MacBook vs. MacBook Pro - EVERYTHING the extra $500 gets you.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nickatnite, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. nickatnite macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I've seen a ton of confusion on this forum concerning whether or not one should purchase a MacBook or MacBook Pro. I was in the same boat, until I decided to find out exactly what that extra $500 gets me.

    After compiling this list, which for my first post I'd like to share with everyone else, I've decided I'm going with the MacBook Pro. There's just too many little things that the extra money gets you.

    If anyone knows of something I missed or if there's a mistake, be sure to post it. Here's the list of what you'll get going from a Black MacBook to the entry level MacBook Pro:

    - .16 GHz (160 MHz) faster processor

    - 2.1 inch larger display w/choice of matte or glossy
    (272,000 additional pixels - what you do with them is up to you)

    - 1 GB RAM - up to 3 GB (1 SODIMM w/ one slot left open, unlike
    MacBook's 2x512's, and that's only expandable to 2 GB)

    - Dedicated graphics card (ATI X1600 for above-casual gaming and
    applications like Motion and Shake)

    - Firewire 800

    - .08 inches thinner than MacBook (I know, not a huge deal)

    - Express Card/34

    - Illuminated Keyboard

    - Aluminum shell

    So there we have it, nine benefits the entry level MacBook Pro has over a MacBook (excluding the prestige some may feel with a MacBook Pro - I could personally care less).

    Obviously this argument could be turned around in MacBook's favor, concerning benefits it offers to individuals in certain situations. But that's not what this post was for. Maybe I'll do a post like that later. But concerning bang for your buck it's my opinion that MacBook Pro comes out on top. What do you think?
  2. tundotcom macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2007
    I only have about ~1K to spend, so another 500 dollars is 150% of my budget. Most potential Macbook customers aren't even considering the MBP on their radar.
  3. TequilaBoobs macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2006
    there are a lot of 'little' extras you get with the macbook pro, and if you have the money, you should consider buying it. however, in terms of bang for you buck, the macbook easily outwins the pro.

    this is an arbitrary amount, but i believe if you buy any laptop that's over 1500 you're paying more for emotional reasons rather than bang-for-you-buck reasons - cuz the costs just dont warrant the extras, which would put you at the forefront of current tech.
  4. hanschien macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2006
    Houston, TX
    You list some very good points but we all know that you pay more for the black MacBook. The price difference is a lot greater when you compare the MacBook Pro to the white 2.0GHz MacBook ($700) with 1/3 less HDD space.
  5. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    yes, and what you get for paying $500 LESS and getting the macbook:

    -better, more uniform display
    -better airport reception
    -magnet latch
    -easily upgradable Hard drive
    -a case that doesn't dent or warp
    - besides the graphics card, an equally powerful computer
    - $500 left over to buy a good 20inch desktop display to plug into, thus getting the best of portability and comfort when at your desk...
  6. reflex macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2002
    That one's arguable. My MBP display is pretty perfect so far.

    Another advantage that the original poster didn't mention, is the DVI port on the MBP, instead of the mini-DVI port on the Macbook. It's not worth hundreds of dollars, but it's nice to have.
  7. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    I guess for those who don't mind the grain and slight uneven backlight it's arguable. For me, I found the macbook display more pleasing and consistent than the macbook pros I had. The 17" I have now is more like the macbook in quality, but doesn't have the even backlighting.

    Of course, the macbook pro has more, but probably for many people it's overkill.
  8. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    I don't know about you guys, but I can't stand how small the screen is on the MacBook. Hell, I can't even stand how small the 15.4" screen is. 17" is the lowest I would go on my computer, unless I had a Mac Pro w/ 30" ACD or something. :) Then I might consider the MacBook, but until someone gives me $4500 to spend on a Mac Pro w/ 30" ACD, I'll stick with my 17" MBP. ;)
  9. Snide macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2005
    You forgot substantially better battery life with the Macbook.
    And the difference with the WiFi reception is rather astonishing - check them side by side.

    Not to mention...
    Cheapest possible Macbook: $1099
    Cheapest possible MBP: $1999
  10. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I just switched from a 1.83ghz CD MacBook to a 2.16ghz C2D MBP and haven't noticed any difference in battery or WiFi strength. :confused:

    The battery seems to take longer to charge when it's empty, but other than that, I get about 3.5 hours out of my MBP, which is about the same I got out of my MacBook.

    As for WiFi, maybe it's the pre-n chipset that's doing a better job?
  11. bearbo macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    1. grainy maybe a bit, but uniformity? my 15 incher has that
    2. any data shown that?
    3. what macbook has is not a latch, it doesn't latch anywhere... and what macbook pro has is a real latch, and it's magnetic, therefore a magnetic latch
    4. that i have to agree with you
    5. if the fan in the mbp stays as fast as the one in mb, the case won't warp either. and it's mroe resistant to scratch than MB
    6. you don't consider 2.33 more powerful than 2.0?
    7. but $500 doesn't get you some of the things mbp gives you.
  12. bearbo macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    but with the money you spend on 17" you can get a mac pro...
  13. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    But can you take the mac pro to class and use it on your lap?
  14. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    The thing that sold me on the MBP was mostly the graphics card and the screen size. I had a 12" iBook for 2 years and for what I was doing with it, I couldn't take it anymore. I agree with The General, sometimes I wish I had an even bigger screen (autocad and sketchup are especially a pain on a small screen). Sure, the MBP isn't really a "consumer" laptop so Apple can charge more than it would need to, but no one can tell me that the MB is fine instead of a MBP (not that anyone is). They are in two different leagues, two different price brackets, therefore not interchangeable.
  15. bearbo macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    no, but i'm surprised to see you are doing that with 17 incher... i took that to work to use on the desk and that was too much.
  16. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    i'm just saying that for the sake of argument.

    I'm at class using my 15" now. I dont own a 17 incher
  17. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    1. I think most 15" have a degree of uneven illumination. At least the 6 ones I've had did....the macbooks I've had have been overall significantly more uniform in that regard. Just anecdotal, but a lot of people seem to feel the same way.
    2. No hard data, except that I've had them side by side (different units) on several networks and the macbook always showed several more networks on teh airport list than the mBPs.
    3. It's a matter of preference, but I definitely loved not having to try to push my nail into the latch release button on my MBP - it's not exactly ergonomic in design.
    4. : )
    5. Yes, got to agree that I like the metal better, but for a notebook that gets moved around a lot, I'd prefer a material that doesn't bend or dent. But, sure, it definitely holds up better than the macbooks...
    6. I forgot that the macbooks have a slower CPU - but not by that much
    7. And vice versa. I guess it comes down to what you need!
  18. Woodcrest64 macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    I'm getting the MBP when the flash drives come out. The other reasons are the larger screen, dedicated graphics processor, more memory, illuminated keyboard, firewire800 along with the express 34 slot. These are all essential items that make my job easier.
  19. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    Er, well ... yeah, but I can't take a Mac Pro with me to class, on airplanes, etc...

    That, and if I spent that $2600 on a Mac Pro, I'd have like $200 left to buy a monitor mouse and keyboard... :rolleyes:
  20. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    ... except the MBP is not even $500 more expensive, but almost $900, depending on the original MB you choose.
  21. Tha Kid Game macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2007
    I think it was worth the more money.

    I just copped my new 17" Macbook pro, @ compusa. I looked at the macbook, black & white, and saw all the problems that people would complain about on youtube. Like the trackpad was dark from people using it, and for me 13" dosen't cut it.

    For me, everything came out to 2995.00 with taxes, but I needed the best of the best, because I edit movies, and pictures, so I went with it.

    So to wrap this all up.. im :)
  22. Passante macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2004
    on the sofa
    What you don't get with a MacBook Pro

    You don't get the easy to replace hard drive that the MacBook has. Very disappointing.
  23. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild

    You get enough grains to feed half the population of north korea :)
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    And the worst viewing angle I have ever seen on an LCD. Fill your entire screen with a single colour. Look at the centre of your screen. Without moving your head, look at the top and bottom of your screen. It's different from the middle. Everybody who works with photo editing and graphics found this out the hard way.....AFTER they bought their system. Of course, I could get an external monitor, but that just adds to the cost.

    I'd also like a matte screen due to colour accuracy, but the glossy screen is better for everything else like surfing the web, watching movies, etc, so having a glossy screen isn't a total loss.

    BENEFIT of the MacBook:

    - Size. I like portability. I had a 12" PowerBook, and I wanted a similar screen size or just slightly larger (but no smaller than 12"), and I'm glad the MacBook screen is 13.3". :) If you have ever seen 12" widescreens (eg: the one used on the 12" Dell 600m laptops that they used to sell 2 years ago), they're small and are harder to work with than the 12" screen on the PowerBook. I wouldn't want a 15" laptop.
  25. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I'm in the same boat. I need the most power to run Aperture and deal with pictures. THis will be my primary computer. I've owned 2 12" laptops (iBook & Sony R505) and i'm ready to move on to BIGGER screens. HMPH. I must be getting old.

    And, I want Firewire 800 - my FW external right now blows the pants off my USB2 drives. I need the speed!!!

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