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MacBook vs. MacBook Pro

1873 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Nov 6, 2006 2:24 PM by Ian B. RSS
Shelly Friedman1 Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 19, 2006 12:19 PM
Hi -

I had been considering a 15" MacBook Pro as a replacement for my 4 year old G3 iBook but, after looking at the new MacBook specs, the "top of the line" MacBook may be all I need. Other than the size difference and the seemingly-insignificant difference in the processor speeds (2.0 vs. 2.16 Mhz), can anyone suggest why a MacBook Pro is worth about $800 more? This isn't intended as a criticism, I'm seriously trying to figure out what the MacBook Pro offers that I would be missing in the MacBook. Thanks for any information.

Shelly
iBook 800, Mac OS X (10.4.5)
  • dasistlos Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2006 12:29 PM (in response to Shelly Friedman1)
    The main differences would be the screen size and graphics. The graphics on the MacBook Pro are much better, while the MacBook has basic Intel graphics, which will get the job done if you aren't doing anything too 3D heavy. Also, MacBook Pro has the pretty light-up keyboard. I was thinking of saving for a MacBook Pro until I saw the MacBook, I'll probably be getting a MacBook instead since I have my PC for gaming.
  • mhunter Level 6 Level 6 (9,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2006 1:37 PM (in response to Shelly Friedman1)
    Hello,

    Here are the differences I can see:

    1) screen size

    2) Pro version also offers non-glossy (matte) LCD screen with less glare / reflection.

    3) hard drive options (7200 R.P.M. available on Pro)

    4) Pro has a dedicated graphics card that will provide much better video performance. The regular MacBook uses an Integrated Graphics system that is adequate, less capable in comparison (slower in some cases).

    5) Video Resolution (1280 x 800 pixels compared to 1440 x 900 pixels on the Pro)

    6) 64 MB of Video Memory taken taken from system memory (actually loses 80 MB when you take into account overhead operations) on the MacBook. The MacBook Pro provides either 128 MB or 256 MB of dedicated video memory (and this memory is faster than the shared memory system).

    7) The size of the external monitor that it can drive. The Pro version can display onto a larger external monitor (more pixels) than the regular MacBook.

    8) The Pro version has an expansion slot to add additional features or capabilities (ExpressCard/34)

    9) Illuminated keyboard on the Pro only

    10) MacBook in White or Black. Pro in Aluminum Only.

    11) Pro has a shorter battery life (up to 2 hours or more shorter)

    12) Included software:

    Pro comes with the following titles not included with the other: QuickBooks for Mac New User Edition, FileMaker Pro trial

    Plain MacBook comes with: Big Bang Board Games (which is not included with the Pro version.

    13) Price (obviously)

    Otherwise, fairly comparable.

    Hope this helps.
    1.25 GHz Mini 1 GB/40/Combo, OS 10.4.6, Mighty Mouse, OWC FireWire 120 GB HD, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 12" 1.33 GHz iBook 1.5GB/40/Combo, 333 MHz iMac G3 (Lime) 288 MB/13 GB/OS 10.2.8
  • Ewen Level 6 Level 6 (11,790 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2006 2:29 PM (in response to mhunter)
    2) Pro version also offers non-glossy (matte) LCD
    screen with less glare / reflection.


    I have to admit I prefer a non-glossy screen. In addition to reflection, they tend to more noticeably mark on the screen as the Laptop ages, through normal ware and tare.
    PowerBook G4 1GHz, iMac G5 2 GHz, MacBook Pro iPod, Nano, Protege Tablet, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • mhunter Level 6 Level 6 (9,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2006 2:49 PM (in response to Ewen)
    Hello Ewen,

    I have to admit I prefer a non-glossy screen. In
    addition to reflection, they tend to more noticeably
    mark on the screen as the Laptop ages, through normal
    ware and tare.


    That brings up a concern that I have been trying to get answered.

    Do these glossy screens scratch more easily than the matte ones?

    I haven't met someone who has owned one before. So, I haven't had anyone to ask.

    But, I would definitely not want a LCD screen that would scratch more easily.

    I know that most of Apple's other glossy items scratch when you clean them with a damp lint-free cloth.

    Do you know if these glossy LCD screens are equally susceptible to scratching?

    I would want something that I could clean without damaging it or putting marks into it.
    1.25 GHz Mini 1 GB/40/Combo, OS 10.4.6, Mighty Mouse, OWC FireWire 120 GB HD, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 12" 1.33 GHz iBook 1.5GB/40/Combo, 333 MHz iMac G3 (Lime) 288 MB/13 GB/OS 10.2.8
  • Ewen Level 6 Level 6 (11,790 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2006 4:21 AM (in response to mhunter)
    Hello Ewen,

    I have to admit I prefer a non-glossy screen. In
    addition to reflection, they tend to more

    noticeably
    mark on the screen as the Laptop ages, through

    normal
    ware and tare.


    That brings up a concern that I have been trying to
    get answered.

    Do these glossy screens scratch more easily than the
    matte ones?

    I haven't met someone who has owned one before. So,
    I haven't had anyone to ask.

    But, I would definitely not want a LCD screen that
    would scratch more easily.

    I know that most of Apple's other glossy items
    scratch when you clean them with a damp lint-free
    cloth.

    Do you know if these glossy LCD screens are equally
    susceptible to scratching?

    I would want something that I could clean without
    damaging it or putting marks into it.


    Well, you won't get a definitive answer until they make it out into the mass market. However, about a year and a half ago I tried a Sony Vaio Notebook with Xbrite. Lovely vivid color display at first and bright too, but, the screen seemed to tarnish over a few months, so I stopped using it, plus I didn't like the feel of the OS when working.
    PowerBook G4 1GHz, iMac G5 2 GHz, MacBook Pro iPod, Nano, Protege Tablet, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Harry Level 4 Level 4 (1,015 points)
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    May 20, 2006 5:32 AM (in response to Shelly Friedman1)
    I guess we have to wait for more benchmark tests, but according to Arstechnica's tests <http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/macbook.ars> the new MacBook is just as powerful as the MacBook Pro. (And I painfully type that as a MacBook Pro owner).

    There is a justification for the MBP though if you need any of the following:

    1) Bigger screen and/or higher resolution (though I think the rez on the MB is equiv to the MBP given the smaller screen)

    2) ExpressCard Slot

    3) Do LOTS of video rendering, especially with programs like Motion which is a VRAM hog.

    4) Need a lighted screen (maybe you cover the Cave Man beat for your local paper?)

    If you don't need any of that then there really is no justification for the MBP since performance and other features are so similar, if not exact.

    The hard drive is user replacable, so if you need a bigger or faster drive that is something you could install yourself, so that BTO option for the MBP is really not a big deal anymore.

    Both have built-in cameras (not a feature to some), same optical drive, same bus speed, same RAM.

    Bottom line: for the average consumer with more than one Mac or doesn't do serious video editing, the MacBook looks to be an incredible machine for the money. People use to complain that Macs cost too much. But when you compare the MB to similarly equipt PCs you'll find the MB actuall costs less. And the really cool thing is that it can run both OS X and Win for that price.
    Dual 2.0 G5 / PBG4 1.25Ghz / mini 1.5Ghz / MacBook Pro 1.83 (7200 HD), Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • kaidomac Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2006 5:55 AM (in response to Shelly Friedman1)
    It looks like the technical aspects have been covered. Here's my take:

    1. The MacBook Pro has a better graphics card for gaming and using Pro-level apps like Motion and Final Cut Pro
    2. The MacBook Pro is only .4 pounds heavier than the MacBook. Because it has more surface area than the MacBook, it actually feels a bit lighter!
    3. The MacBook Pro has an ExpressCard slot, which is extremely useful if you plan on adding extra goodies down the road like a video capture card, USB/Firewire ports, EVDO for wireless Internet access, an eSATA port, etc.
    2. The MacBook Pro is much hotter than the MacBook. See my comparison to the MacBook here:

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34932
    G4 Cube, Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • pajja Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2006 6:08 AM (in response to kaidomac)
    If you are using an iBook and it meets your needs, the MacBook should be more than sufficient. The only reason not to buy the MacBook would be if the widescreen display is too small or limited for you.
    MacBook Pro 17
  • mhunter Level 6 Level 6 (9,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2006 9:06 AM (in response to Ewen)
    Hello Ewen,

    Well, you won't get a definitive answer until they
    make it out into the mass market. However, about a


    I imagine that is true. Hopefully we'll know soon.

    year and a half ago I tried a Sony Vaio Notebook with
    Xbrite. Lovely vivid color display at first and
    bright too, but, the screen seemed to tarnish over a
    few months, so I stopped using it, plus I didn't like
    the feel of the OS when working.


    Thank you for the information. Hopefully the MacBook won't have this same problem. But, it is good to know that the similar systems did. It's important to be aware of all the potential problems.
    1.25 GHz Mini 1 GB/40/Combo, OS 10.4.6, Mighty Mouse, OWC FireWire 120 GB HD, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 12" 1.33 GHz iBook 1.5GB/40/Combo, 333 MHz iMac G3 (Lime) 288 MB/13 GB/OS 10.2.8
  • Sintu Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2006 9:15 AM (in response to Shelly Friedman1)
    It would be a no brainer for me about which one to get iff, the MacBook had the matte screen option. Ugh...
    Windows XP, I want a MacBook!
  • mhunter Level 6 Level 6 (9,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2006 9:34 AM (in response to Sintu)
    Yes, if the MacBook was available with the matte screen, then that would make me much more comfortable with the system.
    1.25 GHz Mini 1 GB/40/Combo, OS 10.4.6, Mighty Mouse, OWC FireWire 120 GB HD, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 12" 1.33 GHz iBook 1.5GB/40/Combo, 333 MHz iMac G3 (Lime) 288 MB/13 GB/OS 10.2.8
  • Ewen Level 6 Level 6 (11,790 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2006 5:26 AM (in response to mhunter)
    Thank you for the information. Hopefully the MacBook
    won't have this same problem. But, it is good to
    know that the similar systems did. It's important to
    be aware of all the potential problems.


    Yes. I'd be very very careful if you clean the glossy screen too, abrasions will be more obvious.
    PowerBook G4 1GHz, iMac G5 2 GHz, MacBook Pro iPod, Nano, Protege Tablet, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • mhunter Level 6 Level 6 (9,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2006 10:35 AM (in response to Ewen)
    Yes. I'd be very very careful if you clean the glossy
    screen too, abrasions will be more obvious.


    Yes, that's what I was concerned about. I think I'm going to have to find my way to a dealer that won't hover over my shoulder so I can get a good sense of how durable they are in person.
    1.25 GHz Mini 1 GB/40/Combo, OS 10.4.6, Mighty Mouse, OWC FireWire 120 GB HD, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 12" 1.33 GHz iBook 1.5GB/40/Combo, 333 MHz iMac G3 (Lime) 288 MB/13 GB/OS 10.2.8
  • Ian B. Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 6, 2006 2:24 PM (in response to mhunter)
    Hello, as a Macbook user, I'm happy to say that the glossy screen doesnt scratch. The only thing about it is that you can clean it easily if you have any fingerprints or dust. I decided not to go with the Macbook Pro because I didnt like the way it looked or operated compared to the Macbook. They get hot really fast, where the Macbook doesn't. Also, scratches are more noticible on the MBP because of the aluminum finish. I dont have any scratches on my black Macbook, but I keep it in a neoprene case.
    Macbook Black 2 GB RAM 80 GB HD, Mac OS X (10.4.8)

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