The time has come for me to purchase a new laptop and I was wondering what the wonderfully intelligent minds that light up the biblio-blogosphere would recommend. We have been loyal Dell users since college and I can’t imagine changing now. But I am curious to know what you use and would suggest. The primary purpose for this laptop is academic research and writing and preparing sermons every week. Everything else will be of secondary importance.

I am excited about Windows 7, so that’s a must. Otherwise, I don’t have many particular things that have to been in place. From the outset, I will say that I am 99.9% unlikely to purchase a Mac, but I’d like to hear what Mac users think.

Looking forward to your input.

Αυτω η δοξα,



13 thoughts on “Laptop”

  1. How about a netbook? I’ve had my eye on this one. for a while and believe that it will be my next computer purchase (this desktop just isn’t cutting it). It’s lightweight, decent battery life, and you can get a top of the line model for practically nothing.

    Whatever you end up looking at, I’d check out the review at cnet.com first. Well, worth a few minutes to figure out if there’s some problem.

  2. Matt: Thanks for the input. Honestly I’ve never considered a netbook. I know they’re more compact and all, but I like a big screen as much time as I spend on one. But let me know if you decide to get one and how you like it!

  3. I purchase mostly Dells for work and have no problems with them. Good builds, cheap prices, good support.

    The only warning I’d have in getting a laptop is to make sure it is not a high-gloss screen (increases glare, more eye-fatigue). Some laptops are also starting to come with a 16:9 ratio for the screen instead of the more traditional 16:10 widescreen, or 4:3 standard screen. I wouldn’t recommend the 16:9 unless you like squinting. Most work we do is in the vertical form, thus a wider and shorter screen is not so helpful.

  4. I have always had good luck with Dell. My current laptop is about three years old. It runs my WordSearch, Quickverse, and BibleWorks software without any problems.

  5. I can’t say enough about Macs. I know you’re saying you’re unlikely to get one, but at least consider it!

    I started using a Mac a year and a half ago, and I was scared to use a Mac. I had always been a Windows user, and I was uncomfortable switching to a system I knew NOTHING about. However, Macs have a very, very small learning curve, so I was able to start using it right away. Everything was so intuitive and user-friendly I was shocked!

    I run Windows via BootCamp on my Mac as well for the two programs I use that don’t have Mac versions. Every frustration I have with my computer these days is from the Windows side.

    I know Macs are relatively expensive, but it is SO worth the investment. The good news is that you’ll spend less in the long run because upgrades cost less (I just upgraded to Snow Leopard for $29). You’ll also have a computer that will last longer than a Windows machine.

    Here’s another plus: You know those annoying Windows Updates? None of that! Every once in a blue moon your computer will download an update, but it can do it without popping up a little balloon every time it does something.

    Virus software slowing down your PC? Not a problem with a Mac.

    I could go on and on, but I won’t. Just consider making the investment. You won’t regret it!

    By the way, here’s a link to some of the ministry software titles I find indispensable that are only available for Mac: http://www.anwoth.org/2009/11/17/the-5-ministry-software-tools-i-could-not-live-without/

  6. I use a MacBook. I worked with PC’s for years, but a couple of years ago I moved to Mac. I also did this for the computers we have in my ministry. It was a move of economics, really. More outlay in the beginning, but much longer use life and no constant expense of keeping them clean from virus etc… I am so glad I made the move (so is the office).
    I use Libronixs (by Logos) and have a low level scholar’s package. I also have a very fine Word Search Program. Both of these transferred all the libraries I had in my PC to my Mac editions. Neat.
    I designed and keep updated our ministry web site and my husband edits my work for our TV program – all on Macs.
    You said you wanted to hear from us.

  7. For what it is worth I am going back to using a PC in January when I get my new laptop. I have been using a macbook – good computer, reliable, but no different to any PC I have used.

    I am looking at a HP with an i7 processor….

  8. If you are worried about viruses, Microsoft Security Essentials is a free malware/virus removal package that works very good. AVG (the free version) also is rated highly.

    To do individual scans (not real-time protection), Malwarebytes Malware Removal Software is some of the best.

    But yeah, There are a lot of good brands these days. I would probably look at Lenovo or Dell or HP personally. I don’t often like the look of Acer laptops.

    You also should probably skip netbooks if you are using for most of your work. I have a netbook and love it, but I use my main laptop (with large screen) just as much. The netbook is good for forays to a coffee house with its 5.5 hour battery charge. (note: no cd player though).

  9. To be honest (as a Mac user) just about anything on the market will do what you want. It comes down to things like quality of screen and keyboard. (Personally I think Sony are among the best here) Oh, and of course price, where Sony are not so good.

    The main thing is to check all your software runs well on Windows 7, or whether you will have to factor in the cost of an upgrade.

    There are some reasons for considering a Mac for your purposes, which are about battery life and having the best bibliographic software currently available for academic work.

  10. Nick, Shaun, Andrew, Darrell, Will, Iris, Mark, and Doug: Thank you all for your input. I apologize for a blanket response, but the point of the post was for your input, not really a dialog. I must say that, even though there was only a .01% chance I would buy a mac, it was very well represented here! You guys are a tenacious bunch! 🙂

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