Notebook reliability/suggestions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Patricio, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Patricio macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2008

    I have just started a 5 year graduate degree and would like to buy a solid and reliable laptop to last through my dissertation. After reading a number of threads is seems like almost all the laptops have reliability concerns (e.g overheating, faulty GPU's, etc.). I have a iMac (2.66) at home, but will use the laptop daily for note taking, online research, and writing. On occasion it may be used to watch a movie, surf the net, and basic gaming (for my young son). It will get a lot of wear and tear. Since I will be staring at the screen often it would be nice to have a good display that won't strain my eyes. In light of this, I have two questions:

    Question #1: What is considered the most reliable mac laptop out there (new or previous generation), that can take a lick and keep on ticking for the long haul?

    Question #2: What laptop would you all advise with my following priorities (listed by order of importance): 1) Reliability 2) Price (trying to stay below $1500, the lower the better) 3) Screen quality 4) Portability 5) Performance 6) Battery life - after this I don't care too much.

    This is my first post, so any help I could get is appreciated!
  2. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    because of the price i'd say a base model Macbook should do, I mean one of the new ones,in aluminum,which is considered quite a bit sturdier than the old Macbook Pros..
    It should suit all your needs you mentioned,the only con would be the screen,and if it's too washed out and a calibration doesn't solve the problem,replace it..same goes for other issues
  3. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    I would consider the plastic MacBook, either the $999 model now offered or a refurb BlackBook. It will do all the things you need to complement your iMac, and the price is right on. I've had mine for just over two years, and it keeps on ticking.

    The only reason imo to upgrade would be the better graphics performance of the new model. I'm not sure what expectations you have and/or what games you want to play, but I've been playing Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament 2004 on my CoreDuo BlackBook and am very pleased with the performance: I'm an extremely "casual" gamer, though, so my expectations aren't very high. The old model may disappoint in the gaming realm if you have high expectations... but you have an iMac: I would use that for gaming anyway, no?
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    I would say older Macbook or Macbook Pro. I'm not sure what types of games your son would be playing, but if its anything recent in 3D the Macbook might not be able to handle it very well. The GPU in the MBP should be fine since you won't be getting it very hot anyway.

    I would suggest the new Macbooks since their construction is solid, but you mentioned eyestrain so I'm not so sure about sticking you with a glass display...along with all the hit-or-miss issues with a new product. The older glossy displays may or may not be fine with you, you'll have to try it out.
  5. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    I'd recommend the new macbook, as it's unibody case is very durable. however, its screen is not as good as the macbook pro's, so on that note, I'd also recommend the previous generation (all silver) macbook pro. also very durable, and either would last 5 years.
  6. Patricio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2008
    Thanks everyone for your helpful responses!

    I've heard plastic macbook, new macbook, and previous MBP. Gaming is not a much of a factor. Good reliability, screen, portability, and price are key. I would jump on a early 2008 MBP but am concerned about size/weight (and bad GPU chip). I heard 1.6 MBA (older) has a great screen, is it too much of a risk? It is selling for $1299 at a Best Buy. New Alum MB can be found for around $1250? And the white 2.4ghz (2gb ram) is $999 at Best Buy. And if I go a bit bigger a MBP at $1399 (with ed discount). Hmm...:confused:
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'd say new MB (base model) or older MBP (refurb) would be my choices. I'm a big fan of the MBP as I have one. In your situation, I'd discard the MBA, as you want something rugged to be used daily for years. The older MBs are terrific computers, but you may find that they might not be as durable as the newer models.


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