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Ancient_Mariner

New Laptop anarchy

48 posts in this topic

I'm sure this has been discussed before but I'm too lazy to try to find the thread(s). Besides, in the world of computers, it's probably out of date.

 

Simply put...I want to buy a real GOOD Laptop.

 

I have zero experience with laptops. Built my own PC so not entirely ignorant, but never owned a lappy.

 

Money is not a consideration. I can afford the best, whatever that is.

 

I want one that will easily connect to an external monitor, an external sound system, and is easy to add to my home wireless network. It will be used mostly as a PC for my wife, but will be used for travel as well when needed. I want to be able to use it on a cruise ship, in a foreign country, where ever...so versatility is a must.

 

Stability, ruggedness, and up-to-date hardware are paramount. I don't want to have to buy another one before I die... :D

 

Edit: forgot 2 more criteria: TV Tuner card so I can connect it to the DirecTv cable I went to a lot of trouble running to that room...

And, built-in Web Cam.

 

Any help here would be most appreciated. I know we have some real impressive geeks here and a ton of good folks with lots of lappy experience. Give me your best shot!

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Timex Sinclair with the bitch'n 16 k expansion. Thank me later.

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Timex Sinclair with the bitch'n 16 k expansion. Thank me later.

 

I was hoping for serious help...

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solid state drive.....

 

A 256 should do the trick. This way when it falls or the ship rocks no problem. For the rest and I suspect more ideas that you have call a custom shop. At minimum call Dell but there are better. I just do not have any recent custom experience. Dawg posted a shop that does great work. Look at his posts.a

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Mac Book Pro, the new retina display has higher resolution than your HD TV,

 

 

TV Tuner Card

 

 

At work I use PC's all day , my personal laptop is a Mac.

 

Both links appear to be local intranet ones. Can't get to either....

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tis true. The new mac book pro is some serious stuff. I do not know if it will do all that you want but a visit to an apple store with a written list of what you want might be worth the trip.

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odd ,

 

any way

 

Apple.com for the laptop , new macbook pro

 

Hauppauge usb tv tuner stick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mac Book Pro, the new retina display has higher resolution than your HD TV,

 

 

TV Tuner Card

 

 

At work I use PC's all day , my personal laptop is a Mac.

 

Both links appear to be local intranet ones. Can't get to either....

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Ask here...What Notebook Should I Buy?

 

I know you don't like HP...but I really like their Elitebooks...started with the Elitebook 8730w two years ago...also got a 8530w to replace one of my backup photo editing notebooks in Austin,TX.

 

I like both the Elitebooks better then my Macbook pro

 

8530w demo

 

 

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Well...the main reason I want a laptop is because of a small brief power outage today, our HP PC is now dead. And yes, the power strip with a supposedly good surge protector failed. It's probably the cheap-ass made-in-China 250v psu that I could replace for $62 but I never liked this underpowered POS loaded with fuking Vista. So...no...don't care much for HP. However, I'm still open-minded and will check those out.

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No recomendations, but be aware that a lot of older stuff (i.e.32 bit) may not be compatable with new 64 bit laptops. My older printer & seperate scanner and the Wifi modem all caused problems.

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You might want to look at the newer 8540w or 8560w quad core for gaming as well.

 

The new models have drove down the price of the 8530w and the 8750w...like new referbed can be picked up for $400-500,which isn't bad for computers that sold for $3000 and $4500 originally.

 

For those who plan to use XP till it's not linger supported,you can get those refurbs with XP pro...then upgrade them to Windows 7 in the future or just order with Windows 7 and make the switch now.

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You might want to look at the newer 8540w or 8560w quad core for gaming.

 

 

Ancient Mariner and gaming sounds like mixing oil and vinegar. Gaming? There was a long thread about 2 months ago that AM should peruse as many of the thoughts/opinions have not changed.

 

I bought a Mac 6 months ago and am on the fence about it.

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i think i saw a Commodore 64 in the attic at a friend's house, want me to see how much they want for it?

 

 

In any case, i'm pretty damn happy with my Lenovo IdeaPad, great performance for the money. there is a fucking annoying noise from the headphone jack that goes away when the laptop is unplugged from the power, but other than that it's been great. no idea about the TV tuner though - its probably an option.... I spent $750 for quad core I7 processor, 1gig NVIDEA independent video card, and 8gigs of ram.

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You might want to look at the newer 8540w or 8560w quad core for gaming.

 

 

Ancient Mariner and gaming sounds like mixing oil and vinegar. Gaming? There was a long thread about 2 months ago that AM should peruse as many of the thoughts/opinions have not changed.

 

I bought a Mac 6 months ago and am on the fence about it.

 

Hey! You'd be impressed how good this old fart games...

 

Can you find that thread and gimmeee a linky? Please???

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You might want to look at the newer 8540w or 8560w quad core for gaming as well.

 

The new models have drove down the price of the 8530w and the 8750w...like new referbed can be picked up for $400-500,which isn't bad for computers that sold for $3000 and $4500 originally.

 

For those who plan to use XP till it's not linger supported,you can get those refurbs with XP pro...then upgrade them to Windows 7 in the future or just order with Windows 7 and make the switch now.

 

What brand???

 

No problem with W7 on new lappy. Just not gonna change my OS on my desktop pc atm. Oh...and isn't W8 coming soon? What's the status?

 

Edit: Just found an upgrade offer for W8, so I guess it's right around the corner. https://windowsupgradeoffer.com/en-US/Home/ProgramInfo

 

In the case of Toshiba at least, it's only $14.99.

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Can't help you on brand much, but our firm's tech consultants are telling us to get SSDs in our next laptops. Much faster boot up times.

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You might want to look at the newer 8540w or 8560w quad core for gaming.

 

 

Ancient Mariner and gaming sounds like mixing oil and vinegar. Gaming? There was a long thread about 2 months ago that AM should peruse as many of the thoughts/opinions have not changed.

 

I bought a Mac 6 months ago and am on the fence about it.

 

Hey! You'd be impressed how good this old fart games...

 

Can you find that thread and gimmeee a linky? Please???

 

Search on Laptop Anarchy, Mustang appears to work in the field (or practical experience) and offers good advice.

 

One serious note, you don't want the next laptop to outlive you? How committed are you, if it starts coughing are you tying a knot? :o

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You said: "Money no issue"

 

Alienware M18x

 

gallery_15464_45_20188.jpg

 

I've specced one out for you:

 

 

gallery_15464_45_53928.jpg

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I'll have to second the "go with a macbook" advice. I use a PC at work and a mac at home. I don't know a lot about computers, but do know that the mac's at home break/crash a lot less than the PC's at work. When I heard a few weeks ago that someone finally got a virus on a mac I decided it was time for virus protection. I installed the anti virus and found over 300,000 PC virus's on one of the the machines, none of which affected the performance at all. I now do regular checks and find hundreds of PC viruses each time. Some of the fanboys will tell you how perfect macs are, they aren't, but when something does go wrong they fix easy. I had to reload my operating system once and thought "this is going to be a real PITA". Every time that happens at work, it takes me weeks to get the setup back like I had it before the crash, with the mac, everything was right where I left it. That's my $.02

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You might want to look at the newer 8540w or 8560w quad core for gaming.

 

 

Ancient Mariner and gaming sounds like mixing oil and vinegar. Gaming? There was a long thread about 2 months ago that AM should peruse as many of the thoughts/opinions have not changed.

 

I bought a Mac 6 months ago and am on the fence about it.

 

Hey! You'd be impressed how good this old fart games...

 

Can you find that thread and gimmeee a linky? Please???

 

Search on Laptop Anarchy, Mustang appears to work in the field (or practical experience) and offers good advice.

 

One serious note, you don't want the next laptop to outlive you? How committed are you, if it starts coughing are you tying a knot? :o

 

Thanks isma. Just practical experience for me though. Dde does work in the industry in one or another and is one of the guys that got me on the lenovo brand.

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You might want to look at the newer 8540w or 8560w quad core for gaming.

 

 

Ancient Mariner and gaming sounds like mixing oil and vinegar. Gaming? There was a long thread about 2 months ago that AM should peruse as many of the thoughts/opinions have not changed.

 

I bought a Mac 6 months ago and am on the fence about it.

 

Hey! You'd be impressed how good this old fart games...

 

Can you find that thread and gimmeee a linky? Please???

 

Search on Laptop Anarchy, Mustang appears to work in the field (or practical experience) and offers good advice.

 

One serious note, you don't want the next laptop to outlive you? How committed are you, if it starts coughing are you tying a knot? :o

 

Thanks isma. Just practical experience for me though. Dde does work in the industry in one or another and is one of the guys that got me on the lenovo brand.

 

Agreed if you go with a windows based computer , go with Lenovo.

 

If you need an optical drive get a t series, these are the business class boxes and can take a bit more abuse than the others.

 

 

if you do not need an optical drive get an x -series

 

 

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Recently bought a Lenovo Ideapad that we are very happy with:

 

Lenovo Ideapad

 

Which model did you buy and why the Lenovo brand?

 

I bought a Y580. I have a friend that owns a computer repair shop and I asked him what manufacturers that they rarely see in the shop. He said HP and Lenovo, although they are starting to see more HP computers recently.

 

Check the Lenovo website daily if you are not in a hurry to buy because they occasionally have great eCoupon deals.

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I've owned portables since the Compaq (1985) and the MacBook Air 13" I currently own is the best I've even had.

 

Since most of us use our computers for internet and such things (mostly), I didn't even bother with the larger SSD (solid state drive).

 

This is the machine to get IMHO for 90% of the population. If you are some crazy gamer or have 500,000 songs you want stored locally...well, then maybe you'll need that 7 pound monster.

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You said: "Money no issue"

 

Alienware M18x

 

gallery_15464_45_20188.jpg

 

I've specced one out for you:

 

 

gallery_15464_45_53928.jpg

 

Nice machine... Expansion for more ram later? It does need to outlast AM

 

(that could be mis-interpreted...)

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Haha...that Alien looks sweet, but suddenly cost became an issue! $7k for a lappy is a bit much...

 

Thanks for input guys. Am leaning toward an MBA but am still turned off by the whole Apple conundrum. When you buy an Apple product, they OWN your ass. (I only let women do that). The inability of user service/upgrading...even replacing batteries is a downer. On the other hand, they make fine (a bit over-priced) machines. I'm impressed with the reviews of the new Retina model, but it's not even shipping yet. And...like most old men...I'm not sure I want to go through a whole learning process all over again. It was tough enough for this old dog to learn enough Windows shit to survive. I'm pretty good at hardware but weak on the software side. It confuses the crap out of me.

 

On the pc side, the Lenovo looks pretty good. Mostly good reviews. Gonna dig a bit deeper and maybe check one out in person.

 

I have learned a lot. I can define an Ultrabook, I know what USB3 (Ivy Bridge) is, and I've arrived at a much more definitive description of what features I want...such as an SSD....to me...a MUST have.

 

Thanks again for your help. DDE...you have anything to add?

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We use Dell Latitudes in the office and we have Dell Inspirons at home. We have not had any significant problems with any of them, even some that are over 6 years old (other than the newer tech outshines the older tech, but that is true with everything). We've never had significant problems with crashing or instability.

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I've owned portables since the Compaq (1985) and the MacBook Air 13" I currently own is the best I've even had.

 

Since most of us use our computers for internet and such things (mostly), I didn't even bother with the larger SSD (solid state drive).

 

This is the machine to get IMHO for 90% of the population. If you are some crazy gamer or have 500,000 songs you want stored locally...well, then maybe you'll need that 7 pound monster.

 

End of august I am going to pick up a new laptop. I have never used a MAC until recently and was blown away by the new Ipad and the Airbooks.

 

Did you consider an 11"? Why not the 11" and save some dough?

 

Did you go with the 64 or 128 GB? (I see that you did not go for the larger I assume 256)

 

Did you go with Apple Care and have you used it?

 

What printing setup do you have at home? I assume wireless, do you have separate photo and page printers brand etc.

 

 

 

Ancient Mariner - My concern is not so much you switching over to MAC. I have so far found the benefits outweigh the minor learning. The problems are 1) You have a number of older connections and services. Apple is notoriously moving forward and has its own services. For example there is no optical drive on the small apple mac $599! Oh my! 2) This is going to be used by your wife - So she may not be too happy about the switch.

 

However - OH MY ....This apple stuff just rocks in the entertainment area. Consider buying your wife a new IPAD. Not IPAD 2 but the new one. This will allow her a huge amount of entertainment and books. It is very mobile and consider this;

 

Do you want to make the change now or ten years from now when there are no more newspapers and magazines in paper? Seriously it is coming very fast. Do you want her to have to learn then or now? Nothing worse than being really old at the old folk’s home and not having a newspaper in the morning!

 

SSD - This now makes the laptop portable - before it really was not and too many hard drives ended the life of rather expensive toys.

 

Go to the apple store with everything that you want to do on a list and let a pro make a proposal....then make a decision.

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I forgot one more Apple question.

 

Apple has refurbished products

 

Has anyone ever bought something from Apple refurbished? The reason I ask is because I am seeing Apple Airbooks 64GB for $739.

 

 

Does anyone have any experience with the Airbooks that only have 64GB? Can I get office on it and how much room so you have after the basic word, excel, powerpoint and Nortons (or whatever) is on it.

 

Thanks again.

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DISCLAIMER - parts of this info is up to 2yrs old.

 

best business machine - Lenovo (good fast internals, average to good video)

best gaming machine - Alienware (best video in a laptop on the planet, no compromise components where 'speed' is concerned) - is like carrying 2 house bricks on your shoulder!

 

my current laptop - Toshiba Tecra, purely because they have a 'good' voltage to their "video out" port. Lenovo machines also have a good voltage to the video port. Many manufacturers removed all voltage to the VGA out to conserve battery.

 

my needs when that laptop was purchased 4 yrs ago: 1) no screw-ups when used for presentations with a projector (video). 2)Long warranty period. 3) Reliability. 4) Could be serviced in many parts of the world.

 

That machine is now at the end of it's days mainly because of the plastic chassis, the screen hinge area is starting to show a couple of cracks. Where to next for me - Lenovo.

 

AM, your needs seem to be around portability and connectivity. For portability the Macbook Air or an Ultrabook - as these are ultra thin devices they will have some level of compromise to get the small form factor such as cut down OS, small capacity HDD or SSD, heat. For connectivity, a laptop of 'regular' thickness will give you more options on the internals & output options, downside, if any is the weight.

 

My best guess on your behalf would be the new (2012) Macbook Air (see, I said that out loud - 'Mac' and 'best' in the same sentence!) - the thing that tips me into this is the new models announced this month include an HDMI plug, USB 3.0 port *and* the new Apple format connector - Thunderbolt, which runs at 20x the speed of USB 2.0. The Mac Thunderbolt enabled peripherals are set up to daisy chain to each other doing away with USB hub bottlenecks. USB 3.0 is backward compatible to USB 2.0

 

Sorry, do not have knowledge of TV tuners.

 

ML

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If you are "hands off" and need a great multi functional machine, go with a MacBook (my college junior has a MBPro 13 and it's been flawless for 2.5 years of college coed abuse.

 

Gamer, hands on? Lenovo looks pretty sweet. I've had various HP's and Dells from 17" to 12" (great on an airplane but need a docking station and real monitor at the office). Currently running a company supplied Dell Inspiron 14"(decent but uninspired), Ipad (latest) and iPhone 4 for work but am going Lenovo T-410 series (W-7 64, SSD, graphics card, etc) for my son (ME major freshman with gamer tendencies).

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I forgot one more Apple question.

 

Apple has refurbished products

 

Has anyone ever bought something from Apple refurbished? The reason I ask is because I am seeing Apple Airbooks 64GB for $739.

 

 

Does anyone have any experience with the Airbooks that only have 64GB? Can I get office on it and how much room so you have after the basic word, excel, powerpoint and Nortons (or whatever) is on it.

 

Thanks again.

I have 2 macbook pros refurb. I used what i saved to buy the extended warranty. you can get office no prob. and if you got a kid in school you can get a 3 user license for under $100. 64gb airbook is thin unless you use it mostly as a browser and office machine -- use dropbox or apple cloud for file storage. if you put any real apps on it 64gb will blow up.

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She probably won't use something like Genelex's machine. I bet the all up weight on it is pushing 20 lbs. I bet the top of the line Ipad (with docking station, keyboard, monitor) would get more use than that monster. Get a good business class Lenovo if you must have a laptop, but get her an Ipad to go with it.

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Fixed the old HP today with a much better quality PSU (250v to 585v) for $47. Even have a power on/off now. Woot!

 

So...wife is happy, so I am too. Still want a lappy, but will wait for better availabilty of new technology (USB3, Ivy Bridge, Intel I7, etc.) but mostly for SSD prices to come down. I learned alot thru this process and am now much more able to seek specifically what I want. Will check out the new Macs when they are finally in the pipeline, but I really doubt that either my wife nor I will want to join the Apple slave trade... :D

 

Merrill: No, I specifically said portablity (weight/size) was not important to me as it would be used as a desktop PC most of the time. I now know about docking stations and that info has modified my thinking a bit too....so connectivity is a non-issue too. A built in optical drive is no longer on my "needed" list as well.

 

Thank you all for the input. I've gone from a Lappy idiot to a pretty knowledgeable buyer, and that will pay great dividends soon. You guys rock.

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Fixed the old HP today with a much better quality PSU (250v to 585v) for $47. Even have a power on/off now. Woot!

 

So...wife is happy, so I am too. Still want a lappy, but will wait for better availabilty of new technology (USB3, Ivy Bridge, Intel I7, etc.) but mostly for SSD prices to come down. I learned alot thru this process and am now much more able to seek specifically what I want. Will check out the new Macs when they are finally in the pipeline, but I really doubt that either my wife nor I will want to join the Apple slave trade... :D

 

Merrill: No, I specifically said portablity (weight/size) was not important to me as it would be used as a desktop PC most of the time. I now know about docking stations and that info has modified my thinking a bit too....so connectivity is a non-issue too. A built in optical drive is no longer on my "needed" list as well.

 

Thank you all for the input. I've gone from a Lappy idiot to a pretty knowledgeable buyer, and that will pay great dividends soon. You guys rock.

AM, I went back thru the thread. You never mentioned portability. And who the hell is Merrill?

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Fixed the old HP today with a much better quality PSU (250v to 585v) for $47. Even have a power on/off now. Woot!

 

So...wife is happy, so I am too. Still want a lappy, but will wait for better availabilty of new technology (USB3, Ivy Bridge, Intel I7, etc.) but mostly for SSD prices to come down. I learned alot thru this process and am now much more able to seek specifically what I want. Will check out the new Macs when they are finally in the pipeline, but I really doubt that either my wife nor I will want to join the Apple slave trade... :D

 

Merrill: No, I specifically said portablity (weight/size) was not important to me as it would be used as a desktop PC most of the time. I now know about docking stations and that info has modified my thinking a bit too....so connectivity is a non-issue too. A built in optical drive is no longer on my "needed" list as well.

 

Thank you all for the input. I've gone from a Lappy idiot to a pretty knowledgeable buyer, and that will pay great dividends soon. You guys rock.

AM, I went back thru the thread. You never mentioned portability. And who the hell is Merrill?

 

First he states that he went back through the thread, then asks who the hell is Merrill?? Hehe...methinks Jim oughta be posting in the Sat night PUI thread soon... :P

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I just bought a Dell Insprion N7110

 

i7 chipset

8gig Ram

1 TB HD

 

Its run flawlessly and does everything I want. Primary use is as a media center to hook up to flat screen TV to stream movies and games. Its has an HDMI and I get nice HD video on a 55' LCD. Pic is very nice. Its fast and very stable. This model has everything the OP wants.

 

Not to start a Mac hate fest.... I have nothing against them. But with the advent of Windows 7, I think the interface and stability gap has closed to almost parity. In fact I have used friend's macs quite a bit and find them clunky and not terribly intuitive for some features. What happens automatically (like connect to a wifi) they have to two 2-3 steps to connect to a wifi signal. And even my MAC lover friend's bitch and moan about the lack of compatibility with common SW. Like it or not, Office is the standard and most of my Mac friend's run a Windows partition on their Mac just so they can run sw that Mac doesn't support. The reality is there is just not nearly as much stuff being written for Macs as there are for PC's. You'll be limited with a Mac in so many ways. I love the iphone/iPad prooducts - but I honestly DO NOT like Macs as PCs.

 

 

Warning - Maybe I had a lemon, But I would stay away from HP laptops. I had a brand new, top of the line HP laptop I bought just last summer for my move out here to the UAE. IT was a POS from almost day one. I had to reformat it at least 10 times just to get it to boot up. I ran every diagnostic tool, ran registry fixes, reformatted..... and it was just never right. It would run ok and then within a few days just slow to a crawl where it would take 10 min to open a single web page. It sometime would take 30 min to boot up, if at all. My previous HP was so-so but I got lured in by a good price. My best move was to ditch it and go back to DELL. I've been very happy since.

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I bought my first Mac last December...my GF at the time was into Macs. It is a quality machine and she had an Office license I could use. It was not cheap and has been a pain to match software. Despite the price, I am undecided if I would do it again. I like the machine but will probably add a newer laptop PC to the mix just to have my bases covered. For someone who has used PCs since 1983, this was a serious adjustment. It is actually nice to know how to navigate both systems.

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I forgot one more Apple question.

 

Apple has refurbished products

 

Has anyone ever bought something from Apple refurbished?

 

Bought a refurbed Macbook pro for my wife's travel laptop...was thinking what the phuck when they sent it in a brown box...but the machine has been flawless.

 

Looked at the Macbook Air...but it has a WiFi connection problem which as far as I know still hasn't been resolved...Macbook Air connectivity problem

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Warning - Maybe I had a lemon, But I would stay away from HP laptops. I had a brand new, top of the line HP laptop I bought just last summer for my move out here to the UAE. IT was a POS from almost day one.

 

Which top of the line HP?

 

Haven't had a hiccup with either of our HP Elitebooks,nor any of the previous HP laptops we have owned.

 

Generally with laptop manufacturers if you buy their top of the line notebooks,they usually do well...consumer laptops on the other hand are a crap shoot with any manufacturer.

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I'll have to second the "go with a macbook" advice. I use a PC at work and a mac at home. I don't know a lot about computers, but do know that the mac's at home break/crash a lot less than the PC's at work. When I heard a few weeks ago that someone finally got a virus on a mac I decided it was time for virus protection. I installed the anti virus and found over 300,000 PC virus's on one of the the machines, none of which affected the performance at all. I now do regular checks and find hundreds of PC viruses each time. Some of the fanboys will tell you how perfect macs are, they aren't, but when something does go wrong they fix easy. I had to reload my operating system once and thought "this is going to be a real PITA". Every time that happens at work, it takes me weeks to get the setup back like I had it before the crash, with the mac, everything was right where I left it. That's my $.02

 

300,000 viruses? 100s each check? You must surf a lot of porn sites.

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To the OP: Lenovo.

 

CrApple is the same internal pieces as PCs with a designer case and designer price tag, and a UI on top of the OS that decides what it will let you do and how it will let you do it, with only one button. And they weigh a ton and get really hot, and accessories for them all carry the same premium price tag.

 

Maybe HP has gotten a handle on their quality, but after my experiences over the last few years with 3 HP laptops I will never buy another. The mother-in-law, who used to work for HP and thinks everything they do is wonderful, has been through 2, both of which died shortly after the warranty expired. My son's HP laptop has been falling apart, it is built like crap. Cheap plastic and soft stamped sheetmetal. I keep fixing it (fiberglass, epoxy, and soldering skills are handy) because if he wants a new one he's going to have to get a job and buy it himself.

 

On the other hand, my 2 year old Lenovo X201s is lightweight, fast, has great battery life, and is really well done mechanically.

 

Don't fall for the Mac vs. PC virus argument. Just install anti-virus software, even the free version from Avira, and practice smart surfing habits with Chrome or Firefox and it isn't a problem.

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