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Daughter thinks she needs a Mac laptop. Thoughts on alternates?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by JQuintana, Oct 10, 2018.

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  1. JQuintana

    JQuintana Stunt Coordinator

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    My daughter is a junior in high school and the school sourced Chromebook is not doing a good job for her schoolwork. Says it's too slow and lacks storage and so on.

    She is begging us to get her a new laptop (or similar) but is dead set that she "needs" an Apple Air. Honestly she knows nothing about computers and I think just said she wants an Apple for the "prestige" of saying she has a Mac. We use MS at home so nobody will be able to help her with issues if something freezes up or acts weird, or if she flat out can't figure out how to use a Mac feature. I much prefer to stay in the MS world.

    The work she does for school is mainly Word stuff, Powerpoint, and email. That's about it. By no means does that kind of work demand getting a $1200+ Apple laptop.

    So, are there any lightweight, yet powerful options we can look at that puts us south of $1000 yet offers good storage options, ability to easily use MS 365 apps and so on?

    I like the new Surface devices and new ones come out on the 16th. Can get pricey though so I need to watch that.

    All suggestions are welcome.
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Macs work as good as PCs on all Microsoft 365 products. Maybe better in some cases.

    There is some merit to the prestige of having a Mac but in general they warrant the price premium because they work elegantly and look great. They hold their value for 2 years or so where most PC products except GPUs go to near zero after opened.

    I’d buy a refurb 13’ MacBook Pro or air direct from apple
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    You could also consider an iPad Pro with a keyboard case. That solution is not for everyone but it has replaced a travel laptop for me
     
  5. skylark68

    skylark68 Supporting Actor

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    I just finished 3 1/2 years of law school (part time) and can vouch for the MacBook. I have a Pro but it ran flawlessly my entire time in school and runs Office 365 impeccably. I'd fathom to guess that around 90% of my class used a Mac. I concur with buying a refurbished Pro or Air. She'd probably have no trouble keeping it through college after she graduates and still be okay.
     
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  6. JQuintana

    JQuintana Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks folks. We're going to look at all options this weekend.
     
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  7. Message #7 of 18 Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    Honestly -- I'd truly like to know what it is that the Chromebooks can't do that's related to schoolwork and certainly anything as basic as Office365. Non Computer savvy, no Video Editing, nongamer

    I've used Chromebooks a little bit and that never seemed to be much of a problem.
    Accessing other non school related material/sites would be my guess -- video, you tube, entertainment website, Itunes, Netflix, running multiple Social Sites simultaneously, etc

    I couldn't fault the used Apple Mac or Airs. If you are really staying with something you're more comfortable with the MS Surface are nice, something like a Dell XPS13 (refurbs from Dell Outlets are usually a pretty good deal). I still have an issue with non user up-gradable units -- can't add RAM, can't add of change Hard Drives, easily replaceable Batteries, etc. Asus also makes some nice Apple Air like units -- thin light, durable, nice screens,

    Of course there's always the compromise situation for the Nike Air Jordan conundrum:
    Mom will supply the cost of a basic pair of normal shoes, Son can supply the supplemental dollars for the luxury upgrade from his disposable income
     
  8. JQuintana

    JQuintana Stunt Coordinator

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    Like a typical teen, all the info I get about the current Chromebook is it's "too slow!".

    Of course too slow suddenly means I need the best of the best to type my papers. LOL

    I definitely feel this update is more of a style need and she's not thinking practically that there are many more capable options we can get that doesn't cost us $1200 when all she's doing is typing and printing Word docs. The system she logs into is very locked down so the Chromebook isn't used for any form of entertainment. Strictly typing and reading papers.

    That's the frustrating part, she's thinking this as more of a fashion statement in the wanting of a Mac when in reality the true need is just for a device that has enough horsepower to get the job done for the next year and when she hits college, we review the next phase.

    We all know any device like this purchased today will be very dated by say her senior year. That is the main reason why I don't want to dump $1200+ on a device that will get tossed aside 1- 2 years from now. College may need a totally different set up depending on what kind of classes she takes.

    I'm going to take her out to Best Buy and we can compare all brands and options and hopefully she's see the light that this isn't a fashion show and we don't need a super high powered and pricey device to type Word documents and read websites.
     
  9. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Then just say, "no, what you have is good enough for now."
     
  10. JQuintana

    JQuintana Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like to, but if it's hindering her work, I need to get something to help out.
     
  11. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    Is it though? The school might be able to shed some light on if a newer/better laptop would actually make a difference on their system -- that's assuming her provided unit is functioning properly. Or if you have a spare laptop, you could go to the school and do a side by side comparison. I'm also assuming the school allows non School units to access the system

    If the Chromebook is pretty much locked only to the School System, then is the actual interface is the issue at all? I've used some Chrome stuff in an internal system and the speed issue was always coming from the other side. Comparing it to a top of the line Dell or Apple or a 5yo 3rd Hand Laptop or the Chromebook on the same system yielded virtually no difference.

    "My Internet's too slow, I need a better/faster/newer computer!" In the end the Internet/System was still too slow.


    Yes. I am aware of the teenager effect. As a going forward thing. Using a non-school unit, that does become a different issue which may or may not be amenable to logic
     
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  12. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter
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    What David said.

    But let's assume for a moment the school provided Chromebook is a low end model that isn't the best performer. If that is the case, it would seem to me looking for a higher spec'd Chromebook would be the first choice.

    Or you might just tell her she is free to purchase any computer SHE can afford and leave it at that. :)

    -KeithP
     
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  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  14. JQuintana

    JQuintana Stunt Coordinator

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    Ohh. That looks like a more tasty offer.

    Is it a decent offer and gonna be a long range contender, meaning will hold up software and hardware wise for a couple of years?
     
  15. JQuintana

    JQuintana Stunt Coordinator

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    Also, what about warranty?
     
  16. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter
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    From their site…
    These Macbook are NEW in condition, but come with a Woot warranty. This is why we can offer a discount. These were originally intended as warranty replacements, and held by Apple to support their customers. Now we offer them to you!

    Given that warranty stipulation and the fact that we will likely see new machines soon, I wouldn't bite.

    -Keith
     
  17. JQuintana

    JQuintana Stunt Coordinator

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    So Apple wouldn't honor any warranty? I plan to buy Square Trade warranty.

    Other than that, would this be good option for a teen needing to use for Office 365 and surfing?
     
  18. JQuintana

    JQuintana Stunt Coordinator

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    I talked to a co-worker in IT department and showed offer to him. He felt it would be a great deal for her needs. So we went ahead and did it. Got the sale price on 2 year Square Trade warranty as well.
     
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