Conflicted

MacBook Pro (15″ 2.0GHz) versus ThinkPad T60p (14.1″ 2.16GHz)

I’m so freakin’ conflicted.

What to do, what to do?!

My current notebook – a T41 – has served me very well for a long time. Over two years. It’s been tricked out and pimped to hell and back again, but it’s beginning to feel its age. Besides, the warranty runs out in December… so it’s time for an upgrade. So which do ya get? A MBP or a TP?

OS: The TP is currently XP only, but it should run Vista as well. In fact, I’ve run CTP’s of Vista on my T41 already; the T60p should run it and run it well. The MBP is primarily for OSX but it can dual boot to run XP or use Parallels’ VM to run it within OSX. In addition to that, the 10.5 release of OSX is supposed to have built-in visualization support for XP (and possibly Vista).

CPU: TP I’m looking at is 0.16GHz faster than the MBP, at the same price point – both are Core Duo. Sure I could ratchet the MBP to 2.16GHz but I don’t honestly think that there’s that much speed difference in there. So that’s a push.

HD: Both are SATA 100GB – the TP is 7200, the MBP is 5400. Again, I could raise the speed on the MBP to 7200 but that’s more cash that I don’t want to spend – and again, I don’t anticipate the speed mattering. Push.

RAM: Both are 1GB 667MHz DDR2. Push.

Screen: TP – 14.1″ at 1400×1050. MBP – 15.4″ at 1440×900. This one irks me… I’m OK with the 14.1″ screen: it’s been a good size for me all this time, but the 15.4″ would rock. Especially since it’s supposed to be an uber bright screen. Problem is that 1440×900 is a strange resolution to me and if I ran XP on the MBP, it would cap my Remote Desktop sessions to 900 vertically and that’s a problem: all of my desktops are set to at least 1024 vertically… from what I remember about RDC on OSX, it’s flexible, but on XP it’s always going to cap remote sessions to local resolution… I understand why the 15.4″ is 1440×900 – 16:9 mean anything to ya? – but it’s a pain in the ass for me if I run XP on the MBP. Push, sorta.

Video: TP – ATI FireGL V5200 256MB. MBP – ATI Raedon x1600 256MB. Push?

Optical: DVD+-R versus SuperDrive. Push.

Ports: TP – 3xUSB, VGA, IrDA. MBP – 2xUSB, DVI, FireWire 400. Don’t need the FireWire but I don’t use the two USB ports I have now – push.

Slots: TP – One Type I/II and one ExpressCard/54. MBP – One ExpressCard/34. Since I have to use a card reader for work reasons and it requires a Type II slot… TP.

LAN/WiFi: TP – 1Gb/A/B/G, with Bluetooth. MBP – 1Gb/B/G, with Bluetooth. Push.

Keyboard: TP – Basic. MBP – Underlit. MBP.

Camera: TP – None. MBP – iSight. Push – I don’t care :)

Battery: TP – Says 5.3 hours. MBP – Says 4.5 hours. Push, since both are probably exaggerated.

Size: TP – 12.4″ x 10″ x 1.2″ at 5.3 lbs. MBP – 14.1″ x 9.6″ x 1.0″ at 5.6 lbs. Size and thickness is OK; weight is close enough. Push.

Warranty: TP – 3 years. MBP – 1 year. Furious that it’s $349 to bring the MBP up to 3 years: TP

Remote options: TP – None. MBP – Apple Remote. Push – don’t care.

Cost: TP – $2499. MBP – $2499. Push, sort of: TP has to be ordered, so there’s delay, but no shipping. MBP can be picked up or ordered, but there’s tax involved. A lot of tax, now that I look at it.. Not a push, really: TP.

Heat: TP – Unknown. MBP – Unknown, sorta. I’ve been to four Apple stores in two states. Every MBP that I see is a Rev A editions and they are hot. Really hot. Too hot, truth be told: enough to stop me from buying one, but they are currently selling Rev D hardware… all over, the Rev D is supposed to be throwing less heat. I already went through this heat bullshit with a 12″ PowerBook, so I’m really sensitive to it. If the T60p has the same heat as the T41, hurray. If the MBP has the same heat as the PB12, they’re screwed and I’ll be pissed. Cautiously will to call it a push.

OS: Well, that’s the real trouble, right? I can get the T60p and plug it into my life without any technology changes or compromises; I don’t even have to change my bags for feck’s sake! The T60p should be the exact same size as my T41. It was designed by IBM – rather than Lenovo – so I should be able to expected the same level of support and happiness. And Vista should run just fine on it, including the Aero experience.

The MBP? I get OSX support which would be fun: I can unload the G4 Mac mini in the den. I can still get OK XP support on the MBP too. I say “OK” because there are two options: I can reboot into XP or I can use a VM for XP. Either way, I’ll have to use Ctrl+Click for right click, since there’s one button. Anyway. Rebooting to XP will be annoying. I currently leave my T41 running all the time. The only time I’ve had to reboot is after a core install or if I change the HDD to run Vista. The fact that I have two HDD’s to run XP/Vista should tell you just how much I dislike dual boot systems. So that’s a behavioral change, and I don’t know if I want to do that. The VM for XP is interesting – I’ve heard that it will run at about the speed of my T41 while in a VM. Errrrr, so I spend $2500 for a machine that will run my current OS at the same speed that I currently see? Um. Yeah, sure I could reboot and run XP at full speed but WTF? I mean… well… WTF! And then the question of whether or not Vista will be supported in either situation… ugh.

Can I make the big Switch back to OSX? Sorta. Sure, I can use MS Office, Messenger, and a bunch of PC-equivalent software, but I’ll have to buy a bunch of it. OK, more cash, but what about things I can’t get an equivalent for? Biggest example of that is Visual Studio. Second biggest example of that are things like VPN clients or proxy clients or other work-specific Windows related things. So again, it makes it look like I have to work harder just to get OSX to work for me. Just like what happened with the PowerBook…

Any thoughts? Comments? Insight into anything that I might be missing? Is the ability to run OSX on the off chance that I’ll want it (or need it) worth the extra cash and the loss of a right-click button?

[This is an A or B request for feedback – ThinkPad or MacBook Pro… Penguin-flavored options are not applicable.]

17 thoughts on “Conflicted”

  1. I would go with the ATI Raedon x1600. I personally prefer AMD/Nvidia over Intel/ATI. But Intel does have a slight edge in the mobile department. But you do see a BIG difference in the HDD area. 5400 vs 7200 rpm, your talking about big difference. Especially if you will be transfering alot of files. Which you probably will initally. But the Mac Book looks better overall. I can see you conflict.

  2. Well, AMD/NVidia is moot. Especially since Intel/ATI is kicking ass with the Core Duo at the moment. On the HDD, I agree: moving big files. Not a big deal, though. In fact, I’d be more worried about the 7200 causing more heat and draining more power. I simply don’t move that much data to warrant it… we’ll see tho.

  3. My moms compaq presario is much more sturdy than my dad’s dell inspirion so I say that if it is posible. find a laptop of each model carefully pick it up by the corner with out the cd drive and buy the laptop that creeks less. I personaly would never buy a mac because when playing with them in stores I have found that they lack keyboard support And I’m a keyboard only user. so for whatever it’s worth… that’s my advice.

  4. Noted.

    I spent a whole lotta time tonight with a MBP running OSX in an Apple store and with a MBP running XP in The Mac Store. I had more to base my impressions on using XP than OSX. OSX ran fine, obviously… the books were all wicked hot but then again they were all first generation models (and not the Rev D mentioned above).

    The XP running model was fast and it was on a 1.83GHz with 512MB so the model I’m looking at will be faster… some things of note: there’s no Delete key! What’s the downside of that? Um, hello? XP? Ctrl+Alt+Del? Hold any meaning for you? There’s also no working Home/End/Page Up/Page Down either. In OSX you can get to them via Fn or Ctrl on the Up/Down/Left/Right, but I didn’t see them working in XP.

    There is an out, though: I installed SharpKeys on the demo box… Enter (which is different Return on a MBP keyboard) could be remapped to Delete in XP. Hurrah! But what about the other missing keys? I dunno.

    Steve has a workaround for the one button mouse. Thank God for that: I had IE hang on me due to a LAN issue and I couldn’t open Task Manager… I couldn’t Ctrl+Alt+Del and I couldn’t right mouse click… They had a mighty mouse hooked up to it, so I used that. I *could* have Apple+R to get the Run dialog to launch taskmgr.exe… but, um, I just thought of it…

    I guess I’m no better off… except now I’m REALLY leaning towards the T60p: I’m feeling like the MBP is 5/6th of a PC. The thing is hot. Enough to be like my 12″ PB that warped enough to wobble. I can’t buy one to try it out without losing a 10% restocking fee ($245). I’d have to pay an additional $349 to have a full 3 year warranty.

    Guess I’ll order a T60p tomorrow.

  5. Dumbass. You have a peice of software YOU wrote to remap the thinkpad keyboard since it didnt have a Windows key.

    I just remapped the right apple key to delete, and life is fine.

    Right click, as you mentioned is another remap.

    Look – just get a t60. I dont need to be your tech support for getting a mac. :)

  6. I know I did. In fact, that’s what I did at The Mac Store, since they had XP running.

    My point is that there always seems to be “One More Thing” to work through. One more workaround. One more “oh, I can live with that” every time I get past another one. Like yesterday I checked out RDC on OSX: was like “w00t! It’ll run 1280×1024 – I won’t have to resize anything on my desktops”. Then I saw it on XP. There it won’t run 1280×1024 because the native resolution is 1440×900. Which means resizing on the desktop boxes after using RDC. And I’d HAVE to use RDC on XP to use a VPN to work… just one more thing.

    Personally I think I’ma just use an abacus.

  7. ATI kicking ass? Not on this planet there not. It took them over a year to release there “crossfire” GPU’s to compete with Nvida’s SLI. And ATI is still getting stomped. And Core Duo is garbage next to AMD’s X2 CPU’s, AMD has been owning Intel for the last 5 years. Where have you been?

  8. What part of the [MBP or TP] conflict did you miss? I mean, what the fuck. This is about notebooks. Do they put an X2 or whatever in a notebook? NVidia can’t put their latest GPU’s in machines because they’d melt, last time I looked. Christ.

  9. Hey, my first comment was about the MBP and TP, I just mentioned I prefer AMD/Nvidia. You said ATI and Intel were kicking ass. I just corrected your ignorance. Yes AMD does have notebook versions of there X2 processors, even thier flagship FX-60. And Yes Nvidia does put there latest GPU’s in notebooks. They do use a lot of power, and run very hot, but they do make mobile versions of them. But see, now your making me go more off topic, my vote is still for the Mac Book.

  10. Ignorance my ass. “Which do you prefer, Pepsi or Coke?” ‘Coke I guess, but I like Kool-Aid’ “Coke and Pepsi are both doing better in the marketplace” ‘Kool-Aid kicks ass, you’re ignorant!’

    Nice work.

  11. I wasn’t talking about preference, I was talking about performance. Unless you prefer less performance, but I guess thats cool too. Whatever man.

  12. I’m happy to see that your feelings about the Sox have not changed. I was not sure if living in the Northwest or having all of those coffee shops and kiosks available had changed that gene.

  13. Nevar! Tossers. I’m still not over Everett ruining Musina’s perfect game a few years ago and now that cockbite is playing for the M’s. Makes it hard to watch and support the local team, but thankfully I don’t have to often :)

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