First Time Buyer - Looking for a laptop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sbauer, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. sbauer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm looking to get a laptop and I'm not sure which one would be a better fit. I'm a software/web developer so I'll be using apps for that (TextMate, Apache, MySQL, etc..). I'll also need to run a Windows VM for Visual Studio.

    What would you recommend? MacBook or 15" MacBook Pro?
     
  2. ceezy3000 macrumors 6502

    ceezy3000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Location:
    The Valley!!
    #2
    macbook, it can do pretty much everything now with the new graphics chip, and for what your doing you could of used the old intel gmax3100 and it wouldve been fine
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #3
    9400M G WhiteBook or a refurbished Aluminium MacBook.
     
  4. CSilver macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    +1 on Refrub Alum Macbook ;) I am never going back to pc :rolleyes:
     
  5. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #5
    Depends on size of display you want.

    For 13.3" is MacBook aluminum unibody or revB MacBook Air. The MBA costs more but is an amazing Mac. I own one and love it. Fastest Mac I have ever owned due to SSD. It's super portable but amazingly powerful.

    Want a 15.4" buy a refurbished unibody MBP for $1699. Want a 17", you can buy a past generation for around same price - the new one will set you back more.

    All the Mac notebooks are excellent computers. I love the portability of my new MBA, and I am glad I paid the extra money over the standard model for a 1.86 and SSD. I would not say any of the three Mac notebooks is a bad choice. All comes down to your preference as they all can do the job nicely.
     
  6. mattniles007 macrumors 6502

    mattniles007

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    MacBook Pro if you can afford it. More powerful.
     
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #7
    I agree that the new MB is a lovely machine, while the MBA is stunning if portability is your main need. However, from what you write, your needs seem to call for an excellent screen, and for that, and for performance and power, the MBP is still the best on offer.


    Cheers and good luck
     
  8. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #8
    As a developer, you would probably appreciate the extra screen real estate afforded by the Pro. I'm not sure how graphically intense Visual Studio is, but the Pro also offers more graphical processing power.

    That said, the MacBook is far more portable, and I would probably choose that plus a decent external monitor. The 13.3" display is enough to do most work on (I've written long essays on it), and when you're at home, you have the benefit of lots of screen space. :)
     
  9. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #9
    I'm all about new whitebook + nice external display.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #10
    If you primarily do your work at your desk, and will rarely use it outside of home or the office, go with the MacBook + external display. If you're programming, a higher resolution screen is better, so the external LCD is essential. The MB's resolution is too low for such work, but in the case where you don't leave the desk often, the display is tolerable for doing a bit of work here and there, and it's a small, neat little computer that you can use easily on airplanes, buses, cafés, etc.

    However, if you plan on using your machine away from your home or office quite often, go with the 15" MBP despite the fact it's heavier and larger in size. You'll need to use your laptop's LCD more often, and the 15" MBP will give you a bit more resolution to work with. The 13" MB's screen resolution is too low to work comfortably for long periods of time away from the desk, so despite being lighter and smaller in size, it may not be the best work computer for a programmer.


    I know that's the opposite of what others may suggest since the MacBook is more portable, but that's my recommendation. ;)
     
  11. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #11
    ...Yes, but does the OP really need that power?

    A MacBook should do just fine.
     
  12. sbauer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #12
    Thanks a lot for all the replies.

    Because of the screen size, I'm leaning towards the MBP. I don't need anything extremely portable, but I also won't be near a monitor all the time.

    Also, VMWare Fusion seems to be pretty slick. How is it? Pretty positive? I'm thinking that might be perfect for my situation.
     
  13. Rayban macrumors member

    Rayban

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    #13
    VMWare is great. I have the Windows 7 Beta running on it's very responsive and fast.
     
  14. sbauer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #14
    Nice. Good to hear.

    Anyway, thanks for all the advice. I just purchased a MacBook Pro. I guess I'll be around here a lot more often now. Again, thanks for the help everyone.
     
  15. JonMcDonald macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    #15
    Congrats on the buy. I'm sure you'll quickly see how Mac > PC :). And the set up is literally as easy as 1-2-3. Just some advice for someone who just bought a Mac that hasn't used a Mac before...youtube trackpad tricks for Mac. You'll be amazed at what you can do! Learn Expose and Spaces, it'll help you keep the machine clean and simple :).

    Anddd stick around!
     
  16. Hoo03 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #16
    I am sure you will be very happy with your new MBP. Congrats on your purchase. Which model/version of the MBP did you end up choosing?
     
  17. sbauer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #18
    Thanks a lot. I hope so. When I get home I'll check out the video. Is Expore the window moving tool that's mapped to the F10/F11/F12 buttons? I've heard of Spaces, but I can't remember what that actually is. Looks like I have some reading to do.

    Thanks a lot. I got the 2.4GHz 15" MBP. I didn't modify anything from the base. I did buy a 4GB RAM upgrade from another site, though.
     

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