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JHatz 07-16-2008 08:15 PM

Should I make the switch to Mac?
 
Hey guys,

I just wanted to get a few opinions on my idea of switch from my current HP notebook over to a Macbook.

My current notebook is 7 months old. The only issues I've had is occasionally the hibernate mode will freeze up and I need to battery pull and then restore windows. It's happened probably 4 times since I've had the machine which is annoying on some levels.

The biggest complaint is probably that it's a tad slow with vista. I think it's a 2ghz 64x2 machine with 2 gigs of ram. The ram was a decent increase from 1gig but nothing spectacular.

Would it make sense to switch to a Macbook? I really like the whole idea of a sleek OS with minimal lag. Some other benefits are the magnetic charging plug which I think it's great. One thing that has small appeal to me is the no virus. Since I've never had a virus on any PC in my lifetime it doesn't concern me much, although does the mac receive spyware? That's one thing that just cannot be avoided which may make me feel better.

The hard drives are more effective on storing memory and the OS in consolidated areas, correct?

If I were to get the macbook I would probably go with the black mid-ranged one for $1400 I believe.

One other thing too, if I do decide to go with it, should I consider the extended service plan? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

podraig 07-16-2008 09:20 PM

I have never had an issue with spyware, as far as extended service goes, I would go with it. Regarding memory, increase the standard installed memory when you purchase, it gives better performance.

walkerj 07-16-2008 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHatz (Post 693762)
Hey guys,

I just wanted to get a few opinions on my idea of switch from my current HP notebook over to a Macbook.

My current notebook is 7 months old. The only issues I've had is occasionally the hibernate mode will freeze up and I need to battery pull and then restore windows. It's happened probably 4 times since I've had the machine which is annoying on some levels.

The biggest complaint is probably that it's a tad slow with vista. I think it's a 2ghz 64x2 machine with 2 gigs of ram. The ram was a decent increase from 1gig but nothing spectacular.

Would it make sense to switch to a Macbook? I really like the whole idea of a sleek OS with minimal lag. Some other benefits are the magnetic charging plug which I think it's great. One thing that has small appeal to me is the no virus. Since I've never had a virus on any PC in my lifetime it doesn't concern me much, although does the mac receive spyware? That's one thing that just cannot be avoided which may make me feel better.

The hard drives are more effective on storing memory and the OS in consolidated areas, correct?

If I were to get the macbook I would probably go with the black mid-ranged one for $1400 I believe.

One other thing too, if I do decide to go with it, should I consider the extended service plan? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

I'm sure there is plenty of other testimonials around this board, but as someone who has gone from Windows/Linux to a Mac (first via a Mini, now a Macbook) this is how it works:

You close the lid, they go to sleep. Pretty much instantly. Open the lid they wake up. In this case, instantly. Mine is set up to require a password on wake because I'm weird like that, but my wife's Black Macbook is not, thus it wakes up when she opens the lid and is ready to work. She loves that. Heck, I love that.

Two gig of RAM makes it fly. Literally. Well, maybe not literally but I use my machine extensively for everything (including that Dashboard thing that a lot of people say to disable; I find it too useful to bother with that and it doesn't take up a lot of resources really) and have had no problems.

There are no viruses. There is no spyware. Don't have to worry about that. Period.

Yes, get Apple Care. I've used it a number of times for my Macbook, and have used it after extending the warrantee with my wife's Macbook a number of times. They're machines, and stuff happens to them. Doesn't mean they're any worse than any other computer, but when you have Apple Care and take your machine for some malfunctioning something-or-other and as soon as you say you have Apple Care (and they verify it with the serno) they fix it, and fix it well at least in my experience.

Right out of the box (well, with a $20 adapter) you can do dual monitor with an external, which is quite nice. I mean you just plug the thing in and it figures it out and you have a nice large virtual monitor with no trouble. No drivers, no DLL's, no install CDs, just plug it in and you're on your way. You can configure it how you like (mine's vertically arranged because that's how it is on my desktop.) Want more storage? I have an external Firewire 250 gig drive, and a USB 80 gig external drive hooked up (the one that came with it in the first place.) When it's time to go somewhere, you 'eject' the external drives, unplug them, close the lid and you're off. Same thing with external keyboard/mouse. Both of them bluetooth and since Macbooks come with built-in bluetooth they work brilliantly. When out and about the trackpad is brilliant, and the internal keyboard is perfectly workable.

Oh yeah, it's got a built-in camera. That's nice especially if you want to video chat with people similarly equipped. Once again, no drivers, DLL's or CDs to install. Or if you just want to mess around with taking pictures with it.

The wireless internet is about the most tenacious of any notebook computer I've used. It'll pick up a signal and be usable from distances where other wireless equipped computers go "WiFi? Where? What? Can't find signal."

Battery life is great, form factor is perfect, and overall it's a great little machine with lots of power. Plus there are perky things like Spaces and Exposť which are also brilliant. You'll just have to mess around with one to really know what I'm talking about.

I think you'll love it. Oh, also if you really want to, you can run Windows as well via VMware, Parallels, or BootCamp. I use Parallels. Rarely use it, but I have it. It's got an XP virtual machine on it for those rare (very rare) times when I absolutely need to run some Windows something-or-other.

JHatz 07-16-2008 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by walkerj (Post 693813)
I'm sure there is plenty of other testimonials around this board, but as someone who has gone from Windows/Linux to a Mac (first via a Mini, now a Macbook) this is how it works:

You close the lid, they go to sleep. Pretty much instantly. Open the lid they wake up. In this case, instantly. Mine is set up to require a password on wake because I'm weird like that, but my wife's Black Macbook is not, thus it wakes up when she opens the lid and is ready to work. She loves that. Heck, I love that.

Two gig of RAM makes it fly. Literally. Well, maybe not literally but I use my machine extensively for everything (including that Dashboard thing that a lot of people say to disable; I find it too useful to bother with that and it doesn't take up a lot of resources really) and have had no problems.

There are no viruses. There is no spyware. Don't have to worry about that. Period.

Yes, get Apple Care. I've used it a number of times for my Macbook, and have used it after extending the warrantee with my wife's Macbook a number of times. They're machines, and stuff happens to them. Doesn't mean they're any worse than any other computer, but when you have Apple Care and take your machine for some malfunctioning something-or-other and as soon as you say you have Apple Care (and they verify it with the serno) they fix it, and fix it well at least in my experience.

Right out of the box (well, with a $20 adapter) you can do dual monitor with an external, which is quite nice. I mean you just plug the thing in and it figures it out and you have a nice large virtual monitor with no trouble. No drivers, no DLL's, no install CDs, just plug it in and you're on your way. You can configure it how you like (mine's vertically arranged because that's how it is on my desktop.) Want more storage? I have an external Firewire 250 gig drive, and a USB 80 gig external drive hooked up (the one that came with it in the first place.) When it's time to go somewhere, you 'eject' the external drives, unplug them, close the lid and you're off. Same thing with external keyboard/mouse. Both of them bluetooth and since Macbooks come with built-in bluetooth they work brilliantly. When out and about the trackpad is brilliant, and the internal keyboard is perfectly workable.

Oh yeah, it's got a built-in camera. That's nice especially if you want to video chat with people similarly equipped. Once again, no drivers, DLL's or CDs to install. Or if you just want to mess around with taking pictures with it.

The wireless internet is about the most tenacious of any notebook computer I've used. It'll pick up a signal and be usable from distances where other wireless equipped computers go "WiFi? Where? What? Can't find signal."

Battery life is great, form factor is perfect, and overall it's a great little machine with lots of power. Plus there are perky things like Spaces and Exposť which are also brilliant. You'll just have to mess around with one to really know what I'm talking about.

I think you'll love it. Oh, also if you really want to, you can run Windows as well via VMware, Parallels, or BootCamp. I use Parallels. Rarely use it, but I have it. It's got an XP virtual machine on it for those rare (very rare) times when I absolutely need to run some Windows something-or-other.

I appreciate the write up. The instant access to the computer upon opening is something that greatly interests me. My notebook currently takes roughly 10 seconds to wake up and then another 15-20 to find my network. Which is a total of almost 30 seconds in some cases which seems negligible but I'm sure some of you know where I'm coming from.

Battery, good point. You say it has great battery life. What is standard for a macbook? My notebook currently gets about 2 hours or so but that's on battery saver so my speed is greatly diminished.

I feel bad selling this notebook because it was given to me for Christmas without me even asking. Although I bet I could get at least $400 for it and use that towards the Mac.

Anymore input anyone?

mark_r23 07-17-2008 12:01 AM

I can get about 5 hours or so on my macbook if I turn the brightness down to just one tick (which is still plenty bright) and I'm doing things like surfing the internet or typing up stuff on Word. If you want to watch a movie, you can get about 3-3.5 hours out of a DVD. It's a lot more than any Windows laptop I've looked at.

I also agree with a lot of the stuff walkerj said. I just got my Macbook about three weeks ago, and I'm completely in love with it. After the college discount and money made from selling my iPod Touch, it ended up costing me about $1100 after tax, and I got the $1300 model. Best $1100 I've ever spent. This thing is amazing. It truly does fly, and Mac OSX is unlike anything I've ever used. I have Vista installed on a PC at home and I've used it for about a year and a half prior, and OSX just blows it away. Like many say, it just works. I'm one of the few people who have actually had more or less no problems with Vista (I only say more or less because no Windows OS is problem-free), and thought it was a great operating system, that is until I got this Macbook. OSX runs on Unix, so that should say a lot about its stability, mine's been on for 17 days straight, and I know people who have had their Macs run for 30 or so days straight, and like I said before, it just works. Oh and it's also REALLY light. It weighs like 5 lbs.

Unless your morals prevent you, sell that laptop, use a college discount or find a college student and have them use their discount, and get yourself a Macbook. You won't regret it.

cwa107 07-17-2008 12:31 AM

I switched over to a MacBook Pro about 2 years ago. I'm on my second one. I purchased my first (a refurb'ed Core Duo model) just to test the waters, and ended up upgrading to the latest generation about 18 months later. I sold my first MacBook Pro for about $900 - which is awesome since I paid $1150 for it initially. The resale value is certainly an important aspect.

I agree with WalkerJ's assessment, but I'll add to that. With the Mac, you really get the best of all worlds. I can run Windows on it, I can run Linux on it - heck, I can have all three running simultaneously (which I love, since I'm big on dabbling in different OSes).

The bottom line for me is this - I work as a Windows network admin. When I come home from a day of babysitting crackbaby Windows servers and desktops, I just want a machine that works the way its supposed to and doesn't give me much grief. I won't go so far as to perpetuate the "it just works" baloney, but it does tend to be a fairly painless affair. There is very little maintenance to do, I don't have to worry about malware and the OS is very slick and speedy. I'm not so keen on the hardware, as I'm not really big on Apple's form > function approach, but it's very pretty to look at. I almost never have to reboot the thing - I pretty much close the lid when I'm done and throw it in my bag. When it's time to use it again, I open the lid and go right back to where I was without having to wait more than about 5 seconds. Endless reboots, security updates and staring at a blinking hard drive light, wondering if my machine is still responsive, are all but a thing of the past.

Don't let anybody tell you that Macs are perfect - they certainly have their share of flaws, but it's not Vista either. All-in-all, if you've had enough of Windows and are ready to try something different, the Mac is a great choice. Just keep in mind that it *is* different, and you will have to learn your way around and develop new habits. I think that's a very important point to make, because you do need to make a conscious effort to give up the Windows mindset and comparing the two. Just because it's different doesn't mean that the "Windows way" is superior to the "Mac way" (or vice versa).

My recommendation? Find an Apple store nearby and stop in. Play with the models that interest you and see if it feels right. If you do switch, you've found a great forum to ask questions - and of course, we've got a wealth of knowledge here, so don't hesitate to search - you'll be surprised at what you find.

Good luck and welcome to the forums.

JHatz 07-17-2008 12:42 AM

Thanks for all the input guys.

I was going to check out my apple store near by but didn't make it today, I'll probably go tomorrow. I did the math and I'll end up spending 1061 after MIR on the itouch and macbook in black if I get $400 for my current HP notebook.

I think I can get 10% off through my vendor accommodation at work vs the student discount for $100, I'll have to double check though.

Thanks for all the great personal experiences guys. Any more are greatly welcome.

El Immigrante 07-18-2008 12:59 AM

Make the switch...I did and it's the best decision I ever made!

JHatz 07-18-2008 01:59 PM

So, I went into the Apple store yesterday to check out the macbooks and they're just beautiful machines.

They were super fast compared to my current notebook and the response time after closing and opening was just wildly fast. I didn't have to wait one second.

I'm now just looking for the money for it. I have to dish out roughly 1800 upfront for the black macbook + iTouch.

If anyone wants to donate towards my fund feel free:$

mark_r23 07-18-2008 02:15 PM

Is there any particular reason you want the black macbook? The only difference between it and the 2.4 GHz white one is the black color and 90 Gb of hard drive space. If you're having trouble coming up with the money, why not just get the white one? Saves you $200...

JHatz 07-18-2008 02:21 PM

I've decided that if I want to buy such an expensive notebook I should really wait to shell out the extra $200 for the color I really prefer. The white is cool but I love the black.

walkerj 07-18-2008 05:36 PM

I have a white one because it matches my iPod, Mighty Mouse, and Apple keyboard, all of which are white. Color matching is very important for Apple users. ;)

My wife has the black Macbook because it matches our cats. :D

bentapsell 07-19-2008 04:05 PM

Just a point about the battery life... I regularly use my macbook at work doing MS office stuff. With the screen brightness turned down and the wireless off I can manage 6.5-7 hours! And still now with an 18 month old battery with 334 cycles under its belt!

skaheadpunk 07-19-2008 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bentapsell (Post 695313)
Just a point about the battery life... I regularly use my macbook at work doing MS office stuff. With the screen brightness turned down and the wireless off I can manage 6.5-7 hours! And still now with an 18 month old battery with 334 cycles under its belt!

How the bumble are you doing that?!?! Pray tell!

ajohnson253 07-30-2008 04:45 PM

make the switch and i promise you will wish that you would have gone with mac in the 1st place ;-)


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