Is a Mac worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by killerboots, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2009
    Okay, so I am getting ready to head to college this fall. I want to get a nice laptop to take. I want to be able to do all my schoolwork, keep all my music, etc on my laptop. Ive used a PC all my life but Im thinking of getting a mac. Are they worth the money? Is it a lot different to use than a PC? And what programs come installed on the Mac?
    (Ive been looking at the Macbook)
  2. macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Go to a store and try it out. Apple has a "back-to-school" sale in July where you get a free iPod with the purchase of a MacBook.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    Yes it is worth it for college students during the summer. Buy between July and September and you will get a great deal. Last year, they were giving away iPod touches (up to $299) away for free after rebate. As always, year round you get a free printer up to $100 after rebate.

    It is not a lot different from Windows but there are some quirks that may take getting used to. You are in the right place if you need help with getting started. Your computer will come with the iLife suite which includes iWeb, iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband. Of course you have everything else like Safari and iTunes. There are loads of freeware apps that will do anything you need them to do and you have the choice between buying iWork (equivalent to Office) or buying Office 2008 (check out your university pricing as it could be very cheap).
  4. macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    As a student you also get the student pricing, which saves you some additional $$$.
    A Mac also allows you to run XP or Vista if you have specific Windows apps you require.
  5. macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2009
    Take the plunge


    As a student I took the plunge when I wanted to move from a crappy HP laptop to something worthwhile - portable, long lasting, powerful - good for DVD, music, office programs!!!!

    The mac I have found has been great - and have now just bought my third one - my last one would have lasted but I simply wanted to upgrade.

    They are very good, and of course now you can install windows and windows based problems - useful for some uni programs etc.... saying that I have recently purchased iwork 09 - much better than office and fully compatible.

    I would also say check out eBay as well as the student discount - which gives you free three year warranty...... and of course you can buy applecare - tech support for £50.

    They also hold their value fantastically well......
    My last MBP I had for two years - and sold for £250 less than i bought it ( I had upgraded the HDD and Ram)

    Hope that helps, sorry for waffle, writing this whilst watching red dwarf
  6. macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    smeghead. ;)
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2005
    Is a mac worth it?
    If you do email, internet, photos, music, etc., it really doesnt matter.
    If you do MS office, it really doesnt matter.
    The benefit of the mac is for things it does better than the PC - like video editing.
    The "cool" factor is something you pay for as well.
    There are several reasons to get a mac, and none of them really matter for 90% of computing tasks.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2005
    I would say a Mac is worth it. I recently bought a Dell Studio XPS 13 to replace my old white Macbook and I found I just wasn't happy with it. I think the Mac is a perfect mix of form and function.

    When the Dell arrived I thought I'd be really excited but I was totally deflated. So much that I sent it back and went out the next week and bought a new Aluminum Macbook :-D

    Get a Mac and you'll love it.
  9. macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    So true
    I never feel guilty about spending money on an Apple product :)
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2009
    Thanks so much for your input! Ive been asking at other places but no one has been very helpful!

    What stores would I be able to try a mac at? There are no apple stores nearby.
  11. macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    Frys has it, I heard bestbuy has it (which I haven't seen any)
  12. macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009

    I am heading off to college in the fall, and had been contemplating getting a mac for some time. I was initially planning on buying one in August (and getting the free ipod) however due to virus complications with my HP Laptop, I took the plunge and got a 2.4ghz MacBook with an upgraded 4 Gigs of RAM. I can honestly say, owning both, that the MacBook is WELL WORTH the extra few hundred dollars it costs over a comparable PC Laptop. I had never used a mac before in my life, and was perfectly happy with my windows XP (I am relatively computer proficient, can do everything except write code, etc.) but now that I own a Mac, I will never go back (unless of course I have to for work/business school). If I were you, I would wait for the free ipod promotion, however if you can't wait then buy a refurb. I've heard their great, and will save you several hundred.

    My aluminum unibody alone is worth the extra money I spent. The compactness and the portability of my MacBook are amazing, and I don't even notice the downsize in screens (went from a 15inch to a 13inch). I also wish I had put the RAM in myself, to save some money. I purchased an 22" AOC external monitor for $200 of CompUSA and I could not be happier with my setup.

    Buy the Mac. Don't look back.
  13. macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    keep in mind there is another forum asking 'should i switch to mac' on the forum spy.

    also keep in mind you are asking 'should i switch to mac' on a Mac forum
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    There are lots of benefits to OS X. Most people love it because how simple and straight forward is. I personally like the service you get from apple. Even if you aren't bye a store they are great on the phone and will still take care of you. The overall price is expensive but when you buy something from apple you don't just pay for he computer. It's a packaged deal and yes I would recommend it.
  15. macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2009
    We are all for the mac here :)

    Something else you may want to keep in mind is where you will use your computer. Personally I think a macbook is great for college because its made to be used on the go. Its only 4.5 lbs, fits in almost any bag, sits perfectly on the lap or on the fold out desks in lecture halls... basically its really portable. Plus the unibody construction is one of the sturdiest laptop bodies out there which will be well appreciated when "life happens."

    Larger pc laptops are good as cheap portable desktops, but imo they are a pain to take places. Some of those pc's are loaded w/mini sub-woofers, tray loading cd/dvd drives, a key pad, extra buttons, slots and hookups. All of those features can be good things but they make the laptop bulky and heavy.

    Another plus about the mac is the OS. It is designed to be intuitive, so that everyone is able to use it. Its a small thing, but one of my favorite things about the mac os is how easy it is to drag and drop things: icons, text, pictures, it all just works.

    Plus it isn't bogged down with all the versions windows has (home, media, professional); there is only one version it has everything, and said everything works together.

    Get the mac, take it around with you and use it throughout the day (not just when you go back to the dorm). Its worth it.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2008
    A mac laptop is worth it if you prefer convenience and the awesome trackpads they do have. However, they won't give you bang-for-buck. Basically, you can do the same things on a PC as you can do on a mac. Doing somethings may be easier to do on a mac and doing other things may be easier to do on a pc. For your purposes, a $600 pc laptop will be more than enough. No sense in paying over 1k for something a $600 laptop can do unless you are willing to pay for the better design, trackpad, convenience and I'd say superior OS when it comes to laptop computing. But OSX does have its issues, too.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2006
    You can get a mac easy and install windows just fine and having both systems running on the same machine, one at a time. Windows runs perfect on a mac because is not a emulation but it starts up just like a regular laptop.

    But... you will love OSX. Is different but very reliable. The great thing is that Apple creates its hardware and OS while Windows can not run fine with every hardware out there and work with every driver, it give you a lot of dificulties and is a complex system that end up being very fragile.

    Once you have a Mac you won't go back.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2008
    Dude, finding drivers for a PC isn't that hard, and computer manufacturers who make pre-built things already load their drivers onto their computers, just like apple.

    And what do you mean apple creates its hardware? They use the same hardware as dell, hp, gateway, etc minus their pretty cases. Really, what are you talking about with Windows doesn't work with every driver? Huh? That doesn't even make sense. Windows is actually compatible with more hardware than macs.
  19. Guest


    Aug 6, 2008
    Manchester UK
    If you do decide to get one dont forget to check the apple online store for the refurb section. They are a great way of getting the latest machines at a lower price :cool:
  20. macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2008
    you're confusing me.. :)

    the standard warranty period on a mac is one year, it doesn't change whether you're a student or not. (at least, not here in the states..)
    The AppleCare Service plan is what will bump you up to 3 years of warranty.
    i bought my applecare from ebay, for a quarter of the price at the apple store! :)
  21. macrumors newbie


    Feb 8, 2009
    And remember that Macs are great machines with a great operating system. Note that the Mac OS X offers all the benefits of a unix system as well. I don't know what you'll be studying, but in science, unix can be very helpful to necessary. I used pcs and microsoft OS for more than 10 years. Now that I learned to use unix and especially the mac os x, I wouldn't go back! Trying mac os x at an apple store will help, but I didn't realize what a great OS is until I actually used it for some time. You might as well give it a try, I also bought my mac on a trial basis, to try it out and find out if it's good or not, now I love it!
  22. macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    If you buy from you get a three year warranty included for free, in addition to a 17% discount on the hardware price.
  23. macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Yes, they are very much worth the money. Just the price for the LED Backlit LCD screens is worth it alone. No PC laptops on the market have the quality of contrast and color of the MacBook screens. And, of course it is not as hard switching as some might think. The interface is more intuitive than Windows and the overall speed boost over Windows becomes a BIG deal over time, especially after dealing with Windows bogging down so many times in the past.

    Besides, you're a college student, so you can get a nice discount on a new machine directly from Apple.

    As you might already know, all the new Macs are shipping with iLife 09' which includes iWeb (webpage editor), iPhoto (photo viewer), iMovie (movie editor), Garage Band (music arranger), and iDVD (DVD creator).
  24. macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Wow, fanboy garble much?

    For one, MacBook's LCD is one of the worst in any current laptop - both horizontal and vertical viewing angles are terrible, and colour accuracy is extremely poor. LED backlighting doesn't really help here, it's like shining a really bright light on a really ugly painting in a gallery, it isn't gonna help make it look better.

    As for the 'speed boost', I have no idea what you are talking about. If you've ever used software like Maya you'll know that the poor driver support under OS X makes Windows a much more attractive choice. The fact that OS X does its best to hide what it's doing makes for a counter-productive experience when things go wrong. And they go wrong often under Leopard. Spinning beach balls, application crashes and kernel panics, I've seen them all since Apple decided to replace Tiger with this pile of garbage, and they are pretty common.

    The interface is really a case of personal preference, but one thing I have noticed is that on Windows you can see every window that is open at all times, as they are all listed in the taskbar. To see them on OS X, you need to right click the icon in the dock. Also, if your dock is not 100% of your screen width, you waste a lot of space in the corners of the screen. Not great UI design IMO.
  25. macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Do you have to reinstall Vista every 6 months to a year like you did with XP? Do you have to run antivirus software on it that slows the computer down or risk picking up malware from just looking at the wrong frakkin' webpage like XP does with IE?

    If so, that alone makes mac worth it.

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