PC Laptop to Macbook - few questions

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by bacco|007, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. bacco|007

    bacco|007 Member

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    I'm up for a new laptop in the next few months, currently i've got a Dell Inspiron 9300. I intend to keep the 9300 and run a few things on it, however I've decided that I want to look at a smaller laptop to be more portable.

    My budget (<$2000) does not look healthy when looking at the mac prices (I have a legitimate claim for educmacational price though), however I have a few questions:

    1) Should I scrap the idea of getting a macbook and gather more funds and get a macbook pro?

    2) How do people find running Bootcamp?

    3) How upgradeable are the macbooks - apples website say they can take up to 2Gb ram, can they be beefed up with more ram?

    4) Should I wait for Leopard to come out?

    Thanks
     
  2. Selekta

    Selekta (Banned or Deleted)

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    1) what do you use it for? hardcore stuff, yes. normal stuff, no. remember, the smallest macbook = 13", the smallest mbp = 15".

    2) ask someone else, what's the point of using windows if you have os x

    3) 2gb is the limit, pretty easy to do yourself

    4) yes, it's not long now, and new macbooks will hopefully be announced when it does
     
  3. ghettro

    ghettro Member

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    I just got a 2.16ghz C2D Macbook recently. The main reason I got the macbook was because I liked OSX so much that it was worth the premium. If your budget is <$2000 then forget the MBP, they start at $2600 or so with edu discount. The size of the macbook is perfect though, the screen isn't too small and it fits in most bags. The 15" MBP is quite a nice size too, the 17" is a friggin monster. Remember the premium you pay for a MBP gets you a few things, like an aluminium construction, higher res LED backlit screen, more solid feeling backlit keyboard, 3/4 expansion card slot, full size DVI output etc. If you can strech that far go for the MBP base model. The thing about the macbooks is that they only have mini-DVI out which requires an adapter which is annoying to lug around if you do presentations a lot. Also they will get dirtier more easily because of the finish on them.

    I tend to do a lot of graphics work in my field (architecture) so I use CAD type programs, Adobe CS3 type stuff as well as encode videos, rip MP3's etc in my own time. Bog stock with 1GB RAM it's quite snappy if you are browsing and encoding video in the background. Where it starts getting sluggish is when I have a Photoshop, illustrator, 10 browser tabs open, Itunes playing, entourage running in the background, acrobat in the background etc. The standard 1GB memory just isnt enough, though the CPU isn't the bottleneck, it barely ever gets to 100% load (only when encoding) and even then the system is still responsive. I'm currently waiting on a 2GB stick. Otherwise photoshop/illustrator performance is quite good when I dont have too much crap running in the background.

    You can fit more than 2GB
    http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/MacBook/Testing/Memory_Benchmarks
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2007
  4. almghty

    almghty Member

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    1) Why? If it does all that you want then stick with the Macbook.

    2) I dont run BootCamp because Xp is junk when compared to *Nix and Vista is even more junk when compared to OSx. There really can't be that many things you need in the Windows world to warrant running Bootcamp. If I needed to run Visual Studio then I wouldn't have bought a Mac. There are those who do it for games, I pity them :D

    3) I dont think you can go over 2GB. Nobody doing 'normal' stuff needs more than 2GB. Hard core video, fine you should really be doing this on a Mac Pro not a wussy laptop. But this area is subjective and really depends on your needs.

    4) I'd wait for October if you aren't in a hurry for your Macbook or you could always buy 2 weeks prior to the release; i heard that was the grace period for a freebie upgrade. Anyone done it?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    bacco|007

    bacco|007 Member

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    the reason for running bootcamp will be so I can VPN into the office, they will only support windows atm
     
  6. sanjay

    sanjay Member

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    the macbook is as big as your standard 14 inch widescreen notebook yet only includes a 13 inch screen.

    the macbook is no more powerful than your standard 14 inch widescreen notebook yet costs twice as much.

    i used to own a macbook - bought it for $899 in a next byte firesale, sold it a few weeks later for $1000. was very happy to get rid of it; i have no burning desire for OS X and it looks like you dont either.

    if you want style, take a look at HP's sexy pavilion dv2000 series :)

    im not sure why everyone hates on it but windows XP/vista are just fine for me. :)
     
  7. blt

    blt Member

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    I run a virtual machine using VMWare Fusion to do exactly this. Cost me $40US - I think it's $80US now though.

    I didn't want to go to the trouble of using Bootcamp - I've always found dual booting a pain and wouldn't want to do it just for one app.
     
  8. ghettro

    ghettro Member

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    yep if you are going to run windows most of the time then dont bother getting a mac. You are getting a mac to run OSX. The screen size isn't really an issue, the resolution is half decent, 13 or 14" is not really noticeable if the resolution is the same. The industrial design tends to be a lot better than most of the windows lappies. Like a slot loading drive - trays have always seemed fragile and flimsy to me. The magsafe power adapter is a very elegant design, also the trackpad works nicely, use 2 fingers to scroll instead of a separate scroll area, it also allows you to scroll sideways which is useful in apps like photoshop. Lots of little touches which are nice, like a button you press on the underside of battery and it shows you the charge level on a little 5LED bar. But yes if you get a PC lappie you'll definitely get much better hardware spec for the same money, twice the cost is an exaggeration, hardware spec equivalent you pay a few hundred more easily, but you gain better industrial design.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    bacco|007

    bacco|007 Member

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    Thanks for the VMWare Fusion suggestion - one worth serious consideration.

    I'd like to learn how to use OSX - I'll still be keeping my Dell, so I will be able to run most of the stuff I want to under Windows on that.
     
  10. holodeck3

    holodeck3 Member

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    Another thing to remember with the macbook is it has integrated graphics - this doesnt bother me as I don't really game a lot - my bootcamp partition serves one purpose - to allow me to play occasionally a certain australian gaming machine companies emulators which only run under windows - I even found a replacement for Activesync (PDA software) for mac OS - that was the main reason I kept my bootcamp partition, but I still love playing those emulators (and saving a fortune), and the macbook's GMA 950 does it fine.

    The machine is light - much lighter than my old 15.4" windows lappy.

    The only drawback I see of the macbook is that the white one gets dirty really quickly, especially if you smoke (I am cleaning it once or twice a week) and the black one (my mate has it) is a fingerprint magnet.

    Battery life on the macbook is surprisingly good - twice what I got from my windows lappy.

    Anyway theres my 2c cents worth rounded down :p
     
  11. Geoff3DMN

    Geoff3DMN Member

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    I have a MacBook Pro Core2Duo and an 17" iMac Core Duo and I suspect I spent the $ the wrong way around.

    I 'probably' should have bought a 24" iMac and a MacBook because of the mix of time I spend using the 2 computers.

    Having said that I love the MacBook Pro, it's got a matt screen unlike the annoying glossy screen that is standard on the MacBooks and it's got dedicated graphics which means it can handle some light duty gaming (yes I've got boot camp installed for games). I find bootcamp completely trouble free, it's just like using a windows laptop (except for the lack of a 2nd button).

    I do sometimes wish that the MacBook Pro came in a 12" (or even 13") version as the 15 is a bit bulky and heavy for frequent carrying around (yes before the flames descend it is possible... it'd just be nicer if it was smaller and lighter).

    Some people will say 'the 15" is the perfect size' but I always find myself wondering what their usage pattern is. Do they move from point to point and then use the laptop on a desk? Or do they use it sitting on a train or a bus or a plane? Because I reckon that (business/first class plane seats aside) the 15 is a bit big for that.

    Summary?

    That MacBook has a nicer form factor, but the MacBook Pro has nicer hardware.

    Questions?

    To wait for Leopard or not? If it's not urgent then I'd wait... if it's urgent then I'd get one now.

    *disclaimer*

    some people actually prefer the gloss screen... (sad but true) :lol:
     
  12. ghettro

    ghettro Member

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    having had a look at it again, the macbook is quite competitively priced compared to windows lappies. 13" lappies tend to be more expensive than 15", there aren't many similarly specced windows laptops at that size and price range.

    The screen on the macbook is so so, viewing angle is quite narrow compared to the macbook pro. I actually like the glossy screen :leet: it's like gloss photo prints compared to matte prints. Blacks actually look black instead of a diffuse washed out dark grey. Outdoors isn't that great but it would be the same if it was a matte screen.

    I agree with the size though, 13" widescreen is about perfect, just a smidge bigger than an A4 which means it'll just fit in most bags which a 15" wouldn't. I lug mine around everywhere so I appreciate the size and lack of weight.
     

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