Macbook or Macbook Pro for writing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by drtabbat, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. drtabbat macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2016
    Have searched and only found a few, outdated threads on this topic. So, I am trying to decide between the macbook and the new macbook pro. Here are the basics:

    I am a professional writer. I mainly use my laptop for writing, which usually means having final draft, microsoft word, iTunes and safari all running at the same time. I need to be able to store music and photos, but I do not do any heavy editing or programming.

    Battery life is not really much of a consideration, as I usually leave my laptop plugged in while working. Screen size is also not really an issue between the two options, as I am not interested in a 15" macbook pro. I am currently working off a 2009 13" macbook pro, so would go for another 13". Is there a huge difference between the 13" pro and the 12" macbook? It seems the macbook's keyboard is more cramped and that slightly concerns me (though I have not personally tested it out yet). Portability is somewhat of a consideration, but I've been hauling my old pro around so I don't think it would make a huge difference to me at this point.

    Storage/memory is important -- I do use some external hard drives/the cloud, but I like having my files on my laptop, ready to go when I need them.

    A concern I have with the macbook is the lack of ports. I like to charge my phone via my laptop while working, but it has ONE port, which I would be using to charge the laptop itself most of the time. Yes, I realize there are accessories to buy for this, but would find it irritating to haul around adaptors for something so simple. Another concern is having the latest and greatest hardware. My fear is regretting purchasing the macbook to find it feels outdated in a year or two -- since my laptop is such a huge part of my work, I need it to last more than a few years.

    So, to sum up, I feel like for my basic, daily usage, the macbook makes more sense, but the port problems, possible keyboard/sizing issue and hardware make me lean towards the macbook pro. Any advice? Ideally would like to purchase something at the end of the year. Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Dick Whitman macrumors 6502

    Dick Whitman

    Oct 16, 2012
    I would definitely get the 13" MBP. For $200 more you get a larger display, more power, more ports, and arguably a more future-proof machine.
  3. Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

    Oct 12, 2016
    I strongly suggest that you go to an Apple Store (or similar retailer) and TRY TYPING ON BOTH SYSTEMS.

    Personally, I am not a fan of the MacBook's keyboard, I really dislike the feedback/action of the keys. Apple attempted to fix the widely derided MacBook keyboard with revisions to the scissor action keys of the new MacBook Pro, but whether or not you can live with either one is a personal decision.

    The aging 13" MacBook Air still has the best keyboard of the three.

    In 3-4 years, I will be in the market for a replacement Mac notebook computer and hopefully by that time Apple will have improved the scissor-action keyboard design to the point where it is actually enjoyable to use.

    For me, I'm not a writer and don't type as much as you, but I still have strong feelings about the usability of Apple's newer notebook keyboard designs.

    Good luck with your purchase decision.
  4. arsimoun macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2013
    --- Post Merged, Nov 27, 2016 ---
    For better or worse, I, too, make my living pushing words around. To my way of thinking there are only two things that matter to a writer: 1) the screen, and 2) the keyboard.

    I'm a fan of larger is better when it comes to screens, but your preference seems to be smaller. Fair enough. See how you like the keyboards. Hardware-wise, pretty much any modern machine will do what a writer needs. Even though it may be heresy around here, I would check out the Windows world, too. Keyboard and screen; the rest is pushing 0s and 01s around really fast. Windows or Apple will do that just fine. See what laptop "speaks" to you most. Good luck with the hunt!

    One man's .02

  5. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    +1. Try the keyboard in a store. It is the most important factor for you as a writer.
  6. Nick11Mac macrumors 6502


    Jan 20, 2011
    Also suggest trying the keyboards out. If you're near an Apple store, or reseller, check the feel and see what you like.
  7. RobinInOR macrumors 6502


    Sep 14, 2014
    I write alot on my 13" mbp, and do ok on the new keyboard. I also use an external keyboard from my old iMac when I'm at my desk and not travelling. The bag I have also fits the keyboard so if I wanted to take it with me I could without a problem.
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Have you thought about a Macbook Air - or is the retina screen important to you? The Air isn't for "power users" but it is starting to look like the zenith of Apple's computer design skills.

    Nothing you do is going to make any of Apple's current laptops break a sweat in terms of CPU power or storage (its things like video, pro audio/photo, multiple operating systems or virtual machines that start chomping the gigabytes). If you haven't yet put a SSD in your 2009 MacBook Pro then an Air will still feel like an improvement.

    Also - what the last 3 posters said can't be stressed enough: go into a store and try the keyboards. You never know: despite my expectations, I quite liked the new MacBook Pro keyboard - they seemed to have nailed the short-travel key thing - but its going to be very, very subjective.

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