Macbook or Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Yotabyte, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Yotabyte macrumors member

    Yotabyte

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Perth, Australia.
    #1
    This is the second time I have come to MacRumors for advice. Needless to say, the first time I took the advice and had two happy years of ibook usage. I return for another round.

    I am trying to decide whether to get a MacBook or Macbook Pro.

    - Money isn't a huge issue, but as I am a student, I do not want to spend cash un-necessarily.

    - It needs to be able to run Windows and run it well (and also preferably Linux)

    - It needs good battery life, portability and comfort. I can't stress this enough. If any one owns a 15" Macbook Pro please tell me if you can actually use it as a laptop (i.e. on your lap) and not feel like your stomach is being crushed or reproductive organs are being singed. Sorry for the imagery.

    - Preferably good (enough) for games and applications such as Photoshop 7 and some good number crunching applications.

    Thanks guys and gals!
     
  2. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #2
    Well your choice is clear---> MBP. A MB will get crushed trying to run modern games unless you are talking about running Solitare and Hearts.
     
  3. techlover828 macrumors 68020

    techlover828

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #3
    Its really your choice, the MBP is pretty portable, I use one for school, but it comes down to if you really want to run games and Photoshop. The macbook would be able to handle photoshop (unless you're doing some really intensive work) but won't really be able to run most games. Its kind of your choice, I went with the MBP because of the bigger screen, I like the look better, and because I am planning on running Final Cut.
     
  4. Yotabyte thread starter macrumors member

    Yotabyte

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Perth, Australia.
    #4
    Do you find the Macbook Pro a little cumbersome when using it as a "laptop" (by my previous definition) though?
     
  5. mino macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    #5
    Hi,
    I have a Core Duo MacBook and a Santa Rosa MacBook Pro.

    Case
    I find the MacBook more resistent since you can grab it with one hand easily.
    The keyboard on the MacBook is really great, the one of the MBP makes me type some wrong words.
    The case of the MacBook is more modern, the MacBook Pro has plastic parts and tends to bend with high temperature.

    Performace
    The MacBook Pro is faster than the MacBook and you can feel it in everyday use. The MacBook is very very fast, too, and I have no problem to use it with intensive Garage Band tasks and iLife. The MacBook needs 2Gb of ram.

    Battery
    My MacBook Pro has about 2X the battery life of my MacBook. The MacBook lasts for about 2 hours - 2 1/2 hours... the MacBook Pro lasts for more than 3 1/2 hours. Core 2 Duo MacBooks have better battery life than Core Duo MacBooks.

    Display
    The glossy 13.3 display is the worse display I've ever used in a computer. Yes, colors are great, but you can see some colors when you look at the screen from one angle, and you see other colors when you incline the screen. For instance, when you're watching a movie, you can see the face of the caracters if you look from top to bottom, and you can see the trees if you look from bottom to top. I used the MacBook to write an article and it really hurted my eyes.
    The LED display of the MacBook Pro is not perfect, but it's one of the best I've ever used. It makes difference to me, not only in graphics, but in everyday use. Great colors, and very readable text. The MacBook glossy display is always a bit too small for what I do, while the 15.4'' is just enough.

    Conclusion
    The MacBook is a great computer, and it would be perfect with a good display. For me, the glossy display is really annoying. The MacBook Pro is a better computer, but if you use it just for student tasks, the only real difference is the screen and the price. Until the MacBook will not have a decent display, the MacBook Pro worths the difference.
     
  6. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Murka
    #6
    I feel the 17" is too big, but I have a 15", and use it all the time, everywhere. It's as good on the lap as on a desk or my iCurve. It's also surprisingly light for it's size - lighter than any other 15" laptop I've ever had my hands on.

    It can get hot, but if you're gaming the worst thing you can do with any machine is use it in a space where it's not well ventilated (bed, carpet, lap etc).
     
  7. devman macrumors 65816

    devman

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    AU
    #7
    I have a Core 2 Duo MacBook and a Santa Rosa MacBook Pro

    Agree with all that.

    3.5 is not 2 x 2.5 (or 2 x 2)? My Macbook regularly gets over 4 hours.

    Totally disagree; not my experience at all. Maybe you just have a dodgy screen (?) I have three MacBooks in the house and they are all excellent displays.

    One other point is that the MacBook has SIGNIFICANTLY better airport reception.
     
  8. Yotabyte thread starter macrumors member

    Yotabyte

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Perth, Australia.
    #8
    The Aluminium case is still a significant issue for wireless reception even with 802.11n?
     
  9. techlover828 macrumors 68020

    techlover828

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #9
    I don't think that it's bad. I use it at school all the time, both on a desk and on my lap. Its pretty light for the size.
     
  10. neven macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Within a few dozen feet from the WiFi source, no, but it's noticeable at a distance.

    I was surprised to hear mino say that his MacBook Pro gets better battery life than his MacBook. Apple gives the MacBook a one-hour advantage over the 15" MacBook Pro, and my experience confirms that.

    In my opinion, the only advantages to a MBP are a bigger screen and a faster CPU. That doesn't mean the MB feels small or slow; editing video will be nicer on an MBP, but for most uses, the MacBook works really, really well.
     
  11. devman macrumors 65816

    devman

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    AU
    #11
    Yes - compared to the MacBook.
     
  12. falsecathedrals macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    #12
    I use my 15'' mbp on my lab all the time and carry back and forth to school every day.

    It really feels lighter than you would expect from its size. I must add though I have never owned anything smaller than a 15'' so I am used to having something bigger on my lap but my PB was a great portable too. The size has never stopped me from bringing my computer anywhere. I was debating between a blackbook and a base mbp for months and am happy with my decision.
     
  13. mino macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    #13
    You have to consider that My MacBook is a Core Duo and my MacBook Pro is a Santa Rosa Core 2 Duo with LED display. Apple says Santa Rosa 15'' MacBook Pro's have 6 hours of battery life.

    The MacBook Pro gets really hot and in my opinion using it on your lap is not a good idea: high temperature makes aluminum bend. My friend's core duo 1.83 MacBook Pro's (hotter than mine) bottom surface is no more flat, but it's convex and cannot stand on the rubber feet: the convexity touches the table.

    Also, the MacBook Pro is too big to stand on my hand, I feel like a waiter bringing a big expensive tray with a pyramid of champagne glasses on top of it. :)
     
  14. Raska macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #14
    Most of my friends have Macbooks, one has a Macbook Pro and they love them. I ordered a Macbook Pro after using both extensivly because I want something that will last many years, I wanted a dedicated graphics card for sure because of gaming and computer graphics. I found portability was the same for both sans the wider dimensions.
     
  15. Yotabyte thread starter macrumors member

    Yotabyte

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Perth, Australia.
    #15
    The final verdict...

    Thank you all for your replies,

    After reading the replies here and doing some further research I decided to place an order for a white Macbook. The superior battery life (sorry mino, I think you may have a lemon) durability and wireless reception is an absolute must for a uni student. Plus the size and weight is definitely an issue, at least to me. I've owned many different laptops, my 12" ibook g4 1.33 (which I am using now and plan to sell) is very portable and durable and I suspect the 13.3" Macbook to be similar.

    I still can't fathom why Apple charges a premium for a black case? It doesn't even look better and it smudges like nothing else (friend of mine has one). Any way, I guess now is a good time to start praying for no dead pixels!
     
  16. Raska macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #16
    Any Mac is a good choice, in my opinion. A friend of mine just bought a Blackbook last week and she absolutely loves it. She doesn't use it for anything other than music, internet and chatting which is perfect for her. Only problem is she has dialup and can't connect to the internet.
     
  17. NoOneButMe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    #17
    USB Modem? :rolleyes:

    And how can she use it for internet / chatting if she cant connect to the internet? :p
     
  18. Southern macrumors regular

    Southern

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    Uh oh, sounds like a PARADOXICAL situation...
     
  19. Raska macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #19
    She is not going to buy a USB Modem when she is going back to college in a few weeks. And last time I checked, wifi exists so she can use it at friend's houses, like mine for example ;)
     
  20. mino macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    #20
    Congratulations for your choiche, I think you will be happy with it.

    My friend has a Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz (2nd generation White MacBook) and the battery life is shorter than my MacBook Pro. Anyway, other people in this forum find MacBooks to be more than satisfactory, so maybe the reality is that my MacBook is outdated (and probably a lemon), and Santa Rosa MacBook Pro's have great battery life! :)
     
  21. Tumeg101 macrumors 6502a

    Tumeg101

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, California
    #21
    MBP for sure, Photoshop 7 would look and work allot better on an MBP than an MB, the bigger screen would be an awesome bonus, and of course if you are planning to play games, you NEED the MBP.
    Personally, I think the MBP is portable, although I would suggest putting it in a backpack or a case to make it even easier to carry. And last I checked, the MBP and MB weigh pretty much the same, and the MBP is thinner... so yeah, lol
     
  22. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #22
    I have a mbp. the macbook weighs 5.1 lbs i believe and the mbp weights 5.5. Not really that big a difference. It does get hot, but while using it on my lap i simply put the notebook sleeve under it and no problems. Powerwise, it's definitely more powerful than anything i've owned previously.
     
  23. Yotabyte thread starter macrumors member

    Yotabyte

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Perth, Australia.
    #23
    Photoshop runs fine on my g4 ibook let alone a Core 2 Duo based Macbook.

    As for not being able to play games, that's a misconception. You can play games on the Macbook, just perhaps not all the latest and upcoming ones. I do intend to be playing all my old favourites like JK2, Halo, RA2, Freelancer, Half Life 1 + 2 and maybe even WoW which all run fine on a Macbook. Mostly because they are old, but partly because you don't need the absolute best graphics card to run most games.

    That said, the macbook is not designed as a gaming machine. It has a "small" screen and of course can't play games with high requirements that well. But then again I really doubt that the 15" screen of the Macbook Pro is the best gaming interface either. A nice big desktop LCD screen, gaming mouse and keyboard with surround sound speakers is in my opinion more immersive and appropriate for a gamer... and while you can deck out a 17" MBP to be the ultimate gaming laptop I highly doubt it could beat the combined productivity and gaming prowess of the MB and a dedicated gaming machine (some winshit clone from your local computer retailer with a massive 24" screen and a *real* 8 series Geforce graphics card) that you could get both for the same price as said macbook pro.
     

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