Macbook 2011 or Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by bobthesun, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. bobthesun macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2011
    So this is kinda a hard question to answer but should i get a macbook pro 13 in or the macbook. I read the guide but it did not help.

    I just want to know your guy's opinions. Sophomore in college. Want it to last for a while. Want to go to med school so maybe a few years of that.

    1. This is my first mac
    2. Money is really not a big deal but saving money is not bad either.
    3. Mainly web browsing (50+ emails, play a bunch of flash games, lots of word processing, lots of tabs on the internet (20ish, all videos sometimes)
    4. I currently use a 14 in hp. It's falling apart after 4 years.
    5. Not much gaming, just sometimes star craft with my friends once in a blue moon.
    6. Laptop moves around quite a bit and my pc battery is absolute crap! Like ten minutes of battery life and I hate lugging around a power cord all the time.

    7. I mean I would get the macbook but I am scared of the cracking. I carry my current laptop in my backpack with all my books. Also the white seems like it gets dirtier easier. I am careful as in I don't try to drop it hard.

    8. any questions for me. This is a big thing for me as it is the first laptop i am buying on my own and not as a gift.
  2. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    I just posted this in another thread, but it seems like it might be useful to you, so here it is:

    Here is my opinion, with a bit of background so you know where I am coming from:

    I've always owned and preferred plastic Mac notebooks. I just like the look and feel better. My last computer was a non-unibody plastic Macbook. After it had numerous logic board and other failures, Apple replaced it and gave me a unibody plastic Macbook.

    I liked it, BUT they had taken away several features that I liked from my older Macbook, namely:

    1) Firewire
    2) External battery monitor
    3) Infrared port (for remote control)

    I went back and forth about what to do, and compared the Macbook and the MBP over and over (this was in November 2010). Finally I decided to change over to the Macbook Pro. Even when they had identical processors (late 2010) I just couldn't justify the Macbook to myself given the differences in features for $200. Now, with the MBP having added a better processor, a better camera, and Thunderbolt, I can't imagine buying a Macbook considering the price difference (yet I love the plastic and don't like metal). I think that now the Macbook should be more like $799.

    But okay, back to the comparison. Here is what you will get on a Macbook Pro now that is different than the Macbook. It seems very very favorable to me, for $200 (the price difference with the base computer, not options). I'm not counting the case as I'll mark that up to personal preference. The first four items are new as of 2011; the others existed in 2010 and still exist now.

    1) Considerably faster/better processor
    2) FaceTime HD camera (vs. iSight non HD camera)
    3) Thunderbolt port
    4) Larger hard drive (sorry, forget by how much... maybe about 1/3 larger?)
    5) Firewire 800 port
    6) External battery monitor
    7) Infrared port (for remote control - the control is ~$20 sold separately)
    8) SD card slot
    9) Backlit keyboard (I had always wanted this )
    10) Subwoofers for the speakers
    11) 4 gigs of RAM vs. 2 gigs of RAM*

    *MBP is upgradable to 8 gigs; officially Macbook only to 4 although I have read that you can also make it take 8.

    So, I bought a Macbook Pro in November (a friend was on the verge of buying a Macbook so he took mine). The way I got around my dislike of touching the metal was to put on a clear plastic "skin." Now my MBP is all shiny and does not feel cold, and as a bonus is protected from scratches.

    Again, I say all this having been a long time fan of my plastic Mac notebooks. Just that now they have made it such a better value to get the metal MBP (even moreso now in 2011).

    Miss Terri

    PS: On the cases, well, they each have their plusses and minuses to my mind. Beyond aesthetics, which is personal preference:

    1) Macbooks can crack (hinge area, palmrest), and potentially discolor; rubber can delaminate from bottom.
    2) MBP's can dent, and anodizing can be scratched or eroded by sweat, etc.

    So you kind of have to pick your poison, as it were. I think some of these problems would be covered by Apple under warranty, but that can be a pain of course.

    PPS: I should add that some people and tests are saying that the graphics hardware in the Macbook (was also in the 2010 MBP) is slightly preferable to that in the new 2011 MBP. From what I can tell this would only come into play if you were a heavy gamer, and then if that were the case you would not likely be looking at a 13" Mac. For the most part, the new processor in the 2011 MBP looks to be pretty sweet and it looks like an even "better better" choice to me now than when I made mine in late 2010.
  3. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2010
    my macbook pro 2011 13" (and the 2010 before it) have a battery monitor on the left side, you check it by pressing a button that blends in with the rest of the side of the laptop. Are you sure you don't have one on the polycarbonate macbook or you just can't see it? (I never had a polycarbonate macbook).

    I would definitely get the MBP 13" 2011. The 2010 13" MBP had pretty similar internals to the MB, just with 2GB more RAM, however the 2011 has a much faster Sandy Bridge core i5 processor that blows the old core 2 duo out of the water.

    Add to that the extra 2GB RAM, aluminum unibody, and every other extra the pro has, and you would be pretty much ripping yourself off if you buy the polycarbonate MB.
  4. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    Yes, the iBook dual USB and the earlier plastic (non-unibody) Macbook both had external battery monitors. Sadly, this was removed from the unibody plastic Macbook. As I mentioned, it was one of the "removals" that led me to the Macbook Pro. I use it quite often. I will say that the one on the MBP is a tiny bit less handy, as the button is so small; OTOH it's on the end (not the back) which is nice when it's in a backpack. I imagine one reason for it's "removal" is that it used to be right on the back of the battery, and then with the "non-user-serviceable" battery it would have to have been changed, and so they left it off (not sure how or if the location of it changed on the MBP when the battery changed, as this 2010 MBP is my first one).

    Although it's true that the 2010 MBP and the 2010 (current) Macbook were similar in terms of processor and screen, etc. there were quite a few differences. I started to notice them when my earlier Macbook was replaced by Apple with a unibody one, and I found certain things "missing," and then started researching. Eventually I came up with the list in my prior post.

    Now, as you say, there are additional, more fundamental differences (processor, etc.).

    Miss Terri

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