MacBook vs MacBook pro 15 - a few questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mysterywhiteboy, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. mysterywhiteboy macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2007

    I have been lurking for a while trying to make the decision between the MacBook and MacBook Pro 15". This will be my first ever Mac & I can't wait to make the switch!

    I will be using the machine as my main machine at least for the immediate future and I do a lot of development(web/Java/Perl ...). The graphics card in the Pro isn't an essential feature and would merely be icing on the cake.

    The issues I am having difficulty with are the screen size and the keyboard. I much prefer the keyboard on the MacBook but i'm not sure that the screen is large enough, however I want to maintain portability and i'm not sure the Pro is small enough.

    The price difference between the two setups i'm looking at is £300 but im not too bothered about price. I also much much prefer the look of the MacBook (White).

    Does anyone have any MacBook and MacBook Pro screenshots of maybe something like Eclipse or a browser on the same page for comparison?
    What are peoples thoughts on the Pros keyboard, i have only used it briefly but it felt... cheap.

    Any input is appreciated

    thanks a lot

    -Matt (a soon-to-be Mac user!)

    p.s. I also have concerns about waiting for leopard to be released and/or if I get a MacBook waiting for the Santa Rosa chip set to be introduced.

    p.p.s Will the Leopard "Resolution Independence" help with the screen resolution on the MacBook and make it feel a little more useable?
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I own a MacBook Pro 15.4" and I love it. I've compared it to the MacBook's and yeah - the MacBook's are pretty sexy and I was so close to buying one.

    What made me go for the Pro, was the faster CPU, bigger hard drive and more RAM (I know HDD and RAM can be customized if you order through Apple..), also the bigger screen. I do programming at University and someone I know has a 12" laptop - and he hates it for programming. It doesn't have the best resolution (I know the MB's are 13.3" screens, but for comparisons sake) and was similar of the MacBook.

    The MacBook Pro's screen boasts 1440x900 resolution - and it's much better for programming as I can fit more on the screen; I hate having to scroll through procedure calls because they don't fit on the screen. That would be a problem on the MacBook.

    In terms of performance, you probably wouldn't notice much difference (if you are mainly using it for programming) as you can always upgrade the RAM in the MacBook to gain more smoothness. Even creating graphics would be fine in the MacBook too - the graphics card isn't that bad; my old HP had a dedicated graphics card and I got away fine with it, but games are a big no no.

    I'd buy what you are most comfortable with, what you like best. At the end of the day, it is you that is going to be using it, not us. And there is plenty MacBook owners as there is MacBook Pro who will tell you to buy what they own.
  3. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    I bought a MacBook instead of the MacBook Pro. Reasons were cost and portability, the Pro line to me just isn't worth the premuim.

    If you want a bigger screen then buy another monitor, the MacBook I have is perfect for what I use it for, Aperture, Photoshop, this is coming from somebody who went from a G4 17" PowerBook and before that, a 12" PowerBook WITH a 19" monitor!
  4. Xeno macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2007
    I'm in a similar situation. I actually have a MPB on order already, but I still have time to change it. I definitely like the MPB screen better, both the size and brightness. Of course the slight increase in processing power is a plus, the dedicated GPU and backlit keyboard are nice too. But is it worth $500 more? Plus, there are still some problems with the new displays, I'm a little worried about that as well. I'm going to be using it everyday as my primary computer, but mostly just music, imovie, internet, office, a little Vista here or there. Yes, I also like the Macbook design better like most people. If I switch the order to a Macbook, it will be 2.16 ghz with 2GB of RAM. But maybe the MBP is better in the long run because of the CPU and GPU? Am I making a mistake and wasting money? :confused:
  5. teerexx52 macrumors 68000


    May 1, 2005
    Florida West Coast
    My last Macbook Pro was the 2.33 17". I sold it to go back to the MacBook pro 15" LED because I wanted the screen and a smaller foot print. I tried two 2.4 MacBook Pros returning them both because of the bottom 1/3 of the screen being yellowish. I then bought a MacBook 2.16 with 2gb of memory and then updated the drive to 160GB. I then hooked the MacBook to a 20" Samsung external monitor. To be honest with you I notice no difference in speed for anything I do. I was surprised how much I liked the MacBook even after coming down from a 17". I am currently considering a MacBook pro again hoping that the screen problems are solved. Not so sure they are yet. Anyways, the only reason I want the Pro is for the LED screen and I'm just not sure that's enough of a reason considering how well my current set up is working. For now I'm staying put. By the way the Book was about $1000 cheaper after all was said and done comparing it to the 2.4 MacBook Pro. Hope this helps
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I have an 15" MBP (via work) and MB (at home).

    From a developer's point of view, either machine is fast enough, and either has sufficient graphical horsepower. However, the 15" MBP's 1440x900 screen is only marginally sufficient for coding, and the MB's is insufficient.

    If you plan on having a monitor connected often, both are fine, and you can certainly use even the MB's screen for periods of time. But, if you want to use mainly or only the laptop's screen, the MBs 1280x800 resolution isn't good enough - as I said, the MBP's is barely sufficient. Really, you need a 20" or better monitor, or the 17" HD version, to get a real developer's screen.
  7. techlover828 macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2007
    I'd go with the pro, I really like the keyboard and can type really quick on it. I think that if you decide to go with the macbook you should think about investing in a external monitor. Or you could use Virtue Desktop which is like spaces (or, if you are willing to wait, spaces), which would give you the options of having three alternate "virtual screens." Good luck
  8. ivasena macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2007
    MBP via MB

    I was in the same situation for about 3 months ago. Now, I'm a (still) happy owner of a 15'' MacBook Pro. First of all, I had a chance to compare monitors of my laptop and MB. I immediately noticed the difference in the quality of the picture: I wouldn't be able to work on 13'' MB for hours :(, bad for me. For me, a PC user with more than 10 years of experience, Mac's keyboard seems quite strange :D, so, the main thing that it's reliable (i guess)... If you going to develop on your MacBook for hours during a day, you should definitely go for 15'' Pro and.... cooling pad :D I'm really think of buying one for my MBP.
    Good luck with your choice. :apple: forever!
  9. mick4394 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    When I had my Macbook, I thought that the keyboard and LCD were just about perfect.

    13.3 is the sweet spot, in my opinion. It's not too big, not too small. It's easy to cart around.
  10. kurzz macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2007
    I currently have a 13" Macbook and recently ordered a 15" MBP. I really like the Macbook, it's easily portable but the screen resolution bothered me - it was too low. I didn't mind the actual 13" screen itself, just the low resolution, which in turn, resulted in a lot of scrolling.

    The Macbook is great as a "second computer" portable but not as a main workstation. I also found the Macbook's keyboard to be..different. It's the spaces between the keys made it feel different..not worse or better. The MBP's keyboard appears to be more standard fare as found on most laptops.

    The weight is about the same, the 15" is noticeably larger but I think I will enjoy the MBP's screen much more. I guess I'll have to attribute the extra $400 for the MBP towards the 2" extra screen space, backlit keyboard, LED screen, and Geforce graphics card.

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