Macbook vs MacBook Pro for amateur graphic designer?

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So I know there are a million questions regarding MB vs MBP, but there are too many contradictions.

I am a college student, and I’ve finally gotten too fed up with my PCs sluggishness in all things Adobe.
I am studying graphic design, and plan on going into it professionally when I graduate in 2 years.
I work in Photoshop, and Illustrator extensively, and Dreamweaver, and InDesign quite a bit.
Aside from that, I’d be using my laptop for music, word processing, and internet. I’m not worried about its gaming performance.

Regardless of whether I choose MB or MBP, I want to trick it out with 4gb of RAM.
My choice at this point is between the high end (white) MB (2.4ghz) or the low end 15 inch MBP (2.4 ghz). The price difference including the AppleCare plan and tax is $1800 vs $2500.
I’d also like this investment to last ideally for 4+ years.
Please help!


I once had to make the same decision, doing Graphic Design, Photography and Web design.

2 very important factors for me where:

– The MacBook resolution only being 1280×800. And the MacBook Pro having 1440×900. The latter gives you much more space for all your tools in Photoshop for instance. Think of it when you are designing for the web, you’ll want enough space to see your entire project without needing to scroll with your tools at hand all the time.

– The second issue is that the MacBook is only available with a Glossy screen. Personally I think you are deceiving yourself since the colors are much richer than on a Matte screen. The MacBook Pro is available in both Matte & Glossy, if you’re serious about your work I would recommend a Matte screen. Most Graphic Designers I know have made that same decision.

– When it comes to the Graphics chips in both machines: You do not need the MacBook Pro for Graphic Design, should you do a lot of video editing it may be another reason to go with the MacBook Pro. (Dedicated Memory, as opposed to Shared Memory in the MacBook.

But there is one more thing. If you are still a student you can get a 20% discount on a MacBook Pro by subscribing to the Apple Developer’s Connection. (free). After you have subscribed purchase a Student Developer Subscription for $99,-. This subscription will give you a 20% discount on a MacBook Pro, which is more than the $99 you pay for the subscription. When my MacBook was €1999,- i got it for €1570,-.

Good luck!

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  1. Honestly, it’s really just the program that will affect the graphic design side of things.

    I have several Mac’s at home, one being a Mac Book, and my brother has a Pro. We both have Photoshop and other graphic programs installed and I cannot tell the difference between using either computer.

    I guess it really depends on whether you want to spend that little bit more, or just go for the MacBook.

    I think MacBook would suit your use perfectly, and then you can spend more money on programs for it.

    Hope this helps 🙂

  2. the white mb only has 160gb of memory. is that enough for a graphic designer? the black one should work better for graphic designers perhaps?

    ok back to the question, get the macbook pro. as you said, you are a graphic designer, being able to see the graphic perfectly is a must. and macbook pro just happen to have better graphic card. and it has a bigger screen, that’s important. + theres good expansion slots. mac pro supports 2 firewire slots, which makes transferring faster. Time is money. SO yea, get a mac pro.

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