What do you guys think is the best college set-up?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by CaptainCaveMann, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Using a combination of a laptop and a desktop, what do you guys think would be the best set up for dorm room living and campus life? Including any kind of ipod.
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    id say perfection for me would be a 15" powerbook with a 23" Cinema display along with a one gig shuffle for transfering files and music

    but thats just my personal tastes
  3. auxplage macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2004
    Virginia Beach
    I would get an iBook and an iMac G5 (a superdrive model), or I would get a 12 inch Powerbook and a nice big monitor.
  4. buryyourbrideau macrumors 65816


    Mar 1, 2005
    tricked out 12" PB with 23 cinema display and a 20gb ipod and some decent speakers, maybe altec lansing????
  5. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    what do u plan on doing with it. if nothing special a 12"ibook and an imac G5 20".... and a kick @$$ set of speakers to blow away your neighbors!
  6. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    I tried the PB & monitor-in-the-room setup but got very tired of it quickly. The constant plugging-back-in of the monitor cable became an inconvenience for me when all I wanted to do was collapse in my chair and start on the ceaseless homework.

    I've since just got in the habit of using my 15" PB. Perhaps having a 12" PB and a larger LCD is nice but it's a bad routine to use any Mac closed-lid (I've seen horrible things happen to laptop LCD screens due to the heat from the processor). I would even advise staying away from two separate computers because college mobility somewhat demands you to have all of your info on immediate tap (and if the desktop had part and the laptop had the rest, it becomes confusing and very dissatisfying to continually sync them).

    So now I've ended up with a PB I use all the time and everywhere I go, and I have a 17" LCD monitor that I haven't touched in ages. I think the 15" has the perfect compromise of screen space and portability for the college student without ever needing to hook up to an external display or wish the laptop was lighter for mobility purposes. Thus, I went with the 15" PB myself.
  7. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    12" iBook/Powerbook - loads of RAM (for lectures and work),
    17/19/20" LCD (shared),
    2.8GHz+ Small form factor PC, reasonably quick video card (for playing video games on the LAN!)
  8. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    I would think that a maxed out 12 inch PowerBook would be nice if you wanted to plug into a external, or if you didn't like that, then a completely maxed out 15 inch PowerBook... :D
  9. berns19 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2005

    I'm typing this on a 12" PowerBook hooked up to a larger CRT (note: they take up a lot of desk space, get a LCD if you can afford it) I bought for cheap on campus. I like the system: the portability of the 12" is nice, but then for the $35 I paid for the monitor I get to use two screens at once, which is pretty cool. If you don't need the features of the 15", you can save several hundred dollars by getting the 12", AND you can have tons of screen real estate for only slightly more. Cheap and portable - that's where it's at.
  10. h0e0h macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2004
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    if i could do it all over again... (make the purchase that is) i'd probably just go with a 17" PB superdrive with about a gig of ram. I went w/ the 12" PB and a 17" LCD and it's ok, but i'd prefer having the real estate of the 17" everywhere i go. Don't get me wrong... i love my 12"... its more than great, but if i had the funds, like everyone else, i'd go with the 17" BTO...

    good luck...
  11. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Depends on where the money is coming from.

    I paid for everything in school (including school) out of my own pocket. If I was doing it today (with the same funds) I'd be looking for a good used PowerBook G4 (in the $500-$700 range). Further, an iPod would be a complete luxury item. As long as the PowerBook can burn CDs, a CD player would be all I would need.

    :rolleyes: But hey, if someone else is footing the bill for you, the sky is the limit. ;)
  12. Whigga Spitta macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    Can you say Chi-City??
    Before I got to school, I had no idea how much I'd be using Garageband and Final Cut Pro. So....if I had to do it again, I would have gotten a dual G5 + an older iBook just for portability. My 15" 1.5 Ghz PB is feeling kinda sluggish now and I would really appreciate the extra power of a PowerMac. Plus, the only times I really move my PB from the iCurve is when I'm headed to the library for a group project or over to a friend's dorm to show him a movie. That and going home, but still I think an older iBook would suffice for that.
  13. CaptainCaveMann thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Dude your web site is awesome! Im still laughing from the guy dancing video. :D
  14. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    I would absolutely do anything I could to have at least two systems -- whether it be a nice Powerbook and a beat up old iBook or whatever.

    I just can not fathom being w/out a machine for any real stretch of time, especially in the middle of a paper crunch or something else. Sure, no one *counts on* their system to go down, but I insist on having a backup.

    Having said that, I'd go for something as follows:
    - Either an iBook or a Powerbook, whichever suits your needs. Being a student, this has become my primary machine.
    - A backup machine (older iBook, Mac mini, etc).
    - External keyboard, mouse, and monitor. This is a must-have, for ergonomical reasons alone.

    Also look at a good thumbdrive (they're cheap) and some decent speakers. Don't focus so much on internal storage as on external storage. You want to keep a backup of all your files, otherwise the backup machine is a waste of time and money. 40+ GB in both machines is more than adequate, and a 100+GB external drive is relatively simple.

    There's a lot of room to flex, obviously. Speakers can go from $50 to $500. Monitors can run from $50 to $3000. Keyboard and mice are the same. You get the idea.
  15. cypher macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2003
    The best setup to have IMO is to have a PC desktop and a 12" PB. Right now thats wht i have a P4 2.8 HT with dual flat panels 20" and 17" from dell mand planar. I have a 250gb external for my PB and 3 120gb's for my desktop w/ klipsch 2.1's.
  16. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    powerbook 15". why?

    -small enough to carry to class
    -screen big enough to use for long periods of time
    -powerufl enough to do most tasks.

    add a screen to that, especially a 23" Cinema, and some awesome speakers, and you'll have a killer setup for school. printer and scanners, airport express, and bluetooth phone optional.
  17. shane-o-mac macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2005
    Lets face it there is a lot of stuff you could buy, but the jist is from my own experience and having pretty unlimited funds thanks to moms credit card....love ya mom :D

    Ditch the main pc setup, had an imacg5 for a while but it just got to be a pain to plug in and transfer my working files to my laptob all the time...It now resides in an empty room in CT. Once the main computer was out of the way I realized my recently purchased 12" powerbook was not large enough for every day use so I gave it to my neice...she loves it.

    From there I decided to buy a nicely appointed 15" powerbook and been happy ever since. It works when I need to get up and go and it has plenty of screen realestate to sit on my desk as a pc replacement..plus no clutter and it looks way cool.

    As far as music I got a 20g Ipod I really never use now I got an ipod mini. A shuffle is awesome for the gym...cause it is so cheap and light you do not care if it gets messed up or you drop it. Plus it is really sturdy..though it does look kinda like a chicklet.

    So from experience and burning through a whole lot of unecessary cash I suggest:

    15" powerbook, equipped howver you like
    6g Ipod...who really need more then that
    IG Shuffle for those long jogs and quick work outs
  18. Passante macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2004
    on the sofa
    I'd add an airport express and an external drive large enough to clone the powerbook hard drive to the above list. Oh, and a second AC charger. Keep one in the dorm room and one in the lap top back.
  19. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    im going to have to second that on the airport express, external drive and AC chrager. the AC charger especially!!! i dont know, but i never thought it would make a difference but when i got fed up with digging behind my desk to yank my AC charger and got a second AC charger, its one of the best things ive gotten, almost as good as maxing out the ram!!!

    but check out this pic for a really cool college set up. i just built this a couple weekends ago for my apt. my 12" PB sits under the main bar on the service shelf and then it is hooked up to the speakers with airport express!!! good times, good times!!!!

    Attached Files:

  20. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Ive got whats in my sig and its a good setup. The G5 is connected to a 15 inch Samsung LCD, I dont have money/desk space for anything bigger, but its nice
  21. iPlm macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2004
    It really depends on how much funds you have. I personally would go with an iBook 12" + external HDD,a printer and a wireless router (and maybe a shuffle). It would be great if I have a Cinema Display, but it really is no where near my financial ability.
  22. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Keyboard and mouse definitely--monitor's a bit of a maybe. If nothing else, and money's an issue, get bluetooth, and a BT keyboard and mouse (no wires to plug in!) for use in teh dorm room. You could always buy a stand of some sort so that the monitor is in the right place in front of your eyes.
  23. cheekyspanky macrumors 6502a


    Jan 21, 2004
    South Bucks, UK
    If you don't absolutely need the portability factor, how about just having a Mac mini, 17/19" LCD, a nice set of speakers and an Airport Express - and a 20/30/60gb iPod (which are really useful for transferring work around in my experience, and provide a quick and not too troublesome method of backing up)?

    Thats the setup I have and it works for me, was considering a notebook, but there's no time that I REALLY have to access my work on the move - and they have plenty of machines at uni to use if I'm already there.

    Plus, if you do get to a point, once in a while that you need to take the computer somewhere else, you can easily take the Mac mini and borrow a monitor from whoever's flat you've gone to etc.
  24. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003
    Unless you are majoring in graphic arts, a PB and 23" monitor is a total waste of money for a college student.

    A 14" iBook (with Combo) and a 17" iMac (with Superdrive) would be good.
    But, why would you need both? Just get an iBook to use as a desktop in your dorm and yuo can carry it with you.
  25. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    American living in Canada
    I'm there right now

    I enjoy my setup. I have the 15" PBook and some Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers that are great. Get a bluetooth mouse and an ipod. I am kinda desiring a second display though. I don't need anything big, because the 15" is just fine, but a nice little LCD next to it would be fun. Other than that, this setup is great. Only complaing: the 15" is a bit big to be taking to classes. I DO take it all the time, and it's fine, but I am jealous of the people with 12 inchers. At the same time, when we get back to the dorms, they are all jealous of my light up keyboard and speed, so in the end it's worth it.

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