First time macbook pro questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mattrp, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. mattrp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm thinking about purchasing a new laptop come January due to my current laptop's loud fan, hot temperatures, and low battery life (1 hour). I began my search with windows laptops, but it seemed that every laptop I researched had something wrong with it. When I read the reviews from my friends and professionals regarding the macbook pro, I was impressed. I was even more impressed about the almost 7 hours of battery life. Nonetheless, I am still a little hesitate about switching from a lifelong windows user to a mac, and thus have a few questions:

    1) I'm currently a undergraduate finance/accounting student, so some of my classes require the use of a variety of accounting software. How compatible is Boot Camp with windows software and how easy is it to use?

    2) As a student, I will use Microsoft Office quite often. I have heard mixed reviews about Office for mac. How different is it from Office for windows? I will basically need Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Nothing too complex, just basic school projects and analysis.

    3) How easy is it to implement Macs with Windows based networks. At Home, I have 5 windows computers hooked up to a wireless network. Is it just as easy to connect to a wireless network whether its mac or windows?

    4) How long does the battery life really last on the macbook pro? It is advertised that it can last up to 7 hours, while most windows laptops that have 15 inch screens only last up to 2 to 3. Do mac really outperform windows on battery?

    5) I will probably wait for the next updated macbook pro. Does anyone know what time that will be? I don't want to be waiting in Feb, but if it is released in the beginning/middle of january, I can wait until the beginning of next semester.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Tiki35 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC, Canada
    #2
    1) Boot Camp is very easy to setup. You just create a partition for the Windows installation and then install your version of Windows from the retail CD. Then when you restart your MacBook Pro, you choose whether to run Windows or OS X. All the software you are currently running under Windows will run under Windows using Boot Camp. You do have to restart your laptop though when you want to change operating systems.
    2) Office for the Mac is similar, some people really love it or they hate it. But since you're going to be running Boot Camp anyway, just use your existing version of Office you use under Windows.
    3) I have 8 computers at home, two macs, two windows servers, and 4 PCs. Networking them is easy as is adding your MacBook Pro to your existing wireless network.
    4) Tough question, because it depends on what you're doing (ex. watching youtube videos or DVD movies will drain your battery faster), but my experience with my MacBook Pro is about 5 to 5.5 hours. Definitely better than a Windows laptop.
    5) I bet the next revision of the MacBook Pro will be February/March. Everyone buying one for Christmas would be upset if one came out in January.
     
  3. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #3
    Hello.

    Boot Camp lets you run Windows natively, meaning that it is like any other PC with Windows on it and lets you run any software that Windows does support.

    They both suck? I don't really know. I used Office 2007 (Windows) and Office 2008 (Mac), and both times it was a frustrating experience.
    They both differ in their GUI and methods of achieving the same results.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    You can also look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_2007 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_2008_for_Mac

    Relatively easy as it mostly depends on the router, which is in most homes not Windows based.


    On my 15" uMBP with the replaceable battery I had an average battery time of 3 hours with the integrated graphics chip (9400M). On my 17" uMBP I get up to 6 hours out of my battery with the 9400M with moderate use of the CPU (15-25% on both cores).

    It is rumoured, that the next refresh is in January, but nothing is set in stones. Have a look around the MBP sub-forum, there are many threads awaiting their guesses.


    Also have a look here, to get you started and to see, if Mac OS X is for you.
    http://www.apple.com/support/mac101/ and http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    [Edit: Ninja'd while typing.]

    Your questions are pretty standard, and you can find other threads here with a search, but here are some answers:

    If you're using Boot Camp to boot directly into Windows, it IS Windows. No different from any other laptop by another manufacturer with similar hardware specs running Windows. Thus, 100%. There's no way for anything to not be compatible, unless you have something that accesses a specific hardware component with which the driver doesn't play nice (not likely with accounting software). Now, you could of course have trouble with something particular being incompatible with a particular version of Windows, but that will happen regardless of who makes the hardware it's running on.

    If you want to run Windows in a virtual machine, then the answer is: Basically 100%. So long as the app doesn't try to directly access hardware, almost no program will have any idea it's running on a virtualized copy of Windows. Even if it DOES access hardware directly, it will often work (I've for example gotten disk rippers or firmware updaters running fine over USB). Again, I doubt anything accounting-related will have any issues, even if it uses a hardware copy protection dongle.

    The advantage of a virtual machine of course being that you don't need to reboot into Windows (and if you need to reboot Windows or restore to a backup of your installation, you can keep working on your Mac during the process).

    Somewhat, particularly with MS's new interface in Office 2007 on Windows. I've never gotten complaints at work about people having difficulty switching from Mac Office to Windows or vice versa at work, personally (I heard far more complaints about Office 2007 vs earlier Windows versions). I myself prefer the Mac interface, though 2008 on the Mac added some stupid interface changes. At absolute worst, of course, you could always run Office Windows in a virtual machine, though I doubt you'll feel the need to.

    Yes. Never once had a problem, whether hooking up a box to my home wireless/wired combo network or at work where we have two dozen machines of both platforms running through a switch. (Actually, I usually have far more problems getting XP to recognize or properly connect to a wireless network than my Mac.)

    Somebody else will have to help you on this. My old 1st generation 17" MacBook Pro lasts a good two or three hours on a charge if I'm not doing anything processor intensive, but can't speak for anything newer.

    The guessing game is one you usually lose at. The MacRumors Buyer's Guide are about as good of a guess as anyone will be able to give you. If you want a wAG, I wouldn't put money on new machines before Feburary, though post-newyear refreshes aren't out of the ordinary.
     
  5. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #5
    1) If you don't need any CPU/GPU intensive apps, then use a VM. Free VM clients like VirtualBox work really well and allows you to run Windows in a box under OS X. No ideal for gaming/video/editing/cpu or gpu intensive work. I don't think accounting software fits in that category.

    2) Office for Mac isn't that bad, but if you need macros (not basic stuff) in Excel, dead end for you. IDK, but maybe accounting touches on macros? Either way, using Windows thru a VM solves both 1 and 2. Run Windows in VM, open up Office in Windows.

    3) In my home network, it's always a hassle to get a PC working. On Mac, it's a simple few clicks in the Sharing option in System Preferences and I'm done. On Windows dominated networks, it's no problem at all.

    4) The newer built-in battery models last 7+ hours in the real world (even though it's advertised as 8). For CPU/GPU intensive tasks, that figure will drop significantly, but basic use (Word, Safari, iTunes, Mail, etc.) my battery lasts about 8 hours.

    5) If the new models most likely won't offer you any benefits, then why wait? Eventually, everything will be outdated/old. So I would just buy it and use it. A computer is a just a tool. If you stand to benefit from the Arrandale/Clarksfield processors (mobile Core i7) then wait. If it won't do anything for you, then why wait for something you don't need/use?
     
  6. mattrp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #6
    Thank you for all the replies. It looks like a macbook pro will be my next purchase, I just don't know if I would really need / use the update CPU on the refresh. Anyway, I just have one additional question. I have a bunch of printers at home. I was just thinking that the only CD's I get with them is for windows? Are all printers compatible with macs? are the drivers online?
     
  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #7
    List of included printer drivers (for 10.5, but 10.6 should not be that different):
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1370

    And many manufacturers of printers also have printer drivers on their website. You can take a look, if you want.
     
  8. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #8
    Office mac is a disaster if you need VBA, i.e. the functions for doing stats work in excel, they do not exist in office mac 08, nor will they ever. Im still carrying my pitchfork because of that.
     
  9. YMark macrumors 6502a

    YMark

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Location:
    Arizona
    #9
    Like other posters have said, Office 2007 for Windows and 2008 for the Mac both suck. I have to use them for work.

    If I had my choice, I would use iWork.

    Regarding boot camp, I would only use this if I HAD to. Personally, I don't use it because I don't want to pollute my iMac with Windows. If you are going to use Bootcamp, you might as well use Office for Windows, if for no other reason, you get VB. This might come in handy.
     
  10. YMark macrumors 6502a

    YMark

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Location:
    Arizona
    #10
    The next Office suite for the Mac is supposed to have VB again.
     
  11. kate-willbury macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    #11
    first of all you will definitely not get 7 hours. my macbook barely lasts 2 hours at most with general internet surfing etc. and i dont know who told you otherwise but macbooks get just as hot/fan noises like any other notebook.

    honestly i thought i would be impressed when i got my first mac. huge disappointment. my pc is still my real workhorse while my mac is just for low-brow surfing now.
     
  12. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #12
    Yes, i think anyone who has 08 should get a discount, or something, we pretty much got robbed of a very important feature, which, by the way, all of the pcs had on their version.
     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #13
    Ahh, forgot to mention that, and given the accounting focus, the OP might actually be using VBA. Though, as YMark pointed out, it's supposed to be back with the next version, whenever that ships.

    The lack of VBA has kept some of the people where I work on 2004, since they use it for statistical analysis. Then again, 2004 has a lot less boneheaded interface things than 2008, so I don't exactly consider that a minus. (Seriously, who's genius idea was it to slap a fat template toolbar on every window that you can't turn off? In a set of apps that have been known for having far, far too many pointless options, at that. Then there's 2008's inability to set environment defaults on new documents, which seems like an even dumber mistake.)
     
  14. nStyle macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #14
    My MBP only gets like 5-6 hours. Thats with light work. Don't know where this 7 hour is coming from.
     
  15. 1rottenapple macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #15
    the battery life is seriously great. i can get 7hrs by being conservative (no wifi and 70% brightness). However, moderate use can get 5-6hrs.
     
  16. ARF900 macrumors 65816

    ARF900

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    #16
    1. Boot camp is easy to use, youll need to reboot to switch OS, also keep in mind mac doesnt come with a windows OS, youll need to purchase one seperatley.

    2. Its fine, overpriced when iwork or even open office are just as good, but its fine

    3. Im not sure about mac to PC communication I havent tried that alot, but macs are VERY good at wifi connection, they connect almost instantly at wake from sleep and are fine as far as speed, not sure what you mean here though.

    4. With Safari, Airport, Quicksilver, Mail, and pages running I get a solid 4 1/2 hours. On a plane I can still get about 4 hours of video playback.

    4. Possibly 27th, maybe sooner.
     
  17. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
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    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #17
    May I know how you come upon this thread?
    It's really curiosity, as I can't fathom how such threads get resurrected, especially ones that have been answered over and over.
     

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