Going to college, unsure what laptop to get

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Mood, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Mood macrumors regular

    Mood

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    Hi, this is my first post, and I've been reading this website for a while, and I'd like to ask you folks some questions.

    I'm either going to get the 12 inch ibook or the 12 inch powerbook and hook it up to a Dell 2005FPW 20 inch monitor. Now I go to colllege on August 26th, but I can survive (I think) without a computer for like 2-3 weeks after school starts to get a computer (in case the update for the ibook (or even powerbook!) comes later than expected). I'm going to be a biology major, so no real hardcore usage right there and I will be using this computer for the next 4 years. I'm going to put a gig of ram (making it like 1.256 gigs of ram total) on either the ibook or powerbook. i don't really need the extra processing power of the powerbook however the aesthetics, the keyboard, and extra features more than make it up. thus, a major question is, is the 12 inch powerbook justified the extra 300-400 dollars for the dvi/vga dual screen capability (thus under warranty and doesn't need screen hack like ibook)), the extra firewire 800 port, the 80 gig hard drive, and superdrive? or should I go with the cheaper, 12 inch ibook. I plan to do stuff like internet surfing, music playing, video playing, text, nothing too intense.

    finally, if i wanted a powerbook 12 inch, if i bought it refurbished, would i still qualify for the cram and jam/printer/educational discounts? I'm going to the store but there is no reduced price for the extended warranty.

    Thanks!
     
  2. allisonv7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Indy
    #2
    I don't really have any advice as to what you should get, but make sure to look into the free ipod mini thing, I just got an email on it yesterday. It did say in the email however that the 12-inch ibook w/cd-rom is excluded though.


    allison.
     
  3. Mood thread starter macrumors regular

    Mood

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    oh that's what i mean, the disclaimer doesn't say anything about refurbs, so if i bough a refurb 12 inch powerbook, could i get the free ipod and the printer deal?
     
  4. tuartboy macrumors 6502a

    tuartboy

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    #4
    first, the 12" PB doesn't have a Firewire 800 port either. Only the larger models have FW 800 and GB Ethernet.

    You will probably not use sreen span as much as you would use just the external monitor as you main display. Sure it's great to have a dedicated itunes/adium screen off to the side, but that's about it's good for in my opinion when set up.

    Really, it sounds like you are willing to spend the extra cash for the PB and I say go for it. If you feel better having a nicer/better-looking model and are willing to pay for it, do it. I did. I liked the ibook enough, but the powerbook just seemed nicer and more futureproof. That and once you type with the PB keyboard, you will never want to touch the ibook again!
     
  5. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #5
    I just want to chime in that I prefer the iBook keyboard, so maybe what you really need to do is try both machines out at a store. The iBook may be all you need.
     
  6. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #6
    From the rebate coupon:

    This offer is not valid with the purchase of used equipment, reconditioned equipment, demonstration units, or refurbished equipment.

    I believe that disclaimer is on all the rebates.
     
  7. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #7
    I can see an 12" iBook great for high school, but for college, I would spring for the 15" PowerBook.
     
  8. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #8
    I've been considering the same thing recently, just like you, I'm off to college in the fall.

    After lots of thinking, posting, researching, and even use, the powerbook 12" w/Superdrive is the way to go for a student IMO. (See my recent posts/threads) I actually have an iBook G4 currently, I have the opportunity right now to upgrade. I wish in the beginning, I would have sprung for the Powerbook in the first place.

    This is a discussion that can, and has gone on and on. I've been through it, GO WITH THE POWERBOOK! You'll be very happy. And, I just concluded that the Superdrive is not a bad option. for $100 extra you get +20GB Hard Drive space and DVD burning built in.

    I think the 12" is the ideal setup for a student. 15" is probably too big if you plan on taking it with you on a daily basis to classes etc.
     
  9. wako macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    #9
    I dont really see a necessary need to get a superdrive. Its more or less a waste of money IMO. I mean, are you really going to go and buy some DVDs and burn them either a movie or back up files? For movies, i can understand but for 100 you can just buy an external one which can cost you less then 100 when its on sale.

    I rather save my pretty penny for the extra RAM :)


    Also let me ask you, are you really going to take a LCD screen to school? Especially if you live in a dorm? I been talking to quite a few college students, mostly east coast college students from different colleges, and all of them always told me bring as little as you can. Theft is a big problem in dorms.
     
  10. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #10
    I would also suggest the 15" PowerBook. Then you would have no need for the Dell display. The backlight for the keyboard is also a very nice option.
     
  11. sw1tcher macrumors 65816

    sw1tcher

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #11
    I'd have to say that I prefer the PB keyboard over the iBook one. The iBook keyboard just feels too soft and has this weird flex feeling. The PB is much more solid IMO.
     
  12. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #12
    Tell, me, where can you find an external drive that's less than $100? If your talking say $90, that doesn't cut it IMO.

    For $100, you get it built in, not external, compatible with all Apple things without hacks, and you get an additional 20GB of Hard Drive space, which alone I think is a big plus.
     
  13. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #13
    I am an iBook user, and I agree. Also, I want to add how loud the iBook keyboard is. I feel kinda guilty when typing in class.
     
  14. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #14
    You kids are so lucky. We never had laptops when I went to school.
     
  15. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a

    bodeh6

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    #15
    I too am looking. I just got to wait till next week to see any iBook updates or I will get the 12" PB.
     
  16. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #16
    I got an internal drive (refurb), put it in an external (refurb) case and it came out to about $80-ish or $90-ish, IIRC. It works without hacks. It's also 16x DL. The PowerBook built-in is only 8x, single layer. You just have to know where to look, and be there on a good day. (microcenter sale bins!! go, look, enjoy!)

    If you don't need it now, you can get it later.

    And when are you going be burning DVDs on the road, where you won't have access to a power outlet?
     
  17. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #17
    I just got my 15in PB and it is awesome. If you can afford the Powerbook go for the 15" model. The backlit keyboard is awesome and the graphics card is good for most modern games. Having FW 800 is sweet, the combination of my LaCie triple interface drive and FW 800 makes a great video editing combination. Go with a PB u won't regret it.
     
  18. wako macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    #18


    There was a promotion by BestBuy and I saw one actually pretty recently at CircuitCity as well. Mail in rebates. i think the total was something like 60 or 70 bucks.

    Also again you can always install a DVD burner later on if you wanted to and buy it way cheaper. Not including the "superdrive" is also slow.

    But again why would a college student even need a superdrive?
     
  19. Mood thread starter macrumors regular

    Mood

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    #19
    Hmmm 12 inch powerbook or 15 inch powerbook.

    i was thinking 12 inch powerbook more because of its size and compactness, however the 15 inch powerbook is around the same price as a 12 inch powerbook and 20 inch dell screen.

    is the battery life (realistically) of the 12 inch a lot better than the 15 inch?
     
  20. tuartboy macrumors 6502a

    tuartboy

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    #20
    Yes yes yes. Both models use the SAME BATTERY. Think about it. It's at least an hour more. I can last 2 hours longer than my roommate's Rev D 15" quite often, both with AE on and screen all the way up.


    You serious? I have burnt well over 100 DVDs since I got a burner a year ago. I use it to do large backups of files and mp3s, transfer large media files (my own, not stolen crap) around campus and to and from home (before my PB) , and I have even made video slideshows for some campus organizations and sold them for a couple bucks a piece for a little bit of cash.

    I don't imagine I will ever run out of uses for a DVD burner. Besides, why limit your future options when you can have it for $100 more? $100 may be steep for just a DVD upgrade, but it includes a 20 gig bump in storage space too! Together, they are worth their weight in gold.
     
  21. doctor pangloss macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Thailand
    #21
    I've got the 12" PB and it is great. The only thing I would change would be the superdrive. I wish I'd sprung for it now. Also I recommend the larger hardrive. My 60G seemed to fill up after a year or so.

    I bought my mom a basic 40G 14" ibook and it is nice too. But the PB is a little nicer IMHO!
     
  22. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a

    bodeh6

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    #22
    Well I think I have finally what portable Apple I want to become my first Mac. Stock 12" w/Combo Drive with student discount and free 4GB iPod Mini and Applecare. After playing with my sister's Dell Inspiron 5150 with 15.1" display which is capable of 1600x1200 but my sister leaves it set to 1024x768 and my brother's Dell Inspiron 8600 with 15.4" set to 1680x1050, I prefer the 1024x768 for everyday use. Setting the 5150 to 1600x1200 causes too much of the screen to go unused. The 8600 being widescreen leaves a lot of space on the sides gone to waste when surfing the web. All I do on computers is surf the net, type, listen to music, watch internet videos, music videos, and other stuff that would be pretty much perfect for the 12" Powerbook.
     

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