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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Should I get a Mac book or Mac book pro for my needs?


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kpritcha13

 
Member Since: May 04, 2007
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Hey everyone! I've been looking at this forum for a couple weeks now and haven't found anyone with my specific requirements, post on which mac to get. Sorry if I didn't see someone elses post.

I am a geography grad student in need of a new laptop and have decided on a mac. I'm just not sure which one. Right now I'm on a 4 and a half year old IBM T30 Thinkpad which is so slow and I'm hating windows.

Here are what I need to run on the laptop:
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
Parallels to run ArcMap a GIS software program only for Windows which I will use to export maps to then edit in Illustrator/Photoshop
Web surfing/email
Word type program to create documents to be read by others with Word, ie excel type sheets, powerpoints, papers, etc.
Statistical programs
Chat programs
Itunes

My main use would be editing maps/images in Adobe, and this is why I have decided on a mac, I first just need to get the data out the ArcMap software.

What do you guys think Macbook or Macbook Pro? My thoughts on the Macbook is that it is smaller, so more portable and cheaper so I could get a large monitor as well (have about $2100 to spend). But the Macbook Pro is more powerfull with ram up to 3gbs and if I got it I probably wouldn't get the extra monitor just work with the 15".

Thanks.
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OSURico112

 
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I have a macbook and I'm able to run Photoshop CS3 just fine. The new CS3 being universal runs a lot better on the macbook than previous versions. if you're gonna do a lot of rendering and any 3D work though you'd probably want to go with a macbook pro. I mainly use photoshop for Photo editing and it doesnt have any problem handling that. Whichever way you go though you'll definately want 2gigs of ram. I haven't ran illustrator yet so I don't know how it handles that.

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Aaagogo

 
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quick glance on ur needs is that you will be staring at the screen for a long time in a single seating...

so a larger screen is what i would recomend. Screen space gets a little tight on photoshop on the macbook.

travel alot or will be leaving the mac at home? the other alternative is to hook it up to a larger screen when at home if u get the macbok.
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Dean786

 
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MacBook Pro probally, you need a good laptop for hardcore programs.
Get like 2GB RAM, 2GHz Processor and your fine.
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kpritcha13

 
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Well I would need to take the laptop to campus daily to take notes and to do work. So thats why I'm kind of leaning towards the MB but the MBP might better suit my needs. I will probably get a LCD monitor with either of the laptops to use at home.

Also, I am a student, is the ADC one-time discount the best price I can get for either laptop?
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rcronin

 
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If you can get to an apple store, maybe spend some time on both during a few different visits. Call and see if they have those programs so you can really see how much screen space you have. My MB is heavy enough although I would love the extra screen room, I just don't think I want more weight. It's a tough choice. However I don't use some of the apps you're using, so that's the real issue. I do use PS2 and DW and a word processor and surf and email at the same without problems (and usually a few other things open as well).

Becky
Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)
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TheCustomer99

 
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The MacBook could technically do all of that. But if you can afford it, go for the MacBook Pro. Go for the 15" since portability is an issue.

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Aaagogo

 
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i posted in another post when someone else did ask the qn of the 15 or 17 MBP...

best is if you could go to an apple store and try your hands the MB and MBP's

only by trying out yourself will you know which one you prefer. I played with all 4, 2 of my friends had the MB's white and black, and i got to play with the 15 and 17 MBP.

althought i know that i would never get the MB because the screen was just too small for me, so it was just playing around with the 15 and the 17

haven been carrying my MBP around that much, but my old IBM T41 was around 5lbs and the MBP is 5.6 lbs, so not that much difference for me.

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The MBP weight is dispersed over a larger area so when I picked it up it didn't feel that much heavier than the MB. I agree, sounds like you'd be better off with the Pro!

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Portability isn't an issue with any of the Apple notebooks.
I currently have a 15" PowerBook that I take with me just about everywhere.
Plenty of people at my school at 17" 'books. Not a single person complains about size/weight/portability. After all, they are "portable computers".
The larger models don't feel heavier to me at all. In the past few years, I have had plenty of iBooks and PowerBooks of all sizes. The extra pound/inch or so difference between the models is negligible.

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Aaagogo

 
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i think dimensionally the 17" was not meant for carry around daily... although i believe that it would be somewhat in the same weight range as the other brands of laptops, but due to it's larger screen dimensions, maybe it was meant more for a desktop replacement but with the option of moving it around some.

but hey, the best suggestion is to go in and get ur hands on those babys and see which one you like, asking and reading posts here won't really help you much because at the end of the day, the money is coming out from your pocket and you are the one using it for the next 3 - 5 years

No Photographer is as good as the simplest camera.

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kpritcha13

 
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Thanks for everyones help. I've decided to go with the Mac book Pro.

Does anyone know if the ADC one-time discount is the cheapest way to go?
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mjolnir

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpritcha13 View Post
Thanks for everyones help. I've decided to go with the Mac book Pro.

Does anyone know if the ADC one-time discount is the cheapest way to go?
From everything I've read/researched you should check your ADC and compare that to those MBPs listed on the Apple online store refurb page. I don't recall what my uni professor friend said his ADC discount rate is; but refurbs typically go for about 20% less than retail.

I'm typing this on my new 15 in. MBP C2D. It's technically a refurb; but it looks absolutely new. It even came in the same black briedcase style box that you'd get at a brick 'n' mortal Apple store. So far, after three days, it's flawless.
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bnsteel

 
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I have one of each (am uni prof) and I actually like the MB for mobile stuff and leave the MBP at home. Both have 2GB ram and are quite zippy and both have XP installed using bootcamp - again extremely zippy.

The university discount is probably less than 10%, so the refurbished option would be the best deal.

A few salient facts were not mentioned above...
The MBP's get hot. I'm talking Africa hot. The whole case is a heat sink and you do not want to set it on your lap.

The battery life on the MB is much better than MBP. I did just install the "battery update" so that may end up helping, but right now battery life is less than 90 min. If I want to get any real work done with the MBP, I need to be plugged in.

I would recommend the black MB and an external monitor for home use since the price diff between the 2 is significant - you could buy a pretty nice display with $1k.

Or you can go with the pretty silver MBP, don't plan on setting it on your lap, and make sure there is a power outlet handy. This is what I do.

Also, don't even think about getting a Linksys wrt54gs router. It won't play well with the MB or MBP.
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Gazmaz

 
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Cool post bnsteel you've answered some questions I didn't know I wanted to ask!
I'm going to change my tack now on what I'll go for.
I.E. a MB rather than a MBP, as I want the mobility and although I'll have power available I do like not having to constantly plug it in. I'll look at getting a iMac as well at a later stage...
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