Yet ANOTHER potential convert/newbie dilemma...advice needed!

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

  1. jadex macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2005
    Houston, Tx, USA
    Hi all,

    I've been looking at buying a mac for some time now, and the temptation to "just do it" is starting to get to me. Some of my friends have switched to macs from PCs, and couldn't be happier. I'm not one for the cultish fanatics, just looking to buy a durable computer that can stand up to some trauma (I move around a LOT).

    I've been through 3 PCs, each one either getting errors on the hard drive or having the CDRW drive break down...the one I own currently (for close to 2 years) is comparable in spec.'s to a 14" ibook G4 (though the iBook comes with almost 2x as much that standard?). I've asked a lot of people about the mac system (both people who own macs as well as people who don't), and this is what I've come up with:

    1. If I do decide to buy, it will either be the 14" iBook or 15" powerbook. I know that the difference between the iBook and powerbook is that the iBook is more of a personal setting, and the powerbook is professional. What exactly does that mean?
    (I'm a college student, btw, and I use my computers constantly - not just for the standard internet and writing papers, but also for image editing, watching movies, and listening to music. I also add on a LOT of extra components to the system to make it easier for me to work with. )

    2. I've looked at the apple store online and in person to see exactly what I'm getting for the sticker price...but usually there are add-on fees for things that I'll definitely need that aren't included in the original price. I'm trying to keep the price under $2,000. Truthfully - how much extra will I rack up on top of the base price in additional components? I know I'll need ms office and a wireless internet card, for starters...

    3. I've heard that most music/video downloading sites, such as winmx or ares or rhapsody, are not compatible with mac computers. Is this true, and if so, am I limited to only buying songs from itunes?

    4. I've seen a lot of talk about laptops (which i'm more inclined to use). But I also remember when the eMac was wildly popular. It's not a very large machine, so I could still move it around, and it seems like a wonderful computer. Any thoughts?

    5. How is the sound quality on a mac WITHOUT the really cool speakers? All of the ones in the store, as well as the ones that others own, have very good sound quality - but they ALL have external speakers. Is that something that I will absoultely have to buy, then (I love listening to music, so I want the best quality possible)?

    I think that's it for now. I've worked with the mac OS before, so it's not such a big switch for me...I just need someone to explain this before I make such a large investment (they *are* fairly expensive, but with 2x the capacity of most PCs, you're getting what you pay for). Thanks for any and all advice that happens to come of this!
  2. Quartz Extreme macrumors regular

    Quartz Extreme

    Jun 9, 2005
    Outside of the box
    The iBook, PowerBook and iMac all come with built-in Airport Extreme.
    The MS Office 2004 Student Edition is only $149.

    I am fairly sure that there aren't any other companies that offer music downloading services similar to iTunes for Mac users, but I could be wrong.
  3. stridey macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2005
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
    The powerbook is more powerful, slightly better featured, and all-around sexier. However, I have the 14" iBook, and I love it. I too am a student, use my computer constantly, and add tons of extra components. If you have the budget for the PB, I'd suggest buying it, but the iBook is a fine computer.

    On the iBook, pretty terrible. On the PB, somewhat better, but either way you'll probably want some powered speakers. Any computer speakers will do.
  4. hammackj macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2005
    San Antonio, Tx
    If your school has a deal with Microsoft you can get all microsoft products for $5 each. I goto UTSA and for around $100 I got office 2004 for mac, 2003 for xp, win xp, frontpage, and visual studio 2003. Good deal imo.

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