1. DaniPhiSig's Avatar
    Hi all!

    So my HP laptop has officially died. Like, the motherboard committed suicide died (it was almost 10 years old).

    Needless to say, I am in need of a new laptop. Here is my struggle.

    I have always used PC. Desktop was a PC, laptops have all been PC's. I use an IPhone, and have for years. (LOVE IT..so much I skipped on waiting for my upgrade and got myself a gold shiny 6!)

    I am thinking of going over to Mac completely. I have been comparing the Air and the Pro...my budget doesn't allow for the highest end, but I know that the Mac's are very good machines, so even with a lower end one, it's still getting my money's worth.

    I am an event planner and producer. I'm on the road a lot. I use my laptop to email, internet, watch movies on flights/road, layout design (not crazy graphic, but enough that I need to actually see in color what I am doing), spreadsheets, documents, and the occasional graphic design situation (not really skilled but I can do the basics). Some of my clients do send me their documents on a CD/DVD versus a flash drive, so while an internal drive would be nice, I could get an external if I needed too.

    Realizing that this is stepping into the Mac vs PC debate, what would you experts recommend and why? For Mac, do you prefer Pro or Air and why?
    02-23-2015 02:47 PM
  2. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    Air because you travel a lot. 13" to give you a bit more room when doing graphics work. Try to get 8GB RAM. For storage space get as much as you can afford but you can always get an external drive later.
    02-23-2015 03:38 PM
  3. BreakingKayfabe's Avatar
    My god, if you were doing that work on a 10 year old PC laptop I don't see how even the lowest-cost MacBook Air wouldn't suit your needs. But that is if you even want to go that route. If you stick with a PC notebook and pay less but get more specs (RAM, CD drive, etc.) then I don't see a reason to move over to a Mac. I base this solely on the fact that your 10 year old laptop fulfilled your needs, present day.
    02-23-2015 04:04 PM
  4. Algus's Avatar
    The most important thing is to ensure that all of the programs you want are available on the platform you target. To be honest this isn't really an issue with Windows or OS X these days as OS X typically has versions or acceptable alternatives to major commercial software. Specialized software that you might need to use if you work for a company would be a different case.

    I really like Macs (and MacBooks) but there are a lot of great Windows laptops out there as well. I've actually only just added a Pro to my lineup as I was strongly considering replacing my old laptop (a chromebook) with a Windows machine. Both the Asus Zenbook and Dell XPS 13 really caught my eye and to be honest, I recommend you check them both out. For me it came down to preferring OS X to Windows. I feel like I would have been sorry if I had bought a very expensive laptop and not been able to run my preferred OS on it.

    Now I prefer OS X because it is organized much as Mac OS has always been. Things that were in a certain spot when I was using System 7 in grade school are still there now. For me, I like this constancy. The experimenting Microsoft has done with their UI, like Metro and even going back to the ribbon in Vista and Windows 7 annoy me. I'm sure these are fine for people that learn to use them but for me I don't want to have to relearn to use my computer every time a new version of the OS is released! OS X also requires less day-to-day maintenance compared to Windows to keep trim and running smooth. I can't say I will always only use Macs but I will probably have at least a desktop Mac. If Dell keeps making computers like the XPS 13, I can't guarantee I won't break down eventually!

    This is just a bit of why I prefer OS X but if I were on Windows, it would still meet my needs. It has all of the major software (or acceptable alternatives) that I use. I think MacBooks make a lot of sense for most people because of the excellent build quality and the fluidity of OS X. However, they do not make sense for everyone. Gamers, business design professionals, and people who need rugged computers can all find better selections among non-Apple computers. For you it sounds like a Macbook Air would offer excellent portability and battery life over your current setup but I wonder if it would be durable enough. If you are a heavy traveler and the laptop will be tossed around a lot in a bag, you may wish to consider a Dell Latitude or a Lenovo ThinkPad which are designed for a bit more rugged travel. The Air was originally meant for traveling business professionals and it is great for this but I wouldn't want to toss it in a bag in a car and let it get jostled around constantly. There are all manner of cases and protective sleeves that you can buy as well, so that is worth considering too.

    There are many excellent external USB drives for both Macs and Windows computers. I use Apple's own SuperDrive because I am a sucker for Mac designs and like having all my stuff match but there are cheaper alternatives as well. I would not be concerned about buying a computer that doesn't have an internal optical drive. These drives are common failure points on laptops (I burned them out in all of my machines that ever had them) and add extra weight that you really don't need if you know you won't specifically need the drive.

    For your stated use case there are many computers that would fit your needs, really depending on what kind of budget you have. I have linked my two favorite Windows alternatives to the Macbook Pro above, but really that is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of great computers out there, though if you were to ask me which ones look the best and are the least trouble to use I would definitely come down on the side of Apple.
    02-23-2015 04:39 PM
  5. DaniPhiSig's Avatar
    Thanks for the advice!

    Since this would be my first time owning a Mac computer, how does compatibility work when transferring over the hard drive from a PC. 99% of it is photos, documents, videos, spreadsheets, etc., with some items being just programs I would see if Mac has in the Store.
    02-23-2015 05:12 PM
  6. Algus's Avatar
    Odds are it is as simple as loading your personal data onto an external drive and popping it over to the Mac. Unless you are using some obscure app that has its own file system, your documents, pictures, etc. will work just fine on OS X. Pages supports the Microsoft Office .docx format for instance and image formats are fairly universal.

    There are tools like Migration Assistant on OS X that can help you move files but if you keep your data organized on your current computer, it is as easy as copying that data to a flash drive and moving it over.

    For programs you would have to get a Mac version (don't copy a Windows .exe file and expect it to work!). Usually this means buying the Mac version if you have a lot of paid software but you might be able to get the vendor to give you a key for the OS X version, if there is one. Note that Macs come with a lot of useful software already. I use iWorks (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) rather than Microsoft Office. You could of course buy the Mac version of Office or download LibreOffice if that was your thing.
    02-23-2015 08:26 PM
  7. shief24's Avatar
    The Mac Pro with Retina display is pretty light and portable. I am a student and I barely feel it in my bag compared to the cheaper 2012 macbook pro non-retina. For portability you can't go wrong with both. I think the Air is good enough to handle all of your tasks but at the same time the Pro is a beast. You probably won't miss not having an internal drive as I have never needed it personally and Apple is moving away from that technology. Your phone and MacBook will play nice together with the new handoff features (its cool being able to make phone calls and send texts from your Mac). Ultimately you can't go wrong with both but I suggest not getting the 2012 Pro (its heavy and my moms is slowing down after 1 year) and getting an Air or a retina pro if you can afford it. The retina is great for your lay out design tasks and you'll realize texts and pictures are crisp and wonder how you ever used non-retina.

    My suggestion would be to get a retina pro if you can get it at a good price and if not you'll love the MacBook air as a runner up! Oh and check the refurbished site for good deals.
    02-24-2015 10:10 PM
  8. BreakingKayfabe's Avatar
    Algus, a slightly related question about file conversion and a shot in the dark. I still have files and docs from having used Microsoft Works. Yes, Microsoft WORKS. These are .wdb files. Is there any possible way for me to get these convereted into Pages? They're database files that I even have trouble converting to Excel.
    02-25-2015 01:24 AM
  9. Algus's Avatar
    Oh my god, I haven't used Works since the 90s! It was the main productivity app on the Macs at school LOL. I might still have it installed on my old Performa.

    Pages does not support Works documents directly. I know there are converters available for Windows and Office used to allow you to open the files, though not necessarily with formatting intact. There are some apps on the Mac App Store that offer viewing and conversion but I cannot vouch for their reliability as it is not something I have ever needed.
    BreakingKayfabe likes this.
    02-25-2015 09:09 AM
  10. Not Quite Right's Avatar
    02-25-2015 09:35 AM
  11. Not Quite Right's Avatar
    Algus, a slightly related question about file conversion and a shot in the dark. I still have files and docs from having used Microsoft Works. Yes, Microsoft WORKS. These are .wdb files. Is there any possible way for me to get these convereted into Pages? They're database files that I even have trouble converting to Excel.
    This might help ...
    Open WKS and WDB files in your speadsheet programm
    BreakingKayfabe likes this.
    02-25-2015 09:40 AM
  12. DaniPhiSig's Avatar
    I went and played with both, and the Pro just feels so heavy in comparison to the air. Yes the Pro is a beast, but 1. It's a bit of money, and 2. I don't know that I need every single thing that comes with having the Pro. Most of my event photos and videos are on a flashdrive for easy transferring to my portfolio, so I don't need a huge drive on the computer.

    Damn Apple for having options! haha.
    02-25-2015 02:18 PM
  13. BreakingKayfabe's Avatar
    I went and played with both, and the Pro just feels so heavy in comparison to the air. Yes the Pro is a beast, but 1. It's a bit of money, and 2. I don't know that I need every single thing that comes with having the Pro. Most of my event photos and videos are on a flashdrive for easy transferring to my portfolio, so I don't need a huge drive on the computer.

    Damn Apple for having options! haha.
    I'd also just play around with other Windows notebook options, if you haven't already. I'm still hanging on the fact that you used what you said was a 10 year old laptop for the work you did.
    02-25-2015 02:21 PM
  14. qbnkelt's Avatar
    I was thinking of getting the Pro but I saw the Air and I fell in love. So it'll be the Air and I'll customise it a bit.
    02-25-2015 02:41 PM
  15. shief24's Avatar
    I went and played with both, and the Pro just feels so heavy in comparison to the air.
    Non-Retina pro? or retina?
    02-25-2015 05:07 PM
  16. DaniPhiSig's Avatar
    Well I bit the bullet and ended up going with an early 2014 refurb Macbook Air from the Apple website. Having that Barclay card financing thing helped too. 13" screen. I am very excited to receive my laptop and play with it, learn about it even more, and be a complete Apple fan, not just with my IPhone 6.

    Thanks for all of the advice and help everyone!
    BreakingKayfabe and Algus like this.
    03-02-2015 12:13 PM
  17. Honey Beagle's Avatar
    I purchased a Dell XPS 18 computer. Looks like an overgrown iPad but operates on Windows 8.1.

    The computer is one fast puppy.

    Power options are battery or AC Adapter.
    03-02-2015 03:58 PM
  18. PortCity79's Avatar
    Congrats on your purchase! If you are concerned about not having Microsoft Office you can always get Office 365. For a monthly or yearly fee you can have it on all of your devices. I use it on my MacBook Air, iPad, and iPhone and it works seamlessly.
    03-03-2015 08:43 PM
  19. Honey Beagle's Avatar
    I prefer a much simpler application like NotePad.
    03-04-2015 12:05 AM
  20. hearmeoutx's Avatar
    Congrats on the new MacBook! I love mine and I can't imagine going back to a Windows laptop now. When I upgrade to a newer one I will definitely be going with the MBP for more storage space, but that is really my only complaint about going with the MBA over he MBP.
    03-04-2015 08:29 AM
  21. DaniPhiSig's Avatar
    I've only had my MBAir for 12 hours and I am in freaking love. This is going to be a really great investment :-)
    hydrogen3 likes this.
    03-04-2015 01:03 PM
  22. RavenSword's Avatar
    I've only had my MBAir for 12 hours and I am in freaking love. This is going to be a really great investment :-)
    id love to hear your thoughts of what you like (or maybe dislike) coming from years with windows.
    03-21-2015 03:00 AM

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