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Which Laptop Should I Buy? is very nearly wired up with equipment and needs one last thing - the laptop. And for those that have given advice, thanks and please bear with me just a little longer :-)

Everyone tells me to get an Apple MacBook Pro but it's a darned expensive beastie. Having said that I am willing to pay a little premium for the ease of use over and above Windows Vista and Ubuntu.

Also I have a mate currently traveling the US who's willing to pick up a laptop over there but I'm sure how much cheaper they actually are.

And so, three questions I'd love some help with:
  1. Should I go for an Apple MacBook Pro no matter what (and why?)
  2. Should I get my mate to buy the laptop (any make) in the US?
  3. If not buy in US where in NZ/Wellington would you recommend?

What do you think - leave a comment

My calcs. You can edit this spreadsheet with more options at:


  1. Get a macbook pro, you can still run ubuntu and windows if you want.

  2. Blah Blah MacBook blah :-)
    Seriously for what you pay you get a chunk of aluminium that has a cool factor. Albeit it's supposedly very reliable etc etc.
    And as we know we can't compare Apples with Apples :-)
    From OS point of view you can run dual or quadruple if you wished to on a Dell XPS or any other which comes with decent HDD capacity and for less moolah and more grunt. (I am talking 4Gb/8gb RAM) and you can probbaly get a BlueRay player to make everyone jealous that you are now fully 1080p HD capable. Go for the Dell XPS mate value for money I say.

  3. The new MacBooks aint that different to the MacBook Pro's. Go for one of them, awesome and less expensive.

  4. The Macbook Pro has a better quality LCD than the Macbook, also has better GPU and Firewire if that is something you need. Obviously the screen on the MBP is a bit bigger, making the machine bigger and heavier.

    I'd still get the MBP over a *similarly spec'd* HP, Dell or Toshiba simply because you'll end up paying about the same for the equipment, but you can run OS X which really is quite good. And with VMware Fusion, Parallels or even Boot Camp you could still use Windows or Linux.

    I do believe it is just that good (I have a last gen MBP and love it).

    My last notebook was a Dell, it was good but build quality wise no contest. Similarly with my HP notebook from work - it's okay, but it isn't an MBP.

    You get what you pay for.

    As for question #2, I'm not sure how warranty would be handled, so that might be an issue.

    And #3, though I've been to NZ I won't be a good source of advice for this until I move there (I did browse around Dick Smith and Bond & Bond, though!)

  5. Hi Mike,

    I just had a friend pick up a Vaio in the US for US$1100. The nearest equivalent in NZ is NZ$3000. It has a global warranty. If you can avoid buying it in California you'll pay less tax on it. Don't forget about duty/GST when it gets back to NZ though.


  6. Are you traveling a lot or is this as a desktop replacement?

    If you buy an Apple you can also use virtualisation to run Windows quite well. However if you have never used OSX before I suggest you borrow someone's system for a week and see if like it. I found as a Windows user that all the small software free apps I sometimes used cost money, and as a ubuntu user it was not flexible enough.

    Better to buy a Thinkpad.

  7. Do you really need the Pro? If i was buying now, i would probably get the standard macbook (the new one) The only reason i bought the pro at the time was i was doing a lot of reasonably heavy duty photo and video editing (adobe bloatware).
    As for Mac OS vs anything else - I'd go the Mac. Think how much you like your phone interface vs Windows..... My Windows tablet is good, but even with 4G of RAM, its not even close to the speed of my MBP.
    Tell you what - I will bring my MBP in on thursday and you can have it over the weekend.

  8. I'd consider the MacBook (not necessarily the Pro) - I still use a 4.5 year old 12" G4 Powerbook which is great but am looking to replace soonish. have the macbooks at about $25 cheaper than Apple store pricing (not much of a discount - but its something) and I can recommend them as a good online store. But if you can get your mate to pick one up from the US - that would be a good way to go (pity about the exchange rate tho - would have been heaps cheaper a few months back).

    Alternatively - find a local student or teacher who can buy one at the 'academic/student' price which saves about $200 off the ticket price.

  9. Mike - get the MBP. You will love it long after you've got pissed off with your Dell. Don't think of the money. The MBP will hurt for sure but it will hurt more every time you see someone else with one and you chose the Dell. Some things are not just about money.

  10. Thank you all!

    Dave is lending me his MBP (aha, a new accronym for me to grow and love) and after the w/e I suspect Liz will have decided for us ;-)

  11. Bought an Acer Extensa 5620. $1299 from DSE. Trash Vista, dual boot Solaris (better than any Linux Distro) and Mac OS X leopard. Both just work. Starting to fall in love with Mac OS X.


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