Recommend a Windows laptop that is (nearly) as good as a Macbook

Home Forum Chat Forum Recommend a Windows laptop that is (nearly) as good as a Macbook

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 41 total)
  • Recommend a Windows laptop that is (nearly) as good as a Macbook
  • Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    My Dad wants a new laptop and MacBooks appeal to him for their reliability, battery life, build quality etc. However there are reasons for not going Mac. So, what are the current high quality Windows laptops that are worth looking at? It will be used mainly for photo management and basic editing, slide shows, relatively basic word processing and spreadsheets, email, web etc. So, nothing too taxing and definitely no gaming. Build quality and reliability are more important than out and out performance.

    [edit…and Memory Map, which is one of the reasons Macs aren’t ideal]

    johnners
    Member

    By the time you match a Mac on build quality you’ll be paying near-Mac prices anyway, and the Windows machine still won’t be as well integrated. Why not use something like Bootcamp if a Mac really can’t run all the apps you want?

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    look at dell outlet for laptops with model code 7737 or 7537 which are the latest Inspiron 17″ and 15″ models respectively.

    You’ll pick a very nice i7-SSD-min 8Gb RAM, 2Gb Nvidia 750 graphics, Full HD etc… for less than £600. Very good all alu. body construction.

    Stock moves quickly, gets updated on an afternoon at about 2:30-3:00 and the good stuff (like the above models) go quickly. S0 you basically need to check everyday regularly from 2ish till 3 ish until a model you’re interested in comes up. There was a 15″ one yesterday, i7 for £550 inc. VAT and delivery.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    IMO the build quality of Macs is good but not exceptional, it’s the operating system and after-sales care that sets them apart.

    Personally I think the aluminium body of a MBP is a bit of a gimmicky red-herring in terms of quality. Perhaps the metal helps with cooling but they are not indestructable and equal (or worse) in terms of durability as a decent plastic case. They do look nice though.

    I’m sure all the main quality manufacturers have a laptop that’s comparable in terms of spec, build quality, battery, etc.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    As above, I don’t rate Mac build quality as all that great.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    My Dad wants a new laptop and MacBooks appeal to him for their reliability, battery life, build quality etc. However there are reasons for not going Mac. So, what are the current high quality Windows laptops that are worth looking at? It will be used mainly for photo management and basic editing, slide shows, relatively basic word processing and spreadsheets, email, web etc. So, nothing too taxing and definitely no gaming. Build quality and reliability are more important than out and out performance.

    A p4 with 2 gig of ram and XP will do him no probs. 😆

    vorlich
    Member

    IMO the build quality of Macs is good but not exceptional

    I disagree. I’d say the unibody mac is the industry benchmark.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    I’m sure all the main quality manufacturers have a laptop that’s comparable in terms of spec, build quality, battery, etc.

    That’s what I’d assumed but don’t know what they are 😆

    As for battery life, the reason the battery life is so good is down to the OS. I suspect I won’t find a Windows machine that has such good battery life but that’s a minor downside.

    I don’t want to have the Mac v Windows debate. There are a variety of reasons why Mac isn’t ideal. Did you know, for example, that the new version of Pages doesn’t even do mail merges?

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. Hope there are more to come…

    grum
    Member

    I don’t want to have the Mac v Windows debate. There are a variety of reasons why Mac isn’t ideal. Did you know, for example, that the new version of Pages doesn’t even do mail merges?

    Why not use Microsoft Word then? 😕

    5thElefant
    Member

    I guess I get a new laptop every couple of years, so I’ve had 10 or 12. I’ve never had a failure of any kind. They get passed on and generally become obsolete rather than stop working.

    I have a mac airbook. Very pretty I guess but the microsoft surface (at 1/3 the price) is nicer to use for general stuff.

    So… if budget is an issue I’d buy pretty much any laptop and not give it a second thought. If I had unlimited budget it wouldn’t be a mac (unless I put windows on it).

    tekp2
    Member

    Lenovo yoga pro 2

    chrismac
    Member

    It doesnt matter how fancy a box you put it in a Windows PC is still fundamentally flawed by having to run a poor operating system

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Why not use Microsoft Word then?

    That’s exactly the intention.

    For purposes of clarity, let me put a bit more background to this. My Dad has an aged Vaio laptop running XP and my old (XP) desktop. Despite reformatting and reinstalls they are both old enough in the tooth to want replacing. As above his requirements are relatively undemanding.

    He has seen what my Mac can do and likes it. He is extremely nervous, however, of the learning curve of OSX. The actual decision to move to a new computer is tough enough; having to learn new skills as well is off-putting. My head tells me that moving to a new Windows PC will be less disruption for him, even though my heart wants him to have a Mac.

    In summary, I’m after Windows laptop recommendations rather than reasons to go Mac with Windows partitions and Office software.

    grum
    Member

    My point was that you can run Microsoft Office on a Mac without installing Windows and faffing about with partitions.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    I realise that Grum, thanks. That doesn’t address the other reasons not to go Mac and indeed removes some of the advantages of having an all-Apple setup.

    [edit] apologies if that came across a bit blunt 🙂 I’m well versed in the pros and cons of going Mac for my Dad. What I don’t know is what the options are for a high quality Windows laptop and was after some real world experience and recommendations.
    Ta

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Subscriber

    It doesn’t matter how fancy a box you put it in a Windows PC is still fundamentally flawed by having to run a poor operating system

    What a load of guff.

    Lenovo yoga pro 2

    A colleague has just got one and is very impressed. I’ve gone from an iPad/iMac/MacBook to a Win8 PC and Surface pro. No complaints at all. To be fair the macs are still going well despite their age but then for the price premium they ought to.

    IA
    Member

    Cheap option:

    I’m impressed with the build of my sister’s lenovo U310, they also do the larger U510. She has a touch one with win 8, but you get win 7 versions too.

    Expensive option:

    Only laptop I’ve ever used that makes my MBPs feel flimsy in comparison is my work dell precision. It’ also makes them look cheap mind 😉

    dragon
    Member

    My work Lenovo Think Pad seems well made, and running Win7 seems as stable as a colleagues Mac. Personally i prefer the Lenovo keyboard over the Mac, but trackpad has way too many button options which can occasionally get knocked. End of the day they are all pretty much the same parts inside.

    Premier Icon markgraylish
    Subscriber

    He is extremely nervous, however, of the learning curve of OSX. The actual decision to move to a new computer is tough enough; having to learn new skills as well is off-putting.

    Hmmm, how will he cope with Windows 8?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    the Windows machine still won’t be as well integrated

    With what? Macs are well integrated with Apple kit, but what else?

    I have a Lenovo W520 for work – plain ugly black but it has a one-piece metal chassis in the base and also in the lid, which is pretty cool imo. I think this is a good thing to look for in a laptop.

    And Windows is fine – it used to be crap back in the day, but then so did MacOS 🙂

    but trackpad has way too many button options which can occasionally get knocked.

    You can turn them off.

    12fifty
    Member

    reliability, battery life, build quality

    LOL

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Pah, they said a macbook couldn’t support windows, but I proved them wrong.

    CountZero
    Member

    I don’t want to have the Mac v Windows debate. There are a variety of reasons why Mac isn’t ideal. Did you know, for example, that the new version of Pages doesn’t even do mail merges?

    So install Parallels, and the full Windows suite, then he has the option of using both OS, being able to learn OS X as he goes along, he can have both OS open at the same time and c’n’p between them on the fly.
    Best of both worlds, innit.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Best of both worlds, innit.

    Depends on your perspective. For someone nervous of learning a new OS, having 2 on the same computer is something I hope to avoid.

    mrmo
    Member

    just buy a mac and install windows 7 on it? don’t need to ever worry about mac os x if you don’t want to.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Asus zenbooks are quite nice

    Remember that going from Windows XP to Windows 8 is quite a jump. There will be a bit of OS learning to do but it is worth it

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Best of both worlds, innit.

    No, it’s a faff. People don’t want faff.

    johnners
    Member

    the Windows machine still won’t be as well integrated
    With what? Macs are well integrated with Apple kit, but what else?

    Well, there’s that. But I was alluding more to the apps with the OS.

    I own no Apple kit whatsoever, and I’m happy user of W7 and XP on a couple of inexpensive old laptops but I nonetheless think Apple stuff has much to recommend it if you’re not price-led or are a bit “nervous” around IT.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    I should have said I want/need a CD/DVD drive on the laptop.

    Interesting point about Windows 8. He’s (my Dad) said he was nervous about learning that too! I gather you can run it in “traditional” mode too. Yes?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    But I was alluding more to the apps with the OS.

    Not sure what that means.

    W8 is really not that bad at all. It’s very simple. You see a load of squares with your apps in them, you click on the one you want, it runs. If it’s not a metro app then it’ll run in the traditional desktop.

    If you want to run another, press the windows key and repeat.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Not sure what that means.

    I know what it means. With OSX, the (Apple) apps behave really nicely together. Dragging and dropping a photo from one app to another, for example, works a treat. There’s no doubt that in my experience using a Mac is a more pleasant – genuinely pleasant – experience than any PC I’ve used and I’m sure that’s in no small part to the fact the OS and the main apps I use are all designed to work alongside each other, not to mention the hardware.

    Anyhoo, this was deliberately not meant to be an Apple love-in. I’m after Windows recommendations 🙂

    Lazgoat
    Member

    I saw a Samsung Ultrabook today, 13″ i5 6Gb RAM etc…. looked really nice but didn’t get a handle of it so can’t comment on the quality.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Lenovo are usually spot on. They’ve managed to maintain a bit of the IBm Thinkpad quality.

    Dell “business” laptops tend to have a higher air of quality about them than some of the “personal” ones (I don’t mind either).

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Just had a look at the i7 Dell Inspiron’s nice price an a nice spec. Got 2 here and they are solid and reliable.

    hammerite
    Member

    Getting used to Windows 8 is a pain in the neck, probably great if you have a touch screen, I just bypass the tiled bit and go to the old fashioned desktop view. If your Dad has plenty of time to work it out and get used to it though he’ll probably be fine.

    My Toshiba laptop is a cheapo, but does the trick for me. Battery life is pants (2-3 hours). My old Dell work laptop had about 6 hour battery life.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Click on the squares. So difficult!

    Really don’t see what you lot are complaining about.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    I should have said I want/need a CD/DVD drive on the laptop

    i’ve bought two zenbooks now, each with an external usb drive. The drives have never ben used. It’s amazing how little you need them nowadays

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    It’s amazing how little you[b]some people[/b] need them nowadays

    FIFY

    I used mine on my desktop when I was ripping all my music a while back. Went to reinstall windows and found I had managed to melt the IDE cable on the heatsink so it wouldn’t work was a right PITA. But then I see loads of people still playing DVD/Blu Ray on laptops, backing up to DVD and for people on limited downloads/broadband speeds software installation.
    I still burn DVD’s in training courses as it saves putting other peoples mem sticks into my laptop and all the hassle that it causes as most business machines still have optical drives.

    Mackem
    Member

    Sony Vaio – Excellent build quality, last ages, look nice.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Interesting point about Windows 8. He’s (my Dad) said he was nervous about learning that too! I gather you can run it in “traditional” mode too. Yes?

    Yes but if you download Classic Shell you can make windows 8 look like XP or vista if you want, get your start button where you expect it and skip all that tile stuff.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 41 total)

The topic ‘Recommend a Windows laptop that is (nearly) as good as a Macbook’ is closed to new replies.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks are open.

Skip to top