apple vs. MS in laptop???

I have to buy a new laptop. I want to spend under 1K. My priorities are:

-Small and lightweight more impt than big screen
-Good battery life
-Used for writing and editing, online surfing, storing music and photos

I do not want to use Open Office because I've had very bad luck with it, so the computer either has to come with MS Word or has to be cheap enough that I can still have enough money left over to buy it.

Also, I have never used a Mac, but most writers and graphic artists I know do. The reason I never did is because I was married to an engineer for many years and he hated anything Apple. Now I am willing to consider an Apple laptop, but I just don't know anything about them. Like, do they come with some word processing program that I can use that will work with Word if I am exchanging docs back and forth with an editor?

All thoughts welcome.


Elizabeth said...

We bought a Very Good Mac laptop from craigslist for 300 bucks. Everyone says it was a steal.

Clisby said...

Microsoft makes Office for Macintosh:

I've never used a Mac, but I would guess Word/Excel documents should be usable by both platforms. I don't know whether this would be loaded by default, or whether you'd have to buy it separately.

karrie said...

I have a new MacBook and love it. The base model is abt $1k, new. It included a 30 day trial of Word, but we already owned a copy, so that was not an issue. Maybe you could split the cost of the software with a friend? I believe Office can be used on 3 machines--there are separate code you key in when you register for each machine.

Like Elizabeth mentioned, you can probably find an iBook or G3 or maybe a G4, for a couple hundred on Craigslist. Or if you know any software engineers, ask if they have an Apple developer's discount and would be willing to hook you up.

billie said...

I've always used Macs and my Office for Macs package has been fine wrt sending ms pages back and forth to agent.

The Macs do come with their own word processing program, but I don't think it's interchangeable with most pc's.

We homeschool so were able to buy at the student rate - and put the Office package on 3 of our computers (all Macs).

If you're earning as a writer, you should be able to deduct these expenses, at least partially!


Suzette said...

But you only get the student rate if you order it online. Or so I was told by the Apple store in K-town. But I really don't prefer Mac

Anonymous said...

I used to be a PC person, until I got my first Mac. Once you go Mac, you NEVER go back! The platform is much more stable, less risk of viruses, no pesky drivers to load (most things are plug and play on a Mac)....and easy, easy, easy to use. I was scared about making the transition, but felt comfortable with the Mac within the first day I had it. Office for Mac works great and I think I paid $150 for it online....I use Word, Excel, and Powerpoint regularly. You can get a base model new Macbook for a little more than $1k (also check out the refurb page on the Apple site), and it will have plenty of oomph to do what you want it to do. Take the plunge!

billie said...

We actually buy all our student software in the local apple store, but maybe it's b/c they know us - we have bought a ton of stuff there since they opened. They know we homeschool and they told me we qualified to buy the student version several years ago - I wouldn't have even thought to ask!


djuggler said...

I have a client that has a Mac and I am primarily a Windows PC user. I have a client that uses mainly macs and have had to help them through some issues. In doing so, I became very familiar with the new macs.

My next desktop workstation will be linux based. My next laptop will undeniably be a Mac. The publishing tools on a mac are so nice!

For finding out if a Mac is to your liking, go to West Town Mall and spend some time in the Apple store. They will let you spend days just playing on their machines. A sales person will joyfully walk you through the machine and address all your concerns. They even have classes and workshops. Today from 3pm-4pm is their "Getting Started" workshop: "Got a new Mac? Thinking about getting one? Learn how easy it is to use a Mac at the Getting Started Workshop. We'll show you the basics, including setting up your new Mac, connecting to the web, sending email, importing and sharing photos, syncing music to your iPod, connecting a printer, and searching and organizing files." Comes around again Dec 9.

Sidenote: My computer experience started with PCs and DOS along with Apple ][s. I then moved on to Unix machines and pcs then due to my job was forced to become initimate with the Mac classic up until their performa line where I jumped ship back to PCs.

Arlene said...

My husband bought a Mac Book Pro at the apple store at west town yesterday...

Macs will run Windows and Mac OS now as long as they have a Intel processor. So you can have your cake and eat it too.


Anonymous said...

"Maybe you could split the cost of the software with a friend? I believe Office can be used on 3 machines--there are separate code you key in when you register for each machine."

Illegal. You can install on multiple machines YOU own. Sharing is a no-no.

Don't know if your ex was a Mac hater, or just knew that a Mac for an civil engineer is impractical. Almost all engineering software is PC based. Unless of course you get the new Macs that can run Windows as well. But what would be the point then, just get a cheaper PC. All that said, if I was only doing word processing, internet, and multimedia, then a Mac would definitely be an option.

Anonymous said...

Mac's come with a word processor that can be opened in Microsoft Word.

Anonymous said... has refurbished macbooks for $850, a great deal - and they have a year warranty. go to to check out specials from all over the web.

i use macs at home and windows machines at work - no contest!

and when you're in the coffee shop using the wifi, it's cool to have your mac. ;-)

Jay said...

A friend who's a professor says that her students have had trouble with the new MacBooks. I'd be inclined to wait to buy one of them.

OpenOffice continues to get better. I think (but don't know) that your problems with OpenOffice had to do with it saving files in its own format rather than the proprietary format that you use in other places. OOo reads and write MS Office documents pretty well (sometimes better than MS Office does). Have someone change the defaults so that it saves things as .docs and I think you'll probably be OK. But then, I'm an irrational zealot. I don't really understand how anyone uses word processors anyway.