Buying a new laptop help

  1. I've got a question for everybody, I am heading off for a CRNA program. I would like to buy a new laptop. I have one now, but its 4 years old, big and heavy.

    What would you all suggest, I plan on taking it to class and to the library, so size and weight are an issue.

    What does everyone else use out there??
    What would you have done differently if you could have??

    My sister has an Apple PowerBook G4 and loves it. I really like the design, anyone out there have any experience with it, does it limit you in class or clinical situations. I really like it but am hesitant because of compatibility issues

    Thanks in advance

    Matt
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   arkgolfer
    I'm listening in on this one. I have the exact some problem.
  4. by   VaMedic
    A good thing to do is head to a computer or other large store (Best Buy, Comp USA) and try some out. You can get a feel for weight, size, and check out battery capacity and how easy it can be changed. I am not in CRNA school (well not yet anyway ), but alot of the classes I am taking for my BSN are online and I frequently take my laptop to work with me on the ambulance. I have a Hewlet Packard Laptop and it has been great. It weighs about 5-6lbs, never really gets hot, and the battery last a long time. There cust. service has been wonderful and the computer has been worry free. It has a CD burner and DVD player in it. I went to Best Buy and found the one I liked and managed to shop on EBay and bought it brand new for 900.00 when it retailed for $1900 at Best Buy. Also check out Sony.com. They have some smaller and lighter units, but I have not had any real experience with them. Hope this helps.

    Rob
  5. by   globalRN
    go to CNET.com and check out their reviews. They also have a search for merchants with the pricing given in a table...everything at a glance.
    Very helpful for buying electronics and computerware.
    I have a Fujitsu Lifebook which is smaller than an A4 piece of paper, a little over 3 lbs and has a built in DVD/
    CDRW which can be removed from the bay.
  6. by   LLDPaRN
    Like VaMedic, I also have a Hewlett-Packard laptop (one of the Pavilion models--their other line is Omnibooks). I just finished my NP program but occasionally I did take my laptop to school and had no problems. I have a decent size hard drive (20 gigs) and a CD/DVD player (no CD burner--got my laptop almost 2 years ago). It's done everything I've needed it to do and I would buy another HP computer in a heartbeat

    Hope you find this info helpful. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions

    Laurie
    Newly minted MSN
  7. by   nilepoc
    Compatibility issues with PC's and Apples are a myth.

    I have used an iBook the entire time I have been in my program. The battery outlasts the other PC's in class, by one to two hours. I have better wireless compatibility. I have more options in a smaller package. I have a smaller form factor for more features.

    I have run my laptop for 23 days straight without it crashing(I.e. I did not turn it off, or reboot it in that time). When I close the lid, it goes immediately to sleep, and when I open it, it wakes up immediately. I can burn disks of the power points while in class, and distribute them to whoever wants them, after recording the lectures on the built in mic. Don't type while doing this though, but i do have an external mic.

    With Office X, I have had less compatibillity issues, than the rest of the class, and they are on PC's. I carry my computer with me everywhere, and use it all the time. My friend with a Dell, won't carry his, because it is too heavy, plus his battery won't even last through a two hour lecture.

    Another thing to think about, Mac's typically hold half of their value, at two years. Lets see a PC do that.

    I am very biased, and love my Mac. I can say however that it is better than any PC I have ever owned, and I just got rid of three PC's less than a year ago.

    People in my class, are so impressed with the apple computers, my friend and i use everyday, that three of them have switched, and two more are considering it.

    If you are worried about the complexity of learning an new OS, don't be. OS X is easier to learn than any of the M$ crap out there.

    If you have more questions, post them here, and I will try and answer them.

    Craig
    Last edit by nilepoc on Feb 21, '03
  8. by   meandragonbrett
    GET AN APPLE......They've one me over...now as soon as I get the $$$ it's all mine!!

    Brett
  9. by   yoga crna
    I have been a Mac user since day one and can unequivocally recommend it. The new 12 inch PowerBook is awesome--I wish I could justify buying it. I use PowerPoint for my lectures, IPhoto with my digital camera and of course, Word and Excel. Filemaker Pro, which is native for Macs, is the program I use for database. Every anesthesia case I have done in private practice, since 1984 is on my Filemaker program.
    YogaCRNA
  10. by   VaMedic
    I have alot of friends that have Mac's as well, but as for now I am going to have to stick with the PC. My battery with my HP Pavilion ZT1130 can last for a long time and I have gotten over 2hours on it before. I had an older Compaq laptop that I loved (great style and ergonomics), but it would heat up so bad that I could not put it on my lap for long. As for home pc's I really have enjoyed being able to build one relatively cheap by myself and the low cost and availability of the parts. I have win XP Pro and Office XP pro on both and I have never had any issues with them. I can not even think of the last time that my computer crashed like in previous versions (BURN WINDOWS ME BURN!). Everynow and then I will get that illegal operation with a program and that it needs to close. I just click again and fire it back up. Its all in what you are wanting out of a computer and your tastes. Maybe when way down the road I get into CRNA school I will try out a mac, but for now I am with the PC (and yes I know the Mksft is a monopolistic corporation that loves to complicate things.) Take care.

    Rob
  11. by   nilepoc
    Originally posted by VaMedic
    I have alot of friends that have Mac's as well........snip.........My battery with my HP Pavilion ZT1130 can last for a long time and I have gotten over 2hours on it before. ......snip....... As for home pc's I really have enjoyed being able to build one relatively cheap by myself and the low cost and availability of the parts. ............snip............Everynow and then I will get that illegal operation with a program and that it needs to close. I just click again and fire it back up. .........snip............
    As far as battery life goes, try four actual hours of use. That is while running three or more programs, and the wireless card the whole time.

    You have got me on the availibillity of parts, but talk to me in a year or two when you need to sell that bad boy. I sold my first iBook for 400 less than i bought it for. For that I am willing to take the hit on upgradability.

    As far as stability goes, I will rebut with one thought, viruses. There is something to be said for being a small enough part of the market that you are not a target.

    Craig (Ditched the PC and won't go back) Copelin
  12. by   smogmatt
    Nilepoc I am listening....

    Tell me would go with the powerbook or the ibook?? I can get an ibook for $1299 or a powerbook for $1799, is the powerbook worth the extra cash?? What does the powerbook have that the ibook doesn't?

    As far as compatibility issues, my sister said most major programs are not a problem they come in apples OS. My question would be what about palm pilot compatibility?? I have a palm and use it at the ICU and was hoping to use it in the OR too. Is there a Mac "Kazaa/Morphous" (I love my illegal music)?

    My other question is how hard is it to learn the OS?? I messed around on ibooks but that's about all.

    The other computer I was considering was the Sharp Actius I saw at Circuit City (don't have a Best Buy in town). Its light (under 4#) and has the cd/dvd combo, fire wire/usb ports but no software, I really like all the software ibooks come with especially the imovie/itunes/iphoto

    I did try to look at dell/gateway nothing really stood out to me as far as light and small.
  13. by   VaMedic
    Just got my Tax money back and alot more than expected. Maybe time to pick up a Mac to try . Time to peruse ebay. Any recommendations to try?

    Nilepoc- Just saw your digital photos and they are great!


    Rob
    Last edit by VaMedic on Feb 22, '03
  14. by   yoga crna
    Regarding music...I download music from Limewire to my powerbook (ITunes is the Mac program), I take the computer into the OR and play music all day. I have over 1000 pieces of music and yesterday we did have a disagreement when the surgeon wanted opera and the scrub tech wanted country-western. Everyone brings in their own CDs and I download them to Itunes.

    I am sure you can do this on PCs, but there are very few viruses on MACs, which is a problem when you get music from the net.
    YogaCRNA

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