Hi, I study industrial design, i don’t know nothing about which computer i should buy, what do you recommend?

I don’t want to buy a Mac because i work whith programs that don’t are available for mac.

And what do you think about windows vista?

Thank, emilia

I know you mentioned you did not want to buy a Mac. However, the new Macs can run all the PC software you will need.

From a design perspective you will appreciate the Macs ability to bring out your creative side.

Whatever. Macs don’t make you (more) creative.

If you’re looking for a PC that is geared toward design I would seriously consider a Tablet. I am using the Toshiba Tecra M7. Its the widescreen tablet. I run every piece of design software I need (Adobe CS, Pro/E, Rhino, Solidworks, Alias Sketchbook Pro, etc.) without having to switch OS. I am at 2Gig of RAM and I am starting to bog down a tad on quite a large Pro/e assembly. But no more than it ever did on my desktop from 3 years ago.

I am using XP so I can’t comment on Vista.

I have the Tecra m7 also. It’s great for on the go. The only thing I don’t like is the color accuracy. Once I transfer files to my towers the colors are all off. I’ve been trying to tweak it for days to get it to match my regular monitors, it’s a no go. So I’ll use it for sketching administration and modeling work. But then I have to connect to the towers at home for final output so I can tweak the colors.
If you could only get one tower, I’d say a mac. Then you can run all of the pc programs also without dealing the the pc os interface issues. If you’re getting a laptop for ID, go for a tablet spec’d high enough so you can do 3d.

it has been proven that macs increase a designer’s creativity by a factor of 1.25, though the average joe’s creativity is increased tenfold on a mac; so if youa designer it really isn’t worth it…

that being said i also co-sign on ip & skinny’s recommendation of tablet pc it is a great tool (just make sure you get a service plan!!!)

I also have the M7…though I don’t know if they’re still making it.

Have you guys had problems getting dust underneath your screen? In tablet mode the screen latch leaves a big gap and I’ve gotten all kinds of crap under the screen protector because of it. I got so fed up I ended up taking the LCD apart myself to clean it.

The dust is a well known problem. I cleaned mine out a couple of months ago. Messed up and wiped the surface trying to get a speck off that wouldn’t blow off and I thinked I scratched it. Only a slight visual imperfection that’s only visible when the screen is off, nothing visible while it’s in use so that’s good.
That gap is big and dust really moves around in there. Next time I open it up to clean it I’ll put some foam or something in there as a barrier.
When you took it apart, did you ever think that it would be so flimsy?! I have all kinds of nicks around my bezel from prying it open, the material is really soft.
Also, my screen is slightly warped or it just doesn’t sit dead flat in tablet mode. One corner is raised and it’s flexible enough that I can push it down until it touches the keyboard flat (of course it won’t stay that way). They may have skimped on the material thickness a little too much. But I still love it, it’s been a life saver the past couple of months.

I have the same problem with the flimsy screen that’s warped…I don’t know if it’s always been that way and I never noticed or what.

I guess the sacrifices in materials they made to keep the machine small and light ended up carrying over too far to the build quality. If the job I get ends up providing me with a Cintiq though I may just end up selling it and going back to a regular laptop.

Hmm seems like a nice marketing argument. Where did you read that? Are you talking about just the hardware, software or both?

One problem I see with tablets is they usually have a lower performance graphic adapter than laptops. You could experience difficulties working with a high amount of polys.

Tabets are really nice for sketching, but a laptop could outperform for heavy 3D work at a lower cost. I think it depends on the budget you have and the type of work you’ll be doing most of the time.

Also consider: tablets generally don’t have a numeric pad. If you do a lot of CAD, it is a nice thing to have. At a lower cost than a tablet PC, you can get a laptop + wacom tablet.

Read about extended warranties at cnet. They elaborated an interesting report about it a couple months ago.

You’re right about 3D being faster/cheaper on a regular laptop. I have a giant 1kw power sucking Dell dedicated to doing 3D work. The tablet I picked up specifically for the purpose of having a mini Wacom Cintiq, and for that it’s been great.

I have a regular Wacom too, but their usage can’t compare to the usefulness of a tablet. It’s great being able to just draw on your screen. Theres a little bit of getting used to because of the thickness, but it’s nothing compared to the learning curve with a regular Wacom tablet. It’s not as good as paper, but on the flipside you never run out of paper, you can undo, do overlays, use layers, airbrushes, etc. Alias Sketchbook is easily one of the best apps out there, I just wish they’d build a new version with a few additional features. Still, easily the best/only program with a truly tablet friendly interface. Painter on the other hand…blech.

Another important factor. Screen size.

You can easily get 17" laptop while tablets are smaller. Even you could connect an external monitor, output signal is mostly VGA not DVI and you loose some freedom for rotating the tablet while drawing.

Again. It all depends on what you will use it for.

I decided to get the laptop and draw on paper until manufacturers improve tablets a little bit more.

Anyway… if you go with the tablet it is very important to get one with really good sensitivity.

They do speed up your work flow because the UI is better thought out though - that is a fact. Better efficiency and speed with a more intuitive UI = time for more creativity.

I’ve been a PC guy for over 13 years. Bought a Mac this spring and just took a job where all ID’ers work on Macs. I have no desire to work on another PC ever again.

Also, you do not have to even restart anymore to run XP/Vista on an Intel Mac - Parallels runs all 3D apps quite nicely (that includes Rhino, UG, Solidworks, 3DS Max…).