Macbook Pro Base Model...new buyer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Saberon, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Saberon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #1
    Hello,

    I'll start by saying I have never owned a Mac in my life, and for the first time I am seriously considering it.

    The Macbook just looks cheap and it hasn't been updated for 2011, so that's out of the question

    While the Macbook Air is very thin and nice, I'm paying a premium for size/thinness that I don't really need. I could care less if it's bulky or thin, and I can get a much faster Mac for my $ with the Pro vs Air.

    I've kind of decided on the $1249 (Canadian) base 13 Pro but just had a few questions for you guys out there with more knowledge than me.

    1) I've played around with one a bit at the Apple store (its 2.5 hours away, and it's been a month or two since I've been there) and it feels quite solidly built. How is your MBP holding up after weeks/months etc?

    2) The resolution of the MBP 13 is 1280x800 which seems low compared to even the MBA 11! Does the screen look OK/Good/Great to you? It's hard to get a good determination of screen quality in store because of all the lights/angles etc.

    3) The battery life is "7 hours", I know that is really good for a computer of this size/power, but last year was 10 I believe. My friend said it had something to do with Apple being more accurate with their claims and 7 hours is more realistic than the usual inflated claims that manufacturers use. Any truth to this?

    4)I know that the SSD in the Air really makes it zoom, but how good/bad is the 5400RPM default? Fast enough that you're not swearing at the machine because it's slow to open everything? Also, Can I upgrade to an SSD of my choice later on if I decide to? Does it void my warranty?

    5)What do you love most about your MBP?

    That's all I can think of for now..I'll add more if I remember the other questions.

    Thanks
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    1. I've got the first 13" unibody Aluminum MacBook. It's the exact same design as the pro, without the name. It's held up wonderfully to two years of college use, with only a few minor scratches on it. Definitely a solidly built computer.

    2. It really doesn't look bad. Most 15" PC laptops use the same resolution as the 11" air, so it looks one heck of a lot better than those.

    3. That's pretty much exactly the case. You can actually expect close to 7 hours with reasonable use. The previous model was roughly the same, maybe 30 minutes better.

    4. The stock HDD is not super fast, but it's definitely not absurdly slow either. It performs the same way a typical computer would with loading, etc. You could also add a SSD or 7200 RPM drive later of your choosing without voiding your warranty.

    5. There are many things I love about my computer. First, the trackpad is easily the best out of any laptop I have ever used, with considerably more functionality than most. It's a great size, performs well, doesn't give me headaches with virus scans and BSODs. It's just overall a great machine.
     
  3. TheFarmer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    #3
    Answers to your questions.

    1. Have had the aluminum body design since 08. They've held up beautifully! Keyboard, screen, chassis, hinges...I've had very good luck with Apple products.

    2. Screen quality is fine for the 13-inch. Infact the colors and all else is fantastic...however, resolution is chit poor. It's terrible. Can't fit anything side-by-side, editing photos larger than screen resolution is lol for scrolling.

    3. How long do you use your laptop unplugged? Don't worry about it. Fawkers last forever off the charger.

    4. SSD is fantastic. You can upgrade later. 5400 is ok, but it's slow.

    5. It's reliable. I can boot it ten years from now and it will boot up.
     
  4. akhbhaat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #4
    Despite being only 1280x800, the screen on the 13" MBP still has a fairly high DPI (higher than my 24" desktop screen and the standard res 15" MBP), so things do look crisp and sharp. You'll just notice a modest lack of screen "real estate," which will manifest itself in terms of the size/number of open windows you can fit onto the screen. Honestly, I do a fair amount of programming on my machine with two or three terminals open simultaneously and it hasn't been a problem for me. Judicious use of OSX's "Spaces" feature (most Mac users don't even seem to realize that feature exists) helps quite a bit. Granted, this resolution could be a problem for serious photo or graphics work, but that's what I have a 24" monitor for--frankly, nothing short of the 17" model's 1920x1200 is going to be particularly ideal for that.

    I've owned both the 2011 MBP and 2010 MB (basically the same machine underneath as the 2010 13" MBP). It's absolutely true that Apple simply revised the battery measurement standards; take a look at what they're currently claiming for the white Macbook, which is still being sold with the same hardware it had last year. In truth, the battery performance in my 2011 is probably a bit better than the 2010 was in practice. Read Laptop Mag's review of the 13" MBP and you'll see what their test machine actually had more endurance than the 2010 model that they tested earlier.
     
  5. Rhyalus macrumors 6502

    Rhyalus

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #5
    I'll start by saying I have never owned a Mac in my life, and for the first time I am seriously considering it.

    This is my first Mac as well - it has been a good choice.

    The Macbook just looks cheap and it hasn't been updated for 2011, so that's out of the question

    I agree....I walked right on by myself...

    While the Macbook Air is very thin and nice, I'm paying a premium for size/thinness that I don't really need. I could care less if it's bulky or thin, and I can get a much faster Mac for my $ with the Pro vs Air.

    I've kind of decided on the $1249 (Canadian) base 13 Pro but just had a few questions for you guys out there with more knowledge than me.

    You have not mentioned why you need this model or how you are going to use it. I got it for the portability, but wanted a bit more power than the Air - even though the Air has a better resolution.

    1) I've played around with one a bit at the Apple store (its 2.5 hours away, and it's been a month or two since I've been there) and it feels quite solidly built. How is your MBP holding up after weeks/months etc?

    They have not been around that long, but given Apple's reputation for quality, I don't think we should worry.

    2) The resolution of the MBP 13 is 1280x800 which seems low compared to even the MBA 11! Does the screen look OK/Good/Great to you? It's hard to get a good determination of screen quality in store because of all the lights/angles etc.

    To me this was not about "looks". This is about what you can fit on this resolution. 800 vertical is not much....you sometimes need to go "full screen" with applications to squeeze a bit more out of it. Quality wise, images look great.

    3) The battery life is "7 hours", I know that is really good for a computer of this size/power, but last year was 10 I believe. My friend said it had something to do with Apple being more accurate with their claims and 7 hours is more realistic than the usual inflated claims that manufacturers use. Any truth to this?

    I can't speak about previous models, but these have more power in the CPU. The seven hours is a pretty fair estimate on battery life, but it does depend on what you are doing.

    4)I know that the SSD in the Air really makes it zoom, but how good/bad is the 5400RPM default? Fast enough that you're not swearing at the machine because it's slow to open everything? Also, Can I upgrade to an SSD of my choice later on if I decide to? Does it void my warranty?

    You can upgrade at any time without voiding the warranty on the unit itself. Honestly though, the 5400 is fine, though if you are looking for high performance computing, you should look elsewhere.

    5)What do you love most about your MBP?

    Portability and battery life. This is why I bought this machine.

    That's all I can think of for now..I'll add more if I remember the other questions.


    No buyer's remorse here.... good luck!
     
  6. MacYale macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    Hi. I just got my 13" base model a few days ago. I've never had a laptop before because I hated trackpads, terrible battery life, etc.

    But I absolutely love this MacBook. The trackpad is incredibly intuitive and remarkably customizable—no trackpad I have used on other laptops compare. The battery life is really impressive, and the performance is superb.

    I haven't had my MacBook for long but there's no way I'll regret this purchase. Awesome machine.
     
  7. falcor87 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    #7
    I have been using a 2006 macbook for the past 5 years but recently switched up to the 2011 i7 13 inch so I can try to give my opinion on some of these questions.

    1. Since my MBP is new I can't really comment. All I can say is its a good move avoiding the plastic macbook. The new MB may be slightly different than mine but the plastic is very prone to cracks and chips. I'm sure anyone with the 2006/07 macbook has experienced the cracks where the lid contacts the palm rests.

    2. This may be because I have primarily been using a laptop with the same resolution for a long time but I have had no issues with the display. I'm sure the screen from the air would be better but on the MBP screen even hd video looks lovely.

    3. I believe that is exactly what's happened. Apple introduced a new test that mimics real usage a lot more closely than before. I brought the MBP on a weekend trip last week, including 2.5 hour bus rides each way where the computer was in use the entire time. At least an hour or two of usage during the weekend, but I still had an hour before I had to charge it after getting home.

    4. Didn't notice any extended lag whatsoever opening applications. I did have the i7 but it is not a huge difference over the i5 base. As an economics student the most taxing things I would be doing would be working with large excel files. I found that files that took up to 2 minutes to load on my old macbook were loading withing 10-15 seconds on the MBP.

    5. As was said before, the trackpad.. The internals can be matched by many machines, and the design, while it is really amazing, is a matter of opinion and may not be a deciding factor for everyone. But the trackpad you wont find on any other computer, its big, extremely comfortable to use, smooth to the touch, very very very functional. The wide range of laptop mouse substitutes have always been known as a pain to use, but the MBP trackpad is an absolute dream.. no wonder they made a standalone version of it. I would use this trackpad over a mouse any day.
     
  8. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Big D
    #8
    I have this one... it's great... you only need a faster drive if you're editing videos a lot, etc... otherwise it's fast... the machine is very fast... the screen is great... blah, blah... nothing I don't like about it... if you're into a lot of 3D stuff like games you'll need a better GPU....

    Just get it and enjoy it.. !
    :D
     

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