icecreamcake
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Hi

I'm getting a new laptop and I have no price limit but I just have no idea what/which to buy? I've always been a windows user (my current laptop is a Samsung, but it's getting a bit old now), so I'm thinking about perhaps switching to a Mac? I'm not a techy person, so I don't really know anything about laptops...

Firstly what's the best laptop/Mac? I don't care about the price. I've heard that there's a new Macbook coming out in April - is it worth the wait? How much better will it be than the other Macbooks?

Secondly, I don't own any other Apple products apart from my iPod touch. All of my other tech stuff is Samsung, but I'm curious about Apple products. How is it like using a Macbook? Will I need to install Microsoft Word etc separately? I've never used a Mac before, so how different is it from using a Windows?

Lastly, my phone is a Samsung. Will I not be able to connect my phone to the Mac (if I get one)? Do I need an iPhone if I want a Mac?

All help welcome! Thank you so much
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Gofre
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(Original post by strawberrysnow)
Firstly what's the best laptop/Mac? How much better will it be than the other Macbooks?
What tasks will you be using the computer to do? What features to do you want most, what screen size would you like? It's never as simple as saying "[x] computer is the best" :yep:

I've heard that there's a new Macbook coming out in April - is it worth the wait?
The new MacBook will appeal a lot to some people, a lot of others would hate having it. It's insanely thin and light and has a gorgeous display, but it only have one port for plugging everything in including the charger meaning adaptors are essential for plugging in more than one thing at a time. It's also not very powerful at all so it's only suited to people doing basic stuff.

Will I need to install Microsoft Word etc separately?
Yes. You can get Microsoft Office for Mac, or use one of the equally capable free options like Apple's own iWork apps or Google Docs instead.

I've never used a Mac before, so how different is it from using a Windows?
The absolute first thing you should do is go into an Apple Store or virtually any large computer store/department store and try one out. Macs operate fairly differently from PCs as an operating system and you might find yourself loving or hating it. It's worth spending 20 minutes just trying it out and doing the things you'd normally do on a day-to-day basis to figure out if you like the way OS X (the mac operating system) handles it. Going into an Apple Store would be particularly helpful as there will be knowledgeable staff on hand to help you if you can't find something or generally have questions.

Lastly, my phone is a Samsung. Will I not be able to connect my phone to the Mac (if I get one)?
Yes, you can connect it to a Mac and do all the usual drag and drop stuff you would do on a Windows PC. No you do not need to have an iPhone.
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icecreamcake
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(Original post by Gofre)
What tasks will you be using the computer to do? What features to do you want most, what screen size would you like? It's never as simple as saying "[x] computer is the best" :yep:



The new MacBook will appeal a lot to some people, a lot of others would hate having it. It's insanely thin and light and has a gorgeous display, but it only have one port for plugging everything in including the charger meaning adaptors are essential for plugging in more than one thing at a time. It's also not very powerful at all so it's only suited to people doing basic stuff.



Yes. You can get Microsoft Office for Mac, or use one of the equally capable free options like Apple's own iWork apps or Google Docs instead.



The absolute first thing you should do is go into an Apple Store or virtually any large computer store/department store and try one out. Macs operate fairly differently from PCs as an operating system and you might find yourself loving or hating it. It's worth spending 20 minutes just trying it out and doing the things you'd normally do on a day-to-day basis to figure out if you like the way OS X (the mac operating system) handles it. Going into an Apple Store would be particularly helpful as there will be knowledgeable staff on hand to help you if you can't find something or generally have questions.



Yes, you can connect it to a Mac and do all the usual drag and drop stuff you would do on a Windows PC. No you do not need to have an iPhone.

Thank you so much for your reply!

1) I don't really need it to do much xD I'm a student so basically I need to use the internet (watch youtube videos etc), and write essays/notes etc. I don't game or anything if that helps?? (Sorry, I'm really not helpful!) As long as it's fast and I can open multiple windows/tabs on Chrome (or something) and type stuff onto Word at the same time, it's fine oh and at least 12 inch? Any smaller than that seems far too small to see anything!

2) It's great that it's very thin etc but I didn't realise that it only had 1 porthole! Does this mean that I can't stick my USB in there? if so, that might rule the new macbook out.

3) What's iWork? Can you type up notes and essays and make powerpoints on there?

4) Ok thanks - will spend my Saturday doing that then! Are you a Mac user? If you are, and you have used a Windows before, can you describe the difference?

5) I've also just come across the Macbook Pro (2015) 13 inch which sounds good - do you have any opinions on this? Is this not as new as the 'new Macbook'?

Sorry for the load of questions, I really just have no idea where to start with laptops - there are so many to choose from that it gets very confusing! Thanks
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khalidpatel
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I'm also confused. Whether to get the new MacBook or the MacBook Pro 13 inch. #inthesameboat #Itsforuni


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Gofre
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(Original post by strawberrysnow)
1) I don't really need it to do much xD I'm a student so basically I need to use the internet (watch youtube videos etc), and write essays/notes etc. I don't game or anything if that helps?? (Sorry, I'm really not helpful!) As long as it's fast and I can open multiple windows/tabs on Chrome (or something) and type stuff onto Word at the same time, it's fine oh and at least 12 inch? Any smaller than that seems far too small to see anything!
In that case either the 13" Air, New MacBook or any MacBook Pro with Retina Display (don't get the non-retina display MacBook, it's old and crap value) would work for you, they're all capable of doing those things with ease. However so are Windows laptops costing £350 or less, but saving money doesn't sound like a huge priority for you so after you've spent some time trying out Macs you can decide which system to go for :yy:

[2) It's great that it's very thin etc but I didn't realise that it only had 1 porthole! Does this mean that I can't stick my USB in there? if so, that might rule the new macbook out.
You can stick a USB in, but you'd need to buy an adaptor to do it. It's a case of if you mind using adaptors to plug things in.

3) What's iWork? Can you type up notes and essays and make powerpoints on there?
iWork is Apple's suite of productivity apps, which includes Pages (Apple's version of Microsoft Word), Keynote (their version of Powerpoint) and Numbers (their version of Excel). They behave a bit differently but all of the features that 99% of people use Word/Excel/Powerpoint for are there and it's fully compatible with files made in Microsoft Office.

4) Ok thanks - will spend my Saturday doing that then! Are you a Mac user? If you are, and you have used a Windows before, can you describe the difference?
I used Macs from 2010-2013, then I sold them and moved to a Windows PC for two years, and now I'm actually moving back to Mac this week (tomorrow hopefully!) when I get my bonus and buy a 13" MacBook Pro. I've spent as little time as humanly possible with Windows 8 because I hate it and stuck with Windows 7, so can't make hugely detailed comparisons if you're used to Windows 8, you're better off trying them out for yourself or if you have a local Apple Store ask a member of staff to take you through the key differences.

5) I've also just come across the Macbook Pro (2015) 13 inch which sounds good - do you have any opinions on this? Is this not as new as the 'new Macbook'?
The 2015 MacBook Pro was released on the same day as the New MacBook was announced- there's not much difference in "newness". The MacBook Pro line, as the name suggests, are more powerful computers, with beefier processors and a full range of ports that you would find on other laptops, while the New MacBook trades power and ports for insane portability and silent operation thanks to the lack of fans. However the 13" MacBook Pros are still very portable, it's more a case of thin and powerful vs really thin and not very powerful.

Sorry for the load of questions, I really just have no idea where to start with laptops - there are so many to choose from that it gets very confusing! Thanks
No worries if you're looking at Macs it means you're looking to spend quite a lot of money, so it pays to ask as many questions as possible until you're sure you can make an educated decision.
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Gofre
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(Original post by khalidpatel)
I'm also confused. Whether to get the new MacBook or the MacBook Pro 13 inch. #inthesameboat #Itsforuni


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What will you be using the computer to do? Do you mind using adaptors do plug multiple things into your computer (including the charger) at a time?
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icecreamcake
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(Original post by Gofre)
In that case either the 13" Air, New MacBook or any MacBook Pro with Retina Display (don't get the non-retina display MacBook, it's old and crap value) would work for you, they're all capable of doing those things with ease. However so are Windows laptops costing £350 or less, but saving money doesn't sound like a huge priority for you so after you've spent some time trying out Macs you can decide which system to go for :yy:



You can stick a USB in, but you'd need to buy an adaptor to do it. It's a case of if you mind using adaptors to plug things in.



iWork is Apple's suite of productivity apps, which includes Pages (Apple's version of Microsoft Word), Keynote (their version of Powerpoint) and Numbers (their version of Excel). They behave a bit differently but all of the features that 99% of people use Word/Excel/Powerpoint for are there and it's fully compatible with files made in Microsoft Office.



I used Macs from 2010-2013, then I sold them and moved to a Windows PC for two years, and now I'm actually moving back to Mac this week (tomorrow hopefully!) when I get my bonus and buy a 13" MacBook Pro. I've spent as little time as humanly possible with Windows 8 because I hate it and stuck with Windows 7, so can't make hugely detailed comparisons if you're used to Windows 8, you're better off trying them out for yourself or if you have a local Apple Store ask a member of staff to take you through the key differences.



The 2015 MacBook Pro was released on the same day as the New MacBook was announced- there's not much difference in "newness". The MacBook Pro line, as the name suggests, are more powerful computers, with beefier processors and a full range of ports that you would find on other laptops, while the New MacBook trades power and ports for insane portability and silent operation thanks to the lack of fans. However the 13" MacBook Pros are still very portable, it's more a case of thin and powerful vs really thin and not very powerful.



No worries if you're looking at Macs it means you're looking to spend quite a lot of money, so it pays to ask as many questions as possible until you're sure you can make an educated decision.
1) It seems too much of a fuss to carry around adaptors with me, so I'm not a huge fan of the new macbook.

2) I'm actually a windows 7 user so if you can tell me the differences, that would be awesome!

3) Are you getting the retina display one? And why did you choose the 13" macbook pro? So far, I'm liking it the best too - it seems to be very powerful and the size seems to be perfect. I'm not really too fussed about how think it is either, as long as it's not too chunky. I have no idea how heavy it is (I will find out this weekend I guess), but I'm sure that it's much lighter than my current 15.6" Samsung... my current one is huge which is awesome, but at the same time, too big to carry around and very heavy, which basically means that I don't actually carry it around with me.

4) You said that the new mackbook is silent - does this mean that the 13" macbook pro is noisy?? :/

Thank you so much again!
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khalidpatel
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Apparently the new MacBook has no fans. So I was wondering how will it cool itself?? I mean having a laptop with no fans would be so hot after a while


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Gofre
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(Original post by strawberrysnow)
1) It seems too much of a fuss to carry around adaptors with me, so I'm not a huge fan of the new macbook.
Fair enough :yep:

2) I'm actually a windows 7 user so if you can tell me the differences, that would be awesome!
Cool :yy: This is only top line stuff about how the OS handles since I haven't owned a Mac in a few years;

*Where Windows 7 has the main taskbar at the bottom and then each individual application has its own menu bar for accessing different settings and options, Macs have a permanent menubar across the top of the screen that adapts to show the different options depending on which application you're in at the time, and also has a dock at the bottom of the screen for navigating through applications.

*Whereas for the most part Windows applications stay windowed (the taskbar still shows, you can resize them) even when maximised, when you go full screen with a Mac application it takes over the entire screen and the dock/menubar hide until you hover the cursor over the top/bottom of the screen respectively. When in this mode it essentially becomes a second desktop separate from the main one, and you navigate between the main desktop and different full screen apps via gestures on the mouse/trackpad. You can also just resize an app window normally by dragging from the edges/corners to keep multiple windows on top of each other and keep the menubar/dock in view, like you would in Windows.

*Following on from above, OS X puts a lot of emphasis on gestures for both navigation and accessing different features, which I prefer because Mac trackpads are freaking amazing and they're very well implemented. Windows do this, more in 8 than 7, but it's nowhere near as refined or as integral a part of day to day use.

Those are the ones that spring to mind, when inside apps they'll generally behave very similarly to their Windows versions, the differences lie more in the day to day use and navigation of the operating system itself.

3) Are you getting the retina display one?
Yep, as I mentioned above the non-retina one is old and crap :ahee: It should only ever be bought if you absolutely must have a Mac and absolutely must have 500+ GB of hard drive space but can't afford the other Macs which have it.

And why did you choose the 13" macbook pro?
A few key reasons. I want something slim and portable enough to fit in my bag along with DSLR and a few lenses but wanted a higher resolution screen than the MacBook Airs have, so I was waiting to see what Apple would announce at their event earlier this month. The New MacBook doesn't work for me because of the lack of ports and the MacBook Air didn't get upgraded with a high res screen, so the MacBook Pro wins.

So far, I'm liking it the best too - it seems to be very powerful and the size seems to be perfect. I'm not really too fussed about how think it is either, as long as it's not too chunky. I have no idea how heavy it is (I will find out this weekend I guess), but I'm sure that it's much lighter than my current 15.6" Samsung... my current one is huge which is awesome, but at the same time, too big to carry around and very heavy, which basically means that I don't actually carry it around with me.
The 13" Pro is less than 2cm thick and weighs only 1.58kg, it's very slim and light for a moderately powerful consumer laptop :yep:

4) You said that the new mackbook is silent - does this mean that the 13" macbook pro is noisy?? :/

Thank you so much again!
Nope, when you're doing basic stuff that isn't stressing it the MacBook Pros are really quiet. It's just that the New MacBook is literally silent, it has no fans and no moving internal parts, so there's nothing to make noise!
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khalidpatel
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(Original post by Gofre)
What will you be using the computer to do? Do you mind using adaptors do plug multiple things into your computer (including the charger) at a time?
Tbh I probably won't be using any adapters. Won't even be using my USB. I just save all my work on the laptop. And then save it again on my USB #justincase.


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Gofre
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(Original post by khalidpatel)
Tbh I probably won't be using any adapters. Won't even be using my USB. I just save all my work on the laptop. And then save it again on my USB #justincase.


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You wouldn't be able to plug in a standard USB drive without an adaptor, it doesn't have normal USB ports.

(Original post by khalidpatel)
Apparently the new MacBook has no fans. So I was wondering how will it cool itself?? I mean having a laptop with no fans would be so hot after a while


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To put it simply, it's such a low-power processor that even when put under the most pressure it can handle it won't be using enough power to heat up as much as a normal laptop. Plus being made entirely out of heat-conductive metal means heat is spread and dispersed relatively evenly.
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khalidpatel
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Ahhh the new MacBook has too many flaws. MacBook Pro 13 inch 256GB looks good and has so many ports for everything.


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vela1
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(Original post by khalidpatel)
Ahhh the new MacBook has too many flaws. MacBook Pro 13 inch 256GB looks good and has so many ports for everything.


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^ agreed. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that all macbooks have a great battery life.
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Catanesi
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From peoples experience what is the best iWork app to write notes for? Im presume pages is the best ? anyone disagree or prefer another application?
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jameswhughes
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(Original post by Catanesi)
From peoples experience what is the best iWork app to write notes for? Im presume pages is the best ? anyone disagree or prefer another application?
Yes, Pages is the word processor, Numbers is for spreadsheets and Keynote for presentations.
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41b
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Dells on ebay go quite cheap.


When I got my Latitude e6430 2 years ago, I paid 650 for it and for everything I got, if it had been directly from Dell, I would've paid £1700.

I did get lucky though.

Generally windows laptops have higher performance than macbooks for a much lower price, but macbooks go with a student discount and trendy popularity, if you're into that.

Unlike Macbooks, Dells are generally very upgradeable. I'm upgrading my current dell for £350 to a standard higher than the next iteration of my current laptop, which would, brand new, cost about £1500 from Dell.

So all in all I've paid 900 for, if you want to view it this way (incorrectly), £3000 worth of laptop.

Thus I think whatever you buy, it would be worth taking a look on eBay. There are often a lot of great deals there, and eBay gives you buyer protection so you don't get ripped off.
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41b
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(Original post by Gofre)
You wouldn't be able to plug in a standard USB drive without an adaptor, it doesn't have normal USB ports.



To put it simply, it's such a low-power processor that even when put under the most pressure it can handle it won't be using enough power to heat up as much as a normal laptop. Plus being made entirely out of heat-conductive metal means heat is spread and dispersed relatively evenly.
I did a passmark benchmark for the latest retina pro's processor and my 2 year old dell's processor and my dell got twice the score that the macbook did.

Pretty shocking to be honest.
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Gofre
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(Original post by 41b)
I did a passmark benchmark for the latest retina pro's processor and my 2 year old dell's processor and my dell got twice the score that the macbook did.

Pretty shocking to be honest.
What's the processor in your dell and what were the scores? Any screenshots?
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41b
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(Original post by Gofre)
What's the processor in your dell and what were the scores? Any screenshots?
I checked the mid 2014 Macbook pro retina i7 (I7-4578U) when it came out and the score was 5087, while my Dell's i7-3720QM was 8267 (so not twice as much but 63% more) at the same time.

The new generation latitudes (e6440) has a dual core processor so the performance is comparable to the 2014 Macbook's (5117 for the e6440).

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

I'm not too tech savvy so I don't understand why they've gone from quad core to dual core. I read a Microsoft guy saying the system can be more energy efficient running 4 processors at a low load than 2 processors at a medium load, so it doesn't make sense to me.
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sailfish
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Blah blah blah useless apple discussion. Don't buy anymore apple products please. Buy something on the lines of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP6oTd_OhoA
Windows > OS X
Windows laptop > Macbook
Trust me.
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