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apple laptop vs any other laptop

i am thinking of buying an apple laptop.

would you recommend buying apple vs sony, ibm, or dell?
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Apple would be a good choice now as it can also run XP either as a virtual OS(parallels) to the native Mac OS X
or as a separate OS under Bootcamp
I would agree with sparkmaker.  If you can afford an apple laptop I would go that route unless you work for a company that will not allow you to use your apple on their network.   Otherwise I prefer a Dell but that is just personal taste.  They are all pretty similar nowadays.  
Unless you are looking in the sub 1000 dollar price range then you cannot beat a Mac. If you match up the Mac line against the PC competition you will find that Apple product is not only cheaper but, in general, has more clear hardware advantages standard at the same or  at a lower price. While Mac has had some few notable klunkers in its product history, it is clear that overall  Apple tries to build product with dependability and longevity in the forefront. It is just as clear that all the other  PC makers are building product deliberately designed to begin imploding right as the three year extended contracts they push expire.  The other main advantage is that it is hard to buy a good laptop without Vista on it and Vista is a major work in progress. I have a MBP that runs OS X Tiger and Windows XP pro as a virtual machine. The only down side is in the gaming realm as Mac users traditionally have to wait months for new games to be ported and many minor titles never get ported at all. On the other hand, you can run boot camp, which is now standard with Mac OS X's latest release, Leopard  and run Windows XP native and play your games while booted to that partition. The final reason is that the PC world needs to be shaken out of its old  "Ford GM"auto industry "pump them out the door mentality." Case in point. Why the heck do PC's still come with bios. It is a stupid blind 20+ year old boot routine. Mac's EFi was designed by Intel and Intel expected it to be adopted years ago. The only reason it wasn't is that AMD made a psuedo 64 bit chip and forced Intel to only push it on the server lines. If PC makers start losing some real market share to Apple, then they will be forced to really improve their products and Os's. Then we could buy a great PC next time.
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It is helpful that the Intel Macs can run windows, and in general, the Mac Books are fine devices.

But there are 2 really annoying design flaws that make the Mac Book (their name for a laptop) still a secondary choice...

#1  Even though Mac OS supports and works great with a 3 button mouse, the darn touchpad has only a single button!!!  This means that unlike any other computer, you need to use two hands (or add on an external mouse) to preform simple operations.  There should be 3 or at least 2 buttons, you should not have to reach for the shift or control keys.

#2  Unlike even the cheapest no feature Laptops that you can buy at Walmart, the Mac Book does not have a PCMCIA slot.  So, the thousands of add ons that you can use with other laptops are useless.

I have a Mac Book, and I really like it, but because of those glaring omissions, I cannot use it on a daily basis as my primary Laptop.  I always need to have my Toshiba available in case I need to plug in a PCMCIA card for testing, or need a serial port to connect to a console...

If you have no need for those things, it is a great machine...
The pmcia issue could be annoying if you already have cards bought but I know the MBP line has an express card slot(I don't remember if the base line macbook has one) which are better as they have their own separate and wider bandwidth then pmcia which has to share the usb  bus. Pmcia is actually going to be a dead standard  soon even in PC laptops. There are too many potential  bus conflicts with poorly written usb drivers and , increasingly, mobile broadband speed requirements need the bandwidth of an uncluttered express lane. As per the right click, I gotta admit Mac just needs to get over it and build in the stupidity old right click button. In the meantime, you can right click on an MBP by doing a quick double fingered tap on the pad. You have to set it up in the mouse control panel though. It is still NOT as nice as is a separate button though. You can also buy a separate mouse wireless or wired and right click like normal. But, truth be told, I miss the right click button more than anything else on my mbp. Overall, however, the rest of the advantages far outweigh it  in the end.
Cláudio RodriguesFounder and CEOCommented:
Oh wait. I do agree the touchpad has one single button BUT you can enable it to emulate the second button (this happens when you put TWO fingers on the touchpad and click). You can do that under System Preferences.
The third button that we all use for scrolling, is emulated as well! Just use two fingers on the touchpad to 'scroll down'.
I have a MacBook and a Sony Vaio at home. After I got used to right click using the two fingers on the touchpad and to scroll that way as well, I can tell you, there is nothing more natural than that. It is a masterpiece of design using a single button for the mouse! Amazing.
For the PCMCIA slot, that is true. It has no slot for that. But to be honest, I have it on the Sony and I have NEVER used. The only thing I could think of that could be helpful is a 3G Wireless card but as these are available as USB, I really cannot think on anything these days that is PCMCIA only and not USB or ExpressCARD (PCMCIA is in a way obsolete - the new cards are called ExpressCard and are the standard on the new, higher end machines as the MacBook Pro).

Claudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP
Windows Server - Terminal Services
Yea, that is basically what I was saying but while I have retrained myself to the two finger tap wile on my mbp I find that I have to hit hard enough that if I do it enough too many times in a row, I my fingerpads get a little numb. I still wish jobs would just get over it and add the right click button.
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