Mac Laptop buying help please - some q's!

Hi all,

I've got a really nice 17" HP DV9000 laptop - does everything i need and I'm really pleased with it, BUT (always a but!), its a little too big and bulky - i'm really wanting something small, portable, light etc.

I'm thinking of a 2nd hand Mac Laptop - mainly due to portability - but just want to clarify something before I decide on Mac or PC laptops.

The smaller Mac laptops (10"-13"), can they be used 'on lap' as such as all Laptops I've had before use fans under them to remove heat and I find it really inconvenient having to use a board or something to sit the laptop on.

For some reason, I have it in my head that the Mac Laptops can be sat on a lap without a board underneath?

Also, what would you recommend for the following spec:-

* Needs to be small (not got a definate size, very max 15") - what would you recommend?

* Will be used for browsing, web design (more programming than graphical) and word processing.

* Main thing is I can carry it around easily in a slip case or something and use it pretty much anywhere.

Thanks for any help!


To be honest I'd say any of the Mac laptop range should suit you. Some may argue that a MacBook Pro is not that portable, but I have no problems with mine.

The best thing to do in my opinion is look at the Mac laptop range and weigh up the pros and cons. The MacBook Air is great for portability but doesn't have an optical drive. The MacBook is also great but doesn't have a dedicated graphics card. The MacBook Pro is more powerful, but is bulkier to carry about.

Like I said, all have their pros and cons but I'd have a look for your needs. If you definitely don't need an optical drive always to hand but portability is your primary concern then get the MacBook Air.

I've got a MacBook Pro running Leopard and have no problems having it on my lap. I went from a HP laptop to a Mac and have never looked back. Look at the numerous threads on here of happy people. You rarely hear of someone switching back once they've got a Mac.

Any other questions feel free to ask. I find the Mac forum one of the most friendly and helpful forums on AVF, and I'm sure you'll get plenty of answers and suggestions.

Cheers Craig... if money was no object, then I'd maybe go for the Air, though I've heard some bad things about them and to be honest, would rather go for a small form MacBook.

Hard trying to gauge a good price (Ebay etc). Think I should be able to get around £400 for my HP due to the condition its in (as new, boxed etc), plus i have a case and other bits and bobs. They are still selling this laptop today in Currys for a snatch over £500.

I'll keep researching!!!


Active Member
I have a regular MacBook and I find that if I do anything more than email/light browsing it gets too hot to be used on my lap. Not so hot that it burns, but hot enough to become uncomfortable.

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
macbook vents out of the back. if you block it too much it can get warm, so its better to be over the end of your knees, but its perfectly usable on a lap.

I'd go for the midrange macbook. The lower end doesn't have a DVD burner in, which is invaluable even if you're just doing a backup or putting some photos on disc to print at sainsburies. It also has enough ram that you could get away with not upgrading it (2GB), whereas the entry level has only 1GB which really needs upgrading. (if you buy used and its a 2007 model, then they are all 1GB, but easily upgraded. pushed mine up to 4GB for about £60)

the black macbook just seems more expensive for no apparant reason. the middle one is clearly best bang-for-buck IMO.

air would be tempting - but the basic macbook is pretty portable.

Macbook pro is nice if you need either a bigger screen, or dedicated graphics. otherwise powerwise they are about on par with the macbooks and as such, overpriced IMO (awaits the MBP flames :p )

so, midrange macbook

if you happen to be flying sometime soon, or know someone who is, grab one from dixons tax free and it'll cost the same as the entry level one - £699.

Don't know how cheap you can get one used?

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