Friday night my laptop abruptly died. (“I don’t remember turning it off… uh oh.”) Luckily the hard drive is undamaged so I was able to recover the data (and I had a sorta-recent backup). Thus, it’s not a disaster, but I do want to replace it. I’m finding myself very indecisive at the moment, so any advice is welcome.
In descending order of priority, the new computer will primarily be used for:
- Thesis writing: text processing in LaTeX and vector graphics manipulation for figures.
- Data processing, likely in Mathematica.
- Photo editing
(That’s for the next six months, after that it may or may not get pressed into a whole new set of tasks depending on what sort of job I end up taking.)
The old computer was a Dell Latitude D600.
Here are some options (mainly driven by what I can get at a discount through UCB):
Apple Macbook Pro
Pro: Visually appealing, OS X seems nifty (but I haven’t used it enough to know for sure), Apple still the lesser evil as far as business practices.
Con: Expensive, all my current software is for Windows.
Pro: Familiar, customizable.
Con: My previous Latitude had three motherboard failures, for a lifetime of about 15 months, which does not give me confidence in their reliability. (The extended warranty was terrific, but I wish I didn’t have to use it so much.)
Pro: Inexpensive, can get Ubuntu preinstalled (but will probably want a Windows partition as well).
Con: Reliability concerns as with the Latitude.
Pro: Good reputation.
Con: Visually unappealing.
I’m leaning towards the Macbook Pro, but since I can’t get one instantly (they’re backordered). I have a few days to think about it. What other factors should I be considering? What other options have I overlooked?