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  1. #1
    Macbook vs. Macbook Pro

    Member Since
    Aug 08, 2007
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    Macbook vs. Macbook Pro
    I know this topic has been beaten to death. But I'm desperate here! I've been flipping in my mind for the past month between the Macbook and its Pro brethren (with several bouts of crazy, crazy thoughts that I'd order a Dell XPS m1330 instead), so I'm hoping a second opinion (or a few) could help sway me.

    I know I'm going for an Apple notebook. There's no question about that at this point... I'm pretty pumped that I'm going to be a Switcher.

    Anyhow, basically I need a computer that will last me the next 4-5 years. I'm heading into twelfth grade this year, and I would like it to last me at least halfway into undergraduate school. It needs to do all the typical 'school' stuff (word processing, presentations), and I'll need to carry it out with me two to three days a week.

    However, seeing as I'm not made of money, it would also have to double-duty as my photographic workstation. I'm an amateur photographer -- no professional by a long stretch -- but quite serious about my pastime.

    I'd originally settled on the Macbook because I've been using my Dell Inspiron 6000 (a true workhorse but a behemoth of a 15.4" notebook) and I'd figured that the Macbook Pro would be similar in size and weight. But then, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Macbook Pro is neither hugely larger nor heavier than the Macbook. Only about 1" wider and less than half a pound difference in weight... so the Macbook Pro was welcomed back to my shortlist.

    The trouble is the Macbook's age, really. It seems a little dated in comparison to Windows offerings (yeah, yeah... Apples and oranges, yada yada) and even its bigger brother. The lack of Santa Rosa (and that tasty 800Mhz) and the outdated Intel GMA950 irk me.

    Erm, I'm rambling here, so let me cut it short. This is the way I'm seeing it:

    Macbook (@1349$CAD) offers:
    - smaller size
    - more durable (?)
    - cheaper (by 650$)

    Macbook Pro (@1999$ CAD) offers:
    - LED backlit screen
    - more up-to-date components
    - backlit keyboard (ooh...)

    Questions I'd like to pose:
    - In your opinion, how likely is an October Macbook update? (LED/Santa Rosa)
    - Would that include a new body? (I don't find the new iMac too attractive)
    - To carry, do you find the Macbook Pro much more of a burden over the Macbook? (messenger bag)
    - Which is more functionally durable?
    - Which is more cosmetically durable?
    - How long will it take, roughly, for CCFL backlight fade to be noticeable? (I haven't noticed it in my Inspiron yet...)

    If I decided Macbook Pro, I'd order now. If I were to decide on the Macbook, that would present me with another question... whether to wait until October?

  2. #2
    Macbook vs. Macbook Pro
    IAmBen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 07, 2007
    Posts
    84
    The question I'd be asking myself is "Do I really need the Macbook now?" I know you probably want one right now...instant gratification style, but do you need it for the work you're doing in high school? My guess is probably no, you've probably got a computer at home that will suffice over the course of the year.

    I'd hold out until you head off to college. It's a year from now and trust me, you'll want to be cutting edge when you get to school. It's nice and it's going to have to last...which will be much easier when you've subtracted a year.

    However...I'll go ahead and answer a few of your questions.
    1. By October it will have been a while since the last Macbook update so I think you can pretty much guarantee it.
    2. I would guess no on the new body simply based on Apple's notebook past. The iBook/Macbook line has always been plastic and the Powerbook/MBP line has been metal. My guess would be they'd stay with the plastic.
    3. The Macbook Pro for me wasn't bothersome at all. When you're used to carrying tons of school books, the fact that a laptop is in your bag doesn't make a **** bit of difference.
    4. Functionally durable, both are. Personally I think the plastic casing gives the MB a bit more functional durability. But let's be honest, you drop either of them and you're SOL.
    5. Cosmetically durable? Both scratch pretty easily without a case in my opinion. But if I had to pick one I'd say the MB, for the simple fact that it's harder to tell scratches in plastic than it is on metal.
    6. No idea on your backlighting questions.

    I think the MB is perfect for you with 2GB of RAM which will take care of your photography needs. Personally I'd hold off on it for it now.

  3. #3
    Macbook vs. Macbook Pro
    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Refurbed MBP's go for about $1500-$1600. Education discount = about $1700 if I remember correctly...
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  4. #4
    Macbook vs. Macbook Pro
    Levi's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 06, 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    681
    Specs:
    MBP : 2.4GHz : 2GB RAM : 256MB VRAM : 160GB HDD
    Quote Originally Posted by carsncars View Post
    [b]Erm, I'm rambling here, so let me cut it short. This is the way I'm seeing it:

    Macbook (@1349$CAD) offers:
    - smaller size
    - more durable (?)
    - cheaper (by 650$)

    Macbook Pro (@1999$ CAD) offers:
    - LED backlit screen
    - more up-to-date components
    - backlit keyboard (ooh...)

    Questions I'd like to pose:
    - In your opinion, how likely is an October Macbook update? (LED/Santa Rosa)
    - Would that include a new body? (I don't find the new iMac too attractive)
    - To carry, do you find the Macbook Pro much more of a burden over the Macbook? (messenger bag)
    - Which is more functionally durable?
    - Which is more cosmetically durable?
    - How long will it take, roughly, for CCFL backlight fade to be noticeable? (I haven't noticed it in my Inspiron yet...)[/INDENT]

    If I decided Macbook Pro, I'd order now. If I were to decide on the Macbook, that would present me with another question... whether to wait until October?
    I'd say the MBP is more durable; aluminium doesn't break or crack as easily as plastic.

    - It's entirely possible... I can't really say anything more than that with any certainty.
    - Personally I think it would; Jobs was praising the aluminium in the new iMac, so I think that's the way Apple is going to go from now on. Apart from the iPod and Aiport products, the MacBook is the only White (or black) product they make now, so I think they're phasing it out.
    - I can't say, but like you say it's not much bigger or heavier.
    - I'd say the MBP; for the reasons I opened this post with.
    - Mmmm... well, I think the MBP looks better to begin with; but both will scratch pretty easily.
    - I don't know; I suppose they start to fade from the moment you begin to use them, but it might take a couple years before it's noticeable (because it's gradual you probably won't notice it until compared to a new one), and maybe 20 years before they go completely. [guesswork].


    I think you'll be fine with the MacBook personally, but I'd wait 'till you start college and get one then: you'll want the newest and the best, and something that will last until you finish your course.
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  5. #5
    Macbook vs. Macbook Pro

    Member Since
    Aug 08, 2007
    Posts
    13
    Well... I'm definitely looking at this year, because to sustain the Dell another year would take about 500$ in part replacement/upgrades. I'm going on a 2-month exchange to Montreal and would prefer not to bring an external hard drive.

    If I go for the Macbook Pro, it seems like I'm leaning towards it just for the screen... so I think I'm going to go for the Macbook. I can't really do any sort of respectable photographic/graphics work on a notebook display anyway, so I think the price differential is better put towards a decent external monitor..?

    So Macbook it is... I think. Do the most recent SR Macbook Pros still have yellow-tint LCD issues?

    Now, the question is whether to pick up the Macbook now (free iPod and printer discount) or wait until a possible refresh in October. I'd appreciate the refresh, but I'm concerned it will be like the launch of this current body Macbook, with staining/mooing/heat issues and the like. ...and I suppose the specs of the current Macbook are good enough..?

  6. #6
    Macbook vs. Macbook Pro
    IAmBen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 07, 2007
    Posts
    84
    It's really your call on when to pull the trigger. Since you must have it for this year, buying now might not be such a bad idea. The decision is this:

    Macbook and free iPod (they pretty much always have the printer rebate going on) vs. Macbook with small upgrade in processor speed. I know I wasn't disappointed when they updated the Macbook Pro's after I bought mine around Christmas time...it still blazes. The same will be the case for your Macbook.

    So that said...pull the trigger now, unless you're talking September until you buy the laptop. At that point you may as well just wait. Let us know what you decide.

  7. #7
    Macbook vs. Macbook Pro

    Member Since
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location
    orange county, ca
    Posts
    17
    Specs:
    1.5ghz powerbook g4, 1gb RAM, radeon mobility 9700, combo drive
    Quote Originally Posted by carsncars View Post
    If I go for the Macbook Pro, it seems like I'm leaning towards it just for the screen... so I think I'm going to go for the Macbook. I can't really do any sort of respectable photographic/graphics work on a notebook display anyway, so I think the price differential is better put towards a decent external monitor..?

    So Macbook it is... I think. Do the most recent SR Macbook Pros still have yellow-tint LCD issues?

    Now, the question is whether to pick up the Macbook now (free iPod and printer discount) or wait until a possible refresh in October. I'd appreciate the refresh, but I'm concerned it will be like the launch of this current body Macbook, with staining/mooing/heat issues and the like. ...and I suppose the specs of the current Macbook are good enough..?
    i'm a studio art major specializing in photography and digital media. personally, i find the added real estate of the 15" screen to be rather comfortable when editing photos. really, though, it depends on the level of detail at which you edit your photos. if you're going to be poring over them as meticulously as possible, the external screen would certainly make life easier, but otherwise the 15" lcd is fine. also, the extra space of the 15" goes wherever your laptop goes whereas the 13" may leave you yearning for more when you're away.

    from what i hear, the yellow tint of the SR was caused by a not-so-great default monitor calibration. you can fix that by choosing a different color profile in the system preferences (and if you're doing photo work, you should be calibrating your screen anyway).

    just my 2 cents

  8. #8
    Macbook vs. Macbook Pro

    Member Since
    Aug 08, 2007
    Posts
    13
    Ah, from what I gathered, there were two different problems. Firstly, a yellow cast over the entire screen, which is due to Apple's colour profile and can be calibrated out (like you said). Secondly, some reported the bottom third of their displays as having a yellow/dark cast, which cannot be calibrated out (unless there is a calibration profile that will like... gradient mask the screen).

    I've been using Eye One for colour calibration (split the pricetag with a friend).

    Yes, good point on the resolution. I'm at WSXGA 1680x1050 on a 15.4" right now and I think that's a perfect pixel density, and it's nice to have the same native resolution on both my laptop and external monitor. The WXGA+ 1440x900 on the Macbook Pro also looks good (OS X has a way of making a screen seem like it has more pixels...). The 1280x800 of the Macbook definitely feels slightly cramped... but not something I couldn't live with, I think. I used to do photo editing on an old 1024x768 IBM R40 after all. How did we ever get by using 800x600 screens? I can't believe it...

    Thanks for your input.

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