Getting a new laptop and have a couple of questions about the MacBook Pro and OS X

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Crunch, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Crunch macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2008
    Crazy L.A.
    Hi everyone. I'm about to get a new laptop this month and for the first time in 11 years, I am actively considering something other than a ThinkPad. I thought about getting HP's new EliteBook 8740w, in large part due to its (still unconfirmed) 10-bit IPS DreamColor display, but when HP announced its availability in March, they literally couldn't deliver. Same story in May, and when they finally took orders for it in late June, the shipping ETA is now July/early August. What a joke.

    For this and other reasons, I am seriously considering a MacBook Pro, specifically the 17" WUXGA model. Personally, I have always liked Windows but I've long been intrigued by Mac OS X. Apple has seen a resurgence of the Mac in recent years, and while it continues to be wildly popular amongst the growing number of loyal Mac enthusiasts, statistical information shows that a full 50% are actually new to the Mac, and therefore new to OS X as well. I've done a little bit of research but I always run into these so-called "fanboys" (what about the girls?) of both Mac and Windows alike, whose apparent and unhelpful hatred of the "opposing platform" gets in the way of any meaningful insight.

    With that out of the way, according to several articles I've read, the Mac OS is often times a significant reason for some people to switch to the Mac and stay with the Mac. At the same time, a dislike of Windows operating systems is sometimes a reason for a quite a few people to switch to the Mac as well. Are there any people who switched to the Mac and were disappointed and came back to Windows? I thought you could run Windows on any Intel-based Mac anyway, so why do some people switch back? Then there are those who suggest that OS X is sometimes quite a bit faster and significantly more robust than Windows. Really? Please elaborate. Yet others claim that Microsoft still keeps copying OS X for its own Windows OS, and that OS X is truly better?

    I'd really love to hear as to why some people consider Mac OS X superior when compared to Windows 7.

    Finally, what about Apple's hardware configurations these days? Compared to five years ago, have they have come down in price a little as far as bang-for-your-buck is concerned? Do you think you're getting your money's worth?

    When the 17" model was refreshed last year, Apple said that it had improved that specific model's display with supposedly much improved viewing angles, better black levels as well as a higher color gamut. Has anyone noticed an improvement of the display in the 17" model from two refreshes ago? How reliable are the MBP's and its components? Do they break down a lot? I know I can't remove the battery but that's not a problem for me at all. Will I be able to add my own RAM and swap out the hard drive? I'd like to be able to install my already purchased Intel Solid State drive, for example.

    I could really use some help with deciding as to what notebook would best suit me, so I'd love to hear some real stories and some solid information, particularly because if I go with a MacBook Pro, I'll be getting into a different and unfamiliar operating system.

    I thank you in advance for your advice.
  2. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    OS X & MacBook Pro


    First off whatever you decide its YOUR money your spending and you're the one going to be using it.

    Me - I'm a LONG TIME windows user and switcher as of this early spring (Feb.2010). I work as a contractor in the deskside analyst supporting Windows (WinXP for over 5yrs, and soon Win7). I use Windows by day, Mac OS X by night. I learned how to use computers back in 1980/81 on Commodore Pet, Vic20 (personal machine), and Apple IIc back in grade 4. Used Apple computers throughout grade school, never owning one, and then Windows in high-school and ever since until last December ~ well a 3 mth stint when 10.0.1-10.1.3 debuted.

    My reasons for switching: Audio Production something I've been dreaming of doing for years (since the Atari was the killer machine for this), Photo archiving and sharing (Family pictures), and my daughter is a budding visual artist (still filled with Windows in her head but starting to come along). For ALL the above the native and 3rd-party software, and hardware mix with stability is THE BEST on Mac OS X and has been for just over a decade.

    YES there is more software for Windows, YES there machines are cheaper, YES there machines have higher spec in hardware ... but you MUST consider this:
    * Apple machines ALWAYS have a higher resale value;
    OS X is supported for at least 3 generation increases before the hardware support begins to be phased out.
    Software for Windows is higher in numbers ~ but of those you need to consider the quality apps that really offer benefits for daily use. You should NOT have to download and test 5 apps (think WinXP SP1) to get ISO burning support!! Just an example. MANY windows only apps are being ported or redesigned from the ground up for Mac .... AutoCAD is the biggest set to debut this year (previous had been on Mac over 10yrs ago).
    Hardware build quality is superb (for the most part) throughout all models! I STILL have a heavily used 11yr PowerBook G4 667Mhz machine running OS X 10.4 and does so pretty well (Flash sucks on the browser but back then Flash was the new comer to the web). Few Scratches, still runs and looks great; I could probably sell this for $100/150 to a collector ... I doubt a Compaq E500 would sell for that much and its 8yrs old.
    The combination of hardware & native OS X software has been designed to run efficiently from get go ... Window must rely on the best drivers built by various components by external support to get things running well.

    The bonus is you CAN run Windows in a VM or native boot with Linux either way on your Mac ... best of BOTH worlds if like me you still need to keep up with the changes of Windows and how certain features work or only available in that world.

    Basically you cannot ignore Windows ... that would take decades even at a 10% market/sale drop each year starting in 2011; theoretical of course. Why should you be FORCED to choose? Get a Mac, run both and be happy either way.

    HP makes incredible EliteBook Pro series laptops ... the splash guard of the keyboards and best in class operating temperature ranges are amazing. But their still thick machines ... this makes a difference when you start going fully portable. Looking in pictures cannot show you what I'm referring to; goto local store and hold an EliteBook up to eye level, then a MacBook/Pro ... you'd be amazed by the weight as well. Another consideration ... is the heat on metal ... metal doesn't dissipate too well ~ I'm not sure if the Core i5's run cooler on heavy load, my late 2008 MacBook Aluminum gets pretty warm (70 degrees Celcius) with a C2D.

    NOTE! HP recently changed their Warranty policy ... if you goto a bestbuy or similar store to purchase your "new" HP Warranty ... the warranty begins from the DATE of sale to the store NOT to you!! I'll repeat that ... the WARRANTY begins from the date of arrival at the STORE NOT TO YOU!! I purchased a open box 6735B (not an EliteBook but similar in design & components) early January which the store Canada Computers (in Toronto) reported as new to HP and in 20days I registered it and saw warranty remaining was 10days ?! :O Yeah I freaked out and called head office which the rep blew me off, then called the store which these guys where cool, and on my behalf got my RMA from head office. HP, twice in the same night confirmed the warranty. I asked how does that make any sense ... they said stores have 30days to return a non-sold item for warranty not to be affected. If it wasn't for this issue I'd be using that HP right now ... even though I still lusted after a Mac. Turns out I found a quality used MacBook Unibody Aluminum for $850 back in February and it was STILL under its 1yr warranty ... yeah I went with AppleCare ... I've yet to find ANYTHING wrong with it to consider using the AppleCare.

    BONUS for me: Although mine is a MacBook, if it becomes a hardware issue that cannot be repaired within my AppleCare and its not user caused, my replacement will be the next MBP ... MB do not have metal cases (only my version does and was quickly changed), does not have backlit keyboards, and is a cheaper model. The only thing Apple could try to contest upgrading me to a MBP is mine doesn't have FireWire.

    The build quality, along with same company OS & support, along with no longer having to install drivers for: printers, camera, LCD's, Tablets, Speakers, remote controls, video cams, etc to work!

    CASE in POINT: I owned a PowerBook G3 3400c and this puppy understood the VGA connection to an 11" LCD with much higher speck & built 7yrs after that laptop was and within 3 seconds I had a working mirror display!! Ever since then the hallowed song that "with mac everything just works" became true for me.

  3. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    I do think Apple's hardware is a bit over priced. you do pay a premium to get the same specs like in a PC. BUT, the design is incredible. the multi touch glass track pad is amazing. I think you will like OSX. Its so much simpler. Installing programs is easy as drag and drop. Same goes for removing them. The build quality is a nice solid computer. It doesn't flex when held by a corner. Mag safe is nice because it doesn't stick out so far (like pcs do). The adapters on PCs are prone to being broken off. In short, I LOVE everything about my Mac, except that I got a 2.4 GHZ C2D for $1200. I wish I got more CPU power for that price, but its blazing fast anyways. I'm able to get 6 hours of web browsing on my settings with my MBP. BTW I have a 13" MBP.

    Go get one, and try it out. you have 14 days to return it, so what's not to love? Except the restocking fee. I think you will like it as much as Steve Jobs and I do. Don't forget, you can always run Windows on your Mac.

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