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I need help/advise "Laptops: Apple or Dell?" Answered

hey everyone, i am looking into buying a laptop for the end of school and into college. I most likely will be going into design of some kind (CAD, CAM, Inventor, etc.) but I also love to make movies and am very interested in photography and photoshop. so the big question is: What laptop should i get? if you have a preference or just basic things to look out for. i would really appreciate some advise, thanks again. bumpus


You could get a mac, and use boot camp to install windows on... oh wait a min.. derin bumped this and its one year old.


9 years ago


Why did you do that?

I'd stick with a PC if you plan on going into CAD. Chances are that you'll need to install all sorts of software that is exclusive to PCs only. Macs are cool, but they have a limited amount of capability with most computer software. Plus safari sucks.

"Plus safari sucks"
IE sucks much more, I think we can all agree... it doesn't matter what's bundled, its what you can install.

These days Macs will boot windows and run just as well as a native windows system as a windows-only PC, so you really get DUAL capabilities. (Of course, this requires that you buy an actual copy of windows.) The kids' middle school has a bunch of Mac minis running WXP. (depressing!) (dual booting like this will require extra disk space...) And as far as I know, Macs all have CTRL keys and work fine with external two (and three) button mice (although I'm not sure the laptops have a right-click on the touch pad.) Whatever you get, also get an external disk drive, and back up your system RELIGIOUSLY! Does your college have particular requirements? Some do (frequently at deep discount prices), and it would certainly be a shame to have something you couldn't use.

Apple's Mighty Mouse, although it has a one-piece shell, is really a five button mouse. Each half of the outer shell is a button, two pads on the sides act as buttons, and the 360-degree scroll ball is clickable.

They have an annoyingly short cord, though...They're intended to plug into the hub on the back of an Apple keyboard, so the cord is about two feet long. That means you can't use them on pretty much anything but a laptop without an extension cable.

That would get annoying reaaal fast.

My wife's new iMac (a year or so ago) came with a mighty mouse. We're not using it; she's got a two-button trackball, and I've got a two-button-plus scrollwheel "generic PC mouse." I guess it's a neat mouse, but you have to get USED to its lack of actual buttons, and I move from one computer to another too often to deal with something that isn't more "generic."

Get a Mac for photoshop and moviemaking, and dualboot Windows XP for CAD.

Mac. You can use Q to run windows on it in a virtual machine for your cad stuff, or just dual boot it.

Will it be fast enough, though? CAD can be fairly processor-intensive, and I wouldn't want to VM it.

If money isn't a matter then I'd say get a mac you can run windows using bootcamp, and I think in popularscience (or was it popularmechanics?) that did a test and everything on a mac went faster, even window apps. Only downside to a mac is no control button and a right click...

Make sure you go into a store to check out laptops. You have to be comfortable in looking at the screen size, keyboard feel, and schlepability(luggability(is it heavy?)))and how is the pointing device. How rugged is it built? Accessories like a good padded laptop bag or backpack, wireless mouse, etc will add to the cost. Set your budget on what you can afford and wean out the models that will suit you. If you are getting a Dell or other name brand PC, check out coupon deal sites like techbargains.com. Yes, you can purchase through the business side as an individual for better deals. If you know what college you are going to, see if you can hook up with their computer dealer student rep(admissions/orientation office should know who it is) to get you the student discount on hardware and software. Some courses will even get you the "student" version of expensive software for use by taking the class.

Whatever you get, get as much memory and disk space as you can afford. A very fast processor will help a lot too (this is starting to sound expensive though)

. Find the software and peripherals that will do what you want and buy whatever platform matches up.