I am speaking from lots of experience and I definetly know what kind of computer to get for college. I thought this thread might consolidate many "HELP! I need to get a computer for school but I don't know which one!" threads. Here we go! First and most importantly, get a laptop. Laptops are much more convenient than a desktop. My brother and sister went off to college, and my parents bought them an $1800 iMac G3 each. They both hated how they couldn't access their computer from the classroom or library. Now, if you are really going pro and the computer will be the center of your studies, then get what you need. If you do need a 2.7 GHz PowerMac, go for it. You'll want it for those giant projects. If you are a pro but don't need a 2.7 GHz PowerMac, then consider the PowerBooks. They offer good speeds and good graphics. However, for the average person, by all means get a portable. Know the dominant platform your school uses. Most schools use the Windows platform, and MS Office is a good choice in that environment. Yes, iWork and AppleWorks both can translate, but sometimes they just don't work. You're better safe than sorry. Another problem is iWork doesn't have a spreadsheet application...yet. AppleWorks does, however it isn't fully compatible with MS Excel. If your school is mainly a Macintosh environment, such as the Berklee College of Music that requires you to buy a mac, then things don't matter so much. In that case, it doesn't really matter. However I recommend Office simply because Excel is in there and is more compatible with PCs. On the other hand, if money is an issue, such as you living in Canada, Office isn't too good on the budget, and in that case, I recommend iWork because AppleWorks is, and has, pretty much been phased out. Bottom line: if you can afford it, get Office. Don't go all out for the top-of-the-line machine, but still get something that fits your needs. Each model has its pluses and minuses. For example, when we were buying my sister's PowerBook, we didn't know whether we should get her the 12 inch or the 15 inch. The 12" is 4.6 lbs and has 5 hours of battery life whereas the 15" weighs 1 lb more, its battery doesn't last as long, and is more expensive. However, the 15 inch did have a better graphics card, but the average user won't be able to tell the difference. Another concern is how much RAM or memory to get. Well, I was using a 500 MHz G3 w/ 128 MB RAM on a 20 gig hard drive for a year trying to do internet, chatting, WP, and video editing. That didn't work out really. 512 MB RAM is not that bad. My G5 only has 512 and things are running very smoothly. Hard disks are a different story. I suggest to get the biggest hard drive you can without going overboard. You may think you don't use up a lot of space, but all that internet cache, e-mails, movies, iTunes music, and papers can really add up. If you're going into middle school or high school and think you need a computer, you don't. You can either use that "cave man" way and write on paper or just type it at home if your handwriting is really bad. If you really need to type in middle or high school, you can just pull out your PalmOne and do a HotSync. And, you'll be labeled "Geek of all time" if you lug an iBook to every class in 6th grade. It happened to some kids in my 6th grade class, and it wasn't pretty. However, I strongly advise that you have a computer at home to type essays and such as many teachers require students to type essays. I hope this helped you, and I hope it consolidates a lot of threads. If you have questions, post them below.