Should I "upgrade/downgrade" to the unibody Macbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dhuang, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. dhuang macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #1
    Hi everyone, I'm new to MacRumors and I have a bit of a dilemma... I've done plenty of searching, but I haven't found an answer I am content with. So I'm hoping you guys can help a brother out!

    Basically I have a SR 2.2 MBP w/ 4GB of Ram that has been treating me well for nearly a year now, but I can't keep my eyes off that Unibody base macbook!

    Some background info:

    I am a college student by day and web "producer" (design/development/marketing) by night. I have a Dell 2407WFP-HC that keeps me sane when it comes to design work, because I cannot get anything done at 1440x900, much less 1280x800.

    From what I understand, the Unibody MB's screen is pretty subpar, I even hear it being worse than the plastic MBs its replacing! My friend has a 2.53 unibody MBP which is nice, but I am wanting something more portable to lug around while I am at school. In fact, my MBP slides off some of the tables in our lecture halls. :p

    I don't have to do any real work while I am traveling or in class, but when I tether the laptop to my monitor/speakers/keyboard/mouse, I expect it to be as outstanding as my current MBP. I still want the computer to be productive without having all my peripherals attached. (Taking notes, light coding, etc). I will do photoshop on my monitor and never on the MB or MBP's screen. I don't play games, so I do not use boot camp, however I run a virtualized copy of XP in VMware fusion for testing purposes.

    I usually take good care of my stuff, and I am guessing that the Unibody can hold up to more stress than the previous MBPs, therefore I don't have any concerns about reliability, unless of course there are some hardware issues out there? My current MBP has had zero issues, aside from a bad battery.

    I am really leaning toward the 2.0GHz model, but unless there is some justification to go with the 2.4 model, I will consider it. (Backlit keys isn't one of them ;))

    I see computers as tools, so I tend to upgrade quite frequently every 4-8 months(currently eyeballing a MacPro and some 30" ACDs + waiting for refresh), so I'm not looking for any "futureproofing" or anything, I just want something to make my life easier in the now. My current macbook pro is the longest computer I've owned -- yep, I love it that much!

    In summary

    -Want something more portable than current MBP.
    -Matches performance of current MBP.
    -Will last till Summer/Fall.

    Considerations:
    Unibody MBP 17": Too big for my uses, but I love how it can replace everything I have! :eek:
    Unibody MBP 15.4": Don't really want something to similar to my MBP, but very nice piece of engineering nonetheless.
    Unibody MB 13.3": Just the right size, screen is subpar, not sure about the performance of the 2.0GHz model. 3Mb L2 Cache is kinda weak.
    Unibody MBA 13.3": 2Gb RAM limit just kills it for me.
    SR MBP 15.4": Keep it and just be happy. (Which I am :p, I just like new stuff!)

    Anyone in or been in my position? I am looking for whatever advice and opinions this wonderful board can bring! Thanks again for your time!

    D

    P.S. I will be posting in both the MB and MBP sections to get the most feedback if you guys don't mind!
     
  2. DiSFLyLaTiNa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #2
    i would just keep the one you have. i think a MBA would be a downgrade, BUT if you're going to use the MBA plus the pro then go for that. But don't see how you can spend so much on an air, i wouldn't get that.

    i had a hard time with the 2.0 over the 2.4 model but i ended up getting a refurbished plastic 2.4 black. the screen wasn't an issue for me and the price was so much better.

    anyways. from the looks of it, your current one is perfect and you buying a new computer is just you being greedy. honestly, that's all it is in upgrading a perfectly good machine that isn't going to break down any time soon.

    kind of like how people always buy the latest ipods, it isn't needed, just wanted.
     
  3. amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #3
    keep what u have

     
  4. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #4
    I hear ya... I'm in the same situation! I'm a college student with a MBP (first generation, ugh) with my eyes currently looking at the unibody MacBook. I do video editing from time to time, sometimes with Final Cut Pro, but could the power of this machine be better than what I already have?

    I'd LOVE a new MBP, but that's basically out of the question right now.
     
  5. g808 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #5
    I want the portability too. I'm coming from a MBA Rev A and just got a 2.4GHz MacBook unibody (the extra bit of speed and backlit keys are important to me). I did direct comparisons of the screens on the MB and MBP and, yes, blacks are not as dark and the viewing angles aren't as good on the MB as they are on the MBP. However, after a bit of calibrating the MB screen looks good enough for ME. Others may disagree. It depends on your vision, tolerance and what you need the machine for. For me the screen looks fine for what I do (graphic arts is not one of them) and the portability is more important.

    I also added a 256GB G.SKILL SSD hard drive to my MacBook and am waiting for dual 2GB RAM sticks. The SSD makes this thing fly! Too pricey for a lot of people right now, but worth it to me. The speed bump in opening apps and just overall using it is extremely noticeable.

    Your MBP sounds like it still has a lot of juice for what you need, so I guess it comes down to how much do you value the added portability? Only you can answer that.
     
  6. Grolubao macrumors 65816

    Grolubao

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Any machine, even a PC will last until summer if bought now...
     
  7. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #7
    I hear ya... I'm in the same situation! I'm a college student with a MBP (first generation, ugh) with my eyes currently looking at the unibody MacBook. I do video editing from time to time, sometimes with Final Cut Pro, but could the power of this machine be better than what I already have?

    I'd LOVE a new MBP, but that's basically out of the question right now. And while I could go without it, getting it now while I have the money might be a good idea, as my current machine is soon to surpass its AppleCare and enter old age.
     
  8. dhuang thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #8
    I'm sorry if I forgot to mention this before, but I am going to be ebaying my current MBP. So in a way, it's going to be more like a trade-in. In fact, I can see myself making some money out of this!
     
  9. dhuang thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #9
    Also, I forgot to mention, I will be selling the MBP during the transition period (if not before) so it would be more like a trade-in, possibly leaving my wallet a bit thicker to begin with!

    I also like how the new unibodies have all the connections on one side. Anyone who "docks" their laptops a lot would appreciate this!
     
  10. Ploki macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
  11. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #11
    The 2.0 performs fairly well, but you would really need to go with 4GB of RAM. Running windows in a VM leaves me with about 200mb of free memory out of 2GB (256mb is used by the video chip).
     
  12. acfusion29 macrumors 68040

    acfusion29

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #12
    The limit is actually 6GB for the MacBook's, not 2GB
     
  13. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #13
    Life's short. If it makes you happy, and you can afford it - DO IT!
     
  14. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #14
    It says MBA. The "A" stands for Air. The MacBook Air has a 2 GB limit.
     
  15. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #15
    I'm in the same market as you (web development) and I must say, the MB is a great machine to do the work on, but the screen resolution is just a killer. Everyone at work uses a 15" MacBook Pro for a reason, but even there, I have to agree, 1440x900 is not enough. I've ordered a 17" MacBook Pro just for that reason.

    I guess for you, its simplier because of your external monitor (I don't use mine because I'm never at my desk... so having a larger internal screen is a required) but in the end is all up to you.

    The MacBooks are on par performance with the MacBook Pro (2.4Ghz model and your SR 2.2) so you won't see a big performance difference. However, if you're willing for the 1280x800 screen size (which can be annoying if you were to do work on the go, in a coffee shop, etc.) then go for it.
     
  16. dhuang thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #16
    Hey all, thanks for all the feedback, I am going to be plopping in 4Gb of Ram as soon as I get it if I do, so that wouldn't be too much concern.

    It seems like everyone tends to like the 2.4 MB model, would the 2.0 be that slow? I never bought a "high-end model" of any product line, so I don't know how much of a performance gain to expect.

    Thank you for your solid advice! I too love the idea of the 17MBP w/ the WUXGA screen, but unfortunately I know that laptop will never move from the table haha, so that's out of the question!

    Is there a reason why you chose to go with the 2.4 model over the 2.0 model?

    I might just wait till another sale happens, I remember the 2.0 model being $999 after some rebate offer at Microcenter.
     
  17. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #17
    It's against the forum rules:

     
  18. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #18
    That makes no sense. If it will never leave the table, why not get an iMac with better specs for cheaper or the 17" Pro? The 17" is practically a desktop replacement.
     
  19. dhuang thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #19
    I need to be able to move my main computer to meet with clients and my business partners for prototyping purposes. Therefore my computer needs to be a laptop. Money really isn't an issue for me.

    I have decided against the Macbook. I will wait till some form of nehalem proc can be made into the MB/P/A.
     
  20. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    Please do not repost (and repost) new threads with the same topic. If you need it moved, report it to a mod.
     
  21. dhuang thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #21

    Thank you mod for my blunder. I will be more aware of the forum rules in the future!

    d
     
  22. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #22
    There is nothing wrong with a 2.0 Model. I personally went to a 2.4GHz because of the backlit keyboard (ya, weird reason). Ever since my MacBook Pro and MacBook Air days, I just can't live without the backlit keyboard.
     

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