Help me decide which computer to buy.
June 30, 2007 10:29 PM   Subscribe

I need your help to decide which computer to buy - Macbook Pro 15" or the Dell Dimension XPS 1330.

Hi guys, I need your opinions. I need to buy a laptop because I'm going to start Grad School, and I'll also be doing a lot of traveling, and I need laptop.

I was looking at the new XPS1330, and was really excited about it. At first I was only looking to spend about $1500, but after I configured it to my liking it came up to about $2000. Since apparently that's my new budget, I was shopping around to see what I could get in that price range for a Santa Rosa chipset, LED screen, good video card and 2GB RAM.

I eventually came across the 15" MBP at 2.2Ghz, and with an education discount its $1800, $200 cheaper than the XPS.

Faster Processor 2.2Ghz w/ 4MB cache
Better Vid Card 8600m GT
Bigger screen
Better Resolution 1440*900
Better battery life
Integrated Bluetooth (I didnt pick this on my XPS)
Wireless N (I didn't pick this on my XPS)
Same LED display technology
Same integrated webcam
Same RAM
Same HDD capacity/speed
Weighs just over a pound more than the XPS with the 9cell battery
Backlit keyboard, magsafe power cord

The pros for the XPS are that it weighs a little less, and just has a smaller footprint because its 13.3". There aren't any technical advantages that I can think of.

Some of you might say that you cant really compare them because one is 15" and the other is 13", but in terms of budget, value for money and technology... after I looked at the MBP this morning I can't really see myself spending so much on the XPS just because it's... tiny.

In terms of software I've never used a MBP, but I'm a bit excited about using a new OS, plus I can still run Windows and all my applications and games, so that's an advantage, not a disadvantage. I'm not averse to trying something new.

Help me decide?

PS - It seems I can get a free iPod Nano (after rebate) if I buy the MBP. Another plus.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (45 answers total)
Get the Mac. I was in a similar situation a while ago, and got the MacBook. Loving every minute. Availability of BootCamp and Parallels means that even if there's must-have Win software, you can still run it. If that 2" isn't an issue, and the weight isn't either, get the Mac.
posted by djgh at 10:34 PM on June 30, 2007

1) It might be worth looking at refurbished-from-Apple MBPs, if they've got any; I have a refurbished Macbook and have yet to find the reason why it was refurbished as everything looks and runs perfectly; it also cost 30% less than new.

2) Don't forget to allow for Applecare if you're thinking about the MBP; I think it's worth the piece of mind for, what, $2 a week over the three years?
posted by mdonley at 10:35 PM on June 30, 2007

I'm really mad at myself for getting a Dell when a Macbook would have been cheaper. I don't do much of anything that requires me to be running Windows and never really use the traditional Windows apps anyway. The two OSs are so much more compatible than they were a few years ago... honestly, I'd get the Mac.

And get Applecare. My god, I'm so jealous of my friends with great Mac support.
posted by rhoticity at 10:44 PM on June 30, 2007

I recently bought a Dell notebook, returned it, and went with a Macbook, and I have never looked back. I bought mine from the outlet store, and saved about 16% over new.
posted by 4ster at 10:49 PM on June 30, 2007

1. What software do you want to run?
2. What operating system does that software run on?
3. If your software needs Windows, buy the Dell. If your software runs on OSX, buy the Mac.

If you just ask, "Which should I buy?" in a place like this, you'll get told "Buy a Mac." But that advice does you no good if your software won't run on a Mac. (While it's possible to install XP on a Macbook, it's a rather odd thing to do and I'm not sure it's really formally supported, with all that implies.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:54 PM on June 30, 2007

Dell will be cheaper, but only if you buy carefully!

To get a good price, you must look at deals sites (fatwallet, redflagdeals, and etc.), and watch for one of Dell's one day only specials - the forum posters will tell you when it is a good deal, not all the specials are. Generally, you should never reconfigure, but again, the forum posters will suggest the best value for dollar configuration. Just follow their lead. If you want a bigger hard drive, or more RAM, you buy those at your local computer store.
posted by Chuckles at 11:04 PM on June 30, 2007

I'm guessing you just need one for "normal" school stuff and applications and all the typical fun stuff, since you don't mention anything that hints at esoteric software needs. So get the Mac!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 11:16 PM on June 30, 2007

Faster Processor 2.2Ghz w/ 4MB cache
Better Vid Card 8600m GT
Bigger screen
Better Resolution 1440*900
Better battery life
Integrated Bluetooth (I didnt pick this on my XPS)
Wireless N (I didn't pick this on my XPS)

Dude, get the MBP. I'm no Apple fanboy, but I know a better deal when I see one.

Tech products become obsolete so quickly that it seems kind of foolish to pay more for features that aren't cutting edge (as is the case with the CPU, GPU, and Wifi hardware here). I've always kind of disliked Dell and I think their products look bloated and gaudy, the XPS line included. You're not a teenaged gamer; you're a traveling, worldly student working towards a second degree. The MBP will convey that a bit better, imho.
posted by roomwithaview at 11:20 PM on June 30, 2007

Don't get the Mac, you can get a faster machine for less!

Oh, wait, nevermind...

Don't get the Mac, you'll never be able to run Windows software easily!

Damn, that's not true any more either, eh?

Don't get the Mac, it's completely incompatible with the rest of the world!

Crap, you're kidding... Active Directory integration and Microsoft Office?

Don't get the Mac, only hippies and artists buy them!

Really? Popular with normal people too now, are they?

I bought a MacBook and have never, ever been happier with a computer.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 11:28 PM on June 30, 2007

My advice is to go with neither of those. If you really plan on toting a laptop around to classes, and plan on travelling a lot, you will want something smaller than 15 inches.

Lugging around 10 pounds of laptop and gear sucks. If I were you, I'd find the smallest, lightest, computer I could afford. The odds are good that you won't really be using all that processing power anyway, unless you're a hardcore gamer or a video editor (in which case you won't want a laptop anyway)

If you want more screen real-estate, spend 20 bucks to get a CRT monitor on craigslist. Set one up at home and one up at work and you're set.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:30 PM on June 30, 2007

Get the Mac. I've been a dedicated Dell user for years...if I needed a Windows-only machine again, I'd buy Dell. But my wife and I made the switch to refurbed MacBook Pros (15") in March, and love them.

I run Windows XP in Parallels. There are only a couple of Windows programs I need, and they run great in Parallels (Microsoft has no licensing questions regarding virtualization of XP that I'm aware of, and I would never call Microsoft for support anyway). Bootcamp also works very well in my experience, if you don't mind dual booting.

So, why the Mac? Well, I needed a new laptop and didn't want Vista. I wanted a Unix-based OS (not that it matters if you don't want it to...the Mac GUI is great, and you never need to drop to the Unix commandline if you don't want to). I tried Linux on my older Dell and could never, ever get my wireless card to work (with Apple's drivers, the wireless card works fine in Windows and OS X). I just felt it was time to change, I've gotten so sick of Microsoft over the years and it was time to put my money where my mouth was. I haven't completely escaped Windows (I use it at work, anyway), but that's OK, I use it when I want to or need to, not all the time. I boot Windows once a week or so, I can live with that.

The MacBook has a great keyboard, by the way, and the size and weight are not an issue for me (yes, the footprint is bigger, but the computer is very thin, an inch or less thick). And you'll love the worry-free, magnetic power cable.
posted by lhauser at 11:31 PM on June 30, 2007

You're not a teenaged gamer; you're a traveling, worldly student working towards a second degree. The MBP will convey that a bit better, imho.

That just needs repeating a thousand times. If your primary concern is image, and "what you convey".. But, if you are looking for a good deal, that is an entirely different thing.

Honestly, it does kind of sound like you are buying this because you have money burning a hole in your pocket. $300-500 on a buy-sell-trade forum, or ebay, will get you more laptop than you know what to do with!
arstecnica and 2cpu are great, but not busy, the users on hardforum can be less reliable, but there is tons of traffic - in any case, check the sellers heat, and you'll be able to tell what to expect immediately.
posted by Chuckles at 11:37 PM on June 30, 2007

What chrisamiller said. The Mac is the better of the two options you've presented, but why not go with the regular MacBook? You can get one with a 2 GHz Core Duo and 2 gigs of RAM for around $1300, and they're much more manageable. I had a Toshiba 15" laptop for a few years and almost never took it anywhere because it was such an ordeal to cart it and its various appurtenances hither and yon. I just bought an old ThinkPad X30, at 12", and the smaller size makes all the difference in terms of convenience and portability.
posted by enn at 11:47 PM on June 30, 2007

Get an Apple ADC student membership for a $99 dollar fee, use their once-a-lifetime hardware discount to buy the MBP for $1,599 and save yourself another $100. I believe you can also get the free Nano as well.
posted by Asherah at 11:57 PM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

As long as you don't plan on gaming, go for the MBP. Don't forget 3 yr onsite warranties (or depot for the apple).
posted by SirStan at 12:12 AM on July 1, 2007

My gut reaction is "Don't get either. Get something cheap."

Unless you really do have money just falling out of your asshole, I assure you that you will have better things to spend it on during your grad school career than a fancier laptop that's still going to suck in four years.

What do you need the machine for?

If it's just for email and word processing and the like, any cheap machine will do that just fine. So get a cheap machine and be secure in the knowledge that you can afford to replace it when it croaks. Even if you're doing more intensive work, there are lots of situations where it doesn't matter, unless it absolutely has to be interactive. A model that runs in 10 minutes isn't functionally different from one that runs in an hour.

The other thing is why you're traveling. Whatever you need at home, if you're just traveling for conferences all you need out of a laptop is net stuff, basic functionality relevant to your discipline, and the ability to run presentations. And again, any old shitbox can do that.

Personally, faced with a $2000 budget I'd get a $600 laptop and a $1400 desktop, or a $600 laptop, a $1000 desktop, and keep a reserve.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:22 AM on July 1, 2007

You may want to consider just the regular MacBook over the MacBook Pro. I will assume that you've been adequately convinced that, all things being equal, you should get the Mac over the Dell. But I would question the "need" for a MacBook Pro over the MacBook for what you seem to be using it for.

If money for the better computer is not an issue, than by all means, go with the MBP.

I will also point out to the comment above about a laptop that's still going to suck in four years. While the sentiment is valid that you may be going pâté when you should be going chopped liver, I've had Mac laptops that still perform great for browsing, email, and word processing that are over 6 years old. OSX has brought those "vintage" iBooks along quite nicely. So, I'd say if you are investing in a laptop for the long-haul, get a Mac. Even if you aren't going to keep it, you'll get a better resale value with a Mac over a Dell.
posted by qwip at 12:49 AM on July 1, 2007

Get the Mac, of course; they're better in most every way (and still improving - Leopard's coming). But consider (as others have said) going with a smaller machine and an external monitor. You don't need as much horsepower as that, if most of your PC usage is email/Word/web stuff, and you can save a few hundred here and there and plunk down for a gorgeous widescreen LCD monitor for the desk. In a lecture hall on one of those tiny little notebook desks a 15" lappy will seem like a bit of an albatross.
posted by waxbanks at 12:56 AM on July 1, 2007

An $800 refurb laptop, with $500 worth of Adobe, Office and other commercial software you may need, purchased at student discount, and $500 worth of backup hardware, USB dongles, and perhaps a printer, is infinitely better suited in academia, than any better computer without software or peripherals that you need.

I'm with Chuckles and ROU_Xenophobe on the utility of cheap, even disposable laptops
posted by paulsc at 1:10 AM on July 1, 2007

Here is another voice in the "get the mac" choir.
posted by Baud at 1:54 AM on July 1, 2007

If you get a Mac, get AppleCare.

Unless you really do have money just falling out of your asshole, I assure you that you will have better things to spend it on during your grad school career than a fancier laptop that's still going to suck in four years.

True as that may be, I think it's preferable to the alternative—spending money on something that will be utterly unusable in four years, and will suck in two. You can spend half as much, but you'll be spending it twice as often.
posted by oaf at 3:08 AM on July 1, 2007

I was in a very similar predicament about a month ago, though XPS was never on my list. I'm moving from a "desktop replacement" laptop because I find myself hating carrying it around everywhere and, well, that just sucked.

I had my mind set on buying a macbook pro until I visited the medical school that I want to attend - they require pc's. Sure, I could probably get by with a mac, buy why? And what would happen if I couldn't?

So, I researched more and eventually bought a ThinkPad X61.

It kicks major ass.

It's got the Santa Rosa chipset & 2GB RAM. It's crazy light, the screen looks great and the battery life is nothing short of incredible. I'm looking forward to traveling with it next week.

Good luck.
posted by stuboo at 3:56 AM on July 1, 2007

Do you really need the performance in the Macbook Pro? If you're just going to be typing up papers and checking email, it's pretty overkill for that. For that type of work, you won't even notice the difference in performance between the Macbook and Macbook Pro. I have a Macbook that I run Windows XP through Parallels on. I'll often have Outlook, SQL Server+Query Analyzer+Enterprise Manager, Excel, and PowerPoint all running at the same time and it just hums. I think the 2.0 GHz Macbook should be sufficient for your needs. Better to save that money and put it towards other things.
posted by junesix at 4:21 AM on July 1, 2007

I have to disagree with "get small and light." I carried my 15" Powerbook everywhere for years. I didn't find it too heavy, and I really liked the size of the screen.

I also disagree with "useless in four years." My Powerbook is exactly that old and doesn't feel slow, dated, or undesirable in any way. I've never had a problem with it and I plan on using it at least several more years, barring disaster. There's just no reason to "upgrade"--it's still the top of the line.

Yes, I would say get the Mac, because based on my experience, you'll get good value for your money.

Spend your time now researching and choosing the best you can find and want to pay for. Don't buy something crappy on purpose and have to go through the whole thing again next year.

Plus, it's a computer, it's a big purchase regardless, you're going to spend a lot of time with it--gut feeling is important. Get something you like and feel excited about, whatever that is.
posted by bluebird at 4:34 AM on July 1, 2007

I'll throw in another voice that says my old G4, bought 3 years ago, would've lasted me another year ... and I was doing web development on it.

I have a new MacBook Pro, and it's very very very nice. But you do need a backup drive, you do need peripherals, you do need other bits and pieces that you may not have budgeted for.

Stuboo - You could've gone with the MacBook. For $79, you could've purchased Parallels Desktop, and your Windows Start bar would have been in the bottom while your dock is along the side. Oh, you need to run some program that requires full screen graphics and directdraw? I think that works in coherence mode now, but if it doesn't, just reboot to BootCamp -- problem solved. Shoulda done more research. ;)

I packed my 15" powerbook and now pack my 15" MacBook Pro everywhere as well... I've got a backpack that looks like your normal college student backpack, but has a computer sleeve concealed inside.

13.3" is NOT too small, though -- I started a company on a 12" laptop... and was arguably more successful with the 12" laptop than I was with the 20" monitors I bought 6 months in!
posted by SpecialK at 5:20 AM on July 1, 2007

I'm not going to recommend getting a MacBook. But I am going to recommend not getting a Dell.
posted by grouse at 5:57 AM on July 1, 2007

Even if you were a gamer, nothing stops you from using Bootcamp and booting into Windows natively on the Mac. It rates a 4.5 on Vista's performance index (which is fairly high for a laptop).

I play HL2 on it all the time and it works great.
posted by purephase at 7:16 AM on July 1, 2007

While it's possible to install XP on a Macbook, it's a rather odd thing to do and I'm not sure it's really formally supported, with all that implies.

Apple's Bootcamp, available in a stable beta now, is part of the next version of the operating system. All the new Macs have the same processors as PCs.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:33 AM on July 1, 2007

If you're technically-minded, want a choice of several different programs for any given task, and like to be able to make things work the way YOU want them to work, get a PC.

If you're the kind of person whose needs would be fulfilled by the default options for everything and that would be taking your computer in for repairs anyways when anything stopped working, get the mac.

Bootcamp sucks, BTW. You're better off just getting a PC if you want to run PC apps.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 9:30 AM on July 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

i was in the same boat as you last fall and went for the mac...and i love it. applecare is fantastic and my apple store offered a 10% student discount and a free ipod and printer, so if you go that route consider waiting until fall.
posted by enaira at 9:50 AM on July 1, 2007

If you're technically-minded, want a choice of several different programs for any given task, and like to be able to make things work the way YOU want them to work, get a PC.

If you're the kind of person whose needs would be fulfilled by the default options for everything and that would be taking your computer in for repairs anyways when anything stopped working, get the mac.

This wasn't true in 1988. It's not true now.

Bootcamp sucks, BTW. You're better off just getting a PC if you want to run PC apps.

Boot Camp allows me to run Windows programs exactly as I would on a non-Mac laptop running Windows, with the single exception that I have to put two fingers on the trackpad to right-click. I can live with that.
posted by oaf at 10:02 AM on July 1, 2007

As long as you don't plan on gaming, go for the MBP.

Or get the MacBook Pro and boot into Windows when you want to play games. Full, native speed.
posted by secret about box at 11:11 AM on July 1, 2007

Wow, there are a lot of mac fanboys on here. They're nice, don't get me wrong, but I just can't justify paying hundreds of dollars more than I need to on a laptop. Apple stuff is pretty, but it comes at a premium. I'd still take a thinkpad over a macbook any day.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:32 AM on July 1, 2007

@ SpecialK - I'm happy with the amount of research I did. I can do everything I need on my ThinkPad and though I may, one day, make the switch, the timing just wasn't right for me.
posted by stuboo at 1:10 PM on July 1, 2007

I have both laptops- (though not the specific Dell you mention). My employer is strictly a Windows world in support and purchase, and though I don't require any of their support, I do have to abide by their rules. At home, my Powerbook is preferred beast of choice. I'm fairly technical- do my share of Java and AJAX work, as well as database work (Filemaker Pro- runs identical on both), and 'extreme' Excel sifting. Both machines work admirably for the tasks. I watch DVD's on both machines- again, both work fine. The built in camera on the mac is far superior to the windows machine- but I don't do much with it. (That will change when daughter leaves for college this fall). HOWEVER... all that said, the Mac has now, and always had, a much easier OS. It just works. As do the peripherials you plug into it- they just work. With the MBP- you get two operating systems for the price of one- what's your question again?
posted by bytemover at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2007

chrisamiller, I had the same opinion but took the plunge anyway. Never going to look back. I've owned 3-4 laptops in my life and the MBP is, by an incredibly large margin, the best of them all.
posted by purephase at 1:47 PM on July 1, 2007

Apple laptops hold their value more than other brands. I recently sold a 2 year old PowerBook G4 for $700. The 15" computer is definitely not too much to carry around campus. I have a Foofbag that I put it in before it goes into a backpack. No problem.

As far as "Apple vs Others," that's going to end up being a personal decision. The quality of the computer is great. It can run Windows just like any PC laptop.

I've had a Thinkpad in the past and it worked well. If I was to buy a new laptop that wasn't an Apple, it'd probably be a Thinkpad.
posted by jeversol at 1:49 PM on July 1, 2007

I just got a refurbished MacBook 1.83 Core 2 Duo for $850 from the Apple Store 3 days ago. Even with the stock 512MB RAM (you can get 2GB for $90 shipped most anywhere, mine's coming next week), this machine absolutely screams in both Mac OS X and Windows.
posted by porn in the woods at 1:57 PM on July 1, 2007

They're nice, don't get me wrong, but I just can't justify paying hundreds of dollars more than I need to on a laptop. Apple stuff is pretty, but it comes at a premium.

Not if you do side-by-side comparisons of Apple laptops to similarly-configured Dell laptops. Apple makes mid- to high-end laptops, and their prices are comparable to Windows laptops with the same specs.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:24 PM on July 1, 2007

kirkaracha, that is a very naive analysis. Dell engages in differential pricing, so you absolutely have to "buy smart" when dealing with them. On the other hand, Apple has consistent prices across the board.

Basically.. Dell accepts that some customers are unwilling to buy from them at their regular prices. They believe that, as long as they are still making money, it is in their interest to try and make those sales anyway. Hence Dell has occasional, but spectacularly good, one day only specials. On the other hand, Apple believes that maintaining the perceived brand value is more important than catering to customers with low willingness to pay.

You can see very clearly in this thread that they are both right. They both understand exactly what markets they are catering to, and do a very good job of marketing and pricing to attract customers that suit their own business models.
Kind of makes me sick, to be honest :)

Whether you prefer paying for "perceived brand value", or patiently waiting for discounts, which have the consequence of feeding the beast, is completely up to you, of course.
posted by Chuckles at 7:38 PM on July 1, 2007

Buying the Apple absolutely costs more when you take into consideration the cost of a Windows license, and antivirus software for the Windows partition (should you use Bootcamp) or if instead of Bootcamp you choose Parallels software. Unless every single piece of software you use is Mac native, get the Dell (or ThinkPad). Bootcamp and Parallels are nice, but the benefits of using a Mac are not outweighed by the cost of the software. And I say this as a Powerbook user and Mac user for the last four years.

BTW, I also have a Windows laptop and unless you surf for porn and warez all day, getting a virus (to me) seems a bit difficult. What kinds of software does your graduate program require you to use?
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:04 PM on July 1, 2007

> antivirus software for the Windows partition

One of the best virus scanners on the market these days is AVG Anti-Virus, which is free for personal use.

Personally, as a web developer and gamer, I value very highly the lack of need to not buy two computers... that's more expensive than buying a MacBook Pro any day of the week! I really don't see the need to buy a PC laptop ever again now that I can run WinXP on a Mac. My roommate spent $3k on a Dell XPS laptop six months ago that's close to the specs of the MacBook Pro ... the MBP just has a lower grade video card. He says, after playing with my MBP for a while, that he feels like an idiot now.

Oh, and Apple lost my G4 Powerbook on it's way back from being repaired at AppleCare... and sent me a new MacBook Pro Santa Rosa 2.2ghz w/ 2gb of RAM to replace it. I'd like to see Dell or Lenovo do that without any fuss.

I'm not a mac fanboy by any means, I just find that they have a better product (ex: metal case and frame, not plastic) than their competitors. Oh, and I totally use my copy of Open Office in Parallels coherence mode and it runs superduper fast even with just 256mb of RAM allocated to the Parallels mode... so my cost for a copy of MS Office was the $79 license that I paid for Paralells, and bonus: I can test websites in IE and Windows all at once.

Next step: I want to see how CoPilot behaves in Coherence mode. :D
posted by SpecialK at 10:09 PM on July 1, 2007

If you are doing anything that requires statistics, getting the PC might be a good idea because as far as I understand all the good software is on PC only.

However, if you're just using the laptop for email, surfing, and writing papers, you will probably never need any of these mythical "Windows only" programs that people keep mentioning above.

Might I suggest going ultra economy and getting a gently used iBook? I know, horrors or horrors, a 3 year old computer. But mine still works for about 95% of what I do (it's not so hot for serving up a live development version of ColdFusion, so I finally got a MacBook). The 12" is the ULTIMATE in portability, it takes up only slightly more space in your backpack than a notebook, and it takes a decent beating once you place it in a neoprene sleeve.

Most people have too much processing power anyway. If you absolutely want a new computer, get the low end MacBook 13". It's slightly bigger but will probably fit in your backpack okay (which should be your number one concern as a student -- carrying two bags sucks).

Back in the day when I was running OS 8 it was pretty hard to justify being a Mac user. It's not so hard anymore, OS X takes almost all the crashes out and introduces Macs to the entire *nix code base.

No Apple aren't the cheapest but they're also designed from better materials (in my opinion) and if you buy one of the "cheap" laptop brands new then you're going to get something that falls apart.

Oh, and Dell sucks.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:37 AM on July 2, 2007

I think it is funny that those who are adamant about PC compatibility and experience over the Mac keep missing that fact that Macs now run Windows. Without issue. Try it. It's like you can do both and not have to choose. If there was a PC computer that could run OS X and XP - while Mac's only ran OS X - then everyone (including me) would say get the Dell (or the ThinkPad, or the whatever).

Anyone who makes a blanket statement that you just can't have the flexibility on a Mac or would spend too much getting a flexible system is speaking out of their Parallel Port.

The point is, the ideal that we've all been waiting for (a well designed computer that isn't a compromise on any level) is pretty much here. It's a Mac. There may be a better solution sometime in the future, but for now it's squarely with the Mac.

Sure, I'm a fan. I use a PC at work (ThinkPad) and Macs at home. But I'm a fan because Macs have a lot going for them. If you want to be a hater because you think Macs stand for something you abhor, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Are they perfect? Nope. Are they great tools that give you the most flexibility in computing today? Yep.

I think the only real discussion here is about the fact that althanis may be looking to get more laptop than he/she needs. We've all been there - mesmerised by the top of the line model. So this is the space for us to say "take a breath and understand what you really need". I think the majority of the responses do just that.

Didn't mean to rant, but I just get razzed when these practical issues turn into "PC vs Mac" fanboy arguments.
posted by qwip at 4:22 AM on July 2, 2007

I was a dedicated Windows desktop user at work and home up until 2005, when I got the cheapest available 12" iBook to go to conferences. It was such an incredible improvement in user experience that it ended up being the dedicated machine for both my wife and I at home. I just bought a 15" Macbook Pro and I can say without hesitation that it's not only the best computer I've ever owned, but the best computer ever made.

I still use an HP laptop daily at work and have two older Windows desktops at home (Dell XPS gaming system from 2004 and a home-built server), and I resent using all three. They're inferior in every way, except for 3D gaming (which I barely do anymore). The Mac has spoiled me for all other computers.
posted by waxpancake at 4:54 PM on July 14, 2007

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