iMac or Macbook?

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I'm still kicking the tin can around you could say. Still debating what Mac I should get or if I should at all. Applications are no problem. Every program I use runs on OS X (I'm an open source type of person).

A Macbook would be a great thing for me. I'm just afraid that I'll get it and end up doing the same thing I do with my current notebook computer: set it on a desk and use it like a desktop. If I end up doing this, I'd rather just get an iMac, which would be a little less money, have a good ATI video card, and a larger screen.

Graphics card is kind of important. I like to work with 3D computer graphics and so you have the work screen which is where you work with the polygons in real time. But that doesn't really need a lot of power. The part that requires a lot is when you render and use the CPU. The GMA 950 outperforms my current card by double, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't go for something better.

On the other hand, I'm sure that if I did buy a Macbook, that I wouldn't use it at my desk all the time. It's lighter, has a longer battery life, and can use my wireless network for internet. These are things my current notebook just don't do.

The trackpad is another thing. I ended up buying a external mouse for my notebook, which then caused me to use it on the desktop in the first place. Every trackpad I've used so far is trash in my mind. Small and unresponsive. Is the trackpad on the Macbook any good?
 
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If you know for a fact that the GMA 950 will handle the type of 3D stuff you're planning on doing, then the Macbook should be great. I was talking with one of my IT collegues while walking back from the server room with my Macbook so he asked me about it, specifically the display. I informed him that even though I purchased the Mini-DVI - VGA dongle and can span screens to my 21" CRT that I usually don't bother with multi-screen unless I'm either doing graphics or audio editing. Something about the widescreen aspect ratio makes it perfectly adequate even if it's only at 1280x800. He seemed intrigued by that statement, since he was considering a Macbook but the "13.3" factor put him off, and I'm kind of known for being someone who likes to use the biggest screen at the highest resolution possible. If I'm saying that the screen on the Macbook is what I use 95% of the time, then it's gotta be a pretty good screen.

Don't get me wrong, the iMac, especially the 20/24" model has a fantastic display, but being able to unhook, close the lid and tote wherever I want to go is a big plus that the iMac obviously can't do.

All portable Macs have what I would consider the best trackpad on any notebook. My wife used my Dell with just its' trackpad for awhile and it put her off trackpads (she usually uses a Wacom tablet in lieu of a Mouse) but with her Macbook she pretty much exclusively uses the trackpad even over the Wacom, which she is very used to. Her wireless mouse is now hooked up to her old Mac Mini which we use to watch movies on our LCD TV.

Also the Mac trackpad has some pretty slick tricks like two finger scrolling (which I'll use instead of the Mighty Mouse ball even if I have to stretch out to reach it) and two finger 'right click'. This is also for the MB Pro, which might be what you need heavy duty dedicated graphics for (but it kind of sounds like you don't) and need the portabilitiy.
 
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All portable Macs have what I would consider the best trackpad on any notebook...
Also the Mac trackpad has some pretty slick tricks like two finger scrolling (which I'll use instead of the Mighty Mouse ball even if I have to stretch out to reach it) and two finger 'right click'. This is also for the MB Pro, which might be what you need heavy duty dedicated graphics for (but it kind of sounds like you don't) and need the portabilitiy.
Totally agree! I used to hate trackpads and thought they were garbage. Now, I have the MacBook and I prefer it's trackpad to a mouse. :)
 
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The Trackpad on my MacBook simply Rocks :D
I've dealt with a lot of laptops and trackpads that drove me insane. When I got my MacBook a few weeks ago, I use nothing other than the Trackpad. Its just so innovative and like WalkerJ mentioned the features of the 2 Finger Scrolling and 2 Finger Right Click are awesome. Also u have the combo of ctrl + 2 Finger moving up and down the trackpad to zoom in and out on the whole screen on any program. And this track pad gives a heck of a lot of Real Estate for your fingers to roam around it isn't as small as the ones u get on the Dells.

Cheers

Mina
 
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Totally agree! I used to hate trackpads and thought they were garbage. Now, I have the MacBook and I prefer it's trackpad to a mouse. :)

Except, of course, for gaming. I had my Macbook with me one time at the barber shop waiting for a haircut one time and thought I'd try getting in a quick single player game of Unreal Tournament 2004 (which the Macbook runs just fine BTW) and the results of trying to use the trackpad were, ah, amusing to say the least. :D

I apologize in advance for slipping a gaming limitation into a discussion of Mac advantages. That's just so cliché. O:)
 
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Almost two post dedicated to the trackpad. Must mean it's good. :p

Here's another thing I've seen people talk about. They take a second monitor and hook it to the Macbook and then use it as a two monitor setup. You know, such as editing on one, and internet on the other. Or is this the Macbook Pro I'm thinking of?

Let me go into details on one of my original questions. Is there anyone here that became more "portable" after buying A Macbook? That is, you use to own a notebook PC, but never really took it anywhere because of how big and heavy it is. But then you bought the Macbook and took it around with you more because of how much more portable it is? Like I said, I'm sure I'd use my current notebook away from my desk if it wasn't so big.
 
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Almost two post dedicated to the trackpad. Must mean it's good. :p

Here's another thing I've seen people talk about. They take a second monitor and hook it to the Macbook and then use it as a two monitor setup. You know, such as editing on one, and internet on the other. Or is this the Macbook Pro I'm thinking of?

The Macbook will do dual monitor spanned in any configuration you want with each monitor at it's best resolution with a $20 Mini-DVI to VGA or Mini-DVI to DVI connector. The mouse will span across both monitors as if it were one big one which is the combination of the two, and OS X will just make that happen as soon as you connect the external monitor. When you disconnect the external monitor you're back to the internal screen when you want to go mobile. There is even a 'gather windows' option if you've "left" anything on the external monitor should you forget to drag them back to the internal LCD. To be candid, it's pretty freakin' cool.

Let me go into details on one of my original questions. Is there anyone here that became more "portable" after buying A Macbook? That is, you use to own a notebook PC, but never really took it anywhere because of how big and heavy it is. But then you bought the Macbook and took it around with you more because of how much more portable it is? Like I said, I'm sure I'd use my current notebook away from my desk if it wasn't so big.

A while ago long before Apple even had Mac OS X I had a Toshiba Libretto which was a ridiculously small computer that ran Windows 95 that because of the smallness I was able to take it with me very easily and all the time. Think just a little bigger than a VHS cassette tape, and not particularly heavy. That was my portable computer because of the incredibly small size. My Macbook is not anywhere near that small, but it is significantly smaller than my employer supplied Dell, and because it has the capability of running Windows in Parallels (or Bootcamp; I use Parallels and for that matter I can run any other Intel based operating system under Parallels such as any distro of Linux) I have the option of using Mac OS X which I have come to love while at the same time, if necessary, using the Windows applications that my employer requires (in my case Lotus Notes, IE, Sametime, and some other Windows specific apps) wherever I happen to be, with no show stopping issues and at more or less native speeds. Because of this capability which is offered by no other computer manufacturer my Macbook goes with me wherever I might need a computer and does everything any computer would be able to do. And more.

I dropped my Libretto accidentally a couple of years ago rendering the screen useless, but the Macbook offers a pretty small but very capable standalone do-everything-I-would-ever-need-a-computer-to-do form factor, so yes it is the one computer I would use if I needed to travel anywhere in the world. While being reasonably small, it is monumentally powerful in that it can run every operating system that runs on Intel hardware, and run it well. So yes, it's something I take with me everywhere I go and guard closely so that nobody will steal it. I have routinely left the employer-supplied Dell at home while taking my Macbook because I know that I'll be able to use it to get work done remotely with one machine that can do, well, everything. Dell, HP, Gateway, Toshiba, and all the other PC notebook manufacturers simply cannot do that. The Macbook can. The Macbook Pro can do that too. In fact, the only thing the Macbook Pro can do that the MB can't is have an aluminum case and be bigger (with a requisite larger screen, but I've already addressed the screen size issue.)

Plus the Macbook seems to be extraordinarily capable of pulling in wireless connections in ways that my employer supplied Dell cannot seem to match.
 
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Never had a laptop before—always chained to a desk. It is quite a difference lifestyle. Being able to take the Macbook anywhere on my property and stay connected really rocks. I am typing this in bed at 2 in the morning. I was at a local MUG this past week and there were 9 laptops there all connected to a WiFi. Being able to pull into a coffee shop and connect to a WiFi is really nice.

But having said all this, if I really want to be productive I have a bluetooth KB and mouse. I can type twice as fast on a full size keyboard and am twice as fast with a mouse as with the trackpad (although the MB trackpad is the best I've used). I also have a 22" WS monitor that really makes things productive when using two screens. For serious productive work, it is hard to beat a desk setup, and I could have saved a pile of money with an iMac. It depends what your lifestyle is like.
 
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Does monitor spanning cause a drop in performance?

Another thing I hear is that when you run Windows in boot camp, that it tends to run better then on a PC. Is that true?
 
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Does monitor spanning cause a drop in performance?

No, it does not.

Another thing I hear is that when you run Windows in boot camp, that it tends to run better then on a PC. Is that true?

Bootcamp? I've no personal experience with running Windows natively on a Mac, but I do know that the Macbook has Really Good Hardware™ that when run natively on one is 'pretty frigging fast' so I'd have to say yes based on that alone. I know when I run Windows under Parallels it's at least as fast if not faster than my Dell PC (1.87GHz Pentium 4 with a gig of RAM.)
 
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I'll have to agree with WalkerJ

I run Windows through parallels on my new Intel MacBook and its friggin mind boggling fast!

Put it this way side by side with my work Dell Laptop, I Boot OS X, and Open Parallels and Run the Windows XP and My Dell is still on the Loading screen of XP.

And there are plenty of Professional reviews from a host of Magazines that mentioned that the Best Computer to run Windows is a Mac. And after my personal experience I HAVE TO VOUCH for that hands down.

Cheers
 
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So it runs Windows better then a PC. I know hardware is a factor in stability, but did Apple write drivers that are above standard? I know that could help.

Changing the topic, I hear the Magsafe connectors have some problems. Such as shorting out, breaking, or something similar to that. Anyone had this happen?

(Also, thanks for all the help. Nice to see a good forum like this.)
 
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About the Magsafe connectors, I only had my MacBook for a few weeks and my connector is intact, but may be other members who had theirs for longer be able to give u more insight on that topic.

Cheers
 
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iMac for sure, it sounds like you need power, and not portability
 
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There are only a few cases where the Magsafe adapters aren't as pristine as they were on day one, but the vast majority of "faulty" adapters are actually caused by customer abuse. The good thing is that the adapters are generally replaced free of charge if there is any defect. :)

I personally have found myself to be more mobile now that I bought the Macbook. While it's nice being able to use it in various parts of the house, the best part is using it at school. I walk into the student center, whip it out, and I can connect to the wireless network. The same goes for cafes, dorms, and libraries. Before I got my Macbook, I would have had to go to the computer labs, which aren't very pleasant experiences as they can get rather crowded.

Best way to figure out which one you want, go to an Apple Store and check out each model. You will fall in love with one of them, and that's the one you'll end up buying :D
 
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Only you can decide whether you want a laptop or a desktop.

Personally, I'd prefer to have a big screen instead of peering at something diddy.
 
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There are only a few cases where the Magsafe adapters aren't as pristine as they were on day one, but the vast majority of "faulty" adapters are actually caused by customer abuse. The good thing is that the adapters are generally replaced free of charge if there is any defect. :)
Customer abuse? Such as pulling it out every five minutes to show everybody?

What exactly is being done wrong?
 

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