Okay...nearly time to make the purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cossie, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. cossie macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2006
    Hey All,

    I'll be heading back to college now in 2 weeks, I need to get a new laptop.

    I've had enough of the "Meroms soon..."!!!

    I've narrowed down my decision to the most important single issue for me now. I have a disability that means it can get very painful for me to sit at a desk for any long length of time (an hour tops maybe on a good day).

    I tend to sit in less "normal" positions, mostly away from a desk so I can sit more comfortably, this usually results in the notebook being on my knees - as it is right now.

    While i know the MB is ultraportable i worry that the 13" screen is too small for the college work i'll have to do - programming, matlab and report writing (including my thesis) - I want to buy a laptop that will last me several years.

    I posted awhile back about what the Macbook is like for programmers, a few people recommended it but that was when I would be using it with a monitor at my desk.

    How portable is the 15" MBP? Honestly, I don't see there being a _huge_ difference in portability from 13.3" to 15.4"

    In relation to the warmth of an MBP, is there anything I could buy (don't say fire proof pants! :p) that would take some of the heat out of it when i'm using it?

    Edit: If I was to go for an MBP given the underclocking of the GPU for heat reasons, what's the deal with the 256MB gfx card on the 2.16 model?

    Thanks for any advice:D
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    This is a personal preference which depends on how much time you spend carrying it. Some say it is no big deal. Others say every little bit counts

    There are pads you can put on your lap for this. Google for "laptop heat pads" or similar. Carrying this also adds weight.

    According to Bare Feats the extra video RAM adds only 3-5% to video performance (but helps a lot with external monitors and many open windows). People consistently disagree with this, saying a bigger number must be better. When you account for the larger HD, more RAM, and slightly faster processor, you are paying about $100 for this. It can't be added later, so it's your decision.

    If you want a portable, Mac with a larger screen, you really do not have much choice.
  3. discoforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2004
    Vermont, USA
    Rain design iLap. I love mine. :)

  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I don't find the MBP a hassle to carry around. It's about the size of a standard manila folder....but a little bit heavier :)
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I use my 15.4" 2GHz MacBook Pro at college (I am a commuter) and to be honest, it is lighter than most of my individual textbooks. For a 15" laptop, the MacBook Pro is quite portable. :)
  6. rtdgoldfish macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    From Apple.com:

    15-inch MacBook Pro
    Height: 1.0 inch (2.59 cm)
    Width: 14.1 inches (35.7 cm)
    Depth: 9.6 inches (24.3 cm)
    Weight: 5.6 pounds (2.54 kg) with battery and optical drive installed

    13-inch MacBook
    Height: 1.08 inches (2.75 cm)
    Width: 12.78 inches (32.5 cm)
    Depth: 8.92 inches (22.7 cm)
    Weight: 5.2 pounds (2.36 kg)

    The 15" MBP is really not that much bigger than the 13" MB. If an extra .4 pounds and about an inch in width and depth isn't a problem for you, go with the MBP.
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    This is an important decision, so I would make the effort to go down to your local
    Apple Store or Apple Reseller, just to see all the models up close.

    It may come down to whether you prefer the glossy or matte screen.

    My eyes are going too and that's why I went for this 24" display.

    I can kick back in my chair, hit Apple + to Zoom all the text on any web page.

    The Macbook Pro would be a better choice if you plan to push a larger external display for those big projects or general home use.
  8. cossie thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2006

    He looks DeNiro in Cape Fear!:D

    The iLap looks like a great thing, thanks for the link Discoforce! :)

    dmw007, I'd be inclined to agree with you on that, my previous laptop was a 15" Dell Inspiron from back in the day so i'm quite used to carry a "lump" around with me...and the MBPs are hardly lumps!

    FFTT, a bit of a problem for me is that there are no Apple Resellers near me that I can go in and look around. I've been able to look at the 15.4" MBP because a computer shop near me stocks a few of them but as the MB - not a hope! I've been basing my decisions on reviews i've read on the net and a Mac addict friend of mine!
  9. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    In your case, the MacBook Pro seems more appropriate, even though I personally
    prefer the portability and price of the MacBook.

    You could get by with a MacBook and and external display, but again, the glossy screen when you need a portable for extended use, may be an issue.

    The Mac Book Pro is a bit more future resistant when you consider the available upgrades, so that may also sway your decision.

    It's a shame you can't hold out for Meroms.

    I just worry about you spending that much , when an update is imminent.

    A MacBook would get you into a very nice computer without going off the
    deep end.

    If it doesn't work out, then sell it once the Penryn models are released with Leopard.
  10. cossie thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2006
    I don't really like the idea of paying a lot of money and then my laptop being leap frogged but the time i have left for waiting is getting less and less.

    I've been waiting for several months at this point and I can't really hold on for much longer, as I need a new laptop.

    Infact, the constant speculation about "What will they upgrade next?" had almost put me off buying an Apple as it just seems like they constantly keep their customers waiting for the "Next Big Thing" that then takes Apple several months to fine tune (heat issues, whining laptops etc) when the next thing is released.
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    About two years ago, I used to own a HP Pavilion 15.4" notebook and that thing weighed about 10 pounds- talk about a barely portable notebook computer, that thing felt like it weighed a ton! :rolleyes:
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    It's not like the machine you buy today will fall apart the minute Meroms are released.

    However, if you must buy now from any manufacturer, you're doing so in the middle
    of intense competition between Intel and AMD, the Core Wars.

    This is why I'm thinking it may be better to spend conservatively now.

    This is not so much Apple as it is Intel's roadmap going into full force.

    We are not normal. We know what's coming, so it makes all of us a bit crazy.

    The average user doesn't know the difference between a Core Duo Yonah, Core Duo 2 Merom and a dougnut.

    We know that Merom is slated to be Intel's primary mobile chip until they release
    Santa Rosa, but Penryn will be the next major change reducing the Merom chipset to 45 nm scale.

    That's roughly a year from now.

    That doesn't help you when you need a new laptop this week.

    This is again why I'm thinking you should buy conservatively.

    You'll have a great machine that will serve you well without going off the deep end.

    I know all of this stuff is going down and I still bought my daughter a MacBook
    last week.

    It's more than enough computer to suite her needs for the next 3 years.
  13. cossie thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2006
    FFTT, Thanks for such a great post! So wise and i could feel the calmness flowing out of it too...zen like!

    I understand what you're saying. It would be foolish of me to spend so much on an MBP, and I've talked myself into thinking I need the MBP when the MB would probably be sufficient. Since i last posted i had a look at some of the 12.1" and 13" laptops in my local computer shop, the widescreen actually makes it a lot more tolerable than the 13" screens of old!

    It would be even more foolish to spend £1300 - £1500 (as a college student) when i could get a perfectly working laptop in the MB for about £400. Money
    which would would probably look much better in my fridge and cupboard when project deadlines appear!

    This part made me laugh because i'd only just been talking to a friend of mine saying i wish i was "technologically ignorant" so i wouldn't be pulling my hair out over laptop specs and worring when the next chip and architecture will be shipped! :)

    Thanks again FFTT! Much appreciated!

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