Macintosh buying guide 2010

By Roman Loyola, Macworld |  Hardware, Mac Pro, MacBook

There are three 15-inch models. For $1799, you get a 2.4GHz Core i5 processor, a 320GB hard drive, and an Nvidia 256MB GeForce GT 330M discreet graphics chip along with the integrated Intel graphics. (Get best current price.) The next model up (at $1999) has the same graphics as the $1799 model, but with a 2.53GHz Core i5 processor and a 500GB hard drive. (Get best current price.) The high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro has a 2.66GHz Core i7 processor, a 500GB hard drive, the Nvidia GeForce GT 330M discreet graphics chip with 512MB of video RAM, and the integrated Intel graphics, all for $2199. (Get best current price.) All of the 15-inch models have 4GB of RAM.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro has a 2.53GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, the Nvidia GeForce GT 330M discreet graphics chip with 512MB of video RAM, and the integrated Intel graphics. It costs $2299. (Get best current price.)

The 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros are the only laptops in Apple's lineup that have a high-resolution antiglare screen option available. It's an extra $150 for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and an extra $50 for the 17-inch MacBook Pro.

Performance: The 15-inch 2.66GHz Core i7 MacBook Pro was the fastest in our Speedmark 6.5 testing. The $1499, 13-inch 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro offers performance that's similar to the $1799, 15-inch 2.4GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro. Relative to the performance of the 15- and 13-inch MacBook Pros, the 17-inch model's performance isn't that impressive, but its big screen is a necessity for some users.

The $1199 13-inch MacBook Pro's performance is just slightly faster than that of the MacBook. When you're deciding between the MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the decision comes down to FireWire, and, to a lesser extent, your preference for plastic or aluminum.

Macworld's buying advice: If you're on a budget and you're waffling between the $999 MacBook and the $1199 13-inch MacBook Pro, consider shelling out the extra $200 for the Pro. The extra cash will buy you features the MacBook doesn't have: FireWire, an SD card slot, and more RAM. If you need the fastest MacBook Pro, the 15-inch 2.66GHz Core i7 MacBook Pro is what you're looking for.


Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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