Perfect Mac for College

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bigrell486, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. bigrell486 macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2006
    Hey guys, I will be off to college at the end of August and I need to know what you guys think would be the perfect Mac for me, I could of course get a laptop but then the iMac is still an option. Plus I want to save money so I wouldn't mind getting a G4 1.0 Ghz or above.

    In fact I found a Used 15" Powerbook G4 1.33 Ghz w/ 786 Mb Ram, 60 GB HD, and Combo Drive for $800.

    Is that G4 a good deal or should I get something else? Oh and in case it matters, I'll be Majoring in Software Engineering (Programming)
  2. reflex macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2002
    The G4 seems like a good deal. It depends on how long you want to keep the laptop, since a newer laptop should of course be useful for a while longer.

    I don't know about laptop vs iMac for college. I know I personally wouldn't ever take a laptop to class, but maybe I'm just old.

    A desktop computer is more comfortable to work with IMHO:
    • separate keyboard
    • the screen is at the right height
    • bigger screen
    • the harddisk is a bit faster

    The laptop of course is more portable, which is very nice if you're not in the same place a lot.

    So which one is better for you? Only you can tell :)
  3. Kardashian macrumors 68020


    Sep 4, 2005
    I'm in desperate need of a Laptop personally, need it for my Art class.

    So the MacBook suits me down to the ground.

    If you after an iMac, I have my G5 for sale. £490. 4 months old.

    Although, we would have to discuss shipping to the US, of course. A guess would be around £50, with the discount I get.
  4. ylimes macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2006
    My dorm has a reputation for being very loud with constant parties, so it's essential for me to be able to do work outside of my room (for $45k/year, I am going to do my work). Hence I have a Macbook on order.
  5. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    Not sure if the G4 is a good deal or not. I have the 12'' 1.5gHz with superdrive, and I wouldn't mind getting around $800 for it if I sold it today. (FYI, Not for sale though, I'm not planning to sell it to buy an update until next year.)

    Laptops are the way to go though. You don't want to have to lug around a desktop when moving in and out of dorms, and the portability is a major plus when you want to work with friends. If your college has some campus wifi at hub locations, that's another reason to get a laptop.

    Chances are that you won't be taking the laptop to class though. About 80% of my laptop's portability advantage is used by me typing while laying on the bed.
  6. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    I agree, laptop might be better for you. However I do not know that for sure (I myself go to the university this year ;)) I just say this out of my experience on this forum :p

    That PowerBook seems like a fine deal to me. It has larger screen than MacBook and is cheaper, but lets face it: you do not want to buy old technology for 5 years (or how long will you be in college?)
  7. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2003
    Get a notebook. If you don't you will be kicking yourself everytime you have to do your work in the dorm room with all of the loud smelly people you live around.

    You can take it to a coffee shop, a bookstore, or to a park. It is well worth it to get the notebook. You can get the base line macbook for very little more than the powerbook you described.
  8. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2005
    I'm not sure, but you may need to run Windows for your programming classes. The PB can't run windows natively, the MB can.
  9. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    You basically can make a laptop that way if you pair it with an iCurve, keyboard, mouse, and if you have the $$, an external display. This gives you the best of both worlds, but at a premium, and less performance than the desktop option.

    I'm in college, going into my second year. I have a 15" powerbook (sig) and find it ideal for school. Laptops are very popular on college campuses, almost everyone I know has a laptop. There are a few people I know with desktops however, usually beccause of a money isssue. Also, some of the people I know with desktops, are basically hermits and never leave their room because that's where the computer is! Laptops allow you to be social when you commute

    If you don't need top of the line performance and can afford the higher cost of a laptop, go the laptop route. You wouldn't believe how nice it is being able to take your digital life with you everywhere, I never have to use a "foreign" computer. My only regret with going with a laptop is lately I've been getting serious about photography. It would be nice to have a bigger screen to work with, larger hard drive, and faster processor, for about the same cost, but I think I'd go nutts the first time I missed having the portability

    Long, but I hope it helps.
  10. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    sorry about the double post.
  11. i4k20c macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2005
    I purchased the 1.5ghz 12inch pb comming in as a freshman, and this year i am going to be a sophmore. I got the laptop, cause i knew i would take it to the library or lounge to surf the web, or do some work. I really did not think i would find much use for it inside the classroom, here are infact the classes i started using it for..

    Psych 101,
    Bio 101,
    Theo 196,
    UCWR 110 (English class...)
    Psych 306..

    trust me, with microsoft word for students, you get that notebook layout which is extremly helpful, plus while typing you can record the lecture, and the recordining will work with ur lecture notes... its really wonderful; i don't think i'd ever reccomend a desktop to anyone for college unless all they wnted it for was gaming or if they were going to get a 17inch laptop (i'd say at that point it is better to get a desktop).. :)
  12. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    One thing you might want to check is wireless internet availability on campus. If your campus isn't wireless in the majority of locations, then a major reason for getting a laptop (internet access anywhere) is moot. Most campuses nowadays are wired, though...but it's something to think about.
  13. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    I agree. I too take my laptop to class, however it does depend on the school. I went to a different college my first semester. No-one took laptops to class there, but at my second college, laptops were very common in class. Though, I'll warn you now, sometimes surfing the web is verrrry temping... :eek:
  14. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    i also take my laptop to class. and yes, i get on the web quite often (i know i'm a slacker).

    i say go for a Macbook. as others have said, it can run windows, which might come in handy big time.
  15. bigrell486 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2006
    That Powerbook I found earlier just sold for $900, That is too much for a 1.33 G4 IMO. So I guess its back to the Macbook, Even though I really don't like that white color. And the black one is almost breaking the bank.
  16. bigrell486 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2006
    The only reason I considered the Powerbook an option is because of its 15" Screen, I enjoy that screen size and fine the Macbook a tad too small, I also don't want to pay the rediculously high price for a Macbook pro. I find it odd that Apple doesn't have a Mac in the middle like a "15 Black Macbook, that would be great.

    Anyway, how do you guys feel about the Macbooks 13.3" screen?
  17. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    Is that a typo?!?!?!:eek:
  18. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    The MB's screen is brilliant!! It feels like it's a gazillion times brighter than the PB's screen, especially the older ones. When I use my MB, and then look at my mom's last rev. 12" PB's screen, it looks like it is off, when in fact it is on full brightness!
  19. REDSRT4 macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2006
    g4 works great for everything, unless your a pro know need for the g5 or mbp
  20. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    I vote for iMac. If you stick with software engineering you might find yourself wanting the extra speed.

    The only advantage to the laptop is that you can work at the library...dorm rooms are very distracting.
  21. bigrell486 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2006
    Alot of people seem to mention Windows as a reason to get a Macbook but the way I see it, I can always just use Virtual PC (I do have a license for it).

    Plus I am heavily weighing in the Comparing the 2:

    Macbook_______________ vs_________Powerbook G4
    1.83 Ghz Core Duo__________________1.33 Ghz PowerPC G4
    $949 + 6% tax_____________________$897 includes Shipping
    White :mad:__________________________Silver :cool:
    60 GB Hard Disk____________________60GB HD
    512 MB Ram_______________________768 MB Ram
    Built in iSight Camera :D_____________-----------------
    13.3" Screen_______________________15" Screen :D
    Windows via Boot Camp_____________Windows via Virtual PC
    Combo Drive_______________________Super Drive

    Finally, either way I see it, I'll buy a new one in 3 or 4 years anyway.

    I don't know what to do, HELP! :(
  22. tedrjr03 macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2006
    i would go with the macbook, both of these are great computers but the macbook is just more future proof.
  23. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
  24. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2005
    That's too fast... more like a dead snail. ;)

    If you do decide to get the MB, which I reccommend, then you can go to Newegg and upgrade the RAM to 2 GB for about $160 (which is worth it).
  25. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    490 GBP is about $900 american, so no, not a typo, a pretty reasonable price.

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