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MacBook Pro versus MacBook Air laptops - feedback needed
Thread poster: Neil Barnes
Neil Barnes  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
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Jan 19, 2012

Does anyone have any experience in using these laptops with Trados/Parallels? I have recently converted to MAC from PC and find the MAC much faster and better, but would also like to get a Mac laptop. My current Toshiba laptop's memory cannot cope with the Trados software, so I need something more powerful.

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Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:01
Italian to English
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I have the latest MacBook Pro 13" Jan 19, 2012

and I use Parallels 7 with Windows 7 business.
Performance seems fine but I haven't tried it yet with very demanding and large Word/Trados combinations. Otherwise its a great computer.

I considered the MacBook Air before I bought this machine, but that may have been prior to their latest update. The small hard disk size may be an issue, you'll need to buy the largest version to get decent capacity and the lack of a DVD drive seemed an issue to me at the time, but to be honest once everythng's installed I never use it.

The MacBook Pro is vey quiet and seems to run at a low temperature unless you're using a lot of graphics, then it heats up and the fan comes on, but its well designed and well built so the sound is bearable.

The battery life is excellent. If used for work applications (word, excel, internet etc.) I was getting close to 8 hours from a full charge. Again graphics etc. will eat into that.

Hope this is of some help.


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Neil Barnes  Identity Verified
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Thanks! Jan 19, 2012

Thanks, this is very useful advice.

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Jose Herrera  Identity Verified
United States
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Is trades working? Jan 20, 2012

I use Mac pro, And as far as I know Trados is not compatible, so let me know if it works on yours because if it does, I will go and get me a newer Mac. I love Mac, excepting from Trados, everything works better, faster, no maintenance needed and 99.9% of updates are free. Plus no need of anti viruses or other staff.

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Yana Onikiychuk  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
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English to Russian
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I work on latest MacBook Air Jan 20, 2012

with Parallels and Windows XP installed for Trados. And I can't say I'm very happy with it.
When I launch Parallels, the ventilator starts working very hard, and other software work a little bit slower. Also lack of CD-driver is somewhat an issue. From the other hand, MacBook Air is a very light tool (concerning its weight), and it means a lot for me, as I do travel a lot for interpreting assignments. My previous MacBook Pro was very hard to carry
So if you aren't suppose to travel a lot with your laptop, I would recommend MacBook Pro.


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:01
Member (2003)
German to English
A tangential question Jan 20, 2012

For those of you running Parellels: have you tried VirtualBox, from Sun? I've been using it to great success on an older MacBook Pro (first generation actually), I wonder if that would work better on the MacBook Air. Added bonus: it's free, so trying it out won't cost you anything.

If you do try it please report back! I'd love to hear a performance comparison.


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Neil Barnes  Identity Verified
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Mac Pro Jan 20, 2012

Jose, you mean Trados, right? Yes it works with Parallels or Bootcamp to run a virtual Windows OS.

Yana, this is very useful advice. I thought the Mac Air may not be powerful enough. I will go for Pro then.

Steven, I've never tried VirtualBox, but I am very happy with Parallels on the Mac and the telephone support they provide.


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
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Mac for translating or other things Jan 21, 2012

If you are just going to be using your laptop for translating I don't see much point in changing to MAC as it does not make much sense to buy a MAC which will cost you a lot more than a PC to then turn around and just use the MAC to emulate a PC.

So if you are just going to be translating on the laptop I would suggest a PC, a laptop powerful enough to handle Trados will cost you a lot less than a MAC.

If you will be using your laptop for other things apart from translating then I would base my decision on the use you will give to it, if you move around a lot and take your laptop with you go for the Air if you will mostly stay at home get the Pro.


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Neil Barnes  Identity Verified
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I totally disagree Jan 21, 2012

Hi Alex,

I totally disagree. I bought the iMac 6 months ago and I am using it as a translator and working with Trados and Windows Parallels. The Mac SO MUCH better and faster than any PC I have ever owned and as a result I am probably working about 30% more productively/faster each day.

The OS is so much more intuitive and ergonomic and has the option of having several desktops open at the same time, so no time wasted toggling between different windows. Navigation, browsing, streaming and even typing is so much faster.

I really notice my web searches are faster and easier. The keyboard keys are well spaced and have a very soft shallow action so typing is a lot faster. The computer does cost about twice as much as a PC, but I would say it is actually better value and you are getting a much more advanced piece of technology for your money.

This is why I now want to sell my laptop (Windows OS Toshiba) and invest in a Macbook Pro. I use the laptop as backup and for travels, but it is inferior slower than the iMac and I want to invest in something that I can use to match the productivity levels of the Mac.

Neil


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
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Member (2009)
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Find that hard to credit Jan 21, 2012

Neil Barnes wrote:

The Mac SO MUCH better and faster than any PC I have ever owned and as a result I am probably working about 30% more productively/faster each day.



How did you get this productivity increase? Are you seriously saying you achieved a 30% increase in translation productivity because of your hardware? Your previous PC must have been pretty bad


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Neil Barnes  Identity Verified
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No Jan 21, 2012

No, my previous PC was top spec and an excellent computer. I still have it, it has one terabyte storage capacity and a quad core Intel processor. My Toshiba laptop is also not a bad computer.

However, the Mac is superior technology and everything you do using it is much faster and easier to do. For example, it now only takes a fraction of a second to download a new webpage, the browsing speed is unbelievable.

You will only be able to appreciate how good the Mac is once you try one. A journalist told me they all use them in that field and they all say the Mac improves productivity by about one third. I didn't believe him until I found this out for myself. At first, it took a while to get used to a different system, but now I am so pleased I invested in the Mac.

As everyone says "Once you get a Mac, you will never go back!"


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:01
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
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Wow Jan 21, 2012

Well the MAC vs PC debate has been going on for a very long time, I use PC but have nothing against buying a MAC, a 30% increase in productivity would be a definite win for the MAC.

Did your translation output increase by that much? 30% is a huge jump, how long did it take you to achieve that?

I can seriously say that if I can increase my productivity by 30% by getting a MAC I will be more than happy to go and buy one. The MAC will pay for itself in no time.

What are you using to compare your productivity, words per day?


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Yana Onikiychuk  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 08:01
English to Russian
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100% agree with Neil Jan 23, 2012

I was also rather sceptic about switching to Mac, but now I can't imagine any other computer/laptop in my life.

As everyone says "Once you get a Mac, you will never go back!"

Once you get a Dior underwear, you will never go back to a Calvin Klein! (No offense, both are good, but feel the difference).


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Neil Barnes  Identity Verified
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Reply to Yana Jan 23, 2012

Yana, I like your analogy, you are so right!

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Neil Barnes  Identity Verified
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Alex Jan 23, 2012

Yes, Alex, words per day.

My productivity did not increase overnight. It took me a while to get used to a completely new operating system. I also paid £85 for one-to-one tutorials at the Mac Store, which were invaluable and without them I would not have know about some of the advanced functions of the Mac. They teach you about familiarising yourself with the Mac OS, then you can even learn about some of the specialist applications.

Neil


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