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Old 01-14-2011, 05:04 AM   #1
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Advice needed - new computer purchases

My macbook died today.

I'm taking it into the Apple store tomorrow, but based on what it's doing and the research I've done, I'm expecting that it can't be fixed. So I need to look at my options for a replacement, and this is where you all come in.

I definitely need a laptop of some kind. I'm starting my PhD next fall and my research will require some regular traveling. Therefore, a reliable laptop is a necessity.

Also, since I'll be in school and traveling some, my wife and family will need something at home - at minimum with the ability to do email and some entertainment options.

These are the options that seem most likely to me. Which would you choose?

1.) Macbook Pro for me ($1200) and Ipad for home ($500) = $1700

2.) Ipad for me ($500) and iMac for home ($1200) = $1700

3.) Macbook Pro for me ($1200) and Dell mini for home ($300) = $1500

4.) Dell mini for me ($300) and iMac for home ($1200) = $1500
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:19 AM   #2
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i'd go with option one or two, personally. it just depends on who you think could benefit more from the ipad
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:53 AM   #3
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i'd go with option one or two, personally. it just depends on who you think could benefit more from the ipad
My fear with the iPad for me is that it wouldn't hold up to everything I need from it in grad work. It's going to be in class, library, and travel, and I don't know that a tablet without a keyboard is the best thing for that.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:07 AM   #4
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yeah, i totally understand what you mean. i'd love to have an ipad to bring to school with me but since you can't use a stylus with it, it's useless to me really. i'd want one mostly to do handwriting-to-text (at this point everyone else is probably because i've said this 1,000 times now, lol).

do you think an ipad will suffice for your family?
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:23 AM   #5
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i can't see an ipad doing it for the family, and as much as i love the concept of an ipad, i can't see it in its current form being great for grad work.

your best bet is probably #3, with #4 as a backup.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:08 AM   #6
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The ipad for the family is possible. I should have mentioned that my family is my wife and two kids under the age of three. So really it's just what my wife needs, which isn't much outside of email and basic web surfing.

And my wife is pretty excited about the possibility of interactive children's books and games that the iPad can do. Wouldn't get that with the mini.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:13 AM   #7
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ah, in that case the ipad would definitely probably actually be a pretty solid solution at home. it's not as intuitive as a laptop (based on my half hour of playing with one at a store), but if you don't need much you're away laughing.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:43 AM   #8
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Personally I look at the actual specs in the build. The mini, ipad, and MBP are kinda all over the place for me.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:07 AM   #9
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IMO:

Stay away from a Dell Mini. While I do think Dell is a reliable PC brand, Dell Mini's seem infinitely slow from Day 1. That's not to say that they get slower... in fact I think all netbooks/small notebooks are just awful. However, I really do enjoy iPads.

To reiterate that point on Dell Mini's. Don't bother treating it like a real home computer, because it can't handle that they can (nor can any of the Acer notebooks, etc.). If Mac is your preference (and it seems to be), go with option 2.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stammer476 View Post
My fear with the iPad for me is that it wouldn't hold up to everything I need from it in grad work. It's going to be in class, library, and travel, and I don't know that a tablet without a keyboard is the best thing for that.
With that first part - become friends with Google Docs. Works great in part with an iPad.

As far as the keyboard, I think that's the major flaw with an iPad, although I'd still take one over a Dell Mini.
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