MB v MBP: is an SD slot really worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by psykon99, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. psykon99 macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2009
    Okay, so I know I'm not the first one to post something like this, but I'm kind of stuck between the MB and the MBP (lower end).

    Roughly $1250 is my budget on the very high end. While I would prefer 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive (equiv on a PC in this range) I really would like to get my first mac. That leaves me with the 2GB of RAM (which I can upgrade) and either a 160GB hard drive or a 250GB hard drive. While the laptop will be used for general home use, I also do photography as a hobby. I can live with the 250GB hard drive however because I'll keep final product images on the machine and I'll use 1TB backup drives for the original RAW images.

    So here's the dilema: for $1,000 I can get a 250GB hard drive which matches my bare minimum need by getting the white MB. Great. Problem solved right? Well... for $200 more I can get an aluminum body, backlit keyboard, and an SD card slot. Of course if I do that I'll have to spend an extra $50 for the hard drive upgrade. So total cost is $250 more to get the same size hard drive as the white MB with a cooler body and keyboard. The SD card slot I really like since half the time I use SD cards and the other half I use compact flash cards. But I'm not sure it's worth $250 to get. Nor am I sure that aluminum and a backlit keyboard is worth $250. I've been living without them for a long time anyway - but I've always had the SD card slot.

    So I'm wavering. And I can always get a nice case for the white Macbook (white's not my favorite color) for $50 and still come out way cheaper. Buuuut the SD card slot... I don't like carrying around an external one. But is it worth $250????

    Plus I know that there's updates coming to the MBP soon AND knowing my luck Steve and Co will add an SD slot to the white MB in its next update.

    So... thoughts?
  2. GraphicRhino macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2009
    I used to have a white (polycarbon plastic I think) 13 inch macbook (2007 or 2008) ... and i currently have the low end macbook pro unibody (2.26ghz).

    I'd go for the unibody personally. I honestly dont know how well apple has improved the manufacturing process of the white macbooks but my old one would chip and crack around the edges .... which annoyed the ***** out of me, someone who is very anal about keeping my gadgets prestine. They were nice enough to replace the bottom lid for free, but i was always nervous about taking it off my desk after that. Felt weak and bendable.

    I can't say the same thing for the unibody. It's sturdy and cool to the touch. You already have the tech side figured out, but i just wanted to point the sturdy design out for you. Now after saying that ... I'd recommend you waiting till the new ones are announced relatively soon. regardless of what the new models bring feature and spec wise, the current models will drop in price, allowing you to maximize your dollar. I know its hard sometimes to save. Fight the impulses!!!
  3. sorjai macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2009
    The updated MB's are also unibody. They also happen to have a bigger HD too for some strange reason. If you have to choose between the two, I'd say pick the MBP's. Why? Because there's more room to expand the ram on those. You're basically capped at 4gb of ram with the MB's, which is fine now, but a couple of years down the road, that may not be enough for you. At least you can extend it to 8gb of ram on the MBP's to extend its life for another year or two. I've talked to friends who use the same mac for years by simply upgrading the components.

    And of course if you can wait it out till they come out with the newer models, that'd be even better.
  4. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2009
    I'm not really all that concerned perse about the durability of the white macbook considering i've always used plastic laptops anyway. My only experience with aluminum is on my work laptop by HP that I have right now which is a heavy beast. I just like the look and feel of the aluminum better than white. It's asthetic not a primary concern.

    To me, I think I have to have a min of 250GB in hard drive space. So to get the MBP I have to spend another $250. Out of that I get the aluminum body, nice but not a need; backlit keyboard, really nice but not a need; firewire, I could care less; and the SD card slot, which I really want but is not necessarily worth $250 to me.

    Then again, as was pointed out, I'm limited to 4GB ram in upgrade space on the white mac. Would I want to update to more in the future? I suppose I might. I've never really run one laptop for more than a couple years before and with a Mac I guess I have my first opportunity to do so considering they don't seem to "age" like PC's do - for lack of a better way of putting it.
  5. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2009
    Actually, the drama continues. I just discovered that the white macbook can be had refurbished for $850 from apples store. Sheesh. That really sweetens the deal. That means it's $400 more just to get an SD card slot, aluminum, and backlit keyboard. Hmmmm.
  6. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    The SD card slot, in my opinion, is pretty much useless. SD cards are used most of the time to transfer photos. It's actually much simpler to transfer photos by connecting the camera to the computer via a USB cable. It's actually better, as your photos will be named something useful (not img_xxxx) and the photos will rotate correctly.

    If you're using SD and CF cards to transfer files, that is stone age style :D USB flashdrives are faster and more compatible with other computers.
  7. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2009
    Really? I think they're way more convenient. I don't have to carry an adapter around with me for one. Plus my images get renamed with Lightroom and automatically rotated anyway.

    Unless transfer by USB is faster???
  8. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    MBPs are $999 refurb when they are in stock.

    Where are you?

    microcenter has the macbook for $800


    sorry, you just missed the the 2.26 13" MBP for $999 and the 2.53 for $1199 from microcenter as well...
  9. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2009
    Thanks! They're not too far from me, but still a couple hours away. By the time I figure in drive time and convenience It's probably worth the extra $50 to order online.
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
  11. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2009
  12. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    You don't need to carry an adapter with the macbook. The camera IS the adapter. You just need a usb cable.

  13. psykon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2009
    Yea I suppose that's definitely another way of looking at it.
  14. rovitotv macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2009
    I thought long and hard about MB vs MBP

    I am lucky enough to use Mac's at work so I have a recent Mac Book Pro which I like very much. But when it came to buy a new computer for personal use I wanted something that was more portable than a 15" Mac Book Pro, 4 GB of RAM (I virtualize), and large hard disk. I wanted to spend as little money as I could. Mostly I was looking for a simple programming environment I could use to work on software. The light-up keyboard is cool but not really practical for me and the SD+Firewire port I could care less about so I picked the Mac Book to save money. It is a difficult choice but the Mac Book is a very good machine for $999, especially if you can get a discount (education or Microcenter). I don't regret my choice at all. The new Mac Book's are supposedly more durable than previous years
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Refurb 13" MBP.

    Actually, I'd just wait for an update since they're so close. I don't usually recommend waiting, but waiting 1 or 2 months for something that's 20-30% faster that may also give you a larger HDD (probably 320 GB standard. Apple is too stingy to give you 500 GB, even on the MBP) and RAM as standard configuration, all at the same (or similar) price sounds smart.
  16. rabbisound macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2010
    not worth it, I think these card slots cheapen the look of them, I loathe card slots give me a usb multi card reader anytime.
  17. nigameash macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2008
    Space: The Final Frontier
    haha not worth it at all. you can always get an external card reader or one of those wireless syncing cards ;)
  18. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The built-in SD card reader is just a internal USB reader. Personally I used FW800 CF reader, so any SD reader is useless to me. IMHO if you have a camera and it uses SD, odds are you don't need the speed and transferring with a USB cable should be sufficient.
  19. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

    May 13, 2009
    Isn't the Late 2009 White MacBook Unibody able to take up to 8 GB of RAM, too?

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/8566DDR3S8GP/
  20. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    lolwut? Exactly what transfer method do you plan to use with those backup drives? Working with RAW?

    ...Do you know what FireWire is?
  21. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I have a Macbook Pro, with a backlit keyboard.

    I will be giving it to my girlfriend, and getting a $500 Dell, simply because it has an SD slot.. (and I am no longer bound by Final Cut to OS X)

    So I guess it depends. When I was in a dark dorm room trying not to wake my roomie, a backlit keyboard was godsend. Now, an SD card reader is more important to me.
  22. macamacamac macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2005
    Use the card reader vs. connecting the camera

    I think the SD card reader is a good choice if you have a camera that uses an SD/SDHC card. I have 2 of them...

    When I connect my camera to my computer, it uses the camera battery. My Canon camcorder's battery only last for an hour so transferring movies uses precious battery power. I think the same is true if I connect my Nikon DSLR and transfer 16Gb of RAW files directly from the camera.
  23. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    SD card... not really worth $250 but IMO the backlit keyboard is.
  24. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    Not all cameras can be used as a card reader. My old nikon coolpix (L11) can but my fathers newer one (L18) can't. Don't know much about any other cameras besides my D50 (which can).

    It's better to have one of those external multi-card readers anyway.
  25. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2009
    I love having an sd slot on my mbp, I use it almost every day. Not having to carry cables around or go find a camera cable to transfer photos over is a nice convenience. I'm not sure it would be a dealbreaker between two machines but it's on the computer I got and I dig it.

Share This Page