:bugeyes: Help! Macbook or Dell Laptop?

  1. Any computer gurus out there willing to advise me? I need to buy a laptop. Primarily I will use it for writing papers and doing research on internet (not for taking notes in a class or anything). When I compared Dell & Macbook laptops with similar components and upgrades, they came to be very close in price (with Dell actually slightly higher). So...can somebody kindly tell me which you think would be the better choice and why? Any reason to NOT buy a Macbook (which I'm leaning towards)? Thanks so much!
    Last edit by RebeccaJeanRN on Sep 3, '06 : Reason: made a typo!
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   MS._Jen_RN
    Quote from RebeccaOne
    Any computer gurus out there willing to advise me? I need to buy a laptop. Primarily I will use it for writing papers and doing research on internet (not for taking notes in a class or anything). When I compared Dell & Macbook laptops with similar components and upgrades, they came to be very close in price (with Dell actually slightly higher). So...can somebody kindly tell me which you think would be the better choice and why? Any reason to NOT buy a Macbook (which I'm leaning towards)? Thanks so much!
    I just got a HP Pavillion dv5000 at Best Buy. Good Specs, great reviews and a great sale price. So far I love it.
    ~Jen
  4. by   beckersSN
    macbook! macbook! a little over a year ago I deciced to make the switch from pc to apple and I would NEVER go back. Everything is so much easier and works better. And they are pretty! I'm actually looking to get a desktop model soon. I love my laptop though!!
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from beckerssn
    macbook! macbook! a little over a year ago i deciced to make the switch from pc to apple and i would never go back. everything is so much easier and works better. and they are pretty! i'm actually looking to get a desktop model soon. i love my laptop though!!
    [font="comic sans ms"]i'm guessing you don't have a macbook, since they came out in april. i bought one in may, and have since become good friends with sean and nicholas in apple support. the thing keeps shutting down suddenly, and now it won't boot back up again until i take the battery out, hold the power button down for ten seconds, then replace the battery. the next step is to ship it back to apple for repair, but since i'm home from work with a back injury, i really hate to lose my only lifeline with the outside world.

    i made the switch to apple for this machine, and i'm regretting it.
  6. by   Halinja
    I have a Dell inspiron. I bought it when my co-workers in the tutoring center did a bunch of research on customer satisfaction and Dell's inspiron came out way ahead of other brands. We all bought one. It's now three years old and I've never had a moment's trouble with it. (I even dropped it once)

    I never realized how useful a laptop was until I got one. I use it long and hard, and its been a workhorse.
  7. by   LaxNP
    I personally think Apples are so much better than Dell. Windows is far more inferior to the Mac OS in every aspect. I bought an iBook last year and have not had a single problem with it. I had a dell prior to that and it lasted about a month before I was reinstalling software jsut to get it to turn on.

    So if yuou want something to work, I would ditch Dell and any windows product!
  8. by   charebec65
    I bought an HP Pavilion notebook last year when I started nursing school. I've had absolutely no problems with it and I love it. With what you said you are going to do with it, you don't need anything fancy.
  9. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from RebeccaOne
    Any computer gurus out there willing to advise me? I need to buy a laptop. Primarily I will use it for writing papers and doing research on internet (not for taking notes in a class or anything). When I compared Dell & Macbook laptops with similar components and upgrades, they came to be very close in price (with Dell actually slightly higher). So...can somebody kindly tell me which you think would be the better choice and why? Any reason to NOT buy a Macbook (which I'm leaning towards)? Thanks so much!
    How well do you know Windows? How well do you know Mac? How comfortable are you with techie things in general?

    Both machines will do what you've described perfectly well. I do wonder why you're only considering a Dell laptop for a Windows machine. Dell's had a lot of problems with service lately (from what I've heard, I have a thinkpad). HP makes some good machines, Fujitsu has a couple nice ones, Thinkpads are great (these things are just about bullet proof!)...Sony has a few nice models as well. Do yourself a favor though and avoid Gateway.

    I've been a professional computer techie for over a decade (doing my pre-reqs now for NS). The truth is that in my opinion, the Mac has a better operating system....it's just engineered better. The reality though is that it's a windows world. It's not hard to share information between mac and windows.....but it is an extra thing to consider and work out. Even if you get the Mac versions of the applications you want, they're not going to be the same version as the windows counterparts.

    You also need to make sure that there are adequate support resources for you (folks to fix it if it breaks) so that you don't have to mail off your machine somewhere.

    The other thing I would consider; what is used most often at your school? You just want to be sure that you'll be able to do everything that you need to do.

    Peace,
    Cathie
  10. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from BigKenny
    I personally think Apples are so much better than Dell. Windows is far more inferior to the Mac OS in every aspect. I bought an iBook last year and have not had a single problem with it. I had a dell prior to that and it lasted about a month before I was reinstalling software jsut to get it to turn on.

    So if yuou want something to work, I would ditch Dell and any windows product!
    It sounds like had a bad experience with your Dell computer. I'm sure you'd agree though that one bad experience doesn't make all Dell's (or all Window's machines as you're implying) bad. That's like saying penicillin is bad because you had an allergic reaction to it. A bad experience is just that, one bad experience.

    Both operating systems have their positives and negatives. Apple is better engineered (IMHO).....but Apple has their quirks as well. One of Apple's quirks is that for most things you need to buy their hardware (very few third party manufacturers out there). There's just less choice of everything (hardware and software) with Apple (unless you install Windows on your Mac).

    With Apple you're just not running the software that most of the world is running. While that does have it's positives (the biggest being that there aren't as many malware programs written for the Mac operating system), there are drawbacks as well....there's less help and services available.

    I've worked on both, and met folks with a religious devotion to both platforms...I look at it as they're two different tools, everyone just needs to figure out for themselves which tool works best for them. Personally, I could use either, but right now, Windows makes more sense for me.

    Peace,
    Cathie
  11. by   daphnis
    can i let my boyfriend answer this one? he helps people with this sort of things all the time, so here goes:

    ok, i'm going to give this some length since i think it's a big decision and i think i can offer some useful suggestions on it. i might repeat myself a bit, so forgive me in advance. (otherwise i'd have to revise and rewrite and...)

    in general, mac has excellent engineering, and the operating system is vastly superior, as is is the integration when you want to get creative with music and video. mac also tends to be pricier initially and for bells and whistles (like extra ram), and can be harder to find friends who can, ah, donate a copy of a program.

    the reason i would choose the dell, though, is because dell offers coverage for accidental damage. applecare doesn't give you that. in fact there's an awful lot of dissatisfaction with applecare, which is bad enough, unfortunately, that it pretty much balances out the superior constrution. yes, people have less problems with them due to the better design and production, but problems still do crop up, and when they do, the time and frustration factor is so much higher.

    some stores offer you accidental damage coverage as well, including on macs. it's only worth it if they're very good about honoring it.

    if you get it, be very assertive. they really like to push it on you, and once they've got your money, can be a little reluctant to make good their end - cut to the chase and explain you're forwarding copies of your complaint to x, y and z.

    (long aside here: a friend in the us who bought from best buy had a problem - a cracked case, when all the similar models would crack just from normal use and it was a known problem. since it was still under manufacturer's warranty, the store just mailed it back to compaq and it took seven weeks before compaq reported the problem was his fault and they wouldn't repair it for free. he asked them to just send it back and he'd live with the cracks, but they refused to send it in that condition, and he had to give compaq hundreds of dollars for a new case before they would return it to him. he complained to the better business bureau. months later, someone from compaq called and asked him if he'd complained to the bbb and sent him a full refund, but hardly what you want to go through.)


    for a laptop that you're going to move around a lot, accidental damage coverage is very important.


    but... consider another option: if you're using it for taking notes and web surfing/research, there's no need to get the latest machine. i have one several years old and it does well at everything except video/photo editing (and even that i can make work somewhat... but slowly).

    for the price of the extended warranty on a new macine, you can get a used one that you won't have to worry about so much. if you end up needing more power or whatever later (like if you do get into video editing, which even a new laptop want be great at), you can get a desktop, which will be much more bang for the buck. or you can go with a newer laptop when you really need it.


    if you go used, look for a solid machine from a reputable dealer, and look for a battery that still holds a good charge (they get weaker the more they're used) or plan to replace the battery (and dispose of the old one responsibly - very important as they're have a nice supply of toxic heavy metals).

    i can tell you the one i got mine from if you want - an ebay store that sells off-lease thinkpads. it's never had a problem despite some rugged travelling, and came with a battery that was very solid, and still is two years later.

    certain brands are less solidly built and will come apart even under normal use. sony viao notorious for flimsy construction, and that's backed up with terrible customer service. (in fact, sony is a brand to avoid for most products, with a very few shining exceptions.)

    do a little research on the complaints people have had about different models/brands.

    just think about what you want, and then ask yourself what advantages a brand new machine really offers you.

    for the things you describe, the answer seems to be none. an older machine will be much cheaper, and you'll also worry about it a lot less (if it does get damaged or stolen - if you leave it unattended for moment it will - you're out a lot less and since you backed up your data regularly, it's not so hard to replace).

    that can make it even more useable for you, since you might take it with you at times the risk of loss/damage would make you unwilling to take a much more expensive model that you'd feel you have to baby more.

    unless you really know why you're getting a specific model, wait until you have a specific need, otherwise you're overpaying and not getting any more satisfaction for it.

    the thinkpad t23, which i have, with the 30 gig hardrive is on offer on ebay for $349 with buy it now. the t22, slightly slower but you won't notice it much, is $249 (of course, you'd want to query about the battery). you could get them for less, but for $249 you can do everything you need.

    we have a couple older machines and rarely do feel hindered by them. in fact, we appreciate that we can just shove one in a bubble-wrap padded envelope (protects it, and it looks a lot less attractive to theives who tend to watch for their opportunity when they see an elegant leather laptop case) and take it wherever.

    i copied, below, a bit of the blurb from one of them. you'd certainly be able to take notes, watch online videos and dvds, and do all the web surfing you like. if you need to run dragon naturally speaking, you'd want the t23 and an ram upgrade, since it requires 1ghz processor speed and 512 ram.

    unless you're playing the latest games and doing the video stuff you won't need more (and again, if you do need more, you're still much better off saving the money by going with a cheap laptop and using the savings to get a good desktop model that'll be far more satisfying for those uses).

    so, those are some ideas, and i hope they're helpful.

    ---------
    excellent condition, ibm thinkpad t23, 1.13 mhz piii, 256mb, windows xp pro, cdrw/dvd

    ibm thinkpad are the most rugged and well made laptops out there and are well know for it. made for the business traveler with the stringent needs of a mobile lifestyle in mind.
  12. by   KellieNurse06
    I personally would never buy another Dell.we've had nothing but trouble with it........also ....beware of their financing........I made a huge mistake by doing this...and 4 years later our computer is only minimally lower in our balance that we owe.....about $80.00 less than our original balance......it's the darn APR that they nail you with......on my last bill the APR was printed on it and it now went up to 30.56%... I only bought my computer this way because at the time my finances wouldn't allow me otherwise, so yes it IS my own fault I know.............but I am paying it in full next month.....I say stay away from Dell..................I heard HP makes an excellent laptop.....that's my next one I am getting
  13. by   rninme
    Just bought my first laptop a couple of weeks ago after researching for 6 months. Dell didn't want to answer questions for me....they just wanted to sell me a laptop....with more bells and whistles than I needed. You need this...you NEED that....to the tune of $1500!!! Did I buy it?? NO!

    Finally decided to go with what I know....called HP, and talked to a very nice gentleman who configured a laptop for me....asked me what I would be using it for. Told me what I did NOT need. Got a great computer at a price I could afford.

    Have heard good things about Apple...but I am a windows gal. And my online RN to MSN program is windows based.
  14. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I like my Dell Inspiron I2200. I chose it over Apple, one because an Apple was way too expensive, and two, the closest place for it to get serviced would have been Richmond. With the Dell, i can get it serviced locally, i picked what i wanted online, customer service has been great for me, and i was able to pay cash for it, and got a good deal, whether it's "inferior" to some or not.

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