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Thread: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

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    MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Has anybody lately used both?
    How good is the Macbookpro regarding display color and calibration?
    Do Macbooks(pro) still offer any speed or other benefits compared to Windows based Notebooks for postprocessing? (Besides style factor)
    I am struggeling with myself to add a Macbook(pro?) to my Notebook, since I have one piece of software which is only offered as beta for PC. If I get the feeling that a Macbook would also give me other benefits (speed? display-color/ good to calibrate?), I might get one.
    Thanks, Tom

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Tom, my advice os go to an Apple store and demo the MacBook/Pro. I made the switch from PC to Mac 18 months ago and have zero regrets, but you may have a different experience. As for PC software, I am running my three favorites seamlessly under Fusion loaded with XPPro inside Leopard. The software runs faster -- even XP launches faster -- in the fusion window than it ever did on my Dell workstation!
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Tom,
    Jack has given you good advice.
    I made the switch last summer and won't ever go back to a PC.
    Start up is faster, there are less crashes, my monitor calibrates easily and as Jack said, you can still run your Windows aps. Give it a try-out.

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Thanks guys,
    I was afraid to here this answer even though I heard and have the feeling, that the difference in stability of the system is not as big any more as it has been before.More and more threads from people having problems with Macs too.
    I will go to a store and have a look.
    Tom

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    A perspective from outside the Mac camp:

    I just spent three weeks on a software contracting project making Mac software. The experience (as software developer) is sort of like driving on the left side of the road - you can learn and get somewhat used to it, but it never feels quite right (call me an old dog - in Australia I accidentally went around a roundabout the wrong way). I'd say the development experience on OS X is quirky. Of course, as an end user it's the software that matters more than the OS so as end user your experience might be more positive.

    I did some software testing running Windows XP on Parallels on a prev-gen Mac Pro dual quad a month ago, performance (for image processing) was unimpressive compared to running XP in a VM on 64-bit Vista on my two year old Thinkpad. The guy who set up the Mac is an expert user, we could not find anything wrong with the setup. I've never used Fusion - perhaps it's better. As for people saying VM on a Mac is fast, they are probably comparing to an older PC (right Jack?).

    One guy at the office where I contract has a new Macbook alu, it looks great and the screen is nice and clear. He wouldn't let me profile it though - it's strictly hands off hehe. I'll work on it, see if I can get a chance to run i1Match on it. Beautifully made hardware, and the display has quite wide viewing angles, I don't think it's a TN but it's not as good as the IPS on the T60 Thinkpad... that thing is really glossy though, I didn't think it would be so bad, it has dual reflections one from the screen and one from the cover glass. Even my five year old glossy Sony A190 has great AR coating - Apple needs to get with the program here. Jack would you agree since you had the same Sony (or was it A690)?

    I'd say take a close look at the 17" Macbook Pro, the specs are really impressive. More pixels, huge battery, not too heavy, optional matte screen which is a must until Apple fixes the reflection issue, supposedly wide gamut panel (according to Apple it's significantly better than the 15" panel).
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Lars:

    I made the switch to a Macbook Pro about a year ago. At the time my Thinkpad T40 was getting a bit old and slow. The equivalent Thinkpad was more expensive than the Apple. I don't know if it is still that way, but light and fast PC laptops tended to be more expensive than the Mac equivalent. I also found it was the same comparing the prices of a HP XW series workstation to the MacPro. It may just have been the Canadian dollar was strong at the time and the pricing was better.

    Tom, as far as converting from the PC to a Mac, there is very little difference if you are using applications available on both such as Photoshop, Lightroom or Capture One. Except for a few differences in the keyboard keys such as the command and ALT keys you wouldn't be able to tell if you are on a Mac or a PC.

    As for reliability, the Mac seems more stable, plus you don't have the constant reboots anytime new software or an application is updated. That used to drive me nuts when I had a HP XW6000 with about five SCSI drives in it. Every reboot took a few minutes by the time the computer rebooted, the SCSI card recognized all the drives , the OS booted, and all the things loaded in the taskbar.

    Another thing that saves time is you don't have the constant Windows updates or virus updates. It seemed that the first thing that would happen when I logged into or started my PC was the virus program would try to do an update and slow everything down. Last week I updated my Wife's PC and Laptop because of the Conficter virus and it probably took an hour per machine to download all the updates and reboot, then another hour or so to do a full system virus scan.

    In summary, the Mac is just quicker in day to day use because it starts faster and has less OS and security issues taking up your time.

    Robert

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    I made the switch to a Macbook Pro about a year ago. At the time my Thinkpad T40 was getting a bit old and slow. The equivalent Thinkpad was more expensive than the Apple.
    I did a similar comparison when I got my T61 two years ago - a less speced Macbook Pro cost about 50% more ($2200 vs 1500). Apple in Sweden would not honor its own US worldwide warranty, whereas Lenovo does (on specific models).

    With an Apple product that's important for me as I had three Apple laptops break down in ten months the year before. I don't pamper laptops, they are work tools and should take a beating. My 17" Sony was with me for 12 months in the Australian outback, through bull dust, moisture, 50C heat, and 5000+ miles of unpaved washboard roads. There's just no way I would consider using a Mac for that. Do the "sit" test (literally sit on it) on your Macbook and you will understand. My Thinkpad handles the sit test with a stride.
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Another thing that saves time is you don't have the constant Windows updates or virus updates. It seemed that the first thing that would happen when I logged into or started my PC was the virus program would try to do an update and slow everything down. Last week I updated my Wife's PC and Laptop because of the Conficter virus and it probably took an hour per machine to download all the updates and reboot, then another hour or so to do a full system virus scan.
    When we set up the new Macbook in the office last week the first thing it did was to download over a gigabyte of security fixes to 10.5. Just because Apple doesn't tell us what the fixes are for doesn't mean there are no security holes. You still have to update your OS X often, but Apple doesn't want you to know just how many holes it fixes.
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    One area which is very important to me is the screen/display and color accurancy of the Macbook vs Notebook.
    How would you guys rate that? I read that Sony for example and also some Lenovo offer self-calibrating screens. Apple says to have improved color garmut of the latest 17inch Macbookpro.
    The problem for me is that from a "first look" at a store its hard to judge.
    Anny comments?
    How good/bad is your Macbookpro compared to a good calibrated external screen/LCD? (I now use a CG222W as external screen in my office but I like doing postprocessing at home often on the Notebook without external screen.)

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Most notebook screens are crap compared to even midrange desktop screens. The exceptions that I know of are:
    - IBM/Lenovo FlexView: On T60/T60p Thinkpads, IPS panel. No longer sold. I profiled one of these earlier this year, gamut is well stretched and rendering hardly changes with viewing angle.
    - HP's DreamColor 17" display on the current 8730w is marketed as wide gamut. It's also very expensive. It has RGB LED backlighting which (in theory) allows for proper white balance setting in the lighting rather than in software.
    - Dell Studio XPS 17" has a similar option to HP, also supposedly covering Adobe RGB.
    - Lenovo w700, initially there was supposed to be an optional RGB-LED backlit wide gamut panel. I'm not sure if that's available yet. Note that there are several display panel options for the w700, not all are wide gamut.
    - Apple Macbook Pro 17". Wide gamut, LED-backlit.

    You see the pattern here - all current high-end choices are 17". It wouldn't be surprising if they all use the same panel as base.

    Below 17" there seems to be little or nothing to consider if you want high-end. Apple possibly uses MVA or PVA panels in the 15" but it won't stand up to a comparison with a good desktop display, certainly not your CG.

    In this crop the 17" Apple is actually the cheapest and lightest, plus it likely has the best battery life. So if the display really is what Apple claims then it's a bit of a bargain. Just beware of the glossy version!

    If I were you I would try to find someone with a profiled current 17" MBP and ask for the profile so you can examine it for yourself. I can probably get you a profile from the IBM FlexView as reference.
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    I profile my late 2007 MBP with glossy screen using i1, and it is more than adequate for on-the-road processing and web uploads, and even basic printing IMO. I would not recommend doing expensive print finals on it -- except if it is connected to a good external monitor then no worries, as its graphics are as stable as a desktop's.
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    I switched to Mac about 5 years ago after being a hardcore PC person. I think the last straw was a fatal software crash on my then 2 month old laptop and it needing to be replaced. Despite what people say you will need a Virus scan for security on a Mac as well. I have a PowerMac G5 (Dual 2GHz model) and it still runs everything well and relatively quickly. I just put CS4 Design Premium on it. I suggest getting as much RAM as possible if you switch because I think that's the biggest advantage of MAcs - the way they scale and allocate memory in the OS versus letting individual programs hog as much as it wants.
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    MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Just wanted to thank you again for the info and let you know that I just decided to order a Mac Book Pro 17 inch with the matte screen.

    One of the main reasons was that the original software for my digital back is only offered as beta version for windows but I want to have access to the latest versions which are only supported for MAC and nobodyknows if they will ever appear as Windows version.

    The other reason was that I like working on Notebooks (dont even own a "big" PC any more) and I believe that the 17inch display will allow me to do this with more "freedom" compared to my 15 inch business notebook (I use that with an external screen at work but without external screen at home)

    I dont travel too much so the size/weight should not be a big issue.

    Photography is only hobby for me and I like to postprocess sitting in the living room or on the sofa

    I ordered it together with "parallels Deskop" which was recommended to me for running PC-software as well. (any experience if "parallels Desktop" is good?)

    I dont know yet if -besides the Sinar Expsoure Software- I can just run my windows-versions of PScs4, LR, C1 or if it would be a big advantage to get Mac-licences and versions for at least LR or PS (I dont use C1 much any more anyways).

    Thanks again for the feedback and now I hope I will be able to get used to the Mac-user interface as fast as possible. Will get the Macbook next week.
    Tom

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post

    I ordered it together with "parallels Deskop" which was recommended to me for running PC-software as well. (any experience if "parallels Desktop" is good?)
    Tom, as I indicated above, I use Fusion and not Parallels so take this FWIW... I have had no negative issues with VMWare's Fusion and like the UI, and have heard negative stories about Parallels -- like some programs not running well on it -- which is why I avoided it.

    OTOH, the nice thing about Mac's is it's pretty easy to remove software you don't like, so if you have issues with Parallels, nuke it and try Fusion.

    ,
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Congrats Tom, looking forward to hearing how you like the 17-incher. Parallels should work well, just don't expect rocket performance. And I think Adobe might let you convert your Windows licenses to Mac licenses. The newer Adobe software uses graphics hardware optimization so running a native Mac version might be a real performance boost.
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Tom,

    Another vote for VMware Fusion. Have been using it since it was beta and it has worked great. It was actually cheaper during their initial promotion than the corresponding upgrade for Parallels. Plus I have yet to pay for version upgrades and we are now on 2.0.4.

    I'm pretty sure LR is licensed for both Windows and OS X so no need to run it under Fusion, just download and run the OS X version.

    -Thomas

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Ok, thanks again! I changed my order so I will get Fusion instead of Paralleles.

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Congrats Tom, looking forward to hearing how you like the 17-incher. Parallels should work well, just don't expect rocket performance. And I think Adobe might let you convert your Windows licenses to Mac licenses. The newer Adobe software uses graphics hardware optimization so running a native Mac version might be a real performance boost.
    Adobe will convert your software from PC to MAC. Need to call them and arrange that you will have to sign a destroy agreement and fax that back to them before they will ship the Mac version. It is a free swap and only pay for shipping. I have done the exact thing myself. As long as you have a licensed copy they will transfer all you Adobe software over to Mac. I actually had three programs PS, LR and Acrobat and they switched them all with new disks but you will have to remove your PC Adobe stuff off your machines and destroy the PC software. For Microsoft Office you just need to buy the student version at 150 dollars and maybe Toast for burning DVD even though Mac has burn software built in. Other than that your pretty much set to go and C1 if you use it just download the Mac version and key in your activation code. It actually cost me a LOT less than I thought to switch software over to the Mac side. I don't have anything PC anymore and frankly I don't need to run it either. Makes life just that much easier
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    Tom,
    Jack has given you good advice.
    I made the switch last summer and won't ever go back to a PC.
    Start up is faster, there are less crashes, my monitor calibrates easily and as Jack said, you can still run your Windows aps. Give it a try-out.
    Hi,

    I made the switch from PC notebook to Mac in February, and have same feeling of never wanting to go back. Windows was headaches (XP and prior), Vista is said to be slow and full of bugs, Windows 7? Saw the microsoft video of two guys on youtube showing COOL features... Mac OS if full of USEFUL features and EXCELLENT user interface, those are what I need. No more problems each day, crashes etc.

    On average I would say I lost at least 20 minutes each day with PC due to system problems, startup and shutdown, while with MAC it is down to 1-2 minutes.

    My MAC is unibody MacBook Pro 17 2.93GHz 256SSD antiglare. Lovely+amazing
    Granted, my last PC notebook was a 13" so quite a big change... but 17" display is only slight taller, but wider...

    MAC

    Above said after ten years of PCs, and... I was actually shopping for a 15" Lenovo W500, my 17" MacBook Pro same price + higher specs (Hong Kong pricing).

    Anders

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    I've been using Apple systems for 25 years, and have experience using just about every major OS outside of that as well. I've not found anything so compelling as to entice me to use anything other than Apple systems when given a choice... ;-)

    I haven't used the latest generation MacBook Pro ... but darn, I want one! My 2006 "last generation" PowerBook G4 15" is really getting long in the tooth. It's screen, however, is a joy for a laptop screen: I calibrate it about once a month and even with the auto-adaptive ambient light adjustments, etc, it's a very close match to my desktop system's much higher end display. I don't, however, rely upon a laptop screen for critical color adjustment accuracy and only use it for printing and such immediately after calibration.

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    Hi,

    On average I would say I lost at least 20 minutes each day with PC due to system problems, startup and shutdown, while with MAC it is down to 1-2 minutes.
    You know, that is a good point --- I think I actually re-boot my Macs maybe once per week or once every 2 weeks on average. I do reboot after updates even though they aren't always required. And as you said, it takes less than 2 minutes to do.
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    I'm late to this party.
    FWIW I was using Macs for my photography from the outset of OS X, and PC's for business. (Which is writing software for Windows).
    When the intel macs came out I fiddled about with bootcamp. parallels and fusion.

    Now we don't have a pc in the business - only macs - using an OSX server - which is a mac pro, and also runs Ubunto and Windows server 2008 (in fusion virtual pc's).

    XP on fusion is completely fab - we have almost no crashing problems, it runs quickly and reliably, and it's great to be able to back up a whole pc to the server and copy it to any other machine. Not to mentioning travelling abroad with it backed up onto an ipod . . . if the mac were to die, then you can just buy a new one, copy the virtual machine back and carry on as before. . . It's never happened, but it certainly is a comfort if you're working hundreds of miles from home.

    VMware are really helpful, and although not as flashy as parallels, it works really well.

    As I say, I work with Windows every day, Xp is okay, Vista is a dog, but Windows 7 is looking good.

    But the idea of going back to running it on PC's is absolute anathema. The very thought of it sends shivers down my spine!

    Good luck with your new 17" - I'm jealous (I had one of the old ones, but I travel a lot, and the extra size and weight is a pain). As Jack says, photography on the glossy screens on the new unibody 15", although not perfect, is reasonably okay when on the road (you just have to make sure you don't have a window behind you!).

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    OK guys, you make me really feel now that I made a good decision. I am looking forward to next week when I get it.

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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    XP on fusion is completely fab - we have almost no crashing problems, it runs quickly and reliably, and it's great to be able to back up a whole pc to the server and copy it to any other machine.
    Excellent point Jono!

    I never even really considered this. But for sure, I regularly back up my entire Mac OS a few times per week using Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC). For you PC users, CCC can create a fully bootable back-up of your OS, including all of your programs, files, settings, and even historical email boxes! It is an identical copy of your working OS that you can boot from at any time. Obviously, Fusion is a program -- albeit a program with a complete Win OS loaded inside it -- and as such it is fully copied over inside the Mac OS clone too. Not only that, I have used the clone a few times when adding new drives, and to date I've never needed to re-activate any of my software!
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    Re: MacbookPro vs Windows-Notebook

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Most notebook screens are crap compared to even midrange desktop screens. The exceptions that I know of are:
    - IBM/Lenovo FlexView: On T60/T60p Thinkpads, IPS panel. No longer sold. I profiled one of these earlier this year, gamut is well stretched and rendering hardly changes with viewing angle.
    - HP's DreamColor 17" display on the current 8730w is marketed as wide gamut. It's also very expensive. It has RGB LED backlighting which (in theory) allows for proper white balance setting in the lighting rather than in software.
    - Dell Studio XPS 17" has a similar option to HP, also supposedly covering Adobe RGB.
    - Lenovo w700, initially there was supposed to be an optional RGB-LED backlit wide gamut panel. I'm not sure if that's available yet. Note that there are several display panel options for the w700, not all are wide gamut.
    - Apple Macbook Pro 17". Wide gamut, LED-backlit.

    You see the pattern here - all current high-end choices are 17". It wouldn't be surprising if they all use the same panel as base.

    Below 17" there seems to be little or nothing to consider if you want high-end. Apple possibly uses MVA or PVA panels in the 15" but it won't stand up to a comparison with a good desktop display, certainly not your CG.

    In this crop the 17" Apple is actually the cheapest and lightest, plus it likely has the best battery life. So if the display really is what Apple claims then it's a bit of a bargain. Just beware of the glossy version!

    If I were you I would try to find someone with a profiled current 17" MBP and ask for the profile so you can examine it for yourself. I can probably get you a profile from the IBM FlexView as reference.
    Just out of curiosity, have you ever looked at BoxxTech's GoBoxxes? While I do have one of their workstations, I've never invested in a laptop (ANY laptop) so I would have no idea how good or bad their screens are compared to the ones you listed, and it's something I've always been curious about since Boxx specializes in workstations for graphics professionals.

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