Macbook or Macbook Pro?

Which laptop is Scrivener better run on?

Macbook
12
18%
Macbook Pro
19
29%
Either - it doesn't matter that much
34
52%
 
Total votes: 65
da
dagaz
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:46 am
Location: Murwillumbah, Australia

Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:32 pm Post

dagaz wrote:I have a first-gen MacBook and love its portability factor, to me its the perfect size for that. However, there are times when I wish it had a bit more screen real estate - as in the MBP.
The day after I wrote that the electronics store in town had a sale on a 19" monitor for only $99. It is just huge and definitely a lot less of an eye strain. Even after only a couple of days I don't know how I got on so long without it. Today (going off to work) will be the first time I've used the built-in screen on the MacBook since I bought the monitor.

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 4701
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:00 am Post

dagaz wrote:The day after I wrote that the electronics store in town had a sale on a 19" monitor for only $99. It is just huge and definitely a lot less of an eye strain. Even after only a couple of days I don't know how I got on so long without it. Today (going off to work) will be the first time I've used the built-in screen on the MacBook since I bought the monitor.

That's one of the reasons I went for the 17" MBP. Yes it weighs more in my backpack, but my wife having bought a MacBook, I knew I was going to need a second monitor if I got one of those. I thought hard about it ... but decided that all-in-all I would get on best with the built in big screen; I have my big screen with me wherever I go.
Even though it has a resolution of 1680 x 1050, I find I am now running Scrivener filling the whole screen: narrowish binder on the left; translation being edited in left-hand vertical split a full page-width; the original text at its full width in the right-hand split, and the inspector filling the rest ... about half a page in width. Great workspace.

Mark

User avatar
kewms
Posts: 7157
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:46 am Post

You can never have too much screen real estate. You don't realize how cramped a small screen is until you experience a large one. Jumping up to my iMac's 24" screen completely changed the way I use my computer.

However, I wouldn't recommend a MacBook Pro for anyone who plans to use it on airplanes. A MacBook is about the biggest screen that will fit on an economy class tray table. If that's a consideration for you, go with the MacBook and spend the money you save to get a big monitor for your desk.

(Those of you who always fly first class can ignore the above, but please don't tell us about it.)

Katherine

br
brett
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:17 am
Location: yet another Portlander

Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:45 am Post

Thanks for the recommendations. I just don't know about about getting an external display, even though I stare at the screen for 8 hours a day. I work in a recliner (easier on my back and neck) with the PowerBook on a lap desk. The screen's close enough to my eyes that it feels large enough. If I used an external display, I'd have to put it on a tray table and that just sounds like too much hassle, what with cables etc. When I switched from a 12" PB + 17" monitor to a 15" PowerBook, I didn't feel cramped. As long as it's a widescreen ratio (which the 12" PB wasn't), I can have my two scrivener windows and the binder all side by side with adequate space. So the question for me is whether the MacBook can serve as a desktop replacement for a Scrivener user. Since the 15" PB works, I'm hoping the MacBook will too.

Kh
Khadrelt
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:22 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Utah, USA
Contact:

Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:15 pm Post

Just a bit of nostalgia...The computer I wrote my first book on (Mac LC) had a 512x384 screen. Compared to that, my 12" iBook looks huge.

ac
accentedeuropean
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:57 am
Location: Rotterdam, NL
Contact:

Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:03 am Post

The only reason, and that is seriously the only one, why I prefer the Pro over the Macbook, is because one has a Matte screen and the other a glossy one. Apart from the correct colour-representation, which frankly I don't care about, I hear it's much easier on the eyes for people that have to sit behind a screen for hours on end, e.g. writers.

Other than that, my matte-screened 12" iBook is more sturdy, still has a great battery life (4 hrs +) after 18 months, and prevents me from procrastinating with games and such. I love it and hope that Apple comes out with a portable (< 15" or 17"), matte-screened laptop again.

If not though, I would go for a 15" MBP, after this one dies. Which should be in a year or two :).
Vincent

Ma
Maria
Posts: 614
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:47 am

Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:22 am Post

accentedeuropean wrote:The only reason, ... why I prefer the Pro over the Macbook, is because one has a Matte screen and the other a glossy one.
...
Other than that, my matte-screened 12" iBook is more -sturdy, still has a great battery life (4 hrs +) after 18 months,
...
I love it and hope that Apple comes out with a portable (< 15" or 17"), matte-screened laptop again.

If not though, I would go for a 15" MBP, after this one dies. Which should be in a year or two :).


You hit the nail. Recently I bought a "normal" second monitor, and I am about to give it to a poor student or so. I am spoiled with my Cinema display. Apart from that, the iBook screen is low quality, but matte is still better. And the battery life is amazing. After nearly 3 years in my case, still over 4 hours. I almost never shut it down and transport it in sleep mode. Hope it works some more time -- that lovely little thing.

Maria

Tu
TurtleHeart
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:10 am
Location: Pantelleria Sicilia
Contact:

Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:31 am Post

I recently purchased the first generation 17 in macbook pro which replaced by old titanium g4 powerbook. At the time the situation which made the purchase possible also made it impossible to wait. Usually it is better to never buy a first generation mac laptop, but wait until the third generation is out. Overall this is not the best made laptop apple has come out with and it has problems, but mine is first generation. Now they are selling generation 2 I think.

I have always whenever possible used two monitors. I do a lot of graphics work and feel I work better with my image on one monitor and my tools on another. I have had this habit since my first mac, a powerbook 540c.

That said, for writing I love the roomy 17 inch screen and feel that making yourself comfortable is very important in the creative process. But also this big computer is impossible to use when flying, as other have pointed out but it is great to have so much space. I keep two projects going and have one on the computer screen and the other on the second monitor. For me this is happiness.

The layout of Scrivener seems compatabile with almost any screen size however. You could buy what makes you most happy. I believe in buying the best I can, even if it hurts, because over time apple's best really stands up.

NOTE; if you buy the laptop, whichever one, get the extended warranty. I would never buy an apple laptop without this extra protection.

NOTE: MacBook Pro gets VERY HOT, sometimes to hot to touch in some places, and to hot for the lap, even the 2nd generation ones. The Macbook does not have this problem I think.
Turtle Heart
Ojibway Artist
Pantelleria Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea

MacBook Pro 17", core duo

ac
accentedeuropean
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:57 am
Location: Rotterdam, NL
Contact:

Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:46 pm Post

Congrats on your new laptop!

Regarding your hotness-issue, you can install apps that let you control the fan-speed and cool it down a little (e.g. this one). Lot's of people seem to rave about it.
Vincent

User avatar
KB
Site Admin
Posts: 20920
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Truro, Cornwall
Contact:

Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:13 pm Post

NOTE: MacBook Pro gets VERY HOT, sometimes to hot to touch in some places, and to hot for the lap, even the 2nd generation ones. The Macbook does not have this problem I think.


Actually my 2nd gen MBPro doesn't run too hot at all (except when doing big builds on Xcode or intense PhotoShop work, but even then it's not excessive and the fan kicks in) - I have it on my lap all the time (hence a visit to the chiropractor yesterday :( ). By contrast, my first gen MacBook did run very hot, too hot for my lap on occasion. I recently bought my friend a 2nd-gen MacBook, though, and that doesn't seem to run as hot as mine...

Best,
Keith

An
AndrewG
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:23 am

Sat Apr 14, 2007 11:06 pm Post

I use a 15" Macbook Pro. I agree that more real estate is almost always a good thing, but I decided the weight and portability issues trumped the extra few inches from a 17". After six months or so, I feel I made the right choice. Every time I lug my computer from the car to a cafe, or carry it down the street in my bag, I'm glad I don't have even more weight and bulk to manage.

I have a 23" Cinema display at home, which is where my graphics tablet also lives. When I want to use my computer for kicking around in the world of graphics (e.g., running Photoshop or Painter, or iPhoto, or assembling a talk in KeyNote) I use the big display. When I'm just knocking out text, the MacBook Pro's built-in screen is enough for Scrivener and a couple of smaller windows. I often have a copy of the Firefox web browser running (for checking email and searching for reference materials) and iTunes (for listening to while working in a cafe).

A couple of extra inches of screen would be nice to have in the portable, but to me, they're not worth the weight and bulk. I've been 100% happy with my 15" MacBook Pro for writing, and the bigger display and tablet for bigger tasks at home.

In contrast to some other people's experiences, my MacBook Pro gets warm on the bottom, but the top (where I rest my palms) is always cool. Even the bottom never gets beyond warm. At this moment I've been running for a couple of hours (plugged in), and I just put my palm flat against the bottom plate near the power connector (the hottest part of the chassis) and it wasn't even uncomfortable. This is normal for me - my computer has never gotten much hotter than "rather warm".

A few other random Mac observations:

I carry my MacBook Pro in a soft sleeve from InCase. It's nice and keeps it from getting scratched up, but it's rather floppy. I carry the Mac (in its case) along with all my other stuff (notebooks, pens, headphones, power charger, etc.) in a Teager shoulder bag. Everything fits perfectly, and I trust the shoulder strap and other connectors completely.

When my MacBook came, I installed a MarWare wrist pad (it's a thin soft strip that fits below the keyboard, with a cutout for the mousepad). It makes for a very comfortable place to rest my wrists, and helps prevent my accidentally triggering the mousepad with the balls of my hands. It does make the lid slightly harder to close, though.

Finally, when I got my Mac I saved the thin white plastic sheet that the factory put in between the keyboard and the screen. I've had laptops in the past that over time picked up screen damage from the keys when the unit is closed (both from mechanical rubbing against the keys, and from the oils from my fingertips transferring from key to screen). I figured if the sheet's good enough for Apple, it's good enough for me, and now every time I shut my MacBook I put that thin white sheet back in place over the keyboard. I don't know for sure that it's helping, but it doesn't hurt.

-Andrew

User avatar
ptram
Posts: 956
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:43 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Recanati, Italy

Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:51 pm Post

TurtleHeart wrote:MacBook Pro gets VERY HOT, sometimes to hot to touch in some places, and to hot for the lap, even the 2nd generation ones.


Well, I would say that Pantelleria is not the coldest place in the world. I guess this contributes to the heath somewhat.

Ciao, Paolo

User avatar
Lord Lightning
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:58 am
Location: Somewhere else!

Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:37 pm Post

As of 26 April,

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/


The MacBook is Apple's consumer laptop; it was formerly known as the iBook.

Product MacBook
Recommendation: Buy only if you need it - Approaching the end of a cycle
Last Release November 08, 2006
Days Since Update 169 (Avg = 204)



The MacBook Pro is Apple's professional laptop, it was formerly known as the PowerBook.

Product MacBook Pro
Recommendation: Don't Buy - Updates soon
Last Release October 24, 2006
Days Since Update 184 (Avg = 182)


The Mac mini is Apple's low end desktop.

Product Mac mini
Recommendation: Don't Buy - Updates soon
Last Release September 06, 2006
Days Since Update 232 (Avg = 151)



The iMac is Apple's all-in-one form factor desktop.

Product iMac
Recommendation: Don't Buy - Updates soon
Last Release September 06, 2006
Days Since Update 232 (Avg = 168)
Lord Lightning

I'm a writer. I create worlds!
When I make a declarative statement it applies to ME. Not to everyone.

ho
howarth
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:53 am

Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:03 pm Post

LL, thanks for the notes on buying Mac models. There's two ways to think about product cycles. If you buy a new model, it may not be ready for market and you'll spend time and money correcting its flaws. But it feels awful to spend dollars and then a few weeks later, a new model is out with two processors, a bigger screen, and a new OS! Have you heard any rumors as to whether new models will appear in May or June? I'm in the market for a new iMac but must purchase it before July 1.

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 24643
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Ourense, Galiza
Contact:

Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:38 pm Post

Howarth, in this case it is probably best to wait because I doubt they will be radically changing any designs. This is more of a revision cycle, which usually means it will be a safer purchase than the ones they are selling now. There are exceptions, of course, but this is what people refer to as generations. The next cycle will be the 3rd generation for the laptops, and that is a pretty safe purchase with Apple's track record.

This of course excludes the 12" MB/P, if such a thing does appear.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles