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.
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