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First-time notebook buyer Need help


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#1 The Lone Ranger

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 12:53 PM

Hey all,

So my dear desktop computer is on the skits and I'm in the market of finding a new computer. I'm a college student so I'm looking seriously into laptops, because of the convenience.
I would like your guys' advice on which direction I should go. A couple of things:

- I'm a PC. I was pretty much born and raised on Windows 95. My current desktop has Windows XP SP3. However, I have a NUMBER of friends who have converted over to Mac, and say they're loving it. That and also I heard the majority of computer viruses are aimed toward PCs. I consider myself pretty computer literate with a PC. I feel like I know the in's and outs of the OS. I am vaguely familiar with Mac's OS, and when it comes down to it, learning a new OS is not a problem for me. In fact I would love to learn and explore a new operating system. The majority of people I've talked to say they LOVE their Macs, but PCs is always a mixed reaction; some people hate theirs, some love them. So, i'm open for Mac or PC (unless somebody has some advice otherwise).

- I have a budget of about $1500 dollars. Anywhere up to that price range (though being a poor, starving college student, below would be ideal) is fine with me. But I will not sacrifice quality for price. I want a nice, solid laptop that's not gonna poop out on me within the first few months. I also have the option of a friend who works at a PC store who said he could potentially build me a laptop. Just throwin' that out there.

- I like gaming. I love it, in fact, though I wouldn't consider myself a 'gamer'. I like all types of games from Civ4 to WoW, to Doom 3 to StarCraft. I generally go more towards MMORPGs, RPGs, Shooters, and Strategies. (I still wanna play Spore SOOO bad!) So, ideally, a laptop which can handle fairly graphic-intense games would be ideal. But I understand that laptops aren't generally the ideal gaming source, and I'm ok with that. I suppose there's also a compatibility issue with that. Are the majority of games made for PC or Mac? I don't like the idea of limiting which games I can and can't play, but it's not really a big thing. Just so long as I get a select few which are my favorites, I'm fine with that.

- While I do like gaming, I am looking for a laptop for COLLEGE USES. Note-taking, presentation creating, media recording and the like. I know I should be able to find these basic tools on any notebook I buy, but I guess I wanna know the differences between Macs and PCs, if there is any. I'm a Theatre Arts Major, English minor, and so we have rehearsals where we need to record vocal parts, piano sequences and the like for practice later on. I've noticed a number of my peers whip out their MacBook, set it on the chair next to them, and open up a program which records sound files. Anything similar to that on PCs?

- I don't really do pictures or anything. I store a few pictures here and there. I have a tendency to download movies, but delete them after I'm done watching them. Currently I have an external 320 GB Western Digital HD connected to my desktop. Would that work with a Mac, or is it solely PC?

- Other software requirements might be minor video editting and sound editting. Nothing TOO hefty. I like to dab in making movies a little. I also love surfing the internet, and listening to music on iTunes.

So, to sum it up, I'm looking for the ideal 'college/gaming/minor-media/web-surfing' laptop. (Kind of in that order.)

Any advice on which brand of laptop I should buy would be MOST APPRECIATED!
Sorry for the long post.

Thanks again guys! Let the battle for PC vs. Mac laptops begin! :blink:


-The Lone Ranger

Edited by The Lone Ranger, 02 December 2009 - 12:58 PM.


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#2 LouieChuckyMerry

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 08:31 PM

"I've noticed a number of my peers whip out their MacBook, set it on the chair next to them, and open up a program which records sound files. Anything similar to that on PCs?"

There's enough quality freeware available for Windows--check download.com, brothersoft.com, snapfiles.com, tucows.com, filehippo.com, etc. for both editor and reader ratings then make a decision--that I'm sure you'd find something useful. Ditto for sound and-or video editing software. Check out this link to a different thread in this forum

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/276826/macs/

for more info on Mac vs Windows. Personally, I can't justify spending almost twice as much money on a Mac for barely half the specs, but that's only my opinion. And we all know what opinions are like. Good luck.

#3 silverpl105

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:04 PM

Alienware is currently the best laptop for gaming. You can check this Alienware M15x 16" Laptop, in your budget. Mac laptop is good too, but it's not competible with other brand specs. It will be a problem to upgrade it future.

Edited by silverpl105, 07 December 2009 - 11:04 PM.


#4 RainbowSix

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 11:17 AM

Mac is nothing more than a status symbol. Get a PC. Asus makes the best laptops as far as failure rate goes.
The ASUS G Series G71Gx-X2 would be a NICE one. It is probably more powerful than anything from Apple.
It has 6GB memory, GTX260M, 640GB total storage, 17" screen....wow

Edited by RainbowSix, 08 December 2009 - 11:22 AM.

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