MBP as a business/home notebook

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pazz, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. pazz macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    London, England
    I’m in the process of researching my next notebook purchase. If people could attempt to maintain an unbiased viewpoint that would be very useful. I'm a qualified accountant currently offering personal tax and finance advice.

    The form factor I've decided on is 15”. I’ve considered the 13” but I can’t justify giving up the screen real-estate (and the fact I’d go for the hi-res screen) for the added mobility.

    My everyday tasks are split between work and home use. As a general oversight these include multimedia, photo editing and extensive MS Word/Excel. Assuming I go Mac OS I will also require decent Virtualization performance on the occasion I need to run Windows software I use for my work. The packages cannot be found in Mac OS form.

    The following factors are also important:

    - Build Quality
    - Battery Life
    - Value for Money Hardware & Specification

    From the first two points you can see why I am considering the 15” mid-range i5 MBP. But I am struggling to overcome the third point. For example a similar spec’d Vaio E Series is approx. $1000 (£700) a-drift and includes a BDVD player. But bad experiences with windows notebooks have taught me that they are generally built to last 18-24 months at the very best.

    If I could find a machine with the build quality and battery life of a MBP with a windows OS I’d be more than happy. Don't get me wrong, I love Mac OS, however the financial industry in the UK seems to be significantly dominated by Windows software and I refuse to run two machines.

    Any help and advice is appreciated.
  2. ctyhntr macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    Buy the MBP 15, buy a copy of Windows 7 retail, and use Bootcamp to flip between the Mac OSX and Windows 7. If you need to use Windows 7 inside of Mac OSX, then buy Parallels. Hardware wise, its just an Intel Processor PC.

    If you're using the Windows 7 to connect to your work environment, talk to IT. They can help you setup and join your Windows 7 so it will connect seamlessly to your work environment. Smart IT will even offer to install and configure Windows 7,or XP for you so it will comply with basic company standards. For IT being pro-active it creates less support headaches for them down the road.

    As for build quality, most laptops (Dell, HP, and Apple) are built by a handful of Original Equipment Manufacturers in China. These OEMs build to spec. The same factory (Honhai's Foxconn) making the Macbook Pro everyone is praising could also be making the HP laptop everyone else is cursing.
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Difference between low end and middle MBP is negligible in terms of speed.
  4. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    I use my MBP as my sole computer for work/home. But be aware that Apple does not market these things as business machines, they feel solid (and are reasonably well built), but they can and do fail and Apple does not have a "next day" type of service.

    my experiences:
    My 2 month old 2010 MBP had random lockups, which I traced to memory errors. The store wanted to have my laptop 7-10days (summer hols) to debug this - I ended up swapping the memory with a Mac Mini at work and sending in the Mac Mini instead.

    My boss's 2009 MBP trackpad click has stopped working

    My colleague's 2009 MBP also had a memory error, so he was back to using an old computer for a week whilst that was sorted out.

    I enjoy using my MBP, and would buy it again given the choice, but you need to be aware that these are consumer devices and do not have the type of business support that you might be used to.

    I would spec the machine as follows:
    15", high res (matte for me, YMMV)

    lowest speed Core i5

    4GB of memory unless you are really gonna pound the machine.

    I use Virtualbox with 32bit Windows 7, but found VMWare Fusion to be more user friendly.

    Give Windows 7 about 1-1.5GB of RAM. OS X needs at least 2.5GB otherwise it seems really slow (for me).

    I installed an Intel 160GB SSD - best upgrade ever.

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