New MacBook over the new MBP? Sway my vote.

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by tejaykay, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. tejaykay macrumors 6502

    tejaykay

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #1
    Hi,

    I've been waiting for the new notebooks for months (currently typing on a 15" Powerbook G4). I was all up for getting the 2.53 MBP... until today. For some reason I've got the sudden urge to consider the MacBook.

    I'm not a "professional" but am a heavy computer user who demands a lot from his computer. I want a machine which operates fast and won't lag. Lifespan is important too- I want something I won't have to replace for the next 3 years (at least).

    I'm a student and don't travel that much, but it's nice to know that it's easy to move about. I'm asking if any of you had the same dilemma or have a good solution for me?

    I've been hearing a lot about poor screen quality, from the Pro forums, on the MacBooks. The screen size on my PowerBook is one of the main things keeping me with the larger machines. I like the space. Is the resolution too low on the current MacBooks?

    In sum:

    1. Is the screen quality that bad on the MacBooks?
    2. Is the resolution too low on the 13" screens?
    3. Are the machines as fast as their Pro brothers?
    4. Further, will the MacBooks benefit as much as the Pro machines will from Snow Leopard?
    5. Any advice from people in similar positions, or those who have moved from MBP (or PB) to MB?
    Cheers all, any advice is welcome.

    p.s. I'd probably be putting in a 500GB 5400RPM Samsung M6 and definitely be putting in the 4GB RAM.
     
  2. elmancho macrumors 6502

    elmancho

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #2
    Reading all your excpecatins, go for the MPB.
     
  3. Ironic macrumors 6502a

    Ironic

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    In my MBA!
  4. djinn macrumors 68000

    djinn

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    #4
    Plus the MBP display is better IMHO and from what I have been reading on the forums.
     
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    For questions 1 and 2, nothing beats seeing them and having a play in person. Photos and anecdotal stories are highly subjective. There's an Apple Store in Edinburgh; why don't you pop down there?
     
  6. nubee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #6
    The only reason why I would "need" a MBP is for the bigger screen size.

    Other than that, the MB satisfies all my needs.
     
  7. tejaykay thread starter macrumors 6502

    tejaykay

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #7
    I've already been, it's only about 400m away from my home :). Both machines are beautiful in my opinion. The MBP was strikingly large though, and that led me to consider the MB. I know that I can live with either as am used to carting round my PB when I have to.

    Most of the time my notebook sits on my desk though, so that's what led to the doubt towards the MacBook. I also tested the screen at different angles in the store whilst playing a HD trailer from Apple. It didn't seem that bad...but the photo comparisons I've seen online tell a different story.
     
  8. djinn macrumors 68000

    djinn

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    #8
    If I had to choose a new Mac today I would probably get the MB just cause of the portability and the power it has to offer. I don't utilize the power from my MBP anymore since I built a high performing desktop that handles my gaming etc.
     
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    Purely a subjective opinion but I'm a big believer in getting the best Mac I can afford, all things being equal.

    I like having the year or two's potential extra life by getting a more powerful and nicely-built machine. I like having the expandability and/or the extra ports, because you don't know when you might need or want them. They tend to hold their value a little better because they're less common on eBay and the like.

    So, if the money thing is not as important, get the MBP which will keep up with your needs, and your heavy use, just that bit longer.
     
  10. Louis XVI macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #10
    Went from MBP to MB

    I had a Santa Rosa Macbook Pro that died after just over one year (thankfully, it hung on just long enough for the new models to come out). I replaced it with one of the new low-end Macbooks.

    On the whole, I actually like the Macbook better than the Pro. I really like the smaller size and lower weight, and for most tasks (Safari, MS Word, iPhoto), any speed difference is small enough to be unnoticeable. I thought I would mind the smaller screen, but it usually isn't a problem, except when I'm trying to compare documents side by side.

    The only real disadvantage is that the Pro's screen is significantly better. For most tasks, it doesn't make a difference, but when using iPhoto, I miss the Pro. I also frequently miss the backlit keyboard.

    In sum, in my experience, the relative advantages and disadvantages do not warrant the cost difference between the Macbook and the Pro.
     
  11. tejaykay thread starter macrumors 6502

    tejaykay

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #11
    Thanks for the comments so far.

    Are there any people who have moved to the new MacBook and consequently moved back to the Pro? What were your reasons?
     
  12. rushmere macrumors 6502

    rushmere

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    Auckland
    #12
    I originally ordered a MBP, but after thinking about it for a couple of days, I cancelled the order and got a 2.4 GHz MB instead.

    I was using a 3 year old iMac, and when I saw Benchmarks for the MB showing it to be more powerful than my existing iMac, I realised that a MB would be more than enough for my needs. I was also attracted to the better portability of the MB.

    I'm very happy with my purchase, and got myself a Time Capsule and wireless keyboard with the money I'd saved :D
     
  13. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #13
    MB issues

    I had QC problems on the MB's (screen washout, slanted keys, etc) so I traded up to a MBP. No issues at all with the new machine.

    1. Screen comparison. This is highly subjective, the best way is to go to an applestore with a tim burton, film noir, or other dark (in lighting) movie and play it between the two machines. IMHO, even the best MB screen will have a much more limited vertical viewing angle than the pro.

    2. Resolution, no. I had a problem with the screen being washed out and contrast problems (not adequately displaying/differentiating darker colors. The new MB screen was brighter and crisper than the previous MB's.

    3. Speed between the two systems. I did basic consumerish stuff on my MB and MBP, and I really couldn't tell a difference speedwise. Benchmarks run on the two systems seem to confirm this.

    4. Snow Leopard benefits. From what I've read, Snow Leopard promises to make maximum use of the NVIDIA graphics cards on both machines. Some have stated that it may allow the MBP to run both graphics cards at the same time if necessary. Like everybody else, you'll have to wait til the OS is released, or a developer incurs Steve's wrath my talking about it beforehand.

    5. MBP to MB? If I hadn't gotten two or three horse apples in a row from Apple, I'd be satisfied with the MB. But I got tired of standing in line in the genius bar and explaining how a 1600 USD laptop shouldn't have slanted keys, washed out screen, freezing trackpad, or not be able to work with my external LCD and Mighty Mouse. The build quality, along with the screen and additional graphics card of the MBP seemed to make it a better long term investment (IMO) than the MB. But in the end, Apple punks us all, doesn't it?
     
  14. tejaykay thread starter macrumors 6502

    tejaykay

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #14
    Thanks for the response, pretty good stuff. Although it's worrying how much I've read regarding the build quality of the new notebooks. I'm just hoping that I won't be one of the unlucky ones and am counting all the things I haven't read as being positive!

    Whatever I go with in the end, it'll be a BTO. I hope there are no major difficulties getting these replaced if they fall short of the quality I expect.

    Does anyone know whether you can purchase AppleCare at any point in the first year of the machine being under warranty to extend it for the extra two years?
     
  15. djinn macrumors 68000

    djinn

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    #15
    You have the first year to buy the apple care. So you can wait until the very end and get it. I did that and picked up Applecare off Ebay for very cheap.
     
  16. reberto macrumors 65816

    reberto

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #16
    But why would you wait? Applecare coverage doesn't start from when you buy Applecare, it starts when you buy your product (Macbook, iMac, iPod ect ect)
     
  17. djinn macrumors 68000

    djinn

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    #17
    Its like getting a free year of support. The only thing you don't get is the full year of phone support. I believe you only get 90days from when you purchase it. So its like 1 year manufacturers warranty then plus the applecare.
     
  18. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #18
    A good piece of advice that I once received was to document your current laptop usage over the course of the next week or two. Literally, write down what you used your laptop for hour by hour. Also document how often you needed to transport it and how (i.e. rode my bike 1.5 miles and had the laptop in a messenger bag). After a week, you should get a good idea of what kind of MacBook you need.
     
  19. ref26 macrumors 6502a

    ref26

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #19
    Maybe consider the MB and an external display with the money you save? That way you have portability and the nice large screen when it's on your desk.
     
  20. discoforce macrumors 6502a

    discoforce

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #20
    From PB 15" to MB 13"

    I had a powerbook 15" for five years, and loved it dearly. Like you I assumed I'd get the new 15" MBP when they came out, but when I went to see them at the apple store next to each other the MB won me over.

    I didn't "need" the more powerful computer, and I used the price difference to get the faster processor, bigger hard drive, and max out the RAM.

    After a week of using the MB, I'm really happy I didn't get the MBP. It's noticeably lighter moving around the house and work, and I haven't found the screen limiting at all - even after 5 years of something larger (of course the resolution is just about the same...).

    Yup, the MBP screens looked nicer in the store compared directly to the MB, but using this by it's lonesome the screen is just great.
     
  21. tejaykay thread starter macrumors 6502

    tejaykay

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #21
    After shelling out £1500 for a new machine. I'd be happy to wait to get some interest on the money left over before spending again. As an economics student, I'm not too confident as to what "change is coming". :)

    This is a great idea, although the other side of this is the fact that my laptop use would definitely change according to which I go for in the end. If I got the Macbook I could see myself taking it around with me quite a lot, just because I could.

    I have a 22" monitor back at home with wired Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse, and I honestly found them a bit of a pain to use. Hated docking my laptop. Don't know why, just did.
     

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