Mac buying advice -- which model?

I'm looking into getting a Mac laptop. I'm trying to decide which is
best. It would be cool to have one that's small and light and has good
battery life, so therefore I'm looking at the smallest ones -- the
MacBooks. On the other hand, I need more than just a tiny screen for day
to day work, so I would hook it up to a 24" monitor most of the time.

I am probably about to start a religious war, but I would highly advise you go look at the current line of macbooks and decide if you like the glossy screen. They don't come in a matte version anymore.

Even taking into consideration the extra glare you get in the apple store I don't think I could use one of them (or the new imacs) for more than a couple of minutes.

The pictures I've seen online (google for them) seem to me to be pretty accurate in terms of how much glare there is.

That alone would push me into at least the macbook pro unless I knew I was going to use the external monitor 99% of the time.

I sure hope Apple reverses the decision to drop the matte screens on the macbook/imac.

-philip

I completely agree. I bought the matte version as well. The glossy has
way too much glare for me.

Philip Hallstrom wrote:

Hi Phillip, I would like to make a correction to your previous post. First, the Mac Book Pro can be purchased with a matte or glossy screen. Also, the Mac Books come in either matte or glossy as well.

Good luck,

-Conrad

ps: I purchased the glossy and I love it.

The pro’s definitely do, but the new Macbooks are only available in the
glossy screen.

Conrad Taylor wrote:

Hi William, you’re correct because I just called my friend that works at the Apple Store and the Mac Books are glossy only whereas the Mac Book Pros are glossy and matte.

-Peace,

-Conrad

And in fact the stores don't even carry the hi-res MBP in glossy; that's an
online-only order.

I actually spent about 15 minutes trying to compare the two screens, but my
Apple store has them on separate tables - that's helpful. In the end, I
decided I liked the glossy more, glare be damned; text was so much more
readable on it, and there is at least some type of anti-glare coating on
it. If I end up hating it, I guess I'll switch back next time around.

I use a MacBook (13 inch screen) with 2GB RAM and glossy screen. It
works just fine for me. I use it outside, I use it inside. I use it on
the desk, I use it on couch! The glossy screen is fine, despite those
who grouch.

I used to have a PowerBook G4 with 2GB RAM and matte screen. I
couldn't use it outdoors, because sunlight would illuminate the non-
glare coating and obstruct my vision. The glossy screen on the MacBook
means that I only get glare from one direction - behind me.

Non-glare coatings made sense back in the days of curved-surface CRTs.
In the modern age of ultra-flat screens, the coating gets in my way
more than it helps.

That's my own experience.

I don't use an external monitor - at my desk I plug the MacBook into
power and use Teleport to control it using the iMac. Files "live" on
the MacBook, the Rails web server runs on the MacBook, I just use the
iMac for editing (it has the larger screen). I got lucky and picked up
an old-model iMac Core 2 Duo and MacBook Core 2 Duo for less than the
price of a new MacBook Pro.

YMMV
HTH
Alex

If you can wait, the MAC dude at the store said, next spring the
laptops are dropping in price and coming out with some new models...

but thats only if you can wait..

Sure, and I hear the same thing's gonna happen the spring after that, too..
:slight_smile:

well he said the price drop and improvements will be more in line like
buying a laptop from dell... so we should get more bang for our buck
on the laptop side of things from Apple...

I’d be very surprised if an apple store employee was privy to that sort of information. Most reports (and conversations I’ve had with staff there) suggest that store employees usually only get a few more hours’ notice of such things than customers.

Chances are prices will fall and there will be big upgrades. This is the technology industry after all. But I’d be very cautious about relying on reports about specs/pricing from anyone below the top few tiers at apple.

James.

Most Apple *development* employees usually only get a few more hours' notice of such things than customers.

Apple is one of the most secretive companies in the industry. Some of the people working on projects like the iPhone and the Intel port of OSX only found out they'd be working on the project after the public announcement was made.

Basing buying decisions on what somebody tells you Apple "will" do is a recipe for grief.

In a more general sense, Apple's computer business is in the computer business, and thus will be releasing updated computers on a semi-regular basis. These will more than likely be faster, and (in the foreseeable future) track to Intel's processor roadmap for the relevant product lines.

If you'd like to reduce (but not eliminate) your chance of buying new Apple hardware just before Apple obsoletes it, read this and take your chances:

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

-faisal

I'm ready to make the switch but the only reason that I've been
waiting is that sites like http://mactactic.com/ are estimating that
we are ~6 weeks away from the new Mac Books. I've also been checking
out the other Apple rumor sites and the vibe I get is that the new
models will be announced with Leopard.

Since I'm new to the Apple scene how reliable are these sites? I know
these are *rumor* sites and all repost need to be takes with a grain
of salt.

I can hold out for 6 weeks but if it's the spring then I'm off to get
one today.

I wouldn’t say they are reliable at all. I have read these rumors many
times, and they usually base their times off of apples typical release
cycle, In other words, “New Mac Books are due out soon because they
typically release them ever 18 months”, etc. They could be close, or in
the case of the new iMacs, they were off by almost 6 months. It’s pure
speculation. I can tell you this, my MBP 2.2 dual core w/ 2 G ram is
blazing fast and rivals many desktops as far as speed is concerned. I
don’t see you regretting your decision to buy one today. Thats my $.02
and it’s not my fault if they release new ones tomorrow :wink:

Hardbap wrote:

Well here's another opinion at http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Portable_Macs

I for one just bought a MacBook about three weeks ago.

One reason to hold off just a little bit might be to get Leopard
instead of Tiger, but that's a personal decision. Leopard is supposed
to be out this month. My bet is Halloween day.

Another thing to mention, the student discount of $300 is over now, but
you still get a free $100 printer through October 22nd. I got one with
mine and it’s pretty nice. HP all in one. It’s a mail in rebate, but
still virtually free. They processed my rebate in under 2 weeks.

Hardbap wrote: