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Buying a laptop; Mac or Windows?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
So I'm ready to pull the trigger on a new laptop for school. I recently had the opportunity to use a 2010 Macbook Pro and I enjoyed the experience. However, I'm unsure if I want to pay the premium that comes along with Apple products.

My budget is about $1150.

I have found an MSI laptop for $999 that has an i5 460M, 6GB of RAM, a 500GB 7200 RPM HDD, and a HD 5870m.

The only Macbook Pro that fits into my budget is the 13" with a slower i5, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB 5400 RPM HDD, and Intel HD graphics. This would cost $1149 with the educational discount.

I'm a CS student and I'll be using it for programming (mostly java, c, C++, objective c), surfing the web, and just general computing. The ability to game on the MSI laptop will be bonus as I have my desktop for gaming.

So what do you guys think?

I personally think the MSI is a fantastic laptop for $999 but I don't want to regret missing out on a Macbook Pro. Would it be more advantageous to purchase a Mac or should I grab the MSI and run?


EDIT:

I purchased the MSI but I'm having some issues with it and I'm most likely going to RMA on Monday for a full refund.

So I'm back in the same boat, I need suggestions on a new laptop. A Macbook is pretty much out of the picture now but I've been looking at a Dell XPS 15 (i7 2630QM, GT540, 6GB RAM) and a Sager NP5160 (same specs as Dell).

Anyone have any opinions on those two laptops? Will the GT540M be semi-capable for gaming? How's the build quality on Sager vs. Dell?
Edited by Frosty88 - 4/2/11 at 7:39am
post #2 of 14
On your budget, and as a programming laptop, go PC.

I could never work on a 13 inch screen, much less program. Plus, you'll be paying more for an entry level Macbook. I have a Macbook pro and love it, but in your case I'd probably go with the more fully equipped PC that fits into your budget better.

Faster HDD, faster CPU, larger screen, more RAM, dedicated GPU.

If you really really want a mac to play with go for it, but as a primary coding laptop that screen would be absolute murder on my eyes.
Edited by _02 - 3/21/11 at 8:20am
    
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post #3 of 14
I would go PC. Macs are nice and all, but you're not missing out on much by not getting one (at least for what you'd use it for.)
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post #4 of 14
Go with the MSI
post #5 of 14
Go with the PC for your programing and other needs.
Better components at less price.
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post #6 of 14
You should check out the deals Lenovo has on the Thinkpad T410 (14") or X201 (12.1") (Or the Ideapads).

While it is great to get specs like that on a laptop, the battery life is probably terrible. Also, you have a desktop for gaming, with a laptop you severely sacrifice mobility for specifications like that.
    
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, I guess I'll go with a Windows machine. Most likely the MSI but I'll be sure to hunt around some more before making it final.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
You should check out the deals Lenovo has on the Thinkpad T410 (14") or X201 (12.1") (Or the Ideapads).

While it is great to get specs like that on a laptop, the battery life is probably terrible. Also, you have a desktop for gaming, with a laptop you severely sacrifice mobility for specifications like that.
Yeah, I was expecting about 2.5-3 hours using low power mode on the 9-cell battery on the MSI. That was one of the things pushing me towards the Macbook. I just find it hard to turn down the MSI because it really is a great price.

I look into the Lenovo laptops shortly, thanks!
post #8 of 14
You're going to spend a lot more time in Unix than anything else really but a PC is going to have better features in that price range
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post #9 of 14
Speaking of Lenovo, poke around the new X220: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/18/l...d-x220-review/
    
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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosty88 View Post
So I'm ready to pull the trigger on a new laptop for school. I recently had the opportunity to use a 2010 Macbook Pro and I enjoyed the experience. However, I'm unsure if I want to pay the premium that comes along with Apple products.

My budget is about $1150.

I have found an MSI laptop for $999 that has an i5 460M, 6GB of RAM, a 500GB 7200 RPM HDD, and a HD 5870m.

The only Macbook Pro that fits into my budget is the 13" with a slower i5, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB 5400 RPM HDD, and Intel HD graphics. This would cost $1149 with the educational discount.

I'm a CS student and I'll be using it for programming (mostly java, c, C++, objective c), surfing the web, and just general computing. The ability to game on the MSI laptop will be bonus as I have my desktop for gaming.

So what do you guys think?

I personally think the MSI is a fantastic laptop for $999 but I don't want to regret missing out on a Macbook Pro. Would it be more advantageous to purchase a Mac or should I grab the MSI and run?
Am I the only getting annoyed with everyone thinking macs are great? They're decent. But definitely no where worth the price that is charged for them. Go with the MSI unless you need battery life. If you do then look for something that has that.
     
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