Should I buy a macbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mackinoe, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. mackinoe macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2007
    Basically i'm off to university in september and i'm looking for something to replace my current laptop. The main use is really just browsing the net, University work, and listening to music. I want a change so thats why i'm considering changing to get my first mac. However I have a few concearns.

    1. Alot of my laptop use will be work for university and ideally I want to be able to use microsoft office. I understand with bootcamp i'll be able to install XP on a intel macbook but will I then be able to install my current version of Microsoft office (2003) onto the mac or will I have to buy a new version of office that is designed for the mac?

    Also would I be best waiting for the new mac os leopard is it? to come out before I buy a macbook.

    I'm Dont really have much of a clue about technology these days so i'm sorry i'f some of my questions seem a bit obvious.
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603


    Jul 11, 2006
    If you are using bootcamp you will not have to get a new version of Office, unless you want to, but you can run you current version of it.
    As far as if you should wait or not that depends if you mind using your current computer for a little while longer, if you don't mind using it longer wait, if you really need a new computer now then don't wait and get it now.
  3. tyr2 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    You can install your current Office 2003 within Bootcamp or parallels. You'll only need the Mac version if you want to install on OS X.

    If you're going to be using Parallels or VMWare make sure you get more RAM than 512 as it's pretty unusable. 1GB would be ok, it flies with 2GB. You can get 3rd party RAM fairly cheaply.

    It's worth considering getting a refurb Mac to save a few quid. I got one the other week and it's perfect.

    Leopard will be out before September (baring a major screwup) probably by June so you might want to consider waiting.
  4. mackinoe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2007
    Whats the differnce between Bootcamp and parralells? All i really need is to be able to load up windows when i'm doing college work and then load up mac os for everything else really.

    I dont really need a laptop at the moment as i'm just waiting for university in september really, so i might aswell just use the family desktop instead of getting an electric shock using this stupid Acer.
  5. CaptainHaddock macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2004
    Nagoya, Japan
    Parallels lets you run Windows in a window on your Mac OS X desktop. Pretty handy as long as you have enough RAM to handle running two OSes at the same time.
  6. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    Leopard will surely be out by September. Boot Camp will not be in beta anymore and will be an included feature in Mac OS X.
  7. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2005
    I have the Macbook C2D 2.0GHz/80G/1Gb RAM. It is serving my needs very well just as configured. I have the Mac version of M/S Office on it.
    My suggestions:
    Wait. Get your laptop about two months before heading off to the university. That gives you enough time to gain familiarity, get all your files moved over, set up your music, etc. You DON’T want to deal with that during those hectic first few weeks of school.
    It sounds to me like your proposed use is pretty casual - so I suggest keeping everything as ‘clean’ as possible and try doing all your computing needs within OSX. If you don’t need M/S Access then get the Mac version of M/S Office. You probably qualify for the ‘Student and Teacher Edition’. You CAN run the Windows version. But you will also have to install Windows (buy?) and either Bootcamp (free) or Parallels (buy).
    Depending on music file size consider a ‘build to order’ from Apple to get a larger hard drive. In any event get yourself an external USB portable hard drive - and back up your files!! Consider taking the drive out of your current laptop and put it in an enclosure. Cost you about $20 or less. It makes it easy to move your files too. Remember to change the drive setting from ‘master’ to ‘slave’. You should probably reformat it to OSX (HFS+) before using it for Mac file backups. Your MacBook will read and write to FAT32 and read only from NTFS formats.
    If you stay within OSX (no Parallels, Bootcamp, Windows) you can do just fine with 1Gb RAM. I can use M/S Office (Mac version), iPhoto and browse the web at the same time with mine. You can always upgrade RAM if needed.
    Consider a refurb from the Apple Store. It has the same warranty as a new one. You might even get lucky and receive a free upgrade in RAM or hard drive size. For a laptop in a college environment I also suggest the Applecare extended warranty. Do a web search and there are some retailers that sell it, and RAM, at a discount over Apple’s retail prices.
  8. mackinoe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2007
    Thanks for the advice all. I've decided i'm going to get a macbook :D Just going to wait untill the summer when leopard will be out so will have to keep this laptop going for as long as possible. Thanks for the heads up about the refurb laptops on the apple store site aswell hopefully I will be able to save myself a bit of money.
  9. superleccy macrumors 6502a


    Oct 31, 2004
    That there big London
    I also vote going with the Mac version of Office if you can afford it (make sure you get the Student & Teacher edition - exactly the same as the full version but cheaper) and if you don't need MS Access. One of the best things about switching is saying goodbye to Windows forever! Sure Bootcamp / Parallels are great, but neither are as good for the soul as a Windows-free system.

    I also agree with everything bdj33ranch says.

  10. Cult Follower macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

    Feb 20, 2007
    North Dakota
    Definately wait for Leopard, especially if you don't need a new computer until Sept.

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