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Laptop help!

  1. Jul 22, 2006 #1
    Hopefully I'll be getting a laptop for my 18th (v. soon!) and I need advice!!

    I've been looking at macbooks and they're so pretty...but how difficult would it be to switch from microsoft to OSX in terms of learning to use it? Can anyone advise me as to which would be the best for a student? Obviously there are money considerations as well, but at PC World the cheapest Macbook is about £600 which i could probably live with.
    I need, obviously, basic word processing stuff, internet, email, all that stuff. It would be nice to have a decent video/music etc. thingy. I'm conscious that microsoft are launching their new Vista thingy soon also.

    So what does anyone reckon?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2006 #2


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    For the stuff you need pretty much anything will do. I think a MacBook is a nice choice, you'd get up to speed with it fast enough, i think. Having said that i have an HP Laptop and it's flawless so far. I know this might not be much help, but i think you're down to personal preference if all you need is word processing and internet access. Mac OS or Linux are safer choices.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2006
  4. Jul 23, 2006 #3
    safer machines as in better security, less viruses?
  5. Jul 23, 2006 #4


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    As in less targeted, in viruses, spyware & hacking.
  6. Jul 25, 2006 #5
    but i've heard software is really expensive for apples...? is that right?
  7. Jul 25, 2006 #6
    I am a windows person but I like the design of an Apple notebook much better than other brands.
    And they have no ugly stickers! Check those HP laptops in your local store, stickers everywhere, it is very ugly IMHO and they are hard to remove (but not impossible).

    I was about to buy an Apple, one of those new dual cores, but since I run windows I had to consider compatibility issue. The new Apples all run on Intel processors and are supposed to run Windows XP, but there are still driver issues. The deal breaker for me was that the built-in video camera (which is really cool and practical) does currently not work in windows. So instead I bought a Dell Inspiron 1405.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2006
  8. Jul 27, 2006 #7


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    The mac and PC versions of software aren't usually very different in price, if at all. I think the only reason you hear people who switch complain about the price is that they have to replace all the software at once rather than gradually upgrade from what they had before. It doesn't take too long to learn to use a Mac, and we have enough Mac users here who can help you out finding the most important things if you can't figure it out on your own.
  9. Jul 28, 2006 #8
    I just bought a brand new white macbook this week, it was a good choice for me I think. One thing I really like about it is that to use it I can just pull it out of my backpack and flip it open and it's ready to use immediately. When I'm done, I just shut the lid and slide it back in. Extremely useful for a student. :) Battery life is like 4 hours with wireless on, even more with wireless off. I'm very satisfied.

    Software is not a problem for me, because as a science and engineering student, a lot of software I run is unix-based anyway.

    Windows under Boot Camp is much better now, they have good drivers for everything except for the built in camera. I'm probably not going to install it under boot camp. I might buy Parallels Workstation, which lets you run Windows XP inside a window on the mac.

    MS Office runs on Mac, but the current version runs slow as mud and sucks up tons of RAM. The new version will probably come out in 2007 and will likely be much better as it's targeted towards both older and newer macs.
  10. Jul 29, 2006 #9
    so would i be able to get by on apple's equivalent of Office (if they have one...) until the new version comes out?
  11. Jul 30, 2006 #10


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    My MS office for Mac OS X runs fine on my iBook G4 with only 512 MB of RAM.

    You can always use OpenOffice.org It's free and very good.

    Besides, having a Mac, you should go for better alternatives to the usual Office suites like Keynotes (in lieu of Powerpoint) and Pages (desktop publishing).
  12. Aug 2, 2006 #11
    but can files saved on the apple version of office be opened on a microsoft computer? only i'll have to print things out and stuff
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