MB vs. MBP @ Best Buy

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Etrain, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Etrain macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    For the past few weeks I have been debating the eternal MB vs MBP choice because I want to get a new laptop before I graduate from college in May.

    There are pros and cons to each, so I was really very undecided. I still am to an extent. I went to Best Buy to test things out and see what I liked about each. Here are my observations.

    - The MBs on display were MUCH hotter on the bottom compared to the 15" MBP
    - The screen size difference wasn't too obvious to me
    - The MB trackpad wasn't as responsive.
    - The black MB now benefits from not attracting fingerprints like before (there were still SOME, but not nearly a magnet like previously)
    - The MB actually seemed more durable and more sturdy than the MBP
    - The matte screen on the MBP is REALLY NICE! It is much brighter than the MB. I thought I would prefer glossy, but compared side by side both screens produced VERY rich color, but the MB added reflection.
    - The rubber edge around the MBP wasn't flush with the aluminum casing. There was a small gap that when pressed in came back in contact with the aluminum. Is this normal?

    Basically, I want a laptop but I really don't do anything too intense. I don't play games or work with 3D stuff. I do a lot with Photoshop and basic junk. Both machines would be GREAT for me. But because of the clearance on MBPs I can get a new MBP for only $250 more than a black MB. Thats an insane deal.

    Both MB and MBP have known issues. The MB issues, though, seem to sprout up after some use (like case cracking), while the MBP problems seem to be there when delivered. That would make it easy for me to just return it knowing the problem up front.

    For those who are experienced with both, which one will last longer with the least problems? I want something that will last like 5 years without too many issues. It seemed the build quality of the MB actually BEAT MBPs - is this correct?

    Thanks everyone!
  2. markrivers macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Valencia, California
    used to have the same dilemma.
    but came feb 26 when the new penryn MBP was announced..
    prices for the previous generation dropped.

    so i took it as a sign and went with the MBP
    i'm happy with the screen size, backlit keyboard etc
  3. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    I had a MB for a few months before I sold it in Jan. 08 for a 2.2GHz MBP. The MB was crap. The palm rests had coloring and it was very hot...I mean like web surfing at 140*F. I was so happy to get rid of the MB. It just looked poorly built. My MBP is perfect. I have dropped it once at about a 1 foot drop and it made no markings and I would say the Aluminum is stronger than the poly carb that is made out of the MB. The MBP matte is also much brighter than the MB screens. My friend and I were comparing them and the difference was huge. The MB had nothing on the MBP. And last the MBP just looks more professional. The MB just looked ugly and plastic white. I think MBP is the way to go.
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    My MBP is nearing a year old and it has been pretty good.

    Yes, the gap thing is normal. I think it's just the natural thing aluminum does when in such a shape. If Apple were to put magnetic latches all across the front (4 or 6 points of contact), it would probably help this. But with my lid closed a lot and heat venting from the keyboard, that probably contributes to it. However, it's very minor and doesn't really affect anything.

    I have a couple of friends with G4 MacBooks, and I don't think they've had any big issues with them. But I wanted one with the extra graphical juice, and that's one of the key differences between the two lines. I knew I was going to play World of Warcraft on it, so a graphics processor was a must. I also knew that wouldn't hurt when running Quark XPress and Creative Suite 3.

    Basically my theory is unless you just need an Internet/e-mail/MS Office machine, get the MBP if you can afford it.
  5. Shackler macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2007
    behind you!
    5 years is a bit of a stretch for any laptop, that said a well maintained laptop could have 5 years in it. Which one will last longer, complete toss up. MB is more durable in the sense that it does not dent like the MBP or bend like the Alu. on the MBP an as u have tested it feels more durable as well.

    AS for the MB trackpad not being responsive was probably just the case on that particular display model.

    Where you use your MB will affect the need of glossy or Matte. office/ home setting glossy is perferred places where there is light or the sun where it can reflect you would need a Matte screen, so it depends on ur uses.

    If the 2 inch difference didnt matter the MB is looking like the choice for you. The that yo wont be gaming or anything serious on it will mean that you dont need the graphics card on the MBP.

    Dont get into the hype of the "POWERFUL MBP" its just a graphics card everything else is the same, and if u dont game or do any serious video/3D editing you wont need it.

    All that said go with the MB it will do everything you want/need.
  6. mikky05v macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2008
    go MB..
    I have a black book tht has fallen from my bunk bed in my dorm room and not even flinched... and it was 3 years old when I sold it and that was just bc I wanted to upgrade..
  7. topher2889 macrumors regular


    Jun 1, 2007
    just a tip, whatever you decide, do not buy it at Best Buy, they do not honor the education discount!
  8. PowerBookRelic macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2008
    I haven't looked into the exact pricing yet, but you should go to the Apple Store, online, and check under education. If you are still in university you may be able to get an awesome deal on a new MBP. That is how I bought my Powerbook before going to uni, and it is how I am going to buy my MBP before my next 4 years of school.

    For me, at that price point, I would get the MBP. The display size, illuminated keys, and sheer aesthetic superiority would make the MBP win hands down (besides better performance, graphics, HDD, etc). I just really can't stomach the plastic look, and 5 years from now your plastic will be all faded, my Aluminum is still perfect (except spots mentions further on) :) My PowerBook G4 is almost 4 years old now, and it has given me ALMOST no problems. I did have the display backlight go out, which was repaired under warranty (I note warranty and not Apple Care because it was outside of APC;however, they still honored me this $300 service?), and last summer I had a HDD fail (for a laptop, my personal thoughts is that over 3 years I am looking for a new one). Also, I take amazing care of it, but it has had some scary falls- most notably while leaving a hotel it feel from backpack level and I now have a matching bowing out of my Al right where the power jack goes and the same spot on the other side- checked immediately, it booted right up; however, now it only accepts the power cord at specific angles.
  9. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    First, don't buy from BestBuy. Now that we have that covered--The MBP seems cooler than the MB because the aluminum dissapates heat better than plastic. I don't like the space between the keys on the MB. I also don't like the glossy only option.

    As a computer the MB is the same in almost everything to the MBP, except gaming.

    Can't help with time thing, 'cause I haven't owned a Mac for that long. From my friends who take care of their computers, their iBooks and Powerbooks still work to this day if that's an indication of anything.
  10. Hoo03 macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2007
    I completely agree with you, especially the part about avoiding BB. Since you're a student, go take advantage of educational deal. If not, there are some fantastic deals on the prev gen mbp from amazon and apple refurb store.
  11. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    I had a few different impressions. I thought the MBPs were much hotter on the bottom than the MBs. I think it's because of the aluminum body.

    Also I didn't think the MBP screens were any brighter than the MBs. I did notice the MBA's screen is brighter than both.

    The MBPs screen is nicer though. It doesn't have that terrible viewing angle the MB's screen has.

    I didn't sense the MBP is more fragile than the MB. I think it's an illusion because the MBP has a nicer looking build.

    That being said I would get a previous model MBP over the lastest black MB. You're paying the black tax if you get the black MB. You can get the MBP even cheaper through MacMall btw.
  12. Etrain thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    Thanks everyone for the help! :cool:

    I planned on going through the EDU Apple store either way. I was looking at the MBP on clearance for $1499 with student discount vs the Blackbook.

    See, my plan is to wait until June for the new MBP to come out, and then buy the current one on clearance. This way, even if they don't go on clearance I can still use the back to school free iPod promo. Assuming the MBP goes on clearance again I would be looking at a $1499 MBP versus a $1250 MB. Most people pay $500 more than the black MB for the MBP so it is definitely a good deal.

    For some really strange reason I love the look of the black MB even more than the MBP. It is likely whichever model is put on clearance will be the one I will end up buying.

    Does anyone know if you can use the free iPod discount on a clearance model? According to last year's promotion, all you had to do was buy a "New Mac" of the selected varieties (MBP, MB, iMac, etc). There was no mention of using the promotion with the clearance. I guess I will just call them in June and try to get them to agree! haha :)
  13. mbopy22 macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2005
    Do you realize that by June, the world could be over... Why wait? is it really that important???
  14. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    It seems like a few of the people giving you advice are more concerned about the cosmetics of the shell, then any function difference...

    I own both an MBP and MB. Both are excellent machines, . Both are very fast laptops and outside of graphics, the performance is very comparable. The biggest difference is also the most obvious, the screen. The higher-res and larger screen of the MBP can really improve productivity. The screen brightness of the MB is more then enough and is only a question since the MBP is brighter when side-by-side. Keep in mind though, that the issues you mention at the top are basically all true

    I am more comfortable traveling with the MB due to it's size, and durability*

    For day to day use I prefer the MBP mostly due to the larger screen.

    For me, the decision would come down to how portable it needs to be.

    *Both are very durable and will survive a lot of abuse, but I find the finish on the MBP is more prone to "noticeable" cosmetic marks and dents. To the extent that I now use a Speck shell to protect it. The down-side being that the look of the machine is covered.

    FYI - The MB was bought for my GF, but I use both frequently.
  15. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    MBP for sure:
    - Better keyboard. And it's backlit.
    - Bigger screen 15.4 verses 13.3 inches.
    - More ports. FW800 for example.
    - Video card vice onboard video chip.

    These are just some of the reason why a MBP is better than a MB.

    My PB15 still works fine and it is 4.5 years old. But I got a good deal on a MBP (last model) and love it.

    I had been considering getting a black MB or MBP. I am sure glad that I went the MBP route.
  16. Shackler macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2007
    behind you!
    did you even read his post?
    all of the thing you said is stuff that doesnt even concern him. and a better ketboard is opinion and a never ending arguiment on this forum.

    As for the OP, i will be doing the samething and wait for the free ipod deal. hopefully they will have a 2.2 MBP still in the refurb. store and i can get that after another price job but i HIGHLY doubt that if not i will go for the current gen Blackbook. It just makes sense.
  17. dylangurl21 macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2005
    I have used both, switched from a macbook to a mbp when i graduated from college. I actually liked the macbook keyboard, but this is a source of contention. I found a real speed boost on my mbp when doing intense things, mostly video. I also found the additional screen realestate was fantastic and came in more handy than i anticipated (2 word documents side by side to edit, etc etc etc).

    And to comment on previous comments, the free ipod promotion cannot be used with refurbished products and apple likes to only put the clearance products out after the promotion ends, on occasion. In my three years of buying new systems under this promotion, one year they allowed clearanced iPods 9which I know is not the issue) and other years they did not.

    If you want/need it right now and can afford it, you never know what June will bring. And, I dont see that much of a difference buying clearenced MBPs from Best Buy or not. Sometimes the staff is not knowledgeable (depending on when the actual apple people are not there) but if you know what you want and its a better deal than the Edu discount, go for it.
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Sure did. In fact, I was in a similar situation and a dear friend of mine focused my preferences which resulted in a MBP purchase over a Black MB.

    And if you read my response you will see that I provided information that will help the OP in their decision based upon their comments.

    Sometimes you need to read between the lines. For example, regarding the keyboard, since you did not follow my logic, here is what the OP said:

    From this comment, the OP is concerned about the feel/response of the input parts of which the keyboard is one. Obviously, the OP felt the MB trackpad wasn't as responsive. IMHO, the MBP keyboard has a much better feel/response than the MB keyboard so I thought it was worth mentioning in this case.

    The OP also said this:

    Thus my comments:
    - More ports. FW800 for example.
    - Video card vice onboard video chip.

    To me, if you are going to have a laptop for 5 years, then you need a well equipped one for future OS upgrades.

    The PC Express Card slot will allow for eSATA and other options that the MB does not provide.

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