Jump to content
LCVG

Apple laptop suggestions


merlot
 Share

Recommended Posts

My girlfriend is in the market for a new laptop and after checking with her IT department on software compatibility, has decided she wants a Mac. We are hitting an Apple store tommorow to get feel for them (neither of us have used one in YEARS).

 

Aside from size and cpu speed, what does the Macbook Pro offer over the regular version. Her usage would include web surfing, email, MS Office, and Citrix (utility to remotely connect her to her PC desktop at work). She wants it's it to be small too. How's the 13" screen on the regular Macbook?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont know too much about the differences between the Macbook and the Pro, but Im planning on picking up a Macbook in the near future. It seems like that would also be a good choice for her based on the fact that she wants it to be small and it should handle her software just fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One benefit of the MBP over the MB is that the Pro has a real graphics card vs. the MB's Intel Integrated graphics. For her purposes, this probably won't matter at all.

 

The screens are different between the lines as well, the MBP having a higher-end screen. Not sure what the qualitative difference is, but it's something to look at when you see them.

 

There are a few things to keep in mind. Although the MB is smaller, it weighs nearly as much as the MPB 15" because the plastic casing is heavier than the aluminum.

 

Both machines have 2 RAM slots, but the MB fills both of them with 256MB chips, whereas the MBP has a single 512 (or 1GB)...which means to upgrade the MB (which I would recommend!) means you have to throw away RAM. Obviously, don't get the RAM from Apple.

 

The other big thing is that Apple is very likely to update the Pro line with Merom, the portable version of the Core 2 line, which should be a significant upgrade. The odds are the pricing structure of the Pro line won't change. Some people think this update could come as early as next tuesday, others think it will happen at MacWorld in early January. The January date would be the very latest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 13" black Macbook and my wife has a 17" Powerbook. The 13" is too small for work, but the 17" is too big for my lap. I've never tried a 15", but could that be the perfect compromise?

 

If I had to do it again, I would get a base model Macbook, max RAM, a wireless keyboard & mighty mouse, an external DVD burner, and an external monitor for work like that new cheap 20" Dell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 13" black Macbook and my wife has a 17" Powerbook. The 13" is too small for work, but the 17" is too big for my lap. I've never tried a 15", but could that be the perfect compromise?

 

If I had to do it again, I would get a base model Macbook, max RAM, a wireless keyboard & mighty mouse, an external DVD burner, and an external monitor for work like that new cheap 20" Dell.

 

Will the MacBook's integrated graphics drive a 20" external monitor? I'm honestly not sure if it will or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 13" black Macbook and my wife has a 17" Powerbook. The 13" is too small for work, but the 17" is too big for my lap. I've never tried a 15", but could that be the perfect compromise?

 

If I had to do it again, I would get a base model Macbook, max RAM, a wireless keyboard & mighty mouse, an external DVD burner, and an external monitor for work like that new cheap 20" Dell.

 

I have two of the 15-inchers and I think they're the perfect size.

 

As for your "do it again" model, I wonder how well external monitors work on the integrated graphics card that Ed mentioned. For regular stuff it's probably fine, but I'd be reticent to do any heavy lifting with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the main problem with my "do-over" idea (aside from the fact that I can't) is that I also use a projector for most of my classes, so plugging and unplugging display devices could get annoying. The big monitor might also rat me out if I'm browsing lcvg.com instead of working as I should be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

which should be a significant upgrade

I have tested two Dell D820s with identical configs except one had a Core Duo at 2Ghz and the other had a Core 2 Duo at 2Ghz and there was no noticable performane differences between the two from just using them. We tried this with both Windows XP and with Windows Vista. This made me feel very secure in my 2.0Ghz Core Duo MacBook Pro.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have tested two Dell D820s with identical configs except one had a Core Duo at 2Ghz and the other had a Core 2 Duo at 2Ghz and there was no noticable performane differences between the two from just using them. We tried this with both Windows XP and with Windows Vista. This made me feel very secure in my 2.0Ghz Core Duo MacBook Pro.

 

Huh, well maybe the difference only shows up in floating-point-heavy tasks, but benchmarks I've seen show a healthy improvement. And, more importantly for laptops, the Merom uses less power.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well she bought a regular Macbook. While I was right and she loved the Pro's case, it was too wide for what she wanted and the regular one was perfect. I can't beleive Apple charges $150 more for a black case!

 

Anyway, she got a white one, 2Ghz processor, 1GB ram & 80GB HDD. I suggested she go with 100GB, but you can only configure it that way online, so she settled for the 80.

 

I'm thoroughly impressed with the Macbook from my brief time playing with it. Easily setup my wireless network (and hers at home is open so it should prompt her to connect), email, and a few other items. Love the GUI. I haven't used a Mac in years but now I'm looking to eventually get one for myself (hopefully work comes through and gets me one for web dev. testing).

 

Realizing the Mac isn't nearly open to virus like the PC, we still need a good anti-virus recommendation. Unless OS X has something in there I haven't yet figured out...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Realizing the Mac isn't nearly open to virus like the PC, we still need a good anti-virus recommendation. Unless OS X has something in there I haven't yet figured out...

 

It's really not something you should worry about. I've been running OSX for years and have yet to get infected with anything. Get Cocktail, though - it'll let you force-run the UNIX scripts like cron.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting thread, especially since I went through, oh, 6 different Macbooks in the past two months. I've caught the Apple bug.

 

!.) It started with a 15.4" 2.0 Pro in early September. Straight out of the box the top lid had 2 obvious scratches on the aluminum. Back to the store it went.

 

2.) Then I bought a new 13.3" Macbook Black off craigslist to try. The 1280 x 800 just wasn't enough screen real-estate and while the black was exclusive and classy, it smudges like a piano and is prone to squeaks. It's not a hard plastic like the white ones but has a rubbery feel. Plus not having dedicated graphics means I can't play games on Windows so I sold the thing in a week and made a little bit of money.

 

3.) I started shopping around more and found a person locally who gets new Apple machines from the distributor to sell privately for HUGE discounts over MSRP. I bought another new 2.0 15.4" Pro from him and while this one had no scratches, the top lid's closure wasn't quite perfect (bigger gap on one side) and the top surface of the aluminum lid had some subtle bumps along the edges that aren't very visible, but can be felt by touch. Subsequently I noticed this on a number of other Macbook Pros, even though nothing has been documented on sites like appledefects.com.

 

I speak to someone from Apple Executive Relations and they offer to replace the lid for me. There are no Apple Stores in Canada so we use authorized repair centers. The technician I spoke to basically said that he couldn't do a replacement of the lid without some damage to the bezel (from prying it open) and suggested I leave it alone cause it's a cosmetic defect. I spoke with Executive Relations again and was offered a new replacement machine, which I accepted.

 

4.) Replacement arrives promptly, but this one has a faulty clicker. It only clicks on the center on the button but not on either side. The defect is very obvious and very annoying. Plus the keyboard on this new one is very mushy, without the satisfying, crisp clicks of the previous ones. I was unhappy and sent this new machine back. I started to realize that while Apple computers have great design and engineering, the QC is very sloppy.

 

Partly out of frustration and partly because I wanted to ugprade to the 2.16 Pro to get the beter graphics (256MB X1600 vs. 128MB), I sold the original 2.0 (machine number 3). Now I have no Macbooks.

 

5.) I buy a 2.16 Pro 15.4". This one was a daisy out of the box. No bumps on lid. Lid closes evenly. Clicker works from side to side. Keyboard is crisp and not mushy. Everything was joy until I popped in a CD into the slot-drive and heard sounds that belong on a gardening tool. Imagine my frustration. :bh

 

I speak to Exec. Relations again and they offer another repair plus a gift to apologize for my troubles -- an 8GB Ipod Nano 2nd Gen. This made me very happy.

 

6.) While waiting for my drive to come in, I found a less than month old 2.16 17" PRO for sale on craigslist and negotiated a very very good deal on it. I loved the 1680 x 1050 resolution, the DL burning capability and the better cooling of the bigger case (very noticeably better). I was gonna sell the 15" 2.16 once the drive was replaced but soon realized that the 17 has its own share of problems. The screen is very very unevenly backlit and on a blank image, you can actually see gradients along the edges and a bright strip across the bottom, as reported on appledefects.com. I went to the store to look at other 17" Pros and they all exhibited this to varying degrees. The 15" screens are much better.

 

So I sell the 17", make a bit of cash and wait for the repair on the 15, which is what I'm using now.

 

Right after the repairs are complete, the Core 2 Duos are announced and I see that the base model now has more performance than my mid-model. :D

 

No point to this post other than to share what a weird experience I've had and how weird I am.

 

This is my first time using Mac OS, too. But after two days, I was hooked. There is no going back to Windows for my main OS, ever. And I can still run Windows to play Counter-Strike, which this machine runs very well.

 

I just wish Apple did something about their QC. Or that people were pickier so that they couldn't get away with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Im Picking Up A MacBook Pro this week.. So I can hook it up to everything I Need at my Job.. I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a wireless broadband card that would be compatable with the MBP?

 

It has it built-in. Even uses the new Z standard (faster than G), which is rumored to first be used by iTV (or whatever it'll be called) for streaming HD content wirelessly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well after a couple weeks of figuring out what the hell I wanted to buy.. I ordered a Macbook..

 

Processor -2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

Memory -2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM-2x1GB

Hard Drive -120GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm

Optical Drive -Superdrive 6x

Software iWork '06 Preinstalled

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...