Going from MacBook Pro to MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by kolax, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #1
    I've had my Unibody MacBook Pro about 40 days now and I travel with it everyday to University. I've come to the point where I'm considering getting a 13" MacBook instead. The size is the reason.

    I've been playing a few games on the 9400M and it really is a capable card. Enough for casual gaming (I really just play Tiger Woods 08).

    Only reason that stopped me from getting a MacBook was FireWire. Though, now I've realised that I don't use my FireWire Audio Mixer much or at all and I'm considering selling it for a USB one instead.

    So, I come to my actual question. Is the screen really that bad compared to the Pro? The previous gen MacBook's screen wasn't that hot, but I saw someone with a Unibody MacBook in the library today and as I walked past, the viewing angle and colour actually seemed pretty good.

    Has anyone else done the same thing? Any regrets about the screen quality? Or pretty much the same?
     
  2. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #2
    Wait until June.

    You are most of the way to upgraded model release.
     
  3. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #3
    Well, it's a now or never kind of chance to swap them.
     
  4. SteveMobs macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #4
    I have a 2.4 Uni MB. It's the same processor as the 2.4 MBP, essentially the same computer minus firewire, bigger/"better" screen, and the 9600 GPU.

    People complain about the screen, I don't see why. I think it's a great screen. I've customized the settings on it and it looks comparable to the MBP. If you want I can send you the file I use to adjust the screen, it really helps over stock. As far as viewing angles are concerned, I haven't noticed anything bad, you can see to about 150 Degrees, if that makes sense.

    And it's nice because the whole package is nicely portable and if that's what you're looking for, I'd say go for it.

    Hope this helps
     
  5. okrelayer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #5
    there is a noticable difference between the two. But there is that hole 800 dollar price difference! Unibody MacBook much brighter and shows more clarity than the white MacBook did.

    Personally i went from the White MacBook, to the Unibody MacBook Pro BECAUSE of the screen size.

    Your main concern is with portability. While being portable the screen is dimmed anyways, so you will not see much difference in that respect. If optical drive is not a huge deal to you, you could conciter the macbook air. Which has a lot of portability and a better screen than the unibody macbook pro.

    http://gizmodo.com/5070723/screen-shootout-macbook-new-vs-macbook-old-vs-macbook-air

    if its all about the screen,and if its bad. Unibody macbook is really not that bad, just when compared to the pro directly it looks worse. Hope you make the right decision. Check em out at the apple store.
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    I didn't really do a swap, but I did buy MacBook; I take this one to classes and stuff; it's very portable and does almost anything I need. It's powerful enough to run most of my applications; in fact it performs just as well as my MacBook Pro in most circumstances. The build quality is just as good. Usability is good; I can't run VMs very well though, probably because this computer only have 2GB of RAM. If you upgrade the RAM to 4GB this computer should be able to run a VM or two while powering everything else.

    As with the display, I haven't noticed anything wrong with it; I mean the MacBook Pro display isn't that great off axis either, so this one I believe is just as good as the MacBook Pro's display.

    Usability is the same and everything, just be sure to get the unibody one, not the plastic one that is just sub-par. I haven't noticed the missing Firewire; maybe it's that I have all my Firewire devices connected to my MacBook Pro right now, but again I haven't noticed the difference. This model also has the same number of USB ports as the Pro model.

    Finally, I have the base model configuration and that is adequate for me. This experience has been so good, I've even considered selling my MacBook Pro (but probably won't).

    I think it's a good switch; just get a USB hub.
     
  7. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #7
    Thanks for the reply - that's what I wanted to hear! I'll go into town and compare the displays, see if there is a huge difference.

    But from the old previous gen MacBook to the Unibody MacBook the display is much better?
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #8
    I mean I did try the NVIDIA white MacBook first and the overall build quality and the display vibrancy was lower than the unibody MacBook.

    Even with the difference between the 2, you could get the base model and then spend a bit more and add the LED Cinema Display. The added bonus of buying them both is, you have a portable computer, while having a nice big display back at home.

    Plus if you buy AppleCare for your MacBook and the display is on the receipt, the display gets AppleCare for 3 years at no additional cost.
     
  9. SteveMobs macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

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    #9
    I have never had a plastic MB, but I have heard people mention on MR that the new MBs screen is much brighter, and it's LED so faster start-up and stuff, no warming up.
     
  10. wahoo10 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 11, 2009
    #10
    I can't be much help because I'm torn between buying a 2.4 MBP and 2.4 MB. My main concerns are portability and screen. So I was wondering why you don't think the 15" is portable. Is it the size or weight? Or do you just have a long walk? I'm in college and have a year left of school after I finish this semester, so I'll need to be able to transport my laptop a few times a week, so I'm wondering how you view the portability of it as a college student.
     
  11. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #12
    Replied before I read your post alphaod - good summary!

    It really is the screen I'm concerned about, and it seems that they are pretty similar then. I mean, I'm not doing professional photoshopping so..

    About the VM's - I'm only on 2GB RAM anyway, so performance wise, the MacBook is essentially the same as my current Pro minus the slightly better GPU?

    Just for quick moving about etc. If I'm in a lab, limited desk space as I'll be working on the actual lab computer too. The 15" is fine, it isn't that heavy, but I'd like a smaller laptop for ease of just pulling it out where ever etc.


    Hmmm that doesn't sound or look too good. Is it really that bad or is that a defective display?
     
  12. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #13
    The screen is terrible on the Unibody Macbook. You will easily see it. Apple's default wallpaper masks it slightly so I strongly encourage you to change the background to wallpaper that has some blacks. Then tilt the screen forward and watch the screen completely wash out. There's no given time that the black level is even from top to bottom no matter how much calibration you do.
    The 13" Macbook is for general purpose computing ONLY, for anyone that cares at all about screen quality you won't like it.
    The only Macbooks with a great screen are the Pro and the Air.
     
  13. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #14
    Pretty much. And the slightly smaller display. Battery life isn't too good.

    It's a TN panel, so off axis it looks like crap; you're not to suppose to use your display off axis anyways. Think of it as a built-in privacy filter.

    ---

    I just realized that I'm making these posts like I'm trying to sell you the computer and all; I'm just saying a lot of reviews are extremely biased; yes the display is crap; I mean every Apple laptop has a crappy display in my opinion compared to the S-IPS panel on my X60 and my former T60p. It's just the facts. I like my computer, I find it adequate and acceptable. The computer does what I need to do and I believe it adequately fits the needs of Kilamite. Just don't expect it to do everything.

    If you're considering between a MacBook Pro and the MacBook, well if you need the graphics power of the 9600M GT, you need the 15", then by all means get the MacBook Pro; if you want a computer that does everything you need at an excellent price, the MacBook is the computer for you. I'm not even talking about the high-end model; the base model is the best value I've come to conclude.
     
  14. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #15
    Ahh - that doesn't sound too good. But from a level viewing angle, does it look fine?


    So if you looked at it level on, like you are meant to, how does it compare to the MacBook Pro? Similar?

    I don't plan to use my MacBook for public displays - I'll hook it up to my TV or external display.

    But if I were to watch a movie or something on it, and view it directly on, it looks fine right?
     
  15. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #16
    Head on it looks pretty decent; I mean the view angles do suck, no doubt, but again all TN panels suck, so my preconceived notion may have affect on that: all TN panels suck, so any 2 computers with one have similar display properties.

    I don't have my camera (it broke), but when I get a chance later, I'll post some pictures I'll take with my cellphone side by side. They'll probably look like the review ones, but I'll post them nonetheless.
     
  16. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

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    Aug 22, 2007
    #17
    Here's the answer to the OP's question. This pic is NOT an exaggeration as I had the Unibody Macbook and returned it to Apple and got the Air. It's not just Apple, Sony's Vaio line on most of the low to mid uses this same horrible screen.
    Watching a movie dead on makes no difference, notice how the black level will does not maintain from top to bottom but on the Air it's perfect.
     

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  17. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #18
    That picture doesn't do much justice at all..

    I guess I really need to see this with my own eyes. I'll take a movie on my USB stick and play it on one of the display models to compare.
     
  18. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

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    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    the island
    #19
    As far as I'm concerned, the Unibody MB screen is just fine. Re-calibrate to a different color profile and it looks even better. Remember the golden rule- people like to bitch on forums. You can find fault in anything. Is it the best screen on the planet? No. Is the MBP's screen better? Of course. But, is it a very bright, vibrant, consumer-grade laptop screen? Absolutely. I watch movies all the time with no problem.
     
  19. xpovos macrumors 6502a

    xpovos

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    Jun 7, 2007
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    Tennessee
    #20
    To answer the original question: I made the MBP -> MB move and have no regrets at all. Of course, my MBP experiences for the last two years had been absolutely horrible with new defects every time I blinked. Even minor defects seemed significant because I knew I had paid WAY more than the machine was worth.

    The MacBook's screen isn't as nice, but I really feel that many of the negative opinions are overstated. For the kind of everyday, office-related type work I do, I notice no significant difference. Watching movies is when the lower screen quality becomes evident---which is exactly why every set of comparative pics you see on the net always shows the two screens with a movie playing. In just about every other usage scenario, they look extremely similar.
     
  20. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #21
    Okay yeah the MacBook display isn't as good as the MacBook Pro display, but nonetheless acceptable by any means. By all means you should be watching movies on the big screen (or an external).

    Here is a side-by-side comparision; both screens were calibrated with a Pantone Huey Pro:

    [​IMG]
     
  21. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #22
    Thanks for the comparison photo. Doesn't look too bad I guess! The washed out look at the top and bottom black bars - is that visible when looking straight on, or is it just the photo that kind of emphasises it in the same way reflections look much worse in a photo?

    What is the sound quality like with the built in speakers compared to the Pro?
     
  22. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000

    ajohnson253

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #23
    In my opinion its all up to what you are doing on the Daily. I had the 13" unibody macbook and it was great. But the screen I just wanted bigger. The 15" screen is more then perfect to me on the new MBP's. All I do is web surfing, download some documents here and there. Basic stuff. The extra money for the extra 2.4" was good to me so i exchanged it out for the 2.4GHZ unibody MBP 15" and couldnt be any happier
     
  23. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

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    Dec 31, 2008
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    Winnipeg
    #24
    when looking straight on the screen is perfect, and as long as you calibrate it to how you want its totally fine. Id go for it, its a great computer and the screen is very very usable and acceptable.
     
  24. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

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    Winnipeg
    #25
    It may be longer than june, and besides, Apple wont be putting in a new display into the macbooks. If anything theyll ship with Snow Leopard and maybe, and i stress maybe, a processor speed bump. Nothing to drastic though, and well be lucky to get the speedbump. Some people are now saying that it may not even be till the end of 09 that we get anything besides snow leopard. Although we all will just have to sit back and wait. But seriously people if were gonna play the waiting game we will never buy a new computer, or anything for that matter. There is always going to be newer things coming out, the bottom line is if you need a computer or whatever it may be, buy when you need it, and dont wait ,There will always be something new coming out later on, thats just how it works. there is no point in waiting.
     

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