Can't decide on laptop to buy - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-07, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Can't decide on laptop to buy

I have been searching a lot in these forums and elsewhere on what laptop to buy. My wife needs a laptop in a few weeks and I want to buy her one that will keep her happy. Not like the first two I bought her. She does not want an Acer or Asus laptop. Not sure why, she just says no.

Anyway, I am trying to decide between a Samsung or an HP. I want a minimum of 8 GB of RAM, i7 quad core processor, and a SSD drive. A 15" size screen should be good. I was looking at the Samsung 7 series NP700Z5CH or the HP ENVY 17-3000 laptops. Is anyone familiar with these laptops? Is there one that is better than the other?

My other delima is that I wait for the new Macbook Pros to come out and get her one of those, and just use Fusion to run Windows on it. That way she gets the best of both worlds. But at a higher cost. Anyone have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-07, 11:31 AM
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You need to first list identify your wife's needs.

Portability - since a laptop and not desktop, I assume she'll be taking it places. Does she need something light?

Applications - will she be doing wind tunnel simulations, or having lots of applications running at the same time? 3D graphics (is she a gamer?)

Do you really need an i7 or high end graphics ?

Not knowing the requirements makes it hard to suggest a laptop. Without knowing this, I would still recommend a Sony Vaio or Samsung. I hate HP laptops and why pay "Mac" prices if you want to run windows.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-07, 01:42 PM
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FWIW, I bought a Lenovo ThinkPad E520 last October and am very happy with it.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-07, 01:50 PM
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And I have nothing but good stuff to say about HP laptops, so there you go.
Unless you specifically need a Mac I stay far away.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-07, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, forgot to mention her requirements. She will be using this for just about everything she needs to do on a computer. Her online course, creating videos, editing photos, etc... She will not really be using this for gaming, well not hardcore gaming. She will not be travelling with it much, so weight is not a concern. She will be doing a fair amount of multi-tasking on it, so she will have multiple windows open. I was thinking of an i7 quad core, is more for future proofing it. When we bought our iMac a few years ago, we only went with the dual core i5, and now I wished we would have went with the quad core i7.

The reason I am considering a MBP, is besides my PC, the rest of our devices/computers are Apple products. It would be nice to be able to intigrate it all together.
My wife wants to do her course work in Windows. When she does her online work on our iMac, all the formatting changes of everything she submits. THis is why I would have windows on a MBP, if I get that.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-07, 04:11 PM
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The new batch of Mac models should be announced at the upcoming conference so maybe you should sit tight for a few weeks and see what shakes out.

The new rule in my family is... if you want me to support you, buy a mac.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-07, 04:37 PM
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And I have nothing but good stuff to say about HP laptops, so there you go.
Unless you specifically need a Mac I stay far away.
What I would stay away from is this type of advice. Why not consider a Mac? Why stay "far away"? What makes HP laptops so much better? My mother has had two HP laptops over the past 4.5 years and she's just about to toss the one she currently own out the window.

notsure has it right. If you want support in my house, it has to be a Mac.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-07, 04:59 PM
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If she didn't like Acer or Asus, and she's happy (?) with the Mac products, then I doubt she'll be happy with any other brand of PC laptop.

Go with the MBP.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-07, 06:55 PM
 
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Last year I bought a ThinkPad X220. Great machine. Small and light but still has almost a full sized keyboard. Probably whatever is current in that basic price range (under 1000) and configuration is what I'd buy if I were shopping for another today.

As for Mac vs Windows - I find editing photos in Lightroom and some other integrated apps feels slightly - not worth worrying about - more sluggish on Mac OS X vs Windows, but I'm running a Hackintosh configuration on a well supported desktop motherboard and despite playing it careful with equipment choices my video card - which does a lot of the work with some of my tools - isn't as well supported on OS X as it is in Windows. I don't blame Apple for this as I'm doing something unsupported anyway.

I'm predisposed to like OS X because I'm a Unix weenie from 25 years ago but for a few reasons I am no longer running Windows in a virtual machine but as the host OS - the aforementioned video support; general sluggish and buggy support on OS X for Flash (on my system it would cause system lockups occasionally and this doesn't seem to be Hackintosh specific).

I miss two main things: Mac Mail, which I prefer over Thunderbird but can live with either; the Finder, which was great with saved searches for doing web publishing.

I don't miss having to click twice on a web link when making another window the current window. (OS X)

Based on what you've said about work sharing, it does sound like Windows is a more natural fit at the present time for your wife.

As for machines, depending on the nature of her photography and video work you'll want to carefully consider the display capabilities before making a purchase decision. Myself I'd want at least an IPS based display, the same technology used for my desktop's two displays.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-08, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerChip View Post
What I would stay away from is this type of advice. Why not consider a Mac? Why stay "far away"? What makes HP laptops so much better? My mother has had two HP laptops over the past 4.5 years and she's just about to toss the one she currently own out the window.

notsure has it right. If you want support in my house, it has to be a Mac.
And I have a 5 year old hp laptop, a 8 year old hp desktop( granted, added memory and a blu-ray writer) and one community association has been lending out an hp laptop with projector etc for 5 years now under my care, so your advice is much better than mine. If you have money do whatever turns you on. If you want value buy what you need with an eye to the future but Apple vs MS is opinion and one opinion is as good as the other. BTW the OP isn't going to get your support anyway. I assume they are not in your house!
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-08, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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I really didn't want this thread to turn into an Mac vs PC fight. I personally like both OS's, and think they both have their strengths and weaknesses. I also disagreeed with the "run far away" comment made regarding MBP's. I have been doing my research, and MBP are consistently rated one of the best out there. Before I make my decision, I am going to wait until the Apple announcement on Monday.

If I don't get a MBP, I am leaning towards the Samsung over the HP. If I had it my way, I would buy both the MBP and the Samsung, but I would be in the dog house for a while spending that much money.

I mostly want something that will last at least 4 or 5 years. The last two laptops I bought my wife was a Dell and an Acer, and both of them barely lasted 2 years before they started givng her grief.

Between Samsung and HP laptops, is their one that is generally more reliable?
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-08, 12:56 PM
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And I have a 5 year old hp laptop, a 8 year old hp desktop( granted, added memory and a blu-ray writer) and one community association has been lending out an hp laptop with projector etc for 5 years now under my care, so your advice is much better than mine. If you have money do whatever turns you on.
gzink, I'm glad you're adding substance to your previous post. I'm not telling anyone to stay away from any particular brand or OS. So I have a problem when others do it. Your experience with HP has been positive and that's a good thing. I shared my mother's story (which is true btw) to provide balance.

Just because HP works well for some people doesn't mean everybody else should stay away from other brands / platforms.

The Mac does cost more: no ifs ands or buts about it. But the average life expectancy of Macs (without having to do expensive upgrades or maintenance), combined with the amount of software they come pre-loaded with and the cost of the OS being so low (last major release was a $29 upgrade) make the gap a lot closer over the life of the machine.

Sure, if you look at sticker price, you're in for a shock if you're not used to Apple pricing.

But as jshel101 pointed out, the satisfaction is way up there, and that says something.

Jshel101, if you're looking at a computer to last you 5 years, I would get the MBP. Look for major Apple announcement next week at WWDC (World Wide developer Conference). Then, you'll have the option of buying an existing model at a discounted price or getting the latest and greatest.

I have owned (or still own) a total to 6 Apple laptops over the past 12 years. Every single one of them has had a useful life of 5+ years. And by useful, I mean a computer where everything works and the computer is still snappy enough to make it an enjoyable experience to use it.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-08, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply PokerChip,

Have you tried running Windows on your MBP's you have owned? If I get a MBP, I will have to have windows, either in a dual boot or by using VM Fusion. Curious on the performance of it.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-08, 01:30 PM
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If you're going to be running Windows on the Mac, be sure to check benchmarks of those machines actually running Windows, like battery life benchmarks. Historically there have been issues with Apple having current drivers for Windows (for example, for many years people who wanted to Boot Camp over to Windows weren't able to run the 64-bit versions of Windows because Apple drivers didn't exist for some components).

Personally, I'm holding off buying a laptop right now because I'm interested in those Windows 8 touch laptops that are convertible into a tablet. Laptops like the Lenovo Yoga.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 2012-06-08, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link. The following Macs are compatible with Windows 64 bit, so I think I am safe in that regards.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009) and later
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2008) and later
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2008) and later
Mac Pro (Early 2008) and later
iMac (21.5 inch, Late 2009)
iMac (27-inch, Late 2009)
iMac (27-inch, Quad Core, Late 2009)
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) and later
iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2010)
iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010)
Mac mini (Mid 2010)
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