General Question

shilolo's avatar

Should I upgrade to a MacBook Pro or cheap PC laptop?

Asked by shilolo (18038points) May 9th, 2008

I am a lifelong Mac user. However, I am starting to work at a new location whose software is only PC-based. I want to be able to check up on things from home, and therefore need “a PC”. I currently have a PowerBook G4 running Tiger, and I am still quite happy with it. Virtual PC is really, really slow, so I was debating whether to invest in a cheap PC or bite the bullet and upgrade to a new Mac. Any suggestions pro or con, and specific ideas for a cheap PC would be greatly appreciated.

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16 Answers

wildflower's avatar

Since you’re already a mac user, I’m sure I don’t need to point out much more than just:
BootCamp

shilolo's avatar

@Rob. Thanks for the link. Should have checked first. But my question is really more like, should I invest $500 in a cheap PC, or more than $2000 for a MacBook Pro?

@Wildflower. I don’t think BootCamp using the Leopard OS runs on a G4 powerbook though. You need an Intel processor.

shilolo's avatar

Sorry everyone, I mistakingly asked this question twice. Is there any way to correct this?

wildflower's avatar

but…...that would come with a mac book pro..

shilolo's avatar

But a MacBook Pro is over $2000 new, while I can get a cheap PC laptop for less than $500, and still use my G4 for the usual stuff. That’s the point of the question. Of course I should buy a MacBook Pro if I had unlimited resources, but I don’t.

robmandu's avatar

@Shilolo, yes, we get it… we know that the MBP is an expensive proposition. But it’s the question you asked.

You didn’t mention a regular Intel-based MacBook, which conceivably could also work. Nor did you ask us to consider the Mac Mini, or the iMac. And then there’s the entire refurbished program.

You have lots of options. If price is your overriding factor, then your choice is obvious.

shilolo's avatar

Ok. I thought the description laid out the issues, like when I said “I was debating whether to invest in a cheap PC or bite the bullet and upgrade to a new Mac. Any suggestions pro or con, and specific ideas for a cheap PC would be greatly appreciated”, but I guess not. Thanks.

robmandu's avatar

Your question was fine… but when you dismissed wildflower’s suggestions by saying, “Of course I should buy a MacBook Pro if I had unlimited resources, but I don’t” then you negate any room for meaningful debate.

We say, “The MBP is faster.” You say, “Yah, but the PC is cheaper.”

We say, “The MBP is portable. “You say, “Yah, but the PC is cheaper.”

We say, “The MBP can run any OS, native or emulated.” You say, “Yah, but the PC is cheaper!”

See what I mean?

shilolo's avatar

Rob. I like to be up front, so I’ll lay it out. You’re wrong. I never said those things and neither you nor Wildflower ever suggested anything meaningful besides “get a MacBook”. Go back and look for yourself. If you had said the things you just listed, that would have been a real answer. And truthfully, portability isn’t an issue since my “debate” isn’t between desktop versus laptop. Perhaps a more thoughtful answer would have been something like “well, your G4 is going to die sometime soon, MBP is faster (even when running Windows), having extra computers around is a pain, etc.”. I asked the question to get the types of answers you listed in your last reply, not snarky comments like “Run Bootcamp on a MBP”. Anytime one debates functionality versus cost, these types of issues come up. I am not against buying a MBP, but I want to feel like its the better option if I am going to make the bigger financial investment. Just my 2 cents.

robmandu's avatar

Okey doke… chalk it up to miscommunication then (although I completely fail to see how wildflower’s suggestion that the MBP can run Bootcamp is snarky. S/He’s pointing out that you get the benefits of the Windows OS on Mac hardware. That’s valid input on this topic.)

In my original quip, the link to that recent discussion does indeed list many of the benefits of buying a MBP. Take another look.

And good luck sorting it all out.

wildflower's avatar

Shilolo, you asked if you should upgrade to a MacBook Pro or a cheap PC…
#1: a cheap PC is not (by any stretch of the imagination) an upgrade from a PowerBook G4 (I recently retired one myself)
#2: Your question lead me (and probably others too) to believe, you were open to the idea of both MacBook and PC.
#3: I read this question as asking for opinions/recommendations and in my initial response pointed out that as an already mac user, I don’t believe I have to throw many arguments your way for why the mac is a better choice (although I’ll admit I did not spell this out, but I’m sure you understood the point) and therefore only mentioned Boot Camp as it is a considerable improvement over using Virtual PC and directly addresses your concern about working in a PC environment.

Now, feel free to explain to me which parts I misunderstood and why my response was inappropriate.

shilolo's avatar

I guess the description section was vague, but what I really meant was, should I buy a cheap “throwaway” PC laptop whose sole purpose is work related and continue to use my G4 for everything else, or “upgrade” myG4 to the MBP, which would allow me to still use all my Mac programs and run the PC programs using Bootcamp. I am not so dense that I didn’t know that the MBP runs both Mac OS and Windows equally well. I was interested in hearing the pros and cons of each approach, that’s all.

wildflower's avatar

Fair enough – I still say you’re better off with the MacBook Pro. Yes it’s an investment, but it’s worth it because you’ll only have to use one , current, up-to-spec machine as opposed to two not-quite-up-to-spec machines and I’m sure you’ll discover additional benefits of the MBP once you get and start using it. I know I did.

osakarob's avatar

Did I actually read this thread correctly?

You asked a question, then debated with some of the respondents who took the time to answer it, and then ACTUALLY “put your own two cents in” regarding your own question?!

Why on earth did you bother asking it?! You seem to already know the answer.

shilolo's avatar

@osakarob. I “debated” the people answering the question because it seemed like they were answering a different question (which we have since clarified politely). Frankly, I still don’t know the answer. When I inadvertently asked the question a second time in a slightly different way (I tried to stop this question from posting originally, and thought I did, but I was wrong), I got completely different answers than what I got on this thread. Thanks for the critique though.

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