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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 'Book vs. Pro for those on the fence....

'Book vs. Pro for those on the fence....
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Cards1
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Nov 9, 2006, 03:38 PM
 
For those of you on the fence: I ordered a Blackbook 2 yesterday. I thought this would be the perfect machine. I thought the BB would do everything I wanted in a laptop. Had it ordered, thought everything would be great. However, I then realized that the Blackbook would not run MS Vista because of the video card in the BB. So, if you want to eventually run Vista eventually using Parallels or Bootcamp, this could be a dealbreaker for those of you looking for a Macbook instead of the MBP. I cancelled the order and got the Macbook Pro 2.33.
     
brother337
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Nov 9, 2006, 05:23 PM
 
The Macbook *will* run Vista just fine. It just won't be able to use the "Areo" gui, sort of like how some early macs weren't able to take advantage of Quartz Extreme when it came out.

Either way, I'm sure you'll be plenty happy "settling" for your MBP. =)
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160gig PMR HD / 2 GB RAM
     
Steve Bosell
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Nov 9, 2006, 07:08 PM
 
( Last edited by Steve Bosell; Nov 9, 2006 at 07:19 PM. )
     
Oversoul
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Nov 9, 2006, 07:29 PM
 
I'm on the fence between a MBP and MB right now, and I'm leaning towards the MBP because of the MB's anemic graphics. I wish Apple would fill the gap between the two lines with a 13" MBP.
     
driven
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Nov 10, 2006, 12:32 AM
 
I'm actually a sucker for the backlit keyboard. :-(
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phazedowt
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Nov 10, 2006, 01:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cards1 View Post
For those of you on the fence: I ordered a Blackbook 2 yesterday. I thought this would be the perfect machine. I thought the BB would do everything I wanted in a laptop. Had it ordered, thought everything would be great. However, I then realized that the Blackbook would not run MS Vista because of the video card in the BB. So, if you want to eventually run Vista eventually using Parallels or Bootcamp, this could be a dealbreaker for those of you looking for a Macbook instead of the MBP. I cancelled the order and got the Macbook Pro 2.33.
GMA 950 is fully supported by Vista (including "Aero Glass"). Sure you just weren't looking for an excuse to get the MBP instead?
15" MBP, 2.33 GHz C2D, 120GB HD, 2 GB RAM, OS X 10.4. 4GB iPod Nano.
     
redhot_nyc
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Nov 11, 2006, 01:16 AM
 
My question is: do I get a Blackbook 2 or a previous-generation refurbished MacBook Pro? The price is the same.
     
SierraDragon
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Nov 11, 2006, 09:53 PM
 
MBP versus MB
FW800 v. no FW800
3 GB RAM v. 2 GB RAM <----huge issue!
More pixels v. less pixels
More screen real estate v. less screen real estate
Backlit keyboard v. no backlit keyboard
Good graphics card v. no graphics card
Express Card Slot v. no Express Card Slot
Pro box v. Consumer box

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Nov 11, 2006 at 09:59 PM. )
     
jasonsRX7
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Nov 11, 2006, 10:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
MBP versus MB
FW800 v. no FW800
3 GB RAM v. 2 GB RAM <----huge issue!
More pixels v. less pixels
More screen real estate v. less screen real estate
Backlit keyboard v. no backlit keyboard
Good graphics card v. no graphics card
Express Card Slot v. no Express Card Slot
Pro box v. Consumer box

-Allen Wicks
The MacBook has its own benefits, too. Being smaller, more durable, and cooler are the reasons I'd rather take it with me than the MBP.
     
surferboy
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Nov 12, 2006, 12:41 AM
 
I'm on the fence, too- but I've already purchased my MBP. Now that I have been waiting for close to three weeks for the 17", I am wondering- do I really need this?

What is aero for Vista and do I care?
     
surferboy
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Nov 12, 2006, 01:03 AM
 
As I sit waiting for my 17" MBP, wondering if I really need the horsepower, I am seriously considering walking into my Apple store and buying a new CD2MP. I am not a gamer- so the graphics card does not bother me. The only graphics issue I might have is running Keynote and all the transitions, etc. Will the Blackbooks perform all the desired tasks? Keynote is huge for me.

Thanks
     
surferboy
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Nov 12, 2006, 01:10 AM
 
My current machine: 17" 1GHZ PB.
Graphics: Chipset Model: GeForce4 MX
Type: Display
Bus: AGP
VRAM (Total): 64 MB

I am wondering how the graphics will compare to the CD2 Blackbook?
     
macdevil
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Nov 12, 2006, 03:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by jasonsRX7 View Post
The MacBook has its own benefits, too. Being smaller, more durable, and cooler are the reasons I'd rather take it with me than the MBP.
What would be other advantages for the MacBook? I am usually comfortable with the size of my TiBook, but sooner or (I hope) later I will need/have to replace it. Sometimes I think smaller might be nice but in comparing the current release MPB and MB; I don't know that I am willing to give up the connectivity, performance and expansion.
How much cooler does the MB actually run?
I don't know that I will use my future 'book to run Vista, I hope I never have to, but with my employement it will be nice to have that option.
Tibook 800dvi 40gig, 1 gig RAM
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shabbasuraj
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Nov 12, 2006, 03:09 AM
 
Buy the best, get back to work, end of story.





(This seems to be a common mantra to those who consider themselves creative professionals.)
blabba5555555555555555555555555555555555555
     
Dillon-K
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Nov 12, 2006, 03:38 AM
 
I wish there was a 14" MBP that had a price between $1500 and $2000 with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo, Backlit KB, graphics card, and aluminum case. But we don't all get what we want, now do we? .
Black MacBook 2.0GHz Core Duo, 1GB RAM.
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analogika
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Nov 12, 2006, 06:24 AM
 
Let me add to Allen's list:

MBP versus MB
FW800 v. no FW800
3 GB RAM v. 2 GB RAM <----huge issue!
More pixels v. less pixels
More screen real estate v. less screen real estate
Backlit keyboard v. no backlit keyboard
Good graphics card v. no graphics card
Express Card Slot v. no Express Card Slot
Auto-dimming display vs. no auto-dimming display
Swapping hard drives for a larger one or in case of defect expensive vs. do-it-yourself in under three minutes
Fairly large volume vs. fairly small volume.

(Pro box v. Consumer box) <-- completely irrelevant: A "pro" machine is the one that best suits the task.

I really love the backlit keyboard, auto-dimming display, and FW 800 on my 15" Powerbook, but the hard-drive swap (had three HD's die on me in the past two years) and size (used to have the 12" Powerbook) mean that I'll be getting the MacBook.
     
rach
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Nov 12, 2006, 07:26 AM
 
The MBP can also drive a 30 inch dispay whereas as a MB cannot. The MB comes with a Mini DVI video out compared to the MBP's full size DVI video out.

Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
MBP versus MB
FW800 v. no FW800
3 GB RAM v. 2 GB RAM <----huge issue!
More pixels v. less pixels
More screen real estate v. less screen real estate
Backlit keyboard v. no backlit keyboard
Good graphics card v. no graphics card
Express Card Slot v. no Express Card Slot
Pro box v. Consumer box

-Allen Wicks
     
Atheist
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Nov 12, 2006, 09:06 AM
 
I find the MacBook screen so small that it's almost unusable. And the speakers are rather pitiful. Not sure how the sound is on the MBP.
     
TailsToo
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Nov 12, 2006, 11:59 AM
 
I really wanted the higher res screen, and the graphics card is a big deal too - 64MB vs 256MB X1600.
     
aryayush
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Nov 12, 2006, 12:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist
I find the MacBook screen so small that it's almost unusable.
Yeah, same here. I went to an Apple reseller and asked him to show me the MacBook range. He showed me the thirteen incher and I actually asked him, "Is that a laptop!" LOL!
I ended up buying the MacBook Pro 17" Core Duo 2.16GHz.
     
driven
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Nov 12, 2006, 12:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by rach View Post
The MBP can also drive a 30 inch dispay whereas as a MB cannot. The MB comes with a Mini DVI video out compared to the MBP's full size DVI video out.
Question: Does the size of the connector matter? What can the DVI do that the mini-DVI do? (the lack of ability to drive the 30" is more of a function of the graphics card).
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analogika
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Nov 12, 2006, 01:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by aryayush View Post
Yeah, same here. I went to an Apple reseller and asked him to show me the MacBook range. He showed me the thirteen incher and I actually asked him, "Is that a laptop!" LOL!
I ended up buying the MacBook Pro 17" Core Duo 2.16GHz.
Preference.

To me, the only useful laptop is one I actually have WITH ME.

In that respect, the 12" Powerbook with its low pixel count an small screen beat my current 15" book to a pulp.
     
analogika
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Nov 12, 2006, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Question: Does the size of the connector matter? What can the DVI do that the mini-DVI do?
Nothing. It's simply an irrelevant point (other than requiring a $19 adapter if you need it).
     
TheMosco
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Nov 12, 2006, 02:11 PM
 
Can anyone comment on airport reception? In some of my classes, I wont get reception on my Albook while pc users will get reception. Right now I am on the fence between getting a new blackbook or a refurb macbook pro. I am afraid getting a macbook pro wont be an improvement over my current powerbook.
AXP
ΔΣΦ
     
MartiNZ
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Nov 12, 2006, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Preference.

To me, the only useful laptop is one I actually have WITH ME.

In that respect, the 12" Powerbook with its low pixel count an small screen beat my current 15" book to a pulp.
I fully agree. Sadly my 1.5GHz G4 12" PB now has a messed up logic board/graphics card so I am considering a new machine, but current offerings are lacklustre by comparison. With the current situation I think they should turn the BlackBook into what the 12" PB used to be - put in a believable graphics card and it would be halfway there! Maybe in Jan ?
     
malax
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Nov 15, 2006, 04:02 PM
 
SierraDragon wrote "3 GB RAM v. 2 GB RAM <----huge issue!"

Is that the general sentiment? I have 768 MB on my 12" PB and generally find that sufficient. What about the new macs would lead one to go all the way to 3 GB (for a ton of money)? Is it related to Intel/Universal/Rosetta issues? Or is this more of an issue for power Photoshop users or other media professionals?
     
Atheist
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Nov 15, 2006, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheMosco View Post
Can anyone comment on airport reception? In some of my classes, I wont get reception on my Albook while pc users will get reception. Right now I am on the fence between getting a new blackbook or a refurb macbook pro. I am afraid getting a macbook pro wont be an improvement over my current powerbook.
From what I hear, the MacBook and MacBook Pro are significant improvements over the earlier models in terms of WiFi reception. That's one of my biggest complaints with my 17" PowerBook.

I say get the MBP.
     
surferboy
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Nov 15, 2006, 06:51 PM
 
Well, here's what I did. I orderd the monster- fully loaded with 3G RAM. One night I was talking a friend into switching to mac (if you still rely on your windows, no sweat, you can run it, etc.). And, as I sat and looked at all the MB features, I started to convince myself that the MB was good enough, and that I did not need the MBP. I planned to cancel my 17" order and go to the Apple store the next morning and buy a Blackbook. I envisioned tossing it around a little- not worrying about dinging it up, etc.

Well, I went to the Apple store, and played with the various models, (I had been using the original 17" PB- which has been a workhorse for me); as I did the math, jumping from a maxed out blackbook to a 15" MBP was not such a huge jump financially.

I would insist on at least 2G of RAM. The upper level MBP comes with 2G standard. Granted, the price difference is real- but when you are dropping this much cash, what's a few hundred more? I say that semi-sarcastically. But, for the extra money, you get the dedicated VRAM, a faster processer (2.33), 2G RAM, DVI benefits, option to move up to 3G RAM, FW 800, etc.

For me, backlit keyboard is cool, but a non-factor; PCI card may come in handy - but never used one on PB. So, for a little more money, I feel a got a much better machine.

Then, using the same logic, I thought- heck for a little more money, I can keep the 17" I ordered and get a bigger screen, larger hard drive and slightly faster dvd burner. It actually arrived today (I have to send it back), and I have some regrets- I was so excited for so long, but I have had a few days to play with my 15" MBP, and I must say, it's a sweet little machine. It does not look and feel that much smaller than my 17PB when I'm using it, but carrying it around is night and day- it is so much easier.

I installed WinXP with parallels and it has done everything I've asked it to do thus far exceedingly well. Using 2G RAM right now.

This is a great machine. I am very happy with it thus far.
     
surferboy
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Nov 15, 2006, 06:54 PM
 
One more point: I have read about some issues running Vista's fancy GUI on a blackbook. Not that I'm buying my Mac machine for windows, but there was something about dropping $1500-$1700 in cash on a machine that was already a little crippled on software that was about to come out.
     
analogika
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Nov 16, 2006, 06:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by MartiNZ View Post
I fully agree. Sadly my 1.5GHz G4 12" PB now has a messed up logic board/graphics card so I am considering a new machine, but current offerings are lacklustre by comparison. With the current situation I think they should turn the BlackBook into what the 12" PB used to be - put in a believable graphics card and it would be halfway there! Maybe in Jan ?
Well, since the graphics card is irrelevant to me (audio use), I actually ordered my Blackbook (standard config; will be adding RAM immediately and maybe upgrading the HD next year) on Monday...
     
analogika
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Nov 16, 2006, 06:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by surferboy View Post
One more point: I have read about some issues running Vista's fancy GUI on a blackbook. Not that I'm buying my Mac machine for windows, but there was something about dropping $1500-$1700 in cash on a machine that was already a little crippled on software that was about to come out.
What issues?

Aero works fine, and Microsoft's Vista compatibility tool claims full compatibility for the MacBook.
     
Oversoul
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Nov 16, 2006, 06:34 AM
 
Well, I just put in an order for a 2.0Ghz, 2GB RAM white MacBook. Why? I have my Mac Pro for power and a MacBook for portability. I really should avoid playing games on the go anyway and that would've been the only reason for me to splurge on the MBP's graphics.
     
SierraDragon
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Nov 19, 2006, 02:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by malax View Post
SierraDragon wrote "3 GB RAM v. 2 GB RAM <----huge issue!"

Is that the general sentiment? I have 768 MB on my 12" PB and generally find that sufficient. What about the new macs would lead one to go all the way to 3 GB (for a ton of money)? Is it related to Intel/Universal/Rosetta issues? Or is this more of an issue for power Photoshop users or other media professionals?
MacIntels and 2007-2008 apps/OSs will use more RAM than your G4, but 2 GB should be fine for basic apps. It is more of an issue for power Photoshop users or other media professionals. Or other folks that may evolve to using heavy graphics apps during the life of the new box.

-Allen Wicks
     
Brien
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Nov 19, 2006, 02:46 AM
 
I just find it silly to do 3-D work on a laptop, and I don't game.

So I got the BlackBook.
     
mark.s
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Nov 20, 2006, 07:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by TheMosco View Post
Can anyone comment on airport reception? In some of my classes, I wont get reception on my Albook while pc users will get reception. Right now I am on the fence between getting a new blackbook or a refurb macbook pro. I am afraid getting a macbook pro wont be an improvement over my current powerbook.
I have a MBP and my wife has a MB (both Core Duo, so this may be different with the C2D models).

We have 2 feet thick walls in our apartment - the MB has great reception, even in other rooms, but the MBP has terrible reception unless it's in the same room as the base station - it gets a signal but can't hold onto it for more than a couple of minutes, whereas the MB maybe drops a bar or two but just carries on without any problems.

I was guessing it has something to do with the plastic vs aluminium casing....
     
glhart
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Nov 20, 2006, 11:04 AM
 
I bought an MB, used it for a week, and am returning it because the screen causes eye strain. I find a matte screen is much easier on my eyes.
     
SierraDragon
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Nov 20, 2006, 10:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
I just find it silly to do 3-D work on a laptop, and I don't game.
So I got the BlackBook.
Anyone doing any graphics will benefit from one of the pro laptops. Just the greater screen real estate and 30% more pixels of the 15.4" versus 13.3" is a huge issue. Plus faster CPU, a real graphics card, FW800, etc.

Personally I am buying the 17" pro laptop because it has 70% more pixels. Running Aperture or doing any kind of DSLR image editing the extra screen and extra pixels are very, very significant. And I don't do games or 3D.

-Allen Wicks
     
analogika
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Nov 21, 2006, 03:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Anyone doing any graphics will benefit from one of the pro laptops. Just the greater screen real estate and 30% more pixels of the 15.4" versus 13.3" is a huge issue. Plus faster CPU, a real graphics card, FW800, etc.
Plus the fact that you NEED a matte display for graphics work...
     
buddy1065
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Nov 21, 2006, 09:09 AM
 
No one mention the random shut down problems in the Macbook so I guess that has been cleared up? That would be my first priority to consider if I had a Macbook to consider. Anyway I like to game now and then and with my new 2.33 C2D 15" I have no regrets. Tomb Raider Legends looks fabulous at 1400x900 with settings on high, no anti aliasing. (I would have been happy with 1024x768 high settings.) So far the laptop looks and runs perfect.
     
NordicMan
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Nov 21, 2006, 10:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by glhart View Post
I bought an MB, used it for a week, and am returning it because the screen causes eye strain. I find a matte screen is much easier on my eyes.
Eyestrain, eh? So you are getting a MacBook Pro? I am debating the merits of each of these, the MB and MBP, and I think I really only need a MacBook. The advantages of the MBP are apparent. Except for these reports of difficulties with WiFi networks.

The ease of use on the eyes is central.
( Last edited by NordicMan; Nov 21, 2006 at 11:02 PM. Reason: too clumsy)
     
SSharon
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Nov 22, 2006, 01:51 AM
 
What about battery swapping, is that an issue to anyone here? If I remember right the ibooks and 12" PB couldn't swap batteries while asleep (and not plugged into AC) like the 15" and 17" PBs could.
AT&T iPhone 5S and 6; 13" MBP; MDD G4.
     
analogika
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Nov 22, 2006, 05:26 AM
 
All recent Apple laptops have safe sleep technology, meaning you can put them to sleep and then swap batteries.
     
michaelb
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Nov 22, 2006, 08:07 AM
 
My 2c:

If it's your main computer, get a MacBook Pro. If it's a satellite computer, get a MacBook.

By "satellite" I mean if you already having a desktop and the laptop will be an on-the-go machine but you'll still be using a desktop to do most work.

Myself, I generally buy the fastest desktop Apple makes, and the smallest laptop they make. So, currently I have a 3.0GHz Mac Pro monster with 23" cinema display, and a black MacBook that I've souped up with a 7,200 rpm drive.

If Apple still made a 12" form factor MacBook Pro, I'd buy that, but they don't so the BlackBook is the closest thing to it.


By the way, both the MacBook and MacBook Pro run Vista Aero Glass just fine. The MacBook's graphics chip is adequate for things like Keynote, but is not a gamer's machine and not recommended for high spec accelerated graphics apps like Aperture.
     
glhart
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Nov 22, 2006, 11:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by NordicMan View Post
Eyestrain, eh? So you are getting a MacBook Pro? I am debating the merits of each of these, the MB and MBP, and I think I really only need a MacBook. The advantages of the MBP are apparent. Except for these reports of difficulties with WiFi networks.

The ease of use on the eyes is central.
If you live near an Apple store, you can return the MB withing 14 days if it is hard on your eyes. I ended up getting a new 17" matte MBP (for twice as much), and I find it's much easier on my eyes. The glossy screens look wonderful when you first see them, but in my experience they don't wear well. But apparently it's subjective.
     
houstonmacbro
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Nov 22, 2006, 12:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by redhot_nyc View Post
My question is: do I get a Blackbook 2 or a previous-generation refurbished MacBook Pro? The price is the same.
if the price is the same why NOT get the new one?
     
analogika
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Nov 22, 2006, 06:00 PM
 
Blackbook versus PRO.

The criteria:

- Do you need the graphics card?
- Do you need color accuracy (must have matte display)?
- The larger display?
- Do you think you might need the expansion slot?
- Will you eventually need to connect to a 30" cinema display?
- Will you be using it on stage for music (backlit keyboard/auto-dimming display are very helpful in that setting)?

Those are the arguments in favor of the MacBook Pro.
     
rjt1000
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Nov 23, 2006, 01:52 AM
 
For those who havent seen it, Barefeats test of MB C2D:

"GOOD NEWS
CPU intensive apps definitely get a boost from the Core 2 Duo update of the 13" MacBook.

BAD NEWS
The Intel GMA950 integrated GPU is a party pooper."

http://www.barefeats.com/mbcd8.html
     
   
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