which laptop for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by asherman13, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. asherman13 macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #1
    hey all,

    i'm looking for some very specific buying advice as to which laptop you guys recommend me getting sometime in the next six months or so. i'll be going off to college, so i'm looking for something durable that'll last long. here's what i plan on doing with it:

    -school/work: presentations (and ability to use a projector), papers, note-taking, general word processing
    -photo: upload from canon sd200, organization and light/medium editing
    -music: itunes, 5g ipod and shuffle
    -'net/wireless: ethernet and/or airport, bluetooth, maybe broadbandAccess (needs PC card slot though...), general surfing, IM (includes video), some P2P
    -maybe some games...

    so, i basically want something good, portable, decent HDD, decent RAM, fast, and wireless.

    any ideas?

    thanks!

    EDIT: money hopefully won't be too much of a problem.
     
  2. Megatron macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    #2
    If your timeframe is the next six months, wait until macworld san francisco in January (MWSF) and see what they release - a lot of people think that they will release the intel based ibooks then.

    Check back here after that and then the forum can give you some more updated advice. Don't buy a laptop now, when the new ones might be around the corner.
     
  3. asherman13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #3
    okay. if they release mac minis, which laptop would you recommend then? i'm looking for a general opinion, so i know which price range to save for.
     
  4. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    #4
    it seems to me that your time frame is critical for your decision because of the fact that intel is being thrown into the mix. I actually went through this very dilemma last summer before my sophomore year, but Intel wasnt an option for me. It truly all depends when you need/ want so bad you cant live without. Need it now- the 12" ibook will be more than enough for your needs, add a bit of ram and it should last you thorugh all of college. Plus its bug free! Can wait a month or two- they might roll some exciting intel lappers, its difficult to predict perfomance benefits, and a lot of people feel there will have to be some teething problems. But its cutting edge and has the oppurtunity to be much better with a radical form factor. If you can wait till August or whenever your starting school, then its guaranteed you'll get an Intel maybe a Rev B, price drops etc. Of course thats 6 months without a beautiful, capable laptop. Time Frame!~hope this helps!
     
  5. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #5
    For me, this is rarely a question worth much debate.

    It comes down to two models:
    a. 12" iBook
    b. 15" Powerbook

    The 12" Powerbook is a waste, IMHO, unless you want 12" w/ the SuperDrive. The 14" iBook is also a waste, as I *hate* that screen. The 17" Powerbook is nice, but it's HUGE.
     
  6. asherman13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #6
    i think i'm planning on going with the 12" iBook, which is what i have now. any recommendations for custom configs?
     
  7. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #7
    HDD upgrades on laptops are expensive, but you're going to want more than the 40GB that comes standard. An upgrade to an 80GB is $100 and well worth it. Also, wait at least until you're accepted to college to buy a laptop the get the EDU discount.
     
  8. asherman13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #8
    what about RAM? also, is it possible to upgrade the vid. memory? i can't find it on the upgrade options on the apple store, but...?

    how much of an ed discount am i looking at?
     
  9. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #9
    RAM is very easy to upgrade, in fact don't get anything other than the stock 512MB from Apple, but buy another 512 MB (or even a 1 GB) RAM chip from a 3rd party supplier. It's very easy to upgrade.

    HD is sort of upgradeable, but that's not recommended unless you're quite a tinker, as it involves disassembling the whole iBook. Get the biggest HD you can afford BTO from Apple. Actually, postpone any plans on RAM purchases and spend all you got to get the biggest HD you can, if you're tight for cash. You can always add RAM later. Once those you start adding photos into iPhoto and music into iTunes you'll need any GB you can get... ;)

    Video RAM is not upgradeable on any of the iBooks, and only BTO on the PowerBooks, not something you can add later.

    The discount in the EDU shops is about 5%, I think, but you also can be lucky and get some other campaign, like the cram & jam(?), where you got a free iPod with every Laptop purchase... :)
     
  10. asherman13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #10
    cool...i think i should be ok with 80GB and an external usb2 80GB hdd; i'll save the rest of my money for RAM...since i bought iwork to use with my current ibook, i won't need to buy it again; if i uninstall it; right? hopefully by the time i get around to buying RAM they'll have 1.5GB chips or something :rolleyes:
     
  11. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #11
    You can transfer all software you've bought separately to your new iBook. No problem as long as you unistall it on the old one... :)
     
  12. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #12
    Max out the HDD. RAM is easy to upgrade later.
     
  13. asherman13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #13
    can i get a bigger HDD on a refurb/refreshed ibook? they're $200 off on the online store...
     
  14. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #14
    You can upgrade the HDD, but it'll cost $200 in most places to buy and install the drive.
     

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