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ThinkPad or MacBook Pro?

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September 12, 2009 4:25:55 PM

Hi :) 

I need a new laptop, and have kind of found two models i like, but i'm open for other ideas.

This is how my new laptop should be like:

1_What is your budget?
Guess its around 1700 in US dollars.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15.4 inch

3_What screen resolution do you want?
1440x900 or 1680x1050.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Primarily a porteble one. A little gaming from time to time will occur. Models like the Lenovo T500 is portable enough for me.

5_How much battery life do you need?
5 hours would be nice (with WLAN on and casual surfing). I would nice if the battery did not stick out, but its not VERY important :) 

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Red Alert 3
Team Fortress 2
Counter-Strike 1.6

Graphic settings are not THAT important.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing, surfing the web, playing music, watching movies, Etc.)
Graphical work with Illustrator and Photoshop. Programming. A lot of websurfing. Playing 1080p movies on external screen. (a digital port like DisplayPort or HDMI is needed).

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
Not that much. I have a workstation. 160 GB or so?

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.
-

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3 years. Hopefully longer.

11_If you would like to mention some other things about purchasing your ideal laptop, post them.
4 GB RAM (or the posibility to upgrade it myself). Intel Core 2 Duo.

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Generally i don't like the mainstream computers because of their cheap thin plastic feel. Also they generally are to shiny.

I like the Lenovo thinkpads for more reasons, like boring but nice looking design, solid (but it's not like i am going to bring the laptop in extreme conditions - so really not important), it runs Windows (in contrast to the MacBooks, where its not without glitches, to run Windows or software designet for Windows) and nice resolution like 1680x1050.

I also like the MacBook Pros, primarily because the whole system seems so complete, nice big touchpad, very nice material (metal), long battery-life without the battery sticking out and it also stylish. I though dislike the layout of the keyboard a little. (But i think i can get used to it). Glare screen is kind of good and bad (i know you can get matte screen for the 15 inch now).

I have almost narrowed my next laptop down to two models the 15.4 inch MBP (the smallest one) and the Lenovo T500 (hybrid graphic cards, 2.53 ghz). But i really can't choose!

13_What country do you live in?
Denmark

More about : thinkpad macbook pro

September 12, 2009 5:31:07 PM

Well, I will be going with the T500 soon, costly but decent specs and should keep going for a while.

I am anti apple so can't say anything there.

The Lenovo has some decent features like the switchable gfx which can add some decent time to battery life, it also has a ton of useful ports and if you are comfortable with display port (which you seem to be) then it has that.

I would look at reviews, modern ones for the lenovo as some of the older and pre-release ones do not seem to reflect current revisions.
September 12, 2009 6:42:26 PM

strangestrang > Yup, the hybrid gfx on the ThinkPad is pretty nifty, but the MBP's has it too (on the more expensive models though), as well as a mini DisplayPort, and they also have a very decent battery-life (without a 9-cell battery need to pop out from the back) :) 


Quote:
I would look at reviews, modern ones for the lenovo as some of the older and pre-release ones do not seem to reflect current revisions.
Have read many reviews and usercomments, and must say i agree.
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September 12, 2009 7:13:42 PM

They do make a 13" MBP now, fyi.

I would take the Thinkpad, for several reasons:

DisplayPort is not a "real" standard in that virtually no displays/projectors use it. At least, I've only encountered 3 in my life, and I probably see 20 different displays and projectors a day. HDMI is, without question, the better option.

The PC version of Photoshop is better than that on the Mac - at least, that's what my photo-editing friends tell me. I prefer Fireworks, personally.

Some may say the Macbooks are better because their cases are metal. I disagree. Most PC notebooks have metal internal structures, and plastic on the outside. While plastic is admittedly weaker than metal...think about it. You're going to be constantly scraping, sliding, moving, and shifting your notebook about. While both metal and plastic will scratch, metal scratches are far more noticeable, and metal will do one thing plastic will not: dent. I know several people who have MBP's that are dented so they won't close anymore. Many of the metal-bodied notebooks I see have dents and scratches in them. Also, the metal will make the heat of the notebook conduct more easily, giving you a rather uncomfortable experience if you've got your machine on your lap.

Edit: It should also probably be noted that Apple notebooks do not have HDCP displays, and do not support Blu-ray. Unless your 1080p content is streaming with a program or in files already, you can't play them on a mac.
September 12, 2009 7:26:32 PM

Price is another thing, to buy an equivalent mac over the lonovo would cost, at least in the uk about £2-500 more.

From the reviews I have looked at the lenovo have a metal framework they call the rollcage which help give it rigity and aborb knocks.

Oh and frozenlead, the lenov also comes with displayport. I don't plan on using it myself too much but if I do my monitor supports it and with ATI's new cards making use of it support from monitor manufacturers may well change.
September 12, 2009 8:16:45 PM

Thank for your feedback.

frozenlead > I had kind of hoped i could use a small DisplayPort -> HDMI adaptor, i have wrote a mail to ask Lenovo weather it's possible. In theory it should work just fine. I couldn't find any confirmation on the internet.

It's btw kinda odd that Apple have chosen not to include audio in their DisplayPort. Hmm.

When i mentioned the MBP case, it was from an aesthetic point of view, where i like the metalcase very much. I think the Lenovo cases are more riged and solid. But as i also pointed out, i am not going to use the laptop in any kind of extreme environment, so it's really not important to me. Primarily it will be placed on a table, though moved many times during a day.

The 1080p content will be played from a mkv-file, so it's not a problem about the missing HDCP.

strangestang > Price is not that big a concern, as long as i get the notebook that best suits my needs. Not that i have unlimited funds :) 


I have listened to the MBP speakers and they sound fine for some casual music. But i'm a little concerned about speakers in the T500 as it's a business notebook. Have anyone listened to both models?
September 14, 2009 10:31:33 PM

Ok, Lenovo havn't responded to my mail yet, so i did a little search.

FYI:
I found out that the T500 will be able to convert the signal from DisplayPort to HDMI, but that no audio will be transmitted through the DisplayPort. Of course the headphone-jack will output audio - but no digital audio output is possible.
It's apparently because of the Montevina-platform, that doesn't support it. It will be supported on the Calpella platform. (Which will be launched Q4 2009). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrino#Calpella_platform...

This is also the reason why the MacBooks doesn't output audio through the mini-DisplayPort.
Simply because the chipset from the Montevina-platform does not support it.

:) 
September 14, 2009 10:42:57 PM

Well, I have had a look at the macbooks following this thread and personally I don't like them still.

For one, you get less ports and connections. The screen is lower resolution although kudos to them for allowing a matte option.

Still, if it wasn't an apple and was made by a decent company who charged an honest price for it the apple's could be worse, but they do seem to lack a few of the options the Lenovo comes with

Oh and regards the audio, I used to use the audigy2 notebook pcmia card.

They have new ones out that use the x-fi and express card and appear to have the same connections. True, pricey but great little things from my experience.
September 15, 2009 1:42:15 PM

The solution with a external soundcard, pcmcia, expresscard etc. would work, if i ever would want to connect digitally to my receiver or so.
The MacBook handles this much better, by having a build-in toslink connection in the headphone jack. Pretty nifty i would say.

Oh, btw, i bought the Lenovo. Now i will just have to wait a few days :D 

Please post any question you might have about the T500.
September 15, 2009 2:13:17 PM

I tried to buy the lenovo but for some reason, probably me not allowing the page through no script it didn't work but the money was temporarily reserved on my credit card which means I can't place a new order till that is sorted, which also meant a nice £75 off coupon expired so I will have to wait to purchase mine.

Might just wait a week or ctwo to see if any nice deals happen again.

Hope it arrives soon for you.
September 18, 2009 9:33:52 PM

Ok, i have received the notebook today, and it is delicious. I really think I've found the perfect notebook...except one thing thats annoying me.

It's about the display.

notebookcheck.net describes the WSXGA-version (which is the one i bought) as "Bright high resolution display ". I know it's a CCFL-lighted display, but all other CCFL-displays I've seen has been brighter.

And the colors seems strange, very dull. I've tried changing color profiles in Windows, but the colors are unchanged.

I can live with the brightness, but the thing about the colors is not ok.

Except this, it's a lovely notebook :) 
September 18, 2009 10:14:12 PM

Well, due to this credit card thing I have been unable to purchase one.

Going to miss this 3 day sale they have on at the moment so hopefully I can order next week and will wait till sale or coupon becomes available.

Glad you like the notebook, bodes well. However make sure all the drivers are up to date and for the atio gfx card you should be albe to manually adjust the colour settings.
September 19, 2009 12:48:45 PM

I'm about to return the notebook because of the display.

On the notebook.com forum it's apparently well know that the there are problems with the displays in the T500/W500. Washed out seems to be how it is described.

Here are some quotes from a thread:

"Out of the box I am EXTREMELY unhappy with it. Images are VERY VERY washed out and far worse than on my 4 year old T42."

"The colors on my T500 WXGA are very washed out. The "reds" on the screen are more like "pinks." "

"I previously owned an IBM A22M, which I bought in 2001. The colors on this machine are superior to the T500."

"Don't get CCFL. The color is indeed very washed out (white greyish, not vibrant). My eyes get very tired after a few minute"

"The screen is defiantly washed out, and blue is overwhelming the colors. I previously owned a Dell XPS 1530 LED glossy screen and that screen was far superior to the T500."

(http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=320218...)


I have to agree, the display is: dull, non-vibrant, washed out.
September 19, 2009 2:57:25 PM

Hmm, well I will still go ahead, I am not expecting wonders from a TN based screen. Resolution rather than anything else I am after.
September 21, 2009 3:29:05 PM

Up to you strangestranger.

I've returned my T500 today. Sad, because the rest of the notebook was so perfect.
March 25, 2013 1:51:09 AM

Thinkpad. A 3rd generation i7, 16GB RAM, GT 630M and Windows 7 Pro cost around $800
!