Macbook or MacbookPro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bogieking, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. bogieking macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2010
    I am going to be purchasing my first Macbook and need help in deciding whether to buy a Macbook or Macbook Pro. I will be using it for the following:

    1) Keynote - I give about 75 presentations per year and the presentations are usually 75 to 150 slides (5 of these slides have videos of 30 to 45 second length). The Macbook or Macbok Pro would be hooked up to a projector as the presentations are done in front of audiences of 50 to 600 people.
    2) Simple web based data entry
    3) Personal Use for family photos and movies
    4) Web browsing and email.

    Also, with this purchase I will have a hybrid office for a while (2 pc's and 1 mac). What is your opinion of Office for Mac (I currently do some work with spreadsheets, publisher, powerpoint and word). I hope to get away from powerpoint and go to Keynote.

    I have only used pc and am not sure if the Macbook is sufficient for my needs or if I need to move up to the pro. Thank you for any help.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    With what you are doing with Keynote and the videos and making the presentations, I would recommend the MBP

    As far as Office goes, consider this...

    In general...

    If you need strict compatibility with MS Office for Windows, your best bet is to run Windows and MS Office with Boot Camp or virtualized with Fusion/Parallels/Virtual Box (free)/Crossover. This is the only way to ensure you are completely compatible with Office 2003 or 2007 on Windows. You can convert docs to .pdf, but that isn't always an option if you need collaboration.

    If you need mild to good compatibility with MS Office for Windows, you can use Office 2004 or 2008 for the Mac, with the understanding they are not equivalents and there is little VBA support in 2004 and virtually none in 2008. Excel will be the primary difference more so than Word. There are converters for .docx available.

    If you want a MS Office-like interface, etc. then Open Office/Neo Office are good choices and they are free. But they will not provide strict compatibility with MS Office. They will however, give you a more Office-like experience. They are robust and complete packages from the Open Source community.

    If you want the functionality of MS Office with a Mac experience, then iWork is the best bet. It is a great value for the cost. Pages is a great tool, and Keynote is superior to Powerpoint in my opinion. Numbers is good, but does not provide the power of Excel. You can check out a comparison here: MR Guide - iWork v. MS Office. Nothing compares really to Excel on Windows if you need all of the features.

    You can also check out Mariner Write and Mariner Calc. Both are decent alternatives, but are not as widely used.

    If you just looking for a nice word processing, then Bean is free.
  4. evarian macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2010
    the speed of the MBP smokes the MB.
    go with the MBP, it's a noticeable difference
  5. Nicken macrumors member


    Mar 30, 2004
    Since you give a lot of keynote speeches I would assume you are quite a lot on the road. The Pro is more durable. Go for it!

    Screen size is a matter of taste. I prefer the 15" over the 13" but that´s just me.
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Wow, winner of the "I dont know what Im talking about" post for today.

    13" MB and base 13" MBP are *identical* in speed. The upgraded 13" 2.53 MBP is only marginally faster due to the 2.53 processor.

    Get whichever one you can afford/like. The MBP does have firewire (if thats important for you, for many its not), backlit keyboard (which might be really helpful for you) and obviously the aluminum shell.

    If you have time, and are seriously considering the 13" MBP, wait.

    Otherwise, either are more than enough to do what you are asking.

    FWIW, if you need more opinions, I would say this question gets asked at least twice a day, you might just click back few pages -- and look in the MB forum as well.
  7. mic575 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2010
    I second MacDawg's analysis. If you are thinking about going keynote eventually then you wont have this issue.

    I believe the MBP would be more durable for you while travelling and you would not have as much of a problem with it getting dirty etc.

    You may want to check, but I think the MBP will work with an apple remote and the MB won't, not sure though. Could be nice for presentations although you can just use a bluetooth mouse on either one.
  8. bogieking thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2010
    Thank you for all the advice. I am not in a huge hurry so I will probably wait until the updated Macbook Pros come out and see if I want the current MBP at a reduced price or the new one at whatever price that will be.
  9. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2008
    i'll be in college in the fall and chances are i'll have a MBP. is it better to run Bootcamp and use MS Office (primarily Word, maybe PowerPoint occasionally) on Win XP/7or should i be fine running MS Office for Mac? my only concerns would be compatibility, but according to your post i should be fine with MS Office for Mac. correctoo?
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Unless you plan on creating Word files with giant tables, macros or other seldom used features, then Word for the mac is fine.

    Im guessing you will just be typing a bunch of papers, which is minimal.
  11. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2008
    yeah that's what i'm guessing too, just a bunch of Word files mainly with text. i guess it's possible too that i'll have a couple PowerPoints over the next four years but most likely nothing major.
  12. Alvi macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2008
    Get the MacBook Pro, the MacBook is not bad, but the MBP is a better long term investment than the MacBook, you get:
    -A way more durable body
    -Better screen
    -SD Card Slot
    -Battery Indicator
    That at least for me is worth it even if i don't really use a big part of those, The more durable body is very good, if you get the White MacBook you'll spend like 100$ in cases to keep it in a good state, that body scratches like butter if you have the MacBook Pro, you basically don't need a case unless you want one, you can stick it in a backpack without a problem
    The Screen looks better, you have that glass cover which makes images look nicer and you get a 60% better color gamut.
    SD Card slot, even if you don't need it, you'll love to have it when you will need it
    -Firewire, maybe you don't need it, but It's very good for a Time Machine external HDD, that's how you save some USB ports and some time
    -Battery indicator, not really needed, good to check your battery without having to turn on the computer before you travel or something

    Those reasons convince me, The MacBook Pro avoids you some clutter, (cases + more accessories like hubs or Card readers)
  13. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    The speed difference is minor among the macbook and pro, but since you travel a lot, the pro is a little big more durable, and you'll have a backlit keyboard which might be useful for presentations (to hit b for black screen for example in powerpoint).

    The rest is all looks, the macbook white looks sexier to me, macbook pro has a 15" option...
  14. RudyGrow macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2009
  15. ARF900 macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2009
    A lot of people I know have gone to the Apple store to buy a Macbook, then they see the light up Apple on the back of the pro and think "meh, $200"

    MBP Advantages:
    Backlit and chiclet Keyboard
    Better Screen (I think)
    Better overall appearance
    SD Card slot
    I think its lighter but im not sure?

    I know the SD Card slot alone sells it for a lot of people. I really think All computers these days should have SD card slots, they are about as widely used these days as USB ports.
  16. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Keyboards are the same except for the backlight. The Pro is slightly lighter and has a noticeably better screen. It also has the Firewire port. Appearance is, of course, subjective.

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