Saturday, November 27, 2010

Apple MacBook or Apple MacBook Pro

One question often asked is whether the MacBook Pro is worth the additional price premium over the MacBook. The MacBook, priced at Php51,990, is Apple's entry level laptop (now a distinction shared with the 11.6" MacBook Air). The 13.3" MacBook Pro is priced at Php61,990. The MacBook has the following specifications:
  • 13.3" LED backlit 1280 x 800 screen
  • 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB DDR3 memory
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
  • 250GB hard drive
  • Slot loading 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • Built-in 10-hour battery
  • Polycarbonate unibody enclosure

What does your additional Php10K buy you if you get a MacBook Pro? The most obvious is the change in the case. The MacBook has a classic white Apple plastic case, although in a unibody design. The MacBook Pro comes in an aluminum unibody case which is smaller and lighter than the MacBook case. 

MacBook dimensions and weight:
  • 13 x 9.2 x 1.08 inches
  • 4.7 pounds
MacBook Pro dimensions and weight:
  • 12.78 x 8.94 x 0.95 inches
  • 4.5 pounds

Another physical change is that MacBook Pro's screen is covered edge to edge by a glass cover. The MacBook Pro also comes with a still not too common feature, an illuminated keyboard with an ambient light sensor.

Inside, the only difference really is that the MacBook Pro comes with 4GB of RAM instead of 2GB's. All other specifications are the same between MacBook and the entry level 13.3" MacBook Pro. Upgrading a MacBook's memory from 2GB to 4G will cost you Php5,400 if done at the Apple store and Php4K if done outside. Unless you plan to use your MacBook to play games you won't really need the 2GB, and if you wanted a gaming laptop, I would look elsewhere. As good as the Nvidia GeForce 320M graphic cards are, for this money you can get a much better gaming system.

Effectively, the aluminum case and back-lit keyboard make up the half of the 10K additional cost. The MacBook is a slightly better value for money proposition if you ask me, and it also has the classic "Mac look." But MacBook is the sleeker looking one of the two, and we can imagine many would easily pony up the 10K price premium just for the look alone.

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