Best MB/MBP for New User

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by safelder, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. safelder macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    #1
    I'm looking to jump into the Mac world with a laptop. I've done all sorts of internet research, been to the Mac store, and now I'm asking the experts.

    I've ruled the 17" out as too bulky to be portable. The 13" is slightly smaller than my work machine (a T400), while the 15" is slightly larger. Either size would be acceptable, and the cost doesn't bother me--but I don't want to spend more than I need to for a suitable machine.

    I do not game, do heavy graphics, or even heavy photo editing. On photos, the most I would do (typically) is crop/resize to fit a particular size and light retouching (redeye and the like). On video, I generally just import--no editing at all (just cutting out what I don't want/need). All I really do is basic productivity--word processing, email, internet--plus use itunes and skype.

    Hence, my question: am I wasting my money if I buy a mid- or high-15" MBP? Am I better off with a high (or even low) 13" MBP and using the extra cash for a 500GB/7200rpm hdd and 4GB RAM? Should I be giving serious consideration to the MB?

    Thanks in advance for helping a rookie!
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Yes.

    Yes.

    Yes.
     
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #3
    The MB will suit your needs just fine. Two reasons to go MBP would be (1) you want a larger screen; or (2) you like the aluminum finish over the white.
     
  4. Frosties macrumors 6502a

    Frosties

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #4
    On video do you need firewire? If you do then the 13" MBP any version will do, just go with at least 4GB RAM. If no need for firewire then 13" MB is good enough for your use. Any processor and graphicscard in Apple's portables these days will do you good.
     
  5. safelder thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    #5
    I don't need firewire for video, as both my HD camcorder and the Flip are USB interfaces. My old MiniDV camcorder uses firewire, but I haven't shot a second of footage with that in 3 years. Should I happen to do so (I'm actually contemplating selling it, but the price I can likely get for it is hardly worth the effort), the T400 does have firewire, so I can export it that way.

    Thanks all for the input--it's a lot less biased and sales driven than what I was getting at the Apple store earlier today. 13" seems to be the way to go (the low end 15" is, in my view, pointless--$200 for 2" of screen real estate doesn't seem to buy me any advantages), and I may well opt for the MB over the MBP to save some $$$.
     
  6. Paul B macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
  7. brendu macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    I would recommend the macbook and upgrade the ram and hdd... Best bang for your buck for sure...
     
  8. Ca$hflow macrumors 6502

    Ca$hflow

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Location:
    London, ON
    #8
    Get the white MB. With the money you save you also have the option of buying an external display if you ever wanted more screen real-estate.
     
  9. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #9
    Good point!
     
  10. safelder thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    #10
    That's what I ended up doing. I bought the MB plus a Hitachi 500 GB/7200 RPM drive and 4 GB of Crucial RAM. I swapped out the drive and RAM before I even booted and reinstalled from the OS DVD, and am up and running now. I will likely create a small (80 GB or so) Boot Camp partition for Windows 7 x64 (as soon as support is official) and a small (80 GB or so) VM for Windows XP...just in case. Not like I'm short on HD space!

    Total cost: $1000 (from Microcenter). Thanks for all the good advice.
     
  11. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #11
    Don't limit yourself. Before I got my first mac I never thought I'd be making videos and music and creating spreadsheets and charts and keynote presentations and writing and repairing Macs of all things!

    ...yeah...my productivity has exploded since that fateful day...
     
  12. safelder thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    #12
    I still have my work machine (a T400), ironically with the same 500 GB HDD. Plus a 500 GB NAS where I keep most of my "live" work. Plus I'll probably drop the 250 GB that the MB came with into a USB 2.0 enclosure. Plenty of space. By the time I fill it up, there will probably be 1 TB 7200 RPM 2.5" drives available to clone to.
     

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