My PowerBook (the last PowerPC model) still serves me pretty well, but I need to do some Solaris stuff, so one of the new Intel Macs is in my future. Not quite ready to unSwitch for day-to-day work yet; it seems the latest Linuxes still have issues with outboard displays and power management [now 37 people are going to write me to tell me how you can make that work, each providing their own multi-step recipe]. So the question is, MacBook or MacBook Pro? The answer isn’t obvious. [Update: So far, 12 commenters recommend the Pro, 10 the MacBook; three say to wait for the next product refresh.]
Fortunately, I have a terrific resource, namely the Mac-users mailing list here at Sun, which is erudite and prolific. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you! Here’s what I’ve gathered so far.
The MacBook has some real advantages: Looks cooler (I am so tired of carrying a silver laptop), weighs less, smaller, longer battery life. [Commenters add: smaller is a bigger deal than lighter, the catch is better, and it feels stronger. On the other hand, both the white and the black get grubby-looking faster than the silver.]
But then so does the Pro: Max 3G RAM instead of 2, and can take a cellular modem card. [Commenters point out you can get cellphone connectivity on the MacBook too, with either Bluetooth or a USB modem.]
There are some other Pro advantages that I don’t think I care about:
Lighted keyboard; but my PowerBook has one and I almost never use it. [Commenters generally agree.]
Better video card; but people say you can watch and edit video just fine on the MB. [Commenters seem to agree, but not if you’re going to do much Aperture or Second Life.]
Bigger screen; but at a desk, I usually have an outboard screen. [Commenters have real issues with the little screen.]
Handles a 30" outboard screen; I don’t feel the need to expand beyond my current 24" model, but this might be an issue.
Optional matte screen; but glossy’s OK with me. [Commenters mostly agree.]
Has FireWire 800 (and I do have one LaCie disk that supports it); but I don’t think the raw data speed is the limiting factor for much of my outboard work.
Unknown · The keyboards are quite different. Since I touch-type demonically fast, this matters. I’ll need to find a MacBook and spend some time typing on its keyboard to see if I can handle it. [Commenters say “no problemo”.]
What am I missing?