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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Advice needed on new machine... is it me or...

Advice needed on new machine... is it me or...
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The Placid Casual
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Jun 30, 2010, 07:06 AM
 
The new Macbook and 13" MBP models are not that different at all?

To give you some background. I have a 13" Alu MB for work, totally love it, never had any issues. It is the 'upper' model of the previous generation, with the 2.4ghz C2D, backlit keyboard etc. I also use(d) a 1.83ghz 15" MBP of the previous non-unibody generation as a backup/office machine. I say 'used' as my cat spilled a cup of coffee over the keyboard last week, and now it is as dead a door-stop.

So, my insurance are giving me around €1500 (what I paid) to replace the 15" MBP, but as I got it with an Apple employee discount, I don't have enough to get another 15" MBP, now priced at €1700. As I have been so happy with the 13", I have looked at another 13" Alu MB (now Pro) of the current generation...

I compared the current low end 13" MBP to my current 13" - I get a slightly upgraded graphics card, an integrated battery, extra RAM and a SD card slot, for €1150 here in France.

So I looked at the Macbook, which goes for €999. From what I can see, I miss out on the SD card slot, and only get 2Gig RAM, the rest is the same.

I am wondering if anyone can tell me if it is on a different architecture, or the chip is of an older design or anything? I used to love my old G4 iBook, and found the plastic to last much better than Alu (Unibody excluded) with Wifi reception, so am tempted by a MacBook this time around.

Just seems like the models are very very close... or am I missing something?

Cheers,

TPC
( Last edited by The Placid Casual; Jun 30, 2010 at 09:09 AM. )
     
amazing
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Jun 30, 2010, 10:30 AM
 
The MB has:

no illuminated keyboard

no firewire (13" MBP had fw-800)

no sd slot

4.7 pounds vs 4.5 pounds

4 GB vs 8 GB RAM top limit

For me, the biggest limitation would be the lack of firewire, given how many firewire enclosures I have.
     
Chimpmaster
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Jul 18, 2010, 09:55 AM
 
Buy the macbook.
MacBook Alu, 13", 2.4Ghz, 4GB RAM, 256MB video
G5 Imac, 17", 1.9Ghz, 1.5GB RAM, 128MB video, built in isight, airport and bluetooth
Indigo iBook, 366mhz; 320MB RAM; CD; FW; Airport
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 18, 2010, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
The MB has:

no illuminated keyboard

no firewire (13" MBP had fw-800)

no sd slot

4.7 pounds vs 4.5 pounds

4 GB vs 8 GB RAM top limit

For me, the biggest limitation would be the lack of firewire, given how many firewire enclosures I have.
Also:

No IR receiver for Apple remote,

No way to check battery charge without opening the 'Book (Pro has button and LEDs)

No auto-dimming display

MUCH inferior display

it's ****ing plastic.
     
Cold Warrior
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Jul 18, 2010, 10:46 AM
 
I can't imagine owning a plastic notebook ever again after my unibody MBP. If you're trying to save a bit, get a refurbished unibody from Apple. But going back to plastic IMHO would be a disappointing experience.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 18, 2010, 11:03 AM
 
Mind, the unibody plastic MacBooks are worlds beyond the previous plastic machines.
     
macman104
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Jul 19, 2010, 12:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chimpmaster View Post
Buy the macbook.
agreed
     
danfisher
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Jul 19, 2010, 12:50 PM
 
i agree with the consensus, the MBP is a superior machine. in form, function and overall mojo.
geek qualifications include:

MacBook Pro, 17", 2.53ghz i5, 4g RAM, 500g HD, Glossy HD Screen
MacBook Pro, 15", 2.16ghz, 1g RAM, 100g HD, Matte Screen
iPhone 4, Black, 32g, BestSkinsEver Total Body Skin
     
cubedubbie
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Jul 21, 2010, 02:53 AM
 
After purchasing the Macbook Pro 13", I could not imagine owning the Macbook. Everything about the Macbook Pro is better, and at least I do not see the two as being comparable in any way really. The plus for me is the Pro can expand to 8 gigabytes of ram while the Macbook is stuck at 4 gigabytes of ram.
     
AltecXP
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Jul 21, 2010, 12:14 PM
 
Depending on what you do 8GB of ram may mean nothing to you.

All you are giving up with the MB vs MBP is:

SD card reader(useless to some people)
Backlit keyboard (some don't care about that)
Auto Screen dimming (personally annoys me)

But you same some money. If my 15in died today or tomorrow I would have no problem getting a MacBook, it would suit my need just fine. I only got the 15in because I like the higher resolution screen.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 24, 2010, 10:19 AM
 
The current MacBook will run 8GB if you want it to. The Core 2 Duo is the same generation as the Alu MacBook, Intel are only developing the i series chips now.

The current MacBook has one jack for both in and output, the Pro has two jacks, one each for in and out.

I can't find any info either way but I'd be very surprised if the current MacBooks don't auto-dim their displays. They have the same Energy Star and EPEAT ratings as the Pros.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 24, 2010, 11:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The current MacBook will run 8GB if you want it to. The Core 2 Duo is the same generation as the Alu MacBook, Intel are only developing the i series chips now.
Apple states a 4GB limit for the MacBook, while the 13 Pro takes 8GB.

Anyone know the hardware details here?

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The current MacBook has one jack for both in and output, the Pro has two jacks, one each for in and out.
This is false.

Both the MacBook and the 13" MacBook Pro have a single jack for audio I/O.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I can't find any info either way but I'd be very surprised if the current MacBooks don't auto-dim their displays. They have the same Energy Star and EPEAT ratings as the Pros.
They don't have an ambient light sensor. They cannot auto-dim their displays.

We already have a comprehensive list of differences up above in the thread.
     
amazing
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Jul 24, 2010, 11:48 AM
 
Just curious if the OP has already bought a laptop?
     
The Placid Casual  (op)
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Jul 26, 2010, 09:52 AM
 
Not bought yet! Very seriously can't make up my mind!

I was leaning toward another 13" MBP, as I love the one I have now. I went to the store to buy it, and they were out of stock! In the mean time, I got a new contract which will mean loads of flying/traveling, so I am now wondering if the Macbook would survive this better, and be lighter to carry around...

To make matters worse, I got a call earlier asking if I'd like the new MBP, ex-display for only €50 more than the Macbook... hmm. No brainer, but I hate ex-display deals as you never know what has been done to the machine.

So, so confused atm, and need to buy in the next 2 days! Help!
( Last edited by The Placid Casual; Jul 26, 2010 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Posted multiple times due to forum error)
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 26, 2010, 02:09 PM
 
We already have a comprehensive list of differences up above in the thread.
And yet you had the max RAM listed wrongly. Never trust Apple on max RAM, they don't update their specs when new RAM is available. Sometimes they just don't want you to know it will take more in the hope you'll buy the Pro.

I'll concede the jack though, I had the tech spec page set to the 15" by mistake.

Leaving out the ambient light sensor is one of those really stingy things I wish Apple wouldn't do. Its obviously an accountants decision which is not like Apple. Even the iPhone has an auto-dimming display FFS.

Anyway, there is basically nothing between these machines except the cases. Pick a colour.
FWIW I find that Alu shows bad scratches more than the plastic. And of course Alu will dent if you hit it with anything. Only you will know if thats an issue or not. Sounds like your decision may be made by whats in stock.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 26, 2010, 05:27 PM
 
The MacBook pro and tha White MacBook came out at the same time.

Availability of RAM stick is NOT the issue. The iMacs came out last October, and they are listed as 8GB and 16 GB despite having the same number of slots and eating the same RAM.

If the distinction is real - and neither you nor I have tested it - then it is an imposed hardware distinction.

FWIW, MacTracker lists the MacBook as accepting 8 GB.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 26, 2010, 05:29 PM
 
Also, FireWire, auto-dimming, keyboard backlight and remote sensor are far more than "nothing". In fact, their absence completely rules out the MacBook for me.
     
The Placid Casual  (op)
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Jul 27, 2010, 03:37 AM
 
Well, this morning is the morning.

For me:

Firewire - not important as I have no firewire devices

Remote sensor - again not important as I have never used a remote on any of my previous Macs, and the remotes have stayed in the box.

Auto-dimming - again, as long as I can manually turn the screen brightness down, it is fine for me. I run brightness on the lowest, or near to lowest all the time anyway.

Backlit keyboard - Ok, this is a kicker :/ The reason I bought the more expensive Alu Macbook last time was only for the backlit keyboard! But is this worth the €150 extra on it's own?

My mind says no, my heart says yes!

All in all, as I'll be on the train or plane every week for 9 hours, and carrying the laptop around all the time, using random wireless etc, I am leaning so, so much to the Macbook, but the ex-display reduction on the MBP are really throwing things out
     
cgc
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Jul 27, 2010, 03:47 AM
 
You're getting enough money so get the 13" MBP and bank the extra.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 27, 2010, 04:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Placid Casual View Post
Backlit keyboard - Ok, this is a kicker :/ The reason I bought the more expensive Alu Macbook last time was only for the backlit keyboard! But is this worth the €150 extra on it's own?

My mind says no, my heart says yes!

All in all, as I'll be on the train or plane every week for 9 hours
With that usage profile, why on earth are you spending any more thought on this?

Backlit keyboard and auto-dimming are MADE for what you do - plus, you get a much better display. And THAT *is* worth €150.

     
The Placid Casual  (op)
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Jul 27, 2010, 07:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
With that usage profile, why on earth are you spending any more thought on this?

Backlit keyboard and auto-dimming are MADE for what you do - plus, you get a much better display. And THAT *is* worth €150.

Heh, very, very true... and it hit me in the shop with both the machines in front of me! As such, the Macbook Pro is bought, and sitting on my desk atm having all the data transferred!

In the end, I also saw the fit and finish of the Macbook, and really there was no comparison to the Aluminium, which is just so, so much sturdier. I was a bit shocked at the material used in the current plastic Macbook over the previous generations and especially the iBook - it really does look budget these days. I had a G4 iBook 12" for years that got battered and abused in a big way, and is still used by my niece - I could never see that happening with the current machines.

Over my Alu Macbook that I already have as my work machine, I get the same CPU, 2 gig extra RAM, an upgraded graphics card, an SD card slot, and a much better battery, so I can't complain. I have been so happy with the Alubook, that I hope I get more of the same!

Thank you all very much for the discussion and the advice, it really helped!
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 27, 2010, 03:52 PM
 
Congratulations. Enjoy that machine.
     
The Placid Casual  (op)
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Jul 27, 2010, 04:34 PM
 
Thanks! Finally got everything swapped and I have had a shock;

The screen is just amazing, there is no comparison to the Macbook, and even the AluBook I have used for the last 2 years. So glad with the choice, as I am blown away by something I didn't even consider!
     
   
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