Ask the PowerPage: PC or Mac Notebook?

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Date: Tuesday, May 30th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

Dear PowerPage:
I remember the first time I bought my first laptop, a Sony Vaio laptop with Intel Centrino technology. The first time I opened the box to my laptop I was really excited to use my Sony Vaio because it was a Sony Vaio. After two years of using the Vaio I have realized the benefit of the MacBook’s longer battery life and am now deciding to switch.
I often ask myself, should I really do this? Switching would mean changing operating systems from Windows to Mac. Should this be of concern?
A bigger concern for me is battery life. I normally use my notebook for long periods of time and it only runs for two hours on a charge. If I am sitting in the library and I need to use it for a long period of time, the PC is no good. From everything that I’ve heard this is where the Mac shines.
Apple’s notebook comparison chart states that the battery life of the MacBook is “up to 6 hours” and that the MacBook Pro is between 4.5 and 5.5 hours, but recently I went to a local store and the member of staff told that it only is really more like two hours. Is this true?
Thank you for any help with this important decision!
– Confused

Dear Confused:
The first thing to note is that if you buy a Mac you’re not only limited to using Macintosh software, you can still run Windows and Windows software by installing Apple’s free Boot Camp software, or by installing Parallels Desktop (US$49) – just remember to keep your WinXP CD.
On the issue of battery life, manufacturers always inflate their battery life estimates on notebook computers to the point of it being almost fraudulent. Their battery estimates are usually based on a “perfect world” environment: brand new cells, monitor dimmed and little or no disk or CPU access. This is not reality. I usually take Apple’s battery life estimates and half them for something closer to reality. For example: Apple claims that my MacBook Pro should run for “up to 4.5 hours” but about two hours and 15 minutes is more like it.
That said, jump right in and grab a MacBook or a MacBook Pro and you’ll never look back.
Readers: What are your thoughts on this buyer’s quandary? Should he go with the Mac or stick with a PC notebook?

Dear PowerPage:
I remember the first time I bought my first laptop, a Sony Vaio laptop with Intel Centrino technology. The first time I opened the box to my laptop I was really excited to use my Sony Vaio because it was a Sony Vaio. After two years of using the Vaio I have realized the benefit of the MacBook’s longer battery life and am now deciding to switch.
I often ask myself, should I really do this? Switching would mean changing operating systems from Windows to Mac. Should this be of concern?
A bigger concern for me is battery life. I normally use my notebook for long periods of time and it only runs for two hours on a charge. If I am sitting in the library and I need to use it for a long period of time, the PC is no good. From everything that I’ve heard this is where the Mac shines.
Apple’s notebook comparison chart states that the battery life of the MacBook is “up to 6 hours” and that the MacBook Pro is between 4.5 and 5.5 hours, but recently I went to a local store and the member of staff told that it only is really more like two hours. Is this true?
Thank you for any help with this important decision!
– Confused

Dear Confused:
The first thing to note is that if you buy a Mac you’re not only limited to using Macintosh software, you can still run Windows and Windows software by installing Apple’s free Boot Camp software, or by installing Parallels Desktop (US$49) – just remember to keep your WinXP CD.
On the issue of battery life, manufacturers always inflate their battery life estimates on notebook computers to the point of it being almost fraudulent. Their battery estimates are usually based on a “perfect world” environment: brand new cells, monitor dimmed and little or no disk or CPU access. This is not reality. I usually take Apple’s battery life estimates and half them for something closer to reality. For example: Apple claims that my MacBook Pro should run for “up to 4.5 hours” but about two hours and 15 minutes is more like it.
That said, jump right in and grab a MacBook or a MacBook Pro and you’ll never look back.
Readers: What are your thoughts on this buyer’s quandary? Should he go with the Mac or stick with a PC notebook?

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