Buying a mac laptop - suggestions?

I’m looking at buying a mac laptop. I’m trying to keep it in the less expensive end of things, but images and video are certainly part of the predicted usage.

The macbook (basic) screen and the MacBook Pro 13" screens are the same size. Is there any real benefit to the macpro screen?

Any other reasons to favor one macbook over another? Where is the sweet spot pricepoint?


I’ve been using a Gen-1 MacBook for 3 years. It’s the best laptop I’ve ever used. The new Aluminum MacBooks are really, really nice, but the integrated click-pad takes some getting used to. If you don’t need cutting-edge video performance, and a 13" screen is big enough, the plastic-bodied MacBook is a fine machine.

I wonder if there a significant difference in image between the 13" and the 13" Macbook Pro that would justify the $250 difference between the two.

Hah. They don’t sell the black 13" macbooks anymore but IIRC the only difference was a slightly larger drive, the black color (instead of white) and over 150 euros.

There is a difference in screen quality between the macbook pro and normal macbook, but I don’t think you’d notice it unless you put them side by side (and the white macbook has a less reflective screen, which I personally like). That said, the aluminium macbooks has a nicer case.

This comparison chart implies that the screens are the same. The aluminum Macbook has a different backlight, but I think that’s mostly for power consumption reasons, not because it improves the image.

Personally, I’d go for the aluminum one. I have a 3 year old plastic Macbook and the plastic near where the hands rest on the case below the keyboard has broken 3 times (replaced twice under warranty. Currently cracked and I’m not planning on fixing it). This is a common problem with that case design, and I’ve heard that the aluminum case is much better.

However, I wonder if it is $250 better.

Let’s move this to IMHO, where you can get opinions and still get facts.

samclem Moderator, General Questions

Also, this is a site that keeps track of how long it’s been since a model has been updated which is a rough guide as to how soon they may be doing an upgrade to a particular system. If it seems like the rumor mills say that they are close to updating a model, you might want to wait a little while before buying.