Saturday, March 15, 2008

Computer Decisions....

So it's time I bought a new computer! It's been time for a while now but I'm a terrible decision maker when it comes to big purchases. So this is where I ask for y'all's thoughts. I'm trying to decide between the MacBook laptop and the MacBook pro.

The MacBook is the white or black one you've seen around and the MacBook Pro is the silver one. The differences as far as I can see...

MacBook has a 13" screen, Pro has a 15" screen (I don't care about it being small, in fact I like to have space on the screen to put all my windows. I just don't know if the 13" is enough screen -- right now I have a 15")

MacBook has 1gb memory, Pro has 2gb. The size of the hard drive doesn't really matter because I don't use that much but I'm also getting a 500gb backup.

MacBook has the glossy screen, Pro has the anti-glare screen.

The cost difference between the two is about $500 (I'm going with a refurbished one) but this is the one thing I said I'd splurge on with the sale of my book (and it's deductible).

So, any thoughts? Does anyone have either of these -- how did you make the decision? Anything else I should take into consideration?


Courtney Milan said...

I have the regular MacBook. The memory management on OS X is really, really good--I doubt you would see much difference with an extra GB of RAM. The only time my computer has to start caching on the hard drive is if I'm running an X11 application. In which case switching from a non-X11 app to an X11 app takes about 15 seconds. If you do not know what an X11 application is, you probably won't run one.

But as a general rule, I usually have Word, Scrivener, Firefox, and iTunes running, and there's very little memory hit for it.

The screen, though, is a bigger problem. I really, really wish it were large enough to have an MS word document open right next to a webbrowser. Unfortunately, it's not, and so I end up having to do some really annoying dancing back and forth.

The 15" screen may not be big enough for that, either, though, although you can get more of an overlap. The screen is plenty comfortable for a laptop.

Oh, and I like my glossy screen.

Heather Lackey said...

I just got a white MacBook a month ago and I love it. 13" is the perfect size (for me) for schlepping around.

However, while I use the MacBook for writing, personal stuff and fun, I use a 20" iMac for work because, yeah, a 13" screen is too small for doing some things--page layout, for instance--on.

As far as the RAM goes, I ordered a 2 GB RAM upgrade from OWC around the same time that I bought the computer, but I only got around to putting it in last week--and that was because my husband wanted to see how easy it was to do ("I'll watch you put your RAM and if then maybe I'll buy some myself"), not because I felt I needed it (not even when I was playing The Sims 2). (On the other hand, my iMac is maxed out on RAM because I need to run stuff in Windows via VMFusion--that taxes the memory hard. But if you don't need that...I'm jealous. :D)

My last PC laptop had an OMGSUPERGLOSSY screen, best used at night and on dreary days; this one hardly looks glossy at all in comparison. (That said, I haven't seen a Macbook Pro in person, so I don't know how this screen compares to that.)