WhiteBook, 17" MBP or waiting?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cyberwolf777, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. cyberwolf777 macrumors member

    May 21, 2006
    My current first-generation White MacBook (ordered the day it was released in May 2006) is now almost three years old. It has been my first portable Mac after two iMacs and a PPC and has been my only computer for most of the time, I haven't used an external monitor regularly either. Well, now I'm looking to replace it.

    What I do: A lot of text editing, a bit of lay-outing, movies, a bit of statistics (SPSS), recently I'm also getting into GIS-analysis for work (using Windows). I also travel 2-3 times a month. I'd probably also do some gaming graphics capabilities permitted...

    As possible choices, I already dismissed the AlBook, the MBA (no 4GB RAM, screen res too low) and the 15" MBP (screen res too low for the size and price, 17" not that much more expensive).

    My three options now are:

    White MacBook
    + cheap short to mid-term replacement for a year or two
    - screen resolution although somewhat manageable is too low, quality lower than unibody MB/MBP, could be worth considerably less when trying to sell a year later

    MBP 17":
    + performance, battery, display (!!), good for 3-5 years
    - price, portability

    or...WAITING for max. 6 months to see if the screen res of the 15" MBP gets bumped or both screen res and RAM of the MBA get bumped:
    + probably saving money, getting an improved 15"MBP or MBA wouldn't feel like I had to compromise somewhere...
    - My MacBook feels pretty dated, I'd sure appreciate 4GB RAM; low screen brightness compared to later MacBooks or MBA is annoying me; my MacBook still has AppleCare for another 5 months and I'll probably be able to sell it for 100-200 Euro more now than in half a year

    So yeah...questions: :D

    Do you think the mentioned upgrades are likely to be seen in Q1 or Q2 2009?
    How are your experiences with traveling with a 17" MBP (both in the forum and from my friends I've heard mixed opinions)?
    Does the another-WhiteBook-as-short-term-replacement strategy even make sense?
    Other thoughts?

    Thx alot!!!
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    I've never owned a 17" laptop, nor would I want to... they're massive. As in, too massive to use on an airplane in economy. They're more desktop replacements than anything... "portable" is a relative term. ;)

    The updated plastic MacBook is a fantastic machine, and good value, but I really wonder how much more use you would get out of it? I've got a Core Duo BlackBook, and it still does everything I ask it to effortlessly, and I do much the same stuff you are (word processing, STATA). But I think the only really big bonus you would see going to a new MacBook is the better graphics and the 4GB capacity for RAM...


    In your position, I would be very, very tempted by the 15" MacBook Pro. But if you've ruled that one out, I'm kind of at a loss... if you absolutely want to buy something new (and I understand that feeling! :D), I would probably opt for the white MacBook (or spoil yourself and buy the unibody one for a bit more... a refurb unibody would only be ~$150 more than the white one new). If something better (like an updated Air or 15") comes along soon, you could sell the MB for close to what you bought it for and upgrade to the new machine then...
  3. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    Go ahead with the 17inch. I have sony Vaio fw which is slightly smaler than the 17inch and I dont think its hard to travel with at all. There also faster and the pro gets 8 hours of battery life.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The 17" is very portable, but it's not very convenient.

    AKA you can carry it everywhere and have fun with it, but sometimes it just doesn't fit (like airplane tray tables, on the bus, etc.)
  5. 11800506 macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2007
    Washington D.C. Area
    I myself would go for the 15" MBP as I find it's the right combination between portability and power and it sounds like exactly what you would want except for the screen resolution. I find it to be fine, but then again that is your decision. 17" laptops, while portable are really a pain to carry around especially if you are traveling 2-3 times a month with it. I've found 15" laptops much more portable while still maintaining the power of a 17".
  6. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
  7. cyberwolf777 thread starter macrumors member

    May 21, 2006
    thx for the input so far everybody!!!!

    I ruled the 15" MBP out because frankly I don't think they are worth the money. Example: In the apple education store in my country, the 2.4Ghz 15" with 4GB RAM and a 320GB hard-disk is 1825 Euro. The 17" is 2199 Euro. Looking at the fact that the price difference is less than 400 Euro, and the fact that the 15" is lacking the main features of the 17", the gorgeous display and the battery, 1825 Euro ($2419!!!!) are IMHO a rip-off. I'm ready to invest into the 17" if I come to the conclusion that it is viable for me because it's a gorgeous piece of technology but the 15" is just not getting me too excited. But maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way?
  8. kumbaya macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2005
    i would wait for 6 months;

    the next generation intel processor is said to offer significant speed increases, there may be quad core chips in the pro line, and of course there's always the possibility of blu ray..!

    the one drawback is that it could be up to 9 months if not longer for the mobile chips to be released..

  9. cyberwolf777 thread starter macrumors member

    May 21, 2006
    Thanks to everybody for their opinions!

    I decided to wait until after WWDC and the release of Snow Leopard with my purchase so I will look at the situation again in June.

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