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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Do you find laptops 'fiddly' to use?

Do you find laptops 'fiddly' to use?
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digiology2
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Jul 17, 2006, 11:29 AM
 
Hi, I've been debating this with myself for a while, Im in need of an upgrade I know it'd be handy to have a portable machine, I want to do plently of audio recording in my music room but I've never owned a laptop, I like the comfort of using a desktop machine but I always get the impression I'd find a laptop annoying, small keyboard, having to plug things in and out all the time (external hard drives, audio interfaces ect) but maybe I'd get used to it, I know it doesn't sound like a big deal but I won't use my new mac as much unless I enjoy sitting at it : )
So Im thinking either a 15" macbook pro or a mac mini + macbook


any thoughts?
     
ghporter
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Jul 17, 2006, 11:40 AM
 
Most laptops, and ALL Mac laptops that I'm aware of have full-size keyboards. And most Macs also have relatively restricted drive options, so many, many users have external drives of various types even with desktops. The lower end laptops of the past, such as the iBook, did indeed not have a full compliment of audio interfaces, but have you looked at what the MacBook and MacBook Pro have? LOTS!

I enjoy the mobility, the ease of repositioning myself (I get sore and cramped sitting in one place for too long), and of course the fact that I can go out on the patio (when it's not so hot out that it'll cook my head, that is) and surf or write, or sit on the sofa, or go to a Starbucks or Barnes & Noble... You get the idea. I don't find any current laptop to be "too fiddly" in any way.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
digiology2  (op)
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Jul 17, 2006, 12:01 PM
 
Thanks for the reply, I know that I'll need an external audio interface (with mic preamps) but I never thought about it in that way, its nice to be able to move around, rooms get stuffy and you need to change environment sometimes.
The only other issue is noise, I want something dead silent, which is why the mac mini would be handy (the fan rarely comes on apparently), I'd say I'll wait untill the next revision of the mac book pro's if I do opt for a laptop.
     
harrisjamieh
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Jul 17, 2006, 12:48 PM
 
I find a laptop fine for email, web surfing, general every day stuff, but when I come to either doing Final Cut work, or something similar, I find it very difficult to do without having an external mouse, keyboard, and perhaps a screen to do the work with.

I do know some people who use their laptops without any external stuff for everything... video stuff etc - I just don't know how they can do it, I certainly am not able to be productive with intensive work without the external stuff.
iMac Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 1.25GB RAM | 160HD, MacBook Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 13.3" | 60HD | 1.0GB RAM
     
digiology2  (op)
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Jul 17, 2006, 01:05 PM
 
yeah thats what I was thinking, I'd need all this external stuff to do any heavy duty stuff, I know the best option would be to get a macbook and a macmini but thats overkill for me, definately an external mouse and audio interface would be needed and possible an external keyboard and screen, seems kinda messy to me
     
McNewbie
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Jul 17, 2006, 01:07 PM
 
I'd suggest the IMac that way it is semi-portable and still have the desktop feautures. However, if it was up to me I would probably purchase a 17" MBP as its big enough as it seems you do not like it too small but it has the portability that you want as well. These two options I think has the best of both worlds according to your requirements anyway.
     
digiology2  (op)
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Jul 17, 2006, 01:16 PM
 
thanks for the reply, its a tough choice, I'd say I won't know until I bite the bullet and buy! the 17" is out of the question due to the price, if I go for laptop only it'll be the 15" but if I go for both a desktop and a laptop I'll go cheap and get a mac mini and a macbook.
     
Arju
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Jul 17, 2006, 01:37 PM
 
I'd go both...

My HTPC handles all the desktop issues (amazing speakers, nice monitor , gobs of storage, hookup for peripherals) and my MacBook is for ease of use and mobility.
Notebook: MacBook White 2.0Ghz | 2GB RAM | 120GB HD | Superdrive
HTPC: AMD 3800X2 | Asus A8N-SLI Premium | 2GB RAM | Asus N7800GT | 900+ GB of Storage | Sony 60" Grand WEGA
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Ouhei
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Jul 17, 2006, 02:33 PM
 
I've debated that too, but laptops are realy starting to catch up to dekstops in terms of performance, I replaced my desktop with the macbook and its going great so far.
Macbook - [1.83] - [2gig] - [60gig] - [White]
iPod Nano - [2gig] - [White]
     
gooser
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Jul 17, 2006, 02:44 PM
 
why not a mini and a cheap low powered laptop off ebay? there's just too many bad things that can happen to expensive laptops. (theft,scratches,spilling beer in them)
     
tooki
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Jul 17, 2006, 02:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by digiology2
thanks for the reply, its a tough choice, I'd say I won't know until I bite the bullet and buy! the 17" is out of the question due to the price, if I go for laptop only it'll be the 15" but if I go for both a desktop and a laptop I'll go cheap and get a mac mini and a macbook.
Why? That's essentially buying two of the same thing -- the Mac mini is just a MacBook with no keyboard, mouse, or screen. You could just buy a MacBook, and then keep it connected to a proper set of peripherals when you're at home.

That's how I use my PowerBook: I travel with it now and then, but most of the time, it's tethered to a 24" LCD, a proper keyboard and mouse, an an external hard disk, plus a nice set of speakers.

tooki
     
SkaGoat
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Jul 17, 2006, 04:27 PM
 
You could always get the MBP and set up an external keyboard, mouse and audio interface up via hubs, so when you sit down at you desk, you just plug in two cables that go the hubs That way you have all your hard drives, and interfaces and keyboard and stuff ready to go, but at the end of the day you can still take the lappy home.
     
TheoCryst
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Jul 17, 2006, 08:08 PM
 
Yeah, I'd go for the MBP solo. No need for a second computer, especially the Mini/MB combo, where your laptop would actually be faster than your desktop. Get an external display, keyboard and mouse, and you're good to go.

Any ramblings are entirely my own, and do not represent those of my employers, coworkers, friends, or species
     
digiology2  (op)
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Jul 18, 2006, 04:14 AM
 
yeah, I had that in mind too, what makes the MBP tempting is that I could save alot (my friend has a job at apple and can get me 27% off)
Since portability isn't a priority for me, just a nice to have feature I might just go for a mac mini to replace my noisy, big G4 tower and get a laptop when the next revision comes out.
the other thing is that the mini is silent whereas the laptops are less....
     
analogika
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Jul 18, 2006, 07:49 AM
 
Note that if you're doing audio work, there is no real difference in performance between the 2 GHz MacBook and the 2GHz MacBook Pro.

In fact, the MacBook has the deciding advantage that you can *easily* replace the internal hard drive with a larger, faster one yourself in under three minutes.

The MacBook Pro is only really interesting if

1) you want the larger display (and lesser portability),

2) you're going to be using it when gigging, and thus appreciate the auto-dimming display and keyboard illumination, and/or

3) you need the ExpressCard expansion slot at some point in the future (say for an extra Firewire buss, or an external Magma chassis to run DSP cards in - like the UAD-1 or so).
     
harrisjamieh
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Jul 18, 2006, 07:52 AM
 
....Or if you plan to use the machine for multipurposes... such as playing games etc....
iMac Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 1.25GB RAM | 160HD, MacBook Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 13.3" | 60HD | 1.0GB RAM
     
   
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