Final questions before buying my first MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Xeno-V, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Xeno-V macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys, in the next days/weeks I am going to buy my first MBP and I thought that I should ask some questions first.

    In less than a month I am moving to The Netherlands for my MSc in Finance.
    I want a laptop mostly for studying PDF files for college, spreadsheets in Excel and net browsing, multimedia use etc when I have some time to spare, so no video or image editing or anything really demanding.

    At first I thought that I would go for the base 13'' MBP + monitor etc, but probably I 'll stay there for 1 year at most, and moving a monitor + mouse/keyboard wherever I go next might be a hassle, so I thought that maybe I should go for the 15'' base model and nothing more (that's my first dilemma).

    The second dilemma is between the 15'' base model for $1699 from Amazon VS almost $1988 for the 15'' base MBP + hi-def AG + $100 gift card via educational discount through Apple Store. So the extra $135 for the AG will eventually cost me a lot more due to state taxes etc. The gift card is definitely a "+", but still I don't know if it could convince me.

    The thing is that I don't have an Apple Store nearby and I don't know if I should pay that much for an AG monitor. The only one that I' ve seen is the glossy one and I wasn't impressed, so I just expect that the AG will be more appropriate for me. Do you think that the cost of upgrading to a hi-def screen will be worth the extra $$ according to my needs? I just want a screen that will be easy on the eyes because I will have to study a lot and that's my main concern.

    Any thoughts from people with relevant experience? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. rockyroad55 macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #2
    Based on your needs, a windows PC will do the same things if you were to use a Mac. But I think the 13" MBP will last you a while if you stick with apple.
     
  3. Xeno-V thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    #3
    Yeah I know that I could get any windows laptop as I need to do some basic stuff pretty much. The thing is that the only windows laptop that I really like is the latest Toshiba Portege (R835), a 13.3'' ultraportable.
    When it comes to the 15'' category, all of them seem pretty bulky and after using for a short while an MBP, all the other keyboards that I tried felt pretty cheap.

    As for the 15'' MBP maybe I should go for the base model. If I ever see the hi-res AG model from up-close there will be no turning back apparently, but ignorance is bliss as they say.

    Still it will take a bit longer until I make up my mind. It should be simple, but although I have saved the money that I need, I think that I 'd better buy something sufficient for my needs and save some money for apps, a case etc.
     
  4. rockyroad55 macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #4
    I would definitely spring for the 13" since you like the Portege because of its portability. With the money you are saving for going with the 13" instead of the 15", you can probably get applecare and a case/sleeve. If you are a student, get the $100 App gift card and you'll be set on the software side too. You can also use the money to buy extra RAM or a better HDD since the one that comes with the MBP is only a 5400RPM drive.
     
  5. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #5
    Finance=Excel=highest screen res you can afford or external monitor.

    I would look at the soon to be revised 13" MacBook Air or 15" MacBook Pro with high res LCD.

    When you deal with excel for hours a day, you want to see as many cells as possible with as little scrolling as possible. The MacBook Air has 1440x900 resolution and so does the standard MBP 15". The high res version of the 15" MBP has 1680x1050? I think.

    You can't fit a 30 year mortgage amortization schedule on a 13" MBP screen, although I don't know how much fits on the others.

    My friend worked on wallstreet for 5 years with a 15" brick of a Dell as his personal PC. His work PC had dual 20's. His Dell had an incredible 1600x1200 resolution. Imagine his surprise when he went to uni for an MS in finance and ordered a 13" Dell with 1280x800 (same as MBP 13") then realized it sucked for excel compared to what he was used to...

    My point is for excel, get the max pixels that Apple offers for that screen size ie 13" MacBook Air or hi-res 15".

    The other thing is how close to campus will you be living? If you are going to be living far enough away, spending 10-12 hours a day there, then you'll want those extra pixels with you rather than on an external monitor at home.

    Excel is one of the few low power/resource apps that does benefit immensely for a higher res screen.

    Personally, my excel experience...
    I took 3 finance, 3 accounting, and 3 operations/QA classes last year and hated every minute of scrolling in Excel in every single of those classes.
    I had a 13" MacBook with the same screen res as the 13" MBP and would not recommend it if you can afford a MacBook with a higher res screen.
     
  6. Xeno-V thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for the replies, I know that the 13mbp+monitor would be the best combo, especially since I can buy monitors such as Dell's U2311H (IPS) for 200EUR at most. If I knew that I would stay there for a long time things would be different, but there's always a chance that I will move to another city/country in 8-12 months for an internship or a full-time job, so maybe it wouldn't be the wisest decision.

    The 15 MBP would be a safer choice, but for my needs paying almost $1700 for the base model, or even almost $2000 for the AG and the extra screen real estate might be just way too much.

    At least I am paying in euros so I am saving a great amount of money compared to Apple Stores in Europe, but still I' d rather save some money to spend in other stuff that I will eventually need.
     
  7. organerito macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #7
    I really like the MBA, but if you need a bigger screen not very expensive, do you absolutely have to buy a Mac? A XPS 15z is also a very nice laptop. You would have extra money for a monitor or anything else.
     
  8. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #8
    i pad for reading pdfs (goodreader+goodreaderusb is the way to go). reading pdfs on the computer (any screen size) is a real pain. i love it, and i read a lot more now thanks to it.

    mba 11", mba 13", mbp 13", or mbp 15" all sound fine to me for the rest of your use. i am a heavy adobe acrobat pro user (creating and editing pdfs) so i felt like i needed the 13" mbp with 8GB ram and a hdd. but, i think i could have gone with the mbas and been happy as well. it was a tough choice, made easier by my loathing of the mba bezel :) depending on how the refreshed mbas come out, i may end up moving to one of them sometime in the next year or so.

    as someone who spends a lot of time moving about (several international flights a year and currently abroad), i'd say a smaller computer is a lot more pleasant.
     
  9. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    #9
    Toshiba laptops are good, the problem is the OS that runs on them what kills them.
    I would recommend get at least the 15" MBP, just make sure is the latest version and has all the features you need or may need later, so you won't have any regrets in the future.
     
  10. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    #10
    Hello Palpatine, justa quick question, maybe out of topic, but do you know of any iPad App that would do at least the basic editing Acrobat Pro does? Thanks! :D
     
  11. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #11
    I gotta say I love my anti glare, I was in two minds till I went to an apple store and there was no comparison for me, the AG was just much better!

    If you going to be spending anytime outside on campus or working from bars cafe's etc then I would give the AG some thought
     
  12. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #12
    By editing, I mainly meant combining files into PDFs (I scan or photograph a lot of documents, deleting / adding pages, rotating pages, doing ocr recognition, bookmarking sections, etc. Goodreader does some of that. What did you have in mind?
     
  13. Xeno-V thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    #13
    I' m pretty sure that 90% of my time will be spent while studying in my dorm or at the library, so maybe I should save some money ($300 actually) for anything else that I might need.
    AG would be really nice (and the higher resolution of course), but maybe I should just forget it and go with the base model:/.

    Anyway thanks guys for your help so far, I hope that I' ll pull the trigger sometime soon :).
     
  14. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #14
    I have the base 15" MBP (2010 model) and love it. I would like AG for those rare times when there is a bright area behind me but that has not been a real problem. I am in the minority that does not like the high res screen since the fonts get small and hurt my eyes - this is a real problem for some people. This also makes things like photos and youtube videos smaller to view which I hate. Anyway, when I need more space I simply use an external monitor.

    It is all personal preference so it is best to check it out in person - a consensus means little when you are the odd man out ;)
     
  15. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #15
    Another option would be the 13" and the cheapest iPad wifi. They're great for reading PDFs and you can buy a $10 app that let's you use it as a second screen for your laptop.
     
  16. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #16
    best idea in my opinion. this is what i do. again, given the benefits you can get out of portability, and your non-demanding usage requirements, i don't really see much point in spending a bunch more money on a bigger and more powerful computer that ultimately won't help in getting you where you want to go-- educated with a job.
     
  17. the vj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    #17
    I just to work with a 12" Powerbook connected to a 20" Apple display, external mouse, keyboard and hard drive. It was the perfect set up.

    I believe you can get the 13" and any extra monitor + keyboard and mouse. Make your keyboard WIRED and the mouse can be wireless as long as you get the electromagnetic charger.

    You are all set.
     

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