A Student Buyer/Switcher dilemma

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by i-sidd, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. i-sidd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    #1
    Hi all, I am a student and have been a PC user for most of my life UNTIL, I was introduced to a MAC. and to describe it I have one word AWESOME.
    Anyways, since being a student I don't have a lot of money to spend on a laptop,however I can afford the Macbook, with my configuration and student discount and apple care plan it comes to $1400, but I saw that the apple refurbrished store and it has the 15' MBP for around $1499 without the apple care plan. So I don't know if I should buy the new MB or buy the refurbrished MBP. Also since I will be using a lot of MS office for school work, will the MS office for Mac be use to share and transfer my spreadsheets, word documents and powerpoint slides with my friends or professors. Will I be able to do powerpoint presentations in a PC based smart classroom. I can't go and buy the windows Xp and bootit on the MAC as it will be additional cost to me.
    I need to be in the $1500 budget, Will I be able to get all that I need for that Budget.

    What are the pros and cons on a reburshed MAC.
    Any advise or recommendations will be of great help to me.

    Cheers!!!
     
  2. nitynate macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    #2
    Go for a 2GHz C2D white MacBook with 2GB RAM.


    No stress. No pain. New. Nice. No cons.
     
  3. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    #3
    Macs don't work with the projectors in our smart classrooms. I believe there's an adapter but most students don't have it and my friends are always borrowing my laptop to make presentations. I don't know what yours are like.
     
  4. m-dogg macrumors 65816

    m-dogg

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #4
    In case you want to go with the MBP but are worried about not being able to afford Apple Care, Apple will let you purchase it at a later date if you like (anytime within the first year).

    Also, just a polite FYI for you...'Mac' shouldn't be written in all caps like 'PC.' Just a capital 'M' and you're good!
     
  5. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #5
    First off its "Mac" not "MAC"

    but on a note of your questions, all your MS documents will transition fine to the Mac version. If you want to save a little cash you can even get Open Office which works exactly like Office 95% of the time (its a free application). I have no problem in a Windows envirnment using my PB.

    As for the MB vs the MBP I say go for the MB. Its smaller and more portable which will be good if you are taking it to class often with a 'smart' classroom. but I am pretty sure the MB does not come with a VGA adapter so you will need to order one for like $20 and you will be able to plug into any sort of projector system you may run into.

    The only reason I would recomend the MBP is if you are doing something very video intensive (like editing video files etc) but if you are mostly doing word docs and internet etc id stick with the MB!

    I hope you enjoy your new computer!!! (im sure you will)
     
  6. interlaced macrumors 6502a

    interlaced

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #6
    In HS, the projectors in our classrooms had a standard VGA output. Are the projectors now any different?? :confused:

    Macbooks have a mini-DVI output port and you'd just need a $19 mini-DVI to DVI or VGA adapter from Apple to be able to hook it up to the projector. They used to come with the old Powerbooks but I guess they stopped including them with the new Macbooks?
     
  7. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a

    mr_matalino

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #7
    The C2D is a much better processor and because the new MB is a second revision Apple should have taken care of the heat issue (like the MBP).
     
  8. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    #8
    Sorry for the Mac in caps, Anyways you guys did not say anything about refurbrished MBP. Are the Refurbrished MBP core duo or C2D. I would really like to have the bigger 15' screen but if the refurb MBP is not C2D and you guys don't suggest, then I will go for the new MB.
     
  9. raleigh1208 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #9
    The refurb MBP is probably a Core Duo machine and not C2D, but the online description of the unit should confirm that fact. If only a CD MBP, I'd go with the C2D Macbook, unless you're going to need to do video work. The C2D MB is a second generation machine, while the CD MBP is a first generation machine, which had more problems than the new C2D MBP second generation.
     
  10. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    #10
    Hey guys one more thing. Is it better to buy from the store or Online. also in another thread I read some one saying that not to upgrade anything while buying online as it becomes CTO and it more problems returning or swapping it withing the first 14 days if something goes wrong. It this true and also what is CTO
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    CTO = custom to order. Apple is somewhat more selective in accepting returns for issues other than defect (they often still will if you call them and talk to them and want to get an even more expensive machine when you return this one. ;) ). BUT... if you want anything that cannot be user-installed, GO FOR IT. Because you only live once... and it'll be a lot better than selling and buying another one later. So if you want / need a vid card upgrade (if you go MBP) or a hard drive upgrade (particularly on the MBP -- it's a two minute install on the MacBook), snap on it. If you want RAM, generally, the best advice is to go with the cheapest option. Sometimes Apple is affordable and many other times, it's best to do it yourself.

    P.S. I vastly prefer ordering online, but I'm just more comfortable with it for some reason... you have all your receipts in your mailbox and you can spotlight search them, you can CTO, you get exactly what you want....
     
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #12
    Either model comes with a 30 day trial of both MS Office for Mac and iWork.

    Definitely give Keynote a spin for your presentations.

    Just to carify, the Core Duo is the Intel 32 bit Yonah processor
    The C2D is their newer 64 bit Merom processor.

    You might save an additional $50.00 over the education price buying a refurbished C2D MBP, but that's about it.

    You're much better off loading up a C2D MacBook, with 2 GB of RAM
    and maybe adding the 160 GB perpendicular HD.

    I always call 1800MyApple to order my gear.
    That way you always get the latest mini tweaks directly from the factory.

    At worst, you might need to fax in a copy of your student I.D.
     
  13. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    #13
    mkrishnan, I don't know if I understood correctly what you suggested.
    If you could suggest what I should do if I need to buy the new MB.
    2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    1GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x512
    80GB Serial ATA drive @ 5400 rpm
    Superdrive 6x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    for $1199

    or should I buy the one for the specifications abaove the way it it without adding anything to it or should I add something to it if I need to. If I don't add anything to the above specification will it be still a CTO.

    Thanks
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #14
    If you go to the store, click on one of the three buttons (the two white MacBooks or the one Black one) and don't change anything, it's not a CTO/BTO/whatever. It's only a CTO if you add more RAM or a bigger HD or whatever. I personally think you should not limit yourself by this concern. Buy what you WANT. Unless you're the sort of person who is constantly buying and returning things.
     
  15. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    #15
    Thanks for the response, No I am not the kind of person who is constanly buying and returning. I woudl only upgrade the OS once the new one releases next spring. I would however return if something is wrong. I hope that not to happen. Anyways. the middle button on the online store for the white MB is the one that I am looking for, theonly reason being that it has a superdrive else I woudl have gone for the first one with less RAM, which mnay say is cheaper to upgrade on your own. I wish I could get the superdrive with less RAM and then upgrade on my own but that is not the option that you get from apple.

    Anyways thanks and any other advice would be helpful
     
  16. discoforce macrumors 6502a

    discoforce

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #16
    I want to respond to this one question because it can get a bit tricky.

    Assuming you mean: Can I plug the video cable in my classroom into my mac - You can, with the optional adapter (I'd order this when you get the computer).

    However if you mean: Can I create a powerpoint presentation on my mac in my dorm, save the file to a flash drive (or send by ftp, email, etc.), open that on the pc available in the classroom - You can, but you're likely to run into incompatibility problems with any pictures you might have put into your presentation (at least that happened at my university). I've had the most luck creating the presentation in powerpoint (or Keynote - much nicer!) than saving as PDF files. These I can display anywhere.
     
  17. backsidetailsli macrumors 65816

    backsidetailsli

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto!
    #17
    go refurbished, its as good as new. and ive heard that with thier refurb comps they might give you more than you payed for. e.g. they will upgrade your hd or memory etc
     
  18. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #18
    Hmmm, tricky. I'd get a new one (MacBook) its just more feature/future proof and will less likely give you issues.

    As for presentations, thats also tricky BUT two of my tutors use their MBPs to give presentations. One uses office powerpoint and the other one sticks to keynote. Its easy in that they just use the DVI-VGA cable that came with their machines and connect to the projector and simply press "computer 2" and they're all set to go.

    Professors can do this easily but students get frowned upon because some screw it up and end up wasting the entire class's time. With a MacBook this is also possible but you have to buy an extra cable(miniDVI-VGA).
     
  19. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #19
    Nice point about the 'Print to PDF' feature. I love doing that. It does make sharing easier.

    However, I have to say in the 5 years of University presentations I have made, I have never ran into compatibility issues when I try and use them on a Windows machine.

    Also, how can you do a nice presentation with a .PDF?

    David
     
  20. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #20
    Keynote and the available plug-ins, themes and animations will give you the edge in any of your presentations not only in school but in the professional world where the creativeness of your presentation can mean everything.

    http://www.KeynotePro.com

    http://www.keynotethemepark.com

    http://www.jumsoft.com/themes/

    If I'm not mistaken the mini DVI-VGA adapter education price runs $17.00
    as an option when you place your order.
     
  21. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    #21
    Should I then buy a MS office for windows and install xp on the MB with boot camp and use office that way. or buy the MS office for Mac. What would be the cheapest solution without any incompatibilty issues.
     
  22. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a

    mr_matalino

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #22
    The biggest problem I've encountered in compatibility in powerpoint between macs and windows is missing fonts (my pictures and type transfer over fine). If you create a presentation on your mac with some cool fonts and then try to play it on a windows machine that doesn't have those fonts, everything is out of alignment. You're better off creating the presentation on your mac and testing it on a PC and making your final edits there! You could by office for windows but just make sure the presentation computer have the same fonts!!
     
  23. applerocks macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #23
    Can't you just run Compatibility Check in PowerPoint (on the mac side)?

    I wouldn't buy Windows XP and Office 2003.

    Also, if you are running these from your own computer, there won't be any issues with Windows vs. Mac OS X. If you have to send these to a PC, then maybe, but just run a compatibility check. I do that a lot and every once in awhile something pops up and I fix it.
     
  24. discoforce macrumors 6502a

    discoforce

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #24
    My compatibility issue was that powerpoint on my mac used quicktime for picture compression, but the school-supplied pc did not have quicktime installed. This lead to a pretty ugly presentation with error messages for each picture and goofy fonts as mr_matalino pointed out.

    How can I have a nice presentation? Depends on your definition really. Keynote can export your presentation as a pdf including each stage of builds so bullets/pictures/etc still appear and/or disappear as intended. Obviously you can't have animation or fancier transitions than appear/disappear, but the themes, fonts, shadows, reflections, etc. all look great. I prefer simple and elegant to distracting animation.

    If the pc you're using has the correct fonts and quicktime installed there should be fewer compatibility problems, but you don't always have control over the pc you're using.

    Even cooler: Export the files as jpgs, save to your iPod, then run your presentation from there (see here). :cool:
     

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