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Macbook Pro/Air or comparable?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
February 13, 2012 9:57:11 AM

Do any of ye who art knowledgeable on laptops know about a laptop comparable to the Macbook Pro or the Macbook Air?

They have good ratings for screen readability and laptop keyboard and trackpad ergonomics.

However, I would avoid the $400 premium for the fruit logo, if I do not have to compromise on usability.

I was looking at the Asus Zenbook, but it seems that their track-pad left much to be desired.

Do weigh in, with links if you know them.

Much as I would love to just tote a computer with a micro-atx board around with me, the monitor issue would rear its head.

Regardless of whether you respond, thanks for reading!
February 13, 2012 11:28:51 AM

There is also the Samsung Series 9.
Lenovos usually have good ergonomics, too.

One aspect of the MacBooks is that the multi-touch trackpads are well integrated into Mac OS with inertial scrolling and all kinds of finger gestures to switch virtual desktops, show all desktops/windows, show windows belonging to the active application, show desktop, etc.

Don't know how well that works in Windows.
February 14, 2012 6:19:46 PM

No matter how nice the Mac OS is, no matter how long I resisted, I would probably just end up perverting it to linux.
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a b D Laptop
February 14, 2012 7:31:44 PM

Hello, I'm not in the art department, but here's my 2 cents.

what programs do you need the mac for? photoshop works just as well on windows as it works on OSX. if you have other things in mind, explain.

also, are you looking for ultra portable or are you looking for desktop replacement? macbook air is quite a lot different from macbook pro in specs and size, not to mention weight. if you explain what's more important to you (size portability vs performance) then we might help you narrow down a laptop that would be able to meet the same tasks.
February 27, 2012 7:02:06 PM

Thanks for the detailed reply, Zag.

I would be running the following programs in order of importance :
  • FireFox* (20 tabs)
  • OpenOffice suite
  • MySQL Workbench
  • BlueFish
  • glomDB
  • G.I.M.P.
  • Virtualbox or VMWare
  • Dual boot Arch Linux or Ubuntu, for certain dev. work **
  • (Maybe Starcraft 2 or 0-K )

    I have a nice desktop already, but I have been reduced to a netbook for mobile, which is very much subpar. Suffice to say, when I'm home, I'll use my desktop.

    Because I already have a desktop, my chief concern is portability.

    However, regardless, once a week, this laptop would probably need to handle up to four programs from the list of programs above, at one time.

    For instance, I might have :
  • Firefox open for quick reference
  • +VirtualBox running for testing
  • +Calc open for my personal log
  • +Workbench open for editing

    Also, I'm going to be replacing the HDD of my laptop with an OCZ SSD.

    * Do Not Question The Tabs.
    ** I'm not worried about compatibility
    February 27, 2012 7:04:09 PM

    I'm also kind of worried about ergonomics. That's why I'm looking at the Macbooks, because they have the highest ratings in that area, especially keyboard touch-pad ease of use.

    I don't care too much what fruit or cute letters are on the back of my machine, but I do care about my tendons. 12" screen sizes are not good, for this reason, as well. The Macbook Air's instant-on feature is very attractive, though.

    With all my portable drives I'm not too worried about disk space, and my vendors will give me RAM upgrades for a song. Still, because I'm not sure if the macbook air could handle 4 applications at once, I may have to use the macbook pro instead, and hope I can get a battery upgrade or have an outlet nearby.
    a b D Laptop
    March 13, 2012 2:12:31 PM

    I don't know if you're still looking into this but since you've asked me for response (I apologize that it comes late, but checking PMs is cumbersome on this board)

    Ergonomics wise, I have not seen any studies that demonstrate that any particular design is more ergonomic than others. Tendons and ligaments in mind, it depends on your usage and keyboard positioning with respect to your forearms and body rather than keyboard/laptop design.

    All the common practices that have been talked about proper ergonomics for computer use, keyboard and typewriter use, all apply, the only difference is that a laptop is typically slightly smaller than your typical desktop keyboard, which results in less travel and perhaps increased strain on certain muscle group as opposed to others but it all depends on duration of prolonged use.

    If ergonomics for you includes such things as port placement, again, all depends on what your preferred use is and which ports you'll be using most. For instance I prefer audio jacks at the front of the laptop, others prefer them on the side. Nobody is to say either one is more correct or ergonomic, it's just preference based on my usage.