Going from the MacBook to the MacBook Pro 15"

As many of you know, I recently turned 16 years old. On my birthday, my parents got me a 15″ MacBook Pro from Apple. Before having a MacBook Pro, I was using a Black 13″ MacBook (Disclosure: My MacBook was sponsored by Viewzi). Here and there I would have problems with the MacBook because it only had 2 GB of RAM, 2.0 GHz processor, and a 120 GB hard drive. One of the biggest problems that I had was video editing. One of my passions is video, and I shoot and edit a lot of video. My MacBook is not capable of running Final Cut Pro, so I had to use iMovie HD ’06. Even then, iMovie would crash, and I had more problems on top of my current problems.

Although I got my MacBook Pro in the middle of November, I only started using full time December 31st. I had my MacBook Pro setup with my common applications, but I just couldn’t get in the habit of carrying around something, in my mind, a lot bigger than my MacBook. One of the only reasons I kept my MacBook is because of the size. It was, and still is, a extremely portable computer. Of course, it isn’t as portable and small as the MacBook Air, but it was small and did the job of portability very well.


Many of you may think that going from 13″ to 15″ isn’t a big deal, but it really is. When you are used to 13″ of screen real-estate, and all of a sudden you have so much more room, productivity is significantly boosted. I am one of those people who needs the extra space to get more work done. At the Teens in Tech office, I use 24″ and 21″ displays with my MacBook, but soon they will be paired with my MacBook Pro. Having distracting applications like iChat, Skype, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc. running on their own display really helps. On my main display I have my web browsers, code editors, and any other applications that I use for productivity. On my MacBook/MacBook Pro monitor I always have my email client, Mail.app, running, since email is a major form of communication that I always need to have accessible. In the end, having the extra monitor space, although it’s only 2″, is extremely helpful.


My MacBook only had a 120 GB hard drive, while my MacBook Pro has a 250 GB hard drive. The extra 130 GB is a big convenience. Instead of having to carry 2-3 external drives with me, I can now store all my information on my MacBook Pro. I still carry an external 320 GB Western Digital My Passport Studio hard drive with me because its small, has a lot of space, and has FireWire 400, 800 and USB 2.0. Either way, the MacBook Pro has more hard drive space, and is very easily upgradeable to even more.


My MacBook Pro has a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM, while my MacBook only had a 2.0 GHz processor and 2GB of slower 667MHz DDR2 RAM. I am looking into upgrading the new notebook to 4 GB of memory in the coming weeks (if you have and memory vendor recommendations, leave a comment, or get in touch with me). Although only .4 GHz more processing power, the MacBook Pro is Intel Core 2 Duo, unlike my first generation MacBook. Also, Apple introduced a key feature to the MacBook Pro models at the notebook event in September: two graphics chipsets, each one more powerful than those of their respective previous-generation equivalents. I am not a heavy gamer, but those who do appreciate the sport (if one could call it that) will get very high-end graphics to connect the best displays to. It’s not an improvement that I really need, but it may be nice to have for future expandability (ie. growing into a larger monitor).


It has come to that time where I need the extra power and screen space to do work that the MacBook just isn’t capable of handling (like video editing in Final Cut Pro, among other things). I’ve been working on the MacBook Pro for just under a week, and so far, all it’s been making a good impression. I’ll continue breaking it in for a little while longer, and do a full review on Apple Universe.

While I’m talking about Macs, keep a lookout for Apple Universe Macworld Coverage – we will be doing live streaming using Qik and Ustream.TV, blogging, audio and video interviews, and much more.

On another note, Speck Products (the wonderful case maker who I swear by for cases for my electronics) has new models for the MacBook, and MacBook Pro that I’m currently using. We have a special discount code with Speck – you can get 25% everything at Speck Products when you use the code 'BUDDY25' when checking out.

11 thoughts on “Going from the MacBook to the MacBook Pro 15"

  1. Upgrading to 4G of RAM makes a huge difference.

    I went from my old 15″ MacBook Pro to the new MacBook 2.4 GHz because it’s much lighter and easier to expand. I replaced the 250G drive that came with it with a 320G 7200 RPM and put the old one in an external case. With that drive & 4G of RAM, it’s faster than my old MBP.

    The big drawback is the lack of firewire, but I can live with it since all of my drives are either USB or dual interface. I use a 22″ Samsung monitor with it, so the smaller screen size isn’t a problem.

  2. Wow. The specs you listed for your MacBook are the same as the MacBook Pro I’m typing on right now, with the exception of my 80GB HD instead of your 120. Planning to upgrade to a 2.5GHz MBP soon.

    On the subject of size, I agree. Down the road I hope to go with an Air+iMac if I can, but the MBP is the right balance of power+portability for me right now.

  3. @Steve McQueen: It all took time for me. Started with a iBook Clamshell, went to a PowerBook G4, MacBook and now MacBook Pro. Somewhere in the middle I had a PowerMac G5 as well.

    @Mike Cohen: I’m not that big of a fan of modifications, but if it’s necessary, I’ll do it. My RAM upgrade is necessary, so I’ll be upgrading soon. As for my hard drive, I have a big internal, and numerous externals, so space isn’t an issue. I don’t have a external monitor to use at home, so I’m always on the 15″ at home, so that helps with the MacBook Pro over the MacBook.

    @Joe Webb: I’ve heard a lot of good things about OWC, and I actually have a interview with their CEO in February.

    @Ed Kirk: They are the same for now… all changing soon. My dream setup would be to have a Mac Pro or iMac and a MacBook Air. The Air is just so great for traveling, and the Mac Pro or iMac are great home machines.

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