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blueberry_kid's avatar

To buy or not to buy...does Apple deserve more of my money?

Asked by blueberry_kid (5906points) August 16th, 2016

For college I was thinking of getting a new laptop. To discuss some background, here are some things to consider:

-My current Dell (i.e. Adele) Inspirion 15 (15.5 inch) of now 2 and a half years old (Christmas of 2014) and is in pretty good shape other than I should probably renew my McAffee security system. It’s not out of space or anywhere near that, but it is looking slightly aged (a few stickers too many)

-For my major (Industrial Design) it has been recommended to use a Mac for it’s features and compatibility with Adobe and Creative Cloud. I was thinking of buying a refurbished 13 inch MacBook Air because I don’t think I’ve paid full price for anything since I’ve opened my own bank account. (Or new, I haven’t heard any feedback on which is best.)

-I’m very used to my Dell and all the features of Windows it’s been supplied with. I’m not concerned about having to purchase the whole new Microsoft operating system, but I’m not very familiar with the Apple systems, other than me having an iPhone for the past 4 years. To me it’s nearly hieroglyphics from what I’ve used in the lab at school, but of course I can learn.

-I don’t really need a new laptop, but maybe it’s time to part ways with Adele, or maybe she’ll survive another 4 years.

That’s my other concern, I’m afraid she won’t be able to handle the next four years of college. She’s been through a lot of all studying nighters, illegal movie downloads, many 12 page assignments and quite a few parties where I dj’d during high school, but considering I plan on double majoring and already have a job where my laptop is very necessary, I don’t know how much more Adele can take. She’s had a couple of frightening drops down the steps.

Please help. Time for a new laptop?

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11 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

There is no reason to buy a Mac.
The entire Adobe Suite works perfectly on Windows.

Mariah's avatar

I work with computers professionally, have owned both Macs and PCs, and strongly prefer Macs. In my experience they are far more reliable.

@loli is correct though that Adobe products work totally fine on Windows machines.

2.5 years isn’t too old for a laptop, but 6.5 years is ancient, so I wouldn’t expect your current machine to last all the way through college, though you could certainly start college on the laptop you have now and get a new one in a year or two.

And dear god don’t pay money for McAfee. There are free antivirus programs that are MUCH better.

NerdyKeith's avatar

You can use the adobe creative suite on Windows. However I personally find (from using both OS) that Mac gives less hassle and resistance to running the the applications. I have found from using adobe programmes on Windows to be very buggy and troublesome.

The thing about using Mac is you will not need to upgrade the graphics or ram on any of the later models. Thats just my experience anyway.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If the vehicle is working you don’t pull the heads. If the Dell is still doing what you need it to do, not smoking, wheezing, clicking, giving you the Blue Screen of Death every other startup, or slowing down that simple commands take 90 seconds etc., I would keep it.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

If you can get the work done with your current laptop, I would wait another year and then buy a refurb or used machine (Mac or Windows).

Also, another thumbs down for McAfee and all the other paid antivirus programs. You can do just as well for free.

blueberry_kid's avatar

Which free antivirus protection system do you suggest?

also just to add onto my complaints, this laptop is kinda heavy. Not a reason to jump up and immediately buy a new one, but enough to put on the con list of keeping this laptop.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Here’s a very recent article.

Techradar- best Free Antivirus

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Your major is industrial design.

If Apple as the choice isn’t obvious to you I would seriously consider another career.

Industrial design… Ergonomics, human fitting is Priority One.

Aesthetically responsible, reassuringly tactile and intuitive interfaces should be what you live and breathe.

Crass, rude, designs like we see with so many computing devices (and so very many other kinds of devices) should cause you to throw up a little in your mouth.

Harsh? Yes. I’m sorry.

funkdaddy's avatar

For design work with Adobe products you’re going to want RAM and screen space. The rest really comes down to personal preference I think.

So don’t get an Air, it’s a small screen and maxes out at 8GB of RAM. Also, Apple is about to update the macbook pros before the end of the year and that drops the prices on all the old refurbs usually. If you can swing the price on a macbook pro, with the expensive Apple RAM upgrades, then it’s a great laptop for everything you’re looking to do. It’s honestly the best laptop I’ve ever had of about 15 I’ve owned.

But it’s just a tool. I have a windows laptop too and it’s not like you can’t do great work on it as well. The differences are mostly small experience related things like it being noisy or connector issues. The mac tends to be a little more hands off on updates and things like that.

The biggest difference for you, practically, may be what the school uses for instruction. You can learn pretty quickly how to swap between the two, but it’s always nice having the instructions and screenshots actually look the same as your machine.

So I’d keep Adele going until you can afford an upgrade to replace her. Then see what your professors/TAs are using.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

So don’t get an Air, it’s a small screen and maxes out at 8GB of RAM.

That’s a big deal, I wanted to repeat it for emphasis. You want 16GB for graphics work (8 is good for most people).

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