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Switching from Mac to Win- need laptop recommendations!


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#1 19199651376

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:36

So, I've never purchased (or used) a Win system. I'm pretty sure that I want to transition away from MacOS X or at least give a WIn8 machine a try. (a real machine not a VM).

Anyone care to recommend a midlevel (under $750) off the shelf consumer laptop? Something that I can just pick-up at Best Buy...

I generally like my purchases to be reliable, have longevity (i hold on to my stuff for as long as possible - I'm not in to selling stuff after a couple of years or buying used) and be a decent value.

Any advice?


#2 68k

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:39

Why not dual boot (using Boot Camp)? Macs are pretty good hardware-wise. For dual-booting, I would recommend Windows 7 (not sure if Boot Camp supports Windows 8 yet).

If you end up getting a Windows 8 machine, install Start8. :)

Edit:
Supported Macintosh computers with Windows 8
The earliest Macintosh models that support Windows 8 are the mid-2011 MacBook Air, 13-inch-mid-2011 or 15 and 17-inch-mid-2010 MacBook Pro, mid-2011 Mac Mini, 21-inch-mid-2011 or 27-inch-mid-2010 iMac, and early 2009 Mac Pro.

Windows 7 OEM versions are available for about $100 from many places.

#3 virtorio

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:10

I've always had fairly good experiences with Asus and Toshiba laptops. I've had real bad experiences with HP and Dell machines.

If you end up getting a Windows 8 machine, install Start8. :)

If he's never used Windows before then he's not going to miss that Start Menu is he?

#4 OP 19199651376

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:14

One of the reasons that I don't want to use a VM is that I want to have a physical machine as a backup incase my one and only system (a late 2009 Mac Mini) suddenly dies. So, spending $100 for a copy of Windows for a VM and then buying a physical machine doesn't seem like a good financial move for me.

#5 Jason Stillion

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:15

I'm Like to Samsung, Asus, and Toshiba laptops.

One of the reasons that I don't want to use a VM is that I want to have a physical machine as a backup incase my one and only system (a late 2009 Mac Mini) suddenly dies. So, spending $100 for a copy of Windows for a VM and then buying a physical machine doesn't seem like a good financial move for me.


Does your mac have an intel processor? You can use boot camp and dual boot Mac OS X or Windows.

#6 The_Observer

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:22

Samsung have some good machines. i recommend just installing windows 8 and not add-ons like start 8. Try Windows 8 like it is and then go from there. I dont understand peoples anger at no start button. Good luck!

#7 zhangm

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:26

Dell has a reasonable deal for the Inspiron 15R with touchscreen, but it's a consumer-grade machine that is no doubt poorly manufactured. Lenovo has the IdeaPad Z400 Touch for around your budget. It has a decent screen, but they're skimping on the battery. You can get more serious answers if you discuss what you want to use it for (light productivity, games, auxiliary machine like an iPad, etc), or at least a size (13.3, 14.1, 15.4", etc).

I have no idea what you'd find at BestBuy, but before purchasing, figure out how you're going to get a clean copy of the OS. Is media included? Is there a clean recovery partition (i.e. NO crapware)? You WILL want to re-install the OS due to the crapware that is bundled with most of these machines - my old XPS1530 runs rings around i7-equipped laptops that are bogged down with that stuff.

#8 Mindovermaster

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:38

Decrapifier, anyone? :p

#9 illegaloperation

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:42

I've always had fairly good experiences with Asus and Toshiba laptops. I've had real bad experiences with HP and Dell machines.


If he's never used Windows before then he's not going to miss that Start Menu is he?

I agree that HP laptop tends to fail, but I've had yet to experience any problem with my dell laptops.

My family has 3 Dell laptops (the oldest one from ten years ago) and all of them are still going strong.

#10 Mindovermaster

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:48

It all depends upon what laptop you get. The consumer level laptops suck. The business class laptops are excellent.

Dell - Inspiron
HP - Ultrabook
Lenovo - Thinkpad

#11 tkaw220

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:56

I would recommend Lenovo Thinkpad (after my experience with HP Pavilion DV6 and Acer Aspire and Lenovo Thinkpad).

#12 zhangm

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:17

Decrapifier, anyone?

Doesn't replace installation media.

It all depends upon what laptop you get. The consumer level laptops suck. The business class laptops are excellent.

Dell - Inspiron
HP - Ultrabook
Lenovo - Thinkpad


What? Inspirons are Dell's consumer-level crap. Vostros (budget), Latitudes (mid-range), and Precisions (high-end) are the business lines. XPS is alright, or at least, was when I bought one in 2008. Mind you, beware of the warranties. Dell's on-site is fine. It's mail-in/depot service is atrocious - based on my experiences, they must employ gorillas at those depots.

#13 Jaybot

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:31

I too just transitioned from OS X to Windows 8, and I love it. However, I custom built my computer for gaming purposes.

I wouldn't recommend going to Best Buy, only because their PCs come pre-loaded with a ton of crap on it. If a Microsoft Store is located near you, I'd go in there to buy one so you don't buy a PC that comes loaded with bloatware.

Also, have you checked this one out?

http://www.microsoft...uctID.257325100

#14 +Jeff Mitchell

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:36

Nothing like a stranger asking you questions, but why exactly are you switching from Mac to a Windows based machine?

I just did the reverse you...bought a $1000 Asus laptop last year which turned out to be utter trash (long story). I had a mid-2010 era MacBook which worked fine, but was long in the tooth hardware wise. Bought a new MacBook Pro a couple of months ago with a Core i5, 8 gigs of RAM and a 750 gig hard drive. Have had zero issues with it, haven't looked back.

I like the recommendation Mindovermaster made above...try a business class machine. I'm beginning to think the consumer grade stuff is just trash. I like Asus, have lots of experience with the brand, and know how to pick a Windows machine. Still I was burned.

In regards to Windows 8, do yourself a favour and make up your own mind about it. There's a lot of...opinions on this site. Try and ignore them until you've tried the OS yourself. I've installed it on my desktop and I have zero issues with it. Quite frankly I don't understand the hate-on for Windows 8. The way a lot of people talk, I wonder if some of them are better off with DOS. :)

Anyways, good luck in your search.

#15 articuno1au

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:39

Go talk to a sales person in store. Not all of them are drop dead retards.

They know their stock, what's coming back to them and what isn't. They can give you better advice on this than anyone here is going to be able to (note that everyone is providing business names rather than models.. Helpful in general but not really answering your question >.<). If you find something you like, get a model number and come back to check (if you feel you need to). We can be more helpful that way :)


Also, shout out to virtorio for stating experience and not calling the machines that failed "crap". Well done sir.