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Was going to buy an iMac - MacBook Pro instead?


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#1 jdmlight

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 08:53 PM

Discussion on my new iMac

OK, so I have set what I would buy if I were to buy an iMac, but I am considering a MacBook Pro.  I know that a MacBook Pro is more expensive, but I was wondering if it would be nice for college or convenience at home.  It has the same tech specs as an iMac, and performance comparisons are a toss-up.  There aren't many user-configurable options, but opinions on which pre-configuration/memory/hard drive are also appreciated.

Another benefit of a MacBook Pro is that it has Firewire 800 and an ExpressCard/34 slot.  I know that when my dad bought his G3 iMac years ago he was glad that he waited for the iMac DV with Firewire 400 for future expansion purposes.  Is this worth it?

Opinions/comments?
Computer was a:
Quicksilver Dual 1 GHz
1.25GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition (256mb)
400GB HDD
Miglia PCI TV tuner (crap)

Sold it on eBay to buy (soon) an:
iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.16 ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256mb
250gb SATA HDD
Elgato eyeTV Hybrid TV tuner

#2 Lemon Lime

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 12:35 AM

if you go places/are a student, get the MBP

if you dont/are not/dont have the cash, get the iMac

like stated, there really is no difference between the two other than that ones a laptop and more expensive, and the others not.

#3 jdmlight

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 09:40 PM

Any other opinions?  Comments on which model, batteries, hard drive rotational speed, processor speed, RAM, expansion, glossy/antiglare, or graphics card (esp. anything versus the iMac)?
Computer was a:
Quicksilver Dual 1 GHz
1.25GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition (256mb)
400GB HDD
Miglia PCI TV tuner (crap)

Sold it on eBay to buy (soon) an:
iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.16 ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256mb
250gb SATA HDD
Elgato eyeTV Hybrid TV tuner

#4 Aika

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 10:31 PM

Get a refurbished iMac and a Macbook for the same price as a Macbook Pro. :)
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#5 Siriusfox

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 10:34 PM

Personally I like the iMac because I hate laptop keyboards. If you NEED not want but MUST go moble, do so. Elsewise, I'd go iMac. Usually it'll be signifigantly cheaper to get the iMac. Just stay away from the Edu Model and you'll be ok.

Go with what you need.
Storage -> iMac
Mobility - MB Pro
Screen size (Not resolution) -> iMac
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#6 jdmlight

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 11:25 PM

I don't mind laptop keyboards.  I obviously prefer normal keyboards, but I have no problems using laptop keyboards.  Besides, I can always plug this one (black Apple Pro Keyboard) into a MacBook Pro when I'm at home.

Like I said in my iMac discussion, I don't use much storage.  I am currently using 32.83 gb's of space.  Granted, I will get more games and stuff with a new computer, but I'd think that 90 more gigabytes would be plenty (with games averaging 2-3 gb's apiece, I could get 30-45 games at once, which I won't do because I like to beat a game then move on to the next one).

I would really like mobility.  There have been plenty of times where I've said "Man, I wish I had a laptop right now."  I also like desktop freedom, which is why I would get the wireless keyboard for the iMac.  On a similar note, I would think that a 15" laptop's screen would be easier to see in your lap at a few feet away than a 20" screen that's 10 feet away.

Another reason that I'd like a laptop is for presentations at school (one of the many situations where I've said "Man, I wish I had a laptop right now.").  Then I wouldn't have to deal with stupid wrong image type errors (because my school is paranoid about installing anything) or slow loading speeds.

And no, I don't want a refurbished iMac and a MacBook.  I want the fastest computer with the most features that I can afford.

Lastly, looking ahead, I know that I will want a way to expand.  A MacBook Pro offers me FW 800 and an ExpressCard/34 slot (which I can get an eSATA card for).  I know that my dad is thoroughly happy that he waited for the iMac G3 DV, which had FW 400.
Computer was a:
Quicksilver Dual 1 GHz
1.25GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition (256mb)
400GB HDD
Miglia PCI TV tuner (crap)

Sold it on eBay to buy (soon) an:
iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.16 ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256mb
250gb SATA HDD
Elgato eyeTV Hybrid TV tuner

#7 DaveyJJ

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 09:37 AM

Based on your own postings I'd say the laptop is your baby. Make sure to get the 256MB video card and max out the RAM to whatever you can afford, both, IMHO, before upgrading the hard drive space (externals are cheap and monstrous these days).

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#8 jdmlight

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:21 AM

View PostDaveyJJ, on December 28th 2006, 09:37 AM, said:

...before upgrading the hard drive space (externals are cheap and monstrous these days).
That's what I was thinking with either an iMac or a MacBook: external storage is readily available and cheap.  Which is why I think that FW800 or an ExpressCard/34 slot would be beneficial.

Only problem with upgrading the video card is that the processor is integrated with it, costing $500 more; however, it also comes with 2gb's RAM.  In this case, is it worth it to pay $500 more to get an upgraded processor, RAM, and video card? (not that I can afford it, but...)  I am also going to watch Apple's refurbished section for an inexpensive 17" (has to be Core 2 Duo).

edit: There's a Core 2 Duo 15" upgraded for $2000 in the refurb'd section!  This only costs $200 more than originally planned, making it more of a possibility.
Computer was a:
Quicksilver Dual 1 GHz
1.25GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition (256mb)
400GB HDD
Miglia PCI TV tuner (crap)

Sold it on eBay to buy (soon) an:
iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.16 ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256mb
250gb SATA HDD
Elgato eyeTV Hybrid TV tuner

#9 jdmlight

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 04:30 PM

View Postjdmlight, on December 28th 2006, 10:21 AM, said:

edit: There's a Core 2 Duo 15" upgraded for $2000 in the refurb'd section!  This only costs $200 more than originally planned, making it more of a possibility.

And now there's not.   :(
Computer was a:
Quicksilver Dual 1 GHz
1.25GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition (256mb)
400GB HDD
Miglia PCI TV tuner (crap)

Sold it on eBay to buy (soon) an:
iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.16 ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256mb
250gb SATA HDD
Elgato eyeTV Hybrid TV tuner

#10 teflon

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 05:21 PM

View PostSiriusfox, on December 28th 2006, 04:34 AM, said:

Personally I like the iMac because I hate laptop keyboards.

really? i love them.... absolutely adore them... even got a scissor keys keyboard cos i like them that much...
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
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and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#11 Dark_Archon

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 06:18 PM

Are you currently a college student? If so, you are probably eligible for the student discount.
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#12 fade

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 08:18 PM

Problem for each:

iMac is old

Macbook Pro doesn't have a mouse; but you can use a mouse

Don't know about you guys, but I need to use a mouse.

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#13 jdmlight

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 11:40 PM

Oh, don't worry, I won't be straying far at all from my Logitech MX1000 Cordless Laser mouse.

And yes, I am a college student and any posted prices are with the discount.  (bummer that the discount doesn't apply to refurbished)

And I don't notice much difference when using laptop keyboards (as far as my typing speed is concerned, they do have a different feel).
Computer was a:
Quicksilver Dual 1 GHz
1.25GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition (256mb)
400GB HDD
Miglia PCI TV tuner (crap)

Sold it on eBay to buy (soon) an:
iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.16 ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256mb
250gb SATA HDD
Elgato eyeTV Hybrid TV tuner

#14 jdmlight

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 09:49 AM

Do I want a refurbished laptop?  If the battery isn't new, then I'd be buying a new battery soon, taking away some of the savings over buying new.  Plus, refurbished means that the laptop was broken, then fixed, meaning it could still have problems.  However, refurbished is cheaper. :)
Computer was a:
Quicksilver Dual 1 GHz
1.25GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition (256mb)
400GB HDD
Miglia PCI TV tuner (crap)

Sold it on eBay to buy (soon) an:
iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.16 ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256mb
250gb SATA HDD
Elgato eyeTV Hybrid TV tuner

#15 Siriusfox

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 10:09 AM

Don't go dissing on refurb. Apples Refurb standards are very high. And it doesn't always mean something was broken. It just means it was returned. Much of the time these are good because any big problems in the hardware would have been fixed already so you don't have to worry about any defective parts.
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#16 jdmlight

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 11:31 AM

True - less chance of a hardware problem because it has already been heavily inspected.  I was just curious what others thought of refurbished.

BTW, I bought my iPod refurbished off of Apple.  The hard drive died once, but it was covered under warranty.  Plus, it was SOOO easy to get a new one:

1. Walk into Apple store.
2. Wait for a few minutes in line at the Genius Bar.
3. Tell them that it's having problems, they reformat it using Apple's iPod updater.
4. When that doesn't work, they go to the back room and give you a new one.  If they don't have it in stock, they'll get you one within a week.

Now, I would assume that Apple would actually try to repair a MacBook because it's a little more expensive than an iPod.  (especially a 20gb monochrome iPod on sale in Refurb'd for $180 at a time when iPod videos were out :))
Computer was a:
Quicksilver Dual 1 GHz
1.25GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition (256mb)
400GB HDD
Miglia PCI TV tuner (crap)

Sold it on eBay to buy (soon) an:
iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.16 ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256mb
250gb SATA HDD
Elgato eyeTV Hybrid TV tuner

#17 teflon

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 12:26 PM

well, theres more little things that can go wrong with a laptop too, and so a lot more diagnostics going on. From what ive heard, the people at the Genius bar will try a few things during a limited amount of time. From there they will either try and solve the problem, deem the computer repairable and ask if you want it taken in (few weeks wait), or offer a replacement...

the second will be the most common outcome.

Im all for refurbished macs. The only bad thing about them is that you dont get the whole new mac feel when you open the box...
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#18 Silver Samurai

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 04:45 PM

View PostAika, on December 27th 2006, 09:31 PM, said:

Get a refurbished iMac and a Macbook for the same price as a Macbook Pro. :)
I think this is the best idea.
I plan on getting a refurb MacBook this summer as I can't really bring my iMac with me on the plane (assuming I go to study overseas)
Just get Applecare on the refurb, but they are the same thing, minus the box.
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#19 jdmlight

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 11:20 PM

Yes, it would be a good idea, but I want a powerful portable, not a powerful desktop and an average portable.  I want to be able to "take notes in class"  ;).  (This is Inside Mac Games, right?:lol:)  It'd also be nice to have more power during class in case any teachers assign a project that's a poster or involves Adobe CS2 (CS3 soon) in some way.  (That includes making awesome PowerPoints - another reason that I want a laptop.  Then I wouldn't have to convert every slide to a JPEG and drop it in PowerPoint, making quick, last-minute updates much easier and faster.)
Computer was a:
Quicksilver Dual 1 GHz
1.25GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition (256mb)
400GB HDD
Miglia PCI TV tuner (crap)

Sold it on eBay to buy (soon) an:
iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.16 ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256mb
250gb SATA HDD
Elgato eyeTV Hybrid TV tuner

#20 Dark_Archon

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 11:49 PM

It sounds like your mind is pretty set on the laptop. You should go with what your gut tells you.

If you get a MacBook Pro, and do decide you want a bigger screen, you can get a 19" widescreen LCD at newegg for around $180 (1440x900 native resolution) and span your desktop across both displays. Larger displays start costing a lot more. A 20.1" display runs for $250+, and anything bigger than that is going to cost over $300. I got a Hanns G HW191D and I love watching movies on it. There are no dead pixels, the brightness and the contrast are good, and I have no ghosting problems while playing games. It isn't as nice as a 20" display that you would get on an iMac, but it works.
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