Black MB or MBP Again

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Macnificant, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Macnificant macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2008
    I am having the hardest time deciding between Black MB and MBP.

    I have gone over the threads on this site for the last month and my head is spinning MB or MBP...??????????

    There is my thoughts, opinions, and questions

    Is there a quality difference between the two?

    Is the Multi-Touch trackpad something people enjoy?

    Which Book is more durable?

    I like to look of the Black Book.

    I am going to use it mostly for surfing, downloading music, watch a movie or 2, email, photos, music.

    I always try to convince myself to buy the top of the line so that is why I am considering the MBP.

    I know there are a few posting dealing with this same topic but I thought I put my ordeal other there!
  2. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Based on the uses for the computer that you give (email, surfing, etc.), a MacBook is the computer for you. If you stick with what you described, you don't need the extra power for video that comes with the MBP.

    As for the Blackbook vs the mid-range MB, only you can decide if it's worth paying $200 for some extra drive space and a black case. Since the HD is user-replaceable, I would say not.

    I haven't had a chance to play with multi-touch much, but I can't see myself using it enough to have this feature be the determining factor on which system to buy.

    Both are durable. I think the MBPs are moreso, but that's more my opinion than having tested myself. I paid good money for my notebook, so I take good care of it.
  3. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Both Macs are great but they serve two different purposes. Put the CPU and HDD aside for a moment and look at the small things that differentiate the two.

    If you are a gamer the only option is the MBP due to the dedicated GPU.
    If you need to run Final Cut Pro or any of the pro apps you need the MBP because of the dedicated GPU.
    If you think you will need the option to use wifi in many more places the MBP will be the better option as it has the express card slot for 3G data cards.

    If none of those are important to you the blackbook is just fine. The MBP is a better machine for more reasons than I mentioned however if you don't need those options I mentioned get the Macbook.

    Lastly, please don't make this a year long journey, it's only a computer. My rule is if I am even considering the higher model, I just buy the higher model if I can afford it, there's absolutely no way it could possibly be overkill.
  4. iMpathetic macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    I would buy the blackbook, I was considering the MBP but I'm glad I didn't get one.
  5. kamm macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2008
    I disagree. Even though it's completely painless to do he doesn't sound like someone who will field-upgrade his own laptop's system drive and he said he likes the look of BlackBooks.
    My default 250GB drive is a Fujitsu 5400RPM one, its retail price is ~$140-150 shipped I believe so the savings could be a 'whopping' $50 minus your time and energy spent with the upgrade which you can offset by selling the default 160GB for another ~$50 in best case because sealed ones go for $80-90 on eBay. Then there's the white vs black case... I think $200 is not that bad actually if you need the bigger HDD and you prefer black color.
  6. jalpert macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    Supercard is nice, but everything is USB these days. I dunno if this would be a deal breaker for most people.
  7. EmbeddedTim macrumors newbie


    Feb 26, 2008
    Rochester, NY
    I too am struggling with this decision.

    I personally think the blackbook is a rip-off when compared to the midrange MB. White is fine for me and the cosmetic appeal of the blackbook doesn't interest me (its not that good looking to me). So... if you go with MB, then go with a midrange MB (my opinion).

    Now, for midrange MB vs. MBP (base) - thats a tough one. I personally am on the edge of just getting the MBP. I really don't care about any specs except for the screen size and how well the computer is constructed (when comparing midrange MB to base MBP).

    Any opinions on how the durability of both computers and how much the screen size matters?
  8. kamm macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2008
    I just use BT with my phone, it took me 2 minutes to get it up and running on my way home in a cab when I got the MB. :cool:
  9. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    I second the motion...

    and that's why I chose the MB 2.4 250GB. :cool:
  10. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    I've had my MBP 2.2GHz SR since August.
    I was very satisfied, at first.. Then I realized I had the Keyboard problem (dead after waking up) and sometimes the screen didn't even wake up..

    But I thought, what the heck, It's an awesome computer except for these few problems, and it's a computer, they have problems.. I can live with it.
    Then I upgraded to Leopard in October, and after all firmware updates for my MBP, it's still the same.. :(

    Right now I'm so sick of it, I put it into sleep when I go to bed, and the morning I wake up, I need to restart it because it doesn't even wake up.
    I just want a god damn computer that works!!
    My old PM G4, now that's durability!

    So I was thinking of let the Apple Dealer take a look at it (since I've still got warranty) and if they can repair it, I'll be happy and satisfied..
    If they can't, I was thinking of changing to a BlackBook 2.4GHz.

    Personally, I like the MacBook so much better.
    The size, the keyboard is just so sweet, and MagLatch rocks, however, I don't like the screen, at all.. To be honest, it's really crappy!!
    And I would like to be able to play "Race" in Windows XP, don't now if the GMA X3100 has enough power for that.
  11. iMpathetic macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    Go with the MacBook! More powerful than your pro. Better looking. Great keyboard, and the screen isn't that bad!
  12. Zer0 macrumors regular

    May 22, 2007
    For the uses you mention, macbook. Its a great little notebook!
  13. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I think you really have to consider what are the pluses and minuses of the macbook vs. mbp - I will list just the pluses as the minuses of one would just be the pluses of the other and vice versa:

    In my OPINION (I know there will be tons of people quoting and disagreeing with me, but this is MY opinion) after having used both extensively:

    1. Much more portable as they are smaller, lighter, and more rugged whereas mbp's seem much more fragile to me.
    2. I think they look nicer than mbp's, but of course this is highly subjective and likely not that important
    3. They are a great deal for the money.
    4. They will do EVERYTHING you mentioned (email, office, surf the web, music, photos, movies, etc - these are the things that every "regular" user does and that is the target audience of the macbook and it will accomplish those tasks beautifully).
    5. The current macbooks will be almost just as fast as the mbp's in anything NOT requiring graphics card power - which are most high-end applications (none of which you mentioned) and games. One thing I should tell you is that photoshop elements works well on macbooks if you ever feel like you need photoshop and the difference for end users is very small so don't listen to people saying you need it for photoshop.
    6. I really like the keyboards more, but that of couse is personal opinion.
    7. I use a mouse with my laptops so I think multi-touch is useless and am the wrong person to ask -> which brings me to one negative that I will list of the macbook which is that the USB ports are on the left so if you are right-handed (like 90% of the population) and you try to use a mighty mouse you are screwed because the mighty mouse cable isn't long enough to get to the right side (you engineering fools!).
    8. I think they are of a very good build quality, and you shouldn't discount them of that because of their price or their intended audience. They are very solid and stable.

    Macbook Pro:
    There are (in my opinion) two BIG reasons to go for the pro over the macbook.
    1. Screen size - if you want a lot of screen space you have to go for the pro and no one can argue with you. Now, I have worked on 1920x1200 and 1280x800 screens and they DO make a big difference. However, the truth is that once you get used to a resolution it's fine. Think about that old tv you used to watch before you got a bigger one. It was fine at the time right? Then you got a slightly bigger one and now you could NEVER go back. That's the way it is with resolutions on a screen. However, from personal experience (my laptop was stolen and I had to go back), you CAN go back. It's painful at first, but definitely doable. You must remember though that the increase in screen size comes at a cost in portability. The larger the screen size, the less portable and vice versa. This is YOUR own decision to make as to whether you want screen real estate or portability (and probably the one giving you the most agony when you stop to think about what is making you ultimately choose between the two).
    2. Graphics power - if you play games or use any intensive applications, just save yourself any further agonizing about this decision and get a macbook pro. You will need the graphics card, end of story.
    Everything else about the macbook pro is just bells and whistles in my mind and those are the two main things you should be considering.

    In the end, this will of course be your decision, but think to yourself if you think of this computer more as a desktop replacement that you can move from time to time when you need to, albeit rarely, or as a computer that you may need to do some traveling with on a somewhat regular basis. If all else fails then choose the macbook pro if it is more the former and the macbook if it is more the latter. Good luck.

    Edit: I just want to add that because you posted this in the macbook forum the posts are going to be biased towards macbooks and you should consider that when you make your decision (now that we don't have the combined forum I guess this problem will worsen).
  14. DCSMAC macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2005
    A few years ago ago i was presented with this same problem, and i opted to get a iBook over the Powerbook. In retrospect i wish I had gotten the powerbook, because I would probably get another solid 1.5-2 years out of it before it becomes completely obselete. My ibook is simply not cutting it 32 months after i purchased it. All i can do is browse, use ichat, and even MS office is giving it a run for its money.

    i love the size of the MB, but my next laptop will be an MBP primarily because it is much more future proof than the MB. I can only seeing the software of the future becoming more graphic intensive, and the X3100 wont hold its own for nearly as long as the 256mb 8600M that is in the MBP now. I can see this current MB lasting about 3 years before becoming pretty much completely obselete, whereas I would say the MBP will last about 5 years (during which i will be able to run pretty much any program i want on it).
  15. honeycrisp macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2007
    I love my MacBook, but I gotta say the MBP is one sexy machine!
  16. G4brat macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2007
    Does the dedicated graphics card on the MBP's make a difference when editing pictures with photoshop elements or is it for video/games?
  17. iMpathetic macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    I applaud you for taking the time to write such an articulate, well-informed post. Most people I know would say "Go with the MB because it's _______" and stop.

  18. Stuart in Oz macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    DCSMAC makes a good point that you will probably find the MB falls behind the future software quicker than the MBP. I've had both types and they both have good points but when I faced your decision last week I bought the blackbook.

    It flies for all the normal daily stuff. Browsing and word processing are real quick, it plays my DVD's nicely and records my local TV shows off EyeTV fine. It's a real step up from my 2 yr old Mac Mini and noticeably better than my wife's MacBook from last July. It's just flawless for all the every-day stuff.

    Tried gaming and HD video processing on it as well. Not hard core shooter games but even Sim City pushed my wife's July '07 MB once the city grew a bit bigger. On this new machine it's really nice and smooth. Still, probably best not to try running the latest 3D games.

    Video - I have a Sony HDV video camera (1440 x 1080 res) and yesterday I tried downloading an 80 minute tape. It downloaded beautifully and smoothly but the post-capture processing into iMovie so that it can be edited took nearly 2 hours. I imagine any effects editing would take accordingly long.

    Conclusion - if you value the extra portability and are happy to forego video editing and high level gaming the black MB is great. If you must have the latter features than you'll just have to pony up for the MBP and put up with the extra weight & size.
  19. markrivers macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Valencia, California
    i can't add anything more...
    for me this is a balance comparison of the two machines
  20. dops7107 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Perth, Oztrailya
    I gotta agree. I just plumped for a low-end MBP, even though strictly speaking I don't need the power, because it has a larger screen and I want it to last about five years. So I spend £1100 on a MBP or £800 now on a MB, but I will probably need to buy again sooner if I buy a MB, so the saving is lost in that way. Seems to be what happened when I bought my 1.25 Ghz G4 Mac Mini three years ago - still going fine, but it struggles with video encoding, EyeTV and Google Earth. Think long term, if possible.
  21. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    It's true that mbp's will last longer but is that worth it for the price? Here's what I mean:
    If you buy a $1000 macbook now and then again in 3 years that will be $2000 but the one in 3 years will be MUCH faster than any MBP now.
    If you buy a $2000 macbook pro now (the base model) it will last you 5 years but in 3 it will be very technologically behind. Even if you spend only $1500 on an mbp you will still have to replace it with something.

    Monetarily, in technology it is always a better VALUE (meaning what you get for the money) to buy low tech more often - this is because the difference in price between slightly old tech and very new tech is very high, but the difference in performance is NOT very high. That's why the macbook is a great VALUE.
  22. DCSMAC macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2005
    if your strategy is to buy low end frequently, then you will never have a machine capable of graphically intensive work or other high end programs that require a GPU. in three years if the MB still has a GMA integrated GPU, then this current MBP will still be faster than it at anything graphically intensive.
  23. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    I actually use this same strategy. It's sort of like leasing a car as opposed to buying. If you know your going to want to get a new computer in a few years, your better off spending less now. Personally, I just buy the computer that fits best for my needs and wants. I tend to be more impressed by good solid physical design over raw specs.

    Let's face it no matter what computer you buy, when it comes time to sell it, your losing money. You will never be able to sell it for what you bought it for, unless you get extremely lucky. And you know in three years there are going to be some sweet new Apple laptops out, so if I were you, I'd just buy the macbook with apple care, and when it expires sell it for an upgrade.
  24. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    I'd get a MBP. I got a black MB and well I guess I was dreaming of an experience closer to my old Core Duo iMac. Nice screen. Whisper quiet. Can play a few older games.

    I didn't get that and so I'm returning the MB and either sticking with my iMac for now or getting a MBP soon.

    The MB's screen kinda sucks imo. The viewing angle is really bad especially the up/down angle. Any change in position and the contrast really shifts big time. It's quite annoying. You have to view from the perfect angle otherwise meh. And you get some flickering when scrolling that's a bit annoying as well.

    Also the fans kick in gaming or other intensive tasks and the noise bugs. The sound sucks too. And gaming is a no-go. For example, WoW gets 25 fps max at lowest settings under the best in-game conditions. Not acceptable imo.

    So my recommendation is to eat bread and water for a month and step up to the MBP. :)
  25. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    Spoken like a true college student :)

    Entertaining, but I need fruit and vegetables in my diet.

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