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Dusty Chalk

Macbook Pro vs. Air vs. ...?

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My sister is in the market to replace her (now failed) Macbook Pro, and balked at the >US$2K price tag.  What is the current go-to?  iPad Pro?

What about outside of Apple?  Hackintosh?  I have an ASUS myself, using the reasoning -- just by the laptop from the company that makes the boards for other companies.

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Really depends on her needs, I don't think the iPad Pro can be used as a full laptop replacement but if she's just doing email, web browsing and social media stuff then it might work.

Outside of Apple - I'd recommend the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 for a traditional laptop.  For a convertible go with the HP Spectre x360 and for a tablet either the Microsoft Surface Pro or Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet.

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If she's already happy with the Mac interface, she's probably best sticking with it.  13" Macbook Pro is $1800.  If that's too steep, a second hand model (eg the 13" Macbook Pro without the TouchBar) is the best bang for buck.  Hackintoshes are great if you want better raw performance and enjoy the process of managing kernel dependencies etc but not recommended for laypersons.

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What about floor models/open box/etc.?  She's in Alaska, so she can't just pop into her local Best Buy (I don't think...I don't know, maybe she can).  Is there a good online store with great discounts?  I know the Apple Store has an online clearance section, as does B&H...I just sent her the link for B&H, there were a couple of mid-2017 models on there.

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dell xps 13's(current gen 9370 or previous gen 9360) are quite nice and a reasonable alternative especially if it's on sale.

Edited by dcpoor

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First tell us what she uses her computer for. All of the previous recommendations are sound. Unfortunately there is no perfect Windows laptop and they still haven’t figured out how to at least match the Apple trackpad. From Macbook Pro land some screaming deals can be had for Late 2015 models which are reasonably thin, just look out for battery cycles.

Then there’s the iPad. I used to have an MBP from where I used to work, but ended up buying the Texas iPad Pro. No, it’s not a full fledged laptop, but the new iOS can come close. It really depends on wether what you do can be done on an app. MS Office has great app support, so does Google. Things like Excel are a bit gimped, but for basic stuff it’s great. 

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I use my ipad pro 90% of the time at home.  Otherwise a current macbook air isn't a bad choice.  

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First of all, thank you for all of the advice so far.

Pars -- it died.  :peter:

What's she use it for?  In addition to web/email/social media, she also Netflix & bookkeeping/billpaying -- I do everything other than the latter on mine, but maybe I should...?  What say you all, is it safe enough for bill paying and money tracking?

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I've always been a Macbook Pro user, and tend to get a new one every 3 years or so. Just did this about a month ago. Great machine, with one nagging issue. The audio will just randomly cut out altogether while I'm watching a video source, be it a YouTube video, or live sports (baseball of late), and any kind of a video from Facebook, etc. 

So I Googled to see if it was a common problem, and if there was an easy solution. Appears to be yes, it's a common problem, and no, it doesn't seem to have been properly diagnosed and solved yet. 

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8466406

Should have mentioned that it's annoying as fuck. 

Edited by Wmcmanus
Wanted to mention it's annoying as fuck.

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Yeah, but she's...uh...frugal.  She ended up getting a Macbook Air from @strid3r and a cheap regular non-pro Macbook (open box or refurb or something), both for less than the price of a Macbook Pro.  We'll see if annoying video cutoff technology trickles down to the lesser models.

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