Leaning towards a 15" MBP, worth the cost?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by techmonkey, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. techmonkey macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Ok, if I purchase this MBP, it will be my first Mac. I've never been a fan of Mac, but its been pretty enticing since they moved to Intel. I love the idea of Parallels. I've done a ton of research, and overall I like the features of the MBP. The only thing that is holding me back is the price. I know that you cant compare the MBP directly to a PC laptop, since they both run separate OS systems, but I've always been a "get the most bang for your buck" consumer. I can't get over the fact that I will be paying a premium just because its a Mac. Sort of like paying for designer jeans, they serve the same purpose as Old Navy $20 jeans. What I'm looking for with the post is some good comments to win me over and to push me to the apple store checkout :)
  2. ready2switch macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2006
    Well first, why are you looking at the MBP? What are you going to be doing with the machine that makes you lean toward the pro (the more expensive)?

    While you can't "directly compare" a MBP to a PC laptop because of the OS, you can get pretty close on hardware specs. For the newest MBP, I would go to the Dell Small Business store and customize a Latitude D830 with specs as close to the MBP as you can. This gives you some idea of what components cost and what you'd really be getting from the MBP.

    I've found, over the last 18 months, that Apple is usually within $100-200 under or over Dell for comparable specs. Just because Apple doesn't offer $399 laptops doesn't mean they are necessarily more expensive for what they do offer.

    Edit: Fixed the Dell model number to the right size model.
  3. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    It depends on your needs. You may find that a MacBook will suit your computing work.

    What will you be using it for? Any intensive video work? Animations? Gaming? If you plan to do any of these with ease, you'll probably want the MBP. Compared to the MB, the MBP is somewhat more futureproof.

    I recently switched from PC to Mac after much experience using both my own desktop PC and my girlfriend's G4 iMac. Let me say, the small price premium you might pay for an Apple product is worth the difference in terms of overall "bang for your buck". I waffled a bit on the same issue, and did some extensive research. While it's hard to do an exact cross-platform comparison due to some of the intangibles, many Mac models are competitively priced if you look at a spec by spec comparison with a similar PC model. And with a Mac, you'll still have the option of using Windows.
  4. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    I originally wanted a Black Macbook. For $300 more, I can get the 15" Macbook Pro. Feature wise, I think its worth $300. ($1,499 BMB, $1,799 MBP on .edu store). Like I said earlier, I think "most bang for the buck" :) I'll checkout the Dell you recommended comparing it to. The problem though with Dells is the coupon codes. Dell always has coupon codes, and most of the time they are insane ($700-800 off).
  5. ready2switch macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2006
    Dell does always have coupons, but I guess my point was to go to Dell and see just how many components you would have to upgrade to get a comparable machine while also noting the price of each upgrade. (also, the coupons are often for home users, and their selection is usually behind [read: older] than what they offer their business customers). Your main concern with switching to a MBP seems to be the price, but the price really comes out to be pretty standard for all of the things you get.
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Why pay $20 for jeans when you can get just as functional ones from Wal*mart for $10? You're paying for style, prestige, and, of course, OS X. Personally, I think the Macbook Pro is way too high compared to the cheeper Macbooks, but if you're thinking about a blackbook, the MBP is a very reasonable upgrade. The only downside is the few extra bucks, but you get a backlit keyboard, a real graphics card, and a larger screen, which is all well worth it IMO.
  7. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    This is what I came up with on the Dell model you posted.

    Latitude D82
    PROCESSOR - Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7400 (2.16GHz) 4M L2 Cache, 667Mhz
    OPERATING SYSTEM - Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Basic, with media
    LCD PANEL - 15.4 inch Wide Screen WXGA LCD Panel
    MEMORY - 2.0GB, DDR2-667 SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
    HARD DRIVE - 120GB Hard Drive, 9.5MM, 5400RPM
    OPTICAL DRIVE - 8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio and Cyberlink Power DVD™
    VIDEO CARD - 256MB NVIDIA® Quadro NVS 110M TurboCache™
    WI-FI WIRELESS CARD - Dell Wireless™ 1390 802.11g Mini Card
    BLUETOOTH WIRELESS - Dell Wireless® 350 Bluetooth Module for Vista
    WARRANTY & SERVICE - 3 Year Limited Warranty plus 3 Year Mail-in Service

    subtotal - $1,441
    ship/hand - $0.00
    tax - $126.08

    Total = $1,567.08

    MacBook Pro (edu site)
    PROCESSOR - 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4MB shared L2 cach
    LCD PANEL - 15.4-inch (viewable) widescreen 1440 x 900 pixels
    MEMORY - 2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    HARD DRIVE - 120GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    VIDEO CARD - NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 128MB of GDDR3 SDRAM
    WI-FI WIRELESS CARD - Built-in AirPort Extreme (802.11n)
    BLUETOOTH WIRELESS - Built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)

    subtotal - $1,799

    Applecare 3yr - $239
    shipping - $0
    tax - $163.04

    Total = $2,201.04

    $633.96 difference.

    Now I don't want this to become a "you can get a Dell for $xxx cheaper than a Mac" thread, but this is what is making me stall on purchasing the Mac. :)
  8. ready2switch macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2006
    Again, I think you missed the point of my suggestion. The Dell you priced has the old processor (not SR) and g-wireless.

    Add in those two upgrades (which isn't possible with a video card, you have to do a separate comparison on Dell) and your $633.96 difference shrinks.

    Edit: If you'd be happy with the Napa platform, you can look at the apple refurb store. You'll be saving a bit and still get the OS you're interested in.
  9. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    You also might consider getting one of the older Core Duo processor MacBook Pros at the refurbished site. You can get one for $1300 at the refurbished store (unless they lowered it since they upgraded the processors to SR), then just upgrade the RAM to 2GB and you have a Black MacBook priced MacBook Pro, that is not that much slower.
  10. hawaiian macrumors member


    Would you be getting the Accidental Care Warranty from Dell if you chose to go Dell? I think that's really the only major selling point of Dell over the other PC companies. From what I understand, Applecare is a really good warranty system though.

    I'm planning on buying a 17" MBP and have been waiting for a while because I wanted the Santa Rosa technology included. Keep in mind that if you go with the Dell you've chosen, you won't be getting the faster front side bus nor will you be getting 802.11n.

    Somethings to consider though, are the smaller features that are really just "bells and whistles" such as the multi-touch track pad, LED back lighting (which a lot of people don't consider to be a small feature,) and even the keyboard lighting, etc... That might help explain the $600+ price gap. I think, though, that if you include the accidental warranty, the faster processor, the SR technology, and some of the other nice features, the price will be quite close.

    At least that's the way I see it...good luck!!
  11. mikesjo macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2005
    Vancouver, B.C.
    If you're wanting to play games, get the Dell. I've had my iBook for the past 18 months and prior to that i was a PC guy only. I dislike having to use my PC or the office's now that I've had my iBook for so long. The 12" is great for school and everything just works. No fuss. I find i'm more efficient on the mac as well. I don't play many games but wish I could sometimes. Upgrading to the 15" MBP once they're in stock at school :). Vista is nothing compared to MacOS imo. I find myself trying to use the apple short cuts on my PC sometimes to realize that I'm on the PC and no the mac :(.

    Oh and the other, myself and my sister has both used the 1yr warranty offered through Apple on our iBook LCDs. I love the no hassle warranty Apple offers. All we did was bring in our laptops to our school's store and the LCDs were replaced no questions asked w/ in the timeframe of one class. I didn't need to bring any documentation, nothing, they got the information from the laptop's serial #.
  12. techmonkey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    I'm not a big gamer. I would use my desktop PC though if I want to play games.

    Are you talking about the standard 1 yr warranty? What happen to the LCD screen?
  13. thehype31 macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2006
    A better comparison is the Dell Lattitude D830... The D830 has Santa Rosa.

    PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7500 (2.20GHz) 4M L2 Cache, 800Mhz Dual Core
    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2, with media
    LCD PANEL 15.4 inch Wide Screen WUXGA LCD Panel
    HARD DRIVE 120GB Hard Drive, 9.5MM, 5400RPM
    OPTICAL DRIVE 8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio and Cyberlink Power DVD™
    VIDEO CARD Intel® Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
    WI-FI WIRELESS CARD Intel® 4965 802.11a/g/n Dual-Band Mini Card
    WARRANTY & SERVICE - 3 Year Limited Warranty plus 3 Year Mail-in Service

    Subtotal: $2117.00
    Tax: $184.18
    Total: $2301.18

    So, this actually comes out to be about 100 dollars more than the low-level MBP with the same specs and with applecare, except the MBP has discrete graphics, while the Dell has integrated. Draw your own conclusions from this. ;)
  14. SirCrumpet macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2007
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can I just chime in here with the whole dell thing, being a computer technician I work almost entirely on PCs and use macs at home - firstly let me say its GREAT that you are thinking of switching, i can almost guarantee you will never look back - and secondly, let me just say that you should avoid Vista Home Basic like the plague. Theres nothing wrong with vista, but the only real upgrade from the end-user side of it is the visuals, something you should know you will miss out on with Home Basic.

    Also, the latest updates to the MBP range will bring the Mac infront in the graphics/gaming stakes.

    To answer your original question - is it worth the cost? Yes, every cent.

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