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Old 05-05-2010, 08:17 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Shopping for a laptop

Will this ever end.

I was ready to buy a Sony Vaio SR, tried to customize it on the site, and found most options missing. Turned out it had been discontinued and they were getting rid of stock. I called Sony and they said the Model S is replacing this, but they are not selling it in the U.S. (except at Best Buys where I can't control how it's configured). And their other models didn't seem to suit me.

So I hopped over to the Lenovo and started reading their forum. It looks like they set up the hard disks with a small C: drive and a large D: drive so the one-key restore can replace the system on C: and the user is supposed to put data on the D: drive. [Note, after looking further I found out I was wrong about this]

Dell it out for me. I bought one many months ago without looking at it in a store first. The screen hurt my eyes so much I returned it and paid the restocking fee.

So, should I look at Toshiba next. Someone said that's the way to go, although I've heard bad things about their quality.

Last edited by Andrew B.; 05-06-2010 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:01 PM   #2
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Well, if you're after a laptop that got a high build quality, nice display, large hard drive, good graphics processor, lots of other nice features, etc, etc..... have you considered an Apple?

You can set it up to run only Windows, if you want.
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:24 AM   #3
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At work I'm known as 'the dead laptop lady' because I turn up in the IT department after hours with laptops that have stopped doing their jobs.

At home I have a MacBook Pro that works really well even without the 24 inch Apple cinema display (I've taken it away on its own on holiday several times). It's my second or third Mac laptop. It sits next to a Lenovo that is reliable enough, but has a really ugly screen. And for most evenings and weekends, I have my work laptop, an HP, set up in the same room. Display just as ugly as the Lenovo, and one of the two brands I carry around and deliver as 'the dead laptop lady'. The other brand is Dell. I have to say here that we never buy top of the line at work.

In my opinion, based on years of using and supporting both, there is no comparison. Apple laptops are the only ones to buy.

   
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:53 AM   #4
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I'd have to agree with that, Ann. Particularly nowadays when they're powerful enough to run Windows without much of a performance hit.

I'm running Parallels 5 and I can either make the MacBook look just like a Windows machine (which I don't do) or just run Windows applications as if they were Mac applications (which is what I do do).

And you can buy a dirt cheap AppleCare agreement on eBay (US) which gives a three-year cover. I bought a very cheap Applecare agreement for my MacBook Pro and Time Capsule and only received a license number by email. I phoned Apple to check that it was OK and they said, yes, it was fine.

   
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:59 AM   #5
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I see you are being besieged by people supporting Apple laptops. So does Consumer Reports. The current issue covers laptops, by the way, so whatever you are considering, you might want to read it.

   
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:08 AM   #6
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Does Apple come with Windows preinstalled and does Apple tech support field Windows problems. Also, running Windows on an Apple depends on Apple drivers. Considering how loyal Mac developers tend to be, I wonder if their hearts are really into getting Windows to run as well as it can on their computers.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew B. View Post
Does Apple come with Windows preinstalled and does Apple tech support field Windows problems. Also, running Windows on an Apple depends on Apple drivers. Considering how loyal Mac developers tend to be, I wonder if their hearts are really into getting Windows to run as well as it can on their computers.
You have to buy and install Windows. You would probably get support for it in the usual places (not from Apple).

This PC Magazine article by Ed Mendelson — “How to Run Windows on a Mac” — may help you understand the pros and cons of doing this. It is not as simple as running it on a machine dedicated to Windows, but still pretty easy.

If you search the web with “running windows on a mac” you will find other resources.

   
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:13 PM   #8
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Thanks, Kathleen. It seems to me that running Windows on a Mac would be more complicated. Also, all my software is for Windows, and I can't think of any Mac-only software I want to run.
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:50 PM   #9
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Andrew,
Are you sure about the "small c:, large d: drive" configuration? I've got several of Lenovo's laptops and none of them come configured this way. They do have a smallish hidden partition where the restore stuff is kept, but the bulk of the drive is given over to the C: partition.

Which model were you looking at? Now you've got me worried. ;-)

   
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:38 PM   #10
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I'm surprised at what you say about Lenovo too. Worth doublechecking.

For some time I've been impressed with HP/Compaq laptops -- I've bought two $300/400 Compaqs and they are well fitted without perhaps the massive CPU power you might be looking for.

But you are absolutely right to not buy a laptop you can't first put your fingers and eyes on to check the keyboard and screen.

What is your "specification" in terms of features / performance?

BTW Some Sony Vaios have been giving problems with very noisy fans and that might be why that one was withdrawn ....

   
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