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Depressed Man
February 25th, 2009, 11:04 PM
Well my Sony laptop is doing well, it was suppose to take me into graduate school but I've decided at the rate it's going it won't last due to the battery dying so quickly..(less then one hour even with brightness on low and wifi on).

So I'm considering buying another laptop.. I use Ubuntu as my primary operating system and boot into Windows occasionally. Right now I'm looking at various configurations and was wondering if anyone had the System 76 Bonobo or Serval. I wanted to see how it compared to the Macbook Pro equivilant. I've played with the System 76 configurations to match the specs of the Macbook Pro and it always comes out to be cheaper. So I'm wondering what other differences are there (screen, magnetic lock, etc..). I would also be installing Ubuntu onto the Macbook Pro if I went with that (dual boot). Battery life is important, I don't want it to die in one or two hours..

For RAM I would upgrade it myself most likely.. though it seems for System76 that RAM prices aren't jacked (so the benefit isn't as big for installing it yourself).

Also the college discount I would get probably isn't significant enough to close the price gap between similar models of System 76 and Apple. Dell discounts on the other hand (haven't really looked at Dells but I have some familarity with their XPS brand) could especially with their coupon codes. It would also come with Windows which I could use as a backup just in case.


Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this topic? I really didn't know where to put it.. since it isn't an Ubuntu specific issue.

Zenze
February 25th, 2009, 11:30 PM
I know one possibly significant difference is the screen, the macbook pro is supposed to have a very nice screen (the macbook however does not). Also, I don't know how long the 8 cell battery on the system 76 will last but I think the mac's will last 5 hours with normal use (surfing the web). While not an issue for me, you may care about weight, which you save about 2 pounds going with the mac. And of course... I am sure that they charge you a little bit for OSX where as Ubuntu is free :D

I have been doing a bit of reading on macbooks as I have been considering getting one. From what I have read the macbook pro that you are really going want is the one that comes out after Intel makes a mobile version of the nehalem. I don't know if you cant wait for that but it is supposed to be worth it.

Depressed Man
February 25th, 2009, 11:39 PM
Haha when is that coming out and how will that affect prices? And for anyone curious as to what my laptop currently is.. it's a Sony VAIO VGN-FE880E. It's basically an Intel laptop, intel dual core 2, intel wireless, intel integrated graphics card (which annoys me sometimes.. and makes me cry that it can even run Morrowind at a decent FPS). So I'm looking for something that'll let me do decent things with graphics. It doesn't have to run Crysis lol.

Weight isn't that big an issue for me either. The only issue with getting a 17 inch versus a 15 inch is "will it fit on a desk".

One issue for me is cross-platform capability. For example, I use Thunderbird in both Windows and Ubuntu right now. Sharing the same profile so emails in one are the same in emails in another. I couldn't do that if I were to start using native clients in each (kmail or Evolution in Linux and Mail for Apple). As far as I know Ubuntu can't read from Apple (HFS?) file systems yet so I would have to create an NTFS or FAT32 partition just to share Thunderbird across. (Not to mention there's the issue of my Yahoo and Hotmail accounts which until recently only started offering POP3 for free so I wouldn't have to use the webmail extension). But then again I'm pretty sure one of them still doesn't offer it for free.

I don't have to worry about things like iPhone compatibility since I prefer open devices like the Nokia Internet Tablets. And if I got any smart device it would be a Google Android device over an iPhone. So that hopefully would be more cross-platform.

Joeb454
February 26th, 2009, 12:12 AM
I bought a MacBook the other day, the 13.3"

I love it, it's fantastic. The size and battery life were important to me, and this suits me on both fronts.

I don't think there's that much difference between the normal MacBook's & MacBook Pro's now. But I've never had a System76 system, so I honestly can't compare, they look good, but I don't think they ship to the UK, so I never looked into it too much.

As for the MB vs MBP on screen's, naturally the MBP will have a better screen (they have to make it better somehow...) but the MacBook's is fine, if you're doing artwork however, I think the MBP would be better :)

50words
February 26th, 2009, 12:18 AM
Why not get a new battery? It's bound to be a lot cheaper than a new computer.

Skripka
February 26th, 2009, 12:35 AM
Why not get a new battery? It's bound to be a lot cheaper than a new computer.

Bingo.

Depressed Man
February 26th, 2009, 12:47 AM
True, but how long before that battery dies? I haven't heard good news about Sony batteries in a while. Not to mention I've been interesting in getting a replacement laptop and would like to explore the options.

Skripka
February 26th, 2009, 12:49 AM
True, but how long before that battery dies? I haven't heard good news about Sony batteries in a while. Not to mention I've been interesting in getting a replacement laptop and would like to explore the options.

It depends on how often you overcharge the battery....leave you laptop plugged in all the time-and you may only get 100-200 charge/discharge cycles before you noticeably lose capacity.

Or I'll ask you this-how long before your future machine you want to buy, has a dead battery-and what will you do then?

A$100 battery is 10X cheaper than a MacBook and what? 15X cheaper than a MacBookPro?

Depressed Man
February 26th, 2009, 01:13 AM
It depends on how often you overcharge the battery....leave you laptop plugged in all the time-and you may only get 100-200 charge/discharge cycles before you noticeably lose capacity.

Or I'll ask you this-how long before your future machine you want to buy, has a dead battery-and what will you do then?

A$100 battery is 10X cheaper than a MacBook and what? 15X cheaper than a MacBookPro?


True and often. Since I use it as my main computer (I don't use my desktop as much anymore).

sgosnell
February 26th, 2009, 01:15 AM
Overcharging isn't an issue, because the battery has protective circuitry. The issue is heat. If you leave the laptop plugged in all the time, the battery gets hot from the heat generated by the computer, and quickly weakens. With batteries, heat kills. Removing the battery when it's recharged is a good idea.

The choice of laptop model is very subjective. What is ideal for one person is unusable for another. Personally, I've given up big laptops completely, and my main computer is now an Asus EEE. It's small, light, and cool, uses SSD instead of a HDD, and I'll never go back to a big laptop. There are HDD-based models available for those who want them. But if you want a honking big monster, those are available.

Glenn Jones
February 26th, 2009, 01:24 AM
I've had a 13 inch macbook for nearly 2 years now and I've been quite happy with it. It's light, portable and very hard wearing as I travel quite a bit.

The only issue I've had is that the battery needed replacing after 13 month (typical a month after the warranty runs out!!!!). Apple do have very good after sales and replaced the battery at a reduced cost in "good will". I do however think the battery problem is quite common with laptops.

If I were you I'd just replace the battery on your Sony and read this:

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

Cheers

hellsgator
February 26th, 2009, 01:35 AM
Maybe you could check if you can "fix" the battery yourself. There are a lot of them that are just filled with rechargable batteries which you can replace with new ones. If you check on google you might find your type there and just replace the old ones with some tinkering.

Depressed Man
February 26th, 2009, 01:41 AM
Overcharging isn't an issue, because the battery has protective circuitry. The issue is heat. If you leave the laptop plugged in all the time, the battery gets hot from the heat generated by the computer, and quickly weakens. With batteries, heat kills. Removing the battery when it's recharged is a good idea.

The choice of laptop model is very subjective. What is ideal for one person is unusable for another. Personally, I've given up big laptops completely, and my main computer is now an Asus EEE. It's small, light, and cool, uses SSD instead of a HDD, and I'll never go back to a big laptop. There are HDD-based models available for those who want them. But if you want a honking big monster, those are available.


Yeah I have a friend who does that. I do hibernate/shutdown it at night and make sure it's well ventilated though. It just wouldn't be suitable for presentations and taking classnotes though (typing on that thing is uncomfortable!).

archer6
February 26th, 2009, 02:59 AM
I bought a MacBook the other day, the 13.3" I love it, it's fantastic.
Congratulations on your new MacBook!
I've been seriously considering one, and my only reservation is the shiny reflective display. How does it work for you? Is it bothersome or do you get used to it. I've been to the Apple Store a few times, but it's just so hard to tell with the lighting, and the fact that it's not the same as actually using it. A brief report would be appreciated.

Cheers...

Warpnow
February 26th, 2009, 03:14 AM
Yeah I have a friend who does that. I do hibernate/shutdown it at night and make sure it's well ventilated though. It just wouldn't be suitable for presentations and taking classnotes though (typing on that thing is uncomfortable!).

Once you type on the keyboard for a couple days...you forget its not normal sized. The AA1, for instance, has an 89% keyboard...the keys are not that much smaller than a normal laptop. After a few hours I was typing over 100 wpm on it.

I bought my AA1 for $250 and a 10 cell battery for $75. Using my two batteries I get about 13 hours of battery life running a modified ubuntu distro currently in beta caled Kuki linux.

But...if I were you...I'd just buy a new battery...search ebay.

ynnhoj
February 26th, 2009, 03:21 AM
The choice of laptop model is very subjective. What is ideal for one person is unusable for another. Personally, I've given up big laptops completely, and my main computer is now an Asus EEE. It's small, light, and cool, uses SSD instead of a HDD, and I'll never go back to a big laptop. There are HDD-based models available for those who want them. But if you want a honking big monster, those are available.
i've developed the same preference as you in laptops. i'm on the move often enough, and small and light are the two most important things to me. i bought a Lenovo S10 a few months ago, and it's pretty much perfect for me. it's a tad heavier than your EEE, but considerably lighter and smaller than my old Dell.

back to the OP: as others have mentioned, it seems a new battery would be more practical. or do you have any other complaints about the Sony laptop? it doesn't sound like it's too old :o

sgosnell
February 26th, 2009, 04:05 AM
After a day or so of practice, I found I could type on the EEE faster than on a standard keyboard. The keys are a little closer together, so you don't have to move your fingers as far, so it's actually faster. It does take a little practice, but not that much.

I do agree about a battery being a cheaper and quicker fix, though. Batteries die. They can only be recharged so many times, and the conditions under which they work affect that number, always adversely. You cannot expect a battery to last more than a couple of years at best, often less, depending on how hard you work it.

archer6
February 26th, 2009, 07:20 AM
I use a ThinkPad T60p workstation for work, as I need all the power & resources if offers. However I am truly enjoying my IdeaPad S10 Netbook with its great keyboard, 10.2" LED backlit display and high build quality. Frankly I'm using it far more than I anticipated. It runs cool and quite which encourages me to use it for longer sessions than I anticipated. I could not be happier.

Posted via BlackBerry Bold

fistfullofroses
February 26th, 2009, 07:36 AM
MSI Windbook.