General chatter - Tell me why you LOVE your MacBook Pro (and why I should get one!)




PacSunMama
08-15-2011, 01:59 AM
I've been browsing for the last few months at laptops and am seriously considering a MacBook Pro, 15-inch hi-res laptop. The only thing that makes me hold off is the enormous price tag. We have taken out a student loan just so I can get a laptop so I'll tell you what I need and you tell me why it's a good or bad idea to get this comp.

I've had HORRIBLE experience with PC laptops. They completely die within 12-16 months despite me taking excellent care of them. The problem has always been hardware-related and nobody takes responsibility to fix it. Also had similar probs with PC computers- they fry and die as soon as that warranty wears off. Anyone I've spoken to who has a Mac only replaces it because something newer and better caught their eye, not because it stopped working.

I am a hobbyist photographer- I have photoshop cs5 and read that editing is superb on the MacBook pro.

I need portability. Am in online school and moving across country twice in the next year- need wireless capability. Need to be able to bring comp to different rooms so I can work while watching my boys sometimes. Lastly if my hubby gets deployed, he will take the laptop with him. (we are looking into a regular Mac in the spring, which I'd have.)

I don't have a problem learning a new system.

I want a disk drive- we can put CDs or DVDs in. I know they are releasing a super-thin MacBook pro this winter without a disk drive. I could get an external one. Should I wait for it? I assume it will be priced similarly to the ones they currently have.


Ok tell me more! Tell me why they are so expensive compared to any PC laptop and if they are worth it. Or if you know of any tax-free sales or good deals they usually have? Thanks!!


josey
08-15-2011, 10:22 AM
Why a Pro?
I use only Apple computers (mostly laptops) since 2001ish. I would never go back to anything Windows or Linux based.
I <3 my Macs!

As for drives, you can buy an external one. I think we have to (and for me it is easy) use to laptops without drives. Apple won't go back to the drives and years ago they were the first ones to kill diskettes. And good riddance! Any USB drive will work. Apple offers their super drive for $79. PS: They are already released. Not sure what you mean with "releasing this winter".

If you compare the price to Dell or other brand names, Apple really isn't expensive. Especially considering that the quality of the hardware and service is way better. Believe me, you will have your Mac way longer than any PC lasts. If you are really worried it might break after the warranty expired, buy Apple Care.

I suggest you go to an Apple Store if you have one close by. They are really good and will figure out if you really need a Pro. In my experience they want you to be happy with your laptop and don't try to upsell at all.

Let me know if you have any specific questions.

celly123
08-15-2011, 03:06 PM
I LOVE MY MACBOOK PRO <3 It is fast and amazing and I love it. I am never going back to windows (except during my god-awful workday).

Price-wise you get what you pay for. I bought a Dell 2 years ago, and it lasted me 1 year before I chucked it. I am on year 2 of my Macbook and it runs the exact same way it does on the first day that I opened it.

My one piece of advice, if you are going to the apple store, they will try and sell you a bunch of additional stuff - don't get any of it EXCEPT apple care. This is basically a very extended warranty, and if anything happens, you're covered.

Also, I would personally avoid getting iWork. Just get Office for Mac. It makes my life easier when I get stuff sent to me from a PC.

PLUS, I just installed Lion (the new OS) and it is AMAZING. I love it.

All I can say is that once you go Mac, you never go back.


sontaikle
08-15-2011, 03:26 PM
I want a MacBook Pro too for my new job. However I have an Early 2008 White MacBook and it works fine. Like, really fine. I can't justify getting a new computer when it WORKS COMPLETELY FINE. I upgraded the hard drive and added Snow Leopard (I'm probably going to upgrade to Lion).

It's over 3 years old and it runs great. I use the CS3 suite and that runs fine too. I've never had a laptop as reliable as this.

My mother has been eyeing it :dizzy: She says she might buy it off me so maybe I can get that MacBook Pro anyway.

josey
08-15-2011, 03:42 PM
I LOVE MY MACBOOK PRO <3 It is fast and amazing and I love it. I am never going back to windows (except during my god-awful workday).

I hear ya!!!! Do I ever hate Windows and I am stuck with it at work too!


Also, I would personally avoid getting iWork. Just get Office for Mac. It makes my life easier when I get stuff sent to me from a PC.

I agree but mostly because iWork is awesome and I would cry even more at work with Office. So don't go there. It is hard enough already.


PLUS, I just installed Lion (the new OS) and it is AMAZING. I love it.

All I can say is that once you go Mac, you never go back.

Love, love, love Lion! Best system yet. Love the gestures and new features.

And I agree, there is no going back after you "tasted" the Apple.

Aclai4067
08-15-2011, 03:48 PM
I would say that a well cared for PC at the same price as a Mac, can be as good as a Mac. My sister's Dell outlasted my Macbook. She got it in 2003 and it was still running great when it was stolen in 2009. That said, my mom's low end Dell is a piece of crap. You get what you pay for.

My 2006 Macbook is still running, but she's very slow and I'm starting to run into compatibility issues with new programs (i.e- Firefox 5 says it's compatable with OS X, but after you download you find out they mean OS X 10.5 or later). Also my battery life is not great (new Mac's have improved vastly on this though) even after buying a replacement. So I wouldn't say that I'm only interested in a new computer because something new caught my eye. I want to replace it because it's not preforming well anymore.

I'm not trying to put down Macs. I will probably get another. Just don't think that they are miracle computers. All computers come with frustrations. And all computers age faster than it seems they should for the price tag.

ETA- This was a really funny Mac rant that came out around the time I got my Macbook. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3q8_40GBuI I don't know if any or all of these quirks exist in current Macs, but I related to this very much. That said, my favorite thing about a Mac is that when a program freezes, it's JUST THAT PROGRAM! You don't have to re-start the entire computer, just the one program. Much easier!!!

KatieC87
08-15-2011, 03:50 PM
I have the exact MacBook you're looking at, and I LOVE IT!

Like you, I've had HORRIBLE experience with PCs in the past. I had a Gateway laptop that was in to the Geek Squad within 2 months of owning it. (They had it for a month while I was just starting college - GREAT timing!) It finally gave up the ghost a year later when it wouldn't charge, and Best Buy told me it would cost more to replace the parts than it would to buy a new computer. (Of course, they didn't know I was buying an expensive computer, lol.)

I love my MacBook because 1) it's much lighter than my previous laptops, which makes it easier to carry around campus. 2) It holds a charge much longer than any other laptop I've owned or used. 3) Photo editing - I'm also a hobbyist photographer, and there's no competition.

Besides that, I've NEVER had a problem with this computer.

I would advise you to avoid iWork, as another person mentioned. It's just easier to use Office since most everyone else does too. (Plus, no offense Apple, but Excel is better than Numbers!) I hate that I have to convert every file I send to classmates. What a pain!

Oh, also - invest in a laptop cover. I didn't, and I could kick myself now that I've had mine for two years. It's got a couple dents and a scratch that could have been avoided if I had it covered. Boo.

I used a student loan to buy my MacBook in July 2009. Luckily, I've paid it off since then, and I don't regret the decision. I recently told a friend who was considering the purchase to wait, however. She wanted to buy one on tax free weekend, but she kept debating whether or not she should spend that kind of money. I don't think anyone should lay down $1,000+ on a laptop unless they're 100% sure they want to.

shanhat81
08-15-2011, 06:07 PM
I work from home, MORE than full time right now.

I have a 13-inch ... it's my belief that you don't need a 15-inch unless you're a hardcore gamer or a professional graphics/design person, but as Tim Gunn would say, "Chacun a son gout."

I'm also a hobbyist photographer and have everything I need. I love my computer because it's ultra portable, super fast, and (hopefully) extremely reliable. I had an original Macbook, and it lasted FOREVER.

PacSunMama
08-16-2011, 03:12 AM
I work from home, MORE than full time right now.

I have a 13-inch ... it's my belief that you don't need a 15-inch unless you're a hardcore gamer or a professional graphics/design person, but as Tim Gunn would say, "Chacun a son gout."

I'm also a hobbyist photographer and have everything I need. I love my computer because it's ultra portable, super fast, and (hopefully) extremely reliable. I had an original Macbook, and it lasted FOREVER.

Do you find photo editing is easily done on the 13-inch screen? I have gone to the apple store a few times and the 15-inch just feels good, I really really like it!

The one coming out this winter is supposedly a new version of the MacBook pro, it will be as thin as the MacBook air and it won't have a drive. I guess an upside is that it will run cooler? I've read bad things about the external drive connection though, that it's flimsy?

I know I want it. Just want to make the best decision before investing that much. Also I'm not 100% sure why I prefer it to the air anymore since they've updated the air since last time I was in (just a couple weeks ago.) Thanks for all the input!!

josey
08-16-2011, 09:15 AM
Photo editing is awesome on the Mac. Lots of pros work with Macs too. I am a hobbist photographer too by the way :-)

One thing I want to add on timing of new releases: Nobody ever knows! Apple keeps new product under wraps. So saying the "new one coming out this winter" is only a rumour. A good guide is http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/ But is a guessing game!
On top of that nobody knows WHAT is coming out. Your guess is as good as mine. Apple is know for totally changing up the game. Don't rely on any reports or estimates on blogs or WSJ or something. They don't know either.

In general I would say go with your gut feeling and especially what you can afford. I would love to have a MacBook Pro too but it is not necessary if you are not a hardcore gamer or pro animator or video editor I think. I wouldn't put that much money down for extra power and feature I don't use. I rather invest the money in an iPad or something. The iPad was awesome on vacation because I could check pictures on a bigger screen while I am there. NICE!!

josey
08-16-2011, 09:17 AM
PS: Regarding the external drive: I have Apple's superdrive and there is no problem at all. I ripped tons of DVDs to watch on my iPad and burned a couple of CDs for the car. No problems. The drive is good quality and I don't see why it shouldn't work.

One question: What do you use the drive for? Like how often and when/where?

XLMuffnTop
08-16-2011, 10:09 AM
We have a mixed household of Macs and PCs. My husband is in school for graphic design and it was mandated they get a MacBook Pro, not any other type. They run several intensive programs at once, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc. The heftier RAM and processor is much needed in that case. If you're only working in one intensive program at a time such as Photoshop, odds are you don't have to have the Pro or the highest end model.

Keep in mind, some things can be a tad more difficult because you're on a Mac. Since we have a mix of computer types, it was challenging (though not impossible) to get file sharing across the network set up. Also, we're gamers and not all games are available on Mac. This means he had to install bootcamp and Windows 7.

One of the positives about PCs is they're widely supported. If you graduate and get a job you may be required or have the need to VPN. Our IT support offers set up and support for PCs but not Macs.

Regarding the price, check with your university. A lot of times there are student discount programs. It may not be a huge discount but might come with free software, printer, ipod touch, etc. That's how ours worked.

There are pros and cons to Macs and PCs. Some people have bad luck with one or the other but it doesn't make them bad as a whole. If you want and can afford a Mac, do it. The learning curve isn't that bad.

shanhat81
08-16-2011, 10:50 AM
Do you find photo editing is easily done on the 13-inch screen? I have gone to the apple store a few times and the 15-inch just feels good, I really really like it!

The one coming out this winter is supposedly a new version of the MacBook pro, it will be as thin as the MacBook air and it won't have a drive. I guess an upside is that it will run cooler? I've read bad things about the external drive connection though, that it's flimsy?

I know I want it. Just want to make the best decision before investing that much. Also I'm not 100% sure why I prefer it to the air anymore since they've updated the air since last time I was in (just a couple weeks ago.) Thanks for all the input!!

I totally hear you with the bigger screen being better. But for me, the portability of the 13-incher is worth the tradeoff in size. It doesn't hurt that I had an original, 13-inch Macbook for years and years. so I'm totally acclimated to the size.

I hate, hate, hate the Macbook Airs. But if you want that kind of speed, consider getting your Macbook a solid state drive -- it'll run like an iPod (that fast). My computer-savvy friend insists that a third-party SSD, as long as you can install it yourself, is a better alternative than one from Mac. However, the part won't be covered by Apple Care if it doesn't come from Mac ... I almost got one, but honestly, my Macbook pro is fast and quiet and I don't need it. So I splurged on a nice laptop bag instead. :)

josey
08-16-2011, 11:04 AM
shanhat81 - Why do you hate the MacBook Air?

PacSunMama
08-16-2011, 12:53 PM
I use our cd drive often- to burn CDs of photos I take for other peopl, play my son's games... Although they are for PC so we'd need new ones anyway, and to play CDs and DVDs when we travel.

josey
08-16-2011, 01:03 PM
I use our cd drive often- to burn CDs of photos I take for other peopl, play my son's games... Although they are for PC so we'd need new ones anyway, and to play CDs and DVDs when we travel.

I would rip DVDs and CDs for travel. Especially for travel since it saves battery. If you get a Mac, there is a very cool program for ripping DVDs: RipIt. Don't have to do anything but hit one button. It even imports into iTunes so you can watch them right away. For music you don't even need software, use iTunes (which comes with the Mac).

Burning CDs doesn't happen daily, all day eh? Just keep the super drive on the desk and you should be fine. With games I can't help, I am not a gamer.

PacSunMama
08-17-2011, 03:28 AM
I would rip DVDs and CDs for travel. Especially for travel since it saves battery. If you get a Mac, there is a very cool program for ripping DVDs: RipIt. Don't have to do anything but hit one button. It even imports into iTunes so you can watch them right away. For music you don't even need software, use iTunes (which comes with the Mac).

Burning CDs doesn't happen daily, all day eh? Just keep the super drive on the desk and you should be fine. With games I can't help, I am not a gamer.

Thanks for the tips! So based on this alone, you're saying MacBook Air? Or just that the drive isn't necessary? You're right, I don't burn DVDs very often... just when I do photos for other people really, I burn a DVD of the edited files so they can print them. Also when we watch movies and everything. I know they are on itunes for purchase, but we have 300-400 movies on DVD already, I'm not going to re-purchase them, kwim? But I suppose the external drive is small and portable enough that I could just bring it along for when we need it.

I'm learning a lot as we go... wonder when/if I'll make a committment! I am hoping Apple releases a new student deal. Right now, you get $100 to spend in the App store, which I don't really care too much about. I already have a copy of Microsoft Office ($10 through military HUP) and Photoshop CS5. Other than that, I'd use itunes and safari, and that's really it. If my husband takes it when he is away, he probably would do gaming on it, like WoW or whatever current game he is in to.

sontaikle
08-17-2011, 07:18 AM
If you're a student, you can generally get about $50-$150 off a new MacBook I think. See if your school has a page you can go through to order it online, or you can go to an apple store and buy the computer with your school ID.

josey
08-17-2011, 10:11 AM
So based on this alone, you're saying MacBook Air? Or just that the drive isn't necessary?

I am saying go with your gut feeling. Whatever Mac you like and what you want to pay. I just don't want you to think you NEED a Pro and spend big bucks because it is not true. Not many people need the Pro.

I agree on the DVDs you already have. I have a bunch too and I wouldn't pay for the same ones again. So I rip them. We have limited transfer on our internet because we live in the boonies. So I never download movies, only some TV shows occasionally. I still buy DVDs. Ripping takes a while but it is free.

The external superdrive is about the size of a CD case and maybe 2-3 times as thick. Totally ok to bring along even on vacation. As for external storage I just bought this: http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Passport-Portable-External/dp/B003DC8D8I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1313590092&sr=8-2
TINY, TINY hard drive with 1 TB. Looks great with the MacBook Air and literally fits in a jeans pocket. I am transferring all my movies, TV shows and music on there right now. And just bring all of them with me on vacation.

As for discounts, Apple hardly offers any but there is one for back to school (the one you mentioned) and through universities you always get 10-15% I think. The only other sale I know is Black Friday. They had some deals on last year but I can't remember how much it was.

nelie
08-17-2011, 05:03 PM
The new MacBook pros are coming out in a few months so it is likely there will be a sizable discount on the current ones. I'd wait if I were you.