. I've heard really good things about Lenovo, and really bad things about Apple, based on preliminary research while I was looking into getting a new laptop (I had settled on a Lenovo, but ended up slapping a stop-gap fix on my old laptop instead because I couldn't afford a new one). It's of course possible that this is partially due to confirmation bias and sheer volume of Apple purchases compared to Lenovo purchases, but it's something to think about.
posted by Phire at 12:31 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree with Phire about needing support for a laptop which is why ii would suggest the macbook.

As soon as there is a problem simply take it down to the Apple store and someone will take a look at it. It is definitely worth purchasing Apple Care to get the 3 year warranty.
posted by moochoo at 12:37 PM on July 13, 2009

Mac are great machines if you never have to deal with transferring files to and from anyone using a Windows box. Macs are also great if everything you want to do has a solution from Apple or Adobe. If one or both of those conditions does not hold, then using a Mac gets difficult and requires work-arounds.

Windows machines can be great if configured properly and have significantly greater flexibility, though often at the cost of a great deal more fussing around than would be required with a Mac (which often "just works"). If you have niche or minority needs (a special piece of hardware or software), Windows is often your better choice.

Given that you need to move presentations around, I'd strongly recommend staying Windows unless all of your collaborators and/or audience are on a Mac standard. Speaking from experience, there's lots of subtle issues (primarily about QT being an awful experience on PCs) that can bite your ass moving from a Mac authoring system to a Windows display box. You can compensate for this with Mac authoring tools, but then you're into the work-around territory, and things don't "just work" anymore.

Lenovos have always been my goto choice for PC hardware, though they're increasingly shipping burdened with crapware. Reimaged ones are really sweet though.
posted by bonehead at 12:45 PM on July 13, 2009

As far as refurbishing goes, I think if you compare issue-year to issue-year, you'll find that Thinkpads and Macbooks wind up weighing in at about the same prices. If the refurbs that Apple sells are still too salty for you, Low End Mac usually tracks the second-hand/used/refurbished market weekly.

If you're the sort of person who works on your own laptop, I feel thinkpads are the better choice - hands down. If you have no idea what a Torx T6 is much less why you'd want one, you'd probably find the nationwide Apple retail/repair network handy.

I've got a Thinkpad, and I love it to death, personally. The hardware has lots of nice little touches that I appreciate (Third button, thinklight, swappable optical drive, etc), and the Linux support is better, IMO.

Personally, I think this boils down to which OS you prefer, but that's me.
posted by Orb2069 at 12:50 PM on July 13, 2009

Response by poster: I teach at a primarily PC school, so that is something I should consider when deciding on a laptop. If I were to get a Thinkpad, which series/model is best?

I've read on AskMe that some people are having wireless connectivity issues with their Macbooks. Is this a common problem?
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 12:59 PM on July 13, 2009

ThinkPad owner here (T60, 1600x1200 native res IPS panel!)

Nobody can beat the ThinkPad keyboard.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:07 PM on July 13, 2009

I bought a MacBook to replace my (IBM) ThinkPad a couple of years ago. I'm a grad student and many of my needs are not that different from yours. My ThinkPad was a very nice computer but the Mac really does just work. Also, there are a lot of people in academia developing software specific to their disciplines for OSX, and I've gotten a ton of very useful stuff that way. I have the black MacBook from a few years ago but I know people with the current 13" MacBooks and MacBook Pros and they're both great--it really just depends on whether you'd rather spend more money on the Pro, which being fancier will probably last a little longer.

I have found that the problems moving documents from Office on my Mac to Windows machines are no worse than the problems people have on Windows moving from newer versions of Office to older. If you've ever seen someone struggling with a .docx on a worn-out old XP computer, you know what I mean. The main trick to know with Powerpoint in OSX is to always insert pictures from a file rather than copy and pasting, which is a good policy in Windows as well.

Also, I tell my students to get in the habit of always saving their Powerpoint presentation as a PDF as well as a .ppt. You loose the fancy animations and stuff, but it's better to be able to show the content on your slides and complete your presentation than to just not have a presentation.
posted by hydropsyche at 1:11 PM on July 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

I just got a new Lenovo Thinkpad T400 (the 14" screen model). Loaded up plus additional warranty, it was just under $1500. The T400 is the newer version of the T60 others have mentioned. New Thinkpads will include a free upgrade to Windows 7, which is great (the official upgrade won't roll out until October, but I've been running the release candidate).

Also, if you go with the Thinkpad, I recommend the mini dock too. Makes it super easy to connect to a full size monitor, keyboard and mouse.
posted by mullacc at 1:18 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Lenovo X series is their lightweight, ultraportable line. (Though in the era of netbooks, the term ultraportable may be becoming blurred...) I bought an x60s (low-voltage model) with the extended battery and RAM, and it is still going strong after three years. With internet browsing or document processing I can get six hours of life, a bit more if I disable the wireless via an easy switch or lower the brightness.

It handles all the everyday programs I throw at it with no performance issues, and I'm a guy who rarely has fewer than two rows of Firefox tabs open at once. Don't expect a gaming beast, though. I was able to play Diablo 2 and Fallout 2 just fine, but I had to turn down the settings for Guild Wars all the way to low to get a nice framerate.

The build quality is outstanding. Keys still feel wonderful, and the keys are full-size even though it is a 12.1" that weighs 3.5lbs with the extended battery. My only issue is that the damn Fn key is where my muscle memory says the Ctrl key should be...I ended up remapping Ctrl to Caps Lock. I don't usually need cruise control for awesome, and I remapped it to Ctrl for when I do.

Two issues that I don't mind in the least but may drive other people insane: the trackpoint/touchpoint and the lack of an optical drive. I love using that little red nub to move the cursor, but other people hate it, and there is no touchpad for dissenters. You'll need to get a USB mouse or overcome your fear of fingering. It's quite close to your index finger if you touch type, which I like. As way of reparations, you get a middle click button.

The weight-saving absence of an optical drive also freaks some people out. USB drives will also work here (or, as I did, an internal drive with a IDE->USB converter [will work even on boot]). And really, the only time I used optical media was to install Office. I could have gotten around that too if I needed to.

The x### series will be out of your price range, but look at x##, and do consider refurbs.

But the selling point for me? It's got the cutest little LED light above the screen! Look at it! It's adorable! (Side note: it also works out of the box on a Linux install.)
posted by ThatRandomGuy at 1:29 PM on July 13, 2009

You can do a lot worse than the 13' MacBook Pro. It comes way under your budget (get the bottom package, and add aftermarket RAM if you feel like you need it...I'm fine right now with just 2GB). I'm using Crossover to run OneNote (I'm obsessed and will continue to be sad until it's finally released as part of Office for Mac). Runs excellently. One thing about Macs is that I think they have a longer shelf-life (hence the high resale value). And the new aluminum unibody's are both gorgeous and f'in sturdy as all heck. And once you learn the magic of the multi-touch trackpad, you'll hate using PCs.

To touch on your needs: It's very light, has amazing (better than I've ever seen, actually) battery life, wicked zippy, and I have (nor have i heard of ) had no wireless problems whatsoever. In fact, it's way better at wireless than any computer I've had prior.
posted by General Malaise at 1:41 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Presentations made in Mac sometimes will not port over correctly into Windows...
Mac are great machines if you never have to deal with transferring files to and from anyone using a Windows box.
Macs are also great if everything you want to do has a solution from Apple or Adobe.

Leaving aside that those are just plain wrong... why do people make these arguments when we're talking about hardware?

A Mac can run Windows exactly as well, fully, and compatibly as a Lenovo or any PC. This isn't a question asking "Mac OS or Windows", in which case the points above might apply. It's just asking about hardware options.

If the above are really problems, throw OS X away and install Windows on the MacBook instead. It installs exactly as easily as on any PC, and works just the same, and you have a durable, great-looking and very high-quality PC laptop with a crazy-good battery life.

With a Mac, you can choose to use OS X or Windows and change your mind anytime you like. You can't do that in reverse with an average PC.

To me this is a huge advantage. It's twice as useful.
posted by rokusan at 1:48 PM on July 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

Instead of going "WAIT ONE GOSH DARNED MINUTE" I'm going to say, hey, just go reread rokusan's response. I've been Mac-exclusive for half a decade and have never ever even once had a problem transferring files to and from anyone using a Windows box, and I have tons of solutions that aren't from Apple or Adobe. Presentations I can't speak to as I don't use them often, but I'll note that i never actually had a problem with the ones I did have to deal with back when I was in school.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:51 PM on July 13, 2009

Macbook with a service plan.

I have 35+ years experience with computers, and just spent 4 hours this morning banging on my XP box, which despite scores of hours tweaking, inspecting and testing, refuses to reliably connect to my wireless.

Of the 4 Macs my wife has owned, most worked perfectly out of the box or took minutes to setup, then, they stayed set up.

I like Lenovo (Thinkpads) a lot, but boy, comparing her experiences with mine, she's got the better platforms. (I'm stuck with mine until they die due to legacy investments in engineering software.)

Mac. Mac. Mac. Mac.

Do it.
posted by FauxScot at 2:10 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wireless issues are common on all laptops. Wireless is just squirrely by nature. Macbooks are probably worse than PCs since they have aluminum cases which may interfere with the antennas. OTOH, wireless drivers for the Macs are supplied by apple so they tend to be very good.

Is there any particular piece of software that is Mac/Windows only? That would be the decider. If there isn't then it's just personal preference and mefi can't really advise you on that.
posted by chairface at 2:16 PM on July 13, 2009

I switched to Mac a year ago. I've got an iMac. Then bought a MacBook, the aluminum one. No problems whatsoever, including wireless which works flawlessly.

It is hard to conceive I'll switch back to Windows system. No reason to. The slight price differential is far outweighed by the elimination of hassle factor. I'm no acolyte but truth is Mac systems are simply more solid and stable.
posted by culturemaven at 2:23 PM on July 13, 2009

My perspective on the transferring thing, particularly with regard to presentations and PowerPoint: I run a couple of conferences every year and attend a mess of others. Every year, without fail, we have the majority of our issues surrounding people who author PowerPoint slides on Office for Mac and then try to present on a Windows laptop. QuickTime sucking hard on Windows is the source of most problems, but not all. The only option is hydropsyche's, save the PPT as a PDF and present the PDF, which greatly limits multimedia features.

Also, receiving documents for the proceedings from Mac authors is often a pain. Word translates over ok, but often there are Mac-specific embedded objects (figures, etc..) which aren't (easily) editable on our editor's Windows system.
posted by bonehead at 2:26 PM on July 13, 2009

I love my Macbook Pro for graphic work (and OS X, bundled software, battery life, wake-up speed, lack of annoying pop-ups) but I hate typing on it. I wish the keys had a bit more of a "click" sensation when pressed. Try one out in the store first.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:08 PM on July 13, 2009

Mac. Mac, Mac, Mac. I cannot say it enough. Now even my teens are converts.
posted by misha at 3:47 PM on July 13, 2009

As someone who has both a year old 15" Macbook Pro and two year old thinkpad (both provided by work) at the moment, I can say there is just not a "right" answer here. It really comes down to the small nuances of the design and how you work with it. Different features rub different people in different ways and it all comes down to what's personally important to you.

Me? I vastly prefer OS X to any flavor of windows for a million small reasons and for all the things that "just work the way they should" but also for the large (and growing larger) volume of software that's really well done and only available for OS X. But I do admit it has its shortcomings, and OS X is obviously not for everyone or every task, and sometimes you just need to run Windows.

As far as hardware goes I agree with bonobothegreat -- I prefer the keyboard on my thinkpad to my MBP, and despite being made of plastic the thinkpad feels tougher to me (my MBP is one of the last ones made from before they made the switch unibody cases, so perhaps I would have a different opinion if I had one of those).
posted by dyslexictraveler at 3:52 PM on July 13, 2009

Adding to the warnings about issues between Mac PowerPoint and Windows PowerPoint. They are not totally compatible (even had that told to me straight from Mac support and Microsoft support after much head scratching.)

Still I hear that you can happily dual boot a Mac into your required flavor of OS so that's a point in their favor. (Spoken as a long time Windows user and Mac scoffer-at who is considering a Mac for his new laptop given this dual bootability)
posted by merocet at 3:55 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another good thing about ThinkPads is if you're planning on going the Linux-route, they're some of the single-most-supported computers (drivers-wise) on the planet. IBM (/Lenovo) heavily relies on Intel's chipsets, and thankfully Intel's drivers are open-source. For example, wireless networking—traditionally one of the biggest Linux stumbling blocks—Just Works™ on ThinkPads. You can see a full list of open-source support at ThinkWiki.org.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:22 PM on July 13, 2009

Yes, to make widely-compatible PowerPoint presentations on your Mac, like for other people to be able to run from PCs, you should do it using the Windows version of PowerPoint. On your Mac.
posted by rokusan at 4:41 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: rokusan, does that mean that I install Office for PCs on the Mac? What exactly would I need to do?
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 4:58 PM on July 13, 2009

Another combo Mac and Thinkpad user here. Well, actually just a MBP and MBA user at this stage. The Thinkpad (a T61) went away once I got the MBA. There is nothing wrong with Thinkpads. They are fantastic work machines, based on my decade of traveling with them as a consultant. I just got extremely tired of Windows, slow boot and waking from sleep-times. Maybe I've had great luck, but the build quality of the Unibody Macs it outstanding and I like the keyboard.

I work in an almost exclusive Windows / MS Office / Lotus Notes environment and have had no compatibility issues with sharing documents. There were some challenges getting wireless working with our corporate infrastructure, but that's mainly due to the security standard being used (LEAP) than the Mac itself.

So, my recommendation would be for the 13" MBP base configuration. Education discount should make the price even sweeter. But, a T-series Thinkpad is also a nice machine.
posted by michswiss at 5:19 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you want to install Office for PC on a Mac, the easiest option I've found is Crossover. You could also use a virtual Windows setup, but I've found that more complicated with no good enough benefits.
posted by General Malaise at 7:41 PM on July 13, 2009

In your situation I recommend a Lenovo. I like the T series. Specs are up to you at that point.

I've used both and like them both for different reasons. I really like the red mouse nubbin in the keyboard on the Thinkpads. I like the Macbook keyboard just fine. You'd get used to it quickly enough. The Macbook has great battery life. I don't think you'd notice much difference in weight. Mac's integration between pre-installed applications is very nice, such as between all the multimedia stuff, and the OS is very smooth. I like Windows Explorer much better than Mac's Finder. Mac's Spotlight is awesome but you can replicate it on PC with Launchy.

Compatibility is mostly not a problem, though at my Mac/PC office we've had minor problems with objects in a Word for Mac document not working right when opened on a PC. Rare though, and there was an easy workaround. Sidenote: no more macros in Office for Mac. That's a legit drawback to Office for Mac if you've been macro dependent for a while.

While you can install and run Windows on your Mac using Bootcamp, at that point you're buying both a Mac and a copy of Windows. It seems like an unnecessary expense just to be able to run Windows-native Office. Unless your school has licenses for both of those for teachers so you don't have to buy them, it seems more direct to just get a computer that already has the OS you want or need on it.

If you're used to Windows, haven't had many problems with it, and don't have a particular need for any Mac features or functionality, I think it's just easiest to stay Windows. That'll save you from a few of the minor drawbacks of switching (learning a new, albeit easy, OS, some minor functional hurdles or extra needed software for things like file and printer sharing with PCs or writing to NTFS, etc). I do like the resale value argument for Macs if accurate, but for ease would still recommend the Lenovo.
posted by Askr at 7:42 PM on July 13, 2009

Mac laptops still, after twenty-five years of WTF, have only a single mouse button. Apparently the mid-1980s concern that two mouse buttons would be overwhelming to the typical Mac user still applies -- or the company is just extremely reluctant to admit, after so many years of stubbornness, that a single mouse button is a terribly bad idea.

This has always more or less typified why I dislike Macs. That and the price and the fragile hardware and the endless incompatibility problems. These are impressions, by the way, from administering PC-centric workplaces where there's always a couple of Apple fans complaining about how their computers don't work right on the network or how files don't open properly on their machines -- not from lots of time negotiating OSX by choice. I don't like it. If you think it's super, and are willing to deal with all the problems around committing to use it and Apple hardware, then you'll be happy with the Mac choice -- go for it.

Lenovo makes excellent hardware, and you can run pretty much anything on it besides OSX -- any version of Windows, any version of Linux -- because they make sure the hardware is compatible. Their stuff is tough, a pleasure to work with (what a keyboard!), and pricy compared to other PC laptops (but cheap compared to Apple).

Either choice is supportable. A strong preference for OSX dictates buying the Apple. Any preferences towards economy, compatibility, and durability tilt toward Lenovo. Meanwhile, "Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac" is not an argument.
posted by gum at 12:40 AM on July 14, 2009

Another Lenovo to Macbook convert here. I made the switch 6 months ago to the 13" aluminum model (now called the 13" Macbook Pro) and don't regret a thing! I'm an engineering grad student and haven't had any problems so far with presentations using Office for Mac, and all of the other software I used to use on the Thinkpad have equivalent (and usually open source so free) versions on the Mac. Ironically it was much more straightforward to set up remote desktop on the Macbook than it was on the Thinkpad (for connecting to my (Windows XP) lab computer). I like the Macbook because of the 'it just works' argument. It boots up in 30 seconds, there's none of the 'clunkiness' of Windows, and the Applecare is great. Never had any wireless problems. If you're in education you'll get a sweet discount on both the laptop and the Applecare.
posted by hibbersk at 1:12 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a Lenovo right now. RUBBISH. Less than 2 years old and blue screens like it's its job.

I've had my Powerbook for over 4 years and it's still running fine although I haven't been able to upgrade a lot of my software cause they don't support my OS version anymore.

Get a dualboot.
posted by like_neon at 1:34 AM on July 14, 2009

gum, Just to let you know, Apple have dispensed with the one button. The new machines don't have any buttons and the trackpad is made of glass. Fragile stuff!

You might have had a really bad run, but I don't think your experience is representative of the current family of Apple laptops. I work in an environment where Thinkpads are the global standard. Let's just say hundreds of thousands of users. I personally never had a hardware problem with any of mine but I've seen an amazing number of severely beat up units. I have also been a part of a pilot where non-MS platforms were being assessed back in Europe. That was with an earlier version of OS X on a G4 Powerbook for a little over a year. It all worked fine. I moved back to a Thinkpad for three years until I decided to make an MBA my primary work machine about 18 months ago when my international travel went through the roof. The MBA is one tough travel unit.

But, as far as the Op's question, both companies produce what I would consider the best business laptops out there. I just prefer OS X as a platform and love the form factor of the MBA
posted by michswiss at 1:41 AM on July 14, 2009

Mac laptops still, after twenty-five years of WTF, have only a single mouse button.

Stuff like this makes my head hurt. I've been right clicking on every Mac I've had, both desktops and portables, since the late eighties.

It's like the anti-Mac arguments haven't been revised since 1986.
posted by rokusan at 4:14 AM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

Stuff like this makes my head hurt. I've been right clicking on every Mac I've had, both desktops and portables, since the late eighties.

You cannot show me a two-button trackpad on any of these Macs. I believe what you're saying is that you've been carrying around a two-button PC mouse for twenty-five years to correct Apple's stubborn engineering mistake, and long ago stopped dwelling on how silly that is. Right?

It's like the anti-Mac arguments haven't been revised since 1986.

What makes my head hurt is the impression that this problem was solved in 1987. It's 2009, and you still cannot buy a Mac laptop that doesn't force you to wear the one-button mitten while you type. I recognize that this doesn't bother a lot of people. Fine. For others of us, it's just the most obvious example of why the Mac interface feels dumbed down and clumsy, not elegant and simple.

It's clear that Four-Eyed Girl doesn't yet know which of these user categories she fits in, and since it's really the most relevant difference between her two choices, it's worth discussing. To suggest the problem was solved decades ago is . . . well, yet another exasperating feature of Apple and its fans, I guess.
posted by gum at 7:06 AM on July 14, 2009

Rehashing history from 1987, whether right or wrong does nothing to assist the Op to make their decision. Look at the current products. The new trackpad is fantastic and "right-click" is as simple as tapping two fingers. It is incredibly intuitive and effective. IMHO, the multi-touch interface on the new MBPs is amazing.

Again, nothing wrong with the Thinkpad, but I was never a fan of the "Kitten Nose" in the middle of the keyboard.
posted by michswiss at 8:04 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for your help, everyone! I bought a MacBook Pro tonight after carefully considering all my options and everyone's input.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 6:03 PM on July 14, 2009

Thanks for your help, everyone! I bought a MacBook Pro tonight after carefully considering all my options and everyone's input.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl

Ah, missed the question but excellent choice.

Meanwhile, "Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac" is not an argument.
posted by gum at 12:40 AM

Who said "Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac"? She asked a question, she got answers. If it bothers you that the overwhelming answer was Mac, that's your problem.

I believe what you're saying is that you've been carrying around a two-button PC mouse for twenty-five years to correct Apple's stubborn engineering mistake, and long ago stopped dwelling on how silly that is. Right?

It must really kill you that they killed the 'engineering mistake' by not adding a second button but by taking away the first. And it works great. Of course, I could just be blinded by apple's marketing.

well, yet another exasperating feature of Apple and its fans, I guess.
posted by gum

Oh for fucks sake. Get over yourself. You're the one with the problem. Go use your thinkpad and be happy.
posted by gtr at 7:53 PM on July 14, 2009

Actually, I said Mac, Mac, Mac. The question was, which of the two choices should I go with, Lenovo or Mac?

And I think you made a great choice, OP!
posted by misha at 8:11 PM on July 14, 2009

On this site you will always and overwhelmingly get recommendations to go Mac. I don't know or care about whether that is the appropriate advice in this instance, but the specific misinformation used to back it up is very frustrating.

For example:
The same has been true of older Macs for me. Four year old PCs are doorstops, eight year old Macs can still fetch $100's on eBay.
Don't be ridiculous.
Or, if you really want to defend this ubsurd statement, please cite some evidence. Currently, I'm successfully selling 5 year old desktop PCs (HP dc7100 SFF) for $120. List price on the system was $1200, but in the PC world that normally means the real price was somewhat less than $1000. A 6 year old iMac G4 that just sold on eBay for $100 cost $1,299 new. In the Mac world the list price was the real price.

Four-Eyed Girl, please, that old laptop of your's is not garbage!! To fix all the issues you are having: blow out the CPU fan with some canned air, reinstall the operating system and install the latest wireless driver you can find, update the firmware on the wireless access point you are connecting to, and buy a replacement battery on eBay. Of course I can't guarantee the above will fix all the problems, but your chances are better than 90%.

In present condition ("as-is" as it were) it is worth about $100. Fixed up, assuming that is possible, it is worth somewhere around $200 possibly up to $300 (depending on detailed specifications--I wouldn't buy a replacement battery if you are just reselling, let your customer do that).
posted by Chuckles at 1:54 PM on July 15, 2009

Stuff like this makes my head hurt. I've been right clicking on every Mac I've had, both desktops and portables, since the late eighties.

You cannot show me a two-button trackpad on any of these Macs.

This is correct. And there never will be. But you know what, I can't even show you a one-button trackpad on any of these Macs, either. That's because there's NO BUTTON AT ALL.

So do you really think that means there's no way to click? I mean, think it through.

It's 2009, and you still cannot buy a Mac laptop that doesn't force you to wear the one-button mitten while you type.

I don't know what this means. You're so wrong it's hard to even follow.

Again: there are no buttons on the current Apple mouse or trackpad. None. Zero.

Now explain your argument again, please?
posted by rokusan at 1:51 PM on July 28, 2009

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