Wow – Thanks For Responding

Yesterday, I asked for laptop advice (which continues to come in). I appreciate it all. I have not made up my mind yet, so don’t stop.

I do want to address one suggestion – Apple. There are two consistent comments I hear from Apple owners.

  • I love my Mac
  • Why don’t they write this software for my Mac?

I am much more familiar with the Windows world, where I know how most things operate – even ‘under the hood’. Mac’s operating system is based on BSD (a Unix flavor), which I’m not quite as conversant in. So, yes, that lack of deep knowledge is also a problem.

But, again, it’s the easy availability of software that’s my main concern… and the price. A comparable Mac seems to be 40-50% more than its corresponding PC.

Steffie will gladly tell you how much prettier Macs are than PCs. I agree. That isn’t entering into this decision.

I have looked at all the brands you have recommended. Believe it or not, at this time, Dell seems the best value. I have looked at a Dell laptop with Vista home premium (or whatever the second step on their ladder is called), 2Gb RAM, 120 Gb drive, 14.1″ WXGA+ resolution (love them pixels), for under $1,000.

Software or OS tech support, the scourge of PC buyers, is less of a concern for me since I do most of my own IT work. We were very satisfied with Dell when it came to hardware support.

I also appreciate the two of you who wrote to explain the difference between Core Duo and Core 2 Duo (32 vs 64 bit processor). Why don’t the laptop manufacturers reveal this on their configuration tools?

As a guy, by law, I have difficulty committing. Hopefully, tonight or tomorrow I’ll make up my mind and pull the trigger.

3 thoughts on “Wow – Thanks For Responding”

  1. I recently had to purchase an additional laptop for freelance work. This was just before the Vista release and the main Dell site was only shipping with Vista. This was not an option as I know it wasn’t compatible with the software program it would run, so I went to their outlet and ordered a “Previously Ordered New” machine that had Windows XP Pro.

    My husband and I have had 5 Dells between us to date and have had a hard drive die after 4.5 years, but was able to get all data off before it crashed completely. Not too many complaints about the machines that we have had.

  2. If you do go the Dell route, and are (like me) prone to accidentally damaging your computer, I highly recommend Dell’s accidental damage coverage.

    I spilled a big glass of OJ all over my computer, and Dell took it in, fixed it, and sent it back, all within a work week. No questions asked. Very worth it.

  3. If you want flexibility, an Apple laptop is the way to go. Since Apple switched to using the Intel CPUs over a year ago you can now run Windows on them – either booting directly into Windows using Apple’s Boot Camp software or running it via Parallels Desktop for Mac which uses the virtualization feature of the Intel CPU (and Parallels can now use the same installation of Windows that Boot Camp uses). Parallels allows you to not only create virtual machines for an OS that runs on the 386 family of CPUs, but you can run them concurrently within OS X. So, I can have Red Hat Linux, Windows 3.1 and Windows Vista running within OS X all at the same time if I wanted to. I’ve also read of people using Boot Camp to set up a triple-boot Mac, allowing them to chose between OS X, Windows and Linux at startup.

    As for pricing, I’d like to see which PC laptop you are comparing to which Mac laptop where the Mac is 40-50% more expensive. I’ve found that if you compare a PC laptop with the same CPU as either of the Mac laptops (MacBook or MacBook Pro) and match the other features you’ll find that they are equivalently priced and the Mac even occasionally is cheaper than the PC. If the features are not important then you’ll always be able to find a cheaper PC laptop.

    I work at a college. When I worked here from 2000-01 none of the IS department staff used Macs. I returned to work here in 2003 and since then every one of those same staff members who run the network infrastructure (much of which runs on Windows servers) have personally made the decision to switch to a Mac because they can run whatever they want on them, don’t have to deal with spyware and viruses. There have even been some staff members who’s request to switch to Mac has been denied because too many were switching.


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