Help!!! (Macbook vs. Thinkpad)

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
So I'm attending law school in the Fall and am trying to decide between a Macbook and a Thinkpad x60s. I love the Macbooks however their portability scares me. I know they weigh around 5 pounds and I feel that might be heavy for a student commuting from home to school 5 days a week, lugging the computer around everywhere. The thinkpad x60s weighs around 3 pounds, however after dealing w/ PC issues on my previous Toshiba I kept telling myself my next laptop would be an Apple. Is there anybody out there who is knowledgable about these two machines that would be able to give me an unbiased comparison (even though I AM at an apple site)?? Thanks!
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    I'm disappointed that Apple don't have a 12 inch laptop any more. The Macbook is quite a bit heavier. The Thinkpad seems to be a tablet too (maybe you have to get a particular model), which can come in handy as you can switch to portrait mode and it has a 7200 rpm drive. The screen resolution of 1024x768 is lower than the 1280x800 on the Macbook though.



    The Macbook also has the advantage of being able to run both Windows and OS X and it has nice things like magnetic power cord and latch. It seems the x60 has slower chips too 1.66 Core Duo vs 1.83 Core 2 Duo and Intel G945 vs Intel GMA 950 and I read it uses an external optical drive. I wouldn't buy a laptop without an internal optical drive. A 2.6 hour battery life is pretty crappy in the X60 too.



    I imagine you might be able to find a decent rival to the Macbook but I don't think the X60 is it. For features/spec vs price, Dell is quite good but they are rubbish quality and the machines are massive. Sony are good quality and make small machines but they don't have very good spec for the price.



    I had a Mac at university and it definitely attracts more girls so on that note, I'd say get the Macbook. I just reeeeeally wish Apple would bring back the 12" and also call it an ibook again.
  • Reply 2 of 83
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jdphc8


    So I'm attending law school in the Fall and am trying to decide between a Macbook and a Thinkpad x60s. I love the Macbooks however their portability scares me. I know they weigh around 5 pounds and I feel that might be heavy for a student commuting from home to school 5 days a week, lugging the computer around everywhere. The thinkpad x60s weighs around 3 pounds, however after dealing w/ PC issues on my previous Toshiba I kept telling myself my next laptop would be an Apple. Is there anybody out there who is knowledgable about these two machines that would be able to give me an unbiased comparison (even though I AM at an apple site)?? Thanks!



    In that environment, I would go Apple. You are going to spend a lot of time in the library and in class rooms using the LAN, printing, swapping documents with people. I had a Dell my first year and had nothing but problems due my PC being infected with all sorts of crap. Nothing sucks more than having a comment or brief all F'd up at 3AM because some sort of macro has screwed your MS word up. Less of an issue with a mac. My iBook got me through years two and three with no problems at all.



    On the down side, some schools provide limited support for Macs, so you need to be a little more self-sufficient. Although the things you will need support for will be simple issues like joining a network or adding a printer, rather then cleaning up an infected hard drive. (In case you haven't guessed, virus issues were very common)



    Whatever you buy:

    1. Get an external hard drive and create back-ups ALL THE TIME. No one is going to care if your PC dies at the end of a sememster.

    2. Buy a lock-cord and lock your PC to something. People can do nasty things to those around them when rankings are involved.

    3. Always remember: the first year is the worst, after that you're golden.
  • Reply 3 of 83
    You'll need Windows for some things, but I'd go the Macbook route. I'm just finishing grad school with my Mac and have had a much easier time of it all around than any ne else I know, primarily because the lack of time an effort fending off malware.
  • Reply 4 of 83
    Well I suppose on that note (and from what I've read) my best decision is to buy a Macbook after Macworld in January..... I really would love to have something slightly more portable.... 12 inches and 3-4 pounds would be perfect.
  • Reply 5 of 83
    1st1st Posts: 443member
    if I were you, I'll get a life drive from plam (399) and a Mac mini (599). (less money for two compare to one book). Assume you already got a LCD screen or TV some place at "home". life drive is enough for all the school work, easy to carry (need key board..). Mini could be excellent for both multi-media stuff as well as school work. Just in case you want to do some computer animation for plane crash law suit... Mac sure is better....(mini also easy to carry, bit heavy for daily trip... but sure can be made travel at X'mas..)
  • Reply 6 of 83
    mrsinmrsin Posts: 163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jdphc8


    ... however after dealing w/ PC issues on my previous Toshiba I kept telling myself my next laptop would be an Apple. ...



    MacBook - no question. From your comment, you already know this
  • Reply 7 of 83
    macbook
  • Reply 8 of 83
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 9 of 83
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis


    I just bought my Macbook and after 2 days of using it I stil absolutely love it as much as I did when I bought it.



    2 days...
  • Reply 10 of 83
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gar


    2 days...



    5 pounds is nothing.



    Macbook can run OS X and Windows too.



    Thinkpad cannot run OS X.



    Decision made.
  • Reply 11 of 83
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 12 of 83
    dentondenton Posts: 725member
    I'm going to be the dissenter. The X60s is a spectacular computer. With all due respect to Marvin, 2.6 hours of battery life is a joke, even for the 4 cell battery. If you buy the 8 cell high capacity battery (rather than just taking the 4 cell battery that comes standard), you will still be computing long after Marvin's macbook has packed it in. And if you _really_ want long battery life, you can also buy the "X60 Series Extended Life Battery" which attaches through the dock-connector, and is only .82 lb. This would still bring the weight of the X60s to less than that of the Macbook, and the X60s will run longer than a full 8 hour day.



    As you probably know, the X60s does not have an optical drive. This is one of the reasons that the compter is so light. Now, the only time that you will likely use an optical drive is to load software, or back-up files. Most of the time you will use a flash-based drive for transfering files, and you will not need to carry an optical drive along with you. It is a good idea, therefore, to purchase the X60 dock (which will have a CD/DVD drive, USB ports, power port, etc), that will just sit on your desk at home. If you do use your CD drive a lot, then this will not be the best arrangement, but I doubt that this is the case.



    One more issue with the X60s that you ought to be aware of is that it has no track pad. In my opinion, this is the computer's only fault (it can't run OSX either, but this can't be helped). I hate those little mouse-pointers that IBM uses. So you will likely need to get a mouse to take with you. I have a little wireless BenQ M310, which may be too small for a large person's hands, but is great for me.



    I guess the last thing that you ought to consider is that you are studying law. Being in a professional (and in a somewhat business related) field such as that, you may be constrained by not having a PC (I'm sure this is why other posters have been quick to point out that the Macbook can run XP through Bootcamp). This is probably not much of an issue, but I thought that I should at least mention it.



    The next time that I purchase a notebook, it will also come down to a choice between the X60s and the Macbook. Neither one is perfect (the Macbook is large/heavy and only comes with a glossy screen, the X60s has no trackpad and will not run OSX), but they are both great options no matter which way you go with it. Happy Buying!
  • Reply 13 of 83
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton


    Now, the only time that you will likely use an optical drive is to load software, or back-up files.



    Or watch DVDs or listen to audio CDs. I doubt people will rip a DVD every time they want to see a movie on the go. I wish one day we do get rid of optical drives once and for all and replace them with some sort of solid state storage but it's not going to happen soon and not having an internal drive would be enough to put most people off the machine.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton


    I hate those little mouse-pointers that IBM uses.



    I actually liked it when I used one. I thought it would be good if Apple used those on the Mighty Mouse instead of the ball.
  • Reply 14 of 83
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 15 of 83
    1st1st Posts: 443member
    "I wish one day we do get rid of optical drives once and for all and replace them with some sort of solid state storage but it's not going to happen soon and not having an internal drive would be enough to put most people off the machine."



    get rid of optical drive? possibly the opposite will be true... it would be nice to use optical drive use as RAM, to load software and run it on the flight... the box can be configured to any system as you wish (just like switch of a SIM card in your cell phone... get a new identity of the box)... just pop the right optical drive in... my 1.74 cents
  • Reply 16 of 83
    Wait a minute..... the X60 doesn't have an optical drive?! Which means that the compartment that slides open to place cds/dvds/etc. into doesn't exist, and only exists if you have a dock?! That's a big deal cause I use my laptop for lots of personal use i.e. dvd watching, cd/dvd burning, etc. It's pretty inconvenient that you can only do those things if you have a dock connected to it. That might make this decision slightly easier, I don't plan to be carrying a dock around with me anytime soon.... in the meantime though I'm probably gonna be smart and wait to buy in the early summer. Any idea what type of macbooks or anything else will be available then?
  • Reply 17 of 83
    The X60 is an ultra-portable notebook and you'd need the UltraBase dock with the DVD drive in it to access CD/DVD based stuff. It is designed primarily for travelling. The R60 for example has a DVD drive inside, but is also noticeably heavier.
  • Reply 18 of 83
    If you want a tablet computer that also has a DVD-RW drive in it, consider the Toshiba M400. If the tablet function is not needed, only SONY ultra-portable notebooks have optical drives in them. Otherwise, get a MacBook.
  • Reply 19 of 83
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1st


    "I wish one day we do get rid of optical drives once and for all and replace them with some sort of solid state storage but it's not going to happen soon and not having an internal drive would be enough to put most people off the machine."



    get rid of optical drive? possibly the opposite will be true... it would be nice to use optical drive use as RAM, to load software and run it on the flight... the box can be configured to any system as you wish (just like switch of a SIM card in your cell phone... get a new identity of the box)... just pop the right optical drive in... my 1.74 cents



    Never going to happen. Mechanical storage access has speed limitations that will limit what they can be used for. Flash is going to take over:



    http://www.trustedreviews.com/storag...eam-in-2006/p1



    5% of the power consumption of hard drives and faster read/write speeds, less heat, no noise, no danger of breaking due to dropping. Just have expresscard slots and we won't need optical drives ever again. We just need the price to come down a lot.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gwoodpecker


    only SONY ultra-portable notebooks have optical drives in them.



    Yeah, for a good notebook, I'd probably only look at Sony for portable models but as I said before, they tend to have lower spec for a higher price than a Mac. The 10" laptops looks great but they only have Core Solos. If Core 2 Duos are cool enough, I'd love to see Apple make a really small laptop.
  • Reply 20 of 83
    On the weight issue, I'm doing law at KCL in London and I carry my MBP around quite a bit; it's never annoyed me yet. Chances are, one book will weigh as much as or more than your laptop, so it's a bit of a non-issue.



    I'd definitely get the Macbook. 110%.
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