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A (Windows) laptop that is light, skinny, slick and equal hardware to a MacBook Pro

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05-17-2010, 05:02 PM
  #1
Jack Bourdain
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A (Windows) laptop that is light, skinny, slick and equal hardware to a MacBook Pro

Follow up to my "laptop" thread, I wanted to ask people (and thought making a new thread with Mac in its title would start a good debate) if there are laptops that are of equal or greater performance, that are light, that are "nice to look at" (lets be honest those macbook pro's are good looking machines) and that don't cost more than a MacBook Pro. People always ***** how MacBook's are overpriced (and its true), but what I want to know is can I find something that has the similar "overall package" at the same price as a Mac?

Basically I want MacBook Pro laptop, but not the Mac. I know I can install Windows on it, but I want to see if there are Windows laptops that rival Mac's when everything considered.

Let's say I was looking at the 13" or 15". What can you guys find?

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05-17-2010, 06:51 PM
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Just bought this and I love it. Runs all the games I've thrown at it (more of a console gamer and will be fine with turning some settings down if I want to play more intense games). Or this might be more up your alley. Customer feedback says it handles all but the most intense games on the highest settings with ease.

Edit: battery life is atrocious, apparently, but I mostly only cared about it being portable as in easy to move. It'll be sitting in my living room hooked up to my TV and streaming content to my 360. Battery life is irrelevant for me.

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05-17-2010, 07:10 PM
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Jack Bourdain
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I found the HP Envy, that looks pretty sexy...

http://www.hp.com/united-states/camp...nvy/index.html

Although I'm not sure about the price, the 15" starts at 1,299$ with an i5, and I'm also not sure about the battery life.

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05-17-2010, 07:19 PM
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I really like my Dell XPS studio16. The screen is amazing for watching HD movies, I havent run into any games it cant handle quite well and it is skinny, light and looks great. Battery life is so-so (~2hrs watching DVD/light gaming) but with the slightly larger battery it is much better.

http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/noteb...16&s=dhs&cs=19

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05-17-2010, 07:21 PM
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There is no point in buying a MacBook Pro if you want to use Windows on it, no offense, even if it's for hardware. At least give OS X a shot and dual-boot/virtualize Windows. It's what I did 2 years ago and haven't looked back since.

as for your dilemma, I echo the above. The XPS studio16 is a great machine.

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05-17-2010, 08:04 PM
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Jack Bourdain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldplay View Post
There is no point in buying a MacBook Pro if you want to use Windows on it, no offense, even if it's for hardware. At least give OS X a shot and dual-boot/virtualize Windows. It's what I did 2 years ago and haven't looked back since.

as for your dilemma, I echo the above. The XPS studio16 is a great machine.
No exactly, if I'm going to buy a MacBook Pro, I will use the OS X. But I was saying that, all things considered, I think the MacBook is worth the money. Laptops of equal performance that I've been looking at usually come up to even higher price than the cost of the base configuration of the MacBook.

Although I might run into some problems with the Windows applications that I'm used to working with...


Last edited by Jack Bourdain: 05-17-2010 at 08:09 PM.
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05-17-2010, 09:28 PM
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834220700

will save you a boatload of cash and it seems pretty comparable.

ram seem about equal. slightly better graphics card and higher resolution display.

not sure how a 1.6 ghz i7 compares to a 2.4 ghz i5 though, but i'd assume the i7 would be cooler and more efficient.

im sure the battery on the mac is better though. but then again i wonder if its worth the huge difference in price. there are a lot of laptops out there. you're not going to save $1000 on a superior windows laptop, but you can definitely save $200 or something.

the thing where pcs are a lot more attractive to me isn't that you can get the same specs as a macbook for cheaper, but that they provide a lot of very capable cheap laptops. they might not match-up perfectly, but honestly most people would rather get something comparable for a lot cheaper and they do a good job to market to them. laptops become obsolete and break down so fast anyways. i don't think i'm personally ever going to spend even $1000 on a laptop again. maybe if i get rich someday.


Last edited by Cone: 05-17-2010 at 09:36 PM.
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05-17-2010, 10:49 PM
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You're probably not going to find an equivalent PC - it's easy to beat Apple in specs, but Apple is all about aesthetics and battery life.

There are some nice Vaio's and Dells (like the 11z and 14z). I like the HP Envy lineup, but I'm curious if they've fixed the trackpad issues yet, as I like the Envy 14 a lot.

If you're looking for the Apple look, you might as well as get an Apple.

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05-17-2010, 11:14 PM
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OT: The only thing I like about Macbooks is the ability to scroll down the page using two fingers on the mouse pad.

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05-17-2010, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kezia View Post
OT: The only thing I like about Macbooks is the ability to scroll down the page using two fingers on the mouse pad.
The laptops I linked have multi-touch track pads. I use a mouse, though.

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05-18-2010, 12:01 AM
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That's as close to a MacBook Pro as it gets.

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05-18-2010, 01:07 AM
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Macbook Pro owner here: Pretty much the best laptop on the market imo. If you want to play games you certainly can with dual boot -- if you want to use OS X for your daily work, web browsing, email, and the occasional gaming (WoW, SC2, Steam, etc) you can do that on there as well.

To build on what Guinness said above, Apple laptops have a unique synergy between hardware and the OS/software (and the actual OS disc comes with it) that most PCs don't seem to properly grasp. I have never experienced anything close to a BSOD for example.

But hey if you pick up one of the PCs posted in this thread... I think it would serve you well enough but perhaps wouldn't completely satisfy what you are seeking.

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05-18-2010, 10:53 AM
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http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/10/hp-envy-15-review/

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05-18-2010, 11:11 AM
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Yeah I wouldn't recommend an envy. But it is the pc equivalent of a MacBook pro

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05-18-2010, 05:15 PM
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Jack Bourdain
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That's what I thought. Now time to wait and see if Apple does a student pricing program like they did last year.

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05-18-2010, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Bourdain View Post
That's what I thought. Now time to wait and see if Apple does a student pricing program like they did last year.
Except, there have been recommendations that fit your bill.

Check out the newest Sony VAIOs for instance.

And the newer HP Envy's have improved on some of the original issues (mainly the trackpad and heat).

Not that engadget is a bastion of objectiveness either way.

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05-18-2010, 07:49 PM
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None of the other suggestions are "light, skinny, slick and equal hardware" ... Some are equal hardware, some are slick/skinny but without the hardware, but not both.

I'd still go with a Macbook Pro and as a last resort an Envy. Envy's really are pretty f-ing awesome once you get past the few shortcomings. Not as good as a Macbook Pro but close enough.

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05-18-2010, 09:34 PM
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Look for the upcoming HP dm4:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/05/h...-casing-new-a/

It apes a lot of Apple's design cues, but it doesn't gimp on ports, and I don't care what Apple says otherwise, but $1000-1200 for a C2D/Nvidia 320 is not a good deal.

And I also echo, engadget isn't the most objective of blogs, although they really liked WM7, which I felt was odd.

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05-18-2010, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post
Look for the upcoming HP dm4:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/05/h...-casing-new-a/

It apes a lot of Apple's design cues, but it doesn't gimp on ports, and I don't care what Apple says otherwise, but $1000-1200 for a C2D/Nvidia 320 is not a good deal.

And I also echo, engadget isn't the most objective of blogs, although they really liked WM7, which I felt was odd.
Yeah I was about to add, they are a pretty Apple loving blog. But I didn't want to piss off anyone.

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05-19-2010, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parabola View Post
None of the other suggestions are "light, skinny, slick and equal hardware" ... Some are equal hardware, some are slick/skinny but without the hardware, but not both.
Take a look at the newest Sony VAIOs, while design is a bit subjective, they are very similar to a MBP imo.

The only downside is you pay a similar price, unlike the Envys which are priced more competitively.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...tegoryId=16154

The newest Sony Vaio Z, if you price it with a SSD, it is the same price as the 13" MBP, except that it
- has a better processor
- a higher resolution screen,
- better graphics (along with a hybrid system),
- more ports (expansion, usb 2.0, hdmi ),
- built in gps (a bit of a trivial feature),
- a better warranty.

The only advantage the MBP has is
- unibody (although the Z is carbon fibre with scratch resistant screen, spill proof keyboard, etc)
- a better battery life (although Apple's posted battery times are and always will be a joke).

So I would say it definitely has the hardware and the slickness.

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05-19-2010, 11:48 AM
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That is pretty nice. Seems a bit clunkier though.

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05-19-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueAndWhite View Post
Take a look at the newest Sony VAIOs, while design is a bit subjective, they are very similar to a MBP imo.

The only downside is you pay a similar price, unlike the Envys which are priced more competitively.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...tegoryId=16154

The newest Sony Vaio Z, if you price it with a SSD, it is the same price as the 13" MBP, except that it
- has a better processor
- a higher resolution screen,
- better graphics (along with a hybrid system),
- more ports (expansion, usb 2.0, hdmi ),
- built in gps (a bit of a trivial feature),
- a better warranty.

The only advantage the MBP has is
- unibody (although the Z is carbon fibre with scratch resistant screen, spill proof keyboard, etc)
- a better battery life (although Apple's posted battery times are and always will be a joke).

So I would say it definitely has the hardware and the slickness.
Which one are you talking about? I went on the Sony website and kept everything at the "basic" customization, and it came up to $1,899.99 (on the US website) and $2375.99 (on the Canadian website).

MBP 13" are 1,199.00$ and 1,499.00$ each.

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05-19-2010, 12:25 PM
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If you don't mind a big display (18.4") check out the Toshiba Qosmio notebooks.

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05-19-2010, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Bourdain View Post
Which one are you talking about? I went on the Sony website and kept everything at the "basic" customization, and it came up to $1,899.99 (on the US website) and $2375.99 (on the Canadian website).

MBP 13" are 1,199.00$ and 1,499.00$ each.
I configured it based on the US pricing on sonystyle.com and apple.com but I might have been eventually directed to the CAD version of the apple store, without being aware of it.

So before, the pricing was nearly identical (~1899 USD) for both machines with a 128GB SSD.

Now, the price for the US MBP 13"(Core 2 Duo 2.66ghz) with SSD is $100 bucks cheaper (and with free shipping) than a US Z Series.

But you get more machine with the Sony IMO.


The sonystyle.ca canadian pricing is a bit different but note that the default config has a 256 GB SSD. And the base option which is $2100 CAD actually gives you two hard drives, a 128 GB SSD and a 64GB regular drive.

So, you can only order the lowest hard drive config from the US site, if you spec a similar machine to the lowest available Canadian model, the US price becomes USD $2099.

Hope that makes sense.

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05-19-2010, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parabola View Post
That is pretty nice. Seems a bit clunkier though.
It is smaller in every dimension than the MBP except for thickness, where the rear 3rd of the machine is .3" thicker while the front 2/3rd is only 0.05" thicker.

It is also about 1.5 lbs lighter (benefit of carbon fibre).

Hardly clunky.

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