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Bought a Toshiba portege ultrabook. This weighs like 2 pounds and is 7mm thick. That + laptop sleeve that fits in my bag = $. Paid like 650 on sale at bestbuy and has appropriate specs to get through school with.
i agree with GMATLA that Excel in Mac is not same as Excel in windows. however, i will still buy "another" mac once I turn in my office mac. I will have vmware, bootcamp with windows running just for Excel.
i don't want two computers at mba and the personal me can't live without mac.
I'll be using my 1.5 years old Acer Laptop with Windows 7, I have Full Enterprise version of Office in it, and the screen + Keyboard is big, so I feel quite convennient using the same.
Formula of Life -> Achievement/Potential = k * Happiness (where k is a constant)
I got the Lenovo T420S during the Thanksgiving sale (10-15% off) at the end of 2011. I start school this fall. I wanted a lightweight laptop (3.68 lbs) with a 14' screen and good specs. Also rugged as hell.
i5 processor, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB hard disk 7200 RPM. The keyboard is fantastic too! I got it for ~$900. And it has all the Lenovo attributes, scratch proof screen, spill resistant keyboard that drains anything poured over it, Lenovo thinkvantage, etc. I should be relatively bulletproof through my 2 years.
Last year for my personal use I bought an HP Pavilion dv6. I think I have about 4-6GB of memory on it, and enough processing power to handle whatever will come my way in b-school. HPs have a good name for PCs. I use Dells for work and like them also. I've never fallen in love with the Macs, but have always been a PC girl because of my IT work experience. My school recommends PCs although I think they give limited technical support to Mac owners, so I'm glad that my previous purchase will work well for me.
It really depends on your focus and how much support you anticipate needing. Macs are great and very user friendly. Office for Macs is not as good as Office for Windows, but it's still pretty good. If you anticipate using Excel frequently, the things missing on the Mac version will start to annoy you. It will also be more difficult to get support for a Mac. That's not a problem if you can handle your own tech support, but it could be otherwise. I work in IT (not helpdesk or support, but it still counts), and can tell you that many IT support personnel just don't want anything to do with Macs. They work in Windows (or Linux) all day and either can't or don't want to deal with a computer that they aren't as familiar with.
My opinion on buying a new laptop is, go with Lenovo or HP. They both make very good computers. They both also have nice ultrabooks, and I'm leaning heavily toward an ultrabook right now because of their low weight and good performance. Sony also makes nice computers, albeit usually more expensive. My primary problem with Sony laptops is that they come installed with Sony software, and some of it is impossible to remove without formatting the computer and starting from scratch.
I have a sony vaio and it's awful. I'd stay away from Sony PCS.
Honestly, I've been using a MAC for work and it's a much better computer then PCS. So if I end up in a finance-heavy job, I can always buy a cheap PC for excel and have my mac for personal reasons. Or just do bootcamp.
PC ultrabooks and Windows7 have really come a long way, making user experience as pleasant as using a mac. The new ultrabooks coming out this summer will catch up in terms of battery life, power use, portability.
If you're buying a mac, you're paying for the customer service and fit/finish/built of a mac. Which is outstanding compared to PC IMO.
I have to agree with Guy. I use windows 7 and office 2011 at work now, and it's much closer (and not coincidentally, much similar) to my Mac.
I would say at this point, a lot of the benefit from the mac relates to the "technosphere" Macs create when you also have an iphone, ipad, etc. I think this, along with the ease of use, are the reasons I'll wind up with a Mac.
If I had an Android phone and a kindle fire, I'd probably just grab a mid-level Toshiba or Lenovo.
Have used Excel for financial modeling extensively in my career and can assure you that the Excel version included in Office 2011 for Mac is NOT remotely similar for advanced uses to the Windows/PC version. The keyboard shortcuts are completely different and although it supports Visual Basic for Excel, many of the code modules that you can download online and/or will be provided by the school will only work on the PC version of Excel. That said, I use a MacBook Pro for almost everything else and believe that dual boot into Windows with the WIndows version of Excel should work fine.
Hope that helps!
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Has anyone worked extensively with the 2011 version of office for macs? My boss uses it at work and it seems to have closed the gap on the windows version considerably, at least at first glance.
If anyone's used the software for higher end excel use, I think it'd be beneficial for many of us to hear your thoughts!
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I too am an avid apple fan. I use a Mac at home, and a PC at work. I do quite a bit of financial modeling (VC for the past 2 years). Unfortunately, Office for Mac 2011 simply isn't the same as Office for Windows. However, I plan to keep using a Mac during my MBA and switching to Windows (dual boot) whenever some serious Excel work is needed.
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA
31 Mar 2012, 14:18