Decision, desicions. Sigh... (Laptops: Mac vs PC)

This thread is mainly to help me decide which laptop to get. However, since the two contestants for my wallet are rivals, I figured I should start this out in GD. In PC corner, is the VPR Matrix coming in at about $1300 not counting mail-in rebates. In the Mac corner is the Powerbook G4 coming in at about $1200. I am experienced in both worlds, but I would like to offer you guys a chance to convince me either way. My situation is that I’ll be going to college soon and want a laptop that can play the games I have while also being able to integrate into the mostly PC network at school. I work for a school district right now that has a lot of Mac software I can use for free, so that really isn’t a problem. Are there Windows emulators I can use for the programs that I can’t get for Mac? Thoughts on upkeep? upgradeability? style :wink: ? Anything else I’m missing? Thanks!

If you’re wondering how I can get that Powerbook for so cheap…I know a guy.

Oh! I have a lot of movies using various codecs (e.g. divx, xvid, etc). I have had success getting all the videos to work with Windows XP on my desktop. How easy is it to have them work on an OSX platform?

(shrug) Find out what your school uses. If they mostly run PCs and your games are PC games, then you should probably buy a PC. However, you might have some practical reason to need a Mac; are you getting into a program that might use Macs?

No matter what anyone tells you, go with what you need from a software compatibility point of view. And don’t trust promises of “emulation.”

For some reason, I read “emulation” as “ejaculation,” but that’s not important right now. My favorite games, Blizzard games, are all Mac supported. I will hopefully get in to a field of work where the two platforms will work together. Right now, I feel pretty confident in my abilities in working with PCs. Macs I’m not too sure about. Is the learning experience worth the lack of support for Apple?

So you’re going to school to play games and watch movies, eh?

Well, if you want to at least give your professors a semblance of studying, get a computer that is best supported by the school.

If gaming is a big issue for you, stick with Windows. Mac software tends to skew more towards stuff to actually get things done instead of goofing off. :wink:

Emulating a Windows PC on a Mac is definitely a viable option, but it’s needed less than you think. You can get MS Office for the Mac, f’r instance, and it will read/write Windows-format files natively. Unless you have an obscure task or program you must run, it’s usually easier to just get the Mac-native version of the software.

(Though to counter RickJay’s post, I’ve found VirtualPC for the Mac often ran Windows programs better than a Windows PC does; it’s robust enough for me to run emulators within the emulator, which is tres surreal. :wink: )

All the non-proprietary media formats can be played on the Mac. For your non-mainstream oddball stuff, you can use the free VLC media player.

Finally, I’ve seen lots of Windows users who’ve switched to the Mac and love it; I know of very few Mac users who’ve gone to Windows and haven’t regretted the decision. Take that as you will.

Just an aside, you might want to get a tablet PC. They seem perfect for a student. It saves me so much time in the business world taking meeting notes and transcribing them. A tablet would be awesome for a student.

Tablet PCs’ prices are a little steep for me. Otherwise I would look into getting one. The thing is I have MS Office for Windows and wouldn’t want to buy it all over again for the Mac, hence the emulator question. Virtual PC is a little too expensive for me, but I’ll see what can be done about that.

I would get a used laptop for about $400 and load Linux on it.

If you spend $1200 on a laptop you can count on loosing $800 in depreciation in a year.

Obviously there are software compatibility issues with Linux but there can be advantages also. The whole trick of the computer industry is keeping people on the upgrade treadmill. It’s about the money. The more people that switch to Linux the greater the advantage of switching to Linux.

Dal Timgar

Just FYI, if you follow dal_timgar’s advice, you won’t suffer from lack of games, videos, or MS Office compatibility, but you will probably want to max out the RAM on a $400 laptop to improve performance.

Don’t have a link for it handy, but the last I heard, tablet PC sales were sinking like iron bearings in a pond.