Macbook Pro 13 vs Lenovo X1 Carbon

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by csj0952, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. csj0952

    csj0952 Notebook Consultant

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget? $3500

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike: HP
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    NO

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Microsoft Office including Visio or Lucid Draw (for apple if needed)
    Maybe some light photo editing using some freeware apps to just get a pic from DLSR edited and into instagram quickly. Mostly will be a business laptop designed to take notes and give presentations.


    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    I will be taking it with me but also will dock it up at home or in the office. But it will goto airports and such as well.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    No games

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    6 hours

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    Ok without seeing

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    No preference

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    I don't care

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    I Just want a bright screen that looks super nice but both screens are 500nits. I don't know what's better glossy or non glossy. Typically i go non.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    no

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    500 gig at least

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    Within a month

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    2 years at least

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    1 week

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?
    I can ship I guess

    ==========
    END COPY

    I'm familiar with computers though I've never used a macbook I have an iphone and iwatch as well as an ipad so I'm in the ecosystem.

    I understand here are the rough comparison notes:

    Pros for X1C7:

    • Keyboard

    • Trackpoint

    • Higher screen resolution

    • More port options
    Apple:

    • Trackpad is way better

    • Graphics card better

    • Less reflective screen
    • Better optimization (software, battery life)
    • Sound better

    • Better battery life

    • Better OS
     
  2. Rodster

    Rodster Merica

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    If you own an iPhone and Apple Watch then the MacBook Pro may be the better fit for you. Apple has the "Continuity Feature" with MacOS and you can supposedly make calls from your computer as well. I own Apple products, typing this on a Mac Mini but some things to consider when buying an Apple laptop.

    Service and reliability, the current MacBook Pros are known for their butterfly keyboard issues. It's an expensive repair out of warranty although Apple has acknowledged the problem and has extended the repair for those laptops. The keyboard problems have been an issue for the last 2-3 generations although Apple says the new generation butterfly keyboards should be more reliable. If you have a display flex cable go bad that's also an expensive repair as it requires the entire display to be replaced, unless Apple acknowledges the problem.

    I happen to own a few Lenovo StinkPads and they are still going strong. One of which is a 13 yr old ThinkPad T60 which runs anything I install on it. It even runs Windows 10 x64 quite well even with 3GB of RAM. The ThinkPads have a good reputations for reliability and are much easier to upgrade by the user although i've read that Lenovo on some of their ThinkPads have also are now using soldered storage as well as soldered memory. I believe it could well be the Carbon X1 line so you may want to check.

    The StinkPads have and use the best keyboards in the industry and that's not just me saying it but reviewers over the years. I believe you will find better value buying a ThinkPad Carbon X1 because they are seriously well built and fast machines tailored for business and they are quite stylish.

    As far as OS, I use all three, Windows 8.1/10, MacOS and Linux. All three are competent and reliable operating systems although each will exhibit their share of bugs and quirkiness . It boils down quite frankly to preference. My preference is Windows and like I said I use all three.

    All that said if it were me I would get the MacBook Pro just because of the iPhone and Apple Watch ownership. However if the iPhone and Apple Watch are not important and you can see making a transition to Android then the Lenovo would be the more obvious choice.
     
  3. csj0952

    csj0952 Notebook Consultant

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    Yea I guess it boils down to better keyboard vs better trackpad and ecosystem integration vs more power for the money.

    Still having trouble deciding. Also i feel like the 13 inch MacBook Pro is too small and the 15 is too big.
     
  4. Rodster

    Rodster Merica

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  5. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

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    If it helps, the MBP15 is among the smallest 15" laptops out there. 15.4" (vs 15.6") in a 16:10 (vs 16:9) format does wonders for better utilizing the practical constraints of a laptop form factor. I think I calculated it out to have a smaller footprint than my XPS 15, while having more screen surface area (we are talking <=10 square cm in each case, iirc).

    Apple put their current 4th gen butterfly keyboards in the extended "not a recall" warranty program on the day of launch. Usually, it takes a class action lawsuit and a few years to do that. IMO, that shows Apple's current confidence level in the KB's longevity (not high, in case if my opinion isn't clear).

    While I would love to have imessage show up on my laptop (as it does for a family member that owns a MBP15), it's not enough of a draw for me. If it is for you, then it may be a deciding factor.
     
  6. Terreos

    Terreos Notebook Deity

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    You cover the pros and cons on the choices pretty nicely. One I would add is bang for the buck as a fully upgraded X1 is only hitting $2200-$2500 with current sales. Now based on your use case it doesn't seem like the Graphics bump in the Macbook Pro is going to really do much for you with Visio or Lucid Draw. So unless there is something else like video editing or some kind of rendering program you want to use then the X1 is making alot of sense.

    But, others already mentioned that if apple is an ecosystem you're heavily invested in and would like some of those feature comforts then the Macbook hands down has the X1 beat.

    One final note it ports and dongles. The X1 has much better port selection. And for presentations that HDMI port might be a great convenience for you when giving presentations. Unless you guys still use VGA port projectors. . .in which case tell those slackers to upgrade to a modern projector. lol.
     
  7. csj0952

    csj0952 Notebook Consultant

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    So hard to decide. I really can’t stand the keyboard but I love the ecosystem benefits.
     
  8. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

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    Where I work, we have HDMI projectors, but only DP and VGA on our laptops, lol. We actually bought VGA-->HDMI adaptors and keep replacing them as the adapters fail. All of the smaller projectors have HDMI and VGA, but only a VGA cable is supplied.

    You are right, in the end, you just have to push your workplace to actually supply you with what you require.

    Could you wait a year? Maybe something freezes over and Apple actually admits they were wrong. Otherwise, get a really cheap, used <2015 MBP13 and see if you like the ecosystem.


    I tried with a Mac Mini about 6 years back, and found I didn't really benefit at all from a MacOS system.​
     
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  9. csj0952

    csj0952 Notebook Consultant

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    Mac fanboy chimed in on Reddit post “
    X1C7 will show wear after about a week of use. It will look greasy.
    Lenovo's screen quality is a crapshoot; you will play the lottery in terms of which display you get.
    Everything except the SSD is soldered to the X1C7 motherboard. It's a PITA to work on. Even a keyboard swap is effectively a topcase replacement now. The only ThinkPad that is easy to work on anymore is the P5* or P7* series. Everything else is just as inaccesible as a MacBook.”

    Is this true?
     
  10. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

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    I'd augment that. It may not be a MacBook fan, might even be a Thinkpad fan, lol.

    Wear, I don't know. The X1C6 was supposedly famous for wear and grease, but I've had mine for 9 months now. Travel on light rail everyday (45min each way) and always moving at work. School as well, though it's summer now. No wear, no grease.

    The lower end screens are a mess. Higher end displays have multiple suppliers, too, but are much more tightly controlled. The only real complaint some people have is the lower end displays can occasionally get a ringer (brighter, better contrast ratio, response times, gamut, etc), depending on the supplier, but none of them get appreciably below the specs Lenovo lays out. When it comes to higher end options, that complaint is shallow and completely without merit.

    X1C7 has soldered in everything except the SSD and WWAN card. The WiFi card is soldered, but it should be a higher end Intel chip, not some garbage chipset.

    KB is part of the top chassis, and has been since at least the 6th gen. However, to say it is as inaccessible as a MacBook is still somewhat disingenuous. None of the Thinkpad laptops have the battery glued in. The T series still largely allows for parts replacements (even if the slim versions are increasingly messing that up), and a MacBook doesn't even come with removable SSD anymore - they are all soldered in.

    After all is said and done, we are still talking about dongles for everything, when it comes to MacBooks.

    While it is true that the previous P series were a tiny bit closer to the style of older Thinkpads, the current generation is also starting down the path the T series went down 6 years ago. The P53 had its battery integrated into the chassis (with no Whr gain) with no discernable reason. All of them use the 6 row KB, despite having more than enough space for the 7 row. All have removed dedicated volume keys, for no real gain as an user.


    That being said, MacBooks generally have a better audio system. A number of vendors have tried to at least imitate what Apple is doing with speakers (finally, copying an objectively part good about MacBooks), but Razer and Lenovo are still short of the mark.
     
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