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shilolo's avatar

Should I buy a MacBook Pro or a cheap PC laptop when all I need is a simple PC system?

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 need to be able to connect from home to the specific PC software, 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 (if that is your suggestion) would be greatly appreciated.

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15 Answers

rawpixels's avatar

Get a MacBook. If you need to run Windows, it does that too :)

XCNuse's avatar

Well laptop prices just keep going down, and if you are a lifetime mac user, remember they did release bootcamp for mac, which allows you to run windows XP (maybe even vista?) directly without emulation (I believe, don’t call me on that one I’m not 100% sure)

so if you’re willing to spend the money for a macbook, go right ahead, but remember you can get some extremely cheap PC based laptops

shilolo's avatar

XC. That’s the issue. Bootcamp doesn’t run on a G4 powerbook. A new MacBook pro is more than $2000, while a cheap laptop can be had for less than $500. I don’t need to run games, etc. just check some programs.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Yeah, I’d suggest a smaller PC laptop, mostly for price. What programs do you need to run and what else do you expect out of this laptop?

shilolo's avatar

@8light. They are hospital based programs for patient tracking. I haven’t seen them yet unfortunately so I have limited information except that they are PC based (I’ll be initiated into the system next week). I don’t expect much else from the laptop (assuming we are talking about a PC) except maybe convenient wireless internet. I’m not planning on playing any games, etc.

XCNuse's avatar

If it’s something like that then yea I’d suggest looking on ebay or something for something used, no reason to go out and get a new laptop if you’re going to be doing something simple like that, I think I know what you mean by patient tracking, and that won’t be anything hard at all on a computer, they probably just mean some basic program which just keeps information on a patient’s name, weight, drugs they are taking, last status, whatever most likely, so yea I’d just say search ebay for some small used laptop with XP on it for like < $500 and I think you’d be set

shilolo's avatar

Thanks XCNuse. Maybe I’ll wait to see exactly what the programs are. These days they can be very complex, including tracking labs, writing patient notes, linking things together, etc. If going the PC route though, why suggest ebay versus say a $500 new Dell computer?

XCNuse's avatar

Dell’s cheapest laptop at its base price is $500, if you get the previous generation model for the same computer, a dell inspiron, you can find them on ebay for ~$300, it’s up to you though, but worst case scenario I wouldn’t want anything to happen to a brand new computer, I wouldn’t care so much about a used and abused laptop.
I think just a standard base laptop from anywhere is just a lot, standard with HD quality screens, dual cores, 120gb hard drives or more; just something I don’t think you would really want

up to you in the end though ;)

thecoot's avatar

If you have the ability to connect, there is a free Remote Desktop Connection utility from M$ specifically for OS X. I know not all networks allow users to connect that way, but that may be a way to save some scratch on a new computer.

Bri_L's avatar

I would say if your happy with your Mac, there is no reason to ditch it. You can get a high spec pc for next to nothing and save your money for when your ready and want to upgrade or buy a new mac.

Randy's avatar

I just got my first mac about a month ago and I’ll never go back to pc. If I was in your shoes, I would just buy a macbook. That way, you can have the mac and pc OS. I believe the macbooks start at the $1000 area.

mollye's avatar

I’m a diehard mac person myself, but I’m all for keeping work and personal separate as far as computers go and thinking about going the cheap extra computer route myself. I think it would be nice to have a cheap computer to travel with for internet usage and whatnot that didn’t have my life stored on it.

Bri_L's avatar

@ Mollye that is my thinking – you can pick up a totally fine laptop for 2 to 5 hundred bucks, save the money and go next generation on apple. Shilolo said they were happy with the computer they had yet. It would be a bigger wast of money to upgrade before it was time.

mindstorms's avatar

Get the thing worth the money. The MacBook Pro.
You’ll be happier, and then remember you can use
http://www.virtualbox.org/
and kick the crap out of any laptop you could buy anyway.

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