Work laptop decision

May 19, 2011 9:20 am Published by 6 Comments

My laptop at work is getting a bit long in the tooth and is due to be replaced in the next couple of months. I currently run Ubuntu on a Dell laptop. The laptop is elevated on a dock next to another screen. I have two choices:

Choice 1: MacBook Pro. Arguments in favor:

  • Apple makes the best laptop hardware anywhere. Period.
  • I’d be able to dual-boot to OSX, which I have nothing against, it’s just not my preferred environment. I could hypothetically do things like play Steam with my OSX partition.
  • Multitouch mousepad is so nice.

Choice 2: Dell E5520. Arguments in favor:

  • The Linux support for the MacBook Pro is imperfect, especially wifi.
  • I like the way I do stuff in Linux, and if I switched to OSX (for wifi, for instance), there will be a learning curve.
  • There are docks (whereas MacBooks have some third-party stands but no real dock solution).
  • 15.6 inch widescreen, instead of 13″ (which I’d have to get to keep the MacBook Pro under budget).

What are your thoughts?

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  • Rob says:

    As much as I love my MBP, I’d say go with the Dell for budgetary reasons, and the fact that you primarily use Linux.

    Before taking the dive to a Mac, maybe play around with a Hackintosh first to see if you’d like the switch.

  • Ellyn says:

    Have you considered an ASUS laptop? I have one and consider it to be really solid hardware.

  • Plutor says:

    Dell and Apple are pretty much my only choices. Dell because we have a corporate account and discounts and company-wide warranty and whatnot. Apple because, well, several people have them.

  • Manish says:

    I would say go with the Dell. Basically for the same reasons as Rob mentioned

  • Brian says:

    Make sure you do some research into the hardware included in the Dell laptop. Even Dells don’t always come with well supported (in linux) wifi, video, etc. hardware, as is evident by the laptop I currently have from work.

  • Plutor says:

    Ubuntu 10.10 is certified on the E5520. I’ll probably be running 11.04, but I’d be more than shocked if that somehow broke support.

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