New Member - MacBook advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ellie.Rose, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Ellie.Rose macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2007
    Hi there.
    This is my first time on these boards, and ive already had a browse through to see if i can find some answers to my questions, but so far haven't come up with anything so thought id try asking personally.

    I'm about to go into sixth form and want a laptop to use both at home and at school.

    Being a PC user all my life, i'm intrigued by Apple, and also i'm interested because i'm planning to do film studies, and i believe that Apple Laptops are meant to be far better than PCs when it comes to media apps.

    So, on the the main point. I'm considering buying a 2.0GHz White MacBook, but ive a few questions first.

    First off, i live in the UK, and not very many people use Apple computers around here, including my school. They'll be sending me files like powerpoint/excel for assignments, and i want to know if the programmes provided with iWork 06 will be able to convert MS Office documents, so i can use them on my MacBook?

    Also, if i do my assignments using Pages and Keynotes, will my teachers be able to read them on a PC?

    Finally, ive read quite a few complaints on various boards about the Double-Layer SuperDrive that comes with a 2.0GHz MacBook, and was wondering whether it would simply be better to get the 1.83GHz MacBook and buy an external dvd burner with it?

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    How soon do you need to buy? I know we're always saying here that Leopard will be out "soon", and maybe it will be well over a month until it is, but, if you can wait a while, I would, because iWork '07 will likely be released concurrently with Leopard and is rumored to have a spreadsheet app.

    That said, iWork '06 is pretty good at reading/writing MS Word and PowerPoint files. NeoOffice is free and works fairly well also.

    As far as the built-in burner: I've heard fewer complaints recently, esp. with the Core 2 Duo MacBooks, so I personally wouldn't worry about it. I think the 2.0GHz MB, with its larger drive and 1GB of RAM (512MB is nearly useless) is a much better deal. I have that MB, and the DVD burner works fine on it, at least so far. ;)
  3. Ellie.Rose thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2007
    Thanks! Well i dont actually need it until the end of the summer, and im going on holiday to america so i may try and buy it then, seeing as the price is cheaper for me. :]] Yeah ive heard loads of rumors about when Leopard is coming out, hopefully both that and iLife/iWork 07 will be out by then, so i think i shall wait. And thanks for the info about the dvd drive, ill go for the 2.0GHz and see what happens.
  4. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    The 2 GHz is a better machine not only because of the additional RAM and HD space but also because the L2 cache is twice as large. If you are not happy with the burner that is built-in you can always add an external one. Since you do not need the machine until summer wait until then. There may be upgrades to the Macbook, but Leopard and iLife '07 should be out by then. There is always a back-to-school special in the summer too. Don't wait until the last minute though. Give yourself time to get used to your new machine

    If you need compatibility with Word then buy Word (student edition). Many programs can translate Word files well enough to read them but if you need to give people Word files the translation is never perfect.

    Buying a Mac is cheaper in the US because you are not paying VAT. You are liable for it when you return home (unless you want to sneak it in). Also you will not be getting the British keyboard if that is important to you. Best wishes.
  5. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2007
    Digital World
    Don't buy the combo drive MacBook because you'll regret it (if you want to burn DVDs)
    Definetly buy the Superdrive White 2Ghz MacBook model, you'll enjoy it.
  6. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2006
    Another upgrade you will almost certainly get by waiting until summer is the Santa Rosa chipset.
  7. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    I'm going to chime in here and say wait also. A new generation Macbook will come with a better graphics chipset/card, plus you will get Leopard and iLife 07 for free.

    As an are majoring in Film Studies. Over on this side of the pond, Film Studies is used to describe the more theoretical aspects of film (i.e. how film works as a language, how it plays with psychology/sociology, etc.) it the same over there or are you hoping to get into the production side of film? A Macbook will probably suite you fine for a theoretical approach, but you might look into getting a MacBook Pro if you are planning on editing a lot of student projects on it (unless your school has ample lab machines for that sort of work).

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