Skip to comments.New PC for my Daughter (VANITY)
Posted on 11/04/2009 7:32:27 AM PST by American_Centurion
My daughter a HS Junior is doing really well in school. I am planning to buy her a new laptop for school. She currently has a Dell 13" XPS that has been ok, but the battery has been replaced twice, the CD/DVD will currently only play CDs and it is getting slower to start up.
So I start looking and I know she wants a Mac because they are cool, I however am not a Mac fan. Not that there is anything wrong with Mac, I have a slowly dying PowerMac G5 Dual that has a nice monitor I use for Aperture, but it is on its last legs. I also look for Windows 7 PCs, I use Lenovo Thinkpads for work and know they are rock solid, sturdy, and long lasting. My old T40 is 5 years old and still runs like it did when I first got it. I now work on a T400 and it is a great machine.
Here is what I found:
Get a Mac. Get the new Mac not the Mac Pro if price is an issue
Get the anti glare screen
Make sure you get the education discount. You’ll save $100-150
she’ll use it in college and after.
I have both and there is no comparison
MacBooks are vastly overrated in my opinion and as you pointed out...insanely expensive.
take a look at the mac refurbs($1449 if this one is gone): http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC118LL/A?mco=MTA4MzI1OTk
I have 3 refurbs at home - 2 13.3’s and a 24 imac. I then take the savings and get applecare for them.
the stuff my kids have done with the iLife software is well worth the extra cost.
to find other refurbs, store.apple.com, then on the lower left of the page is the refurb/clearance.
If you are comfortable with Dell, look at the Dell outlet link on their site. They keep a number of refurbed, “scratch and dent”, and discontinued models there that can be very good deals.
Get on their mailing list. They routinely send out discount codes for the outlet that are for 15% and 20% off machines. I recently purchased a refurbed desktop cpu (for use as a media center pc) that new would have been a little over $400. With the 20% discount code it can in just under $200. Considering they also have free shipping it was a good deal.
Personally, I like refurbed electronics, but I can understand people that shy away from them.
I have worked with Macs since their inception, and PCs since DOS 2 and Windows 1.0.
A computer is not just a collection of hardware, and I have found that Macs (except during the Spindler era and thge original Mac Plus and Quantum hard drives) have fewer hardware problems over their lifetime than bargain PC notebooks. On average, Mac users have less turnover on the hardware, and it doesn’t slow down as much from bloat over time.
Personally, I would avoid Lenovo, as it is not just made in Red China, but is actually owned by the Chinese government.
The Intel based Macs are among the best ever. I would consider Toshiba or Acer on the PC side, not Lenovo. Even when IBM made the Lenovo line, they were quirky.
With the Mac, you are also buying the OS, not just the hardware. If your daughter is a good candidate for using OS X, and doesn’t need to run Windows/Linux centric software, then avoiding the malware headaches that come with Windows may be worth the difference.
Oh, one last thing. Replacing the Dell optical drive is only minor surgery. Get an eyeglass style screwdriver, take the unit apart, take off the Dell face plate off of the drive if necessary, and get a OEM match for the drive on ebay or through preicewatch.com.
I have both too, and IMO, there is a comparison. Are they both equally good at everything? No. I believe the Mac may be a bit more flexible because you can run both OSX and Windows, but then you have the additional cost of Win OS on top of the already more expensive Mac.
No way you can convince me that she won’t be able to use the Lenovo in college as well, as I pointed out my last one is 5 years old and still going strong.
I might pay more for the Mac if I can be convinced that it really is that much better, but based on my experience with both types, it is not. I’m sure the only reason the Lenovo won’t run OSX is because Apple won’t allow it, the machines are practically identical.
We purchased a MacBook Pro for our son when he was a junior in college. He is about to finish Grad school in December, so it’s been running strong for 4 years, never had a repair, not even a glitch (and he uses it a lot!!!)
In our home we have 3 PCs and 2 other laptops (mostly Dell, but one Sony Vaio)...and all the others have had to have some sort of repair, or been replaced.
So although, I’m not a Mac user myself, don’t like to use them (you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, LOL), if it’s a kid, they’ll catch onto the Mac easily, and I can’t say enough about the reliability of the product.
I've been using Lenovo for work for years now, not a darn thing wrong with them. BTW Macs are made in China too, the brand just happens to be owned by an American.
I’ve liked the Mac laptops I’ve owned. Good machines, generally reliable and long-lasting. The Dells my friends have seem to often have problems and need replacement.
I don’t doubt the Mac reliability, but I do doubt that it is $700 more reliable than a Lenovo. As I stated before I’ve been using Lenovo for years and my last one is going strong at 5 years and I have no doubt it will last several more.
I have a Dell Vostro 1720 at work that I really like.
Lenovo G550 - 2958R6U - w/ Intel Core 2 Duo 2.10GHz, 3GB RAM, 15.6-in WXGA, 250GB for $449.00
Intel Core Duo T4300 ( 2.10GHz 800MHz 1MB ) / Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
# Click Here and add to cart for $659 - $100 Instant Off - $110 Off Coupon USP11EVERY (Ends 11/11)
= $449.00 + Free Shipping
I agree with you about Dell. I won’t buy another one. But the Lenovo is a known quantity with me. They really are solid, I’ve been using them for years at work. My old T40 has 5 years of fairly regular airline travel on it, I only reboot it when I have to due to an install, the rest of the time it’s in standby in my bag or on it’s dock. Battery still has 2 hours of life in it and it’s 5 years old as well.
The college she goes to is very likely to make her buy/lease a computer from them, at their price, which could be $700/semester.
So if you could get a tune up on the old one, clear out the stuff that’s making it run slow, and eke it out for two years, it might be a good idea.
My daughter is a senior and pushing for a new computer.
That is a great price, but I want the 64 bit OS and Ultimate. She’s an HD movie fanatic, so the Y series I’m looking at has all the stuff she’ll want for entertainment as well.
From personal experience, stay away from Toshiba laptops.
Worst investment in a computer ever.
I’m a cheap bastart. I’d give it to my daughter (if I had one) and tell her that she was going to love it or else.
We’ve already decided, she and I, that she will take online courses to complete her first 2 years unless she gets a full or mostly full ride on scholarship. If she gets a full ride and has to lease, then her brother will be happy with the lappy.
She’s a good girl. She said Mac because I asked her what she wanted, she knows full well that I will make a decision that might be different. She’ll be happy with whatever I give her.
Why do you want the Windows ultimate? I thought that was only needed for developers.
Sorry if I’m being a pest.
You overlook a world-class user-friendly
Unix© Operating System.
Bitlocker. You aren't being a pest, I posted here to get ideas and discussion on this. Freepers help make sound decisions ; )
I’m not familiar with the Lenovo, I’m mostly used to Dells. Our Dells have been pretty reliable, but it’s the glitches that bug me. My husband’s and son are both IT guys, so I let them fix the problems, LOL, because they just frustrate me.
Next time we have to purchase a PC, guess we’ll have to look into Lenovo.
Uh huh. As I said, I have a PowerMac G5 Dual at home as well. It's not all that and a bag of chips. I would rate it as good as windows for most stuff, not as good as windows for some other stuff, and better than windows for the one thing I've used it for photo editing, but not $700 better. We aren't photo professionals.
I love the mac. I have 5 laptops, 2 mini’s, 1 G-5, and bought a I mac for my father in law w/21.5” display.
My husband brought is 15” laptop to a local restaurant. The waiter dropped an entire glass 16 oz water on it. OMG, we were scared to death. It STILL WORKS!
It was sleeping, when the water hit, my husband grabbed it and pulled out the battery. So far it is still working......
Consider a netbook for class and her old laptop could become a desktop (Maybe the DVD just needs updated drivers as a fix?). Asus is doing well with these EEE PCs - Win 7 may be available but here's a starting point: Asus EEE 1005
Oh and you can get a full-featured one for $500!
Its like 2 pounds says 10 hours battery life but careful they've got lots of models.
I got my other daughter an ASUS 1008 which is even smaller but the battery life isn't the 6 hours stated and even though I went out of my way to ensure it had a non-glare LED screen our order came with the glossy screen. Also some have Bluetooth some not - if you're interested I can add details but have to go now ... (No ASUS connections but we've got 3 of them now in the family) ;-)
I just bought 2 Dell 1545’s from their outlet store. With a 20% off coupon, I got them both for $788 and free shipping. Ordered on Monday, they were at my door Wednesday morning.
Bumped them both to Win7 Home Premium 64.. Nice machines for the money..
A MacBook (not pro) with 2.26 GHz, 4G RAM, 320 G 5400 rpm drive and AppleCare is $1398.00. Yeah, that’s still more than the Windows-based option you posted, but it’s less than the Pro.
I think one of the main things you need to think about is what software your daughter will need. If you already have what she needs in a Windows environment, then that’s going to save you a lot of $$$. If you don’t have any of what she needs in a Mac environment ... well, you’re going to have to shell out the bucks for that. So don’t just figure the cost of hardware ... think about the software too.
My experience with Lenovo has not been that good.. I do like my old T40, but the new Lenovo’s I bought don’t compare. I would not call them rock solid.
There’s a reason they’re losing market share.
If price is that important then you have no choice. But a student does not need a 15” screen. You can get the same MacBook Pro with a smaller screen for $1199 or a regular MacBook for $999.
Face it, she will be downloading music. And much of what appears to be music is viruses. With a Mac, no worry.
I would recommend once a month repair permissions with the Disk Utility. In addition repair the disk's inodes in a Doing those once a month will keep Unix© running smoothly.
Do you do routine maintenance on the OS X ?
standalone environment with Disk Warrior.
I would recommend once a month repair permissions with the Disk Utility.
In addition repair the disk's inodes in a
Doing those once a month will keep Unix© running smoothly.
Agreed. I am still using my dome based iMac I purchased in early 2003 and my son is still using his iBook that was purchased in 2001 just before he went to college. No problems yet (unfortunately I want a new 27’ iMac badly).
Precisely, what processor intensive programs is she running?
Why not buy a Boxster too?
Be sensible my friend. Get a used XP machine for $150, max it out with ram and put UBUNTU on it for free. You can run anything you need, mail, web, video etc . . .
Don’t even need that much. Get a broken laptop from the garbage, burn KNOPPIX on a CD and use google docs for your needs.
Hardware is obsolete, the network IS the computer.
Why does a Mac require this? I thought they just worked? That's what I was told when I got it. No worries mate! Guess not. If it's so important why doesn't it schedule them? Windows schedules maintenance. I don't get that.
Lenovo sold by IBM, now owned by the Chinese
Toshiba was caught selling sub props/equipment to the Soviets
HP laptops get hot as a skillet
Apple is expensive
That is great as long as you HAVE the network.
I’m not a Linux kind of guy. I will consider following your suggestion for a project of my own. Her old Dell should work just fine for that once I replace it.
That's what I have on this brand new HP PC.....I'm struggling to find a Win 7 compatible printer tho; I want one that will install completely from the install CD, and not have to bother with downloading some driver adjuster.
That is a good buy. I’ll look at it.
Particularly disk systems. That is the dirty little secret no one tells you about. Anything that windows does is all eyewash i.e. Bull Scat I'm retired now but spent fifty years in IT datacenters They all need periodic maintenance
All computer systems require periodic maintenance.
managing IBM op/syss; Bell Labs Unix© op/syss.
and 5000 windows server network systems.
Particularly disk systems.
That is the dirty little secret no one tells you about.
Anything that windows does is all eyewash i.e. Bull Scat
I'm retired now but spent fifty years in IT datacenters
They all need periodic maintenance
The Mac is worth much more than $700 extra. Especially if she is away at college.
I can give you any number of reasons, but here are just a few.
1. You do not need anti-virus software. On my PCs, this is $50 per year because I always look for the bargain-basement price. If she is away at college, she may get suckered into just getting the “update” when her subscription runs out — at least $80 on your credit card right there. The first year is free with a PC, but the remaining 4 years of life will cost you $200-400.
2. On the rare occasions when something goes wrong with my Mac, I call them up and they either answer the question right there on the phone, or they tell me to take it to a Mac store, where they fix it. Period. Every time I have tried to call for tech support with a PC, the computer maker tells me it is a software problem with Windows and the Windows guys want a credit card number just to talk to me, then they tell me it is a hardware problem. I have never been able to get the hardware guys and the software guys on the same line at the same time. Do you really want your daughter to go through this at college?
Apple makes both the hardware and the software and can’t pass the buck. Go ahead, put a price on that. Think about tuition, living expenses, etc. and then figure out the cost of 2 or 3 days down time chasing a computer problem.
Just make sure your daughter does not want to use the labtop for gaming. I think the T6600 is powerful enough for most applications but you may want to double check that..
1. Free Anti-virus. Avast, AVG, and Comodo right off the top of my head. These work and are not $50/year.
2. Problems/support. The Lenovo comes with 2 years in-home warranty. Two years from now, I’ll take a wild guess that $700 will pay for a whole lot of tech-support and out-of-warranty repair. Something I’ve never needed with the other Lenovos I’ve used for the last 5 years.
Not convinced by your argument the Mac is really worth $700 more. Don’t see it.
I’ll check on the gaming. She’s a console kid, PS2 and PS3, but that’s when she can get it away from the little brothers. Who knows what ultra-cool-must-play game her friends at college will get her into.
Periodic maintenance makes sense. I still don’t get why Mac doesn’t schedule the maintenance or even tell you that it might be needed. Especially considering the Ads tout “just works” perpetually.
Most windows users have thrown away If you want make the G5 new again Disk Warrior will cost money but is the best. Re-building the disk iNodes is best done standalone via DVD. I have a Mac Pro w/ Aperture and LightZone In addition I have a five year old 17" PowerBook The wife loves her 20" Intel iMac. The only working windows in the house
The fact that you have not done any maintenance
on a five year old machine is a testament to the op/sys.
more than two machines in five years
or a geek loaded it with Linux.
disk utility=> repair permissions.
This is no cost as disk utility is part of the op/sys.
and Photomatix for photography.
It has been just upgraded to Snow Leopard.
running Leopard for presentations.
This is being typed on a 17" iMac with Leopard.
is a Acer One XP 10" netbook
cost $299 plus $75 for a new battery
Most windows users have thrown away
If you want make the G5 new again
Disk Warrior will cost money but is the best.
Re-building the disk iNodes is best done standalone via DVD.
I have a Mac Pro w/ Aperture and LightZone
In addition I have a five year old 17" PowerBook
The wife loves her 20" Intel iMac.
The only working windows in the house
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