College kid with an indecisive mind

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by IllTakeAnApple, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. IllTakeAnApple macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    #1
    So for the last 5 months I’ve been reading the forums on MR trying to figure out if a MAC is for me. My friends make fun because I am so indecisive on what I want. I’ve gone back and forth for the last 3 months. I’ve decided that the best way to come to a conclusion would be to ask you guys. Ill give you a little background.

    I’m a college student (business major) I’m just going to be using my computer for basic apps like Instant messaging, internet, music, & photos (no editing just storing). I’ve been going back and forth with a laptop and desktop. Desktop for power and Laptop for portability. I figured a laptop would be best for group work and projects I might occur at my future school. I’m a little worried on the Intel switch. Which complicates things a tad. I want a computer that will last me for 3 years.

    However I’ve figured I could get a pb and just sell that around the time Intel rev b's come out and decide on a ibook or another pb.
    Would it be better that way or if i get an ibook and then sell that and get another portable later down the road. I cant really afford anything more than 1500. Is this a good idea or a great idea?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Verto macrumors 6502a

    Verto

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    #2
    Buy an iBook, use it for 3-4 years, then see what the market is like.

    Or, if you want a desktop, consider an iMac - you can get the Rev.Bs (the generation just before the iSight etc) for anywhere from 999.99 on up. That would last you well into the Intel switch.
     
  3. milky23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    #3
    My vote goes to the 17" iMac. I'm going to be ordering my 20" soon for college purposes.

    However, for what you need to use it for, it sounds to me like you would be fine with a 14" iBook or a 17" PowerBook or something. Watch out for the PB's though, I've been reading a posts on this forum about people having problems with them.
     
  4. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #4
    A PB is fine actually.. I got one recently.. be it IM, Office, and programming, it seems lke the Mac platform has all that I'd need, and is nicer too (Adium.. heh)

    Really depends on your needs, but a portable is not bad if you are in the market right now. The 1.67 G4, while not the fastest thing around, is holding its own very well as far as I can see it.
     
  5. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    #5
    Well with the recently updated Powerbooks, now would be a great time to switch. I think the Powerbooks are worth the extra money for better processor, graphics and brighter higher res. screen (15" & 17").
    You should be able to get a few years out of a Powerbook. Apple will support PPC for a good few years after the Intel switch is complete so you are well covered.

    But do you want portability with a fairly competent processor for what you want to do (basically the same as me) or do you want more power which sacrifices portability? I'm certainly not complaining anyway.

    I say go for a Powerbook now. It'll serve you well no matter how long you have it. You're right worrying about Macintel laptops. They are going to kick ass and everything is going to feel crap in comparison.

    I can't wait! (well, i can, i just don't want to... as usual.) :cool:

    Good luck with whatever you go for
     
  6. pionata macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Location:
    Montreal
    #6
    I dont beleive you need a powerbook unless you plan on using a cinema display since you dont do video/audio etc... Get the ibook, its a nice little machine. I never had any problem with mine, and its cheap.

    I suggess you go try out both the ibook and pb at a computer store to get the feel of the difference.
     
  7. IllTakeAnApple thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    #7
    Ive tried both I like the pb's keyboard a little more than the ibooks. I would like to eventually get a bigger monitor to display with it. However im wondering is the return worth buying the laptop now and then selling it for say a rev. b mactel ibook?
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
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    #8
    Either get a 12" iBook, or 15" Powerbook.

    Don't get a 14" iBook unless you have bad vision and need everything to look bigger, and don't get the 12" PB because there's no point (unless you love audio line-in). ;)

    Actually, if you're going to need software that's PC specific (can you get MYOB on a Mac?), then get a PC laptop, or use the WinPC you have right now just for MYOB if you need it.
     
  9. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #9
    With your major, you'll be totally fine with a 12" iBook 1.33 GHz and still have enough $$$$ to buy an extra 1 GB of RAM, MS Office for Mac and FileMakerPro 8.

    I just priced a 1 GB Crucial stick for $108.00 at Newegg.

    Edit: link http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145068

    That's a fantastic price for quality RAM.

    If you're really on a limited budget consider the same 12" iBook model refurbed direct from Apple for $799.00
     
  10. TheMonarch macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #10
    I concur. Get a 12" iBook, max out ram... Totally fine for a business major. Don't forget your discount. And don't buy apple ram!
     
  11. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #11
    Well, I wouldn't really say that since the iBook's specs are *really* for very basic needs..

    A PB should do fine, especially when he is getting it on EDU prices :)
     
  12. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #12
    well considering i just bought a 15" pb last night, of course i'm gonna say get one of these. it's less than 12 hours old right now, but i'm loving it.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
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    #13
    How is it for very basic needs? I was doing what he wants to do on his new computer.........many many years ago, and on a much slower computer. It still handled everything well back then.

    I'm typing this on a 12" PB, 1GHz G4 with a 32 MB video card, and the new iBooks are noticeably faster than my old 12" PB. I can do everything he wants to do, and with absolutely no speed issues. His will be faster, so he'll be more than okay.

    I never understood the need for people to tell others that an iBook was only for the most basic tasks. That's what people were telling others 2 years ago. "Go get the 12" 1Ghz PB instead. It's more "pro" than the iBooks." If my PB was better for intensive tasks 2 years ago, of course the new iBook (faster than my PB) can handle basic tasks.
     
  14. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #14
    My neighbor paid $2099 for his 15" 867 MHz TiBook with 256 MB RAM, Combo drive, no Airport, no Blue tooth, Jaguar, 2 years ago and he's still totally happy with his purchase.

    I'm delighted getting a 1.33 GHz 12" iBook 512 RAM, Combo, AP & BT and
    Tiger for $799 refurbed.

    The 867 MHz TiBook was a beautiful machine, this iBook leaves it in the dust
    @ nearly 1/3 the cost.
     
  15. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #15
    the ibook seems perfect

    from what you have listed, nothing you will be doing will be noticed by the extra power of the powerbook...if you were a graphic design, game design, or deigital audio engineering major in college or tech school, then i could see the justification for a powerbook if you needed to be portable

    or if the powerbook had a G5 processor in it, but the powerbook is really only an ibook with a few extras, and those extras are only noticeable in graphics and sound and not for basic stuff, like you list as you needs

    the last time i saw a real "big" difference between an ibook and a powerbook was when the ibook was clamshell and sported 32 megs of ram with a 3 gb hard drive (like mine) and the powerbook, also lighter, could accomodate two batteries, a zip drive, or superdrive

    i can see the ibook lasting you for three years and keeping you happy and if you are careful, you can go through all of college with it (and many people are in school more than four years)
     
  16. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #16
    Seeing as your limit is $1500 I would go with a 12" iBook as others have suggested. As a student portability is king. The only upgrade I would get from apple is moving to a bigger harddrive, either 60 or 80 gigs.

    $1040 - Student price for the 12" with 80 gig HD
    $150 - MS Office Student Edition.
    $50 - Bag (I like Incase sleave).
    $110 - A 1 gig ram, don't buy from Apple
    $40 - $70 Bluetooth mouse

    After tax you are just under $1500. This is the system I would buy if I were you.

    lasuther
     
  17. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    #17
    Another vote for the 12"ibook. Save the money. The marginal speed differences wont be seen in day to day apps. As a fellow college student, it is the best purchase I've made since last night's case of bud light...:D
     
  18. pionata macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Location:
    Montreal
    #18
    My ibook 800mhz with 640 megs or ram can run quite a few applications at the time (photoshop-illiustrator-word-sibelius-safari-itune), and even run some games. With the display doctor I can run my other monitor at 1600x1200 and do my score editing with the tools on the ibook screen. Also, it weight nothing and is realy portable. PB is realy out of his budget anyway.
     
  19. desenso macrumors 6502a

    desenso

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    #19
    First of all, the list of things you'll use your laptop for are done 1000% times better on the Mac than in Windows, so I would absolutely recommend getting a mac.

    As for the intel switch - I wouldn't worry too much about it. While I certainly plan to wait for the Intels before I buy an Apple laptop (as I intend it to last me through grad school) I don't think buying one now, if you really need it, will be too terrible of an idea. After all, the Mac 'bloats' a lot less than Windows does, and because the tasks you'll be running on it are fairly simple, the laptop should continue to run them quickly for years and years to come.

    I switched earlier this summer and haven't looked back. Macs are great, especialy for "everyday" uses that you mentioned.
     
  20. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #20
    You should definitely purchase now, you will be very happy with a Mac. Like others best to wait for the Rev. B of the Intel Mac. Chances are you would be very happy with the iBook, that is if portability is an issue.
     
  21. Sam0r macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #21
    I'd say iBook. I own one and its more than fast enough for my needs.

    When I say 'my needs' heres what I use it for:

    - Small video clip editing
    - Audio editing and composition using cubase sx 3
    - Photo editing (touching up, adjusting balances, cutting etc) with adobe photoshop cs2
    - Playing music and copying it to my iPod using firewire.

    And the other general stuff like MS word (i cant stand apple works) power point, excel, browsing, IM with iChat/MSN etc..

    It also goes everywhere with me. College, mates houess, etc. The built in wireless and bluetooth is amazingly handy, especially if you have a bluetooth headset to use with iChat or Skype.

    I've used a PowerBook, and they are faster than the iBook, but not by much imo. If you're a gamer, then you'll deffinatly want the powerbook, but as you're not, then the PB spec will be completely wasted (it has a 9700 graphics chip).

    The iBook now also has motion detected protection, so it slams the hard drive heads into the parking position when it thinks its being dropped.
     
  22. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #22
    Abstract is 100% correct.

    The screen resolution of the 12" makes it hard, I think to do a lot of things... but the portability is really nice. You can get into a 12" iBook for really cheap now... but you're stuck with the screen. Some folks don't mind it though... I'd say if you're in that crowd... go for it!

    The next logical step is the 15" powerbook, much better screen, but more costly... it will hold value a lot better though. Resale on 15" will be good even when intels hit.

    All that said, there is no reason to buy a mac if your needs dictate a pc. It would be silly to buy a brand new machine as a student... and then carry it to the windows computer lab. :eek:
     
  23. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #23
    I would purchase the 12" iBook G4 or a 17" iMac G5, depending on your desire for portability. The iBook is MUCH more durable than the current PowerBook line. The only disadvantage to the iBook would be the inability to burn DVDs, but you could always purchase an external DVD writer later on. Remember to beef up on RAM.

    Make sure that your accounting programs and the like have Mac versions. Macs aren't usually present in a business environment and certain software your required to have might be unavailable.
     
  24. IllTakeAnApple thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    #24
    collectively it seems everyone wants me to get an ibook. i was looking into getting iwork prestalled is that good idea. are there any apps i might need as a student?
     
  25. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #25
    I am not sure about that..

    Currently firefox with about 20 tabs running takes up about 40% of my CPU from time to time, and iSale actually beachballs on me.

    My guess is it is probably due to thrashing, since I still am running om 512mb of ram, but having said that while the PBs are powerful they aren't incredibly powerful..

    Depending on needs it'd be best to go with a machine that affords as much headroom as possible, but then again a PB is easily twice the price of an iB. Ultimately here are all the facts, the final decision rests with the indecisive student :)
     

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