Macbook Pro or Sony Vaio AW?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by brent_harris|4, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. I am needing a new laptop. I will only have one machine and wonder, what in your opinion is the best all round machine for photo processing/editing. I travel quite a bit so portability is also consideration.
    Thank you.
  2. It would be an apples to oranges comparison between an Apple laptop with a Sony laptop.
    However, if you want to get one of the most tricked out and powerful laptops available other than the fat and heavy gaming laptops, you may want to consider the Dell Precision M6500 mobile workstation for many reasons including:
    It has higher resolution than the apple or the sony, at 1920x1200 in a 17inch diag. package, and Dell even has a version of the LCD with LED backlighting.
    With the Dell it is possible to choose either an nVidia or an ATI discrete graphics card, with up to 1GB of dedicated video memory.
    With the Dell it is possible to have two hard drives of up to 500GB each spinning at 7200rpm for a total of 1GB of storage on board, although it is easy to add an eSATA express card and expand with external drives.
    With the Dell it is possible to choose a blu-ray reader / DVD burner drive, while the Apple does not support blu-ray.
    The Dell supports up to 16GB of system memory for use with a 64bit version of Windows 7 or Windows XP.
    The Dell M6500 is available with great phone support and on-site service that is really good.
    The Dell M6500 includes a choice of various Intel Core i7 mobile processors that are more powerful than those available in the Apple or the Sony, up to a i7-820QM quad core or an i7-920XM Extreme Edition (for an extra $690).
    However, if you get an M6500, with all the available goodies, it will cost you dearly, as much as $7,000.00 or more.
    I own the previous version of the same Dell laptop, and spent about $5,000.00 for it, but I use the thing every day for mobile shoots and in the studio, connected to a Dell 2408 LCD monitor in portrait mode, with my camera tethered to it so that I can review photos on the display instantly as I am working.
    So, if you want a truly powerful laptop that is the equal of the most powerful desktops, for imaging working, the best you can get is from Dell, but it will cost you.
    Check it out at the following link and click the customize button to walk through all the customization options, don't go with a stripped down package:
    Link to Dell m6500 customization sequence
    Link to Dell M6500 laptop page
    Link to gallery photos of the Dell M6500 laptop at
  3. I didn't know Dell advertised on
  4. Ha Ha Walter!
  5. I think I provided Brent an appropriate, detailed, and persuasive, answer to his question. Plus I neither work for, nor am I associated with Dell in any way, other than being a satisfied customer who is reading this site with a Dell Precision laptop at this very moment.
  6. Hello again Brent. Well Summer is for Dell & i would choose them over Sony, but Summer has some facts wrong about Apple.
    The 17'' Macbook Pro is 1920x1200 & you would have an option for Matt or glossy screen for only 50 bucks. Since you are talking about traveling it would be nice to have a Matt screen with almost no reflections.
    Apple's battery technology has every one beat right now. Great for traveling. With the Graphics ability the Macbook Pro has 512, but when you don't need it you can town it down to save power. & yes 8 gigs of Ram vs 16 on the Dell
    & don't forget about Firewire 800. You can get portable external HD's up to 640 GB & daisey chain your 800 card reader to them & need only 1 port & it will power both.
    Plus the Macbook Pro comes in 13''15''17'' & all are very Powerful so you can see what kind of power you will need.
    & yes no Blue-ray support . & I'm not really happy with that, but i have all my movies on Hard disk when it comes to my laptop anyway.
    I have heard & seen friends deal with Dell's support. & it seems to be a good split of good bad. Like lots of support if you know your stuff pretty good it will go better.
    With Apple the odds are that you have a couple of stores around you. So you don't have to deal with your problems over the phone. You can make an reservation at the Genius bar at home. They are very helpful. So if you are having a problem with your Mac,software,hardware or you just can't wrap you head around something they can look at it instead of you trying to explain it over the phone.
    & about the Intel i7 the Macbook Pro is ready for an update & all apple rumers have them headed there
  7. Summer . Love the comment ''Dell Precision laptop at this very moment''
    Awsome Right back at ya Pal
  8. "It would be an apples to oranges comparison between an Apple laptop with a Sony laptop."

    Sorry, but they are comparable because they are both built around Intel processors. You can run Windows on the Apple, so first decide if there is any Apple-specific software that you require (everything that I need runs on either platform, so I have a PC). Buy the Apple if you want to run Aperture or a version of Apple's video software. And buy the Apple if you don't want to receive tech support over the phone from India. If your software runs on either platform, then just compare specs and build quality.
    I had a CD drive break on a Dell desktop while it was under warranty, so they shipped me a replacement drive that I had to replace myself. I have no problem doing it myself on a desktop, but I sure wouldn't want to do it on a laptop. So check on support if you buy a Dell.
  9. If you want technical support from people in the U.S. with Dell, one would need to purchase the "Pro Support" package with "on-site service", which is well worth it, IMO. When last I called, the Dell "Pro Support" group was based in Tennessee somewhere. The four year "Pro Support" only adds $220.00 to the cost the computer, and is a bargain, IMO, sort of like insurance on the hardware. If anything ever goes wrong, they are out the next day with a technician.
    Dell Pro Support Description Link
  10. Here is the spec page in the MacBook Pro 17"
    Another limitation of the MacBook Pro is that the Apple OS is only available in a 32bit version.
  11. The Dell Precision Mobile Workstation laptop model M6500 configuration below contains the features I was describing above, including 12GB RAM, LED backlighting, 4 years Pro Support, MS Office, 64bit Windows Ultimate, docking station, and so on:
    total price $7,082.00
    PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i7-820QM Quad Core 1.73GHz 8MB edit
    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Ultimate, 64-bit edit
    ENERGY STAR Dell Precision M6500 Mobile Workstation edit
    MEMORY 12.0GB, DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM, 4 DIMMS edit
    VIDEO CARD 1.0GB NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 3800M Graphics edit
    LCD 17" Wide Screen WUXGA RGBLED LCD Panel w/ integrated camera and mic edit
    RAID CONFIGURATION All Hard Drives, Non-RAID, 1 or 2 drive total configuration edit
    HARD DRIVE 500GB 7200rpm Hard Drive with FFS edit
    SECOND HARD DRIVE 500GB 7200rpm Hard Drive with FFS edit
    OPTICAL DRIVE Blu-ray Disc™ with Roxio and Cyberlink PDVD™ edit
    WIRELESS CARD Dell Wireless™ 1510 802.11a/g/n Draft Mini Card edit
    WIRELESS-PAN Dell 365 Bluetooth 2.1 and Dell Ulta Wide Band 420 edit
    CONTACTLESS SMART CARD READER Contactless Smart Card Reader edit
    FINGERPRINT READER OPTION Internal Swipe Fingerprint Reader edit
    A/C ADAPTER 210W/240W switchable Slim 3P A/C Adapter edit
    WARRANTY & SERVICE 4 Year ProSupport for End Users and 4 Year NBD On-Site Service edit
    OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office 2007 Professional and Adobe Acrobat 9.0 STD edit
    MODEM No Modem edit
    VIDEO CARD ADAPTERS DisplayPort to DVI (Single Link) Adapter for E-Family edit
    VIDEO CARD ADAPTERS DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter for E-Family edit
    DOCKING SOLUTIONS E-Port Plus, Port Replicator edit
    SYSTEM DOCUMENTATION Resource DVD and Quick Reference Guide edit
    ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE SERVICE 4 Year CompleteCare Accidental Damage Protection edit
    BATTERY OPTIONS 9 Cell Battery
    INTERNAL KEYBOARD Internal English Backlit Keyboard
  12. Summer... Apples OS has been 64bit for quite some time....Get it right. Robert bad talks your Dell support so you go off half cocked with wrong info
  13. Changing the CD/DVD drive on a laptop, is totally easy and involves removing a single screw from the back of the unit, sliding one drive out and the other drive in, and replacing the screw. It is actually easier than trying to do that with a desktop.
    Changing hard drives is equally easy. In fact, I keep two sets of primary hard drives for my Dell laptop, one with Windows XP and one with Windows 7. Since you can't directly upgrade between them, I decided to setup an alternate hard drive with the newer OS. I can turn off my laptop and swap hard drives within under two minutes, although I don't do it that often. Changing the primary hard drive involves two screws instead of one, and the hard drive slides in/out on a cute little chassis. Dell support even sent me a second hard drive chassis for free after I purchased an additional WD 7200rpm hard drive on my own.
  14. "Another limitation of the MacBook Pro is that the Apple OS is only available in a 32bit version."​
    Not true. OS-X (10.6) Snow Leopard is a 64-bit OS (64-bit core kernel). That was the primary reason for the upgrade from Leopard (the rest was some UI tweaking). OS-X has supported some 64-bit applications since Tiger. Basically, if the processor supports 64-bit, it can run at 64-bit. This includes all current MacBook Pros. Certain other Mac laptops (that are 64-bit capable) are shipped with 32-bit selected as the default OS mode, but they can be tweaked to run 64-bit. For example, newer iMac users can hold down on the 6 and 4 keys while booting, and Snow Leopard will start in 64-bit mode. For all Macs, however, there are still a very few built-in applications (like iTunes) that run at 32-bit regardless.
    All Mac users with Snow Leopard and a 64-bit capable machine will be capable of using 64-bit Photoshop with the next PS release (CS5), as well as 64-bit LR3 when it's released. Apple's late notification to developers of their change in core OS programming languages (from Carbon to Cocoa) for the 64-bit OS-X update (Leopard to Snow Leopard) is the reason PS CS4 is written in 32-bit-only for Macs.
  15. I have owned Dell products and I now own both Apple and PCs machines and here are some observations based on my personal experience:
    In the event you need repair there may not be an Apple store near you. They are not as accessible as people are led to believe. You should verify whether or not one is really conveniently close to you.
    Dell offers advance exchange on such items as defective hard drives, etc. If you are traveling and in a remote location, and a hard drive fails on a Dell, your chances of getting an advance exchange overnight are pretty good. Getting an advance exchange from Apple is like pulling hen's teeth, in spite of having Apple Care. It's doubtful they'll overnight one to you. Instead, they will likely insist you to take the product to an Apple Store, an authorized service center or return it to Apple. That would be a show stopper for me if I traveled extensively. My experience with a locally authorized Apple repair station was very negative. They stocked no repair parts, were going to charge me labor in spite of having Apple Care (because I didn't buy the machine from them) and they were clueless in terms of proper diagnosis of the problem, and my machine would have been tied up at least two weeks. I finally actually had to finally travel 250 RT, twice, to take my machine to an Apple store. After ten days they still had not repaired it properly. I subsequently retrieved it and repaired it myself.
    Having to deal with the workarounds to burn and view BluRay discs on a Mac is a PITA and not practical on an Apple laptop. BluRay may go away in 5-10 years but for now it is the best consumer format for the highest quality transfer of HD material, regardless of what Steve Jobs thinks and BluRay drivers/burners are becoming standard on most medium and high end PC based laptops.
    Admittedly, my Apple experience has not been the greatest. The most common comment I hear from other Apple owners is that I am an exception. Possibly, although when I get this comment and quiz the person making it, I usually find their Apple experience has not been silky smooth either. Your mileage may vary but for photo editing a high end Dell laptop would be my choice over either a MacBook Pro or a SONY VAIO.
  16. I've been using both, and as an educator have been using Apple products most of my teaching career. So it will come as a surprsie when I say get the SONY Vaio! The Interface between Mac OS X and Windows 7 is uncannily much so that Windows 7 looks like a Mac ripoff! So be it. Apple has always had the best GUI around. However Apple really seems to be "Dumbing Down" their interface. No hard drive icon on the desktop anymore in OS X.6, and trying to move your itunes purchased music between a Mac and another Mac is an excercise in frustration.
    Whichever one you get, make sure the screen does not have the STUPID glossy covering which all the companies seem to be using. That makes seeing the screen difficult, under any amount of bright ambient lighting...and editing photos for contrast and color nearly impossible. Remember running on battery power Laptops screens are dim and crummy. So always do critical editing running on AC current plugged in. Getting some decent color calibration gear is a must too.
  17. Okay, I've seen threads hijacked before, but never have I seen one as badly as this one has been. The question was Sony Vaio or Macbook Pro - Dell is not part of that question, so I suggest that no matter how much someone loves or hates their Dell, it is irrelevant.
    That said, if someone knows me at all, they'd know that I consider the Macbook Pro just about the perfect laptop. If we are talking about photo editing, that becomes even more apparent.
    One problem that Apple has is that due to there being a lot of people who have switched, and a lot of people who have over the years declined to fully understand the structure of OS X, there is quite a bit of misinformation out there. For example, Russ, your hard drive icon is simply not on the desktop because by default Apple leaves the preference for this unchecked. If you'd like it there, go to the Finder/Preferances/General pane and check the box. Another is the 32 bit versus 64 bit question. Of course OS X is 64 bit. Moreover, one of the main purposes of the Snow Leopard update was to rewrite much of the code to become more efficient in how it operates - some of which makes existing programs operate faster, some of which is to lay the ground for new program development as they migrate to 64 bit support.
    Finally, as I'm sure someone will feel obliged to compare today's lineup of MBPs with some model that just came out - I'd advise holding off for a few months. Apple is expected to refresh the MBP lineup shortly - with new processors that have just been released (sort of, though not quite in flow) from Intel.
  18. How important is battery life?
    Is Cost an important factor?
    Do you have a preference between Mac OS and Windows? - if the laptop will be mostly for Photoshop, maybe this isn't such an important question, as you'll be working in an image editor anyway. Also, you can install Windows on Macs.
    Does weight come into the equation?
    Do you need a CD/DVD burner, or are you happy emailing your pictures (or using USB drives). If you can do without a CD drive, you can reduce weight and increase portability.
    Do you want a built in CF/SD (and what else not) card reader? - or will you be happy to carry around an external one (or use the Camera's USB cord)
    Will you do most of your final editing on the go, or are you planning to do just the initial sorting, and maybe some extensive photoediting while travelling, and can save the bulk of your editing for when you can return home and use an external big lcd screen
    I used to store all my images on the internal hdd, but then my computer got stolen, and the only pictures I have are the ones I uploaded to picassa and facebook. Now, my system is to only keep the 'currently working on' images on the laptop, and everything else backed up on external hard drives.
    Are you a working pro? - Is this an investment for work, or just for your passion?
    I believe (not sure about all manufacturers/models out there) Macbook pros come with better LCD screens (also have matte option) than most Windows based laptops. How important is that to you?
    ------- This is the laptop I chose (got this baby 2 weeks ago): Acer Aspire 1810TZ, you can check up on its specs.
    It meets all my needs. It's very light, has good battery life, plenty of computing power for both my matlab needs and my Elements usage. The screen is small, but I have a bigger screen at home, that I can hook it up to, when I need it for editing or watching movies.
    The laptop doesn't have a CD bay, but that hasn't been a problem for me yet. All software these days is available online, and if I really need a CD/DVD drive, I can just share my flat mate's over the home network. (There are other workarounds, such as virtual drives) So far, I haven't had that need. Since I'm a student, and price is a big factor, I leaned towards this over other models out there, which are also good.
    Hope this helped.
  19. I have a 3 year old MPB 15". Were to replace it today I'd certainly look hard at the Sony for the better case design and ergonomics. A MPB I tried a few months back had a very annoyingly sharp edge where my wrists would abrade on it while typing.
  20. I have an older macbook with the matte screen before they went to that all glossy screen which I cannot stand. If screen glare bothers you then the macbook might be a problem. Apple claims the glossy glass produces better contrast for blacks, but honestly the matte screen is better on my eyes and I don't have to worry about finger smudges showing up.
  21. First, if you are thinking about a MacBook Pro wait. There are rumors that Apple is going to introduce new systems with the i5/i7 processors soon.
    Second, what software do you have? You may be able to cross grade from PC to Mac with some software/suites but not with others. Changing platforms can be more of an investment than you think.
    Lastly, having been a very satisfied Mac user for a couple of decades, I don't want to get into the tit-for-tat. I would mention that with the new Mac systems (Core processors or later) you can run any version of Windows on your Mac. All you need to do is buy the OS (XP if you can find it, Vista or Win7). If you want to be able to run both Mac OS and Windows at the same time you will need a virtualization app (Parallels, Fusion). If you want to run one or the other, but not both at the same time, you can use Apple's free Boot Camp. It's like getting two computers for the price of 1 1/8 (at the prices that have been discussed here).
  22. Your question basically comes down to ... Apple vs Windows. Similar to ... Chevy vs Ford, Colt vs Kimber, whiskey vs bourbon, etc. etc.
    I have been a Windows user for more than 20 years. I must admit, I never liked them, I consider them to be a "patch-work", not a real Operating System. I switched to Mac in January 2009. Never looked back, never plan to go back. Why?
    My Toshiba notebook with Windoze XP needs about 8 minutes to fully boot (with all the anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-fishing, anti-malware, anti-you-name-it) software that it needs to run without problems. My Macbook boots up in 2 minutes and I have only one anti-virus program running in it. Even that, according to some Apple users is not necessary.
    Photography-wise, I am a very recent user of the various image editing/managing/organizing programs, but basically whatever is available on Windoze is also available for Mac. On the other hand, my prefered image program, Aperture, is not available on Windoze. So for me, the answer is clear, Mac OS.
    Oh yes, and I drive a Jeep.
  23. If you like to upgrade every year or so, a PC might be a better bet because they are so much cheaper.
    We finally got our daughter a MBP at my wife's urging. She thinks the kids should have a computer as good as my iMac which i've had for a few years without problems. Both of my daughters had Sony Vaio laptops which kind of fell apart after about a year. We'll see how she does with her new 13" MBP with the rigors of college work and carrying it around campus.
  24. XP is ancient.
    My 3 year old Fujitsu 17" boots windows 7 to desktop in 65 seconds.
    It cost 1/2 of a MBP and it has 2x500GB drives and 4GB ram, and it runs CS3 justfine.
    I spent the rest of the money on a lens.
  25. I wouldn't trade my MacBook for 3 Sony Vaio's.
  26. "I wouldn't trade my MacBook for 3 Sony Vaio's."
    That's why Apple has such high profit margins ;)
  27. Dell Precision. Heh. Let me tell you something about Dell Precisions.
    I went to architecture grad school and a Dell person had convinced our department's tech people that the only thing for an architecture student to have was a Precision laptop with a Quadro video card, and offered a bit of a discount to the students. Many of the incoming students bought them. Turns out they were cheap plastic crap, exactly the same as an Inspiron model that some of the people had that was half the price, only with a different label and a Quadro video card that turned out to be no better than a Geforce card.
    One of my friends had memory fail in hers. She got on the phone and spent an hour getting through to a guy in India and another hour doing stupid tests to confirm that there was bad memory, which I had told her after looking at it for 2 minutes. The Dell guy dispatched new memory to her and told her she would have to install it herself (which meant I would do it and be compensated in beer).
    When the memory came I opened the bottom and swapped the memory, and... nothing. Still broken. I'm mighty confused because I know it's bad memory, but then I notice the DIMM that I swapped was a 1GB, and I know the student model has 2GB, but I don't see another one. Figuring the bad memory must be on the motherboard or something, I tell her to call back, we start drinking the beer and wait to get through, and when we get a guy on the line he tells us the second DIMM is conveniently located under the keyboard and the entire front bezel needs to come off! It's one of those snappy plastic deals and I know the parts are crap and likely to break, so I make him swear that if I break anything doing this it will be replaced and make him wait on the line while I do it, but I do it, and it's fixed.
    This is after my own Dell laptop experience when I had a model that was high end for its time, and the shoddily designed hinge broke and was replaced four (FOUR!) times. My next computer was an Apple.
    And Dell is charging SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS for one of these pieces of garbage! Listen, I get paid to write about this stuff, I know what I'm talking about, and I offer the following for anybody actually considering paying for this horrendously overpriced system, who does not happen to be involved in the 3D animation or CADD business:
    -The Quadro video card does nothing for you. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Absolutely zero improvement over a comparable Geforce card. In some cases it's detrimental - if you want to play video games, a Quadro hurts you because its DirectX drivers lag behind the current ones for Geforce cards. The video card in the Dell is not better for you than the video card that is standard in a 15" or 17" Mac.
    -The 1.73GHz i7 in this model will run Photoshop slower than the 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo that is standard on the 15" Mac.
    -The 8GB available in the Mac is not going to be noticeably slower than the 12GB in the Dell. Most Photoshop users don't have files that get memory usage up to anywhere near that level of usage. Most users who do, do so because they are lazy and do not use good technique.
    -A Blu-Ray reader is only for watching movies.
    The 17" Mac, at half the cost (when including the memory upgrade and 3 year service plan) is at least as good as the Dell, is better built, weighs less and has better battery life. If you need tech support and live near an Apple Store you can get it in person, and you will never be instructed to remove the keyboard yourself.
    You would have to be insane to buy that Dell. Unless you're in animation or CADD.
  28. would be nice to have a Matt screen with almost no reflections.​
    That is what I though when my experience was limited to using a Dell laptop. I have a 13'' MacBook pro now. Its glossy screen is bright and very sharp to give the pictures a 3D look. It also has a very wide viewing angle to you can easily till the screen to find a comfortable angle without reflection. I thus suggest that you save the money and just use the standard screen. I also use it to edit videos and find it more than powerful enough for video editing. A full-charged battery can last a whole working day, unless you leave it running all the time.
    While I love the Mac, one note of caution if you plan to use Nikon's software, only recently Nikon's Capture NX2 becomes compatible with the newest OS. The free ViewNX is still not compatible. Since I can run Windows in the Mac, I thus use the Window version of the free software for now.
  29. "I wouldn't trade my MacBook for 3 Sony Vaio's."
    That's why Apple has such high profit margins ;)
    They deserve every dime.
    Not 30 minutes after I made that post (I kid you not) my neighbor called and asked if I could come down to look at her HP notebook. Despite having a fully paid for and updated version of one of the better anti virus products made, her notebook was infected. No applications would launch, IE was constantly launching and trying to connect to porn sites, and dialogs were continually popping up warning her of a security risk and asking her to "activate anti virus". The dialogs were very well designed to look like they were part of Windows XP, and would open a scam company website just waiting for her credit card.
    The computer was also sluggish and hot from what I presume to be background network activity by the malware. What I have identified so far is designed to take over the PC and use it for such stuff (typical). DoS attacks? Illegal file sharing? Music, videos, porn, perhaps illegal porn? Who knows. The malware had a wide open FIOS connection for an hour or more. God only knows what it did.
    The PoS Windows notebook is now sitting on my office desk booted in safe mode and running virus scans. I can pretty much guarantee that cleaning it will require multiple scans by multiple products since the Windows virus problem is now so bad that no single company is able to keep up with all the threats in the wild. There's even a chance that I'll call her tomorrow and recommend just wiping the whole drive and starting fresh.
    Oh yeah...she's bad about backups and all her photos are on this one drive. Hope they're still there.
    Windows is a pile. The lack of security is so glaring and dangerous at this point that Microsoft should be forbidden from selling any more copies unless and until they are able to fix it. Mac or PC? That's not even a question in my book.
    Funny thing is her and her husband want more computers for the house, what with two kids and all. She was asking me about netbooks and I told her to buy a Mac. She looked at my aluminum MacBook but said they are too expensive. I wonder what she'll say tomorrow.
    Using Windows is like unprotected intercourse with a street hooker after you've shared needles with her pimp. If you like that sort of thing, by all means, pick up a shiny new PC.
    (Queue all the "but I've never had a virus" comments from people whose PC's are probably right now being used as filesharing and DoS attack nodes.)
  30. Being a lifetime PC desktop user it was finally time for a big road trip which meant I needed to consider a laptop.
    I spent a little more and got myself a 15.6" MacBook Pro. It's worked great for the trip and the "annoying" glossy screen actually doesn't bother me; and I'm one of those people that always finds things to complain about.
    It's been a great machine especially if you travel a lot. I found other laptops to be bulky and really am tired of the nonsensical perpetual "updates" on my pc...
    I say atleast give the Macbook a shot. The other thing to consider is the software. Everything seems a lot more stable and photoshop cs4 flies on this thing! I'm also able to watch native 5d MKii .mov clips with zero issues!
    The other thing I like is the solidness of the thing. It doesn't squeek, flex, or feel cheap compared to every other laptop I looked at. The two finger scroll makes web surfing a lot less frustrating for the first time laptop user. The entire trackpad clicks or you can use two fingers to right click. All stuff that beats the heck out of being frustrated using other laptops.
    For those that capped on Apple service: So once or twice a year it actually snows here in Portland. I had my macbook in my luggage. When I popped the trunk some snow dropped onto the luggage which melted and got water into the mac. The monitor flickered and stopped working. Took it to the Mac store and they replaced the backlight and logic board all for free and all done in 48 hours! No questions asked, no bs involved. I didn't even have applecare either! They are def. class acts atleast at the store I delt with. :)
    One thing most people miss: distractions. On the mac I don't have popups, constant updates, permission requests, software conflicts, etc. It's a lot more focused experience. Less crap and more time to work on actually photo editing.
  31. I used Microsoft for 20 years before switching to Mac. I regret not switching years before, but that´s life.
    I can attest to all the praise, and add one thing: macs don´t lose performance over time! No "cleaning" jobs (that usually didn´t help much) needed.
    And yes, they cost more. Apart from a superior operating system, you also get superior ergonomics and design. I was laughing all the way from the bank.
  32. Lots of stuff about memory , processor, graphics cards and other points. In these matters most laptops do the job as long as their is enough memory. There's not that much difference.
    By far the most important point for photo editing is the quality of the screen . I am talking about gamut. Not number of pixels nor graphics card. You are into Photo editing, you need a good screen. Most laptops have mediocre screens. The apple pro have a better screen. Others I don't know. In this matter specs are useless and casual store inspection is no better. No laptop comes close to a good screen such as a NEC series 90, apple display and others. Save your money get a less expensive model and get a good screen. Then calibrate it. You'll save yourself a ton a grief and lost time.
  33. I have an iMac at home with the glossy screen and it doesn't bother me, but I don't have a mac laptop. I did have a Sony 17" VAIO with a very high resolution screen and I can tell you that 1920x1200 on a 17" platform was beautiful but requires awfully good eyes to use for any length of time. Also the thing was a bear to move. The power brick weighed more than my netbook. If portability is REALLY an issue, I suggest a 15" with an external monitor at home. Macs do have the advantage of having fewer viruses and other malware written for them and that is not insignficant. Also I like Aperture a lot and it's cheaper than Lightroom and only runs on the Mac. Apple's built in "time machine" backup is not bad either and while I wouldn't use it as my only backup, it is pretty much fire and forget so it's much better than nothing and you get it free (you DO have to buy an external drive to store the backup though).
    The thing is that if you're a dedicated windows user, you might not be able to adapt to the Mac and vice versa. If you're "open minded" you could do worse than a Macbook Pro if you can afford it. Good luck with your decision. Go to an Apple store and try them first before you buy.
  34. Hi Brent,
    I am one of the people who recently moved from PC to Mac after using Windows for 16 years. I am from tech support background, and I complain a lot about bad computers. So I hope my feedback below is impartial and useful to you and others in future.
    Hardware: I have used Dell, Sony and now a Mac. Software: I have used Windows and Mac.
    I will try to provide my feedback succinctly, and try not to repeat the things mentioned by others.
    + Onsite support. Good value for what you pay.
    - Telephone support sucks. They make you do stupid tests for an hour on the phone, and I hate it especially when, for ex., I know the DVD drive is NOT reading anything. Or when the Wifi card isn't connecting to ANY network. Depending on your support plan, they make you install components yourself, which you may or may not feel comfortable with. (I am from tech support background, I am from India/currently living in the US, and I hate the current Dell support based in India - I don't even think many of them have seen a disassembled laptop in their life. And yes, Dell's telephone support process sucks).
    + Nice design. 'Supposedly' trendy laptops.
    - Quite fragile actually. (They cost considerably more than other pc vendors and correspondingly more fragile. If you travel often, don't forget your thick neoprene or foam bags, etc. I had a Vaio for a few months and it started rattling all over, the trackpad failed, the hard drive started making funny noises and the system got WAY TOO HOT when running few apps at the same time).
    Mac: (I bought a 2009 MBP 13.3 inch and upgraded the HDD to 7200 rpm drive. I bought this three weeks ago).
    + Nice design. Not too hot, and Quite fast actually. Apple doesn't offer 7200 rpm on 13.3 inches, probably due to heat etc., but I upgraded to the 7200. The OS loads 50-60% faster now (18sec vs. 40 sec). Apps like Entourage, MS Word, iTunes, and Quicktime load in 3-4 seconds. On my windows Vista pc, they used to take 30-40 seconds easily. I have enabled the 64-bit booting and it is great. (There are some programs that aren't compatible with 64 bit booting, like 3G NTFS - so I reboot into 32 bit when required, by pressing 3 & 2 keys. nice.).
    + I am not a pro photographer, only a passionate hobbyist. I find the screen alright, although if I were to do it again, I would have gone for 15 inch or 17 inch. I still plan on getting an external matte screen sometime for editing pics.
    - No blu-ray. yet (?!).
    - Uses little outdated processors when compared to a similar PC. Lesser configuration for same money (for ex., hard drive capacities) or more cost for same config (when compared to similarly configured pc's).
    - I purchased a factory refurb model to save a couple hundred bucks, and the trackpad gave out. (I went for refurb based on my experience with iPods, which were quite sturdy. Takeaway: I'd not do that again, of course).
    - I called Apple (US based Support, FWIW).. they wanted me to send it in for service or check with a local store. Local store doesn't stock parts, so it is on its way to Apple now. It will take 1 week. (Takeway: If you are going to have only one computer, this may be a deal breaker -- 'can you send in your computer for a week for service, although service may be free?'. If I were to do it again, I'd check the size and number of apple support stores nearby area. Fortunately, I still kept the old vista pc after switching to mac, and I as much as I hate it I am using it to type this response (and do my work, browse the web, etc).
    - The local shop (where I left the MBP to be shipped to Apple) called me today morning - Apparently Apple support wants the master password of the system or they would ERASE the HDD when you send it in for service. No one mentioned it before. Luckily I swapped the factory default HDD (with OS) because I was lazy to backup the new 500G drive. So I asked them to go ahead and "ERASE" it. (Takeaway - if you are like me, and keep sensitive stuff like tax return documents (which contain SSN etc.) on your computer, you may want to take frequent backups and be prepared to "erase" them or "give the master password" to Apple if you need support).
    (Off topic: Why the heck Apple wants to access my HDD for replacing and testing a new trackpad is beyond me. They have boot cd with utilities and they can definitely test the new trackpad with those utilities. Also, if Dell can offer on-site support at a cost, why can't Apple do the same? I don't know. May be others here can enlighten me).
    Now, moving on to OS, I don't have a lot of new stuff here than what others have offered above.
    + cheaper (this is really not the case if you value your time that is spent on maintaining the system through frequent patches, registry cleanups, virus/malware/spyware/factory-crap-ware/other-ware cleanups)
    - It is Windoze. Slow and filled with security holes. (I don't know about the 64 bit version though - I lost patience and switched to mac). I agree with one response where the poster suggested M$ should be penalized for pushing more copies. -- Takeaway: How many copies of external backups of your photos do you have? (I have 2). I also agree with the poster that one AV software is not going to be effective for a common user. The problem is, multiple AV software don't coexist well on a Windows system. Overall, Windows feels more and more like a patchwork of code rather than a coherent operating system. I was sick of it so I moved. YMMV.
    + There are no unannounced tuesday patches, and unannounced system restarts. FAST, especially when paired with a good hard drive and fast memory. I have a 13.3, but I can imagine speed gains on with higher end systems.
    - compatibility with 32 bit programs may breakdown your computer's speed expectations. it is not Mac OS's problem, really, but something to consider when you are moving into the platform. I can't talk about Windows 64 bit version as I don't have experience with it.
    Hope this helps. Cheers,
  35. Windows is a pile. The lack of security is so glaring and dangerous at this point that Microsoft should be forbidden from selling any more copies unless and until they are able to fix it. Mac or PC? That's not even a question in my book.
    (One should also be careful about others pro-Mac opinion when their "evidence" is from their neighbours pc.)
    I know plenty of Mac's that have crawled to a halt as well. Yet I've been on the net with Windows since 3.11 and haven't had a problem. Conclusion? It has nothing to do with operating system. It has everything to do with responsible usage.
    Mac's are the best choice for the dumb and lazy. PC are the worst choice for the dumb and lazy.
  36. You hit the spot, Garrison. Although people may call me bright and industrious, I am as a matter of fact dumb and lazy, especially when it comes to computers. Let me explain:
    Computers can do things for you and save time for you. Yet, so much of my time using Windows was wasted on fiddling with the system and waiting, when I could have made actual work. Realizing that I was too dumb and lazy to fiddle, reinstall, upgrade and wait, I switched to Mac.
    (One should also be careful about others pro-Mac opinion when their "evidence" is from their neighbours pc.)​
    I take it then that my testimony based on 20 years of MS-DOS 3.3, 4.0, 5.0, Win3.1, Win95 and WinXP (avoided Vista - phew!) makes my Windows experience highly credible.
  37. I was ready to get all offended by the "dumb and lazy" comment but then I realized it's correct, and doesn't reflect on the "smart and not lazy" user - the Mac is the best choice for many users across the dumbness/laziness spectrum.
  38. Problem with Your Input

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    • One ! is enough (if not too many)
  39. Sven, I tried half a dozen times to respond to your post. Not being rude.
    So buggy. PN is the only forum that I sometimes see accidental double posts all the while not letting you make a single post because you've already apparently posted it.
  40. Can you buy Mac OS as a separate install and put it onto a home built computer? No?
  41. Personally, it's a choice of an OS rather than a machine. For me a Mac is stylish, heavy-duty, and just too cool to carry around, but the OS is the question.
    They will both do the same thing eventually, I do not want to discuss at all which is faster/better, it's just that on a mac, you can organize your work into spaces (I set them 1 to internet & mail, 2 to everything photo, 3 to writing and office work, 4 to multimedia). This way the Mac becomes calm; no jokes. I was wondering about the difference between the two, and there are very rarely, system popups from the mac (software update is the notable exception), as opposed to the antivirus/ad-aware popus informing that so and so is now updated, and no jittery animations, everytime u hover your mouse over some label or window, or whatever.
    My MBP wakes-up in 3 seconds, and I'm ready to start working, and the integration of so many different applications, the god-sent automator, quicksilver, really speed up your workflow once you get the hang of them.
    I switched last year (July) after using a PC for 15 years, and I'm definitely not regretting it
  42. Forget the OS argument. The majority of mac users justify their expensive purchases based on the "Less malware / more stable / more secure" argument. Their OS is Unix based. Any Linux / Unix OS on a PC will provide you with those benefits without the hefty Mac idiot tax.
    The Mac OS offers little over other *nixes than a little gloss and some apps with fanatical fandom (Alternatives are available with equal features but much less fanboy fervour)
    Nick's "spaces" feature is essentially virtual desktop, which has been available in Linux distributions for at least ten years. Old tech - jazzed up with buzzwords - sound familiar?

    The price to power ratio on Mac machines is horribly low, a friend of mine just bought a MBP for £1600, it has a core 2 duo processor. I just bought a vaio with an i5 for £700, it destroys the Macbook in benchmarks. In essence, for the same power you will pay more, if you go with mac.
    On the plus side for macs, most do think they look good. The sturdiness of the unibody shell is unquestionable. Whether or not you plan on tapdancing on your new notebook is something you will have to decide.
    To sum it up, if you want to look "cool" and "alternative" and don't mind paying way over the odds for it, go ahead and get a mac. Be sure to spend some time around other mac users also, so you can learn the standard catchphrases they use to justify their purchases.
  43. In correction of the above, Nino, not Nick.

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