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Which operating system / computer would you guys recommend for a teenager? =P. Nineteen years old and I want a new laptop. My price range is don't worry about it, I have enough for most. xD. I enjoy gaming and internet browsing and watching movies. xD

What are the perks of that very operating system and or computer? Don't let this turn into a war please. :]
 

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If your looking for the high end games, itll be hard to find a laptop that can fun at full settings. The few that can, wont be able to in 6 months times. If your going for a gaming computer, your best bet is a desktop.
 

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I'll be honest: aside from the gaming aspect, I would strongly consider that you look at a Mac. I've been a Microsoft user since the mid-80s (MS-DOS on the IBM PC XT, for anybody who remembers that desk anchor!), and have had every MS OS up through Vista on a variety of different platforms.

But last year we converted to Macs after a very frustrating tussle with new Vista HP laptops, and my only regret is that we didn't switch over years ago. Macs are more expensive, but in terms of speed, stability, reliability, and ease of use, Windows systems don't hold a candle to it, and it's waaaay out there for multimedia applications. There's also software you can get that lets you run a Windows or other OS on your Mac in a virtual machine: I set that up for the couple of legacy programs I needed that didn't have Mac versions, and I have to be honest and say that they run better and faster on my MacBook Pro than they ever did on dedicated Windows platforms.

As for games, there aren't many for Mac, and I've never tried to run any on a Windows virtual machine; I suspect some would probably be fine, others wouldn't. Another decision we made some time ago because of having so many problems with running games on our Windows machines (some games behave well, many don't and caused me a lot of hassle) was that we went and got a dedicated game console. That made life for me as an "admin" MUCH easier. It's not portable, but that's no biggie: get a PSP or an iPhone... ;D

Finally, support: if you have a local Apple Store, there are people right there who can help you out. The only downside is that there are usually so many people mobbing the store you may have to wait a bit (unless you make an appointment on-line). LOL!
 

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If you will be using it for college courses, you should check with your university to find out what specs they have.  Many schools nowadays have specific models you can purchase through the college bookstores:  decent deals with on site warranty service while you're enrolled.  As a minimum they'll tell you the specs you're 'required' to have in the sense that any programs you will be required to use need that level of memory etc.

If that's not an issue, you have to decide what you want to do with it.  I'm partial to PC's because that's what I started on.  I use XP, hubby has Vista, but we've also loaded Ubuntu Linux which is real nice.  I'd move to Linux entirely except that one or two programs that I use a lot don't work with it. . . .but someday they will.    I've also used a Mac since that's what my dad has.  I'm sure I'd be content there, too, once I got used to it. 

Ann
 

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ogie287 said:
I prefer XP over Vista. That's the main thing that we look for when buying computers/laptops. We usually buy Dell.
I recently bought a new computer. I bought a new system for my work and decided to order the whole package, program and computer, from the same company, mainly because the new system will not work with Vista, only XP. I too have had many Dells and have had few problems over the years. But in order to get XP Dell was going to charge me x amount of dollars more. The company I was ordering from offered a Toshiba, which I was a bit wary of only because I've never had one. But when I took it to my tec guys this week they had very nice things to say about it. I considered a MAC, but alas, programs I use are not compatible.
 

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Windows is an operating system which is not tied to a computer brand and Mac is a computer brand that also has its own operating system.

Macs can run Windows; no other computer brand can run the Apple OS.

Windows, particularly Vista, doesn’t run well on machines that don’t have enough resources. A high end computer with Vista can do anything that a Mac can do.

There are, and will be for the foreseeable future, more programs for Windows because Apple makes it more difficult for independent developers than does Microsoft.

Hackers don’t take an interest in Macs with the Apple OS because they’re a very small market segment. Hence, Macs are safer when they run the Apple OS but just as vulnerable when running Windows.

There are more local Windows “experts” than Mac “experts”.

In my experience, the Toshiba is the most reliable laptop but I haven’t bought a Mac laptop recently and they may have improved.
 

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Well, I don't intend for this to become a Mac vs. Windows debate <big grin!>, but just to touch on a couple of points Jeff brings up that were important to me when we were in the market to replace our HPs and were looking at Macs:

- A high-end Windows PC can do anything a Mac can do: I agree, but I also believe (based on my experience) that in general a Mac will do it better and faster. For one thing, the core of the current OS (Leopard) is based on UNIX, which is the most stable and capable OS in widespread use. As for faster, in terms of startup times and lags when starting programs, etc., I've owned and built some high-end Windows machines up through Vista, but my MacBook Pro blows them all away in that category. And if you're looking at working with graphics or video, Macs are hard to beat.

- Apple makes it more difficult for independent developers than Microsoft: definitely true. But the result of this is that the resulting software tends to be far better behaved, both because of the control Apple exerts over their code distribution, and because the base hardware is all Apple-made. The OS doesn't have to contend with all the potential software conflicts that arise with the infinite variety of components used in Windows machines made by a bazillion vendors.

- There are more local Windows experts than Mac experts: I agree, as this is based on the relative market segments and number of users (and it's true that Macs form a much smaller, but growing, segment of the market). However - again, based on my experience - a Mac will generally have far fewer problems requiring you to find an expert. :)
 

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If you really want a gaming laptop expect to pay at least three times that of a desk top. Don't go to a store and buy one off the shelf.

Go to a website like:
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/

I am a huge gamer and so is my husband. We both have cyberpower desktops and love them. We also have off the shelf (Best Buy) laptops just for work and net surfing.

Stores like Cyberpower will build your laptop to your specifications though they do have prebuilt gaming laptops.

No offense to mac users, my husband uses one at work because he is a graphic artist, but IMO if you want to game on your laptop DO NOT get a mac. Macs are great for heavy graphical work but other then that .. meh. Plus macs give you less bang for your buck, their peripherals are more expensive for instance.
 

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I bought a 15IN MacBook Pro last week after being a DOS\Windows guy for since the early 90s. Accept for the lack of Mobopocket Creator, I'm very happy.  You don't have to worry as much about Spyware and viruses.  It is still technically possible, but the risk factor is a lot less.

I'm also a professional database developer on Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, and working on VB .NET skills; I can do Network Admin stuff in a pinch, so I know Windows well, buy my wife's Vista laptop convinced me to get the Mac. 

If you don't want a Mac, maybe you should hold off until Windows 7 sometime later this year. 
 

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Geemont said:
I'm also a professional database developer on Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, and working on VB .NET skills; I can do Network Admin stuff in a pinch, so I know Windows well, buy my wife's Vista laptop convinced me to get the Mac.
Hubby is a developer and can't stand Vista. We're an XP family.
 

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The highest end laptops that I know of would be Falcon Northwest Laptops.

At the moment they come with 2 9800GTX GPU's and a intel quad core 3.0 GHz CPU, and they come perfectly overclocked, so you get the most out of all that high powered hardware.

http://www.falcon-nw.com/

But as someone pointed out, you can get a higher end desktop especially if you build it your self, that way you know you have all high end hardware. When ever you buy a dell or HP you have to assume they use the cheapest parts they can, to increase there profits. Just something to think about if you don't absolutely need portability, also I don't know if you've ever carried around a gaming laptop before but its not fun, they way a ton. I bought a 17" semi high end dell (This is before I know that dell and HP didn't make quality computers) and I just refused to lug it around to all my college classes, so it set next to my big 50+ pound custom built desktop, and basically never got used, now its almost worthless. Just some food for thought, I've been down the gaming laptop road before and found it to be a waste, I never played games on it anyway bc my desktop, which was twice as fast and half the price was right next to it.

If I was you, I would look at the new macbook pro 17in, it has a 8 hour battery life. Obviously you won't get that long playing games but that's twice if not three times more battery life than any other 17in laptop on the currently on the market.
BTW I'm now totally a Mac fan, I will never go back, the Mac pro, which is apples high end desktop is faster than ANY gaming PC on the market, with 8 CPU cores at 3.2 GHz and up to 32GB of RAM, nothing can touch it, and its only going to get faster when the new one comes out with 16 CPU cores, should be out in march. plus with the new OS coming out called Snow Leopard, all intel mac systems should run twice as fast bc apple will start utilizing all the cores of a CPU more efficiently, plus if you have a discrete GPU, it will use it as a CPU to, to making your make at least twice if not three times as fast as it was with just Leopard (the current OS)

Any way I could go on and on I better quit now, let me know if you want to hear more about macs?
 

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ogie287 said:
Hubby is a developer and can't stand Vista. We're an XP family.
My hubby is a developer, too!! XP family as well. I even have my XP set to look like Win98... can't stand software changes! lol
 

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Okay I'm weighing in. Don't go with a Dell. I've had a couple of dell laptops and so has my mom. The cursor constantly jumps around and types in the middle of the sentence above or opens something else up. It drives me bonkers. My mom has the same issue with hers. 

I recommend HP with XP. They have several options (and some good gaming ones) that allow the downgrade to XP. Also get a 3 year warranty and anything happends you send it to HP who has a very quick turn around time.  I work for an IT company that supplies computers to businesses Law offices, doctor offices, hospitals etc. They stopped working with Dell, Way to many issues. Now I know there are some out there that are dell fans. Good for you not having issues but the amount of computers that we have worked with Dell was the biggest problem.

As for MAC, personally I would get one myself except for the fact that it's not compatible with half the programs I use. :(  Though I do hear that the Sims 3 is coming out in MAC as well. Yip I play the Sims so that probably negates everything I just said LOL.  ::) :eek:

theresam
 

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Will you be doing anything besides leisure stuff with your laptop? If you're in college, what is your major? What type of games do you like to play?

If money is no object, I will always say go with the Mac. I use all three main operating systems regularly, and the Mac is my favorite. Though if you're not really into one OS over another, take at look at the specs of the systems your considering. Since you're going to be playing games and watching movies I would recommend no less than 2 GB of RAM (mine has 512 MB and I can still play games, but keep in mind the systems and games are all three years old, and in the past year have started being really slow), go higher if you can afford it. Get the fastest processor that fits into your price range. If you will be storing a lot of movies/music/photos, get a large hard drive. Mine has 60GB, and that is nowhere near enough; I have to use an external. But I don't think they even sell computers with less than 100 GB anymore, so I'm not expecting that to be a huge problem. Just remember, if you buy the highest-end things right now, 3+ years down the line your laptop won't suck as much as those who cheaped out, and are now regretting it (like me).

In my major (Physics/Astronomy), I have worked with several professors on computational research. I take a bunch of computer science classes. The vast majority of scientists (that I've met) use Macs, both for their research/work and their normal/fun/everyday computing. If you do any programming, or have to use the command line a lot, you can't do better than Linux or Mac, both of which are based on Unix.

One more thing: don't get a white laptop. My white laptop is no longer white, especially the keys and trackpad. And the keyboard is especially a pain to clean, since you can't completely detach it. If you get a metal-encased laptop it will likely last longer than a plastic one, especially if you carry it with you everywhere.
 

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nebulinda said:
One more thing: don't get a white laptop. My white laptop is no longer white, especially the keys and trackpad. And the keyboard is especially a pain to clean, since you can't completely detach it. If you get a metal-encased laptop it will likely last longer than a plastic one, especially if you carry it with you everywhere.
DecalGirl has a solution for that LOL. Laptop skins!! :eek: ;D

theresam
 

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bkworm8it said:
Okay I'm weighing in. Don't go with a Dell. I've had a couple of dell laptops and so has my mom. The cursor constantly jumps around and types in the middle of the sentence above or opens something else up. It drives me bonkers. My mom has the same issue with hers.
My Dell laptop is about five years old and I am just experiencing that problem. Never had it happen before the last couple of months.
 

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gertiekindle said:
My Dell laptop is about five years old and I am just experiencing that problem. Never had it happen before the last couple of months.
Unfortunately mine waited until my 90 day warranty died LOL... Guess maybe I should have gotten a longer one :) it would have been nice if it had waited 5 years but alas it's only a couple of years old. I'm learning to double check my typing before moving on or watch the cursor. Though I forget from work to home. <ggggg>

theresm
 
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