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
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Wock
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Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:18 pm Post

alas no nit picking here my friend :-)

The fault lies with how vague I answered Specialized versus Everyday uses.

I guess I tend to err on the side of caution for fear of that one person who would try some huge project in ignorance and then be fuming when they didn't realize the the limitations of their output speed.
(would hate to have a new user to macs purchase something then feel it "wasn't enough")

I can also tell by your use of analog and dedicated hardware that you are a "speciality" user (aka power user) and knowledgeable in your recording.

Although I advocate the "digital recording" era I think most professionals still realize that specialized hardware and analog is more forgiving and can actually produce better quality then a small budget limited digital system.

I should have clarified that "everyday use" would the average home user or one that already has other dedicated hardware where as a specialized user was one that already knew the specifications of their needs and utiized it some certain feature (like fw800 or dedicated video card for extensive video use)

Apple put everyone in an odd situation with their current configurations of laptops.

The MBP and the MB currently is an odd lineup.

Odd because bare bones they are almost identical when comparing HD, FSB and CPU.

Most lineups would be some noticeable difference in speed and performance defining the differences but the MB and MBP don't.

Kinda like car models as an analogy. The MB is the base model, the MBP is the "luxury" model but both are built on the same frame and use the same engine and performance.

The MBP truly has certain luxury offerings like the ambient light sensor, larger screen, optional gloss vs anti-glare, FW 800, DVI output and Express slot.

What sucks is that the MBP only comes in 15 & 17 models so there is no "compact luxury model" which for many is a huge selling feature because they want a small footprint. This small footprint also defines the line from the MBA as well. The MBA is by far a road warrior specialty model but its footprint is still large for a sub-notebook where size and weight matters I would wonder why Apple didn't release a 12" MBA

In truth I counsel people currently that if they are not needing the needs of a dedicated video card and the "luxury options" are not deal breaking selling points that the mid range MB is the best computer for the money.

It is really cool that the MB is beefy enough to give consumers the options because it really comes down to personal preference and need.

Until Apple revamps the MBP line (they are supposed to this week or next unless they hold off until June) they line that defines the two lines is very very small and comes down to the user deciding if the luxury items is worth the extra cost.

When the lineup changes then the performance line will be redefined once again because the MBP will come in 2.4GHz 2.6GHz and 2.8Ghz and have 6MB of cache instead of the 4MB. They will also use the 45nm Peryn chips which will give 20-50% speed increase on most everyday applications (MS Office, safari, mail, etc) and a 10-40% speed increase on specialty software (Logic, Photoshop, Indesign, etc) at the same speeds. (this is conjecture and not certain fact as of this writing yet ...:-) )

When that happens then the choices will be much easier to make and the price difference between the MB and MBP will be easier defined because you will be able to easily choose between the 2.2 Core Duo 65nm w/4MB cache MB or a 2.4-2.8GHZ Core due Peryn 45nm w/6MB cache and a speed increase of 10-50% making the MacBook Pro an actual "Pro" machine instead of just a Luxury MacBook model as it currently is.

This happened with the Mac Pro and iMac a few months back. Before the Pro's were updated with the Peryn chips and the the iMac was revamped in August the imac was actually outperforming the Pro's in many aspects making people wonder what in the world was going on.

Then apple quitely updated the Mac Pros to the peryn chips and started offering them with 8 cores as a standard, once again redifing the performance line between the two models.

I do not know why Apple does this but it seems to happen a lot. They beef up one model causing an overlap and thus switching people from one model to another at certain times then after a few months they beef up the other line redifing performance.

In the end for the matter of this discussion I think it comes down to one main thing.

When you choose to buy more so than what your going to buy. :-)

Right now until the MBP line is revamped a MB is a really good buy for an everday user because you get the performance of the MBP at two thirds the cost (sans the dedicated video card and luxury items).

Until the MBP is revamped the choice truly comes down to just feature prefernces in the end mainly
The wheel is turning but the hamster is still dead.

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ChrisRosser
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Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:25 am Post

Wock wrote:alas no nit picking here my friend :-)

The fault lies with how vague I answered Specialized versus Everyday uses....



No fault at all Wock. Thanks for your angle on it; I certainly appreciated your comments and your insight and I hope anyone who's in the market for a new laptop benefits from the forum. I suspect they will; there are a lot of good, well-formed opinions on here from a different people with quite different needs.

I hear you on the MBP lineup. I'm an old 12inch powerbook user and I'd love to see something similar in the MBP range. The MBA is sexy an all, but it's an odd plum in the apple line up; I think a lot of folk were disappointed that the MBP didn't get a 12 form factor.

cheers,
CR
Mild-mannered Technical Writer by day, closet fantasist by night
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Wock
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Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:41 pm Post

Apple could really branch out to many markets with their ability to pack power in small spaces. I think a 12" MBP would be a huge success, why they didn't continue with the 12" line is a mystery to me. Maybe down the road?

Apple should maybe look at some of the ingenious ways people are using Macs now.

One example is the Mac Mini used in vehicles. Because of its small form factor with a little engineering people have done some amazing things.

One that I find really interesting is the guy who put his mac min in his corvette. THink of all the possibilities of having a full blown wireless computer in your car lol.

Here it is. (This was pre-iphone era)
http://blog.shofr.com/2007/corvette/mac ... tallation/

And the video of it being used. (This is neat to watch)
http://images.shofr.com/photogallery/bl ... rvette.mov

Now if Apple would release a "car kit" and small touch screen for the mac mini I think this would be the hottest after market stereo put in cars and trucks.

Jobs, if you are reading this the "one more thing" should be "two more things.

A 12" MBP or MBA

and a Mac Mini Car kit.
The wheel is turning but the hamster is still dead.

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Jaysen
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Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:01 pm Post

no car kit. Make the MoBo available for purchase so it can be used in custom installs. I don't need a car PC, but an imbedded platform to use in furniture. I would rather use mac than lintel.
Jaysen

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ChrisRosser
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Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:54 am Post

New Macbooks and Macbook Pro's released yesterday! Just when I thought the debate might settle down...
Mild-mannered Technical Writer by day, closet fantasist by night
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alexwein
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Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:52 pm Post

Exciting about the new release. I just saved a cart for my dream machine, which I'll likely be purchasing within the next couple of months. :D
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
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Sebbi
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Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:13 am Post

alexwein wrote:Exciting about the new release. I just saved a cart for my dream machine, which I'll likely be purchasing within the next couple of months. :D


MMMMmmmm... multi-touch....

*Dribbles*
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Wock
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Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:32 pm Post

Sad pigeon here.

I just got a MBP december 26th

Now the new ones release and I talked to Apple and the word so far is that

the older MBP will NOT receive a software update to support multi-touch.

<cry> all that new fingering I could be doing, pinching, squeezing, rotating.

Alas I am still satisfied but now that the new MBP are released the defining line between the MB and MBP has changed drastically, especially with the new PERYN chips in the MBP giving 20-50% speed increases to most popular software titles at the same speed. The Pro is actually a PRO model versus the Book which is more consumer rated.
The wheel is turning but the hamster is still dead.

br
brett
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Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:00 pm Post

Another advantage of the new models coming out: apple slashes prices dramatically on the old ones. I just scored a new MacBook with lots of extras (AppleCare, extra RAM) for $600 off its retail price last month. Haven't had a chance to move my info over from my old PowerBook yet, so dunno how Scrivener (and Leopard, for that matter) will work on it, but I'm looking forward to giving 'em a try. And my friend whose G3 iBook just died is looking forward to buying my PowerBook. Anyway, look for cut-rate deals on previous models if price is more important than the very latest features; I've saved thousands of dollars over the years buying last year's model.

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Wock
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Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:39 am Post

Bestbuy was selling "older models" for really good deals as well
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alexwein
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Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:56 pm Post

brett wrote:Another advantage of the new models coming out: apple slashes prices dramatically on the old ones. I just scored a new MacBook with lots of extras (AppleCare, extra RAM) for $600 off its retail price last month. Haven't had a chance to move my info over from my old PowerBook yet, so dunno how Scrivener (and Leopard, for that matter) will work on it, but I'm looking forward to giving 'em a try. And my friend whose G3 iBook just died is looking forward to buying my PowerBook. Anyway, look for cut-rate deals on previous models if price is more important than the very latest features; I've saved thousands of dollars over the years buying last year's model.


Hi Brett! Yeah, I've done that too on occasion. This time, though, I think I'm going for the highest end MBP I can get, which means a new one. I'm anticipating a lot of video editing, and I'm hoping I can do much of it on my MBP. But I bought my first Power PC computer as a markdown/last year's model and it was great. Also my IIsi long, long ago (in a galaxy far away...)!

Alexandria
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antony
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Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:13 pm Post

brett wrote:I just scored a new MacBook with lots of extras (AppleCare, extra RAM) for $600 off its retail price last month. Haven't had a chance to move my info over from my old PowerBook yet, so dunno how Scrivener (and Leopard, for that matter) will work on it


You'll be absolutely fine. I have one of the late 2007 MacBooks, and both Scriv and Leopard run like a dream.
Antony Johnston
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br
brett
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Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:02 am Post

Thanks, Antony. After a couple of days, I wholeheartedly agree. I absolutely love the blazing speed of this MacBook on Scrivener and everything else. the free upgrade to 2 gb RAM certainly plays a role, as does the 2.16 chip.

I worried about the smaller screen (down from a 15" G4 PowerBook), but amber was right on when she said the MacBook screen would be fine. It's still a widescreen ratio, which fits the way I use Scriv, and it's significantly brighter than my PB. I haven't missed the larger screen at all.

I also worried about the new keyboard but after a couple of hours, I actually find I like it more than the old one. the trackpad doesn't seem quite as sensitive but I'll get used to it. the sharp edges haven't so far been a problem for my wrists but maybe that's because I type from a recliner.

Most of all, I love the smaller size (I just got back from a monthlong road trip where I wrote five stories and did book research, and I wish I'd had a bit less weight and bulk to carry around) and the extremely rugged feel of the MacBook compared to my PowerBook. It's hard to explain, but it just feels more solidly put together, somehow, and much more portable even though it doesn't weigh that much less than my old one. It reminds me of the solid feel of my old iBook and 12" PowerBook. Also, the smaller dimensions make it just fit my lap desk (which has a raised border that was slightly narrower than my PowerBook) perfectly, as well as the metal mesh inbox (the holes vent heat) I'll use as a laptop stand when typing at my desk with an external keyboard; it too was too narrow for the PB. And it fits in the padded sleeve that once cradled my wife's old titanium PowerBook but was too snug for her newer aluminum one and mine.

I still wish it weren't black (actually a handsome dark grey), but I just couldn't turn down the spectacular sale deal on it -- I wound up with a bigger (160 gb) HD, faster chip, double memory, and free applecare and .mac for just a bit over what I'd have paid for a white one. (It's ironic -- Apple charges a "black tax" for this color's supposedly greater desirability, but as I actually prefer white, in the sale circumstances I'd have had to pay a "white tax" to get a less-capable white machine.) And to tell the truth, I'm starting to appreciate the less slippery, less scratch prone matte finish and the nicer looking keyboard.

I'd actually hoped to wait another generation for LED screens and whatever other improvements (green case?) are sure to come, but my friend needed a new Mac (my old PB) now, and this sale came along at just the right moment. It even came with a remote control that I'll probably never use. It'll be my only computer and while it's a bit more conservative looking than I am, otherwise, I really, really love this computer so far.

I've explored only a few of leopard's new features so far but they've been nice, even the little improvements to Mail and iCal, for example. All my apps run really fast. I need an external HD, so I'm probably going to go out and score a Time Capsule soon to take the worry out of backups. Although I don't so far plan on keeping .mac after my free year expires, I must confess I'm impressed by the easy autobackup and iDisk transfers, which seem much faster than they did when I tried the free 2 month demo a few years ago.

One tip: be sure to run disk repair before transferring info between old and new machines. I'd had no problems with my PowerBook, but the transfer got hung up and it turned out there was a disk error that needed to be repaired (fortunately the disk utility solved it) before the transfer could be completed. the partial transfer caused some permissions problem that was resolved with an erase and install of leopard.

Anyway, I hope my brief and (so far) positive (knock skull) experience reassures any Scrivener user who's contemplating a MacBook as a desktop replacement.

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antony
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Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:49 am Post

Yeah, I've waxed lyrical about the MacBook since I bought mine. I love the keyboard, love the size, I get great battery life out of it, it travels well, everything runs really fast (I also have 2GB RAM, but only the 2.0 GHz processor) and basically, if I didn't have a genuine need for a desktop (design work), I'd be using it as my main machine.

If you're going to buy a Time Capsule, I don't see any real need for keeping your .mac subscription unless you use it to sync multiple machines' bookmarks, etc. If you want redundant off-site backups, you can do autobackups of your mail, bookmarks, address book and more with Mozy.
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Mange
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Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:29 pm Post

I have a Macbook. I now hav a Macbook! This may sound like something quite normal especially here on this forum. But, you see, even though I've had computers for more than twenty years I've never had a Mac. But now I do. And now I can get SCRIVENER. Tjohoo!!
Magnus