Student Buy, toss up between iBook & iMac

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by maddav, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. maddav macrumors 6502

    maddav

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #1
    First of all, I'm not buying right now, but I'd like to get some opinions on what course of action to take.

    The Situation

    I have a 1GHz iBook G4 w/512MB RAM & APExt (No SD)
    I have a 32" LCD TV that has a max resolution of 1360*768

    In the autumn I'll be going to Uni, and I'm going to buy a new Mac. So I've said to my parents that they can have my iBook (they REALLY like it).

    Now I was going to get a new fangled Intel iBook a month or so before I go to Uni, but I've been looking at the lastest Intel iMacs and have been wowed by the specs, and the iMac itself.

    The Problem

    I LOVE using desktop computers, in particular my mate's iMac G4 :) . The thing is, I really could do with the storage the iMac provides, that and the power that it has for doing everyday stuff and more. I don't want to spend £1400+ on a MBP or a PM, but I want something with a bit of oomf.

    If I get an iMac, then I've got two problems:

    1) No Lappy to take to lectures / to work with before I get back to iMac.
    2) I will now have a 17" monitor as well as a 32" HDTV, seems like a bit of a waste.

    If I get an iBook then I've got two problems:

    1) HDTV resolution is low, not useful for image stuff, close up use.

    2) Smaller HD capacity, and less power for ~ same price.

    The Options

    1) Top spec iBook / Mid Spec MBP

    2) 17" iMac & low/mid spec iBook

    3) 20" iMac & Pen & Paper :p

    btw. keeping my current iBook is NOT an option (just don't ask) :p

    Thanks, I want loads of opinions people, the more polarised the better!!
     
  2. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    I would say option 2 is the best, provided that you could sync the two. I 17" imac and a mid spec ibook would be pretty good. Trust me that you are going to want a laptop. Your a student, so the difference between a top and middle spec ibook is going to be very low. (a top spec ibook and a mid spec MBP are very different.) You won't need top-spec power (assuming that you don't edit movies, etc.).
     
  3. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #3
    let me tell you one thing. when i bought my ibook, i thought it would be great to bring it to lecture and everything to take notes. but guess what? writing notes down on pen and paper is still the tried and true and BEST way of taking notes. you'll maybe take the laptop to lecture for 2 weeks tops befoore you realize it's way better to just take notes the old fashioned way.

    if you really want the power of the imac i would go for the imac. it's nice having a laptop too, but the power of a desktop is still unmatched.
     
  4. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #4
    well jeez, if you can afford an imac and an ibook, by all means get both. but.... might I suggest and option number 4? It sounds like you really want the power/performance etc. of the imac. It sounds like you want an ibook just to take notes on and whatnot. First off, let me just say that I think taking notes on a laptop is much more difficult than just writing them down. Anyways, it sounds like you just need a basic machine for note taking and word processing etc. might I suggest a g3 ibook? you can get them for pretty cheap these days.
     
  5. captainbeefheat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    2 sounds the best, having a laptop at uni is an invaluable tool, I spent the whole first year and part of the second without one and having one makes so much difference. But of course the ibook doesn't have huge power. I have both the machines your talking about and I find I can do everything I need on my ibook (dreamweaver, flash, director, photoshop). But haven't and wouldn't try video editing on the thing, although a mate of mine does video edit on his, slow though and the super fans kicks in when you do. Anyway if you don't think you'll be doing any big things like video editing the high spec ibook or better still mid spec mac book pro will be your best option.

    Personally I very rarely take my ibook out in lectures, the problem is with uni wide wifi you end up just using the internet instead of listening...When I look around at peoples screens that tends to be what i see! Plus theres that too everyone staring at your screen!
     
  6. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #6
    My thoughts exactly! You can find a decent G3 iBook or maybe you can look into the refurbs on Apple Online Store. That way you get the raw power of the iMac, and the portability of an iBook for a lot less money. I doubt you would really need an up-to-date iBook for word processing would you? :)
     
  7. Preacher85 macrumors member

    Preacher85

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Vermillion, SD
    #7
    I'm a Junior in university. The summer before my freshman year, I bought a eMac. Yeah, the 50 lb. behemoth. It was ok, but I did not like the size. The new iMacs are very sleek and beautiful. I however, the summer before my sophomore year, gave the eMac to my parents (they were using a PowerMac 7500 with a 100 MHz processor! I grew up on that thing!) and I bought an iBook. I am still using the iBook now, as I sit in my apartment living room watching a movie. But that isn't so much the point.

    I use the laptop for notes for some classes, but for almost all, it is much easier to use the tried and true pen and paper. iBook's are great, but that iMac is sheer engineering genius. Go for the iMac only if you can stand to be away from your computer. I happen to like going to the coffee shop with my laptop.
     
  8. ieani macrumors 6502a

    ieani

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    the states for now
    #8
    Im going with the 20inch Imac and either intel ibook(depending on price and if I can find a better job) or ibook G4. I want my laptop for college as well but so i can go to a library or coffee shop and research or study. I cannot imagine being able to type notes fast enough on those small keyboards. Plus a lot of screen reading isnt easy either.
     
  9. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #9
    i'd like to add, however, why i do enjoy having a laptop (even though i recommended the imac to the OP).

    i frequently travel between my apartment in my university's and back home in my city, so the laptop does help in that sense for portability, i might add.

    oh yeah, and it's great fun to watch anime with my girlfriend on my 'book too. xD

    so i guess it's really up to you and what you want.
     
  10. maddav thread starter macrumors 6502

    maddav

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #10
    Well I was thinking of the iBook for more along the lines of "I'll be typing up bits in the library/cafe/other places" aswell as actual lecture use, though I can imagine, that especially in Physics, sketching quick diagrams and mathematical symbols would be needlessly slow on a laptop.

    Option 2 did seem the most attractive to me, looks like it'll be an iMac + low spec iBook G4/G3.

    I'm sure I'll get over having to only use the LCD TV as an LCD TV!!

    Still though, keep those opinions coming!!
     
  11. ieani macrumors 6502a

    ieani

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    the states for now
    #11
    You could go with a powermac if you really want to utilize your screen.
     
  12. maddav thread starter macrumors 6502

    maddav

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #12
    A PowerMac has two distinct disadvantages for me:

    - Price & the fact that I don't need THAT much power
    - The screen has a max res. of 1360*768, so it's pretty useless using it as a desktop, sitting only a couple of feet from it.

    Though I do see your reasoning in not having another monitor, it's just too pricey for me.

    Thanks :)
     
  13. azzurri000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    #13
    Yeah, even if you're not going into science, you might still find yourself drawing a lot of diagrams in classes like economics. I am taking an economics class, and in my entire lecture hall there are only 2 people that ever bring laptops.

    I don't own a laptop, but I'm assuming it would be very useful in classes in which notes are posted by projector or are even spoken, because you would be able to write your own explanations and save a lot of time (+ the notes would be a lot neater.)

    Make sure you get a laptop that you will want to carry everyday, though, as I have a friend that bought a laptop at the beginning of the year, a Toshiba, and she rarely brings it to class, because she finds it too heavy and bothersome.

    I also notice a lot of people with laptops playing solitaire or chess during lectures, so like others have said, it could be more of a distraction than a tool...
     
  14. geck macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    #14
    What about buying the new 15" MacBook Pro and a bookendz (http://www.bookendzdocks.com) docking station? You could use your LCD and then you would have enough power =)
     
  15. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #15
    Haw about you keep your iBook, it is still a great spec computer for a students need. Buy your parents a mac mini (im sure they have a crt/lcd lying around). Then buy a good iMac that you love.
     
  16. maddav thread starter macrumors 6502

    maddav

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #16
    Screen resolution & HD space

    My parents are really NOT computer people so no old CRTs/LCDs lying around, plus I've got a wireless network in my house and they love the fact that they can just use my iBook anywhere.
     
  17. candyapple8 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    #17
    depends what you're taking at uni. i.e. engineering major you'll be taking lots of math and physics so it'll be easier taking notes using pen and paper. drawing motion diagrams and typing math symbols is hard on a laptop. but if you're an english major or something, you'll probably going to write a lot of papers and take lots of lecture notes.

    personally i'd go with option #2. you'll have both the mobility and an nice machine waiting for you when you get home.
     
  18. maddav thread starter macrumors 6502

    maddav

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #18
    It's going to be Theoretical Physics, possibly regular Physics. So pen and paper will do the job :)
     
  19. LastLine macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #19
    Option 4
    A mini of some description (depending on power needed)
    An iBook - size dependent on your preferences.

    I'd get the high end mini, and the 12" iBook probably given your situation, sounds like mobility is more important than power in the laptop.
     
  20. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #21
    I'm an engineering student, and after taking classes in physics, chemistry, etc., I'll agree with the statement that you're probably not going to take a computer to class that often. However, I'll swear by having my laptop at school instead of a desktop. It's so much easier for me to be able to just pick up my computer and go to the library, engineering buildings, another dorm room, or anywhere else. I'd definitely get less work done if I were confined to using my desktop in my room, or using a public computer on campus. Adding to that, it's much more convenient when going home over breaks, to just put a laptop in a backpack and be able to use my personal computer at home.

    With that being said, I'd probably suggest going with a MacBook Pro. I'm not sure what the exact price would be for you, but could get a 1.67GHz model for a decent price, add 1GB of RAM, and have a perfectly good desktop replacement/portable computer.
     
  21. allisonv7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Indy
    #22
    I'd definitely go for option 2.

    At school you'll primarily want a desktop machine, like many have said taking notes on a laptop in class can be a distraction and a hassle. However, you'll have group projects that would make it nice to own a portable as well as being able to get away from your roommates and go to the library or cafe and get some work done there. In addition, you'll probably travel home a handful of times a year for long weekends and it's always nicer to work from your own machine.

    I'd definitely get an imac and put as much money as you can into it, and maybe save a few hundred for an ibook purchase in the near future. Keep saving until you have enough to get a good used one or a refurb one. You'll probably have to go without a portable for a few months, but you will have a solid machine to take with you once you get it.


    allison.
     
  22. brepublican macrumors 6502a

    brepublican

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    NY
  23. shrimpdesign macrumors 6502a

    shrimpdesign

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    #24
    Wait for the new iBooks/MacBooks. They'll undoubtedly be better. Then get an iBook and a 17" iMac. I have an iBook, and I had it sent into the shop so my university gave me a "loaner" while it was gone, it was a 14" iBook and it was too heavy. Portability is very nice in college. But a desktop is nice too, so get both.
     
  24. tartsquid macrumors regular

    tartsquid

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    #25
    I'd say go for option 2.

    Personally when I started college I had a $3,000 computer stipend to work with, so I purchased a 15-inch PowerBook. I honestly wish now that I had gotten an iMac and an iBook because I missed having a desktop for higher power and more storage and I found the pro model laptops to be more than I needed in a portable but not a good replacement for a desktop due to the hard drive size.
     

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