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Warturtle

Debate Computer

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As of this year, I've been debating with my Dad's Dell Latitude D610. It works ok, but it bluescreened on my in the middle of a speech once, only has Word 2003, is slow, and the touchpad is a pain in the ass to deal with. I'd like to get a new laptop for debate next year, and one that I can continue to use through college.

 

Would you recommend a mac heavily over a windows, or vice versa? Keep in mind I've used Windows all my life and have become fairly proficient, and while I like the user interface of macs it would be a learning curve for me. Does it really matter one way or the other? One thing I want to keep in mind is the possibility of a mid-round USB-spread virus. That would suck hard.

 

What features should I look for in a debate laptop, besides the obvious like multiple, accessible USB ports?

 

Does anyone have some specific computer recommendations?

 

If I were to get a Macbook Pro, what size should I get. I can already tell just by looking at them that I would go blind attempting to spew off of a 13", but do you think I should bump up to 17" or will 15" suffice?

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I'm gonna get a macbook pro for college next year, not because it's amazingly superior (at least, that I know of,) but because peer pressure in the debate community has been eating away at me since paperless became a big deal in policy. My current laptop is really nice and has a widescreen (perfect for reading cards and less scrolling down) but I feel like it'll almost be mandatory in college to be a cool kid.

 

More than that, it'll be super sexy to transfer speeches to my ipad over the cloud during rounds.

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I'm gonna get a macbook pro for college next year, not because it's amazingly superior (at least, that I know of,) but because peer pressure in the debate community has been eating away at me since paperless became a big deal in policy. My current laptop is really nice and has a widescreen (perfect for reading cards and less scrolling down) but I feel like it'll almost be mandatory in college to be a cool kid.

 

More than that, it'll be super sexy to transfer speeches to my ipad over the cloud during rounds.

 

I thought the majority of debaters didn't have macs? I know this is true in high school, and the college debaters I know also use PCs. Macs are a pain because programs like synergy that are really useful don't work on them, so you have to pay another couple hundred dollars to get parallel (or whatever that thing that lets you run windows on a mac is called).

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Skip the mac. You can easily get yourself a good windows machine for half the price, then put Ubuntu or Mint (or even DebateOS if you like, although there's not a lot of difference from stock Ubuntu or Mint which you can easily customize how you like) on it and have functionally the same thing without all the ridiculous shit that comes with Apple. With the money you saved, get yourself a nice wireless mouse, a bag to carry all your stuff in, a cooling lap pad, or whatever other stuff you need.

 

Apart from that, skip HPs and Gateways, they break all the time. Asus is a good brand.

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, then put Ubuntu or Mint (or even DebateOS if you like, although there's not a lot of difference from stock Ubuntu or Mint which you can easily customize how you like)

 

From someone who just switched back from Ubuntu to Windows 7, stick with the Windows OS. It's so much nicer when more stuff is compatible and you don't have to use Wine. Linux systems are really good sometimes, but it's so much harder when there's not universal adoption.

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I used a windows computer for the first two years in high school debate. My junior year I switched over to a 13 inch mac book pro and although I love all of the other perks that come with having a mac, debate is absolutely not one of them. Unless you install bootcamp or parallels (which make your computer slow) you will be at a structural disadvantage attempting to make speeches efficiently. Aside from that, the price really isn't worth purchasing a mac only for debate. If you are in creative design or some sort of music major then I guess there would be other reasons for you to get a mac that might outweigh the disadvantages of the debate uses.

 

If you like the mac look/ feel but want a superior computer running windows, this is my vote:

 

http://www.dell.com/html/global/xps13/xps-13-ultrabook.html?c=us&l=en&s=dhs

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Apart from that, skip HPs and Gateways, they break all the time. Asus is a good brand.

 

I really wish someone had told me this before I got my computer. I got my Gateway just over a year ago, and it's already falling apart. I've had to put another $250 or so into it already, and there are still problems with it.

 

I've also heard good things about Toshibas. That will probably be my next laptop (and it seems like I'm going to need a new computer sooner than I wanted to)

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I've also heard good things about Toshibas. That will probably be my next laptop (and it seems like I'm going to need a new computer sooner than I wanted to)

 

I've had a Toshiba for about a year and it runs great. I haven't had any major difficulties with it, just do regular maintenance that you would do with any computer.

 

I've had two HP's before, both of them ended up with crapped out motherboards within two years and I didn't do anything with them other than basic internet, microsoft office stuff, and casual gaming. So yeah, I've sworn off of HP.

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I use a Sony Vaio EB. Its got a really wide screen for reading cards and its not too heavy or anything either, so it works really well.

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Macbook right here bitches! Seriously though, while there are lots of good Windows computers mentioned above, a Mac would be a pretty good computer to get for a couple reasons: 1) you can partition your hard-drive and install windows on part of it so you can still use synergy or whatever windows word template you used on your old computer. 2) as far as computers go, it is very user friendly and very easy to get used to, and (based on personal experience) generally encounters less problems than windows computers of similar prices.

 

however, if you're someone who does a lot of programming and stuff on your computer and is very familiar with the Windows operating systems, then you'll probably want windows. Macs are nicer from people who aren't total computer hacks.

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Macbook right here bitches! Seriously though, while there are lots of good Windows computers mentioned above, a Mac would be a pretty good computer to get for a couple reasons: 1) you can partition your hard-drive and install windows on part of it so you can still use synergy or whatever windows word template you used on your old computer. 2) as far as computers go, it is very user friendly and very easy to get used to, and (based on personal experience) generally encounters less problems than windows computers of similar prices.

 

however, if you're someone who does a lot of programming and stuff on your computer and is very familiar with the Windows operating systems, then you'll probably want windows. Macs are nicer from people who aren't total computer hacks.

 

Get a PC. His mac is the viewing computer.

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I'm gonna get a macbook pro for college next year, not because it's amazingly superior (at least, that I know of,) but because peer pressure in the debate community has been eating away at me since paperless became a big deal in policy. My current laptop is really nice and has a widescreen (perfect for reading cards and less scrolling down) but I feel like it'll almost be mandatory in college to be a cool kid.

Worst reason to buy anything ever.

 

Macbook right here bitches! Seriously though, while there are lots of good Windows computers mentioned above, a Mac would be a pretty good computer to get for a couple reasons: 1) you can partition your hard-drive and install windows on part of it so you can still use synergy or whatever windows word template you used on your old computer. 2) as far as computers go, it is very user friendly and very easy to get used to, and (based on personal experience) generally encounters less problems than windows computers of similar prices.

 

however, if you're someone who does a lot of programming and stuff on your computer and is very familiar with the Windows operating systems, then you'll probably want windows. Macs are nicer from people who aren't total computer hacks.

 

Maybe I'm biased, but if my technologically retarded mom can use windows, I think it's safe to say that you have to be a 1337 hacker to use a Windows machine. And I would like to point out that windows computers of similar prices to macs tend to have awesome specs compared to macs and good hardware. Actually, you can get the same specs as a mac machine for at least 300 bucks less for a computer with windows.

 

My real 2 cents:

 

Get a Mac if you do a lot of music or video editing, feel like Windows is impossible to use, and want to be like Lifeline (this DA obviously outweighs anything else).

 

Get a Windows based machine (not PC, PC means Personal Computer, fuck all of you who say PC to imply machines with Windows) if you care about price, don't care about being trendy, like gaming to an extent, debate software functionality with no loss of computer performance, recognize that Windows computers aren't hard to use when you do maintenance, want easy access to third-party software, want to do everything a Mac claims to do better with marginally less performance.

 

For real price comparison between a Macbook Pro and my fave brand of Toshiba on pricing and specs:

 

 

 

 

Macbook Pro:

15-inch: 2.2 GHz

  • 2.2GHz quad-core
    Intel Core i7
  • 4GB 1333MHz
  • 500GB 5400-rpm1
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB GDDR5
  • Built-in battery (7 hours)2

  • In Stock
  • Free Shipping
  • $1,799.00

Toshiba Satellite P750-BT4G22 Laptop

Processor Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM processor 2.2 GHz (3.1 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology), 6MB L3 Cache Microsoft® Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64-bit, SP1 Memory 8GB DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM (4096MBx2) Hard Disk Drive 750GB HDD (5400rpm, Serial ATA) Graphics Controller 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M with NVIDIA® Optimus™ Technology Optical Drive Blu-ray Disc™ RE with SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Double Layer drive KeyBoard Options Glossy Black LED Backlit Tile keyboard Battery Lithium Ion Battery (12-cell)

 

$1,434.21

 

 

 

Notice how the Toshiba's specs are better, yet it costs less. OH, and the Toshiba price is the total price, I customized it to be pimp. The Macbook Pro was just the subtotal listed on the main page

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Wouldn't let me edit to add to that, but keep in mind that the toshiba laptop is a high performance model designed for dealing with hefty programs, so it's not a cheap model relative to the more "everyday" laptops that most people in this community would need or want.

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The key to a debate laptop is the ability to play Starcraft 2. It seems trivial, but believe me, it's essential.

 

Specwise, this would mean something like an Intel i5 processor

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This is my computer:

 

http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_PC/Eee_PC_T101MT/

 

I paid under $300 for mine, but they don't make this model anymore.

 

I prefer the sheer portability of a netbook--debate applications (MS Word, Synergy, PDF, iTunes, Internet browser) DO NOT take much system resources. I have a desktop that I do my more intense applications on (Music conversion, Video rendering, gaming).

 

These netbooks are LIGHT--we're talking around 4 pounds or so, which is great when you're lugging it around for 3 days straight at a tournament.

 

It'll be Round 4 before you even have to plug in. Longer if you have your Wi-Fi off. I have upwards of 8 hours of battery life on my machine.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-1025C-MU17-BK-10-1-Inch-Netbook-Black/dp/B0071N3AYC/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1332348449&sr=1-4

 

By far, the best value for the price as far as a debate computer goes.

 

 

 

 

I've learned over the years that Laptops are things that get outmoded quickly. You're probably going to replace it every 3-4 years, so why shell out upwards of $1500? Unless you are in a specific field where you need intense computing power (Graphic Design comes to mind) most of these less powerful machines work great.

 

I work as an engineer, and even some of the more intense applications I use for work do great on my netbook.

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fuck all of you who say PC to imply machines with Windows

 

I hate this, and I don't even know a lot (read: I know almost nothing) about computers.

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From someone who just switched back from Ubuntu to Windows 7, stick with the Windows OS. It's so much nicer when more stuff is compatible and you don't have to use Wine. Linux systems are really good sometimes, but it's so much harder when there's not universal adoption.

 

This is true to an extent. If you do something heavy (video or audio editing for example) or do a lot of gaming then Windows is a better option. But my point was simply that if you like the Mac userland/GUI then Ubuntu and Mint have a similar experience. Plus there's not as many compatibility issues as there used to be, and a lot of Windows programs have comparable versions on Linux. The only real problem is document compatability, but that's not as much of an issue anymore because Office 2010 has native compatibility for .odt files (or at least it's supposed to). Besides, Wine isn't that bad.

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Get a Windows based machine (not PC, PC means Personal Computer, fuck all of you who say PC to imply machines with Windows)

 

Any ideas for a name less awkward and clunky than "Windows based machine"? Otherwise, the benefits of typing 17 fewer letters outweighs the disadvantage of being technically incorrect if everyone gets what you're saying anyways.

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Any ideas for a name less awkward and clunky than "Windows based machine"?

 

1. Windows

2. Non-Mac (allows for Linux OS's too)

3. Any brand of laptop not made by Apple (Toshiba, HP, etc.)

 

Just some off the top of my head.

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I just recently switched from a macbook pro to a Dell XPS, and I find it much better. My biggest reason for staying with the mac was that it just looks better than windows. It seems more sleek than Dell, however I have ran into problems with my mac (granted, mostly because there are a decent amount of restrictions on my macbook due to it being a school computer), but I've found that the Dell XPS is much cleaner, faster, and its very easy to use especially if you are proficient with windows. The XPS is also much more light and slim, so it doesn't take up as much room on the tabletote and it is lighter to carry around.

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You can get new laptops specifically the Macbook Air from Mac at around $999 these days.  You might want to get Apple Care too, which I think may be $150 or so for a couple years.

 

http://www.apple.com/macbook-air/

 

You can get used laptops from PowerMax that are re-furbished for around $500 to $550.

 

https://www.powermax.com/productcategory/used-macs-macbook

 

I guess it depends on how much you you have and want to spend.

Macs are user friendly and tend to crash less than PCs.

 

BTW, you're going to want to get a case and/or laptop bag, so that you care for the laptop itself (they run about $40 to $50 or so).  Analogous to a cover for your phone.

 

http://www.apple.com/shop/mac/mac-accessories/cases-protection

 

Remember to get one that specifically fits your computer if you get a case.  And even if you get a bag, you don't want to get one that your laptop just shakes around in or could.

 

Happy shopping!!!

Edited by nathan_debate

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