Recommended laptop for medium work

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dachande663, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Dachande663 macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    Hi all, this must surely be the millionth topic started along these lines but I'd like to know your opinions. I'm planning on getting a laptop, either a mid-range MacBook (2.4Ghz, 2GB) or a low-end MacBook Pro (again 2.4Ghz, 2GB) within the next few weeks/months. It will be used in two main areas;

    Personal use, as a laptop, for web browsing, email, word processing etc. Light stuff basically.

    For work; attached to a 22" 1680x1050 monitor, running Adobe CS3 Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Firefox and iTunes at the same time (as a minimum, more than likely have Parallels, Safari etc running alongside).

    Would the MacBook be able to handle this or is it worth the extra ~£400 for the Pro? I will almost certainly be doubling the RAM regardless of which I get. I've heard others saying the MacBook gets very hot and quite loud, something I don't think I could stand (the latter). I've got an Xbox 360 so gaming isn't a concern, but I want to make sure I get a machine that feels snappy and responsive even when running all of these things together (my Dell XP machine just about chugs along).

    Anyone who runs Fireworks as well, your opinion will be much appreciated, all the web graphics glory seems to go to Photoshop these days.
  2. iDAG macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2007
    Athens, Ohio
    I would think if you are using a CS3 app, a MacBook Pro would be the better choice for you.
  3. Appleduder macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2008
    I would go for the MBP. I have had both and tried to fool myself I could get away with using a MB for design purposes but the screen on the MBP made all the difference (even though the MB is powerful enough to run CS3). And although you plan on connecting a MB to an external monitor its nice to have that extra screen space on the MBP even for normal applications and have the option to do design work on a nicer screen without the external. ..after debating with myself back and fourth I returned my 2.4 MB and bought a refurbished MBP. Couldnt have been happier :D
  4. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    replace fireworks with photoshop and I can handle all of those things perfectly fine with 2.4ghz and 2gbs ram.
  5. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2008
    I don't know much about work, but; my MB is quit (almost silent), my MBP has cooler temp (almost cold). I love the small keys on the MB but the MBP keys are so nice and I heard that typist's like them. The MBP needs no adapter to connect w/ DVI.
  6. ruckus macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2005
    the only real gain on the mbp for you would be the screen, and since you have the external hooked up for design stuff, the MB should suit you well. The hardware in the MB can handle all that software just fine.
  7. Dachande663 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    So at the moment it's looking like the MBP has very slightly pulled ahead. I didn't realise it came with dvi to vga adapter as well, that will definitely help but £15 is still a long way short of £400. I'm probably going to leave it for another month or two, until Apple (hopefully) bring back their back to school offers and by then there might be new laptops on the horizon.

    Thanks for the help guys.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I think the MB will do the job.

    Get a BlackBook. I really didn't like it at first, but now I'm starting to love it. It's black though, which means it'll get slightly hotter, but I think if I had to do it over again, I'd get the BlackBook.
  9. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    Hi Dachande!

    Welcome to the MR Forums :)

    In my opinion you would be fine with a MacBook. I love mine. It's light, very durable, small and can do everything I need it for.

    I have mine connected to a 24" (!!) over full HD monitor running the whole adobe creative suite and it works a dream. Of course it isn't as fast as a Mac Pro but it does the job and does it really well. My model is nearly 2 years old, 2GB ram, 2Ghz Core 2 Duo but works fantastic... anything more modern will do it just as well.

    The only reason I'd go for a MacBook Pro would be the graphics card... but as it's 400 pounds more.. you could get a PS3 and an XBox for that... which, let's face it, are much better gaming machines than a Mac, ney, PC, will ever be.

    Think about it!

    BTW... for Back to School they often do 0% finance... worth thinking about also.

  10. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM, USA

    My vote is for MacBook Pro. You will be connecting to a 22 inch display at work, so you will want a really good video card. The Pro has a separate NVIDIA video card (not Intel integrated graphics found in MacBooks).
  11. Koreos macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008
    I'd say MacBook.. basically the only difference between a MB and a MBP is the graphics card and screen size.
    If you're not going to work with 3D stuff I don't see MBP being worth it.
  12. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2008
    I agree on the MB. Since you identified your uses as being medium level, I trust you won't exceed the MB's abilities. I have a MBP, and if not video and 3D, I would have opted for the MB. The external monitor will be where you focus your attention while doing design work. The actual MB screen will likely hold your tool menus and programs you are running simultaneously like Safari, iTunes.

    I would max out the ram after purchasing the MB, and put the money saved towards a color calibrator, etc. BTW, I used to prefer FW over PS for web graphics too, but once I forced myself to use PS for about a month, there was no going back. ;) Good luck to you.
  13. DanBUK macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2007
    Girlfriend has a MB, housemate has a new penryn 2.4 MBP and I have played with both.

    It sounds like you haev pretty much the same usage needs as them.

    MB is amazing and really fast. Great value too (with crucial ram).

    The real difference will be in 4 years time with OSX revisions and greater processor and video demands. I see the MBP holding its own but the MB struggling for pace.

    (ps my nearly 5y/o 12" powerbook is still just holding its own, struggling with flash video frame rates, but I doubt a similarly old iBook would be running leopard and photoshop.)
  14. asmallchild macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    Well said.

    I too opted for a MBP over the MB because I wanted a computer that would last a bit longer (~4 years would be great)

    Yet another reason why I eschewed the MBA as well (which as nice as it looks, is sadly slower than both the MB and the MBP)
  15. Dachande663 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    I already have an Xbox 360 so about the only games I'd play are 5+ year old ones that even my Dell can handle (it has the GMA950) and I wouldn't be doing any video work except perhaps the occasional home movie type things. I think having the ability to do this though is important, that's one of the reasons I'm getting a Mac over a PC, the ability to run Windows & Mac for the extra premium.

    DanBUK, you raise a really good point I hadn't thought about. I suppose the £400 extra spread over say 4 years of use wouldn't be too bad compared to having to get a new MacBook after 2-3 years. My student loan comes in next month so I think I'll look more closely at the Pro.

    Thanks for the replies, I can see myself coming back here for a few tips later on.
  16. stagi macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    I second that
  17. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The 12" PB and iBook were pretty much the same thing, internally. Though, I did prefer the PB for it's better keyboard, and I think 32MB more on the graphics card.

    To the OP, If you're going to drive a screen that large, I'd probably look at the MBP.
  18. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    "Recommended laptop for medium work"

    I'd recommend going with a nice 15" MacBook Pro if you're going to be serving as an intermediary between the living and the dead. It won't let you down.


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