If you plan on using it outside or in a brightly light room I would stay away from the glossy screen models. Too much reflection....
The Macbook Pro's will give you more power (speed) options (more ram... easier to upgrade the hard drive...) than the Macbook's, but if these are two things you don't ever see yourself doing (after a few years you see it being smarter to purchase a new, faster machine), save the $ and get a Macbook. Most people will never upgrade the hard drive and ram is usually maxxed out when they purchase a new machine....
Screen size is the big question. If you're used to a big screen, a 15" might be hard to get used to. Keep in mind they are all hi res screens. Go to an Apple store and you can compare a 15" next to a 17" and even run PhotoShop or whatever program you plan on using to see how the pallets fill up the screen...
I just bought a new notebook computer, and (though some strange ciurcumstances) did not pay much attention to price..
First, two DEll 17 inch non-glossy computgers were delivereded, the second one to replace the first one that wo0uld not work. The second one would not work, either. But in the few times the scereens actully sowed an image, the latest technology non-glossy screen looked really, really good..
In frustration, I bought a 17 ionch glossy HP computer, and glossy is a pain..
I keep changing the angle of my chair and tghe angle of the screen so that I can look straight at the screen and see whites that are white, not light grey, and blacks that are black, not dark grey..
So, my recommendation is to avoid gllossy if you intend to use the computer for complicated color balancing, color and contrast editing, etc..
If it's just for looking at pictures... glossy is really beautiful, and I've placed my machine so there's a plain grey wall behind me. I can angle the screen so reflections are minimized, and the images are great..
Size: we got a 17 inch monitor because we'll use it for editing movies, and need the "real estate" to allow us to have a lot of windows open on the monitor at the same time.Plus, we use it to make presentations to individual or small groups of clients, and the 17 inchscreen lets us simply place the computer on a meeting room table. Smaller, and we'd need a computer projector and a dark room and a screen..
But we have a 15 inch and the new 17 inch comptuers a couple of feet apart, and I don't really care which one I use for non-editing purposes..
Yesterday I was in a store and looked at a 12 inch computer, and thought that this would be really great for a travelling or location photographer. But too small to be my main compujter..
The 13 inchMac is a really good comporomise and the 15 inch would be great if you were the only person looking at the pictures at one time..
I'm in Canada, we we determined a 17 inch Mac would be at least a thousand dollars more thjan the 17 inch HP, taking software costs into account..
BUT if I was an independent photographer not making in-office presentations, and did not already own a bunch of Windows software, and did not work with a Windows-owning partner, I'd buy a 15 inch Mac with a non-glossy screen..
Current Mac notebooks support external monitors in extended desktop mode. So if you always worked at a particular desk at home, you could get a 20" - 24" monitor for use when you had the notebook there...
From being and working around many many computers and releated hardware I would say go for a mac without a doubt..
Even with the inital outlay being apparently higher, when you consider TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) apple always seems to come in cheaper. Especially now you can dual boot with OSX/Windows/Linux the added benefit is they devalue slower than PC's, more durable and faster (even when running Windows).
Hope this helps, if you have any more computer questions feel free to PM me..
Personally, a Mac or PC doesn't make a hill of beans to me. Macs use Intel processors these days so the only difference of the GUI or interface. I prefer the easy right click of a two button mouse so mostly use PCs..
When I consider a laptop, I consider what fits in my photo backpack. 15 inch is about it and a non-glossy screen is a must on the road to avoid reflectons. At home, I use a desktop with a much larger screen. I just plug my laptop into my router and everything is shared that needs to be..
All my software is on both desktop and laptop so I can edit from each, but the images are archived on a 500gig raid 1 array, not on the laptop..
Another reason I don't want a Mac laptop is that I'd have to have more than one copy much of my software. My Macs actually do have Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark, but then I'm different and use them for different purposes. Macs are the machine of choice for prepress, but for me, that's about it..
The screens on only the iMac 20" is the problem one, as far as I know, and Apple is being sued for it. It radically changes color depending on your view. That's no good for photo editiing and nearly impossible to properly calibrate. I don't think the Mac laptops have that problem, but I'd check. The larger iMacs have great screens, but many say they are very hard to calibrate too. It's a shame because Macs have had good reputations in the past for photo editing..
The 20-inch iMacs feature 6-bit twisted nematic film LCD screens, the least expensive of it's type. I would avoid this like the plague. It will display 98% less colors than the older 20" monitors and all the 24" ones. These are the new silver iMacs, not the white ones..
Current Mac notebooks support external monitors in extended desktopmode. So if you always worked at a particular desk at home, youcould get a 20" - 24" monitor for use when you had the notebook there..
That's a good solution to the monitor size problem Tom..
Presumably we buy laptops because we want to carry them around. When I used a large screen laptop on an airplane, the seats were so close together that I couldn't open the screen if the guy in front of me reclined his seat!.
So now I carry a small laptop. Lighter, fits better in my camera bag and opens in tight spaces...
Thank you very much for the answer. So at the very end all of you thinks that Mac (book or book pro?) is a good choise for photo processing. The best is to nuy a small (13 or 15 ?) one and to carry everywhere and than having a bigger scrren at home to make the photoprocessing.Glossy screen: avoid at all.Do I unnderstend good?Betz..
As I see it, buy a Macbook (pro if you have the spare cash as seem to take more abuse and hold there value more).
15" Is my personal Ideal size, but it's down to your preference..
I have a 24" screen to setup dual display with my laptop.
Glossy screen apparently improves blacks and the contrast if I recall correctly, can difg out more information if required, HOWEVER it becomes difficult to work with when you have any sort of strong light to reflect into it..
Hope it helps!..