Buy MacBook Pro or wait for Intel iBook?

by Todd Ogasawara

The new Apple MacBook Pro has premium features at a premium price (compared to WinTel notebooks). The question for those of us on a budget: Pay the price (and skip every other lunch for a long time) or wait for the Intel iBook (note, my iBook G4 in the office still works fine but my HP notebook at home is dying - So, I need to buy something soon).

Gizmodo was the first site I found with full specs for the MacBook Pro:

MacWorld Keynote Live

And except for the relatively small 512MB RAM in the $1999 model, the specs are very impessive.
I was very happy to see that Firewire had not disappeared as some rumor sites had predicted.
The built-in iSight should make for a lot more video-casts starting up this year.
The MagSafe magnetic powerplug sounds like an idea that will be copied by many other manufacturers.
And, of course, the dual-core Intel CPU that is said to make the MacBook Pro 5 times faster than the Powerbook. Wow...

So, those of you not independently wealthy who are heading to the Apple web store right now to order a MacBook Pro, chime in and help me convince myself to go into debt :-)

Are you going to buy a MacBook Pro or wait for the Intel iBook?


2006-01-10 11:31:54
Only FW 400!
It seems FireWire is now officially declared a legacy technology. The MacBook Pro has no _fast_ ports, not really 'Pro' in my opinion...

I guess Jason O'Grady was half right after all. :-(

2006-01-10 11:38:22
Wait for Merom
Wait for Merom to come out in late 2006. 64-bit, lower power comsumption. Plus, Blu-Ray should be out by then, too.

Interesting that Apple doesn't list the how long the MacBook will run on battery power.

2006-01-10 11:43:57
My iBook prediction
My guess is that the Intel-based iBooks will have Core Solo CPUs. I figure that *for now* the Pro models will have Duos and the consumer model laptops will have Solos. I know the new iMac has a Duo, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Intel-based Mac mini be a Core Solo for now.
2006-01-10 12:08:22
But what will run on it?
Does InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Word, Excel, Stuffit, Toast, Acrobat, Fetch, etc, etc, run on the Intel-based machine?
2006-01-10 12:13:16
MacBook IS the new iBook
I think there may be some confusion on the name of these new machines. Obviously the MacBook Pro is the new PowerBook. If I am reading correctly, there will NOT be a new iBook. It will be called MacBook as well. Probably without the "Pro".
2006-01-10 12:14:45
Wait for the Software to Catch Up
Even if all the major applications had universal binary support, surely there are some essential utilities that don't. I'd stay away from Rosetta. If, in a few months, all the software you need is universal binary and the MacBook is the best available, go for it.
2006-01-10 13:14:56
FireWire 400 - but not 800
It does seem that FireWire 800 is missing from the MacBook Pro, though. As I bought a FireWire 800 external hard drive for my G4 PowerBook, I feel slightly less envious.

Still, wish my laptop ran as fast as the MacBook Pro will :)

2006-01-10 13:20:07
But what will run on it?
All of them runs (probably), but within Rosetta. I relay on Adobes software and use it all the time. Time will show how apps like Photoshop and Indesign behaves in Rosetta compared to my existing Powerbook.
Also I believe a lot of developers are taken by surpris as the release comes a full six months before what Apple stated at WWDC. Oh, well. Good news I assume.
2006-01-11 08:53:06
MacBook iBook?
If Apple decides to drop the iBook sub-brand in favor of MacBook, then they should have renamed the new iMac just Mac.

iBook -> MacBook
PowerBook -> MacBook Pro
iMac -> Mac
Power Mac -> Mac Pro

Personally, I hate it. I think it is the "Pro" in the name that sounds so lame. PowerBook was such a strong name. I'm sad to see it go :(

2006-01-11 10:57:48
What premium pricing?
I recently priced a "premium" Dell laptop, and when configured identically feature by feature with an 15" PowerBook G4, the Dell actually costs more.

Since the PowerBook Pro adds a web cam (we'll not take FrontRow into account), it seems to me that the price/performance advantage goes even more to Apple.

2006-01-11 13:47:23
FireWire 400 - but not 800
No FireWire 800, No modem, No S-Video out... but you do get an ExpressCard slot with nearly no cards to stick in, especially not the ones you already have... CompactFlash Adapter anyone?

The advantage over other PC notebooks from other manufacturers is reduced to an overall more appealing industrial design and an ingenious power connector. The hardware is possibly faster but far from impressive. Oh, and Mac OS X of course... But us Mac users is already used to this. :-)

2006-01-11 23:31:53
What premium pricing?
Dell's usually are a bit more expensive than other Windows notebooks too. People don't buy Macs because they are cheap (IMHO). They buy them because they like Mac OS X (and its predecessors) and the apps that run on it. However, there is an interesting chart at ... ... that compares the MacBook Pro to the Powerbook as well as an Acer dual core notebook ($1995 like the MacBook Pro). The Acer specs for $1995 are quite impressive: 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 120GB HD.
2006-01-12 17:09:09
New intel ibook has tremendous features. No doubt. However, accept the unknowns for now in quality software applications. Rosetta is a fix for some applications. How fast are applications running on Rosetta? I've heard slower than on the native platform. So, will Adobe and Microsoft and Micromedia for example provide timely updates or will they require customers to purchase a new application / product? What happened to Final cut pro and motion? hmmm
2006-01-12 23:41:37
Check out the Quicktime video of Jobs' Macworld keynote. He addresses most of those questions. For example, he brought up Photoshop using Rosetta and said that it is probably too slow for professionals but should be ok for those of us who only use it for personal photos/small projects. Microsoft's Roz Ho committed to supporting Mac Office for the next 5 years. Jobs mentioned a spring timeframe (March?) for Final Cut Pro. I'm not too concerned. I think it will all shake out by the end of the year.
2006-01-19 11:20:18
MacBook IS the new iBook
I think you guys got it mixed up

the macbook pro is the new powerbook. the ibook may remain under the same name- we will have to wait and see. The reason for the switchover with the powerbook - is copyright reasons.The older powerbooks utilize the PPC processor. the "Power" from the Powerbook name came from these processors the PPC processors, and could endure a lawsuit if they continue to use the Power in the intel based comps. Apple can no longer user the word "power" when coming up with new names.


2006-02-15 03:24:59
I'm waiting for the Intel iBook - I'm waiting until I start Uni in Sept 06, because I heard Apple usually have deals like a free or real cheap iPod.
2006-02-20 06:21:55
im a student in grade 9 but im totally into macs and im currently saving up for a laptop. the macbook pro sure looks nice, it from what ive been reading preforms eevn better ,but i gonna wait for the intel ibook to hit beacause if apple has a brain, they gonna drop the price on it to appeal to people like me, and if we get lucky, i think it would smart fro apple to make it a tablet pc, to make it EVEN more appealing to the education system and avarage people like university students, and teenagers, like me. bundle that with a iSight camera, front row and a decent price, and itll be the hottest seller ever!
macbook fence sitter
2006-02-20 21:34:35
The Power in PowerBook did NOT come from the PPC. The first PowerBooks were introduced (100, 140, 170) long before the PPC. They were 68030 and 68000 based machines, IIRC.

As for rumors of a 13.3" widescreen being the only display, I say no way. 13.3" widescreen is SHORTER than a 12" 4:3 display. No way people like me who own the 14.1" iBook would settle for a screen that small. I am guessing the 12" iBook size will remain (1024x768), and a MUCH MORE COMMON 14.1" widescreen 1280x800 display will be used as well. It would not be as large, dense, or bright as the 15.4" MacBook Pro, but still a step up overall to the 14.1" 4:3 (with roughly the same physical screen area). This 14.1" display is very common among many PC makers, including DELL. A 13.3" is a rare bird. 14.1" actually keeps costs lower than a 13.3" would...

2006-04-16 16:59:14
The MacBook Pro is to expensive for me. My DELL(which started sucking as soon as I bought it) cost 1000 USD is half as much as the MacBOOK Pro which cost 2000 USD. But it's a pro laptop. If you're looking for a fast home laptop wait until the ibook/macbook comes out there is gonna be core duo like the mac mini. & it's only gonna be 1000-1500 USD ok!
apple insider
2006-04-21 13:22:58
You better wait.
The new iBook (or MacBook) will hava a built-in iSight, Firewire, and Intel Core Duo!!!
He will be also equipped with a new 13.3" screen.
2006-05-02 18:59:17
wait, definitely, but hurry UP!!!!! I'm getting impatient.
Adam H.
2006-05-05 21:36:43
I think the new naming scheme has some definate flaws.

These names work well:
PowerBook - Mac Book Pro
PowerMac - Mac Pro
iBook - Mac Book

These names don't work:
iMac - Mac (the iMac name has legacy to it and just calling a computer a mac would be stupid)
eMac - ????????
Mac Mini - ????????

All that I can say is that this namig system has some flaws.

Alan Briggs
2006-05-10 15:51:24
You will need to ice your hands regularly in order to use the macbook pro or you will get heat
blistering on your hands. Hopefully the macbook (ibook replacement) will not require such professional dedication and leave the hotplate off the keyboard area.
2006-06-09 15:48:14
You should buy a mac book or ibook on intel