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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - Several, hopefully easy, beginner questions :)


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CryptAck

 
Member Since: Jun 14, 2009
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First, let me begin with saying that I am strongly considering purchasing a new Macbook Pro. Up until now I've been a PC (Linux/Windows) user, but given the recent price cuts (and some curiosity), I'm thinking now is the best time to give one of these notebooks a shot.

Question 1) From what I understand, the past 13inch Macbook vs the 15inch Macbook Pro used different displays (the 15 inch being superior). Since Apple has upgraded the 13inch to be a "Pro", does that mean it also receives the superior display?

Question 2) Is the apple care plan really worth the money? I don't foresee myself calling for "support" unless some hardware issue exists. From what I can tell the plan only offers extended support and warranty (of which is for defective hardware).

Question 3) Does opening the Macbook and installing new memory/HDD void the warranty? Looking at the pricing it appears as though I could easily get the 2.26 model (with 2/160) and upgrade it (to 4/250 or 320) for cheaper as I'm not really worried about the slight processor speed difference.

Question 4) Since Snow Leopard will be released in the upcoming months (and is only a $30 upgrade) I will most definitely be picking it up. The question I have is if at some point I want to format and install after upgrading, will I need to install Leopard first and then upgrade again? Reason I ask is because if so, I may just wait until Snow Leopard's release since it will be on there by default.

Question 5) Is there any additional information you'd like to add that you feel I could benefit from?

Thank you for all your help!
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CryptAck View Post
First, let me begin with saying that I am strongly considering purchasing a new Macbook Pro. Up until now I've been a PC (Linux/Windows) user, but given the recent price cuts (and some curiosity), I'm thinking now is the best time to give one of these notebooks a shot.

Question 1) From what I understand, the past 13inch Macbook vs the 15inch Macbook Pro used different displays (the 15 inch being superior). Since Apple has upgraded the 13inch to be a "Pro", does that mean it also receives the superior display?
The plastic model MacBooks had an inferior screen. The Aluminum models have always been comparable with the Pro line.

Quote:
Question 2) Is the apple care plan really worth the money? I don't foresee myself calling for "support" unless some hardware issue exists. From what I can tell the plan only offers extended support and warranty (of which is for defective hardware).
It depends. I felt the same way, but judging how expensive the parts are for these things, if you intent to keep it for a full three years, I think it's worth it for the peace of mind.

Quote:
Question 3) Does opening the Macbook and installing new memory/HDD void the warranty? Looking at the pricing it appears as though I could easily get the 2.26 model (with 2/160) and upgrade it (to 4/250 or 320) for cheaper as I'm not really worried about the slight processor speed difference.
Both memory and HDD are considered user-upgradeable, despite the lack of a compartment door.

Quote:
Question 4) Since Snow Leopard will be released in the upcoming months (and is only a $30 upgrade) I will most definitely be picking it up. The question I have is if at some point I want to format and install after upgrading, will I need to install Leopard first and then upgrade again? Reason I ask is because if so, I may just wait until Snow Leopard's release since it will be on there by default.
Hard to say, Apple has not been forthcoming with the installation details.

Regardless, most UNIX-based operating systems rarely need a reinstall. This is a bad habit that many of us carry over from the Windows world.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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iPod Nano

 
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Helllo and welcome to the forums!

Question 3) I'm not sure, but I think so.
Question 4) Leopard will ship with any new computer that you buy from Apple right now. That's why you're eligible for the $30 upgrade price. If you were on Tiger I think it costs more.
Question 5) Well, there are some basic differences between Windows Machines and Macs. I won't talk about that here, but I'll try and find you some FAQ's or Stickies from somewhere.

Chris K.
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iPod Nano

 
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Here are some threads that may interest you:
A switcher's guide to OS X Software
First 5 things to do with a new Mac laptop

Chris K.
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CryptAck

 
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Thank you both for your quick replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
The plastic model MacBooks had an inferior screen. The Aluminum models have always been comparable with the Pro line.
Ahh, makes sense. I was a bit confused on this before!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
It depends. I felt the same way, but judging how expensive the parts are for these things, if you intent to keep it for a full three years, I think it's worth it for the peace of mind.
My thoughts exactly. Just wanted to confirm

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Both memory and HDD are considered user-upgradeable, despite the lack of a compartment door.
I assume, even with the lack of a compartment door, they are fairly easy to upgrade? I've pieced together several PC systems, don't have much experience with notebooks however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Hard to say, Apple has not been forthcoming with the installation details.
Okay, I may wait it out for a while then...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Regardless, most UNIX-based operating systems rarely need a reinstall. This is a bad habit that many of us carry over from the Windows world.
Ohh, I know. I wanted to know not only for system restoration purposes but also for upgrade purposes later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPod Nano View Post
Helllo and welcome to the forums!

Question 3) I'm not sure, but I think so.
Question 4) Leopard will ship with any new computer that you buy from Apple right now. That's why you're eligible for the $30 upgrade price. If you were on Tiger I think it costs more.
Question 5) Well, there are some basic differences between Windows Machines and Macs. I won't talk about that here, but I'll try and find you some FAQ's or Stickies from somewhere.
Thank you. I know quite a few of the basics already (I've toyed around in OS X before), but I'm always looking for more information so anything you can provide will be of help!

Thanks!
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iPod Nano

 
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Oh, OK. I thought you were a fresh switcher who knew nothing about OS X yet (no offense) we get quite a bit of those. I hope you enjoy your new, secure, virus free and easy to use computer.

Chris K.
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CryptAck

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iPod Nano View Post
Oh, OK. I thought you were a fresh switcher who knew nothing about OS X yet (no offense) we get quite a bit of those. I hope you enjoy your new, secure, virus free and easy to use computer.
Not a problem, I found the threads (and article links) to be quite informative! I have bookmarked them and will be sure to forward them over once I get my new mac
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CryptAck View Post

I assume, even with the lack of a compartment door, they are fairly easy to upgrade? I've pieced together several PC systems, don't have much experience with notebooks however.
It looks like the bottom panel comes off with just a few screws.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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claudius753

 
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Question #3:
Yes, the entire bottom comes off with 10 screws. The booklet that comes with the MacBook Pro has a section with instructions of how to take off the bottom, as well as how to upgrade the HD and RAM.

As for Snow Leopard, every Mac purchased after June 8th, the day of the WWDC keynote, is eligible to upgrade to Snow Leopard for the $9.95 price to cover the cost of the disc and S&H. Apple - Mac OS X - Update your new Mac with Mac OS X Snow Leopard.. I'm not sure how the upgrade will ensure that you are eligible, but it may be that you would have to install Leopard first, then Snow Leopard if you ever wanted to reinstall the OS.

Here is a link to the PDF of the manual from Apple's website. Chapter 3 (page 35) "Boost Your MacBook Pro" WARNING: This is to a PDF file so it may open Acrobat Reader on your system.
http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/...ch_Mid2009.pdf

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CryptAck

 
Member Since: Jun 14, 2009
Location: Bloomington, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claudius753 View Post
Question #3:
Yes, the entire bottom comes off with 10 screws. The booklet that comes with the MacBook Pro has a section with instructions of how to take off the bottom, as well as how to upgrade the HD and RAM.

As for Snow Leopard, every Mac purchased after June 8th, the day of the WWDC keynote, is eligible to upgrade to Snow Leopard for the $9.95 price to cover the cost of the disc and S&H. Apple - Mac OS X - Update your new Mac with Mac OS X Snow Leopard.. I'm not sure how the upgrade will ensure that you are eligible, but it may be that you would have to install Leopard first, then Snow Leopard if you ever wanted to reinstall the OS.

Here is a link to the PDF of the manual from Apple's website. Chapter 3 (page 35) "Boost Your MacBook Pro" WARNING: This is to a PDF file so it may open Acrobat Reader on your system.
http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/...ch_Mid2009.pdf
Thank you for the info! Doesn't look difficult at all, just have to remember to keep the screws straight (long vs short that is ).

Even better to hear that it'll only be 10 dollars. That's twenty bucks I can go spend on cold beverages.
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