ThinkPad or Black Macbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ikkydesign, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. ikkydesign macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    I am debating which laptop to get and use for my self and future work. I would say that I am a design engineer who is going to do IT consulting for engineering firms, so I need a computer that is reliable and dependable. I don't know which to pick because they both have their pros and cons. I will be using the laptop as a desktop-replacement and will travel a lot with it. Other than basic computer use I will use Adobe Creative Suit frequently and sometimes I will need to run windows only applications. I want high quality and good performance.

    I have owed a ThinkPad T60p and by far it was the best computer I have ever owned, the keyboard was great and it was light and performed like a champ, but I had to return it when I left the company I worked for. I don't want a MBP for several reasons other than the $500 price difference, so I am trying to justify getting a black macbook instead of ThinkPad T60 which would kick the macbook's ass in performance due to the dedicated video card. Both laptops cost about $1700 –which include:2.4ghz, 2gb ram, 250 GB HD, tax and 3-year warranty plus discounts- and I don't want any trouble with apple; I know Levno's ThinkPads are reliable and for the same price include on-site repair, so come on mac people...

    What would justify getting a black macbook when I could get 2 more usb ports, a finger print reader, an dedicated (128MB) video card, On-Site Repair, plus at least 2 more hours of battery life?

    Side Note: I owed an old blue imac for 3 months b/c someone gave it to me due to the click of death syndrome; It ran panther and it was pretty kewl but never got around to messing around with it and I gave it away. There are not requirements for which computer I will have, so anything goes. My biggest concern to getting a mac will be that I get a lemon or I will get defects that are not covered in the mac warranty.

    A confused possibly new mac switcher :confused:
  2. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I'd get the Thinkpad. You can shave a couple hundred extra off if you use an ecoupon from dealigg. The main reason to get a Mac is to be able to use OS X. If you expect to conduct the majority of your work on Windows (or don't care about the OS, but do care about performance and pricing), it's a no-brainer to go with the Thinkpad.
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    The only reason to get a Mac is for OS X. If you don't really need or want to use OS X, or won't use it often, then forget it and buy the Thinkpad. To me, The Thinkpad is a much better laptop with a worse operating system.
  4. closeupman macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2008
    I don't think you're really debating it. You come off like you already decided on the Thinkpad and just want to pick a fight:eek:

    A computer is a computer. If the Thinkpad worked for you in the past just go for it. Mac's are for people who want a different (and most would say better) OS. Yes, you can run Windows on it but I don't really think that matters to you.

    Apple bends over backwards for their customers, just read some of the threads about their customer service. Their warrany is good and you can always extend it for 3 years for a little $$. If you get a lemon, they'll help you make lemonade with it! :D
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I would agree with this. You could get the blackbook and run Windows on it. Let us know what you decide.
  6. ikkydesign thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008

    I actually want to get a black macbook but I have to consider the alternatives. It seems that the alternative is just much better bang for the buck. I think that OS X is a superior operating system and I would use windows only to run windows only applications. So I know that OS X is easier to use and it seems that I would be more productive using it, but is there anything else that would be a pro for getting a black macbook. Thanks
  7. Pacer69 macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2008
    I applaud your trying to take as much an objective look as possible at the situation. That said, consider this: you will not have to worry as much about spyware, viruses or adware hassles with a MB. AFAIK, the Windows side of the disk is still susceptible like any other holey Windows partition...but if you get the MB, you can have it the rock-solid, UNIX-based OS X and enjoy all of the advantages/creativity/stability/ease/utility of you'd still be able to have Windows on your machine. This fact alone should be enough to sway anyone. "Why not have the best of both?" would be a good question to ask. Add in the no-virus factor on the Mac side, and that would definitely seal the deal!

    Does the ThinkPad run X? Nope? Well, hmmm...why limit yourself to one great OS when you can have two?

    And if you don't want to hassle with Windows at all anymore, or the associated viruses, then just don't install any Windows sw. I've used MS Office on my Macs for almost 10 years now and it works great for exchanging docs cross-platform -- which I do all the time with my PC clients.

    Good luck and enjoy, whatever you decide!
  8. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004
    I seriously wanted to switch back...

    I even bought two different windows machines including a thinkpad. The HP one was a technical disaster. The think pad is ok. I am ok with the Macbook style keyboard, but I like the thinkpad significantly more. But I hate the nub, and the track pad is too small, and in using it regularly it actually started to hurt.

    Vista started pissing me off, but really no worse than the mac system did when I made the switch the first time. But try as I might, I ended up with a White macbook. (I moved from a previous Black 2.0 coreduo, and the 2.4 core2duo penryn and bigger hard drive were enough, I really didn't need to move up. The rough edges due to speed are significantly lessened on the new one).

    I run windows on the machine with coherence, mostly for chess applications.

    I am very happy with the box.

    One thing that was a big-time issue for me, that didn't exist on windows, at least out of the box, was spell check in every application. I don't even think about it on the mac, and it is always there. That single feature has let me explore different mail, text, and other types of programs, and it has worked really well for me.

    I am kinda jonesing for some games. But not really too bad. I get enough casual gaming from yahoo, and I have bejewelled, run poker software, and the parallels works really well for me.

    The mac is not really that hard of a decision. It will piss you off for a little while because there is a bit of a thinking difference. But you do get over it in about 2 weeks.

    Good luck.
  9. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    Get a thinkpad. You've already decided on it, so just do it.

    Here are the only reasons why you should get a macbook:

    1) You like the style of the macbook more AND that is important to you
    2) You will be using OSX for a good part of the time

    If you are using Windows all the time and don't care that much about style (or if you think the Thinkpad has more style, which is a valid argument), get the ThinkPad and don't try to start an argument.
  10. TJones macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    I'm hearing bad things about Lenovo's supposed 24/7 support so if you needed a reason I guess that's not a bad one.
  11. Shackler macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2007
    behind you!

    nuff said
  12. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    YEah get a Thinkpad if you are going to have to work in Windows alot.

    But $1700 for a Macbook? You're better off getting a MBP at that price. They are $1844 from Amazon or MacMall. Or getting the old MBP model for ~ $1544 at MacMall.

    Or if you want a black Macbook then try the refurb for $1049 plus tax at the Apple store. Hell I would grab the white one for $1225 from Amazon and color it black with some Sharpies.

    I wouldn't pay $1700ish for a Macbook.

    Also how the Thinkpad have 2+ more hours of battery life? Are you getting some massive battery with it?
  13. ikkydesign thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    $1700 = ($1400 base price + 3 year warranty ($183) + remote) + ~8% tax

    the MBP won't work for me, for several reasons, one of them being the price ($500 more after taxes and warranty). Yeah the ThinkPad has a 9-cell battery as oppose to the default 4 cell. I thought I was certain that the ThinkPad was what I had to do, I even configured it and used the discount to come down to $1600, but I notice that the extra warranty from Lenovo did not apply to CA....hrm... I woke up just now, after a 2 hour nap, and asked my self which laptop would I want to work in now, ThinkPad or Macbook. I said macbook today, but who knows what I want tomorrow. I guess my question is: how do you justify getting less hardware from a company when you can get a significant amount more hardware for a cheaper price? Is OSX that worth it?

    As for the refurbish black macbook, my school has it for ~1050 or something so with warranty and taxes it comes down to ~$1350 so I would have to consider the pros and cons if I went with an older model. I mean the benefit of getting the new black model would be less heat and a slightly better performance plus a suppose new black plastic.

  14. TJones macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    Yes, absolutely, without a doubt. Also, the quality of the Macbook is nothing to sneer at.

    Remember it's a fairly low risk investment since you can Dual Boot into Windows XP or Vista fairly easily. So even if you don't fall in love with OS X you're not stuck trying to use it. What I recommend is if you can find a local retailer that has them on display and swing by to check it out in person and check the videos on the Apple site on why you'll love a Mac.

    You may find that you'll want to use OS X whenever you can and rue having to boot into XP.
  15. uglyjerk macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2007
    I'll go MacBook. I like the flexibility of the Mac system. You can use Windows back to back with Mac OS at the same time.
    Specs wise and value for money... I'll go for MacBook.
  16. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Well you're not going to be working in OS/X so it wouldn't be worth it to you no matter what. LIke I said get a Thinkpad.

    I don't think you're comparing the prices that accurately though.

    First a white Macbook is basically the same machine but $200 cheaper. You pay the Apple Tax to get a black Macbook. Yes you get a bigger hard drive with the black MB, but a 250gb drive is only about $50 more than a 160gb one. (For further discounts shop Amazon or MacMall or refurbs at Apple online store.)

    SEcond, those extra features you mention aren't exactly that hot and the quality of those features is highly debatable.

    I mean who needs a fingerprint reader? Does it work? What if it breaks?

    How fast are those dedicated graphics? Do you need them?

    HOw much heavier is that 9-cell battery? Does it really give you 2 more hours of battery life compared to a Macbook? (From what I read this isn't true at all and it looks like it will just put it in the same battery life class as the Macbook.)

    The best feature might be the extra USB ports, but do you need 4 usb ports on a laptop? I only have 3 on my iMac and it works for me. And one can always grab a USB hub if they need to.

    Then you have to look at other factors such as overall weight and size. I bet the Macbook wins there.

    Last what's the resale value like on Thinkpads? Macs tend to have a great resale value for a computer.

    The value of OS/X is fairly priceless imo. It's hard to put a number on it because everyone has different needs. But I love the fact Macs aren't really targeted by spyware and viruses at this time. HOw much do you want to pay for that? HOw much time and money do you spend in protecting Windows from those things?

    I will say OS/X really doesn't do anything that Windows can't do by and large. But I think it does it better especially out of the box. It's plainly organized better. The UI is more consistent and deliberate. And I feel like everything is easer to reach on my Mac than on a pc. The included software is better too.

    Anyway the best way to know is try it out, but if you're going to be using Windows alot because you have to then you're not going to see the value in it as much a someone who would use OS/X exclusively.

    (Oh and you can get the old MBP for $1544 from MacMall. )
  17. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
  18. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    Look, you trolls have evolved your technique over the years, but we can see through it. Most people in this thread have already told you that the ThinkPad would probably be better for you, and judging my your troll-ness, I'm doubting you were every seriously considering a Macbook or even getting a new laptop to begin with.

    We get it, ThinkPad's offer a greater degree of customization for a lower price. We, who own Macbooks, obviously care about the design of our computer (even though I happen to like the looks of the ThinkPad) and how we interact with it (Mac OSX). So yes, we do think it's worth it, and that is how you justify it. Simple.
  19. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I don't know if he's a troll, but I do wonder why people start threads pretending their minds haven't been made up when all evidence points to the contrary. It's plain as day that a Thinkpad would better suit the OP's needs than a Macbook; he knows it, I know it, and nearly every other poster has said something to the same effect. So why continue? It reminds me of the threads started by high schoolers who want Macbook Airs for college and who continue to insist after a dozen posts recommending the Macbook that the Air would better suit them. It's silly.
  20. TJones macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    He's a closet case Mac wanna be dying to get out .. isn't it obvious?
  21. Parsec macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2007
    N53 E004
    I think that if you really NEED the processing and graphics power, you should go for the Thinkpad. If you still want a stable and fast OS, you can always run Ubuntu Linux on it. If you're willing to put some time into it to configure it to your needs/liking. It offers most benefits of OSX without the ease of use and user experience.

    If you don't NEED the power, I think the MacBook offers ample power for you and running windows under Parallels would probably work fine for you. And I am sure that once you've worked with OSX for more than a week or two, you won't want to go back to working with windows and every time you must, you will feel it to be more of a burden. This happened to me over two years ago.

    Good luck making your choice.

  22. stashu macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2008
    You're going to do consulting for engineering firms and you're asking US what kind of computer to buy?

    HA HA

    Let us know what firms you're dealing with and we'll show them this thread. That should give them confidence in your consulting skills.
  23. pharao111 macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2007
    Re: Thinkpad or Blackbook

    Hi guys,

    I was in the same situation as our collegue is now.
    last year I bought myself a t60 with the big battery and the extra battery to swap my dvd-drive. during the first time I was kind a happy with my machine but the battery didn't work out like expected (I still dimmed the screen and switched off wifi and bluetooth). with the "12" cells I was using in my notebook I was merely able to work approx 6h without plugging in my notebook. And I mean the t60 is in that configuration big and this is not very handy for attending classes at the university I decided to change and bought myself the blackbook because of the nice style and minor extra it has...but i was very very surprised that the battery is working around 6h when I dimm the screen and switch off wifi...with the weight, size and battery stamina it is a perfect companion for studying/working and traveling is not a real point...i mean you can install it via bootcamp or you can use a virtualisation tool so you can run windows even while you're working in osx...I think I made a good deal with exchanging the t60 with a macbook. fingerprinter is a sweet gadget but lets be honest, you do not need's a toy for geeks and ppl who are lazy to keep a pw in their also eats up the ressources of your machine and windows is loaded with stuff you can say byebye battery again...
    summary: you have to think what is important for you, the thinkpad has it's own charm as the macbook has was a hard decission for me but I'm happy now...
  24. jvette macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2007
    I agree that you have already answered your own question. You may be best with a windows based system. With that said I am all Mac at home with 2 Imac's a Macbook and the new Time Capsule but I still have a Dell Laptop because it's for work. When the time comes to replace it I will go with a Macbook Pro and have the best of both worlds and run windows and OSX on it. That is the good thing about the Macbooks is you can have both operating systems on the same computer.
  25. ikkydesign thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    Is The Power Of OSX That Good? Yes, You're Right It Is That GOOD!

    So I went to the mac store yesterday and I tested the black macbook, again. I was pretty impressed with the OSX and how it handles mutli-tasking. I always use keyboard shortcuts and I have tried several solutions to get the best mutli-task user experience.... bottom line is that I can't seem to find mac OSX features on windows that actually work well. I would say that I am an intermediate-advance windows user so I don't have issues with spyware/virus/etc., I have tamed the beast, but it's just not an experience any more.

    It is funny that I am going to be doing consulting, or really fixing windows problems and hardware/network issues, and I am asking for advice on getting a computer. I am not going to lie, I don’t know much about the limitation and compatibility issues of macs because I never play with them other than at school. I know that ThinkPads are all great for pretty much any engineering consulting firm but this is not a requirement for me to fix their issues. I am here to do my research and see any upcoming problems, if any, to be able to choose which laptop is going to replace my dying HP laptop that I got for free. It seems more and more obvious that a both computers will do well and that a ThinkPad has better performance at a lower price while the black macbook has greater user satisfaction and better aesthetics.

    If OSX was supported on all laptops then there would be no problem. Sure I could run OSX on a ThinkPad but there are so many things wrong with this. I guess people are more than satisfied with their mac products and or they hate windows. I don’t hate windows but it’s just so boring and my experience is just okay. My user experience, when I use mac OSX, seems to be just that much better that if price was not an issue hands down the macbook will be more satisfying. I am going to have to look at comparing a refurbish black/white macbook and comparing them to a new black/white macbook...

    So what applications do you enjoy or would recommend for OSX?

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