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Thread: MacBook Pro with the money?

  1. #1
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    MacBook Pro with the money?

    I am in the market for a new laptop, and I was wondering if anyone here has a MacBook Pro, and what you think of it.

    I am a PC guy, and this would be my first Mac. The only reason I am considering moving to it is simple, build quality. I currently have a Dell laptop that is about 4 years old. It works ok, but the case is cracked in several spots since it's made of plastic, the F4 key fell off, and I had to replace the hard drive aftr 1 year.

    Overall, I am pretty hard on laptops. They see lots of heavy use, mostly email, internet and spreadsheets. I went shopping, it seems like most of the laptops these days feel like cheap pieces of plastic crap. That is part of the reason I was drawn to the Mac, metal and seems well built. Doesn't feel like a toy that will fall apart in a year. The downside, it's expensive. A 13'' with MS Office is about $1,300. That ain't cheap. Trying to decide if it's worth the heafty premium for the better build quality.

    So let me know your thoughts.

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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    I made the transition to mac about three years ago when I bought a macbook pro. It is expensive but I've found it to be well worth my money and the transition from PC to mac is not as difficult as everyone seems to think it is. I actually prefer mac now. Not nearly as many issues with mac as I've had with PC's. Only one major issue I can think of in three years and I had it covered under warranty so they fixed the problem for me at no charge.

    Needless to say, I'm a happy convert and would definitely recommend a macbook to anyone willing to spend the money.

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    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    If you're hard on laptops, it would seem that spending $1,300 on one would be a bad move. Sounds like you should go for something like this:

    http://www.compusa.com/applications/...&Sku=H24-15170

    for $469. You could practically buy 3 of them for same cost.

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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    I got a 13 inch MacBook Air for my birthday (October) last year. I'm happy with it, but I've been a mac user for 20 years so no switch effect. My previous laptop was a regular MacBook.
    I actually travel with it, so the fact that it is much lighter than the MacBook Pro or my old MacBook was a factor. It is also very shiny.

    That said, I don't see the Macs really worth the premium they are commanding. HP, Sony, Toshiba and even Dell are making some fine laptops for almost half the price. If you need processing power and HD space, a PC might be a better option (I can't believe I'm saying this). Windows 7 isn't terrible either.

    Macs do break also, but on the other hand they tend to have pretty good resale value.

    I few years ago I was all gung-ho "I'm a Mac", but now I see that Apple is putting more effort into the iPhone and iPad, instead of the Mac.
    I'm still a computer guy. I can't work on a phone and I don't like greasing up my screen with my fingers.

    /rant
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    I had a Dell in law school that was nothing but problems -- cheap quality plastics cracked in the clamshell within the first year of use, the "K" key fell off the keyboard requiring me to go on eBay for a replacement, I went through 2 Dell power supplies that failed due to wires fraying from normal "wind up and store" use going to and from the law college every day, and the video card failed requiring an external monitor for it to be useful. The thing finally died after a little under 2.5 years of everyday use.

    I bought a MacBook Pro in October of '08 and I couldn't be happier with the purchase. The only issue I've had is, recently, I'm noticing a lack of battery power (but, with the caveat that I'm terrible about caring for electronic device batteries -- I leave things charging constantly when I'm not using them).

    If I were in the market for a laptop today, I'd buy another MBP without hesitation.
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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    I have used Macs for the past decade and could never switch back to a Windows environment full time. I still use Windows when need be but have found Apple products to be durable beyond belief. We only buy a new computer every 4-5 years as opposed to the 1-2 year cycle when we used PCs. And when we do stop using our old macs, it is because they are obsolete for something we use frequently rather than they are broken down.

  8. #7
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    For home use (nothing fancy) my 300 dollar emachine does just fine.

    /hangs head in shame

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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckWild03 View Post
    I made the transition to mac about three years ago when I bought a macbook pro. It is expensive but I've found it to be well worth my money and the transition from PC to mac is not as difficult as everyone seems to think it is. I actually prefer mac now. Not nearly as many issues with mac as I've had with PC's. Only one major issue I can think of in three years and I had it covered under warranty so they fixed the problem for me at no charge.

    Needless to say, I'm a happy convert and would definitely recommend a macbook to anyone willing to spend the money.
    This. I too switched about three years ago and could not be more happy. I have to use windows and dell at work and I have nothing but issues. I bought a nice Mac Pro that I would buy again in a heart beat.
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    For durability, the metal shell does sound like a good thing, however it isn't going to prevent common problems like liquid damage or drop damage. I've seen stories of people claiming they last forever and stories of a 3 inch drop rendering them completely useless. Honestly, it depends on they type of damage your laptop normally sustains.

    Another thing I think about is the rigidity of the case. If the case is a metal, it may be more rigid than a plastic case. Where that may come into play is when it is dropped or jarred. It may actually be more beneficial to have a less rigid case so the energy is somewhat absorbed rather than transfered to other, more delicate parts of the computer.

    I've done a quick search to find some durability reviews, but they are mixed as well. The truth is that if you are worried about damage, it may be better to limit financial loss rather than hope for a solution at this point. If it were me, computer brand, OS, and performance aside, I'd most likely go with the cheaper option. There just doesn't seem to be a laptop built to last long enough to make up the difference in price.

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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    For the same money, you could buy a new PC laptop every two years or a new MacBook Pro every six. The first one will keep your technology more current and is much much much less expensive to fix if something goes wrong past warranty (Macs break too, even if less often).

    If durability is that much of a priority to you, maybe you should look into a Toughbook.
    Last edited by paintmered; 02-07-2011 at 07:28 PM.
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    Apples are made with the exact same stuff that PC's are. The only difference is the operating system and the cases. Don't ever let someone try to tell you otherwise. You are paying for the cosmetics of the Apple/Mac brand. If you spent the exact same amount of money on a PC Laptop that you spent on a MacBook Pro, your PC would be quite a bit faster/better quality in terms of usage and performance.

    The biggest benefit you can get with a Mac is that its much more difficult to get a virus since there are so many fewer for their systems (because they make up such a small market share of computers).

    Here is one of the biggest downfalls - If you buy from the Apple Store (I don't know about anywhere else - My friend bought one before heading off to Afghanistan in December), they protection plan you get doesn't cover anything cosmetic. If you buy a PC Laptop at certain places, your protection plan will cover your screen and certain other cosmetic damage if you choose to buy it.

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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    Thanks for the info guys.

    I've never dropped my Dell, but it's somehow still managed to get cracks in the case. Not sure how, but they are there. The build quality of the Mac is pretty impressive, it feels like a soild, well put together, machine. What I am struggling with is the cost. I wouldn't even consider the 15", due to cost.

    I think I will look around and see what I can find in the PC world.

    Oh, and Caveat, I am on my second power cord as well. My first one decided to stop working after a year.

  14. #13
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    My son in college has a 15" MacBook Pro. His laptop gets toted around all over the campus in his backpack and it's chugging away with zero problems.

    Apple has a good extended warranty program that adds two years onto the factory warranty. We invested in that for his machine and haven't needed it yet.

    At home we have a 15" MacBook. It has performed flawlessly since we got it in '08. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either one.

    The 15" MacBook replaced a 13" MacBook from ~2004 that performed well until it fell out of someone's hands and had a hard landing on a trip down the stairs. By then it was out of warranty.
    Last edited by Unassisted; 02-07-2011 at 10:25 PM.

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    Dyslexic Taquitos Quatitos's Avatar
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    Background: I have never owned a mac, but have built myself 3 different desktop Windows PCs and have had a Dell laptop for the past 5 years which I have had the video card replaced under warranty once. I have also built around 6 or 7 Windows PCs for family and friends, so I have a decent amount of experience with desktop PCs. I have also picked out about 4 or 5 laptops from HP and Dell for my family and friends, and of those, each one has lasted at least 5 years (even the one that had a half can of dr pepper spilled on it 2 years in) or is still in good working order.

    The upsides to buying a Mac is that you are much less likely to fall victim to viruses and the build quality is higher, but you pay for that build quality. I like to joke that you pay double to get the nice shiny apple logo on the back of your screen but there is more to it than that. In my opinion the extra money you pay for it is not worth it, since if you spent the same money on a laptop from Dell, HP or some other Windows brand you would get a much more capable laptop or you can spend a lot less to get a comparable laptop. SeeinRed probably had a good point about the rigidity of the metal case actually being a bad thing. Think of it like a crumple zone in a car, certain parts are meant to break first to absorb the impact, and the plastic in normal laptop cases can inadvertently act like this.

    People also talk about how you will not experience as many problems with a Mac, and this is true. For a Mac, they have much more control over the hardware they use, so they do not have to address the large compatibility issues Windows faces (the blame lies more on the hardware manufacturers) since Microsoft does not exercisethe same control over hardware. That aspect of it has gotten a lot better in Vista (yes there were some good things in Vista, but you can count them on one hand and Windows 7.

    As far as warranties go, that is really on you to buy a warranty that you feel is fit for the investment you are making on a laptop. I think Apple and most other laptop manufacturers offer a 1 warranty that you can buy extensions to at an extra cost. Apple does have an advantage in that they have a number of stores that you can bring your Mac into to get serviced (I have no idea how good this service is).

    I and my friends/family have had good experience dealing with Dell and HP for warranty service, of which I have personally dealt with once and helped my sister in law with once. I obviously don't have any experience with Apple's warranty service.

    I personally do not think the price of the Mac premium is worth it, but some people do and its really up to personal choice and what aspects of the trade offs are important to you. For example I tried to match a HP laptop to a 15" macbook pro (the HP laptop was actually slightly better with some free memory upgrades and a better video card), and the HP laptop was $849 and the macbook pro was $1999 without any extra warranty protection. With extra warranty (3 years each) the HP laptop was $1140 and included accidental damage like cosmetic and liquid, the macbook pro was $2348 and did not include cosmetic and liquid damage.

    This topic is bad for me, because I have to wait until I graduate and start my job in May before I can get myself a new laptop
    Last edited by Quatitos; 02-07-2011 at 11:57 PM.

  16. #15
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    Re: MacBook Pro with the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    For the same money, you could buy a new PC laptop every two years or a new MacBook Pro every six. The first one will keep your technology more current and is much much much less expensive to fix if something goes wrong past warranty (Macs break too, even if less often).

    If durability is that much of a priority to you, maybe you should look into a Toughbook.
    Other nice thing -- when your Mac breaks, you can take it to an Apple Store (if you have one locally) and they'll take care of all the fixing details for you. No need to save everything, re-box your computer and mail it off.

    As far as "keeping your tech current" goes, it's been my observation that the actual components of the computer have outstripped the software's ability to do anything useful with the additional power (as far as everyday consumers go). The need for "latest and greatest" seems far less pronounced now than it did 10-15 years ago. Of course, that can all change when the Next Big Thing™ comes around, but for now just about any new higher-end laptop will future-proof you nicely.
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