$300 Less for a Plastic Version?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by aluminumapple, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. aluminumapple macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    So i Just noticed they were offering The EXACT Same notebook just in different formats!

    in Apple their currently selling the Whitebook plastic version with 2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 9400m Graphics with 2Gb DDr2 ram and 120Gb HD

    and the Aluminum 2.0 Ghz is basically Exactly the same processor with DDr3 2gb ram and 160 Gb Hd with the same 9400m Nvidia graphics.

    So the question is. Whats your input in this? what do you guys think of what apple is currently doing?

    no bashing and etc and if your gonna tell me there's already a post about this, no there isnt. i did my homework there isnt a post about this.
  2. jonbravo77 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Not sure what you are getting at. The Whitebook is cheaper but you only get the DDR 2 ram instead of the Alu. DDR 3 Ram, with the Aluminum you get the glass trackpad the extra HD space, unibody construction.

    There are big differences between the Whitebook and the Aluminum MB. So again, not sure where you are going with this.
  3. marbles macrumors 68000


    Apr 30, 2008
    EU mostly
    I think Apple is currently clearing warehouses of the polycarb shell and when they run out the whitebook is history, then we'll possibly see a smaller form
    factor netbook type machine which will dock into the new iMacs
  4. aluminumapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    their really Isnt much difference actually.
    if you really look at it the ONLY differences are the glass trackpad unibody and ddr 3 ram with only 40 gb hd that you can Easily upgrade.

    my point is, doesnt anyone think that the aluminum macbooks should have been cheaper, or that apple should make one of the notebooks cheaper. honestly aluminum macbooks before a month ago stood out because of its New better graphics card and speed. now its Basically similar. i honestly think if i got the 2.0 plastic in its current version upgraded its ram and hd which i would do similarly it with the Aluminum 2.0 it would have costed alot cheaper for the same thing!
  5. jonbravo77 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I think the biggest thing that is being overlooked is the fact that the White MB still has the Firewire port, which, good or bad, is a selling point for a lot of ppl in which Apple knows this fact. So I think that's one of the reasons why the White MB is at the price it is.
  6. marbles macrumors 68000


    Apr 30, 2008
    EU mostly
    yeah , me. They are (dare I say it) overpriced no way R&D costs what they charge so the OS X 'tax' is basically what we pay for and the 'tax' should come down imho
  7. POLBOSS macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    This is my experience, two weeks ago I went into an Apple store to buy one of the new White MacBooks, While I was there I saw how the aluminun one was so much gorgeous and only $300 more, So I bought it.

    I came home, installed Firefox, ran all the neccesary updates, transfered my iTunes collection and I was ready to go, or so I thought.

    After 10 minutes of using my new computer my eyes started to itch, I thought that my yearly allergies were here, after 20 minutes my eyes started to produce tears, ok, this can't be possible, after 30 mimutes I got so dizzy and I got a big big headache. So, I go into google and type, MacBOOK headaches, and indeed, people with astigmatism (like myself) have been suffering from these symptons (I don't know why, some people pointed to the LEDS, flashing instead of turning on and off to refresh the screen, like TFT does, but all were just guesses), I thought that I could get use to it but no, everytime that I use my computer it was the same.

    I went to the Apple store and told them this, they told me that it was a personal preference issue, that they couldn't do anything about it other than to take the computer back and deduct the restocking fee of $130.00

    I guess they were right, I had bought the computer on the spot without doing any research on it, they deducted $130.00 from the Aluminum Macbook, and I opted to buy a white NVIDIA MacBook.

    Is the aluminum MacBook worth the extra $300.00? Absolutely, but not if you suffer from astignatism
  8. RogueVasion macrumors regular


    Nov 23, 2008

    I myself have an astigmatism, as well.

    I haven't had a big hands on with the new Aluminum books, but I did use them quite a bit in the Apple Store. I haven't had a big issue with it for the many times I've used it...

    Anyway, besides the minor differences in the Macbooks (trackpad, display, and ddr3), the major thing keeping the Polycarbonate alive is the Firewire. People still depend on that; I think they gave it a graphics card upgrade because not everyone can shell out an extra grand for the pro.

    I think as time passes, when the Polycarbonates sales slow down, they will just drop it. It's no longer part of their Gray/Black image. And in the future, maybe a price drop or new computer becomes part of the family? Who knows...:confused:
  9. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The plastic ones may not be as perfect a deal as it seems; if you can forgive a crappy keyboard, slanted lid, I guess it's okay.\\

    I had to deal with 8 exchanges.
  10. zorahk macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2008
    North Korea
  11. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2006
    i had a perfectly working macbook nano (an msi wind hackintosh) but the durability of the unibody construction won me over. this is a laptop that will not "flex" or "give." after less than a year with my 17" mbp i could tell that there was some flex where the superdrive was.

    also, the multitouch glass trackpad is so nice. I almost gave up my mouse to use it all the time.

    i'm surprised to hear about the astigmatism issue. LED is just a backlight, it isn't the actual screen (vs the old CCFL)
  12. TonyL08 macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2007
    I saved the $300 and went with the white model. The difference between DDR2 and DDR3 isn't ever going to come up in my day to day usage. And the different shell with a new backlight and trackpad weren't worth the price for me.

    Upgraded to 4GB RAM for $35, 250GB for free from my old computer, and I have a perfect computer that will last until I decide it's time to move on sometime in the next year. When I do, I'll rollover the saved $300 into whatever new laptop makes me happy at the time.

    I do think (or wish anyway) that the unibody was $999 and the white was $699 or something. But I still would have gone with the base model, all internal specs being mostly equal. The extra cost wasn't the issue, blowing $300 on things that don't matter to me was.

    What I think Apple is currently doing is utilizing a cheaper to produce body to provide a cheaper to buy laptop for people that comparison shop or don't want to throw $1300 at a baseline notebook. When you can get Dell's direct competitor m1330 that starts at $800. Specs don't matter here (though the current entry level 1330 is almost exactly spec'd as the entry level MacBook), price does, and $500 is a big gap where $200 isn't.
  13. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    I have astigmatism as well...but I do not suffer from the problems you were talking about. I guess mine isn't as "severe" as yours or whatever, but for me...I actually have to take my glasses off to relieve my eyes. If I keep my glasses on, my eyes tend to get tired a lot faster than without them on.

    But to get back on topic. I just have a quick story to tell. When my sister got her White Macbook in September, I thought I was totally sold on getting the black one as soon as I saved enough money, but I was always debating on that since I loved the aluminum body of the Pro. Then there were rumors of new macbooks WITH the aluminum casing, so I waited. Once the new ones were announced, I pretty much fell in love with the new design, so I jumped on it from waiting and ordered one. When it arrived, I was in shock how well built the computer was. A TON more sturdy, and it just feels that Apple really did their job on the unibody design.

    The screen, at least to me, is a significant upgrade from the last gen, comparing mine and my sister's, my screen is around twice as bright as hers. Also, the screen, again, at least to me, has a bit better viewing angles side to side compared to the last gen. I didn't really look at the up to down angles, but I honestly doubt someone is going to be straight above your head looking at the screen with you. However, it does seem like the up angles are better than the down angles, if that makes sense. When her's was at full brightness, mine was half getting the same output.

    Also, the sound was greatly improved, as we were testing movies (Ratatouille :)) and the sound coming from mine was a lot clearer, and louder without distorting at the louder volumes as much as hers did.

    The new trackpad is pretty much BLISS! I love it compared to the last gen macbooks. The glass just feels so much nicer (kinda obvious). And of course the multitouch that you can't get on the white macbook, I'm not sure if it goes for everyone, but it made my experience navigating around OS X a lot nicer and more fluid.

    So to me...the price difference WAS worth it...in Canada, the price difference between hers and mine was 400 dollars (White 2.4 $1349, Aluminum 2.4 $1749) and I still think the "upgrades" or whatever you want to call them are worth it. Of course, much of what I said could be taken as subjective...but at least you now have someone that has used both quite a bit, and real comparisons between the two about the new "features". I didn't talk about Firewire, since neither me nor my sister use it, so that was never a problem for either of us, mainly me since my computer doesn't have it.
  14. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    There have been a bunch of threads debating this already and they basically all come down to personal preference, whether you like aluminum or plastic, new trackpad or old, glass screen or not.

    The unibdody will be slightly faster at the same clock speed, but probably less than 10% and it's said to have a brighter screen.

    But then the whitebook has firewire and is $300 less.

    The best advice is get to an apple store and play around with both to see which you prefer.

    Can you post some of the google links you found? I just did the same search and the only thing I found was one post on the Apple boards, but there was no mention of astigmatism.

    I think you're misunderstanding what LED backlighting is, the new panels are still the same display tech as the old, only the white light behind them has changed from ccfl to led. Neither of them turn on and off during display refreshes.

    The older CCFLs can flicker at a high frequency like other fluorescent lighting, but LEDs are a constant light.
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Here's why the aluminium model costs more than the plastic: Because people are willing to pay $300 for aluminium. ;)

    The specs don't warrant any real extra charge. Performance benchmarks have shown that.

    The cost of the aluminium case versus the cost of the plastic case definitely also costs Apple a bit more money, but not as much as you'd think for the additional $300 Apple is asking for. This is especially true now that aluminium prices have dropped to HALF its value from 6 months ago. It's costing Apple less to make one today than last month. ;)

    There's no reason for Apple to charge $300 for the UniBody model due to the laptop itself. Sure, the unibody construction does make it feel sturdier. However, that's not worth it. The reason Apple charges $300 more is because some people are willing to pay $300 for $20 (just an example) in tangible value:

    1. If Apple make something more expensive, it's a bit more exclusive. That makes owners happy. Same with watches. A $50 Timex may actually tell time better than a mechanical Breguet that costs $20000 (quartz is more accurate than mechanical), and yet Brequets cost as much as a car because even Napoleon Bonaparte owned a fracking Brequet. How exclusive is THAT.

    2. People are shallow and are willing to pay the extra $300 for appearance. It's not just about function. That's why people have a hard time choosing clothes, no? If it was all about function, we'd all be wearing the same thing. Sometimes it's about standing out, and the "Look At Me!!" factor.

    That's life, capitalism, and being a human. ;)
  16. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    If I were in the market today for a replacement for my 1,1 Core Duo, I'd get the Polycarbonate and use the $300 difference on RAM and AppleCare. Meanwhile, I would enjoy using all of my old peripherals like my firewire external drives and mini-DVI adapters without having to replace all of those too.

    I'm not in the market because MacBooks last so long.....even the white polycarbonates. ;)
  17. fibrizo macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2009
    First off to address the astigmatism issue.

    A. I have astigmatism (fairly severe)
    B. I own an aluminum macbook
    C. I have owned previous laptops with LCD backlight.

    Here's how I'll explain it I guess. Astigmatism is defined by having spherical abberations on your eyes. Ie like the Hubble telescope, the lens is not perfectly round. It results in blurry vision regardless of the distance you are viewing the object at. You can reduce the blurriness by squinting... because you are using the center of the lens in your eye which will have the least spherical abberation.

    Now given that, there is no reason astigmatism will have any relation to an LED backlight specifically. I can imagine eyestrain, wearing toric contact lenses and staring at the screen causing those symptoms, as when I am tired and am wearing contacts and they get dry etc, this happens. (raising the humidity helps)

    Second, the poly macbook is now the best deal you can get on apple hardware. Despite what people say, it there will be really no discernable difference in performance due to DDR2 to DDR3... the additional bandwidth/increased latency are really insiginificantly small differences at this level. I would hazard a guess that the actual performance difference would not exceed 3%. Given that a ~15% increase in memory bandwidth on a PC will result in a real world performance increase of 2-5%. Clock for clock the benchmark on the same platform shows DDR2 800 (which can be installed on new nvidia plastic macbook I hear) with a memory bandwidth 6143 on sandra
    DDR3 800 scores a memory bandwidth of 6156 and DDR3 1066 scores 6613.

    This shows that clock for clock they are similar... and the bandwidth increase of ~10% would result in a 1-3% real world performance change. Which is, except in very long tasks, well within the margin of error to even detect a difference.

    When I hear the snow leopard argument, it's silly.. The processor is the same, and they both will run snow leopard equally well now that it has hardware acceleration.

    When you boil it down, it really comes to, Do I want something that looks like a unibody macbook and am I willing to pay ~300 more for it (at retail). If you want the most hardware for the buck, it would be the plastic macbook. All questions of keyboards, case cracks aside, which I'm sure all laptops have, and there are going to be plenty of aluminum macbook problems (I've exchanged mine once. I just don't get on to whine about it.) It's just that there are so many more plastic macbooks out there than there are aluminum ones. so even a 1% problem rate will be magnified alot.

    No one knows how the aluminum macbooks will age and whether new defects will show up or what they might be, as they have only been around for about 6 months. The polymacbook has been out for 2.8 years. There's been alot of time for manufacturing problems and other issues to come to light.

    I will say, I do like the aluminum macbooks look and feel. I did also buy mine before they announced the new plastic macbook. In retrospect I might have bought that one or maybe not. I don't know. But the decision would have been hard. But I want it to be clear this is an argument of asthetics mostly, not performance as some people would like to make out. Just accept the fact that you liked the new design and you were willing to shell out the money to have the newest thing. :)
  18. shady825 macrumors 68000


    Oct 8, 2008
    Area 51
    Im curious if this still happens to you with the white MB.. I had the white one and it KILLED my eyes! Huge headache and everything.
    I traded my white one in for the aluminum model (I was within the 14 day return period) The aluminum one has never caused my eyes to hurt or have a headache and I use it a lot!
  19. Trexznl macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2009
    The Netherlands
    My Brother's got a whitebook.. And I was going to get one, when I noticed they had been updated with the 9400M. However looking at Apple's site, and noticing how absolutely gorgeous the unibody was.. I went for this one (alu unibody) instead. I definitely made up my mind standing in the Apple store, in front of both machines. The unibody looks so much more durable and expensive than the whitebook..

    I personally didn't care for Firewire, so basically just the looks did it for me. Especially the screen, and not just for the LED screen, but for the design aswell. The screen is fully covered by the glass so it's just fantastic to look at it. Now since I've got it, I've been truly amazed by this little machine. The screen's amazing, the feel of the machine on your lap is amazing, the keyboard is amazing, and last but not least; the trackpad is simply amazing. Especially the exposé feature activated through the trackpad. It really enhances the user experience of OS X imho (And I'm a first time :apple: user..)

    So honestly, if you don't care about firewire, nor the $300, and you want a fantastic looking and feeling machine, go for the unibody. (You do have to work with it, and drag it around and look at it for quite a while I guess).

  20. 55orangeave macrumors member


    Jan 29, 2009
    AB, Canada
    I have ponder this question weeks. I am ordering a refurb Unibody tomorrow.

    In my mind this is how I broke it down, and boy did I do research for this.

    Price really concerned me. I hate taking money out of my wallet and putting into Apple's when it is not justified. So this is why I even looked at the white one in the first place.

    Lets be real people. There is no doubt that the unibody looks, feels, and performs better(small margin). Anyone to argue this is pure flat out wrong.

    The video on the white will be affected as well because it relys on the memory. Which is slower. they are close in this respect but all and all the numbers still say the unibody performs better. This is not what did it for me.

    I think Firewire is important and I dont like the fact that Apple removed it. That being said I do not have anything needing it right now. And I have researched anything I will need over the next 2 years all have USB equivalents. So safe here.

    The screen itself does glare on unibody, but it dosnt bother most or me, and it only happens in brighe light source in normal room or outside. Other than that the screen on the unibody blow the white one away ten fold.

    Multi touch. I never thought of it much until I used it, by far one of the best features over the white. I love shortcuts and this just adds to them for me.

    So I deducted that I want the Unibody, but don't want to pay the price. Well hell don't we all. So I started looking into Refurb. I must say my research convinced me to never buy new again from Apple. It would appear 1% of the people who buy refurb were unlucky and if they were they replaced it for them. I watched youtube videos and read peoples opinions. And seemed like the way to go.

    Link to poll for refurbs

    So the price now for me is only $50 bucks more than a new white..
    Canadian Whitebook = $1149
    Canadian Unibody = $1399
    Canadian Refurb Unibody = $1199

    I can only think of two real reason why you would go with the white.

    You like white?
    You have firewire components you cant easily replace.

    One last thing, Apple is well known for resell value. And I would be willing to bet that the Unibody will fetch more in 2 years than the white.

    Keep in my this is how I thought the process out. Every one is different. But I am willing to bet that many think this train of thought. Good luck to those in the decision battle.

  21. aluminumapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    it does come down to personal preferences but im not here to talk about that.
    apple is being fairly very cheap on producing 2 very similar items and calling them 2 different designs and charging 300$ more. Yes its true the 13" unibody has a better track pad and LCD but, thats probably the ONLY thing that really does thats Really noticeably different. specs are almost very identical and i read earlier about someone 2 different keyboards? to that person I Have both Unibody and Plastic 13" Keyboards Are NOT different At ALL just the fact if you pay 900$ more you get the light up one.
  22. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Apple gives you an option sorta say. If you want the basic MacBook and are not a demanding user, then Apple thinks a ploycarbonate MacBook will suffice and in many cases it will be the truth. Now if you need a bit more, you can jump into the Al MacBooks that give you the newer slightly faster FSB and DDR3 power with more HDD to cramp and so on so forth for higher end models...
  23. aluminumapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    thank god this post was made..
    do your homework before posting. again No Difference in HDD Or DDR 3 Nor FSB.
  24. northy014 macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2008
    When you look at the benchmarks, rather than simply the specs, you'll see that there is a pretty large difference between the old Whitebooks and the Unibody ones - it's not all about clock speed (Wikipedia the Megahertz Myth).

    But for me, comparing the keyboards, there is a huge difference (and I dont have the backlit one btw). Compared to Whitebook, there is a bit more resistance, and it feels better quality.

    Again, for me, the Aluminium body is far sturdier.

    This is what you are paying the extra $300 for. For me, it was well worth it.
  25. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I did. DDR3 is more future proof. You are not paying for speed, but for proofing yourself in a near future. as for HDD, it depends on your needs. If you need it now, its a good deal, else you can wait.

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