Questions from College-Bound Students

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ylimes, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. ylimes macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2006
    I will, like so many others, be heading off to college for the first time this fall, so it's time for the ritual laptop (er - notebook) buying. I've decided on a white 2.0ghz MacBook, probably with RAM and HD upgrades (which my parents would prefer to pay the nice people at Apple to do).

    If, heaven forbid, there is something wrong with my MacBook, would it be significantly harder to replace if I've ordered it custom with the larger HD/more RAM? Is it worth waiting to see if it works nicely and THEN going back to have RAM etc put in?

    Next, educational rebate on the iPod: I don't feel compelled by any of the current iPods. I feel like the Nano is too small and the 30gig is too big, plus I have no desire for video capability. Since there's nothing in between the Nano and 30gig, is the 4gig Nano annoyingly small? At the moment I have a 20gig 4th generation iPod, which is perfect except for its atrocious battery life (usually won't play at all unless it is actually plugged in to a power source). This IS a refurbished one, and it was such a time-consuming hassle to get Apple to replace my original one that I'm hesitant to try again.

    After years of watching me sit smugly in front of my very attractive Macs while she was restarting and battling viruses on her Gateway or Dell or whatever, my best friend is also looking at Macs. Those years of being fed up with her computer are certainly more convincing than anything I could say, so the MacBook is looking like a good possibility for her. The only concern I have is that she'll be a chemistry major - I know it depends on the school and she may have more stringent requirements, but is a Mac likely to complicate her life in any way? Beyond that, it's just down to convincing her parents that it's worth the cost.

  2. rimrocka07011 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2006
    Cleveland, OH
    The second MacBook Pro that I ordered had 1 GB of RAM and a 100 GB HD, and it was DOA... I called the good folks at Apple and they got me rolling on returning it and exchanging it for a new one the same day. If your MacBook is DOA, you will be able to return it for a new one easily, at least judging from my own personal situation.

    Also, the Nano, from what I've seen and played with, is not so small, but thin. However, if I were you, I would highly reconsider a 30G Video iPod (it's thinner than your 20GB and has a better battery life); also, just because it has video capability doesn't mean that you should feel compelled to use it.

    Finally, I'm not too familiar with the whole Chemistry Major/Mac situation, but I'm pretty sure that most colleges would also have Mac versions of needed software. If not, she could always install XP on her Mac! :p
  3. ero87 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2006
    New York City
    I take a lot of biology and chemistry classes at school, and I've yet to encounter any problems. In fact, almost all of my professors use Macs :) .

    and as rimrocka said, in case of an emergency (which I doubt), she could install XP on the MacBook.

    I made the switch right before college too- best decision I've ever made! (2nd best decision - ordering 1 GB of RAM :D ).
  4. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    Im a sophmore with a Biochem major and i have a mac...

    I cant say it holds me back in any shape or form. In fact I dont even use any kind of computer unless Im writing up my labs. The only thing chem majors need to have is a pen, paper, calculator, and a periodic table. ;)

    At my school though there are programs you might want to have to calculate some data (which can also be done by hand). However school computers are there for the public use, which have all the programs you should need. Thats how I get by if I ever needed them. Which I dont because Im still in 200 level courses :D
  5. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    No, it will actually simplify her life. Macs do not suffer from the security related issues that plague Windows and PCs. Macs work with Windows environments/networks so they will not have connectivity issues on the school network.

    All in all, if Windows is needed, the new Intel Macs can run Windows as well as OS X.
  6. debrey macrumors member

    May 4, 2006
    I keep on repeating the same advice on this forum... because it saved me so much money.

    Many school's computer stores have special sales that give lower-than education pricing. For example, right now UCLA's computer store has $200 off the education price for a 20" iMac and $300 off the education price for a 2.16 MacBook Pro (for a total of $500 off). If you are thinking about getting a Mac and are in college (or going to college), call up your school's computer store. Note that going to your school's computer store on the apple website will not show these sales.

    On the iPod front, my suggestion would be to go with the 30 Gig. Having a significant amount of your music in a single place is really nice. And if you don't have that much music you want to put on there, you can always burn your CDs in the apple lossless format, which takes up more space (around 500 MB for an album), but has much higher sound quality.

    -- David

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