Laptop Decisions – Dell, HP, Lenovo, or Macbook Pro? (Part 1)

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MY techstreet blog on 2/6/2007


A few years ago, I was lured into purchasing a 15.4″ titanium Powerbook. The sleek and sexy looks, Unix based micro-kernel, and the promise of a smooth running Windows environment by way of Virtual PC beguiled me into purchasing Apple Computers mobile Ferrari.

So, why *dramatic pause* is the latest Apple Ferrari, the Macbook Pro, topping my laptop candidate list. Call me crazy, but it is hard to argue with the following stats:

  1. Processor and memory

    2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4MB on-chip shared L2 cache running 1:1 with processor speed

    2GB (two SO-DIMMs) of PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 memory; two SO-DIMM slots support up to 3GB

    667MHz frontside bus

  2. Display 17-inch (diagonal) TFT display, support for millions of colors; optional glossy widescreen displaySupported resolutions: 1680 by 1050 (native), 1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, 1024 by 640, and 800 by 500 at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1280 by 1024 at 5:4 aspect ratio; 1280 by 1024 at 5:4 aspect ratio stretched; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 at 4:3 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 at 4:3 aspect ratio stretched; 720 by 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio stretched
  3. Video and graphics supportATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics processor, dual -ink DVI support, 256MB of GDDR3 SDRAM.

And so on ad so forth…

You get the idea. And if not, feel free to visit the Apple website for more information on the 17″ Macbook Pro.

There are some cons to the Macbook Pro. The lack of an HDMI port would be one. The fact that the 160Gb SATA HDD is only 5400 RPM would be another. There are problems with the batteries overheating and warping the actual chassis of the Macbook Pro.

Then there are problems not so much with the Macbook Pro itself but more with when I plan to purchase. For example, at this time these machines do not come with a blue-ray or HD-DVD drive. They may within the next 6 months. Also, the new version of the OS is due out this spring, and I am sure I will not get a free upgrade coupon.

So, to finish the story of my first and only Apple Powerbook:

While I loved the look of the machine, I found the OS to hang frequently and that the G4 processor was not all it was cracked up to be. Since I work in a mostly MS Windows shop I had to run Windows 2000, and while technically I ran Windows 2000 in virtual PC, the performance just wasn’t there. In the end I sold the Powerbook on ebay and chalked it up to a lesson learned.


Why would I look to go down this route again? Why would I stick my hand in the fire a second time while I am still nursing the burn wounds from the first attempt?

  1. Three words “Core 2 duo”. (Ok, two words and a number)
  2. Even sexier chassis design with slick new features like the iSight camera
  3. Here is the biggie… The ability to natively boot Windows XP and now Windows VISTA
  4. The reviews are in and are almost all VERY positive on this machine. Some go so far to say that this is the most VISTA ready laptop on the market.
  5. 17″ screen running at 1440 by 900 (Love my Real Estate)
  6. You can opt for a 100Gb SATA HDD that spins at 7200RPM to replacethe 160Gb 5400 RPM SATA DRIVE.


Need to get a few questions answered. Let’s create the list shall we?

  1. Will the Macbook Pros have Blue-Ray and/or HD-DVD in the foreseeable future?
  2. When the next version of OSX is delivered this spring, what is the cost to upgrade?
  3. Can I triple boot with OSX, Vista, and a Linux Distro?
  4. Has the battery explosion issue been taken care of?And lastly
  5. Do I get my own “Switcher” commercial when I purchase an Apple computer?

I will keep you posted on my progress. I think my next bit of research will be on an HP laptop that I have been hearing about.




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