Alexis Zarembski

Looking for a macbook alternative

13 posts in this topic

Hi

i'm looking for a new laptop

and i was wondering is there any alternative, i'll say more low budget than a macbook

the idea is to use for personal and business tasks and also to do some recordings on it

 

thanx

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with what DAW software? some are more selective

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What about buying Apple refurbished? I read something about the way Macs handle audio  specifically core audio. I'll try and find the link and post it. 

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There's really no real competition in the Windows world, that's any cheaper at least. I bought an Asus gaming laptop some year ago and I've been happy with it. It's held up quite okay. Done some music and sfx editing on it. It does the job, but as far as looks and build quality it's nowhere near a MacBook. 

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There are very good PC laptops, you get what you pay for, and the price point of really basic PC laptops goes WAY down below that of Macs.  Those computers are ok for simple edits and file transfers and simple playback jobs, but more than a few tracks of live recording hasn't worked out well for me.  I had very bad luck with Apple refurbs, we don't do that any more for mission critical computers, like for recording live.  If you want to use Boom Recorder or Metacorder, the two main movie type recording apps, you have to be on a Mac.  Reaper works well on either, so does PT but I don't recommend it for field recording.  

p

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I purchased a refurb macbook ten years ago and it's still working just fine, though it is stuck in the past since the processor will not allow me to upgrade the OS (and subsequently apps) past a certain point. The latest version of Pro-Tools I can run on it is 7.1 but that's fine for my needs :)

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Just bought a new CromeBook @ 129 bucks.  Works for very simple task like only web browsing, email, and a few other limited task.  Keep in mind that it's google-centric. However, the battery last for 3 days, it works great, way portable... and 129 bucks!

For recording, I have a MacMini on my cart that functions as a 3rd recorder, and basic functions like transfer files, wave agent stuff, and sound report.  Plugged into one of my monitors though HDMI, and a wireless keyboard.  This allows a lot while on your cart, even web surfin.

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In terms of build quality I'd probably recommend something from Lenovo's T or W series. I bought a T420 6 years ago. It's been dropped, knocked around, stuffed into checked luggage, and despite needing one $50 RAM upgrade, I still use it all the time.That model specifically was one of the last designed by IBM engineers.

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For location work I bought an HP Mini and put an SSD into it

File backups and BWF Pro logs and email is all I need when I'm out and about

Cheap, small, 6 hours on a battery and cost $250 in total

mike

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Yeah--same here, on my 3rd PC laptop for that same work now after the first two were destroyed on location.  Better these cheapies than the 3 Mac Books that preceded them that were either broken or stolen on location, at 4x the price of the PC laptop each. 

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One good choice is the Lenovo ideapad 100S.  It is one of those Atom Z3735F Baytrail Quad Core laptops which are very fast have good battery life, a great, full size Keyboard for an 11.6" Laptop, and it is RED so it is easy to see when someone is walking off with it.  It has full version of Windows 10 and runs all windows software. It is actually a little lighter than the Macbook Air 11" and has 2 full size USB 2 ports and an HDMI port and Audio I/O port without needing dongles or adaptors.

It has a small SSD for speed but has a Micro SD card slot so you can expand the storage an additional 64GB for about $19.

On occasion these can be found on sale at Best Buy for $150 (right now they are $179) and include a free 1 year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 personal ($99 value)

Lenovo Ideapad at Best Buy

You can buy 5 of these for the price of one Macbook Air 11"

And if that is too much money Fry's has a Vulcan 11.6" on sale with promo Code for $129.

Same chipset, memory, SSD, and ports as the Lenovo (except mini HDMI instead of full size).

More spaced out keys so easier typing but NO included Office 365 trial.  Large Touchpad but lacks discrete trackpad keys that the lenovo has. And the Touchpad driver is not installed so you get the generic Mouse driver which dosen't do things like detect and disreguard palm touches when typing..   

Usually on sale at Frys for $100 off.

Vulcan 11.6: Laptop at Fry's

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I would suggest trying to find a manufactur refurbished Dell XPS 13 (2015 and newer). Fantastic quality laptop that is small, powerful and has great build quality. 

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