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New laptop. Or mac. Or tablet. Or netbook. Which??!!

(18 Posts)
inthetide Wed 18-Sep-13 17:46:39

The laptop is dying. We have an iPad. But I need something for work which I can use to access work servers and work emails over vpn, all of which are Microsoft based.

I love the idea of a mac, where I don't need to wait an age for the thing to start up. And to have something which links with the iPad would be nice. But the Microsoft thing stands in my way. Can I create and edit MS-compatible documents on a mac?

If not, are netbooks really awkward to use for anything other than surfing the net? I like the idea of something small and portable for working with on the sofa.

I hate decisions like this. It feels like you are doomed to make the wrong one.

MrsPnut Thu 19-Sep-13 10:31:42

There is Office for Mac where you can use all the office suite of products just the same as you could on a windows machine. You can also partition a Mac to run OSX on one half and windows on the other half and can boot up in either.

I used to dial into the office using Citrix on my mac which was very easy.

TheFallenNinja Thu 19-Sep-13 10:32:44

Mac is definitely worth the learning curve.

inthetide Thu 19-Sep-13 14:14:02

Thanks for that. In what way, Ninja?

12thmonkey Thu 19-Sep-13 14:27:37

you can't go wrong with a mac. you can run office for mac, or use open office software.

you can run bootcamp which enables you to run windows on the mac if you chose. Apple have pages dedicated to this.

there is vpn for mac - windows connectivity.

there is no real learning curve iwth a mac, the mouse pad is gesture control that no-one else has really done as well as apple, that takes getting used to, but you'll wonder why you ever used a mouse when you do.

its expensive but the hardware and durability is well worth the money.

inthetide Thu 19-Sep-13 14:31:29

Would a second hand mac be worthwhile, or would we get frustrated with functionality? Do they end up going slow like pcs?

PinkFairyArmadillo Thu 19-Sep-13 14:35:07

Definitely worth looking into a Mac. I've only just started using one (a little MacBook Air) and I love it, I'm a total Apple convert having resisted them for years blush grin

I use Parallels to run Windows on my Mac when I need to use a Windows only program.

12thmonkey Thu 19-Sep-13 14:38:11

mac's don't really suffer the 'slow down' that pc's have. essentially they have no registry so there is no legacy from installing and uninstalling software that happens on a windows machine. macs are unix based not dos like pc's. basically a mac will slow down but will take a hell of a lot longer than a pc would and mostly because its physically getting worn out.

in terms of second hand macs, i've never bought anything else. i currently own a 2011 mac pro and it runs faster than most new windows pc's and i expect it too for a few years still.

i had a 2008 model i just sold, booted in 20 seconds.

if you can afford it get a mac,its what most windows users would do.

inthetide Thu 19-Sep-13 16:04:03

Ok I'm sold! Now I need to find out whether I can afford this utopia, and do all the model research. Can anyone help with the model numbers? Or point me in the direction of somewhere that can?

southeastdweller Thu 19-Sep-13 17:14:39

I think the Apple website has model numbers. You can get refurbished Mac's on there too, slightly cheaper than buying them brand new:

inthetide Thu 19-Sep-13 18:53:42

Argh, the jargon is too much for me! GHz, GB, graphic processors etc. etc. I haven't kept up with this stuff in recent years. What do I need for standard web surfing, vpn and Office use? Wild something like this be ok?

inthetide Thu 19-Sep-13 18:54:01


niceguy2 Fri 20-Sep-13 09:04:08

Think that would be a little on the slow side. It only has 2GB RAM but the owner has upgraded it to Mountain Lion (OSX 10.8) which is the latest operating system. All well & good except it's known to run slower on older hardware.

That said & done, it'll still be able to surf & use for Office. It's just a matter of how slow is too slow for you.

12thmonkey Fri 20-Sep-13 13:49:33

Thats a Macbook, they are pretty much redundant models nowadays. You should opt for a macbook pro.

a quick search for a bit more gives you this.

a much better machine. This is what i would be aiming for at around the £500 mark

inthetide Fri 20-Sep-13 16:50:26

A car service today, along with winter tyres, etc. and I will have to lower my horizons and think non-mac sad.

Being sensible now. How does cloud-based working work practically? Are there any glitches to working virtually? DH was telling me about the chromebook...

Well, we switched to a Mac as our main home computer about 2.5 years ago and I am definitely not feeling the love for it. Especially the Mac version of Word, which I find very frustrating compared to Word for PC. I went out and bought a Windows laptop in the end last year for all my word processing and am much happier with it. I doubt I'd buy a MAc again.

PacificDogwood Sat 21-Sep-13 18:50:59

Oooh, I am reading this with interest, thanks for all this info given on this thread. I did not even realise you could get reconditioned MacBooks. Off to search grin

TheFallenNinja Sun 22-Sep-13 08:01:41

In terms of the learning curve it's a case of everything your used to being there but just in slightly different places.

Your IT bods will be able to advise on the VPN But beware they don't fob you off with some guff about compatibly.

Office on the mac is the steep curve really, depending on how advanced an excel user you are will determine the curve but, like I say, it's all there just perhaps not quite where you may be used to.

I liken the move to having someone else tidy your house. All there just moved a bit.

On the upside if you buy new then the Genius Bar is your friend, if you can get to an Apple store they will happily address any concerns you have and they don't come in with tech speak guns blazing.

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