Saturday, April 30, 2011

MacBook Buying Guide (2011): Choosing Which MacBook To Buy

Mac notebooks are pretty great. The look is very appealing. It's simple yet sleek and sophisticated. But it doesn't stop there. The performace is impeccable as well. They come with fast processors and a very intuitive and easy to use operating system. For me, choosing to buy a MacBook was a great decision.

There are currently three members in the MacBook family – the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air, which are all designed to suit the needs of different users. Each model has its own set of features and specifications to suit a wide range of computer users.

If you're deciding on which MacBook to buy, this handy MacBook buying guide will enumerate the key factors and features you need to consider to help you pick the right notebook that suits your needs and fits your budget.

Processor

All Mac notebooks come with top-of-the-line Intel processors. Taking into consideration the kind of processing power you need will help you in choosing which MacBook to buy.

MacBook Pro
If you're a power-user who uses a lot of powerful and resource-intensive applications such as advanced video editors, 3D and graphics editing software, you might want to choose the MacBook Pro. It can have up to a 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 blazing fast processor. Great for all those apps that need a lot of computing power.

MacBook
Next is the MacBook which has a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, which is actually still pretty strong and capable of running multiple apps at once. You can run a word-processor while doing research on the web, manage your photos, edit that simple home movie, etc... Great for all those hard-working multi-taskers, and still performs well during your downtime when you just want to surf the web or watch videos.

MacBook Air
Lastly, the MacBook Air has a less powerful processor compared to the first two. You can choose between a 1.4GHz, 1.86GHz and 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo configurations. But considering how small and lightweight it is, its power is still pretty impressive. It will perform well under regular home and work tasks that you need to complete.

Still need help choosing which Macbook to buy? Read on!

Memory

All Mac notebooks come with atleast 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM. The MacBook and the MacBook Air come with 2GB, and you have the option of upgrading up to 4GB. The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, has 4GB of RAM and can be upgraded up to 8GB. So if you want the option to be able to upgrade to the largest memory size on a MacBook, then the MacBook Pro Pro is a great choice.

And up next on this MacBook buying guide...

Display and Graphics

Mac laptop displays have an LED-backlit glossy widescreen format. The MacBook has a 13.3-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, while the MacBook Pro is available in 13-inch, 15.4-inch and 17-inch models with resolutions of 1280 x 800, 1440 x 900 and 1920 x 1200 pixels respectively. The 15.4-inch and 17-inch models also have the option for an anti-glare screen instead of a glossy one. The MacBook Air now has 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch displays to choose from.

If you enjoy playing games and watching movies on your MacBook, all three Mac notebooks are great choices with their LED-backlit displays. However, the MacBook Pro would be a better choice because of its larger screen size and a more powerful graphics card (an AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory) for the 15-inch 2.2Ghz and 17-inch models.

Size and Weight

If size and weight are important factors for you, then you should take a close look at the different sizes that the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have to offer. If you travel a lot and need something that is easily portable and light-weight, then the incredibly light and compact MacBook Air is the perfect companion. If you are a student who needs an all-in-one notebook, then the MacBook is more up your alley which at 5lbs is light enough to carry around campus and robust enough to endure the rumble and tumble of travel thanks to its polycarbonate shell. For half a pound to two pounds more, you can have all the power and larger display of the MacBook Pro.

And lastly, to round up this MacBook buying guide, here is one very important factor that many people consider when choosing which MacBook to buy...

Cost

The MacBook Air and MacBook are the most affordable (both starting at $999) and has a lot of great features in one compact, robust package. If you want more bang for you buck, then the MacBook Pro, which starts at $1199 is what you are looking for.

In conclusion, everything will eventually come down to how much your budget can accommodate when choosing which MacBook to buy. To find the MacBook that's right for you, identify what your needs are and select the one that can address most, if not all, of them based on your budget. But whichever model you end up choosing will surely be a great investment. They are extremely reliable, and the exceptional combination of style and substance inherent in these machines is unrivaled in the market.
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