Is the MacBook a good "only" computer...?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tangledweb16, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. tangledweb16 macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2007
    I am thinking very strongly of buying a MacBook (the base model) and I was wondering if it would be a good only computer for an average user? I probably wouldn't take it out of the house much, and use it mainly for serving the internet, writing, and doing iPod related things. I have wanted a Mac for a very long time, and since I'll be going to college here soon I figured I need to buy a laptop anyway. I realize that a new MacBook is likely going to be released soon (summer-fall), but honestly the current one is plenty fast for me, and I don't like the aesthetics of the new anodized aluminum Macs.

    So I guess this thread is just to make sure that the MacBook is a good "only" computer for a user such as myself. Thanks.
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    i use it as my only machine and i have no complaints at all
  3. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    It is a perfect 'only' computer as long as you aren't a heavy 3D gamer, or do sophisticated rendering in Final Cut Studio, or heavy RAW camera work in Aperture.

    Basically, if you just do light computing tasks it is perfect. It can run iLife very well.
  4. christopher3071 macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2007
    Upstate, NY
    huh? If it's plenty fast for could it be anything but acceptable for you? I must be confused
  5. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    MacBook is more than up to the challenge for most users who just need it for Internet, email, word processing...
  6. Victor ch macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

    Jun 19, 2007
    San José, Costa Rica
    I use it as my 'only' computer, and it works perfectly. It does the basic stuff very easily and I even use Soundtrack (from Final Cut Express) to create song a bit more professionally than Garageband. I run Unreal Tournament 2004 at full resolution and settings to the highest pretty smoothly (note: I have the old GMA 950 graphics card, new X1300 are even better) My sister and mom use their MacBook (along with an iMac) for photo editing and both work fantastically well (even more the MacBook because it has a slightly faster CPU) Unless you are a hardcore gamer or edit large RAWs the MacBook is perfect for you. Hope this helped.

  7. doubleohseven macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    Same here. The MacBook (base model) is the only machine I use and it breezes through web browsing, word processing, iTunes, emailing, and even some video editing.
  8. tangledweb16 thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2007
    Thanks guys! Everyone is so positive about it.... I can't wait to get one. :D
  9. McGiord, Jan 28, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    I bought one last year for my wife, and I was supposed to buy an iMac for me, or a Mac Pro, after using it as our only computer at home for the first 3 months, I changed my mind.
    Now with the current rumors of all the MacBooks to be updated, it's going to be really my wife's Mac, and I will get one of the new MBP to be released soon (I hope). I do more stuff with it than what you are saying that you will do.

    So you'll be fine with the MacBook.
    Front Row works perfectly with it, and if you get the miniDVI to DVI video adapter and connect it to a big LCD TV you'll be amazed how good your photos will look, as well as all the other stuff you can do with it.
    So the MacBook at home is a perfect machine for you, it has good portability and it's very capable of running Windows either via BootCamp or Parallels/VMware Fusion. Very handy for college.
    Mercedes-Benz W463 specifications
  10. Steel Wheels macrumors member

    Steel Wheels

    Oct 29, 2007
    The Land Of 10,000 Lakes
    My MBP is my only computer and it serves me well. I used to have a desktop PC but I gave it to my wife to use at her dental office. I don't even miss it.
  11. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    i use my macbook as my only computer and it works great. I do have 3gigs ram though. I think as long as you have enough ram, the macbook is a great only computer.

    I even do Photoshopping, indesign, audio editing, some light video editing and it works great!
  12. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Definitely, in fact, it's faster than my desktop that was purchased just the year before.
  13. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    it makes for a great "only" computer, but i really need more pixels. i like having all sorts of windows open. and while spaces and exposé help with the clutter, there really is no substitute for more pixels. and the macbook only has 1280 by 800, easily fixed with the attachment of an external monitor. keep this in mind when making a purchase.

    my first macbook was noticeably faster than my dual g5. it was unreal. :)
  14. riscy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    I agree, it makes a fine main computer and probably does all you will need and more. Extra storage - external HD might be worth getting though as the standard HD is a bit smalll IMO.
  15. airjuggernaut macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2007
    hey, im doing the same thing with my MB :D
    I'm giving my brother my desktop, and using my MB as my only computer :D
    Honestly the MB is pretty amazing. and for what you need, it is more then adequate.
  16. tangledweb16 thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2007
    Well I am currently sharing a HP desktop with my brother, and this machine only has 512 MB of RAM and a 160 HDD, and I don't have that much music/movies, so I think I should be just fine. I just wanted to know if the MacBook was a reliable machine, which I think is safe to say judging from all of the replies. Thanks for being so helpful!:)
  17. Aranince macrumors 65816

    Apr 18, 2007
    With 2 gigs of ram...the Macbook is a great machine.
  18. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Same here. It works fine as a solo machine.
  19. 109% macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2007
    Might as well chip in: I have a MB with 2 gigs of RAM and it's the best computer I've ever owned. The much maligned integrated graphics are fine for everyday tasks and a surprising amount of games.

    I say go for it. I hesitated for ages myself I don't regret my purchasing decision.
  20. deniser macrumors 6502


    Sep 14, 2007
    Cornwall, England
    I've just ordered my MacBook and a 20" ACD so I can have the best of both worlds :D
  21. greenguy4 macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2005
    If you're going to be in college next year wait till the summer and get a free ipod with your mac. They do that promotion every year starting May/June sometime. That way you can either keep/sell the iPod and spend the money on the next OS or iLife
  22. mckyvlle macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2007
    London, UK
    My MacBook (abeit the top end one) is my only computer, and it's works fine for me. I play a bunch of FPS from early 2000 and the X3100 is mighty powerful to handle those.

    Coming from a Dell laptop with the 1680x1050 lcd, I did miss the big screen at first; though I have gotten use to letting Space and Exposé help manage many open windows. One thing I miss is being able to have two full A4 pages open side-by-side.
  23. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    A few people have said something like this and I just wanted to add that it will do a lot more than "light" work. It sounds like it's okay as long as you don't use anything other than the internet or word processing. I've got an ancient Pentium 2 laptop that is okay for Internet and WP.

    I've used the previous release of iMovie to do an hour long video with plenty of effects. I've used Final Cut on the machine. Adobe Photoshop works a treat on the machine.

    It's not going to be great for 3D gaming or anything REALLY intensive but generally, it'll do most things you want it to do.

    My 2GHz Black Macbook does everything my shiny new iMac does but it just does it a little slower at times. It's still a D4MN good little machine! :)
  24. Victor ch macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

    Jun 19, 2007
    San José, Costa Rica
    Mine has only 1GB and she's pretty fast. Of course + ram = better overall performance. Im looking to upgrade mine to 2GB in the near future, not from Apple obviously, perhaps Crucial or OWC which is what most people recommend. Nowadays the base model is enough for many people as it has 80GB and 1GB ram standard, I will however recommend either the high-end white one or the black one; 120 and 160GB respectively is plenty HDD space, besides they have a faster processor than the base model, and a dvd burner (it comes in handy every now and then).

    Edit: Just read the post above this one and I have to agree 100%. I have edited stuff on iMovie pretty easily and it had a lot of effects, heck I've even edited stuff on Final Cut Express! Which I later erased because it took 22GB of space.... I only left soundtrack and its 6GB of audio contents. The MacBook is an exceptional machine, very fast, sturdy and good looking; you won't regret it.

  25. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    There are 2 problems with MB as an only machine:

    1) Small screen
    2) Small HD

    If you ever had a 20"+ desktop screen and then switch to 13" is REALLY painful. (Damn, when I got my MacBook I had a 17" iMac and the screen on MB seemed way to small)

    Also, the particular issue with the base model is that it cant burn DVDs. A major factor (for me at least)

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