gf shopping for Notebook. Must buy today. [UPDATED: with pics]

aohus

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 4, 2010
1,771
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sky
Things she needs it for:

- Facebook
- Paying bills, checking email
- Word Processing
- Internet


She's not a web/graphic designer, nor is she a gamer. I mean, I guess I could have pushed her for a netbook style device, but the subpar performance of traditional netbooks sways me to an MBP.

Questions

- How is the performance of the C2D compared to the '09 model ? Marginally better? What is the actual processor being used? E8400?

- Likelihood of refresh? I know its been asked many times, but what are the chances of an i5 on the 13' in the coming months?

- Go for upgrade to 2.66ghz? $300 price difference to go from 2.4 to 2.66 and some extra HDD space doesn't seem worth it.

- How hot does it run? Does the bottom surface of the MBP get really warm after prolonged use? Furthermore, if I put laptop on top of a pillow or blanket, would the MBP get hotter? Currently my Lenovo Thinkpad T400 does not have any heating issues. My previous HP laptop was horrendous with regards to heat management.

- MBP 13" can be hackintoshed? If I go hackintosh route, would all the drivers work? (ethernet driver, sound, chipset drivers)

I know, its a lot of questions, but I hope to get them answered by you all.

edit: whats a good case to get that a woman wouldn't mind carrying?

UPDATE: she ended up with the 13" MBP. Looks great!

 

Nick23

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2010
21
0
the new 2010 models use 2.4 GHz (P8600) or 2.66 GHz (P8800) Intel Core 2 Duo with 3 MB on-chip L2 cache

I would not upgrade to the 2.6ghz model, save the 300 dollars and buy a better after market hd. you really wont notice a difference to justify the money on the faster cpu.

i just got my 13 inch macbook pro yesterday and the bottom does get warm when i am playing a game like SL, but for the most part it inst too bad. I was worried about the heat as well and do not think its that big of a deal as long as your not making it work like crazy all the the time. Call me crazy but sometimes a little heat on the legs and lap feels kinda nice lol
 

stonyc

macrumors 65816
Feb 15, 2005
1,259
1
Michigan
Things she needs it for:

- Facebook
- Paying bills, checking email
- Word Processing
- Internet


She's not a web/graphic designer, nor is she a gamer. I mean, I guess I could have pushed her for a netbook style device, but the subpar performance of traditional netbooks sways me to an MBP.
Does she have a preference for aluminum? Otherwise, everything she requires would just as easily be handled by the White Macbook, and have money left over to boot. You would save roughly $200 based on the non-Edu price, it would handle everythign you've listed that she needs beautifully, and with the money saved you could get her Applecare for added peace of mind, or some upgrades (like RAM or a bigger harddrive). You would save even more money if you got a refurbished Macbook.

- How is the performance of the C2D compared to the '09 model ? Marginally better? What is the actual processor being used? E8400?
If you're comparing the '09 model C2D to the 13", the newer revision is only incrementally better. Where you see improvement is from the newer GPU. If you're asking about the i5 or i7, google for performance comparisons... but yes, i5 and i7 are, in general, faster than the C2D.

- Likelihood of refresh? I know its been asked many times, but what are the chances of an i5 on the 13' in the coming months?
Just my opinion, but very low to nil.

- Go for upgrade to 2.66ghz? $300 price difference to go from 2.4 to 2.66 and some extra HDD space doesn't seem worth it.
Nope, not worth it. Especially for what she wants to do.

- How hot does it run? Does the bottom surface of the MBP get really warm after prolonged use? Furthermore, if I put laptop on top of a pillow or blanket, would the MBP get hotter? Currently my Lenovo Thinkpad T400 does not have any heating issues. My previous HP laptop was horrendous with regards to heat management.
Yes it can get hot (depending on your use), yes, and definitely yes (you're probably blocking the fan vent and not allowing the aluminum to fully conduct some of the heat away from the components as it was designed to do). You'll even find a disclaimer in the documentation that comes with the notebook (note, I wrote notebook, and not laptop) that advises against using the MB/MBP on your lap. That said, depending on what you're doing, it doesn't get uncomfortably hot. But you shouldn't be using any notebook on your laptop for prolonged or extensive tasks, Apple or not.

- MBP 13" can be hackintoshed? If I go hackintosh route, would all the drivers work? (ethernet driver, sound, chipset drivers)
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Hackintoshing (which I've done multiple times) usually means that you are using PC hardware (ex. EeePC, MSI Wind, Dell Mini9/10, desktop builds, notebooks, etc.) to install OS X on it. Technically, the answer to this question is "Yes." but only because it already has been "hackintoshed"... it just hasn't been "hacked" to do so... rather, the MBP already comes "toshed".

Now, if you were instead asking if you could install Windows or one of the Linux flavors on to the MBP, then the answer to that is also Yes. But you will need to use Bootcamp or some other bootloader program, like rEFIt.

In terms of a case, going to an Apple store location should score you a selection of cases that she might like. My wife has an Incase neoprene sleeve, and also one of the padded Incase sleeves with the handles which has a couple pockets for power supplies, etc.
 

bigjobby

macrumors 65816
Apr 7, 2010
1,040
0
London, UK
virtually any notebook at half the price of a MBP would work perfectly fine but if she wants to look good, a base MB would be better as a MBP is a bit excessive IMO.
 

aohus

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 4, 2010
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OP, do you know what a hackintosh is?
i mean going from osx to windows environment. is it possible? edit: looks like its possible. is there a link that shows how to install it?

btw stonyc, thanks for the in depth answers. thanks for taking the time for the writeup.
 

mark28

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2010
1,632
2
Any computer can do those sorts of things.

A 13" MBP is even way too powerfull, she'll never even max it :D So just go for the base model 13 inch.
 

aohus

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 4, 2010
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dr.shdw thanks for the links to deals. helps out a lot.

with regards to MB vs MBP, after doing configuration on apple site, the MBP base model for 13" is only $100 more than the MB with 4GB. (MB = $1099, MBP = $1199)

So now I'm wondering, other than the MB being white, whats the difference in build quality? Is the MBP more durable than the MB? Build quality is essential imo

thanks in advanced.
 

mark28

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2010
1,632
2
dr.shdw thanks for the links to deals. helps out a lot.

with regards to MB vs MBP, after doing configuration on apple site, the MBP base model for 13" is only $100 more than the MB with 4GB. (MB = $1099, MBP = $1199)

So now I'm wondering, other than the MB being white, whats the difference in build quality? Is the MBP more durable than the MB? Build quality is essential imo

thanks in advanced.
SD slot, firewire.

But the Macbook apparently doesn't heat up as much though.

On the other hand, it's hard for the White Macbook to stay white.
 

stefan1975

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2010
605
0
the MB scratches, the MBP gets dents. i think both are durable enough to last you way past its economical lifetime. The white MB lacks backlit keyboard though, but the white MB's screen is better imho since it does not have the glass plate mirror of the MBP.

from what i hear and see with friends around me the white MB has more girlie attraction, i mean all girls i know want the pretty white MB instead of the dull grey one.

the MBP also has firewire but you don't sound if that would matter.

Both would be way too powerful and expensive for what a $400 windows laptop could also do for your gf, although it won't have the wow-factor of the glowing apple on the lid of course.
 

Protokoll

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2008
32
0
The MBP is structurally supported by a single piece of machined aluminum whereas the MacBook is primarily polycarbonate. The MacBook will show significant wear over time. The white wrist-rest will dirty/yellow over time, even if you take great care in keeping the notebook in pristine condition. Polycarbonate is also extremely susceptible to scratches, nicks and dings/dents. Overall, the MBP is a more solid-feeling machine. There are no creaky hinges or yielding plastic when you pick up the notebook with one hand. In addition, the MBP gets you the ability to use up to 8GB of RAM, whereas the MacBook will max out at 4GB. You're also going to lose the SD card slot and the FireWire-800 port, although you have to decide how important those features are for you.

The base 13" MBP is only $999 at Microcenter: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0334909

So for the same price as the MacBook at the Apple Store, you can get 2GB more GB of RAM, an aluminum enclosure, the ability to upgrade to 8GB of RAM, an SD card slot and a FireWire-800 port. It's really a no brainer. Just get the $999 MBP at Microcenter or get the refurb from the Apple Store for $1019 if there isn't a Microcenter near you.
 

aohus

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 4, 2010
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The MBP is structurally supported by a single piece of machined aluminum whereas the MacBook is primarily polycarbonate. The MacBook will show significant wear over time. The white wrist-rest will dirty/yellow over time, even if you take great care in keeping the notebook in pristine condition. Polycarbonate is also extremely susceptible to scratches, nicks and dings/dents. Overall, the MBP is a more solid-feeling machine. There are no creaky hinges or yielding plastic when you pick up the notebook with one hand. In addition, the MBP gets you the ability to use up to 8GB of RAM, whereas the MacBook will max out at 4GB. You're also going to lose the SD card slot and the FireWire-800 port, although you have to decide how important those features are for you.
Thanks for the feedback I was looking for. I will definitely have her get the 13" MBP. Its definitely worth it after what you described with the standard MB.

So to recap what the MBP has that the MB doesnt:
MBP = aluminum build | dents but doesn't scratch | SD card | illuminated backlit keys | firewire port | edge to edge glass
 

Protokoll

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2008
32
0
So to recap what the MBP has that the MB doesnt:
MBP = aluminum build | dents but doesn't scratch | SD card | illuminated backlit keys
It also has double the included and potential maximum amount of RAM (4GB included in the MBP with a possible maximum of 8GB), a FireWire-800 port and the display is edge-to-edge glass with a black border for exceptional contrast.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
- MBP 13" can be hackintoshed? If I go hackintosh route, would all the drivers work? (ethernet driver, sound, chipset drivers)
If what you're buying is a MacBook Pro, then it doesn't NEED to be "hackintoshed." A Hackintosh is something that is done to non-Apple hardware to run OS X (the Mac operating system).

And, if you don't know what hackintosh is, I don't recommend you even try. It takes work and skill to get it right.
 

stefan1975

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2010
605
0
It also has double the included and potential maximum amount of RAM (4GB included in the MBP with a possible maximum of 8GB), a FireWire-800 port and the display is edge-to-edge glass with a black border for exceptional contrast.
both the MB and the MBP support 8gb ram just fine, so that's no problem either way. and you can get 4gb much cheaper then from apple aftermarket.

i wouldn't buy it on impulse without seeing either first. The MBP is alu yes but if you're gf is at all sensitive to reflections the MB is *much* easier on the eyes without that awful glass plate they put in front. If i were to buy a 2010 13" apple system, it would be the white MB for the screen alone but it is personal preference.

the FW can be a dealbreaker if you have stuff you need to connect with it.

Overall, the MBP is a more solid-feeling machine
well it is funny but i found the white macbook to feel a bit more solid for some reason. my sister has the white MB and a friend the MBP and the alu felt thinner then the plastic and I could flex it between my fingers if that makes any sense at all. My sister also got herself some kind of moshi palmrest which kept it nice and white for over 18 months now.
 

deus ex machina

macrumors regular
May 28, 2010
155
0
The LCD screen is better on the MBP as well. I doubt you would regret spending the extra money for the aluminum model.
 
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