Is there any other reason to get a macbook other than it is fashionable anymore.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LuckyRice, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. LuckyRice macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2008
    Hi there

    I am going to university next year and has been contemplating of getting a laptop. I have always been interested in the macbook for the reasons; better OS, design in general and etc.

    However; recently, I have just discovered Linux and have been enjoying it enormously. Now, I am leaning strongly towards a thinkpad installed with Linux and Windows XP. I have been considering this for the reasons that, for a similar price, I can get a vastly better specifs on a equally if not better built computer. With the discovery of Linux, OS is no longer a concern for me; nor is OSX as "flashy", unique and user friendly as it use to appeal to me. As well, I can also install OSX "mackintosh" if desired.

    Now I am thinking, beside the "sexyness and fashionable" factors (ie. unibody design, superior trackpad), is there any other reasons why a macbook (pro) would be better for me???

    Thank you for your inputs and suggestions.

    P.S. I also do not care very much for the glossy screens, in part due to my eye problems; as well, I do not mind (actually quite enjoys) the thinkpad's retro looks. The longer battery that I have heard is a very big plus for me, as well as the quality of construction that the thinkpad are known for.
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I'm curious about these better built computers. Could you please point me to one? :confused: Does someone else use only once piece of metal for their case?

    And does OSX86 even work on a ThinkPad, or are you just trying to justify it?

    I'm glad you at least like Linux over Windows. :p
  3. LuckyRice thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2008
    Thank you for your input.

    Yes, OS X does work on thinkpads.

    I am not trying to claim the linux or thinkpads are better, just trying to get inputs before I lay 1000 + on a laptop that I am planning to last me for 4 years (or more).

    Crush tests:

    Review: (It says that the battery with the extended 9 cell can last up to 10 hours. I never personally had a thinkpad before, but if it is true, this would be a very big plus for me.


    The review says that the macbook works better due to its OS and programs which uses very little power, but if ran Vista, it is the equivalent of a 600~ dollar laptop in terms of specs.

    Again, I am not trying to say that Thinkpads are better than macbooks. Is just that I am currently leaned toward my suggestion very strongly due to the reviews and inputs I have seen so far on the internet. I am just trying to get another prospective on the issue before I put on hard earned money on a laptop.
  4. DJ567 macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2006
    London, UK
    imho excluding gaming

    if you take what people like about windows, ease of use, lots of software and combine it with what people like about linux, stability, safety, security, development tools

    you in-fact get, Mac OS X, only its more polished than both, its supported (many linux distributions have limited support) and the hardware has guaranteed compatibility, after all they chose the hardware and write the drivers for it if a little out dated sometimes

    bottoms line it does/has everything linux AND windows has and you can take your mac to an apple store if anything doesn't work not hope your computer manufacturer will help you out

    this is coming from someone that moved from a hp dv2000 series laptop dual booting XP and suse 10.0 to a white macbook running tiger 10.4.5
  5. LuckyRice thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2008
    Thank you for the reply.

    I will be only using the laptop for web browsing, homework, word processing and some movies, no gaming as far as I am concerned (if need I will run it in XP).

    I am very satisfied with Linux right now as it meets my demands with flying colour. As I do not use the computer for anything intensive, graphically or otherwise. As my tasks are simple, I do not believe that I will be needing much support technically and will be fine with my linux ubuntu as the way it is now, just downloading extra opensource wares if needed.

    As you can see, getting a current low end macbook will be more than enough for my needs, but then again, I want to get the most bang for my bucks. I will probably need half of the power a thinkpad can offer now, but it is nice to know that it is there if I need it.

    Just on a side note: I know that macbooks are the new "it" among students (and professors) among the college group, I am thinking that the hype has taken out the macbook due to its popularity. As if I am seen walking with a macbook, people will just think, oh another mac fan boy. I personally do not care, but just thought i point it out maybe? o.o
  6. DJ567 macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2006
    London, UK
    by support i was referring more to hardware than software, (drivers and the physical hardware) i know from experience with HP and Toshiba that their support for customers with hardware problems is horrible.

    Im not saying you should buy a mac just the reasons why it might be a good idea.

    There is also the option of a refurb or second hand macbook they are cheaper now the alus are out and still brilliant, the performance for the purposes u describe, web browsing, movies, etc, between the mid 2007 white macbook, early 08 black macbook and unibody mbp in my house are negligible
  7. LuckyRice thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2008

    I am not too concerned with the customer support, I know that apple has one of the finest but lenovo's support is also very good.
  8. akbc macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    Yeah, Ubuntu seems like a good start for linux newbies, they're somewhat user friendly and looks good too, haha.

    Go for linux/ThinkPad combo, sounds great to me.
    Last time I've owned a ThinkPad was when they were still from IBM and had Pentium III on it, even then I was freaking happy with them haha.

    ThinkPads are solid machines, will do all your school needs. Even with just XP, you'd be happy with the build qualities of ThinkPads.

    If there are 3 PC laptop makers I'd buy from, it'd be Lenovo, Fujitsu and Sony.

    Acer/Dell/HP are all crap, but those three meet my expectations when it comes to functionality and stylings too. Lenovo has the perfect balance in my opinion (ThinkPads are kinda ugly but it's very business-like)

    There are 2 million reasons to get a macbook other than its fashionable-ness, but it seems like you'd be better off with ThinkPads.

    Spec wise, yes it may have a 600 dollar laptop spec (although it does not... with montevina chipsets, ddr3 memory and such) but it has a $1500 build quality and customer service.

    Other than the above reasons, I'd still go for macs anyday over any other PC laptops.
  9. LuckyRice thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2008
    can you elaborate on the "million other reason" please???
  10. cerealj macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    In terms of build quality, there is (unfortunately) no doubt in my mind that the Thinkpad exceeds the Macbook by a substantial margin. IMO, they're the most reliable laptops available.

    However, how much have you used Linux? I use it on my netbook and although at first it seems neat and pretty, after a while you get to notice that even the best distros aren't as 'polished' seeming as OSX or Windows. Still, they're getting pretty good- I really like Ubuntu 8.10.
  11. detz macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    I used Linux all through out school, both high school and college and it wasn't until I left that I found a Mac more convenient. When I was in school I had the time to fix and test OS stuff but now that I have to work all day I can't be fighting with X Server and failed yum updates or incompatible versions and dependencies. Linux is nice if you're looking for a cheap solution but it's a system that requires maintenance and if you're not great with a computer it's easy to get lost and really stuck in some cases.

    I don't purchase computers because they are fashionable; I purchase a computer based off how well it works, how much work it requires to maintain and based of how well it will allow me to do my day to day tasks. To me, a Mac an Macbook Pro works perfectly but for you or others it might not.
  12. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    That is pretty much what pushed me to OSX initially. I had been running a Linux desktop for a while and it was fine, but then again at that time I enjoyed having to mess with it. The busier I got the less I wanted to tweak my computer all the time. But I did still want to be able to run some of the apps I liked in the Linux days.
  13. akbc macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    Instead of listing the things, if you do ever get a chance, go use a mac for 1 week, then go use a PC laptop for 1 week.

    My MBPro is my very first Mac laptop, thought I've owned a couple of mac desktops before.

    It's hell easy to use (overall), never get frustrated with hangings of operating system and such.

    think of it as a good balance between Windows and Linux. More compatible software are coming to macs, so it's like a compatibility + prettyness/stability of linux.. At least that's how I think of it.

    I own 1 Mac desktop, 1 monster gaming pc, 1 multimedia-server pc and just 1 regular pc for parents... And I also use Fujitsu laptop for my other usages too.
    But overall experience, it's really hard to describe but macs were always superior to me. Simply put: "it just works"
    And the multitouch touchpad was enough reason for me to switch to mac laptop... same with 2 friends I've converted. Now they're with Alu MacBooks and they ditched their mice forever in lecture rooms and libraries :)

    No virus, no dangerous hacks, no need to worry about registry and such...

    Not that I love windows less, but I love Mac OS X more :)

    PS: I usually go for things that aren't really free or open-source when it comes to Operating system of Office Suite..
    So I can have someone to blame for when things turn out bad :) That's why I never really use Open Office nor Linux anymore.
  14. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    The thinkpad has gone to the crapper since Lenovo bought it from IBM.

    Apple beats every other OEM by a decent margin in reliability. You can argue that until your blue in the face, but I've just proven it.
  15. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    The US$999 9400M White MacBook is a good deal when compared to say the XPS M1330.
  16. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Just get the Thinkpad and be done with it. The OP has said more positive about the Lenovo than the Mac. If you can get better for less money than why buy a Mac?
    I would drop the idea of installing OS X on a PC, if you want to get into violating license agreements fine, but driver support will be a major problem and it's just not worth it since it's not made to be on a common PC.

    Again, just pick up any common Wintel PC and move on. Buying a Mac because others have one (or it's the popular thing) is just nonsense. You need to get that out of your head that people buy Macs just because they look nice, there would be no point in using them, the Mac just as well should sit on your desk as decoration if that's the case.

    Again, if you can get better for a lot less then get a common PC.
  17. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I haven't looked into this closely, but I'm guessing you've investigated this at some length. What ThinkPad are you thinking of getting? I'm asking not for the sake of argument, but I'm wondering which one has "vastly better specifs".

    The closest I can see are maybe the T400 (14.1" screen with integrated graphics) or the SL300 (13.3" screen).

    Upgrading the base T400 (Vista Home Premium ... since Basic sucks ... 2GB RAM, 160GB HD, wireless N, bluetooth, removed integrated 3G broadband, camera + LED backlight) gets me to $1260, about the same price as the base unibody MacBook. The only advantages it has over the MacBook are an express card slot and the 2.26GHz CPU, but that's negated by the 4500MHD video, which is much worse than the 9400M in the MacBook.

    The SL300 comes out $100 cheaper than the white MacBook. OS X is worth the extra $100.

    On the other hand, if you're talking about the MacBook Pro, yes you can get what appears on paper to be mostly better specs. The video card is (I believe) worse than the 9600M GT in the MBP.

    If I were in the market for a Windows PC, ThinkPads would be at the top of my list. (Or at least, they used to be ... I haven't looked at them for over three years. I'm told they're not as good as when they were IBM ThinkPads, but I don't have any personal experience)

    As for the OS ... I use Linux every day. I love it. I find it fast and stable. But OS X beats it hands down in usability (ask me about the 6 hours I spent one day trying to get dual monitors set up for my Linux machine, and I'm not a newbie).
  18. macJC50640 macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2009
    iLove Apple

    "oh another mac fan boy"? Just because you use a Mac and like its stability and ease of use etc. does not make you a fanboy. I am proud to walk around with my Mac.
  19. jsgreen macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    Lots of good comments in this thread -

    If your aren't convinced by the testimonials in this forum, maybe you should borrow a Mac (if you can) for awhile and try it out. One thing that I don't think was mentioned on this thread is the fun OS X puts back into using a computer. The interface is so polished that it really is simply a pleasure to use, especially compared to Windows XP or Ubuntu (which I used before deciding to make the switch a year ago).
  20. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    A computer is a tool just like any thing else. For what you described, namely word processing, watching movies or whatever else, a macbook would work great for you. So would a thinkpad. So would an HP. You'll have to analyze to the best of your ability what types of applications you will be running or what type of tasks you will perform.

    I'm a power user but I go from home to school to office then home and while i'm on transit, I could be working on some high definition renders or some high resolutions images in photoshop. I have important data stored on my expresscard SSD and will soon expand to an e-sata card. I also have a number of firewire drives and usb drives which i need to connect to on and off. DL dvi is a must because I connect to the 30" ACD at work. The optical connectivity is also important to me because i'm trying to downsize my possessions, so no TV, but I can watch DVDs with 5.1 surround and my z-5500's.

    Having the choice between OSs was a no brainer for me. I need to use the Creative Suite for work, but also some speciality applications from the OmniGroup that work only on a Mac. I also need to do some IT work and when citrix (a windows virtualization app) isn't the right solution i'll fire up fusion and run a copy of XP side by side, or in an entirely different space so I can effectively have two desktops. No hickups, no issues.

    Half the college students i've encountered would probably be able to get through school without a laptop , and just use the library computers. Apple does make their computers fashionable, but that shouldn't be seen as detrimential. The only way you can set yourself apart is to learn the OS and the hardware inside out and use it like it was ment to be.

    If you buy a macbook pro and use textedit all day, you aren't using it what it was intended for and, quiet frankly, you've wasted your money while contributing to the poser stigma. But me, I understand the ins and outs of my machine. Probably because its my primary, but I came from building custom boxes in the Windows World to the walled garden that is Apple (nevermind OSX86).

    Apples lineup is as powerful as you want it to be. Treat it like a flower and waste your money, or work it like it was ment to be and watch it fly. But to put it simply, from what you've described any machine will do. Take a look at different models from all manufactueres and see what kind of expandibility it offers. If its not for you, move on. You can either grow with your machine or determine at the time of purchase that its (over)underkill.
  21. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    If you're fairly set on using Linux, a Thinkpad will have better compatibility with Linux since in general they use Intel branded wireless cards and fairly generic PC hardware (synaptics touchpad most of the time, etc). Finding Linux drivers for Thinkpad machines is usually quite easy if you stick to basic Intel hardware (even Intel graphics card).

    The Macbook Pro is more of a pain in terms of hardware since it uses the Broadcom wireless card. Do a google search of the words linux and Broadcom together and you'll quickly learn just how much the diehard Linux users hate Broadcom with a passion due to their secretive nature and refusal to release open drivers.

    Choose a Thinkpad if Linux is your focus. Choose a Macbook Pro if you have any doubts about Linux and could see yourself using OSX as your main operating system.
  22. nishishei macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2005
    Part of the money you pay for the Macbook does go into the styling. So if you don't give a damn about styling and what not, then it does undercut a lot of the reasons in buying the Macbook. The Macbook's screen quality is pretty subpar IMO for a $1200 laptop (the MBP screen is much better but also pricier).

    Also, while it might be cool that the Macbook is made of aluminum, there are 2 properties of aluminum that may not be so attractive once you use your laptop often. The first is heat conductivity. Macbooks run hot, and it's almost impossible to use the Macbook for prolonged time on your lap if you wear shorts. Even over thick jeans, it still feels very warm and uncomfortable. The second problem with aluminum is that over time and with prolonged exposure to heat, the case will warp and might warp in areas that will impact your laptop's functionality (such as the area near the power plug) or the DVD tray.

    Is the Macbook a decent and appealing computer? Yes it is. Is it worth $1200-1500 for the usages you listed above? For me, the answer is a resounding NO.
  23. balinmar macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2009
    just go with the thinkpad...everyone is going to try and justify the fact that an apple is so much better, but they really arent. we are in fact just paying for a very stylish computer with a very handy OS. UNIBODY??? ONE PIECE OF METAL??? this is just an illusion people. it really isn´t one piece, it´s still 2 pieces but this time around the second piece is on the bottom and not on the top like they all used to be. a laptop can never really be a ONE PIECE since we need easy access to the inside in case of a repair. and being well made?? most
    shops will more than like hace as many mac ready to be fixed than PCs. cosumer service is OK, sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are not. the whole Apple/mac thing is becoming a trend and now a days it´s not even that special to own a mac like it used to be since everywhere you go there are going to be atleast 5 like yours (library, coffee shop) and about a 100 at your school hahaha. trust me...if i could run OSX on a PC as good and clean as in a mac, i would probably make the change right away.
  24. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Feb 29, 2008
    100% Quote, I just cut some lines for bandwidth reasons.

    If you don't want Mac OS then why should you buy a Macbook? But if you can afford the money for an apple computer, Mac OS is worth them. It is still much better than windows and linux. Windows+Linux do not give the same excellent experience of Mac OS (at least till some years ago, today the software problems you have with Apple hw and the QualityControl are causing major headaches, but... I am getting old, I tend to recall the old good times).

    Unibody, precision laser-cut keyboards, glass screen, mighty mouse... are only names to attract unaware buyers who don't care much about functionalities. But they are only empty names: nothing that really affects the functions offered by the hardware. On the contrary I think that the design choices Apple is making to distinguish themselves after the adoption of the Intel platform are LIMITING functionalities and RUINING what was an otherwise great experience.

    Other manufacturers do not describe their products using stupid names and, most important, they still think about functionality when they design their hardware.

    I buy Apple hardware because I want Mac OS X, which I think is worth more than what Apple asks. Otherwise, I would buy Lenovo or a Toshiba in the Tecra series: may be they are not unibodies, but offer much more than a Apple body. And you can also have matte screens if you prefer them. If you want glossy just go and buy a Sony.

  25. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    true, but it would be running vista. Id say around 20-30% of what you pay for with an apple product is the OS, you dont have to upgrade it to get the best like vista where the "best" version is ~400$, not to mention M$ word, excel and powerpoint is ~$200 where on a mac its ~$90. and that not including the anti virus crap you need for vista....

    but you keep talking all these good things about lenovo's so just flipping buy one, dont keep saying you want a mac to keep us from flaming you, we wont btw, just do what you want to do especially if you plan on keeping it for 4 years.

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