Which computer do i pick?
August 17, 2011 7:25 PM   Subscribe

What laptop should i replace my mac with?

I'm planning on selling my macbook, and then replacing it with a PC laptop. Only problem is i don't know much about pc laptops, other than certain brands. The main things i'd be using it for would be gaming, music, photos, and on occasion i'll use word.

After looking through all these websites, on what the best laptops are and looking at the specifics on certain laptops i just feel a bit over whelmed.

If anyone has any suggestions though, i'd really appreciate it.
posted by ohtimorousme to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
It would be helpful to know what the specs of your current machine are (current gen macbook? and macbook, not macbook pro? and what the features are that you like/use most (or most dislike).

Beyond that, CNET is a great source for fairly evenhanded reviews about electronics (with your pick of either editor's review's or crowdsourced reviews of devices).
posted by arnicae at 7:29 PM on August 17, 2011

Are you aware that you can install Windows on your Macbook (assuming it has an Intel chip), and avoid the excessive hardware cost of a new laptop? If you have an older Macbook with a PowerPC chip, you can ignore the previous sentence.

Assuming you have good reasons to make the change, if it were my money I would purchase a Toshiba or a Sony; the Sony is more Mac-like in appearance (and you'll pay for the privilege), while a Toshiba is a fairly sturdy workhorse of a computer. I would avoid Compaq and HP like the plague. My personal jury is out on the rest.

Since you can do photos, music and Word on a Macbook, I assume it is for gaming that you want this laptop, and so you're going to need to do some research -- unlike Macs, there are so many possible combinations of models and options in the PC world, that everyone (not just you) feels overwhelmed. I would argue one of the biggest reasons people adopt Macs is the desire to get something that just works instead of having to wade through all the options, only to have a tech-savvy friend say "ooooh, you should have bought the one with dedicated video RAM."

Tom's Hardware used to have good computer reviews that included frame rates for specific games, but I don't know if they still do. Start there.
posted by davejay at 7:31 PM on August 17, 2011

I guess the first thing to determine is your budget. Also, when you say "gaming" do you mean "hardcore" gaming? If so you might look into something like an Alienware. For casual gaming, web surfing, media consumption etc... I use a Lenovo Y Series ideapad and I'm very happy with it.
posted by MikeMc at 7:32 PM on August 17, 2011

Of all the PC laptops I've tried, I'd recommend a Lenovo Thinkpad or Ideapad.

The laptops are physically built well, have designs and features you don't see in other laptops. There is minimal bloatware loaded, compared to other manufacturers like HP and Dell.

Good luck.
posted by Argyle at 7:33 PM on August 17, 2011

I'd go with a Sony Vaio, personally.

Avoid Dell. The prices are low, but the build quality will feel unbelievably cheap after a Mac... with a durability to match.
posted by Andrhia at 7:33 PM on August 17, 2011

I'd avoid the Vaio. Unless things have changed, they're spectacularly overpriced.
posted by griphus at 7:34 PM on August 17, 2011

Everyones opinion on this topic will differ. I've had a compaq (prior to hp takeover) laptop that lasted me 4.5 years with two and half spin time on the hd.

I've owned a Toshiba, which was a pretty good machine. Never was too excited about build quality, but it worked out well.

My own new personal favorite is Asus. The build quality is excellent, the specs fantastic, and I couldn't find a laptop equivalent for the price. Granted the harddrive died 18 months in, and Asus would have replaced it had I sent in my entire machine (thanks but no thanks, I can't go without my machine so fuck it, I'll fix it myself).
posted by handbanana at 7:38 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you want a gaming laptop get Asus. If you want sturdy, get Lenovo.
posted by michaelh at 7:43 PM on August 17, 2011

HP, Lenovo, or Asus. I currently have an Asus right now.
posted by canadia at 8:08 PM on August 17, 2011

I did a lot of research before buying mine-- I looked at reviews on cnet, newegg and amazon and i was between an asus and a toshiba satellite. the only real difference i could figure out was that people seemed to think the asus was better for gaming. so, not worth it for me because i'm not a gamer, but i read tons of good reviews about asus while doing my research, especially compared with other brands/ stuff for the same price.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 8:26 PM on August 17, 2011

I've heard good things about Asus as well. Personally I am a big Lenovo Thinkpads. Great engineering and no-nonsense business practicality.
posted by roomwithaview at 8:28 PM on August 17, 2011

What kind of gaming do you mean? If you mean 3D FPSs or the like you'll need a very different box than if your gaming is done on Facebook.
posted by chairface at 4:22 PM on August 18, 2011

Gaming as in team fortress 2, plants vs zombies, knights of the old republic, minecraft, and various other 3D games.
posted by ohtimorousme at 6:48 PM on August 19, 2011

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