The perfect laptop? (for my needs)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Macneck, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Macneck macrumors regular

    Macneck

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #1
    Hello everyone!

    Soon I’ll be needing a laptop and I’m feeling like trying to square the circle at finding the right tool. I need reliability and stability (Mac), portability (MBA), process power (quad core), good screen size for spreadsheets, graphics… (15”), at least 8GB of RAM and enough disk space to run Windows programs simultaneously without burps, hiccups nor facial paralysis. To make it worse I want SSD instead of HD and anti-glare screen because I will be on the road, frequently working abroad "on location”, not always on a nice office with a/c.

    The main use would be corporative, business, office apps. However I would be travelling a lot, so I want kinda all-in-one machine.

    My antiglare mania almost excludes all Macs except for the MBP while using screen protectors like the Moshi’s iVisor… no comment. Screen and SSD size excludes the MBA.

    Does anyone know how much weight the MBP may lose by using an SSD instead of HD and no DVD drive? Assuming it’s possible to remove the DVD and leave that space empty.

    If weight was close to the rMBP, I think I’d pick the MBP i7 2.3GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD with the HD antiglare screen. Or take the basic MBP i7 2.3GHz and then upgrade it myself to 16GB of RAM and change the HD to the 480 GB SSD. That big boy is the closest I can figure out to my needs. What do you think?

    Obviously I've been considering also Sony, Dell, etc., but the ones close to Apple are almost as expensive and run Windows. Please advise.

    Thanks for your time!
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    The weight loss will be marginal (100g), but you can leave the ODD out of the MBP without replacing it with something else.

    And yes, the 15" AG MBP will be the best bet for your computational needs, and if 2.5 kg is not too much weight for you, it should be quite fine.

    I have a 3 kg 17" MBP and I use a backpack to carry it, thus I rarely feel its weight as a negative.
     
  3. Macneck thread starter macrumors regular

    Macneck

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for your quick response, simsaladimbamba.

    Do you have any idea about how much the ODD may weight? I guess it’s just another 100-200g more, but I’d like to know. I could consider giving up to quad cores and even to 15” and jump to MBA, but it’s also the glares' issue. So many things against MBA and only weight for. Maybe you are right about the weight and it’s more a feeling than a real problem, but you know…

    I'd also like to hear from people who frequently work with spreadsheets if you people consider 15" the smallest to work with certain comfort or it's only me who lives it as a claustrophobic experience, having to choose between tiny cells or a few lines and rows on screen.

    Thanks again
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    The number I gave included the ODD (it is a pretty light piece of technology).

    I cannot vouch for spreadsheet usage, but I have had a 13" MB with 1280 x 800 pixel and a 15" MBP with 1440 x 900 pixel (before the AG version was released) and always felt crammed with my applications (Photoshop, Lightroom, Avid Media Composer, ....).
    1680 x 1050 is a workable resolution with this, but 1920 x 1200 seems to be the right one for me now.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    I love my retina MBP, I think its a great laptop and recommend it. The 15" formfactor is not too small for spreadsheets. While I work with a 24" monitor connected to it from time to time. Using the laptop w/o the monitor has never been an issue.
     
  6. Macneck thread starter macrumors regular

    Macneck

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #6
    Jesus! I get your point now. Better to keep the drive or even change it for a small HD than losing such a tiny weight. By the way, I just found this thread confirming your comment:

    Weight advantage to removing optical drive?

    Unless I'm missing something important (please feel free to post your thoughts), it's 'almost' clear to me now: AG MPB. 'Almost' because of the supposedly expected new MPB for June. The good news is that I don't need it right away.

    Thanks pal!
     
  7. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #7
    I have the 15 in (late 2011) antiglare MBP. It is a great machine. I don't know if AG is still available now that rMBP is out but if it is available I recommend it. Next to my MBP sits a modest 22in 1080p monitor. With my MBP vertical resolution of 1050, the two monitors are almost seamless in everyday use.

    I use the second monitor most often for Chrome with dozens of tabs. It's handy having 2 monitors when I've got multiple source files open in Xcode. I also like the second monitor for working on multiple photos at a time. As for spreadsheets, the ability to zoom out and see an entire complex spreadsheet (or at least the first 40 or 50 columns and 30 to 40 rows) is wonderful. I found an image onine that is somewhat typical of the spreadsheets I frequently work with. There are cells that contain paragraphs and often there are calculations that involve 6 or more columns per row to produce a result.

    [​IMG]

    As for weight, my MBP is mostly used in a desktop configuration with FW external drives plugged in. When I'm on the road, I prefer to bring along my iPad mini.
     
  8. Macneck thread starter macrumors regular

    Macneck

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #8
    Thanks, r0k!

    Yes, the AG is still an extra, but only available for the MBP 15”. A real shame IMHO. My experience with “normal” Apple screens reduces to my iPad 3 and Apple Stores, but I think it’s enough to know. More than a switcher I consider myself “mixer”, if you know what I mean. I have a Late 2012 Mac Mini and three PCs sharing an old 19” Sony monitor plus an old Toshiba notebook. Too old. But honestly one of the main reasons for me to still consider a PC laptop is the antiglare screen. True that rMBP screens are simply amazing, awesome, but they are not practical for my personal needs and I need a tool for my work.

    Thanks for the screenshot. I think 15" will be enough.
     
  9. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #9
    Careful, that's not a screenshot taken by me. That's a quick use of google to find a "typical" spreadsheet. I spent quite a bit of time investigating Retina displays before buying my hires AG display. I didn't get it only because of glare. I got it for a compromise that gave me higher resolution, the ability to upgrade my own SSD/RAM and lower cost (than retina).

    I wouldn't worry so much about glare unless you are working outdoors or in an environment with a lot of harsh lighting. Sure I sometimes get frustrated with my iPad glare but I'm often using it in a moving vehicle or in bright sunlight. For office or classroom use, the retina display even without antiglare should work fine. Apple is pretty good about homing in on what is important to their customers. I think the reason they have relegated antiglare to a tiny niche is they believe their customers want better black levels and sharper displays more than they want antiglare. Sure I would like it if Apple offered retina antiglare but there is a cost associated with so many options. Unlike HP which will build you a craptop almost to your exact specifications, Apple offers a narrow range of predefined options and MUCH better quality. Also don't simply judge by the glare you see in the Apple store. Most home and office users don't have a bank of spotlights shining down on their workstation.
     

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