Time to Update?

I’ve been saying for sometime that I need a new laptop. Why? Mainly because I purchased my current laptop in March of 2001. Yes, it shocks even me; I didn’t realize it was six-years old. I like my Toshiba Portege 7200, like the one in the image here. The laptop is lightweight, with a great screen and keyboard, it still has a stylish look, and has been a faithful workhorse. Unfortunately, the hard disk is tiny, the CPU speed is slower than frozen molasses, it makes a high pitched annoying noise, and if residing in one’s lap, it burns a hole in one’s skin. Time for a new laptop.

I used to be a Mac user, but it just wasn’t compatible enough with my clients’s Window’s-based systems. I still have my ancient Mac IIci and it still works; except it won’t Shut Down unless unplugged. Here’s a picture of the desktop on my IIci. I need to get rid of this computer, but want to get some of the files off first. Notice the conversion program there in the background. I’ve gotten some of the files off, but it all has to be done with floppies and is horribly painful and slow. I wonder if there’s a company that will transfer files off old Mac hard disks to CD? (Click on either image for enlargement.)

Now that Macs are Intel based and are compatible with Windows, and even run Windows, I’ve decided to get a MacBook Pro laptop. I’ve been putting off my purchase as I waited for the laptops to be updated and then waiting for latest Mac OS release. I planned to make my purchase today, only to learn there are rumors of new MacBooks to coincide with the new OS, so I’m waiting another week. (Even though we suspect the rumors are false…but Murphy’s Law dictates waiting.)

My buddy TL, a longtime Mac devotee, went shopping with me today. I can’t decide whether to get the matte or glossy monitor. I have very light sensitive eyes and glare always is very difficult to deal with. One reason I want a new laptop is so I can get out of the home office more and work at bookstores or coffee shops. But these locations are always full of windows, sunlight, and glare, which makes me think getting the matte monitor would be best. I’ve looked on the Internet and a lot people like the glossy screen, particularly for pictures, movies, and DVDs.

So today, I took some DVDs to the Apple store to test the two screens. Poor TL, got more than he bargained for shopping with me. Here’s the test results:

  • Cars: I took this DVD because the colors are sharp, bright, and practically fly off the screen. This looked great on both screens, but best on the glossy.
  • Pride and Prejudice (2005): This movie is filled with lovely, muted, blended colors. Think of the mist rising over the fields in the opening scenes. The matte screen held the subtleties, but the glossy was more alive.
  • Strangers on a Train: I thought testing a black and white movie would also be revealing. I should have taken a different b&w movie because this one had too much darkness. The image on the matte screen lost much of the nuances in the picture. Even the glossy had trouble with this DVD. I’m rather surprised at how poorly they both did with this movie.

Overall, I thought the glossy was better. But I’m still worried about the effect of sunlight and overhead lights creating a glare. We then took TL’s glossy MacBook Pro outside. It was a beautiful, sunny day here in Chicagoland and the brightness completely washed out the glossy screen. I suspect the matte would have been washed out also, but I don’t know of anyone with a matte screen MacBook Pro to try it. I wish I could experiment with both types of monitors in a coffee shop to see what the glare is like.

Somebody help me! I don’t know what to do. This isn’t a cheap purchase and I don’t want to regret the decision, but I don’t know what to do!!! Sigh.

A big thanks to TL for going shopping with me today and showing me how to use many of the new features on the Mac! Can’t live without buddies like TL!

2 comments to Time to Update?

  • Patsy Burnette

    I too have a very old laptop, Gateway solo I purchased about 7 years ago. AND, I too am getting ready to upgrade to a MacBook Pro. Your “screen” test [so-to-speak] between the matte and glossy were very interesting. I had always planned to get the glossy because I work with graphics all day long and need the clarity the glossy provides. I’ve been waiting since April for the new OS now though, I don’t know whether to purchase this week when it comes out or wait for the rumored MacBook updates that they say are coming in the next two weeks or possibly January ‘08. I can handle the next two weeks, but waiting until January is going to be difficult at best!

  • You’ve held off updating even longer than moi. Wow! I’ll wait a few more weeks, but I’m not going to wait until January…just been putting it off too long. Maybe I should get the lower end MacBook Pro so I can update more quickly. Another decision. Yesterday I had an prolonged email discussion with a graphic artist that is a Mac diehard. He has glossy desktops, but will only get matte laptops because he takes his laptop so many places and can’t control the lighting. He wrote: “The brighter colors and richer blacks of the glossy screen is nice, but I would rather have a matte screen that’s usable in most any lighting scenario.” I’m leaning toward the matte because of the lighting issues and my light sensitive eyes. But…I’ll probably change my mind a dozen times! Sigh.
    Stop back by and let us know what you decide to do!

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