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

Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:45 am Post

Hi howarth,

There is a big deal Apple developers conference on the 11th June. That seems to be the date the rumour sites are suggesting is the strongest indication of new hardware and some new software announcements. Several sites also finished up sales of some lines on April 16th - indicating new lines coming soon.

PURE GUESSWORK, so just be vigilant.
Lord Lightning

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

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

Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:51 am Post

While there are several other factors to consider, I would say that I find the keyboard of the MacBook Pro very good, while I really can't appreciate the one in the MacBook. I can type fast with the former, not with the latter.

Paolo

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 4694
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:36 pm Post

ptram wrote:While there are several other factors to consider, I would say that I find the keyboard of the MacBook Pro very good, while I really can't appreciate the one in the MacBook. I can type fast with the former, not with the latter.

Paolo

Couldn't agree more. I used to use a Rev 1 400Mhz Ti PowerBook, which I got to like in spite of the fact that the whole keyboard was bouncy. But the keyboard on this 17" MBP I really like. On the other hand, I don't like the keyboard on my wife's or a friend's MacBooks, very much. But I guess I could get used to it if I was using one all the time.
Mark

Pa
Pavel
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:46 am
Platform: Mac + Linux

Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:14 pm Post

I work as a computer consultant for education (and I'm the Mac guy at work) so I get one bought for me every year or two and have my choice of equiptment. Despite the fact that I could have any of the models I decided to switch my 15.2 inch for the "lowly" 13.2" MacBook.
I had found that the seemingly small difference in size added up to a notable difference in my backpack and thus in my likelyhood of actually having the machine with me when needed. This has (surprisingly) been a wonderful choice. Oh, you can bet that I went back and forth about the "downgrade" for a good long while, wondering what kind of fool would contemplate taking such a course. Glad I did.
The screen real estate is a letdown, I do agree that each inch makes a large difference in how nice it is to live with the laptop - but you always have to make tradeoffs, right? Mine turned out well for me. When I really do want more screen I simply live with the limitation of having it only at home hooked up to my 20" external monitor. I find for writing (not that I do that too much (yet)) srivener is not changed in the experience of it too much with the smaller size, but other programs can be. My photo editing software (photomechanic and Capture one) are a real pain - so one should really consider their total use and way of working before going for the portability of the Macbook - but at the same time I consider it important to mention that the size difference can be liberating as well.

The only other non-obvious factore that I would encourage people to consider is the screen itself. If find the new glossy screen, the only choice on the MacBook, to be its worst feature. It simply glares too much (and makes exact color work an experience somewhere between frustrating and imposible). So if one does go for the MacBook Pro - get the "old fashioned" screen - you won't have to look at your face looking back at you as you type.

In the end, no matter which choice you make you can't go wrong. These are all high quality (oh and btw there is evidence to suggest that the MacBooks survive bumps better) machines and well - they aren't Dells - the best feature! :)

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

Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:48 pm Post

The only other non-obvious factore that I would encourage people to consider is the screen itself. If find the new glossy screen, the only choice on the MacBook, to be its worst feature. It simply glares too much (and makes exact color work an experience somewhere between frustrating and imposible). So if one does go for the MacBook Pro - get the "old fashioned" screen - you won't have to look at your face looking back at you as you type.


Lol - for me it's the opposite. :) The "glossy screen" has been hotly discussed by lots of users, and when the MacBook was first announced - before anyone had actually seen one in person - MacRumors was alive with people berating Apple for this dreadful monstrosity of a screen. Curiously, once people had actually seen the screens, a lot of that berating ended. (Not all of it, though - a lot of people still dislike the glossy screens, as Pavel does, and I really do think that Apple should make it optional just as they do with the MBP.) I had a MacBook and loved the glossy screen - so much so that when I bought my MacBook Pro, I chose to have it customised to have a glossy screen, and wouldn't have it any other way. I actually think that the glossy screen is a lot more viewable than the non-glossy one. If I sit outside or with sunlight directly behind me, I can still see everything onscreen perfectly, whereas with my old iBook the screen would be blanched out and unreadable. And right now I'm straining to see a reflection in the screen - oh yeah, if I move to the left, I can see the window reflected (it's a sunny day), but on my iBook that would have meant I couldn't see that side of the screen too well. So, I think this one is just down to personal choice. I would urge folk to take a look at both screens and see which one they prefer. Lots of people will tell you that the glossy screen is horrible, but don't listen to them - you may end up agreeing with them, but it's subjective - lots of folk (such as myself) really like that glossiness. :)

As for the keyboard, I never had a problem with the MacBook keyboard myself. I admit that the look of it reminded me of my old rubber-keyed Spectrum 48K from 1985, but typing felt fine. I do prefer my MBPro keyboard, though.

All the best,
Keith

User avatar
werebear
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:30 pm
Location: ADK Mountains
Contact:

Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:06 am Post

Thanks for the heads up on the glossy screen. I wondered about that. One of the things I love about a laptop is that is goes anywhere, and some of those "anywheres" have tough lighting situations.

When I found the used laptop I wanted, it was, price-wise, almost the same as the cheapest Macbook. But the plain vanilla Macbook doesn't have the extra memory or a Superdrive. Adding those would make a considerable price difference. The 12.1 Powerbook has a matte screen and is smaller, (supposed to have a good keyboard, too) and those factors tipped the balance.

I wish Apple would think about getting into the notebook market, but word on the digital street is that they really aren't that interested. Me, I don't mind a small screen, it's part of the portability thing. But then I have the option of working on a big screen with our other Mac. If your MacBook is going to be your only computer, it can be worth it to get more display space.
WereBear

A work in progress...

http://wayofcats.com/blog

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 4694
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:05 am Post

I can't remember if I have mentioned it before, but before I got this MBP, I did think seriously about getting a MacBook and an external screen. In the end, I found that it would probably come to about the same thing price-wise by the time the MB was a version with a superdrive, upgraded equal amount of memory, bigger hard disk etc., and that it came down in the end to the benefit of having the screen real-estate (1680x1050) with me at all times and other apparently small benefits of the MBP -- the lighting-up keyboard, I have found useful, for instance -- against the portability factor. I opted for the former and don't regret it.
As for glossy/non-glossy, here in China I wasn't offered that option and wouldn't have known how to insist on it, but am happy with the one I've got. (I think it's glossy, but can't check without switching off and comparing with my old one!)
Mark

User avatar
werebear
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:30 pm
Location: ADK Mountains
Contact:

Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:46 am Post

What I had heard was that the new Mac glossy screens were good at NOT light reflecting, and thus showed promise at pleasing both the glossy & matte screen camps. All the MacBooks are glossy now, I understand.

The popularity of playing movies on one's laptop is what led to the choice. The glossy screen gives a much better look, with darker blacks and better definition. I imagine the same goes for games with graphics, or even a slideshow for clients.

I decided the SuperDrive was worth going after because writing DVDs can be useful for backing up purposes. Writing files tend to be smaller, but a program like Scrivener, with its ability to archive Web pages and sound files, makes for a bigger file, and DVDs can hold much more than CDs. This can be a great convenience with a laptop, which doesn't have constant access to external devices.
WereBear

A work in progress...

http://wayofcats.com/blog

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

Sun May 13, 2007 1:19 pm Post

ThinkSecret claims that both MacBook and MacBook Pro updates are coming sooner than expected.

The rumor site had previously pegged MacBook Pro updates for WWDC, but now expects an announcement "as early as Tuesday," echoing a previous page 2 rumor by Gizmodo. The new MacBook Pro is expected to utilize features from Intel's recently introduced Santa Rosa chipset.

Appleinsider concurs with this report with their own claim that the MacBook Pro will see features such as "faster front-side bus speeds of 800MHz, and second-generation Core 2 Duo mobile processors that scale up to 2.4GHz." They also believe the new MacBook Pro will house the new LED backlit displays. Appleinsider, however, gives no time frame for the revised Pro laptop.

Meanwhile, based on dwindling supplies of the consumer MacBook, ThinkSecret believes we will see a MacBook update in the near future, but they can only speculate that the MacBook may utilize the Santa Rosa chipset. However, they do not believe that the new MacBook will incorporate LED screens. Appleinsider is more confident that the next MacBook revision will not introduce any new features (such as Santa Rosa) and instead be a very modest update.

Finally, Appleinsider adds details of the rumored "ultra-portable" MacBook. They believe that this upcoming 13" laptop model (and not the MacBook revision) will ship with the rumored 13" LED Panels that Apple has been investigating. The rumor site summarizes the features they believe this "ultra-portable" will have:

Ultra-Portable MacBook

• 13-inch ultra-thin, LED-back lit display
• No optical disc drive
• On-board NAND flash for faster application launching and boot times
• Built-in iSight webcam
• Thinner and lighter than existing MacBook offerings
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n enabled
• MagSafe power adapter
• Target launch late '07, early '08


SOURCE http://www.macrumors.com/
Lord Lightning

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

User avatar
juh
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:43 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Mon May 14, 2007 6:30 am Post

I heard about problems with cracked MacBooks. Some pictures here:
http://flickr.com/groups/crackedmacbook

And comments here:
http://www.engadget.com/2007/05/01/reve ... -crackbook

Pe
Pelao
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:15 pm
Location: Near Toronto
Contact:

Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:49 pm Post

My input would be to go with the MB. You get a great balance of power and portability. When at your desk you can hook up to a nice 17, 19 or 20" external monitor and go dual screen, which is fantastic if your work involves a lot of research. The difference in price between the MB and MBP will go a long way to getting more RAM and the extra monitor.


It has been my experience that anyone who starts working with dual screens will fight very hard to avoid losing that second screen: it's much more valuable than a single large screen.

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

Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:08 pm Post

I'd like to hear more about how Scriveners are using the second monitor in their work, because my experience is the opposite: I went from a 12" PowerBook + 17" external display to a 15" PowerBook alone. Sometimes I use it with an iCurve and Matias tactile pro 1 keyboard, but more often I use it by itself, working from a recliner (easier on my back). The widescreen format is perfect for Scrivener because it allows me to have my notes, the piece I'm working on, the binder, and sometimes the inspector all open at once, with plenty of room for reading and writing, even with text size boosted pretty high.

I'm a full time professional journalist so I don't need any graphics or photo capabilities, just web surfing, email, and writing. I always love seeing those big, gorgeous Apple displays and iMacs but I can't think how they'd really help me much. I'm even contemplating slightly downsizing by going for a MacBook (amateur) as soon as OS 10.5 and LED screens are available on it.

Part of its just minimalism: I really like having minimal clutter in my working life. I know plenty of writers, like a couple of Scriveners and the amazingly prolific Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal, who get by with only a 12" iBook, which is too much, or rather too little, even for me.

And yet, so many writers here and elsewhere say an external display is da bomb that it makes me wonder what I'm missing. Can anyone enlighten? And has anyone else downsized from a 15" PB to a 13.3" MacBook and felt visually cramped?

Pe
Pelao
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:15 pm
Location: Near Toronto
Contact:

Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:21 pm Post

Hi Brett

I suppose a lot depends on your own way of working. You sound comfortable with a single screen perched on your lap in a comfortable chair. I do that too sometimes. Incidentally, my main machine is a 12" PB, although I have a 20" iMac too.

If I am simply writing, with little need for referencing a browser etc, then full screen on the PB is fine, and it's also fine with the main Scrivener window.

But in the earlier stages of a project, when I am building notes, very early drafts and reference material, a dual monitor is very helpful. On one I will have the Scrivener window, plus perhaps my Mail app, and on the other perhaps a browser. I am able to easily capture text or links and dump them into Scrivener without moving any windows.

Sometimes when writing early drafts I will have scrivener in full screen on my main monitor, and the main scrivener window with all the notes and research on the second. Thus I am able to tap away at my draft while referring to the research. Nice.

I had a 15" PB for a long time. It's a great size - perhaps the ideal blend of portability and screen space. But apart from the screen and the backlit keyboard it offers little else over the MB for the price - unless you need the extra graphic card power, FW 800 port and faster hard drive (an option) for video work. In most speed tests the Pro books are little faster than the MBs except for video frame rate and other tasks that rely on a graphics card. Even with Photoshop the MB is almost as fast as the pro.

I reckon that a MB with max RAM, a second screen and Applecare is a great package for writers. Altogether those items come pretty close to the price of a MBP, and in my opinion offer better value and more flexible working options.

The only other item I would add is an extra external drive for backup.

In the end of course what matters is that your equipment fits your style - it's simply awful to have to fit your style around your tools.

User avatar
fldsfslmn
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:43 pm

Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:05 pm Post

My 12" PowerBook recently celebrated its fourth birthday. Not only is it still going strong—I replaced its aging 40gb 4200rpm drive with a 100gb 7200rpm drive as a kind of birthday present—it is still managing to amaze me at how much more than simply a computer it is. It's more like a pet, I think. (And I've certainly met many dogs that are less engaging, which is not to mention cats.)

At G4/867MHz, its pace is positively glacial compared to some of these newer machines, but it still handles tasks confidently. I would therefore agree with those who say that speed ought not to be a deciding factor, especially since whatever you choose will likely still be dependable in four years' time.

Go for screen real estate. Hooking an external monitor up to a laptop is simply not that ideal a solution, in my opinion. This is chiefly because the extra monitor will cause your laptop to run hotter and harder, but also because it never quite looks "right" (I wish I could quantify this, believe me).

bu
bungalow1225
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:25 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:41 pm Post

I feel - or felt - the same about my beloved 12" G4 PowerBook. And I was planning to keep it for another year, until I could get either 1) a MacBook in an aluminum casing, or 2) a mythical 13" MacBook Pro (come on Apple, get with it!).

On Friday, while heading home from a business trip, I was talking on the phone as I approached my car in the airport parking lot. I was folding my suit jacket, fishing for keys, finding the parking lot ticket, getting my money out, opening the sun roof, etc.

I pulled out of the parking space and felt the car going over a small bump. I looked in the mirror and saw that I had RUN OVER my Timbuktu messenger bag, with my Mac inside. I had left it sitting on the pavement next to the car.

At home I opened the lid and hit the power button. The machine turned on. The hard drive was intact. But the display was 90% destroyed. The slot drive was crushed, the battery casing bent (my car is a 1984 Mercedes and weighs 5,000 lbs).

Alas, not worth getting a new display and case. So I bought a 15" 2.2Ghz MB Pro and am happy (and the promotions were good - $200 off an iPod, $110 off AppleCare and $30 off a .mac renewal). But the machine seems HUGE. I miss my G4 and I know at least one or two of you will understand the feeling.