Which MacBook??????

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Natural Science, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Natural Science macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2010
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    Hi all, I'm looking at getting our iMac last year it narrows down the brand since I've been properly converted:)
    With 3 small kids sitting at the iMac is proving impossible and I wanted a laptop for using around the house and as a secondary at work... Primary uses would be office work and normal surfing. Since I plan on keeping our files (media) on the iMac which would better suit my needs? I was also curious to see how you guys feel about MS Office... I have '08 on my iMac but at work we run office 2003 and I can dial in through VPN and work on their network, so I'm not even sure I need to install office at all. What screen size between 13 & 15 work best for excel sheets?
  2. epb87 macrumors member

    May 14, 2006
    I have a 15" powerbook and the screen size was very nice for all the work I did at school with excel. It was very portable as well.

    Also consider how much of the excel sheet you want to see at one time. If you were to tinker with the zoom on the sheet, how small would you be willing to work? If you get the smaller size, would you still be able to use your iMac when necessary? I suggest getting to an apple store (if possible) and playing around with each size for a while. You will get a better feel this way.

    I'm sure there are a few other threads where people have asked this very same question, so check those out if you would like more opinions.
  3. jljue macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Brandon, MS
    You can probably get by with downloading OpenOffice for most of your "Office" needs, if you don't feel like VPN'ing to the office will be sufficient for you. I have MS Office 2008 for Mac on my 15" MBP, but that was because I got it through my company's MS Home Use Program. The only issue that I've seen while using OpenOffice for spreadsheets is that it sometimes does not save a .csv file properly, which causes a data import in another program to not work properly, but .xls files back into Office seem to work fine.

    As for spreadsheets, I prefer the biggest display that I can afford with the best resolution that won't make me squint too hard. My eye sight is still pretty good, but I still don't like to strain to see things, if I don't have to. My Dell laptop at work is a 15" with a resolution of 1280x800, which doesn't give me enough vertical resolution for a lot of work, but I do have it hooked up to a 20" monitor with a 1600x1200 resolution for more serious work. My 15" MBP at home has a 1440x900 resolution which is sufficient for remote access and most work, but when I need more space, I hook up to a 20" monitor with a 1680x1050 resolution.

    Space is your friend for spreadsheets. Maybe get a smaller MB for portability and a larger monitor for work? a 15" MBP with or without a hi res display can fit most people's needs.
  4. Natural Science thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2010
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    Thanks for the advice... A lot of my sheets are over 100 mb so I do need the screen real estate and have a 22 " Dell at the office and a 27"
    IMac. That's just a big price jump between the 13 and 15, but it sounds like the MBP is the way to go vs an Air?
  5. mr0c macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2010
    Virginia, US
    The Air is incredibly light and very portable, compared to the MBP 15", but the 15" really isn't that heavy compared to others, like my work thinkpad :-(

    As a previous heavy spreadsheet user I know all about those extra columns you need to see all at once - so go for the 15".

    If there is a store near you go and play with them and try them out. BTW, Office 2011 for Mac has much better compatibility with Windows Office, especially for pivot tables, so it might be worth investing in that too.

    If the 15" is a bit too expensive, you can always check out the refurbished store, on the bottom left hand side of the Apple Store home page ;-)
    (no current generation yet as they just came out).

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