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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Lifetime PC user finally making the switch to Mac


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BeaufordBuddy

 
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Member Since: May 26, 2008
Location: Fort Riley, KS
Posts: 18
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Mac Specs: MBP 17", 1920x1200 matte LED display, 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 250GB 5400RPM HDD, 512MB VRAM

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I'm a new user here, first post, and I just wanted to say hello and share my "switching" story.

Every few years I find myself looking to upgrade my laptop computer for something more powerful and able to take advantage of newer features and capabilities in the fast advancement of computer technology. The time has come yet again to look for a new laptop computer. My current laptop is a three year old IBM ThinkPad T42p. I managed to snag an IBM branded ThinkPad just before they made the switch to Lenovo. Don't get me wrong, this has been a rock solid reliable and extremely well built system. It survived a 15-month deployment to the hot and dusty environment of Iraq. I've had very few issues with it (one of which was the fault of my own and not the laptop itself), their support is is outstanding, and much like Mac the ThinkPad has a very close knit helpful community of loyal owners. However, Windows Vista has been a pain to deal with. The system shipped with Windows XP which ran fine with no issues but when I decided to upgrade to Vista I then saw the crippling effects that an operating system can have on a machine. This ThinkPad is starting to show its age and I wanted to make a well informed buying decision for purchasing my next laptop.

When looking for a new laptop I kept a few requirements in mind. I wanted a more powerful machine that features a fast dual-core processor (my ThinkPad has just a single-core Pentium M "Centrino" 1.8GHz processor), is extremely reliable and gives me few problems or headaches, looks attractive and sophisticated, and has a faithful community backing the product.

For quite some time in the back of my mind I've been milling over the possibility of making the switch to a Mac because it meets all of my requirements, however, its always had that one disadvantage hanging over my head: having to relearn a new and different operating system, software/applications, and hardware. It seems like after all these years of "running" with Windows and all its associated PC hardware and software I would have to start back at a "crawl" and relearn all the basics with a new operating system and essentially be introduced into a new culture. But I am always up for the challenge if it gets me better results in the end and means that I am happier and more content with my purchase.

So today I finally made the decision to purchase a 17" MacBook Pro as my next laptop. I am going to make the daring switch over to Mac, at least in the laptop sense. And the more I think about making the switch the more it makes sense to me. Also, when I read about Boot Camp and being to able to do a dual boot on Mac with Vista I was even happier. The reason is because there are some essential PC programs and applications that I can't let go of and would still like to be able to use even on a Mac, software that I spent good money on. I see it as a "best of both worlds" kind of thing, being able to enjoy the features of a Mac while still capable of using my old trusted software from the Windows side.

When I'm coughing up $2,500+ for a laptop I want it to be built like a champ and look sexy. The MacBook Pro does that with ease. Heck, every Apple product has that sophisticated look and refined engineering to it. Whether it be an iPod or a Mac Pro. Even the cables look sexy.

One other thing that convinced me is that you hear so much about how superior a Mac is to a PC. You see the commercials on TV, you hear it from the horde of Apple followers and it can't help but make you wonder, make you question your loyalty to that sluggish fifth wheel we like to call Windows. It's a love-hate relationship that always has you yearning for something better, something simpler, something that just works like it should. I want to be a part of the Mac experience and see what all the hype is about.

Macs also have an endless slew of Apple-branded and third party accessories which I find very appealing to making the switch as well. I mean come on, how many other computer manufacturers out there have companies that do nothing but create products for your computers?

There are so many things that factor into my buying decision that often times it's extremely hard to settle on something. But I am really confident in my decision to switch to a Mac and one thing that has helped ease my mind is knowing that Macs have a great community of helpful members. That would be you guys.

So here in the next few weeks when I return home (I'm on vacation right now) I'll be ponying up the money to purchase a 17" MacBook Pro. If there is any advice or suggestions you could offer about making the switch easier it would be appreciated.

I plan on visiting a nearby Apple retail store in the next few days to get some hands on experience and impressions with the MacBook. One question I do have is whether you recommend the matte or glossy display? I am not use to reflections in my display so that has been a big turnoff for getting a glossy display. But I do understand that colors are more vivid and the black is more true on a glossy display. Is a matte finished display all that different in terms of quality on a Mac?

Thanks everyone. I look forward to sharing more with you as I make the definitive switch to a Mac.
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cwa107

 
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Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD

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Welcome, I think you're making a great choice.

Personally, I find the glossy screen makes a huge difference - particularly in the way it represents different black levels. Movies and games look awesome, as do pictures. But the big trade off is that you will encounter more glare than you're used to. Is it insurmountable? Nope, but plenty of people find it annoying. I just adjust the angle of my screen.

I'd suggest comparing the glossy and matte side-by-side and see which one you like best.

Also, since you're looking at a 17" model, think very carefully about how often you're going to travel with it. If it's frequent, reconsider the 15" model - there's a huge difference in bulk and weight between the two (IMO). Keep in mind that you won't be able to easily open or use a 17" on a plane in coach either.

Again, welcome to the forums and do be sure to take advantage of the search feature. There is a wealth of knowledge on this forum ripe for the plucking.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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JohnTheMacGeek

 
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Member Since: Feb 05, 2008
Location: Alabama
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Mac Specs: Mid 2009 MacBook Pro  Mid 2007 iMac  4G iPod Touch  iPhone 4S  iPad

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First off, welcome! I doubt you will find your decision to be an error. My experience with the 17" MBP is limited to my father-in-law's machine. When he first got it, he brought it over when they'd come to visit. That didn't last long. I haven't seen it here in several months. He just brings his iPod Touch with him now. He says the reason ... big surprise ... is size and weight. He wishes now he would have gotten the 15" model.

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BeaufordBuddy

 
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Member Since: May 26, 2008
Location: Fort Riley, KS
Posts: 18
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Mac Specs: MBP 17", 1920x1200 matte LED display, 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 250GB 5400RPM HDD, 512MB VRAM

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Thanks guys.

The reason I am leaning towards the 17" is because it has one more USB port and higher resolution display (I was going to opt for the 1920x1200). I've been so use to my ThinkPad's 15" 1600x1200 display that downgrading to anything smaller would be hard to adjust to. I've also been stuck using only two USB ports on my current laptop for some time. I want more expansion possibilities.

Also, it doesn't have to be super portable because I don't travel enough with my laptop to notice the weight.

cwa107, I'll take your advice and compare the glossy and matte side-by-side to see which one I like most. I just hope that the Apple store has a glossy and matte model on display.

I'll also handle a 15" and 17" model to see which I find more suitable to carry around.
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louishen

 
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Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
Location: London
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Mac Specs: Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver

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WElcome aboard

I am not a switcher (been using apples since 1990) but have used both and much prefer the apples (especially since os X)

This community is the best place I have found so far for friendly helpful support, and what the people here don't know isn't worth knowing.

So don't be afraid to be a noob, ask as many dumb questions as you like.

Soon those Vista nightmares will be a distant memory, you may even find yourself becoming a mac fanboy
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PapaNoHair

 
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Member Since: Jul 18, 2006
Location: Florida
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Welcome - you are obviously a very wise person!
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cwa107

 
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Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 26,487
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeaufordBuddy View Post
Thanks guys.

The reason I am leaning towards the 17" is because it has one more USB port and higher resolution display (I was going to opt for the 1920x1200). I've been so use to my ThinkPad's 15" 1600x1200 display that downgrading to anything smaller would be hard to adjust to. I've also been stuck using only two USB ports on my current laptop for some time. I want more expansion possibilities.

Also, it doesn't have to be super portable because I don't travel enough with my laptop to notice the weight.

cwa107, I'll take your advice and compare the glossy and matte side-by-side to see which one I like most. I just hope that the Apple store has a glossy and matte model on display.

I'll also handle a 15" and 17" model to see which I find more suitable to carry around.
Definitely consider it carefully - especially if you've never owned a 17" notebook before. Also note that since the MBP has bluetooth (and unlike with Windows, it actually works quite well), you'll find that you won't use the USB ports quite as extensively as you might have on a Windows machine. In fact, aside from flash drives, I can't think of the last time I made use of USB - even with external hard drives, I tend to use Firewire since it's consistently faster.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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