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Hoping for some direction - need a new laptop...


GFB

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So here is the deal. I need a new laptop, and have a budget around $1000. I want to use my new laptop for my designing, but it still needs to be used for things such as work and school. I would like to make the switch over to a Mac, but I'm just not ready yet. So with that being said, I was curious to see what kind of computers (other than Macs) that other designers are currently using. Is there really a difference between a Dell, Gateway, or HP? Or is there another manufacturer that I should be looking at?

Help would be very much appreciated! Thanks!

GFB

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I have a PC laptop in addition to my Mac computer. It's a Compaq, I don't remember the specific model.

I have heard various bad things about Dell and Gateway, especially with customer support. But everyone else I know with either a Compaq or HP (same company) is happy with the products. I haven't noticed much difference running CS programs in either Mac or PC, and aside from font compatibility, files are easily interchangeable between the two operating systems.

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Well, first off, my Adobe CS2 Suite is for Windows, and being an incoming freshman to college, my wallet doesn't feel like buying another CS suite for Mac. In addition to that, I would have to replace all my fonts (2000+, most of which are Windows Truetype), and I really don't want to lose them or spend the time to replace them.

Aside from designing, I have lots of other software for Windows (games, programs for work, etc.)...

Lastly, for right now, I'm happy with Windows based products. Now as I get closer to being a "professional" designer, being that I'm only 17 right now, I will definitely look at getting a Mac.

So it's not so much a question of if I switch, but when I switch....

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Definitely don't blame you on that.

As far as the fonts go, they should work for both Operating Systems now. I believe that was one of the updates with 10.4.

When you update to CS3, I think you can get it for under $200 with your education discount. I think it is around $400 with it if you don't have CS or CS2.

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Did you know that you can run both operating systems natively on the new Macs? That way, all of your apps, fonts, games, etc. can be brought over to the Mac.

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and windows runs way more smoothly than on any pc i've seen on the market. I have a higher-end mac book and I love it - it's a great machine, and since you can load all your fonts, apps, etc on the windows side, you can wait to get a new CS for the mac for a while.

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I think I heard something about Macs running windows, but I was skeptical on how smoothly they would run it....

Just out of curiousity, what is the price range for a higher-end Mac???

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If you are a student... why go for a high end Mac laptop at this time? A Macbook would suffice while in college and is cheaper... get the pro machines after college and have a job... at that time they will be so much better than they are now and you can get yourself a smoking tower or laptop then.

I am a Mac person through and through.... a MacBook starts at 1,099 the MacBookPro starts at 1,999 Use the $900 savings and get yourself loaded with software at student prices... when you get out you have a ton of software that will still be viable and you can invest in a high end tower or laptop.

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If you are a student... why go for a high end Mac laptop at this time? A Macbook would suffice while in college and is cheaper... get the pro machines after college and have a job... at that time they will be so much better than they are now and you can get yourself a smoking tower or laptop then.

I am a Mac person through and through.... a MacBook starts at 1,099 the MacBookPro starts at 1,999 Use the $900 savings and get yourself loaded with software at student prices... when you get out you have a ton of software that will still be viable and you can invest in a high end tower or laptop.

Trust me, there is no way I will spend $3000 on a laptop before I even attend a class. I was just wondering what the price range is for a higher-end Mac (that's why it was out of curiosity)....

Since it seems that a MacBook would be the Mac choice for me, here are some questions I have. How compatable are the MacBooks with Windows programs, especially with the CS Suites and TrueType fonts? Have you ever run a Windows version of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop off of a MacBook? Do those programs run just as smooth on a Mac as they do on Windows? How would you sell me on a Mac as apposed to a Windows based computer?

Thanks again for the help guys....

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1) The switch from PC to Mac is nothing to worry about. Macs are easier to use. Just make sure you get a two button mouse.

2) If you can't afford it, I wouldn't switch.

3) If you are in college, does your college have a Mac lab? Once you are out of college you will probably work on a Mac if you are going to design. So, you better get used to them now. But you don't need to buy one.

4) I've owned: 3 Macs, 3 Dells, 1 HP, 1 Dell and 1 Compaq. My HP and Compaq were awful.

5) Since it is a question of time. I would switch when you are a senior in college. Your current computer should last you another 3 years.

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If you are a student... why go for a high end Mac laptop at this time? A Macbook would suffice while in college and is cheaper... get the pro machines after college and have a job... at that time they will be so much better than they are now and you can get yourself a smoking tower or laptop then.

I am a Mac person through and through.... a MacBook starts at 1,099 the MacBookPro starts at 1,999 Use the $900 savings and get yourself loaded with software at student prices... when you get out you have a ton of software that will still be viable and you can invest in a high end tower or laptop.

Trust me, there is no way I will spend $3000 on a laptop before I even attend a class. I was just wondering what the price range is for a higher-end Mac (that's why it was out of curiosity)....

Since it seems that a MacBook would be the Mac choice for me, here are some questions I have. How compatable are the MacBooks with Windows programs, especially with the CS Suites and TrueType fonts? Have you ever run a Windows version of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop off of a MacBook? Do those programs run just as smooth on a Mac as they do on Windows? How would you sell me on a Mac as apposed to a Windows based computer?

Thanks again for the help guys....

You can run windows on a macbook, so it is just as compatible as any dell, hp, or gateway machine with windows-based programs. i would sell you because macs are the industry standard, they are easier to use, they don't get viruses, they don't get clogged with spyware, they don't crash or freeze, and on and on.

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If you are a student... why go for a high end Mac laptop at this time? A Macbook would suffice while in college and is cheaper... get the pro machines after college and have a job... at that time they will be so much better than they are now and you can get yourself a smoking tower or laptop then.

I am a Mac person through and through.... a MacBook starts at 1,099 the MacBookPro starts at 1,999 Use the $900 savings and get yourself loaded with software at student prices... when you get out you have a ton of software that will still be viable and you can invest in a high end tower or laptop.

Trust me, there is no way I will spend $3000 on a laptop before I even attend a class. I was just wondering what the price range is for a higher-end Mac (that's why it was out of curiosity)....

Since it seems that a MacBook would be the Mac choice for me, here are some questions I have. How compatable are the MacBooks with Windows programs, especially with the CS Suites and TrueType fonts? Have you ever run a Windows version of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop off of a MacBook? Do those programs run just as smooth on a Mac as they do on Windows? How would you sell me on a Mac as apposed to a Windows based computer?

Thanks again for the help guys....

You can run windows on a macbook, so it is just as compatible as any dell, hp, or gateway machine with windows-based programs. i would sell you because macs are the industry standard, they are easier to use, they don't get viruses, they don't get clogged with spyware, they don't crash or freeze, and on and on.

Little Anecdote on Macs not crashing:

When visiting my brother-in-law's place a few months back, it took about 2 minutes and a few clicks of the mouse for my 3 year old son to crash is MacBook... Don't know if my kid is a prodigy hacker-to be, but whenever we get in his apprtment now, he makes sure the computer is out of my son's reach...

I truly was not aware of that full 100% compatibility... you can really run ALL windows programs and Games???

May be time for me to consider a change of machine....

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Definitely don't blame you on that.

As far as the fonts go, they should work for both Operating Systems now. I believe that was one of the updates with 10.4.

When you update to CS3, I think you can get it for under $200 with your education discount. I think it is around $400 with it if you don't have CS or CS2.

Make sure you take advantage of student pricing if you can. I ended up buying CS3 for 400 (regularly 1200) and it came with a free font and thumb drive. Even if you wait on that, there are a LOT of good things you can get for your Mac or PC through student pricing. It's definitely worth looking into.

If you can save up the money, I'd suggest an iMac. Sure, you can go for the laptops, but I've never been a laptop guy. Got nothing against them, they're just not for me. I ended up getting the 17" Intel G5, 2.33Ghz, 160 gig hard drive, 2 gigs of RAM for 1700, AND I was able to write it off on my taxes. I've got Windows running on it, and aside from a few font issues, I've had no problems with it.

If you have a good PC, and you're happy with it, use it until it dies. And good luck. I miss those pre-college anticipation days.

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I own both a Mac and a PC. My MacBook Pro does run both Windows and Mac. However, to clarify, Windows programming runs under Windows XP or Vista loaded on the machine. This is either a dual boot config or under emulation. Mac OSX itself cannot run windows programming. You do need a copy of Windows to use your applications and games.

Your windows fonts will work on MacOSX. Also, as a person with CS3, the new suite works beautifully on IntelMacs.

I think buying a lower end MacBook would be the right choice, considering your long term plans.

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I use a Dell 600 or 6000 or something. I like it, although it could use some cleaning out. It ran me just under a grand, but I got a deal through some guy my mom works with. I don't have photoshop or inDesign (yet), but I don't have any real problems with Illustrator, unless I've got a bunch of programs running. I don't generally have anything open with Illustrator except iTunes and maybe an internet window for research. As long as I update my antivirus and such, everything runs smoothly.

Since I'm graduating this year, I'm probably buying a good Mac and the creative suite, but right now, I don't see the point in buying the remaining programs for my PC, and then re-buying them for Mac. Plus, the labs in our art building have everything I need.

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