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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Internal Purchase Turmoil

Internal Purchase Turmoil
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Poppakap
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Dec 21, 2005, 01:12 AM
 
First off I would like to say thank you to MacNN and all of the members for providing a first class online community. I have been lurking pretty heavy here since September and now I have a problem that I need help with.

I started out as a Mac kid (SC 30, LC III) and have been using windows since 1998. I have always wanted to go back to Mac but cheap windows computers that did just enough have always popped up at the right time. I am now in a position where I need to purchase a notebook. I am in sales so the concentration of my computing will be contact management, calendar, e-mail, Excel, surfing. I am on the road a lot so my top priority is portability - I am actually going to change my mobile tools from a pocket pc and Treo to a notebook, in other words I will be tethered to this puppy.

Like I said my top priorities are always staying connected and extreme portability. The two notebooks that I am looking at are the 12” Powerbook and the Sony Vaio tx650- link at bottom.

The Sony is smaller, sleeker and provides an easy way to always be on the internet. I like the widescreen, great battery life, dual layer DVD. It is a little more expensive than the Powerbook, but that isn’t a primary concern.

Since I am in sales I use some software that is form different companies and is Windows only, probably 20% of time computing.

So my questions are: Should I be able to justify in my mind using Virtual PC 20% of the time? Those with 12” Powerbooks, do they ever seem heavy or bulky? I have read that the Vaio gets about 5.5 hours during DVD playback, how does a 12” do under similar load? .Mac seems like a good thing, does it work well? How do you guys feel about my situation?


I walked back and forth between them at CompUSA today and couldn’t decide. MacNN you’re my only hope!!

Thank you

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...me=specs&var2=
     
mduell
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Dec 21, 2005, 01:44 AM
 
The overwhelming response in these forums will be to buy the PowerBook.

The 12" PowerBook has 31% more screen area than the TX650, but the TX650 has 33% more pixels than the 12" PowerBook.

The 12" PowerBook has about a 3.1 hour battery life playing a DVD.

I'd buy the computer that gives you the screen (size or pixels), battery, and connectivity (GPRS, EV-DO, EDGE, etc) you need.
     
iomatic
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Dec 21, 2005, 01:46 AM
 
Or, try to obtain Mac OS X for Intel, and have the best of both worlds.


     
Poppakap  (op)
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Dec 21, 2005, 01:51 AM
 
Are the processors about the same "speed" in these two machines?
     
mduell
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Dec 21, 2005, 02:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Poppakap
Are the processors about the same "speed" in these two machines?
They're close, the G4 will be faster for most things, but there aren't a lot of benchmarks for the low clocked Pentium Ms. This is a good general comparison, but the slowest Dothan Pentium M they have is 1.6Ghz.
     
wuzup101
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Dec 21, 2005, 06:52 AM
 
Processors should be pretty even, with the G4 getting the slight advantage. I would personally say go get the sony unless you have bad eyes. Normally I wouldn't recomend a sony PC at all (I'd tell you to go buy an IBM). However, that sony seems to have what you need. It has better battery life than the 12" powerbook, and a nicer LCD IMHO. Also, VPC sucks IMHO. If 20% of the time you'll be using windows only software, get a computer that natively runs windows.
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rem
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Dec 21, 2005, 10:52 AM
 
Just one thing to consider is you might not need VirtualPC, assuming there will be a Windows machine at work running the software you need that you can connect to. Microsoft has a free Windows Remote Desktop Client for OS X.

Of course this is just my opinion but I do not find the Sony laptop to be more sleek. I guess that is more or less a matter of taste when comparing hardware. When comparing OSes, I think even most Windows users will admit OS X is far more sleek just by looking at Aqua. I really did not get on board with Macs until after OS X came out. I also use other UNIX OSes and don't mind working on an OS that is not as intuitive as OS X. My time on the computer is split between OS X and FreeBSD. I maintain a Windows machine (e.g., update and run the virus and anti-spyware software periodically, defrag and clean up the HD). Often when I need to log in to install some software, something frustrating happens (like it installs icons everywhere--desktop, system tray, multiple places on the start menu, then I have to log off and back in as Admin to delete some of those icons -- or I install an App running XP in English but the installer pops up in Japanese because another user on this machine is using Japanese - but she cannot get Japanese menus/dialogs as its an En version of Windows that does not support displaying multiple languages) and, argh, I cannot wait to log off!

Btw, I am into and own many Sony products. I still use a Clié TH (Palm OS handheld). If by chance you end up getting a PowerBook I highly recommend using the iSync conduits with Palm Desktop to sync your Treo. Once your contacts synced with the OS X address book, that data is accessible from many other apps. For example, once you start typing an email address in Mail it auto completes from data in your address book. The junk mail filter in Mail, which is awesome, by default makes an exception for all addresses in your address book so they cannot get tagged as junk mail even if the sender's address or method of sending looks suspicious to the junk mail filter. Your appointments show up in iCal and with one click you can send an email confirmation to the other attendees in your address book from iCal. The list of cool features is rich.
( Last edited by rem; Dec 21, 2005 at 11:21 AM. )
     
cambro
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Dec 21, 2005, 11:31 AM
 
My advice....

WAIT for a couple of weeks.

Apple might be announcing new Powerbooks sometime around 6 Jan. Unless you need something right away, you really should stop thinking about it until then as the equation is likely to change considerably!
     
wtmcgee
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Dec 21, 2005, 11:49 AM
 
I highly doubt we'll see new powerbooks in Jan, but I also think you should wait till after the macworld in January. Typically, there are a lot of big announcements made then, and with the whole intel transition going on, they very well may announce something that catches your eye.
     
shabbasuraj
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Dec 21, 2005, 02:42 PM
 
PowerBook all the way...

WHY?

OS X.

End of story.

If you can live with WinCrap, then you have a decision to make.

Others (like myself), prefer OS X, thus we own Macs.
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Salty
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Dec 22, 2005, 12:53 AM
 
I'd wait till MacWorld SF. The new iBook might even fit your needs well. And as far as does the PowerBook ever feel bulky... never, I love mine and it's insanely tiny.
     
IA123
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Dec 26, 2005, 06:05 PM
 
As much as I prefer OS X to XP you should seriously look at the PC option as a work machine. The pentium Ms are fast running office apps. Google for some benchmarking tests and see how they compare with pentium 4s running offics apps. If you could find a machine with a 1.7 533fsb chip you'd be suprised. Of course I'm sat here typing this on my powerbook and I know I'll be buying another one when this one isn't up to the job anymore.
     
bleee
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Dec 26, 2005, 06:42 PM
 
If you must buy a notebook right now and you really need your windows applications for your job than I'd say buy the Sony. VPC sucks on a powerbook it's starting up and slow while running as well if you really want to go the VPC route make sure you load it up with ram max it out. There are probably alot of people here that will tell you otherwise but speaking from a guy that uses his own powerbook at the office five days a week you need to get your job done and you don't wanna wait for things to load.
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12" iBook 600Mhz (Late 2001) 640MB Ram 30Gig HD
     
analogika
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Dec 26, 2005, 06:46 PM
 
Note that Apple got into trouble by constantly tying product releases to Macworld Expos, so they've increasingly started releasing stuff at special press events. So we might not see a release until a week or two later.

Or not.
     
rem
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Dec 26, 2005, 10:20 PM
 
I checked out that Sony Viao. OMG it has a wifi antenna physically sticking out of it! On the bright side you could stick one of those Jack-In-The-Box antenna decorations on it:



( Last edited by rem; Dec 29, 2005 at 11:53 AM. )
     
rem
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Dec 29, 2005, 11:54 AM
 
Based upon the responses to my above post, I better keep my day job / give up comedy and graphic design.
     
Poppakap  (op)
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Dec 29, 2005, 02:31 PM
 
I'm contemplating getting the TX651 which has no antenna.

Thanks everyone for the input. I'm leaning towards getting the Sony right now then hopefully get a Mac in the future.
     
rem
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Dec 29, 2005, 03:38 PM
 
Now you're in the same price range with the Albook 1.67GHz, 15" widescreen / hi-res (1440x960) which auto-adjusts to lighting conditions, 80GB HD, 8x DVD±RW/CD-RW, Airport Extreme (802.11g), FireWire800, DVI, backlit keyboard (ambient light sensor), etc., etc. + OS X... OS X! No need for anti-spyware/virusware. I just don't get it

Btw, according to a TX651 spec comment on newegg: "This model does not have the integrated EDGE built in. The specs are incorrect- the pictures without the antenna ARE correct"
( Last edited by rem; Dec 29, 2005 at 04:11 PM. )
     
mduell
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Dec 30, 2005, 12:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by rem
I checked out that Sony Viao. OMG it has a wifi antenna physically sticking out of it!
The optional antenna is for celluar data services; the wifi antenna is internal.
     
Poppakap  (op)
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Dec 30, 2005, 04:53 PM
 
[QUOTE=rem]Now you're in the same price range with the Albook 1.67GHz, 15" widescreen / hi-res (1440x960) which auto-adjusts to lighting conditions, 80GB HD, 8x DVD±RW/CD-RW, Airport Extreme (802.11g), FireWire800, DVI, backlit keyboard (ambient light sensor), etc., etc. + OS X... OS X! No need for anti-spyware/virusware. I just don't get it
QUOTE]

I guess you're right that I am in the price range of a 15" Albook. But they are not the same category of laptop size/weight, so I am really comparing against the 12". I also have to factorin to buying software for the Mac which I won't if I stay PC.
     
brettcamp
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Dec 31, 2005, 01:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Poppakap
I guess you're right that I am in the price range of a 15" Albook. But they are not the same category of laptop size/weight, so I am really comparing against the 12". I also have to factorin to buying software for the Mac which I won't if I stay PC.
Well, I just switched from a 12" PB to a 15", and was surprised to find that the slight weight difference hasn't bothered me a bit. You can also look at a refurb or previous generation 15" from Apple (like I did) and save several hundred dollars.

If new iBooks (or, less likely, Powerbooks, are introduced next month as rumored, that might improve your options, too.

As for replacing software, in your original post, you said
Originally Posted by Poppakap
I am in sales so the concentration of my computing will be contact management, calendar, e-mail, Excel, surfing.
All of those except Excel come free with your new Mac (i.e. Address Book, iCal, Mail, Safari plus many freeware alternatives to all of them). NeoOffice is a free and very good MS Office replacement that for many users makes a perfectly adequate substitute for Excel; if not, Apple now has a deal where you can get Office for $149 with the purchase of any Mac. If you have other software needs, do tell and maybe we can help you find cheap or free Mac replacements.
     
Poppakap  (op)
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Dec 31, 2005, 02:59 AM
 
Thanks. Wasn't aware of the deal on Office. The only other software I would need is VPC. I thnk that my decision right now is to wait till Feb. just in case Mac actually announces something.
     
brettcamp
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Jan 1, 2006, 03:01 AM
 
Sounds like a wise move to wait. Even if you don't grab the new model, prices will drop on what's now the current model.

Here's the Office deal, from the Apple Store site. You can always get student & teacher edition for $149, I think.

Buy any new Mac and save up to 50% on Microsoft Office
For a limited time, you can load up your new Mac with a full version of Microsoft Office 2004 and save up to $250 after mail-in rebate. Hurry — this offer expires on January 31, 2006.
     
rhfootball
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Jan 2, 2006, 02:48 PM
 
I just replaced a powerbook with a TX650. And I don't think I'm the only one to do this either---there's a review here:

http://www.robert.to/reviews/sonytx.htm

The battery life on my PowerBook wasn't quite as bad as this reviewers, but still the Sony runs at least twice as long. I got 6 hours on it before I decided to plug it in...and it still had some juice left. And it's MUCH faster than my Powerbook G4...there's a reason Apple's switching to Intel!
     
rhfootball
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Jan 2, 2006, 02:50 PM
 
That's right...the TX650 has a "wide screen" while the 12" Powerbook has a "short screen"
     
rem
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Jan 4, 2006, 02:03 AM
 
Yet another Windows vulnerability uncovered yesterday...
Microsoft Corp. says it will be at least a week before it issues a fix to a recently discovered vulnerability that could let an attacker take control of an Internet-connected computer.
[...]
Marc Maiffret, an executive with eEye Digital Security Inc. of Aliso Viejo, Calif., said the vulnerability still could be troubling because personal firewalls will offer little protection and the attacks can easily be modified to get around security software such as antivirus programs.
[...]
"It's basically almost any Windows PC right now that you can compromise if you can trick a person to going to the wrong Web site or opening the wrong e-mail," Maiffret said.
source: Microsoft Prepares Patch for Windows Flaw

I don't care how cool a new piece of hardware is, I will not invest in it to run Windose, period.
     
shabbasuraj
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Jan 4, 2006, 05:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by rem
Yet another Windows vulnerability uncovered yesterday...

source: Microsoft Prepares Patch for Windows Flaw

I don't care how cool a new piece of hardware is, I will not invest in it to run Windose, period.

amen
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