I'm a little disappointed...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by r0k, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I wait with bated breath for new Mac gear and everything in our house that passes data around was either designed in Cupertino or runs Linux. But today's crop of Macbook Pros seems a little puzzling to me. The main area of concern for me is screen resolution.

    A coworker in the next cube has a piece o'crap HP notebook that has 1920 x 1080 native resolution. That's right, 1080p on a notebook. In my arrogance, I said wait while I check the new Macbook Pros. They should clean your clock! Or perhaps not. The 13 in. model comes in at a lowly 1200 x 800 resolution with no option for more pixels. Even if you shell out for extra pixels on the 15 inch model, you never make it to 1080 vertical. You only get to 1600 x 1050. How'd they come up with 1050? Lastly if you shell out for the 17 inch model you finally get (beyond) 1080p. Well kiss my grits. I can shell out $2500 for an Apple notebook that manages to beat the resolution of a $1300 hp box in the next cube. :rolleyes: Aren't 1080p displays rather commonplace these days? When I go looking at monitors, almost every one is 1080p, even the $159 ones.

    I'm not normally one to harshly judge Apple but when considering what to replace my aging Penryn Macbook that is reaching the end of its AppleCare, I am perplexed by the options available from Apple. Intel graphics? Really? I've gotta go to the midrange models to get ATI? Really? What I'm in the market for are pixels. I want 4000 x 3000 if I can get it.

    Oh well. While Thunderbolt is promising and I could use more storage, I wonder if I should simply pop in a 500 gig drive in my Macbook and sit out this round of upgrades? I'll take a look at the local Apple store and see what I think after I've had a chance to play with one hands on. I do rather like the unibody enclosure and I love the new CPU selections but I'm a little disappointed by the assortment of medium resolution (mostly) glossy displays available on this year's crop of Macbook Pro models.
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Until OS X has resolution independence, you don't want much higher res screens than we have right now. Your hypothetical 4000X3000 display would be impossible to see anything on unless it was a huge screen, not one on a notebook.
  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I am a little dissapointed that someone doesn't understand the value of OS X, multi-touch trackpad, magsafe, etc. :rolleyes:
  4. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Even with my reading glasses? :eek: I find I can read most documents on the iPhone Retina display without zooming so I'm just saying...

    Yes I do understand. That is why our household runs all Apple gear with a few Linux exceptions. It's just that I really like more pixels when I can get them. I'm thinking that there are times Apple gear is ahead of the curve (usb and thunderbolt) and times Apple gear is a bit behind the curve (graphics resolution) so if I wait for next year's Macbook Pro refresh, 1080p might be the standard rather than the exception. I've been looking over the geekbench scores and Apple kicked some serious butt on cpu performance with these new machines. I see the beachball almost daily on my Macbook (rated around 2800 on geekbench) so despite my feelings about the displays, I'm tempted to upgrade just to banish that spinning little critter. Even on the lowest model, I'd be going up more than double in geekbench rating and even beat last year's 17 in MBP. Wheeee! :D
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I have an HP laptop with a 1080p display. It was more than $1000 cheaper than a similar MacBook Pro. The HP started having problems on day 1. After a couple of months, the plastic case started warping near the hinges. HP provided a piece of cloth to place between the screen and the keyboard. If you travel without it, the keys actually hit and scratch the screen... I'm not kidding.

    Basically, the HP is a complete piece of garbage connected to a really nice display.

    SquareTrade, who provides extended warranties, gets more claims for HP laptops than any other brand. I wish I knew that before I bought it.
  6. Kenndac macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2003
    ...because the iPhone 4 has resolution independence and is rendering everything at twice the size. Take a screenshot of the iPhone (home + power at the same time) then transfer it to your Mac to see what I mean.

    Until Mac OS does this, very high resolution screens will be unusable.
  7. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    Did ya try calling their tech support ??? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.... Sorry dude. I bet you never make that mistake again. With an Apple computer you just waltz into an Apple store. No calls to India.
  8. KittyKatta macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011
    Thats a funny example because it describes EXACTLY what people went through with the first plastic MacBooks. Cheap plastic casing. Warping/cracking hinges. Keys in contact with screen when lid is closed. The only difference is that this was a $1500 machine. My family had two of them (black and white) and the black cracked all over while the white turned yellow.

    Im not trying to slam Macs in any way because I've been using them forever and just picked up the 13" MBP (to replace my old 13" Aluminum that suffered from numerous issues). They're probably still the better notebooks on the market but we can't pretend the build quality is as rock solid as it used to be. And the OP does have a point. These are premium priced machines and Apple does tend to be future forward on some specs (Sandy Bridge, LightPeak) but also a bit behind in others (HDD capacity, Screen Res)
  9. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    Buy a 13" MBP, then get a 1080 LCD screen for a couple hundred as an external display... easy done. And also stop whining about screen resolution on a laptop... :D
  10. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    So I went by the Apple store today...

    My daughter insisted on going to Somerset to look for some hard to find clothing item. It broke my heart. It meant I'd be stuck in the Apple store looking at the latest Macbook Pros... ;)

    So I walked in and downloaded and ran geekbench on just about every machine I could get my hands on...
    17in MBP 10000
    13in MBP 5900
    13in MBA 2700
    11in MBA 2000
    Then I compared what I use every day...
    Dell E6400 (work machine) 682 yes that's six hundred and eighty stinkin two
    moms mini 2700
    dads macbook 3137

    So I'm in line for at least double performance if I pick up a 13 in MBP but I'd be frustrated with either of the MBA machines. I think I can ignore the screen resolution issue, especially if I opt for the 15 in model with the upgraded display (not 1080p but still nice).

    @Kenndac: What is that you said about resolution independence? I think not. I went from iPod Touch to iPad to iPhone 4. This means I ran iPhone apps at 1x and 2x on my iPad when I first got it. After Retina came out, newer iPhone apps were already filling 3/4 of the iPad screen and the 2x option only shows up for iPhone apps written for the older resolution. I'm not joking when I say I can read stuff that isn't zoomed (8.5 x 11, 12 pt font, image filling Retina display). That wouldn't be possible with any sort of pixel doubling trick going on as the fonts would look like little blurs, much like they did when I attempted the same thing on my iPod Touch. Oh, I should also mention I can read slightly zoomed in landscape (zoom to page width) but not always in portrait. Even with Retina, that's just too tiny.
  11. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    1280x800 on a 13" display is a joke. My 13" MBA has a 1440x900 non-glossy display, why won't Apple provide this as a BTO option on the 13" MBP even? Whenever I mention its full name, I have difficulties keeping a straight face when saying the word "Pro".
  12. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Yeah, I noticed that too. But the new MBP benchmarks (5900 and faster) make those airs (2700 and slower) seem to run like they're standing still. For the 2010 model you are spot on, but one can argue the 2011 model is "fast enough" to for Apple to use the word "Pro."

    So now I'm sitting here trying to convince myself to part with just over 2K to pick up the midrange machine with hires (1600x1050) antiglare display. And I'm wondering about whether to pitch in an extra $300 for AppleCare. I buy AC on almost everything but this time I might decide to pass.

    While I think Apple may have missed out on cheap and plentiful 1080p screens (heck even Target has 'em), 1600 is "wide enough" and 1050 is "close enough" to 1080 I think I'd be happy. I've already saved it to a cart. I just need to sleep on it and see if I'm as tempted tomorrow. I don't think I can pick one up in the Apple Store 'cuz I doubt they will have the hires antiglare in stock. So will I feel foolish for shelling out extra for 1600 x 1050 when there's an HP that offers more pixels for less money? Not really. We ran geekbench on that HP today and it came in at 5300. The model I'm looking at would score 9886. Now that's smokin! And 750 gig? That's bigger than the NAS I have lying around to back the thing up to. :eek:
  13. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    Yeah this is a little depressing...with the amount of $ we shell out...we should get premium laptops :)
  14. jbyun04 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2008
    People complaining about only getting 1680x1050 on a 15" screen?
    Guess it shows how well the "1080p" marketing scheme is working.

    I do agree that 1280x800 on 13" without an upgrade option is pretty lame though.
  15. iMacThere4Iam macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2009
    Just curious. When you were at the Apple Store, aside from the numbers, was the resolution sharp enough, or was it disappointing? 1600 x 1050 on the new machine has got to be noticeably sharper than the previous; I know I certainly wouldn't notice the difference between that and the 1920 x 1080, given faster refresh rates, etc. You may have, of course, but you didn't say.
  16. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Uhmmmmm, all you have to do is increase the font and icon size with resolution. That's simple. More pixels help you put more programs side by side rather than having to constantly switch between active windows.

  17. r0k, Feb 26, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011

    r0k thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Sorry, I didn't check the resolution as I was too focused on verifying the awesome geekbench scores, but I doubt the hi res 15 in model was on display anyway.

    I have it sitting in a saved cart but I'd rather pick it up in person than deal with shipping which always means a trip to the local ups or fedex depot since nobody is ever here to sign for stuff and I won't do an online signature waiver for $2000 worth of stuff.

    I'm also considering the base 13 in MBP and I would keep the same resolution I have now but double both hard drive space and performance. I can also get a decent sized multi-touch trackpad and aluminum enclosure out of the deal. While not enough pixels to compare legal contracts side by side on one screen, or have room for an Xcode iPad emulator and an editor window and Finder but still a nice bump from where I am now.

    Edit: Oh, and I should mention I'd add a nice 23 in 1080p or better external monitor and pass along my Syncmaster 171s to my daughter along with my Macbook.
  18. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Updated geekbench score for my work POS:

    The score for my work machine at my desk was 682. It turns out my cpu was speedstepped down into the weeds because I was using a 65w power cord instead of the 90w adapter that came with the machine. I was getting bios warnings about this but switched them off because I never imagined my cpu would get such extreme reduction in performance over this. I swapped to get the better power cord and now I'm getting "normal" benchmarks. Of course my 3 year old Macbook runs slightly better but I didn't want to leave a bad score out there without explanation. Needless to say this has adversely affected my impression of Win 7 for the past several months. Perhaps now I can find out what it is really like to use when the cpu isn't being strangled by some misguided "feature" in the bios.

    My saved cart with that sweet 15 in MBP with hi res graphics is probably going to wither on the vine. I did the taxes last night and came to the conclusion somebody in washington already spent my "extra" money this spring. Bummer. So now I'm considering swapping out the 160 gig drive in my Macbook for something better... SSD perhaps? Oh, and I'll have to clean the case as the keyboard area has gotten rather stained (not that I care that much about how it looks).
  19. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    You could add a Geekbench score for a MacBook with the battery removed. I think Apple reduces the clockspeed dramatically in that case.
  20. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    ...To zero...

    I'm not trying to come to the defense of Dell here, I'm trying to correct a mistake I made in reporting an E6400 only scores 682 when it really scores 3091 with the proper power cord. I still think it's crap compared to any Apple computer but I'm correcting misinformation from my earlier post.

    At this point my main disappointment is I don't have the funds to run out and grab a new 15 in MBP or even the new 13 in MBP so screen resolution wasn't the deal breaker after all. :(

    The priorities at chez r0k are (sadly) taxes, house repairs and bills. No room in the budget for any Apple gear (yet).
  21. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Remember that GeekBench tells you very little about real-world performance unless your everyday usage is Folding@HOME or similar amounts of data crunching. In the case of the MacBook Air, the SSD will provide a significant real-world speed boost to many operations that would probably negate and even more than compensate for the somewhat slower processor, as long as you're using it for fairly typical tasks.


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