New Mac Laptop

<p>The lower end 15inch macbook pro really is the best buy. The core i7 branding of the "high end" macbook pro sounds cool, but it is only marginally faster. The faster clock speed of the core i7 macbook pro would only be slightly noticeable if you were rendering HD video. The i7 might be like 10 to 17 seconds faster at rendering the video. As far as day to day programs (ical, mail, safari, itunes, ect), the increased processor clock speed would not produce any noticeable differences when running those programs. In fact there would be no differences at all when running those programs because they would not be taking advantage of the increased clock speed. </p>

<p>Screen: Having a matte or glossy finish screen is purely personal preference so I can't really answer this question for you. From what I have seen, both screens produce nearly identical color images. Some people claim that glossy screens have more "pop" to the images, but from what I have observed they look almost identical. The antiglare screen is definitely an advantage if you are using the computer outside, or in highly lit areas. I personally hate glare, so I always go for the antiglare screens. The "glare" screens show reflections when using them inside a lot of times also (especially the glass ones on macs...). This glare may bother you like it does me, or you may not even pay attention to it. It all boils down to personal preference.</p>

<p>Resolution: In my opinion, the higher resolution display is worth the extra cost (matte or glossy one). The higher resolution will make the screen seem "bigger" and allow you to have more showing at the same time. The higher resolution makes viewing 1080p video and high resolution photos much more enjoyable because you can see more detail. The high res screen also allows you to view two windows side-by-side very comfortably. For example, you may want to view an internet research website while you read it and paraphrase words into a Microsoft word document. You can view the two windows at the same time instead of having to switch back and forth between the two. You can also have other programs open side-by-side such as Ical and mail or whatever floats your boat. The standard 1440-900 res of the 15inch macbook pros is above average, but for around $100 more, the higher resolution option is worth it. Of course it all depends on your usage habits and preferences.</p>

<p>My advice is to visit your local apple store and see the screens in person. Sadly, I know not everyone lives near an apple store.</p>

<p>@Miami 77
would you still recommend the lower end 15 inch for me. I am going to dorm in college and use the laptop as my main computer. I will be a bio major so I wont be doing so much designing and all that stuff. Ill be using it for interntet, music, video chat, instant messaging, picture editing, minor video editing. I wont be gaming or anything on it. Would the 15 inch suit me or should I get the 13 inch?
Thanks .</p>

<p>Would adding microsoft office be a good idea?</p>

<li><p>I recommend the 13" MBP. You can spend part of the difference on a nice, large monitor and keyboard / mouse. Then you have a laptop and a desktop.</p></li>
<li><p>MS Office Student / Home Edition is likely needed unless you're comfortable using OpenOffice or your papers are simple enough to export from Pages cleanly into Word. Word is, better or worse, the de facto standard. (And learn to turn on tracking changes because you may get really good comments that way.) My kids will often write in Pages and then export because they prefer Pages (as do I). If you need a spreadsheet, Excel is also the de facto standard. </p></li>

<p>As I've noted in other threads, learn to use Spaces on your MBP.</p>

<p>The 13 inch MBP only has the Core 2 Duo chips available and I believe that that model only has one fan for cooling compared to two fans in the 15 and 17 inch models. The i5 chips in the larger models can provide significantly better throughput for threaded applications and provide the benefits of Turbo Boost for non-threaded applications.</p>

<p>TheUltimateSteal (from Microsoft) is often a better deal than MS Office Student/Home as it gives you about $800 of software for $60. They provide a few additional tools that can be quite useful for students.</p>

<p>I just bought the 15 inch model with the high-res matte screen for my son to replace his 2008-era MacBook Pro.</p>

<p>I don't think that MS offer is for Macs. You'd also need Windows and Parallels, VMWare or use BootCamp. </p>

<p>I think the chip difference isn't important for many people, but someone in processing intensive majors should think about that. Truth is, I've found that computers reached a level of speed about 4 years ago that is generally sufficient. It's not difficult to edit professional quality video on a 4 year MacBook using FinalCut - because it doesn't require the 3D transforms that machine sucked at. We're seeing more RAM, thank heaven, in all computers and the OS has become much more efficient overall.</p>

<p>Yes, TheUltimateSteal is for the Windows version. I don't believe that Windows Office Ultimate edition is available for Mac OS X. I always buy a Windows License for our Macs as the kids may have some needs in college for Windows to runs something on and I certainly run into documents or programs or training materials that require Windows.</p>

<p>I do some video editing and transcoding a file can take several hours. The performance on a system with twice the threads is going to reduce the amount of time that a transcode can take significantly. It all depends on the application and whether or not it is threaded.</p>

<p>For games, the Turbo Boost mode may be a nice benefit.</p>

<p>Ah, transcoding. That's different.</p>

<p>Save yourself money and buy a "refurbished" mac from the official store on the left side of the page. They're honestly just open box laptops and are brand spanking new.</p>