I need advice: macbook white or macbook pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hzxu, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. hzxu macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008
    Hello, I am a computer science student, I'm about to buy a mac, this will be my first one, so I did a lot of researches on the internet. Apart from their different specs and macbook pro's advantages(battery life, unibody, etc), the only two problems for me is:

    1 I heard the alu body can be dented easily(someone even dented it by just picking it up)
    2 I heard the polycarbonate one cracks easily(this seems to be a common problem)

    for the 1st problem, I saw lots of posts here about dented macbook pro, for the 2nd problem, I also saw posts about cracked macbook.

    Then what I plan is:
    1 buy macbook pro and a good shell/case to protect it
    2 buy macbook white and buy something like invisible shield as well as case/shell
    also, I've already had a zeroshock sleeve

    I will carry it a lot, I do not do CPU intensive tasks, all I do is programming in C/C++/Java and some Web dev.

    Apart from the price differences, the deciding factors are only: aluminum(denting) vs polycarbonate(cracking), I want to hear from someone who actually own the machine(either one), with similar usage(uni student), how do you feel about the problem? Or how do you do with it(e.g. case, sleeves)?

    Thanks a lot!

    edit: I found this video on youtube showing tended aluminum:

  2. Branskins macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    I haven't bought mine yet, but I am definitely going for the aluminum MacBook Pro. The computer feels and looks way more amazing! If you drop the thing, it might dent, but the same could happen to the white one.

    Think about it, would you want to handle a plastic item or a metal item in your hands? The aluminum MBP has a backlit keyboard, the white one does not. Staying up late and programming might be easier on the backlit keyboard :). The aluminum one is also a little faster and has a better screen. The trackpad is also really nifty.

    If I were you, I would go to an Apple Store or Best Buy and look at the two. You will definitely fall in love with the MBP over the white one! This will eliminate any doubt :)
  3. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2008
    For all my laptops all I ever have is a soft case (incase style) and put it in a laptop compartment and I have NEVER dented my computers. I really don't understand where this fear comes from (not directed at you but in general) accidents of course happen but if you take care of your poly or alum well then it shouldn't dent/crack

    I do realise there has been issues with cracking on the poly's and I am commenting on excessive or accident caused cracks
  4. LTX macrumors regular


    Dec 25, 2008
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Having owned the early 2008 white Macbook and having used the late 2008 unibody aluminum Macbook quite a bit, I can tell you that the aluminum one is way more durable due to the unibody. The screen is also much improved (and moreso in the 13" Pro now!) and you really aren't going to get too many dents unless you mishandle it. Even then, you'll barely notice them, and with a carrying case like this one (my favorite), you'll keep it safe during transport.

    Check out a 13" Macbook Pro review here.

    I'd be more concerned buying the white Macbook because of the plastic, but the aluminum is STRONG!

    I'm buying the 13" Pro in September. :D
  5. gilkisson macrumors 65816


    I owned and used an early '09 White MacBook... last week, I got my new 15" MBP, gave the MB to the missus.

    Screen is far more beautiful on the MBP. Should be, it's glass, not plastic...
    Case is tough, strong, light, and sleek. Much happier. It seems about the same weight as well, although I have not scaled them.

    Speed and capability, MBP hands down. MB is a tough little contender, and does quite well, plucky little beast. But it's hard work for the little guy.

    If you can afford it, go with the MBP if you are going to do anything more than email/surf/iWeb basic stuff. If you are a dev, you will *really really* want the MBP.
  6. liamwillib macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    from what i understand the polycarbonate cracking is something you cannot prevent where as you can protect the alu from denting.

    the only problem with this is that the cracking issue is now recognised by apple and will be replaced under applecare/warranty (from experience 3 months ago with girlfriends polycarb macbook, although it was only a "certain kind" of cracking they would cover) where as you denting the alu would obviously not be seen as a materials defect.

    I have had the alu macbook since oct 08' and only have one tiny scratch from leaving my protective sleeve open which allowed the zip to rub when in my bag. Obviously people have different experiences but i do not find the alu to dent easily at all and I am not a particularly protective user. I use it every day at uni, i just keep it in a sleeve and don't throw it about.

    Definately a +1 for the alu, thats even before considering battery life etc. advantages.
  7. hzxu thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008
    Thanks for all your help!

    Thanks for all your help! Now I decided to go for the MBP 13", but then I have several new questions:

    1 I will buy invisible shield to protect it from scratch, I've already had a zeroshock sleeve, which may more or less protect it from being dented, but when I am using it, I cannot put it in the sleeve, I saw a case called something see-thru satin, is it good? I heard someone complain if there is dust between the case and the notebook, it will be scratched?

    2 I am studying at Melbourne University in Australia, where is the best offer in melbourne(if I also want to buy a ipod touch at the same time)?

    3(edit): If I want to use it for many years, I think I should buy AppleCare, but it costs $500+, which will be out of my budget, so can I buy the laptop first, and then buy AppleCare just before the standard warranty ends?

  8. Buzz Bumble Guest

    Oct 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    The main problem with the white iBooks and MacBooks (and the white desktop keyboards) is that they can easily get very dirty very quickly ... unless you're an obsessive-compulsive about cleaning regularly, I'd go with the aluminimum MacBook Pros.
  9. liamwillib macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    All i use is this bag, i find it perfect. Doesn't obviously look like a laptop bag screaming out "steal me, steal me!!" and has protected my alu macbook well. Seemed expensive at first but includes an internal padded bag that can be used with or without the main bag, as well as a pencil case (which i don't really use) for wires ect. I'm not saying this is the perfect bag for you, just giving you an idea that it does not take a lot to prevent it scratching. I suppose i'm just a fan of using mine naked. If I were to use extra protection i would probably use invisible shield along with what I already have as seriously considered getting one when I first bought mine.

    In the uk, a university student can pay only £40 (80 AUD) for full apple care if buying it at the same time as the mac. In the UK at least you even get 3 years hardware warranty free, (same as apple care minus phone support), as part of the educational scheme so i didn't even bother buying it. Have a browse: http://store.apple.com/au/browse/home/education_routing?mco=MTIxODk0Nw
    In the uk you can also get a £100 rebate when buying an ipod touch as well as a similar rebate off a printer, all when buying a new mac in the educational store as part of the "back to school" program. Would be very surprised if you didn't have something similar in AUS.

    Taken from aus edu product configuration page: "AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook / MacBook Air / 13" MacBook Pro - Auto-enroll [Add A$ 335.50]". Seems a bit steep compared to the free or dirt cheap applecare Uni students can get in the UK but i'd say much better than your $500. You might want to do a search while you wait for someone from your neck of the woods to give you a more accurate idea of cost/special offers.
  10. hzxu thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008
    Thanks for your reply, I did search on the web before posting, and I found on NextByte's website(NextByte is the mac store inside Melbourne Uni, it also has other stores in Melbourne, but Melbourne Uni students can only get edu discount in the Melbourn Uni nextbyte store):


    the most suitable one for macbook pro is:
    APP for MacBook Pro/ PowerBook
    Get up to 2 years of expert support for iPod + iTunes, Mac or PC.

    there is also a plan for macbook(not pro):
    APP for MacBook/iBook
    Up to three years of world-class support.
    which is $419

    I also looked at apple's website, applecare for 13" macbook pro is $419:

    I'm also confused about how long is the apple care, I heard someone said it is 3 years, but on the website it is only 2 years(3 years includes the standard 1 year warranty).
  11. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...a little rubbing alcohol on the keys and surfaces (except the screen) takes care of any dirt and to get a whitebook with 4GB PC6400 RAM and a scorpio blue HDD (320 GB) for $847... that's the way to go... by its EOL, it will be a good little TV server and there will be something much better out by then...
  12. hzxu thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008
    Thanks a lot!

    Thanks a lot! Also, I've heard that mac fanboys would usually wait until at least 3rd rev for apple's product, the new macbook pro 13" is not, but the macbook white is.
    Is this true? What is 3rd rev?
  13. liamwillib macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Just went on the apple education website for "the University of Melbourne"

    If you go to configure your laptop (base 13"MBP) there is an option at the bottom of the long list of configurations to add Applecare for $335.50

    I don't know if nextbyte is misleading you to gain your business or if you want to walk into a physical store to buy your mac and nextbyte is the only local one but you can definitely get discount while studying at Melbourne Uni from the apple online education store.

    Standard AUS site, base 13"MBP + applecare = $2318
    Educational Store logged in as a student from University of Melbourne, Base 13"MBP + Applecare = $2084.50

    Applecare Extends your standard 1 year warranty to a TOTAL of 3 years.

    Edit: Based on the much talked about "Product revision theory" I would class the 13"MBP as a second revision due to the fact that the machine is practically identical to my Unibody Macbook. The only real difference is the better screen, non removable battery, the return of firewire and the SD slot. They will have learnt from and improved upon problems with the Unibody Macbook (Not that i know of any) and had practice producing an almost identical machine, thus removing margins for error and possibility of failure. I think there is little chance you will receive a dud 13"MBP, however this is from someone who has a perfect 1st gen machine.
  14. Buzz Bumble Guest

    Oct 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    Nope. As long as you have a valid student ID you should be able to buy educational prices at any Apple Reseller or Apple's online store (there's a link on the normal online Apple Store page to change to the Education version). If the other NextByte stores won't accept the student ID, then go somewhere else because they're obviously hopeless (and if they're anything like the Auckland University Campus Computer shop used to be, they'll keep trying to give you a Windoze PC and Windoze software for your Mac :rolleyes:).

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