13" MacBook Pro or Lenovo ThinkPad?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ravenvii, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    (Yes, yes, I know, I know, this is a Mac forum, but I'm genuinely curious at the responses.)

    I have an iMac, it is my main computer and I'm loving it. But I want a laptop on the side, because it's great to have. I don't need anything fancy, so the base line 13" MacBook Pro is the maximum I'll consider. And for the ThinkPad, about $900 is the maximum.

    So I can get a halfway decent discount from Lenovo through my school (about $100 off). So before I graduate, I'm thinking of buying either the MacBook Pro or a ThinkPad. I'm getting the ThinkPad after Windows 7 releases, of course.

    My needs are very modest - no gaming or anything like that. Web browsing, movies, word processing, that's pretty much it. I know I can get a much cheaper laptop for those things, but this might be the last time I can take advantage of a educational discount, so why the hell not?

    So what would you do in my shoes? Lenovo or Apple?
  2. guydude193 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    Apple's more on the side of what you want, which I believe would be fun and creativity... what a computer is meant for. A Lenovo, however, is suited more for business: spreadsheets, intensive maintenance. It is your choice, though.
  3. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004

    I say go with the MBP. If you are used to Macs, then get the MBP and you can always run Windows on it. How often do you want to run Windows for general web/email? What are you going to do on Windows that a Mac can't do?

    My uni sells students a copy of XP Pro for the grand total of $6.73 with tax. That's a copy of Windows XP Pro 32-bit and a license and disc of Window XP Pro 64-bit

    They sold me Vista Ultimate 32-bit for around $12 or $13 which usually costs $200-$400

    I wonder what Windows 7 ultimate will cost me?

    My brother's uni charges $25 each for XP or Vista.

    Depending on your major and your uni, it may be free or more expensive.

    I took one semester of classes where we were allowed free access to all MS OSes and apps.

    A Mac can be a PC, but a PC cannot be a Mac, unless Hackintosh, which could be more trouble than it's worth, depending on your hardware.

    Macs usually have a higher resale value too.

    You know you want a MBP :)
  4. 6daniels macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2009
    Vancouver, BC
    dont get a PC you will hate ur self if u do. my pc is giving me so much issues with error code 320 and stuff like that i have no clue what it means and i bought it only 5 months ago :mad: I would even get a macbook if i were u the macbook pro is more for all those new games and thing and if u want to upgrade to 8gb of ram which i dont think u will
  5. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    this is a mac fan site lol..one would expect everyone here to recommend the macbook pro.

    Both are good computers, but apple makes some really nice laptops lol
  6. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    the lenovo will do your business spreadsheets and word documents... the mbp will do alll that and everything else, if it doesnt, bootcamp it [​IMG]
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I don't get some of the answers given.

    Both computers will handle documents, spreadsheets, etc.
    Both computers will be able to handle email, music, movies, YouTube videos, etc.

    I don't see the advantage of one over the other with regards to productivity and fun uses. :confused: I'd just get the Mac if you're more comfortable with a Mac, and Windows if you're comfy with Windows 7.

    And FYI, my brother got a $2000 14" Lenovo (Canadian store) for around $1300 after getting some deals (online rebates, perhaps?). I'd take a look. His laptop is great. In fact, it's probably better than my dinky MacBook. Seriously. Spill-guard keyboard to handle any liquid spillage, around 6 hour battery life (vs my 4 hours when new), 14" LED screen with 1440 x 900 resolution, integrated and dedicated video cards, fingerprint reader, 4 GB of RAM (mine can only handle a maximum of 3 GB), and it's the same age as my MacBook (just over 2 years old). Plus it was cheaper. Oh, and it doesn't suffer from cracking on the keyboard palm-rest, which white MacBooks are prone to.

    I'm not saying I like Windows more than Macs. I'm saying that after 2 years of ownership, it appears that his purchase of a Lenovo (now with Win 7 installed) has aged far better than my current Mac with OS 10. There's hindsight for you. :eek:

    Once I get a new MBP, I'm sure I'm going to think it's the best machine ever, which is what I always think after getting a new Mac. :D
  8. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Don't forget to use your education discount on the MacBook Pro, if you choose it of course.
  9. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    I'm currently use a 2-3 year old Thinkpad T60 (14inch 4:3 ratio, 2.1kg, C2D 1.66GHz, 4hr battery life (flush battery)), looking at the MBP. Ive been running Windows 7 RC happily for Adobe Lightroom, Web, mail, videos, movies, audio.

    The T series thinkpads are well designed computers - they're the only Windows laptops I'm considering, specifically the new T400S (1.75kg!, 21mm thick, 14.1" 1440x900 matte screen, 2.4GHz). Some might call them boring, but the T series black exterior are sturdy (you can hold them by their screen), and I find them more attractive than the shiny metallic Macbooks - in fact one of the Thinkpads is in the New York Museum of Modern Art!

    I'm looking at the MBP because my whole company runs under Linux (and some of the engineers use Macs) - and OS X appears to work better with linux (as it has some BSD under its decorated hood).

    The matte screen (in the 14inch T400S), soft-bevelled edges (rather than sharp Al), easy-to-swap battery and quality of the keyboard are what are keeping me from changing.

    Good luck in your decision!
  10. akbc macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    Anything from ThinkPad line-up is great. IdeaPads, on the other hand, is more of "consumer" laptops.

    Since you have an iMac, it'd be nice to go the uMBP route for the unified look and feel, besides with a mac, you can run Mac OS X AND Windows.

    But with all that aside, ThinkPads are awesome, too. Just take your time to compare the two really carefully and try both of them out throughly before you make the final dive.

    I personally have had a similar problem when I had to choose my "ultraportable" laptop between a X301 and an MBA...
    I wanted the X301 so bad but it's just as overpriced as the MBA.. so I went with the MBA... and didn't really regret it :)

    Anyways, good luck on your laptop hunt!
  11. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Thinkpads are great. There is a reason why the design overall hasn't changed in 15 years. It is pretty much perfected.
  12. snakesqzns macrumors regular


    Apr 26, 2007
    For your needs, you don't need anything more than this:

    TOSHIBA Satellite L305-S5962 NoteBook Intel Pentium dual-core T4200(2.00GHz) 15.4" Wide XGA 2GB Memory DDR2 800 250GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi Intel GMA 4500M



    Or for a little more performance:

    Acer Aspire AS5739G-6132 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T6500(2.10GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 250GB HDD DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GT 130M


  13. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Sorry, but I don't like Toshiba or Acer - those are cheap for a reason. I'm not looking for uber-cheap laptops, I'm looking for a good laptop, and am willing to pay a little bit more, because this might be my last chance at a academic discount for a while.

    Anyway, I agree with everything everyone (except the above) said, and that's why the decision is hard! :D

    I do have until around April or so to decide though, so I have plenty of time :D
  14. xianshell macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2008
    I was considering the same two machines, just ordered my MBP. Woo hoo! First time Mac user.
  15. cjhunter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    Owned both!

    I've owned a Lenovo x60s and the MB 13" unibody. I can tell you that both are well built, solid machines that are worth the price. (Yes, I'm aware your price point is lower than the x60's current incarnation, but the point is still valid.)

    I'm not a PC hater or a Mac addict, but I definitely prefer the MB. ...Cite all of the usual reasons to prefer Mac over Windows here....

    You really can't go wrong with either brand. I'd say if you like your iMac and want a seamless system across your machines, stick with the Macbook. I have a desktop PC and the MB, and there are times when it's a little frustrating to constantly switch between them. But it's not such a killer that I can't live with the differences.

    In other words, go with the one you like best. You'll be happy either way.
  16. akbc macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    Yeah, screw Toshiba/Acer/Asus and all those cheap and crappy computer manufacturers. Only PC vendors I would go with are; Sony, Fujitsu and Lenovo. Nothing else.

    If you have til April to decide, then definitely wait until around Feb or March to decide since both Lenovo and Apple might have new and updated models available by that time :)
  17. snakesqzns macrumors regular


    Apr 26, 2007
    No those are decent laptops (consistently rated as top products), and they are more than what you need. You can get warranties for them just like a Thinkpad, and you could buy three of them for the cost of one MBP.

    Laptops are a commodity and you have the computing needs of a elderly woman. Be honest that what you really want is a top shelf *label* that'll make you look cool -- in which case, go with the MBP.
  18. snakesqzns macrumors regular


    Apr 26, 2007
    And you think those companies aren't sourcing their parts from the same third-party Chinese manufacturers?
  19. macobsession11 macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2009
    Dude get the mbp, you will never regret it. I bought a mbp for school and I love it! And I have windows 7 on it and it runs so good! I love it. Apple products are superior.
  20. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Mar 2, 2009
    i would get the mac but my friend just got a 14 inch lenovo t series and it is a very nice machine
  21. oomikeyboy macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Thinkpads are awesome, i love mine.

    I have a T60 and a X61 Tablet. Both are very well built and are super rugged. Some may say the design looks "dated" but i think it looks good. The X61t comes with a 1400x1050 resolution 12" screen, its unbelievable how awesome it looks. Also, the keyboards are very comfortable. I find myself using the MBP more for some reason though.
  22. rhinosrcool macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2009
    Thinkpads are fantastic

    For me, the Thinkpads have the best keyboards. Also, their screens are not glossy (much easier to read). Most have the rollcage reinforcement. They're not indestructible, but they're close. I like the THINKVANTAGE software that comes with them. Again, for me, they look great. Currently, I have the T60 with a sxga+ flexview IPS screen. It's really nice.

    Having said all that, I like the fact that mbps can run both windows and os x. Also, they are constructed well and look great.

    When I upgrade my mb to a uMBP, I will find a reason to have both the MBP and the Thinkpad.:D
  23. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    ****, I'm gonna be graduating law school. I think I deserve to "lie" to myself this once. :p

    Thanks guys for the great responses! I'll definitely wait until February or March, hopefully Apple will stick a Blu-Ray drive in the MacBook Pro! (riiight) :D

    And just to add, what made me add ThinkPads to the coverted pedestal is my ThinkPad T40 that I got off someone here on MacRumors. I was surprised at how solid and nice it feels, even though it was released back in 2003. Definitely fared *much* better than the Dells and Toshibas from 2003!
  24. snakesqzns macrumors regular


    Apr 26, 2007
    Don't worry -- as a lawyer, you have an entire of life of lies ahead of you.
  25. outZider macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2000

    I'm a long time Mac user who has switched almost completely to ThinkPad laptops. I currently use an X61 Tablet, and run OS X on it via the various hackintosh projects. I buy a license for each one I buy, but that only gets you so far. That being said, Windows 7 is the first version of Windows that doesn't make me want to stab myself, but I still prefer OS X.

    Do you type on your laptop? The MacBook keyboard sucks compared to the ThinkPad. Do you like the TrackPad? The ThinkPad's sucks, but the trackpoint is wonderful, if you're used to it. 1440x900 out of a 14" is pretty nice, too, and that T400s is sex.

    Don't listen to that crap about Acer or Toshiba. You are right, they're cheap, and you get none of the benefits except for paying less. Lenovo is constantly offering 20% off. Get a good deal, a laptop with incredible support that you can call and don't have to talk to some douche at a genius bar for, and walk home with that ThinkPad.

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