Is my only option a Mac?

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  • Is my only option a Mac?
  • Why do yours have a short life expectancy? A good laptop can easily last 5+ yrs if pushed hard and looked after, and double that for lighter duties but still looked after.

    samuri
    Member

    I have a laptop that must be 15 years old now, still works fine. What are you doing to them? 😉

    IBM Thinkpads last a long time IME.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    ever used a Mac before? if you don’t like win8, you prob won’t like the Mac learning curve. I find macs a pita…

    there are plenty of well built windows based laptops around. if you throw Mac level amounts of money at one, you’ll have a much better specced and solidly built windows laptop compared to a mac, and you can always drop win 7 on it if you insist…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Dell’s here that last really well, win 7 still available. A mac is just the same bits put together in a shiny box 🙂
    What exactly are you doing to it?

    retro83
    Member

    I suppose your other options are a quality windows laptop e.g. Lenovo or business level HP and installing ClassicShell or Start8 to make Win8 bearable, or installing Mint or Ubuntu if those do what you need.

    Premier Icon Bregante
    Subscriber

    Our 6 yr old £300 laptop is the only computer in the house, apart from the tablet I’m using now. It gets used and in the case of my 6 yr old – abused on a daily basis. It has a key missing now but is otherwise perfect. What on earth are you doing? 🙂

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    You can still get Windows 7, so you do have options. Don’t understand the short life.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Can’t get on with Macs either. Just can’t get on with the OS operating system so if you do go the Mac route have a play before you commit.

    Bear in mind there are some fantastically made Win powered Ultrabooks whose spec generally spank that of any Mac and are generally cheaper.

    Cheers

    Danny B

    Jamie
    Member

    You using them in the bath?

    Regardless of manufacturer, you should be getting more life out of them.

    zokes
    Member

    A mac is just the same bits put together in a shinybrushed aluminium box

    But in terms of laptop longevity, I generally treat mine roughly flying all the time and working in the field, and the MBA I’m using now has lasted the longest of mine.

    There is, of course, nothing to stop you putting your existing copy of W7 on any new laptop you buy, Macs included, assuming you can get all the drivers.

    Premier Icon mactheknife
    Subscriber

    In all honesty I take good care of them, they only come away with me on short jobs and stay on the desk the rest of the time.

    These are the answers I was hoping for as spending a grand on a computer has me nearly in tears. That’s my envy rim funds gone in a heartbeat. 🙂

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Macbooks are very well made compared to a normal laptop eg they run much cooler thanks to the solid case. I rarely hear or feal the fan on mine whereas my old Toshiba laptop is blowing like a trooper all the time. As for OSX, I think Win 7 is way better, so my ideal machine would be a MBP with Win7 on it.

    Jamie
    Member

    In all honesty I take good care of them

    the 3rd going kapput in 3 years

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    mactheknife wrote:

    In all honesty I take good care of them, they only come away with me on short jobs and stay on the desk the rest of the time.
    These are the answers I was hoping for as spending a grand on a computer has me nearly in tears. That’s my envy rim funds gone in a heartbeat.

    Buy a desktop PC then and cheap laptop for when your out?

    Lazgoat
    Member

    As mentioned above, throw Macbook level cash at a Windows machine and you’ll get a quality device that’ll last years. The new ultabooks are worth a look.
    Also, I think the new update to Widows 8, Blue, might address some of your user experience issues of Win 8.

    Premier Icon mactheknife
    Subscriber

    Jamie, I know 😮 if I knew the problem I would fix it. Trust me.

    Ok then, next question. As I want the next one to last are there any manufacturers or models that are generally accepted as a better standard. I don’t intent to go to PC World so happy to order online.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    As laptops in my house appear to be disposable items at the moment with the 3rd going kapput in 3 years

    You need to figure out what you are doing with them that’s causing so much damage.

    Something to consider – more expensive laptops (such as this Lenovo) have a metal frame inside, that helps to stop the laptop flexing when you handle it and pick it up by the sides etc. This flex can cause tiny cracks in things and end up damaging it. The heavier the laptop the worse this is.

    Also – they may be getting overly hot somehow. Your house may be especially dusty or something, or you use them where they can’t be properly venilated like on a duvet say.

    What do you mean by ‘kaput’ anyway?

    piece is software from hell

    Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s bad. Get used to it and you will have one less problem. It works fine.

    As I want the next one to last are there any manufacturers or models that are generally accepted as a better standard

    No, but there are different standards within each manufacturer’s range. But they aren’t that good at telling you which ones are the well made ones. I’d guess that the more expensive ones are the ones with the metal chassis, which should be more durable.

    5thElefant
    Member

    I generally buy dell laptops. I keep them for 3 years then pass them on. Generally they’ll do a few more years.

    I had to get a MacBook for work. As a windows user I have to say it’s a hateful piece of crap. A view shared by the 3 of us that have had to use the horrible things.

    Windows 8 is lovely by-the-way, well it is if you have a touch screen. Not tried it without.

    I would buy from a shop, if it died in 3 years I would take it back in

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    Myself and the family have had numerous dell laptops over the years, they last and work very well. We also exclusively use them at work and they’re very reliable. My Precision laptop is 6 years old and going strong – that’s been hammered and abused. My home desktop is a Dell GX620 (ex work) from 2006 and is still going strong – pimped with a dual core processor and a decent graphics card recently, it still runs Lightroom and Photoshop very happily.

    If you can get your head around models & specs, then as I always recommend, the dell outlet is great. The business machines are good for outright robustness, but the consumer machines are good too.

    home outlet

    business outlet

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I’ve never had a laptop die on me. My other half is using my 6 yr old Toshiba. I have an ex-work 8 yr old tiny 11″ Sony Viao still going as a spare. My work laptop is a 5 yr old Dell.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Yeah. Just get a Mac.
    You’ll spend a few days getting used to it, then the next time you have to use a mouse on Windows you’ll realise how cumbersome it really is.
    I think it’s W7 we have at work and the whole experience of using it from the cheap bits of plastic you have to touch to use it to the crashing and over complicated illogical software is truly nasty.

    Premier Icon mactheknife
    Subscriber

    All good advice and thanks for steering me away from an impulsive Mac buy.

    On 2 of them they just died and when they were checked out by the shop I was told the motherboard had gone. The last died last night and I’ll have to have it looked at to determine the problem. lights are going on but no screen and no noises to indicate anything is working inside.

    Cheers all for the help, much appreciated.

    Premier Icon mactheknife
    Subscriber

    footflaps, I dream of kit working that long here. 😯

    stuey
    Member

    Could a ‘spiky mains supply’ – cause premature laptop death ?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    The other thing is what are you using it for?
    I do all my heavy lifting (video editing/3d simulation/Data stuff) on my desktop, not that expensive and just keep baning more/bigger discs into it, more ram and swap the MB/GC/Chip every few years. Small incremental spends and good performance.

    after that the laptop does the mobile stuff and some hard work when I need it, couple of Dell’s in the house working fine.

    Premier Icon mactheknife
    Subscriber

    It’s just for general family browsing along with office based report writing.

    The good lady uses Photoshop for her work but not too often. That’s about it really.

    Premier Icon mactheknife
    Subscriber

    As laptops in my house appear to be disposable items at the moment with the 3rd going kapput in 3 years I’m staying to get really irritated.

    I use mine for work as well as the family computer, and after having a good play on Windows 8 I can categorically say I will never ever be writing a report or an invoice on that piece is software from hell.

    So? do I stick it up and buy another disposable laptop and expect it to have a short life, or pay a load more and go for a Mac?

    clubber
    Member

    You’re a delicate flower, aren’t you Pete 🙂

    5+ year old laptop here. it’s been dropped countless times and probably as a result the battery connection is a bit flakey now. Other than that it works perfectly still. cost me £300.

    Glad I didn’t waste my money on a mac 😉

    Dell seem pretty reliable. I manage a few IT departments at work and we all use Dells. given the few thousand we have in use we have very few issues and w7 is very stable.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    You using them in the bath?

    Regardless of manufacturer, you should be getting more life out of them.

    I use my chromebook in the bath. Part of the reason I’m always posting on here!

    Could a ‘spiky mains supply’ – cause premature laptop death ?

    I was just wondering that. – But I would imagine the PSU would die 1st.

    I think the most use we can be here to the OP is to find out WTF he’s doing to kill laptops in a year. Dude – what happens to them!?

    EDIT: I’m starting to think this might be the only option:

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    I was told the motherboard had gone.

    Ah, the old motherboard gone excuse for not finding the real reason.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Laptops are pretty immune to power supply spikes as they charge from their DC power supply which will smooth any spikes out.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Some things that might actually cause a MoBo to fail:

    Heat/heat cycles – blocked vents/poor design/soldering [Apple I’m looking at you here]
    Flex – holding lappy386 by e.g. the front edge only and letting the screen flex the bodywork when lifting
    Other roughness – not opening the screen from the middle/both sides at once, not avoiding all sharp shocks [even a rough put-down ] from a coupla cm

    I know exactly how you feel! When I worked for a blue chip I had expensive IBM and then Lenovo laptops which were bombproof. I then entered the world of budget laptops and they drove me mad with reliability issues – plus it feels like Windows has gone backwards since XP. Last year I bought a MacBook Pro and it just works! I put more RAM in because it never felt as fast as I was expecting and now I can’t really fault it. Took a while to get used to it but I’m now using OS X, Windows 7, Windows XP and a CNC specific Linux version on a daily basis and swap between them fine.

    I have Windows XP running in VMWare (parallel operating system) for the engineering software that doesn’t run on a Mac and can just four finger swipe between operating systems.

    NB: These are the views of a non-IT person!

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Just in the interests of balance…
    My Macbook went kaput! (well the battery did)
    Got it replaced/
    My Macbook went kaput again (well the battery again)

    It’s now EOL well before the point I’d expect it to be. Superb build quality – new batteries don’t line up properly with the rest of the case if you’ve removed the bracket to change the RAM chips.

    My Vaio lasted best part of a decade before I sold it, and my Netbook I bought about the same time as that Macbook. I use that Netbook every other day still.

    My £500 HP laptop is still going almost 6 years on. It’s been all over the shop and been banged about and stood on. The battery is dead after the humidity in Oman trashed it but I just use it plugged in. I would have another HP for sure.

    But to answer the question: yes.

    TheBrick
    Member

    Tuff book is the solution if you’re realy hard on your laptop. Otherwise don’t use your laptop placed on cusions / bed duvets e.t.c. as is causes overheading issues due to vent holes blocking up and the thermal stress can cause conection to brake on the fine pitch chip sets many of which are attached via ball grid array of solder. If you know which chip set is dodgy and the laptop if throw away it can be worth having a go at reflowing the solder to repair. I’ve never tried this but a college at work who used to do this as part of his business sweared by it.

    Regarding power supplies aome laptop are mains earth refference, these easily idenfied bu a micky mouse connection to the power brick, most have a floating ground and are electrically isolated from the mains supply, either way after the transformer there is a swich mode voltage regulator to smooth out the power to the laptop. I’m a long way from an expert here but I think as long as you’re not recuiveing really big spikes from a near by lightning strike whcihc would damage the power supplu as well you should be ok.

    I got some of those vent ball things that Velcro under the laptop. They give a decent gap underneath so there’s a better airflow.

    cranberry
    Member

    Take a look at a Thinkpad – the X series are well built and portable. They aren’t the cheapest of laptops, but they do last very well, and will save you from having to spend more than you need to on a proprietary system.

    CountZero
    Member

    As for OSX, I think Win 7 is way better, so my ideal machine would be a MBP with Win7 on it.

    The problem with that is?
    Install Win7 on a MBP, and just boot it up in Bootcamp. Or see if you can wangle a deal and get VMWare or Parallels installed from new, then you can install all the OS you want and swap between them on the fly.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I currently run XP under Parallels, but it’s a poor second choice and runs very slow. Disk access seems to be poor under Parallels.

    Got a 6 year old MacBook here, still runs perfectly and not got a single issue with it.

    Only upgraded in the last six months with a MacMini as a desktop, laptop is still in regular service but lacked the oomph that I requires as my needs have moved on. Can’t see it going anywhere for quite some time, although the battery life on the new MacBook Air has me tempted…

    fubar
    Member

    I’m on my first MacBook here…it isn’t perfect and I’ve been back to the ‘genius’ bar twice (with associated frustrations with the appointment system). I’ve also had to reformat / reintsall my hard disk on another occasion (which is all the genius bar did the first time it screwed up). I’m not convinced that they are any more reliable than windows laptops in general but I would’t buy either without at least a 2 year warranty as I’ve learnt that all laptops can go wrong.

    retro83
    Member

    danielgroves – Member
    Got a 6 year old MacBook here, still runs perfectly and not got a single issue with it.

    Only upgraded in the last six months with a MacMini as a desktop, laptop is still in regular service but lacked the oomph that I requires as my needs have moved on. Can’t see it going anywhere for quite some time, although the battery life on the new MacBook Air has me tempted…

    Six years is nothing, I have a thirteen year old thinkpad still in regular use. Thing is nails. In fact I reckon you could use it as a hammer so maybe it’s tougher than nails. 😆

    If your macbook from six years ago is still on its original PSU and case, it must have had a very easy life. Mine’s on about it’s third or fourth palm rest and second or third charger. No strain relief on wire = guaranteed failure, and everybody i know who actually uses a macbook out and about has had the same issue. Plus the hinge is on its way out, fan keeps getting blocked, display has lost a lot of its brightness etc.

    That’s not to say it’s a bad computer, it’s not, it’s really good. But it’s not really sturdy. The only reason I keep it going is because it was expensive, I have all my stuff installed on it and I like the keyboard.

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