Disappointed in macbook...should I get something else?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Malus, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. Malus macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2005
    Hello all, I have a question, or rather opinion to ask of you.

    Alright, so I have this macbook. Its great and all, but....i need something more. I originally had an imac, and I sold it after I decided to comute to college rather than living on campus. Anyway, I thought I was going to use this macbook A LOT more at school, when in reality I really don't.

    So, my question is this. Should I buy a cheap imac for home and have a laptop for on the go? Or is this a little too excessive? I've never owned 2 computers. I have to money for it, but I'm not sure if I should or not.

    Thanks for all of your advice!
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Perhaps if you could explain more specifics of your vague discontentment? Why don't you use the notebook? What is it that you can't do that you think you should/could/would do? What is it that you were doing on your iMac that is painful/difficult/impossible/impractical now?

    I have a two Mac setup (an iBook and an iMac), and it works for me. But I'm not you.
  3. hawaiian macrumors member


    I think it's a little difficult to answer your question without knowing what exactly it is that you find unsatisfactory. Why would having 2 computers help your situation? You said that you thought that you would use the macbook a lot more. What are you doing/using instead?
  4. Malus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2005
    There is nothing really wrong with the macbook preformance wise. Though using it at my desk seems very cluttered and uncomfortable. I tried using an external keyboard and mouse, but it still just doesnt seem right. MAybe its just the screen size that is whats getting to me. MAybe I should just buy a new monitor? Or use my soon to be hdtv as a monitor...hmmmmm.
  5. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    Yes, good idea. Get a monitor and turn it into a desktop when working at home.
  6. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    How about a Mac mini and .Mac to keep everything synced?
  7. Malus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2005
    Would I be able to close the laptop without damaging it via heat?
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Unless your HDTV is 1080p you won't get more screen real estate, everything will just be bigger. I am not a fan of using TVs as monitors but if you must just make sure its 1080p or your results will be disappointing. The MacBook can drive monitors up to 1920X1200 resolution.

    Yes. MacBooks can operate in clamshell mode. If you are worried you can just leave the screen up.
  9. shikimo macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2007
    Lyon, France

    I think I know exactly what you mean...it might be stupid, but I found it difficult--before it was stolen:(--to use my laptop at home, on a desk, where a desktop belongs. Even with a full keyboard, etc., I still prefer to have a full-on desktop. If you have the money, I recommend buying an iMac (in a few weeks when they're a bit fresher, maybe???) and using your laptop as they were originally designed to be used: as a complementary tool that allows you to do what you need to do on the go. It seems unlikely that it would disappoint you at all in this role.

    Just my opinion, anyway...I know there are zillions of people who use MacBook and MacPro as their main system with no problems, but you sound sort of like I felt back when I was lucky enough to still have my iBook.
  10. fuzzynavo macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2004
    I think the main question is whether or not you plan on being home much to use a desktop such as an iMac. I tried doing the iMac + Powerbook 12" combination - using the laptop when I'm on the go. The problem is, as a student, I'm hardly ever home so my laptop gets 95% of the use, and the iMac just sits there. If you're on the move nearly as much as I am I would recommended just getting an external display. Trying to use two computers and keeping all the information in sync drove me nuts. Thats why I decided to sell the iMac and PB and invest in a new MBP.
  11. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2006
    Ever considered trading it in, and getting a 15" MBP?

    Could be perfect timing as they've just been updated! :)
  12. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    Sounds like you want to get yourself a nice 23" Apple display, external keyboard and mouse, and some speakers.
    Personally I would leave the notebook screen open and have dual monitors, but you can close the lid and use just the external monitor. Also maybe get a iCurve stand to raise the monitor up to eye level. The you have a good desktop setup and a portable aswell, without having to worry about which computer your data is on.
  13. Poncho macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2007
    Macbook and monitor trick

    I use a Macbook and a monitor but I put the Macbook to sleep in mirror mode then wake it up using a USB stick. This way the monitor comes to life and you can use the keyboard and track pad on the Macbook but the screen on the Macbook stays off.
  14. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    That’s good advice – although if he’s going to get an external monitor and not use both screens, there’s less advantage but it would help with cooling.

    If the OP was just going to use the one screen, an iLap would be worth considering as the OP wouldn’t need an external keyboard (although like you, I would recommend it) and would be great for when slouching around the house – which should help the OP get a bit more use out of the machine.

    I think the real issue is that the OP isn’t using the machine as much as he thought, rather than it doesn’t fulfil his needs – the larger screen would probably help, but it would be more of a hassle to sell/buy laptops than just get an external monitor.
  15. shipdestroyer macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I've found that my Macbook as a desktop, whether connected to a monitor/keyboard/mouse or not, is somehow disappointing, too. Maybe my desk is too big.

    That's why I'm waiting for new iMacs. :)
  16. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    I use a macbook Pro with an external keyboard, mouse etc as my main desktop machine.

    The important thing for me was getting the screen raised to the point a standard monitor would be; after that just forget about it.

    I would like an external monitor because of the size, but I can live without it.

    I think partly, there is a certain mentality (for me anyway) with owning a laptop. I assumed that it wouldn't be as powerful as my old dual 1.8 G5 but it runs over double the software instances (on the same ram no less) as my G5 and if you don't treat it like an inferior counterpart to the desktop, you'll get used to it I'm sure!
  17. richard4339 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2006
    I usually end up flipping back and forth like this as well. In my case, I do have a MBP, but I also have a custom-built PC running Vista for schoolwork (stupid CS courses). So, if I'm gravitating more towards my desktop crave, I go to the PC. If not, I head for the Mac.

    Lately, I've really been using my PC more than the Mac simply because of the battery life of my Mac has dropped from decent at best to downright horrible. And, in the past, my biggest problem has been keeping files updated between the two. And since .Mac's iDisk is not yet Vista compatible, things can get tricky. But I've been seriously leaning towards purchasing an iMac or Mac Mini soon. I guess time and money will tell...
  18. fewture macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2006
    I dont get this. What if you chucked your macbook into a desktop case (literally open up an empty one, and put in the macbook in there to hide). Then plug it in to keyboard, mouse, speaker, external monitor...

    How would that be different to a desktop? Is it just the knowledge that you are using a laptop connected to monitor/keyboard etc?

    (not trying to be rude or anything, just want to know why it doesn't seem right)

    Plus agree with above, syncing your stuff can be a nightmare. Although there might be good software (I have had bad experiences on PCs) I am too worried about risking my days saved work on a program to get the sync right.

    I am getting a macbook in its revision so I only have one computer.
  19. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    Maybe a 15" MBP would do the trick? I use my MBP as a desktop computer with external mouse and keyboard and I find the screen is big enough for me
  20. geoffy macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2007
    There is no doubt that the MB screen is small. Using an external keyboard will mean that the display is further away from you, making it even harder to read. Go for a MB PRO and you won't even need a desktop or external monitor. The PROs do run hot.
  21. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    That's what I do with my MBP. External LCD, keyboard and mouse, and presto it's a desktop. Good deal.
  22. mikehokie macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007
    Fairfax, Virginia

    Let's see here...

    $2,000 computer
    $250 LCD
    $50 for keyboard and mouse
    $300 for Apple Care

    That's quite a bit of money when you could just use your MacBook. The only performance wise thing different that is noticeable is the dedicated GPU. But honestly unless you are doing some heavy Motion work with FCP 2 or gaming using Boot Camp then just keep the MacBook. Spending money on computers in college is really going to hurt you when you get into the real world and start you off in some debt. So just stick to the MacBook and keep 1 computer. If you really hate the screen get a 24" Dell LCD or Samsung 20". Both are widescreen and work great with a MacBook.

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