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Which laptop?

HebrewHebrew Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
edited January 2012 in College Computers
Hi there,

I am looking for a decent laptop that will get me through four years of college, and hopefully past that. I have researched Apple, HP, Gateway, Sony, and Alienware for possible laptops and as of right now, have narrowed it down to HP DV6T Select Edition, MacBook AIR, and MacBook PRO. For both Macs I intend to go with the cheapest possible if I choose to buy a certain version.

As for what I wish to major in, I am currently in a toss up between Agronomy and Computer Sciences (If you would like to give advice on that one you can too). I hope to either attend University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, SMSU in Marshall, or St. Cloud State in Saint Cloud. All are in Minnesota. All three colleges are fine with OS x or Windows 7.

One of the concerns I have with Apple computers is the price, which is holding me back. I have heard rumors on other sites that the MBP is going to be discontinued soon, which could be bad if I bought one. The thing that is getting me to consider Apple's computers is that they seem to have excellent batteries, speed, and reliability. The reason I am considering the HP DV6 is it is fairly cheap and seems to get good reviews from people.

If I go into agronomy I would only use the laptop for Netflix, reports, web surfing, The Sims 3, and the Java game Runescape.

If I go into Computer Science I would probably use it for more than that so PLEASE consider that when answering the questions below.

So, how long would you expect the HP to last and how long would you expect the Macs to last if handled the same?

Is there a better PC out there at the same price, or less, than the DV6 that I should look into?

Can the MBP and MBA handle boot camping Windows 7 and still keep quality?

Which laptop is the most reliable?

What are the major differences between the cheapest MBP and MBA?


I might have more questions coming as I think of them.
Post edited by Hebrew on
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Replies to: Which laptop?

  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 28,959 Super Moderator
    If you've long been using Mac or Win and like it, stick with it. If you've been using Mac, you'll hate everthing about Win except price. If you've been using Win, you can't justify Mac's price, and you won't like the differences. If you're not used to either and can afford it, you'll be happier with Mac (you can also boot Win). MBP has top Nvidia graphics, Air is much lighter. Our D had MBP, but likes her new Air much better.
  • FutureWeathermanFutureWeatherman Registered User Posts: 446 Junior Member
    Well I am a Apple homer, but in your case it really depends on which OS you are more familiar/comfortable with. I can and do use both Windows and Apple, but feel more comfy with Apple products. You will need to decide which is better for you, and get that type.

    I do not think the MBP will be cut, but I don't have any sources from the inside.

    If you do get a Windows, for the Love of College, do not get an HP. Every HP I and my family/friends have owned has started to have problems within a year. Dell isn't as bad, but their reliability isn't that great either. For a Windows PC, I recommend a Sony or Toshiba, both brands you have eliminated.

    So, of the 3 laptops you have, MPB is the best IMO because it is larger, (I hate 13" screens) and has a DVD drive, which believe me, you will need at some point. And yes, while you can buy an external DVD drive for MBA, it's just not the same.

    Hope this helped!
  • HebrewHebrew Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    I haven't heard many bad reviews in the HP DV6 series...I am edging away from Apple because Computer Science seems to be all Windows based and getting windows on the Mac would add another 150 USD. I looked into Toshiba again but they have a limited about of reliable laptops for four years use. I will be looking at Sony again tomorrow.
  • HarryJonesHarryJones Registered User Posts: 2,580 Senior Member
    Lenovos tend to strike a good balance between cost and quality.
  • FutureWeathermanFutureWeatherman Registered User Posts: 446 Junior Member
    Harry, that is a good one!!! How could I forget about Lenovo? They are very good.

    Hebrew, for Computer Science, yes, a Mac is not as useful, since you would need to use Windows more often.
  • PancakedPancaked Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    Owner of a HP DV6T Quad Edition here. Pretty darn happy with it, though I ultimately found it a liiitle too large, and the battery life isn't great. I picked it as I needed a PC as an engineer, and the price was good. Plus it's got a really solid graphics card; I play games like BFBC:2 and it runs really well.

    In regards to the poster complaining about HP, it's nonsense. HP makes great laptops and the DV series is known for quality.

    You can't go wrong with Macs for their battery life and quality. Not to mention, 85% of your classmates will be using them. Their price is pretty unreasonable though. Usually there are compatibility issues in CS-type fields, but if the schools (and particularly the CS department) are fine with OS X, it's a good option.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 28,959 Super Moderator
    "85% of your classmates will be using [Macs]. Their price is pretty unreasonable though."

    Apparently 85% don't think so! ;)

    And remember, OS X is Unix.
  • PancakedPancaked Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    That's because 85% just follow what's trending. Plus if you're enrolled in college, there's a good chance your parents can shell out that kind of money.
  • HarryJonesHarryJones Registered User Posts: 2,580 Senior Member
    Apparently 85% don't think so!
    Those 85% believe me when I say that my $400 laptop can outperform their Macs. I wouldn't give too much weight to their opinions.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 28,959 Super Moderator
    True, speed is not the deciding factor for Mac fans; being a Mac is what's important to them.
  • HebrewHebrew Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    I'm not really into $1,200 trending. I am going to look into Sony and Lenovo a bit...I think I did look at Lenovo and had saw one that was somewhat decent....they just seem a bit off-brand. Is that red thing on the Keyboard they have optional because it looks like it could get annoying while typing.
  • HarryJonesHarryJones Registered User Posts: 2,580 Senior Member
    I'm not sure what you're referring to by the 'red thing on the Keyboard'. Is is on this -> Amazon.com: Lenovo G570 43348PU 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black): Computers & Accessories ?
  • HebrewHebrew Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    It is called a 'Pointing Stick', I am seeing it on the ThinkPad computers on the Lenovo website.

    Such as what is found HERE
  • aviantaviant Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    The initial cost of a Mac can be a turn off, but in the long run it is so worth it to put in the extra money. Macs just work, pretty much all of the time. You don't have to worry about viruses and malware, etc. The battery life is exceptional compared to the PC counterparts and they hardware is far superior. No cheap plastic to be found.

    I'm an Apple fan girl, but not without reason.
  • HebrewHebrew Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    In my time, I have had 1 virus with a PC, and 1 virus with a MAC. I have used a PC for 10 years and a MAC for 5 years. I am not so sure that they cannot get viruses.
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