Getting a New Computer for Excel

Using a mac and it's terrible for Excel/somewhat slow. Anyone know a solution to this? Is it crazy to buy a somewhat cheap computer that uses windows to practice with? Work will not supply one or pay for it. I've seen a few for around $500 and think it's worth it to progress my learning because I need to practice the shortcuts and get a feel on windows. Alternative is practicing at work, but I want something for home as well - any ideas?

Comments (14)

  • Intern in PE - Other
Jan 12, 2021 - 2:52am

Asian ones (e.g. Huawei) or even other ones such as Lenovo are believed to be very cheap and good for practicing. If you are going to use it only for that kind of actions, I wouldn't bother buying the best HP. In this sense, I think it is better to buy one cheaper and brand new than to buy a second-hand HP for example

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jan 12, 2021 - 4:04pm

Fine to buy a cheap one to practice, but if you are ever working on a weekend or just generally not at your desk 24/7, a decent Windows computer is a good investment.

The $500 ones are typically not that useful for Excel because their horsepower is so low and you can do better for not much more money. Recommend looking in the $900+ range with an i7+ chip and 12gb+ for an actually useful computer for a small price difference - Thinkpads are great and will last your entire time as an excel monkey

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jan 12, 2021 - 7:09pm

Thanks, at this point just looking for a cheap computer to practice excel and do the Argus test tbh. I'll look into a better comp when it matters more.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 12, 2021 - 4:12pm

If you're looking to use Excel and aren't going to be overloading your computer with lots of browser tabs and applications open, I'd recommend downloading Windows onto your Mac with Boot Camp.  I'm on Mac also and ran into the same issue.  You can have both operating systems on your hard drive and switching between is pretty painless, only requires a restart.  I run Windows on my Mac to use Excel/PPT and shortcuts work perfectly.  It also doesn't cost anything.  Link to Apple Support below to help.

Most Helpful
Jan 13, 2021 - 12:36am

Yeah but when you are in excel on windows via bootcamp you need to use the Ctrl key a lot. Unless you're using a separate keyboard (mechanical keyboard for example), the Ctrl key is in a very awkward position because the Mac model uses Cmd instead. It does work but I would caution using this especially long term.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 13, 2021 - 8:33am

Good call, you'll need a separate keyboard.  Still a much cheaper alternative than buying a new computer if you're just looking for Excel and some other functionality though

Jan 13, 2021 - 8:36am

Try a full size keyboard with the number pad on the left side, or a separate number pad (or programmable macropad). After a short while you'll get used to it and it is much better.

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