Looking @ refurbs - MB vs. MBP... which to get?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by abr23, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. abr23 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #1
    I recently replaced my HP desktop with a 24" iMac, which is my main workhorse computer. I'd like to replace my HP laptop as well, but am not sure which MB would be best for me. I'm a photographer, so I want something I can view images on (relatively) accurately, but the majority of my color-sensitive work will be done at my desktop workstation, so I can be a little bit flexible with this. My iMac has the glossy screen and I don't really have a problem with it, but any glossier and I think I'd struggle.

    I need to be able to hook it up to my plasma tv as a 2nd "monitor" for one of the programs I'd be running on it (a sales presentation program). I'd also run a studio management/database software on it, Photoshop (and possibly also Lightroom and InDesign), Corel Painter, and iTunes. ;) Oh, and my Wacom tablet. It doesn't have to scream, but sitting around watching the spinny beach ball all day wouldn't work in a sales appointment, either.

    I'm looking at the refurbs and trying to figure out which might be best for me. Specifically, these four:
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB466LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB470LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB166LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB512LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw

    Any thoughts as to what might work best for me? Obviously, saving $$$ is always a good thing, but I don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish, especially when it comes to what I hope will be a fairly long-term investment (3-4 years?).
     
  2. abr23 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 4, 2009
    #2
    I should clarify that I don't really care all that much about the screen size, but I want a screen that can calibrate reasonably well, and a machine that can run the programs I need (especially Photoshop) reasonably well. I could save a lot of $$$ by going with the 13" MacBook, but I was leaning towards one of the MBPs because I would be using it a great deal and want something fairly rugged. THoughts?
     
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #3
    For lugging, I'd stay away from the 17"s - they're just beasties. The small price diff on the two 15" would send me to the unibody simply because it will make that money back in resale value (the perceived "newerness" of the uni) or longevity. That leaves us with a choice between the mb and unimbp. The mb will do everything you need it to do in the field in a light form factor and much lighter price tag. If you need to spend money, max out the ram (which I think is 4gb on that model) and think about plunking a bigger HD in it.
     
  4. iOrlando macrumors 68000

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    Jul 20, 2008
    #4
    just go regualr macbook unless a) you need the power b) you have endless amount of money for a pro.
     
  5. Emerica macrumors member

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    Jun 25, 2006
    #5
    Agreed. The only thing that would make me get an MBP is if I needed the bigger screen, but the MB is powerful enough for most programs especially if you upgrade to 4GB of RAM.
     
  6. txnoob macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #6
    For what you're doing the Any of the Macbooks do nicely.
     
  7. abr23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #7
    Thanks everyone for the replies! My hesitation with the MacBook is the screen - I've heard the unibody MBs have an even glossier screen than the iMac, and are not so great for pro photographers. Other than the screen question, after reading further on here, I think a MB would be fine for my needs, but I'm worried about the screen... thoughts?
     
  8. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #8
    Lay hands and eyes on one and decide for yourself. The MB really is a lot more portable, and you can set up an external monitor for it at your desk.
     
  9. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    London Ontario
    #9
    The screen on the mbp is much better than the mb. The mbp has better colors, and better image quality and viewing angle. Just do a quick search and you will some some pictures showing the difference.
     
  10. abr23 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 4, 2009
    #10
    Thanks all. VPrime, that was what I was afraid of. :( I did some checking around, and I think I will be happier with the MBP. However, I don't want a 17". A friend of mine has one, so I went and played with hers a bit, and it's a beast. Too big for my purposes. Soooo.... I found a less-than-a-year-old used MBP on ebay that has Applecare through 7/2011, and reasonable specs for my needs, and bought that. It has the matte LCD screen, a 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a 200GB HD. I think it will be a good choice for me. It only has 2GB RAM, though, so I will need to upgrade that. I'm off to search for info here about where to buy and what to buy for new memory. Thanks again for the help and advice!
     
  11. jeffgtr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    #11
    Happy with my Macbook

    I have a white Macbook with 4 Gig of ram and recently upgraded to a 500gb Harddrive (real easy to do). It is my primary computer at work. I hook up an external monitor so I have dual screen (macbook screen + the monitor). Today I had Flash CS4, Photoshop CS4, Dreamweaver, Textmate, Firefox, Parallels with Winxp with Coldfusion running, MAMP, Skype, Navicat AND Coldfusion server on the mac side as well. I had all of these running at the same time switching between them. It wasn't sluggish at all, the fan never came on. Granted if I were editing video at the same time it would have bogged down. I thought at one time I needed a MBP, I don't really. The larger screen would be nice sometimes, but I don't think I'd trade it for the portability.
     
  12. Nistilian macrumors newbie

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    Apr 14, 2009
    #12
    I vote for one you didn't list: the refurb 13" 2.4GHz @$1299.
     
  13. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #13
    Or, see if you can scope out a good deal on CL or ebay for a prior generation MBP. A lot of them have applecare included. But they have the nvidia 8600 chip which has proved problematic.
     

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