New to Macs - selecting the right one?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Casse, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. Casse macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2010
    Hope you all don't mind helping out a total newbie to Macs.

    I've been driving myself a bit "batty" trying to select the "right" notebook for my use. I'll admit to being a numbers girl not a "techie" so a lot of the information on this board and the reviews I've read are way way way over my head :eek:

    My HP business notebook is several years old and needs replaced.

    We have several Apple products in our home and love the ease of use and want my next notebook computer to be a Mac :apple:

    I've narrowed it down to 3 possibilites - price appx. w/ company discount:

    13" Macbook - $800
    2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    2 GB RAM

    13" Macbook Pro - $1100
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    4 GB RAM

    Released this week:
    15" Macbook Pro - Range $1700 to $2000
    Intel Core i5
    2.4GHz OR 2.53GHz
    320GB Serial ATA Drive@5400 rpm OR 500GB Serial ATA Drive@7200
    15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display OR Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen
    4 GB RAM

    Main uses - Internet, Pictures (scrapbook), Video, spreadsheets/word

    Any help figuring out which one to purchase would be appreciated! I need to make a decision soon and I'm strugling with whether spending the extra money is worth it?

    Oh and I don't live anywhere near an Apple retailer so I can't go see these ahead of time.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. gatepc macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA
    Correction to your post ( you mean GBs ram not MBs on the ram )

    For what your doing with the computer you can easily get away with the cheapest 13 inch model.
  3. Agnel macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    You might want to think about buying apple care if you don't want to spend 250 - 300 bucks in the next 3 years(incase you have a problem).

    3 more questions :

    Are you thinking about resale value?
    How many years are you planning to use this laptop for?
    Whats your budget?

    For the type of work you've mentioned, option 1 is good enough, but resale value would be very less, it is already outdated technology(not so slow mind you) and would last for 3 years easily.

    Option 2 is good, if you want a solid build, with latest procs(still has old tech ), higher RAM, higher HDD, backlit keyboard and a cool screen.

    Option 3: Expensive and really is NOT worth the money for the type of tasks you'd be performing. It has a very very very good processor thou.

    I got the new 13" MBP for $1099 with Apple care discount for $180 odd.. in the hope that this laptop would last for 4 years. I'm not planning to resell it, might donate it sometime. I'm a student, would be programming mostly, would have 5-6 apps open all the time... and yeah would be running youtube in 5-6 pages.

    It is super fast for my needs!

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll love the MBP if you'd get one :p
  4. Casse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2010
    Thank you for being will to help me!
  5. Casse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2010
    Thanks for the catch - I've updated my post. Do you think I'd even notice the difference if I spent the extra money?
  6. iamKamil macrumors member


    Feb 13, 2010
    Get the low end 15" and you'll be happy....I would stay away from the 13" as that seems a bit small to be working with spreadsheets etc.
  7. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    get the $800 unibody macbook, you're not performing major hardcore work on it, that should suffice. use the $300 saved to upgrade the memory from 2GB to 4GB later in life, or purchase applecare warranty. if you do not feel savvy opening the computer up, then get option 2.

    make sure you invest in a 2nd external drive to backup your data, if you'll be keeping anything remotely important on there.
  8. King Apple macrumors regular

    King Apple

    Mar 17, 2010
    i would go for the low end 15 inch. I've had this same debate.
  9. breathesrain macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2010
    I would say, if you're not too interested in specs like some nerds (myself included), screen size is the only determining factor, and 2 inches isn't worth 800$ when you can get an external display. There are benefits to the 13" pro over the white macbook, though- a better graphics card, slightly better battery, backlit keyboard, and it's a bit more visually appealing (opinion, of course).
  10. Casse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2010
    Could someone please tell me what programs or applications would be difficult to do on the MacBook or MPB C2D machines or would be easier to do on the new i5 machines?

    Maybe this would help me see the difference :confused:

    Thanks for all the help!
  11. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Photo editing, large spreadsheets and the like are better with a higher resolution screen. Still, all I have for work is a laptop that has the same resolution as the 13" - 1280x800 - it does the job well enough. If you know the resolution of your current laptop and its about the same and works fine for you, then go for the 13". Auto-hide and resize the dock on the 13" will help too.

    You're probably fine with either base 13" or base 15" (if you want a bit more screen real estate).
  12. Agnel macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    I guess the screen size wouldn't really matter much for spreadsheets.

    There will be plenty of columns and rows and I'm sure the 13" can scroll as good as the 15" to reach the 20th column or the 200th row.

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