…will probably be an Apple MacBook. I’ve been comparing the MacBook with the MacBook Pro, and come to these conclusions:
- The MacBook has a smaller screen than the MacBook Pro – you’re limited to 13″ instead of 15″ or 17″. But right now I’m managing fine with (I think) a 13″ laptop so that’s not a problem.
- The MacBook Pro has the option of a faster processor in the more expensive models, but 2 GHz is probably enough.
- I could get a big HD, but I’ve been surviving with 20 GB on my laptop for a while now and I still have 8 GB free. My Mac Mini still has about 40 GB of free space.
- MacBook Pros have dedicated ATI cards using PCI Express for graphics, with either 128 or 256 MB of dedicated RAM. MacBooks only have 64 MB of RAM, which is shared with the system, and only use Intel chips. The higher-end Pros also have 1 GB of RAM as standard, whereas the MacBooks ship with 512 MB by default. You can add more though.
- You get a Superdrive as standard with the MacBook Pro – the lower MacBook models have a combo drive.
- The higher end MacBook Pro has a Firewire 800 port and an extra USB port, and the MacBook Pros all have ExpressCard (which I think is a successor to PCMCIA).
- The screens on MacBook Pros support higher resolutions – up to 1680 x 1050. The MacBooks can “only” reach 1280 x 800, but it’s still an improvement over the iBook.
- The MacBook is lighter than the MacBook Pros, weighing a little over two kilos.
- The MacBook Pro has a metal case, whereas the MacBook is mostly plastic, I think.
To be honest, for what I want to use it for, the MacBook isn’t that much worse than the MacBook Pro, but it is much cheaper. By the looks of things, I could probably bag the white 2.0 GHz MacBook with an upgrade to 1 GB of RAM for under £850. A comparable MacBook Pro would cost close to £1500 – another £650 for not a lot more in terms of features. I think I know which one I’d go for.
Of course, this is all based on the assumption that the MacBook runs BootCamp, which is a necessity as I’m using it to replace a Windows laptop and will still need to be able to run the odd thing in Windows from time to time. I’m guessing it will but when the MacBook start shipping in a few days I’m sure we’ll find out. Update: Macworld says you can – awesome!