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.]