Pretty Seriously Considering Macbook Pro Purchase

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ender land, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    Hello everyone!

    I have been exploring purchasing a new computer over the past few weeks. I have currently a relatively old desktop unit (depressing fact is seeing your desktop for sale at Goodwill for under $100..) that works relatively well, but it's still desktop and getting to the point where I just reinstalled windows/linux on it. Not really the computer I see myself using over the next few years.

    Also am in graduate school now, so having portability is nice.

    Now, that being said, I've been exploring a lot of laptops in the past weeks, both online and in person via testing. I've been impartial towards Macs, so unlike a lot of Windows 'mac haters' I am not inherently against purchasing a Mac.

    My main desires are portability and battery life. I am definitely impressed with the color quality on the screen - though the glossy part definitely helps - as well as its ease of cleaning, resulting from the glass finish vs a "soft" screen like so many windows based laptops have. The trackpad is also simply better than windows laptop trackpads (not to mention the ability to do gestures, such as 3/4 finger swipes, which afaik no windows laptops have). Not to mention Macbook Pros look well constructed and presumably are equally in their physical sense too.

    This computer will likely become my main computer of use for the next 3+ years. I do have a 23" monitor right now I likely will be able to use with whichever computer I purchase.

    Currently am thinking the 13.3" Macbook Pro for $1199 (less 100$ for academic discount).

    (that's mostly background information)

    In researching macs I have not been able to find a whole lot of "true" analysis of the battery life though. A lot of people say "great battery life!" but very often do not put actual numbers behind them. I am unsure whether to trust the 'up to 10 hours!' figure given as representing a functional 10 hour battery life. Most PC's fall significantly short in actual practice. Does anyone have some experiential figures on battery life to be expected from normal use? I looked around on these forums fairly extensively but could not find something like this.

    Specifically, I guess I would be interested in:
    "Normal use" (internet, word/spreadsheet use)
    "travel use" (no wifi, word/spreadsheet or even perhaps video)

    I've also been looking at the particular 13.3" model because I likely will not have huge amounts of high end programs to run.

    Is it at all desirable to wait for potential thanksgiving/Christmas sales? I am able to get an educational discount currently.

    Lastly, is the 1200x800 resolution enough? I'm spoiled at the moment with 1900x1200ish resolution on my monitor... :)

    Any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated.

    -ender land
  2. acribb macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2007
  3. ender land thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    Hm, how exactly does that store work? It seems to be too good of a deal to actually be true?

    Might give me reason to head home to visit the parents though as I'd pass by one :)
  4. acribb macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2007
    I updated my post with a link.

    It's for real. It's an Authorized Apple Retailer. You are basically saving 100 bucks, since you can get it at any Apple Store for 1100 (with Educational Discount).
  5. applepearpp macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2010
    10 hours battery life is like you do nothing but just leaving the computer on.

    but realistically, you can get about 5 - 7 hours out of your battery using medium light, light broswing, and music. if you were to watch movies, you should be able to finish two 2-hour movies
  6. acribb macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2007
    I get realistically around 4 hours out of my i7, browsing, moving files, downloading, display brightness at 2 notches over medium, keyboard back lighting at around 2 notches.

    Its still better than most non-netbook laptops.
  7. arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    I just got my 13' macbook pro last week. I love it. I get over 7 hours on a charge, very nice. If you're worried about screen size, just buy an extra external monitor.
  8. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    If there is a Black Friday sale on the MacBook Pro, it probably would be no more than the academic discount. You can get even better prices by buying a refurbished model. They are as good a new, some say even better than new because they get more testing. All I know is I've bought 4 Macs that way and they have all be perfect out of the box.

    As far as the resolution being enough, you didn't say what you are doing. However with the external monitor connected it would be enough for anything! I use my Aluminum MacBook (very similar to current 13" MacBook Pro) connected to a projector in class (I'm an instructor) recording my lectures (video) and often running demonstrations of engineering software in Parallels, so there is plenty of power. I also do most of the video editing, photo editing on trips, and some writing on it, so the screen size is adequate, although for heavy work I use a 27" iMac with an external monitor attached.
  9. guydude193 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    Apple's very stringent on their battery life tests. They expect you to have
    Bluetooth and WiFi on, as well as listening to music and doing productivity work. Ten hours is what I get.
  10. i3igsmooth5769 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    +1...great experience...i was expecting a fry's type of store with damaged boxes but it came securely packaged with an extra box. I opted for in store pickup and made the 45 min drive. The manager even came out to shake my hand and give me her business card, LoL.
  11. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    They work like any typical brick & mortar store. You go in, give them your money or credit card, they give you the computer, and out you go. :D

    Microcenter is similar to the old Computer City and CompUSA stores from years ago and they've been around for many years. The one near my house was there when I moved here 15 years ago and is still going strong AFAIK.
  12. SiliBear macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2007
    As previous posters alluded to, Apple has very rigorous battery testing which is more complete and comprehensive than standard testing procedures. Jobs even discussed it briefly in the recent "back to the mac" event a week or two ago. You will undoubtedly get much longer battery life on a Mac since they are so obsessively focused on it.

    Also, you made a comment about being spoiled by your current screen resolution on your 23 inch monitor...when you connect the laptop to your monitor, you will continue to be able to use it at the same higher resolution. The lower resolution number is for the 13 inch screen (less room, fewer pixels needed) when in standalone mode.
  13. ender land thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010

    Huh, seems interesting they are able to lowball Apple's online price by nearly 20%. If I do end up buying this I'll have to get it there.

    Cool. Regarding the monitor - I know that :p But I'm more 'worried' about the 50% plus drop in available pixels on a regular basis :)

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