$3000 to spend. Need some solid advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gbay2, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. gbay2 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2010
    Hi awesome forum people,

    I've been waiting for the new macbook pro line for quite some time now and with the Ipads release I've now reached a fork in my path

    I have approximately $3000 to spend (canadian) on computers from a government bursary, any unspent money goes back to the government

    I have a core I5 PC with a 260gx video card home computer running windows 7 (going to try and hackintosh it as soon as this semester is over)

    my old laptop is a 3 year old blackbook. It was the best decision of my life to buy that blackbook as apple opened my eyes to what great design is.

    I also have an Iphone 3GS and and most likely going to upgrade to Iphone HD when it comes out (sell my 32gb mint 3GS and buy the new iphone on a 3 year term at a large discount probably costing me no extra)

    I'm a computer science student. I do programming (duh). On my computers I also do web and some graphic design. I also game a bit (waiting for starcraft 2, diablo 3 and final fantasy 14)

    Options: what to do? here is what I'm considering

    option 1: 15 inch Macbook Pro. top-end model (no extra upgrades) with 3 year warranty. this will fill my budget and do everything I need it to do and more

    option 2:
    13 inch macbook pro or 15 inch low end and whatever upgrades I can stuff into my budget will go into the laptop
    and the Ipad, whichever one I can afford, probably a 3G model with a data plan later.

    This decision is a toughie for me. the top end15" will last me for a few years and do everything that I need it to do well. The low end will most likely do everything I need it to do perhaps not as efficiently as the alternative but I will also be able to get the Ipad. Why the Ipad? I don't know, it really looks amazing and the touch screen seems like it will be good for notes and school and book reading.

    Looking for Pro's and Con's of each option and what would you do in my shoes.

    thanks for all your help!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I am generally against buying things one has no use for. Since you seem not to have any use for the iPad, I'd get the MBP.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    In my opinion 15" MBP is clearly the winner if you don't want to get the 17". 13" + iPad is pretty useless as you already have similar devices (Blackbook and iPhone 3GS). If you're looking for something more portable as well, then I would get the 15" and MBA, as high-end 15" is only 2399CAD so if you sell your Blackbook, you can get MBA as well.

    In summary, 2x13" + iPad + iPhone 3GS is useless as they all do the same thing. 15" MBP + iPhone 3GS is easier and faster because you only have one computer and one iPhone/iPad/iPod..
  4. MarketingGuy macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Both options are really compelling. It really depends on the level of portability that you require.

    I often struggle with the 15" versus 13" MacBook Pro decision. Personally, for my agency, I am using 13" MacBook Pros. We selected the 13" model because it is more portable, the performance hit (processor isn't too bad), and the use of the discrete video card isn't really a tradeoff we would make for battery life. Of course, we use Mac Pros for the heavy lifting.

    You might be better off getting the 13" with an SSD as that would really speed things up. As for the iPad, I personally have 3G on order. I love my desktops, laptops, iPhone, iPod Touch, etc. but the iPad really fits a need that I have for casual web browsing, e-mails, and playing simple games. In fact, I never bring my laptops to a friends house but would likely bring my 3G.

    At the end of the day it's a personal decision. I would go with the 13" + iPad. You may decide to try your hand at programming iPad applications and it's always nice to try on actual hardware as opposed to the simulator.
  5. sammy2066 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2007
    Regardless of which option you choose, wait for the MBP refresh.
  6. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    Do the upgrades need to be purchased at the same time/vendor as the computer? Because you could stuff a lot of quality upgrades in to the top-end 15" if you were able to do it separately.
  7. gbay2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2010
    I'm for sure waiting for the refresh. I'm not spending thousands of dollars on an outdated processor.

    Upgrades I usually do myself. On the top end MBP 15" the only viable upgrade would be RAM for me. I am strongly apposed to apples insane minuscule upgrade costs. 4 more GB of ram will not cost me 300 dollars.

    I guess the real question is what REAL use will the Ipad be for me? I can foresee using it for sketches (but with what pen?) reading books and textbooks, and casual browsing which I do on my 3GS. I know the logical choice is the 15" but I love new gadgetry. So shiny.
  8. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    If you want to make some cash, you could get the iPad and then sell it to e.g. Europe with nice profit.

    If you buy the high-end MBP for 2399CAD, then get some RAM and nice SSD and whoom, the 3000CAD has disappeared.
  9. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2008
    Just get the 15" MBP (I would go for the 17" version) since this will be a long-term investment.

    iPad is shiny and new, so everyone wants it. But it's just an oversized iPod Touch. And unless you're an avid reader, and all the textbooks you need are available for iPad, do you need it?
  10. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    Bursary. Well, I learned my new word for the day. And man, I wish I had a bursary.

    Go for the MBP. It seems like you already have your ipad ground covered.
  11. yayitsezekiel macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2008
    Irvine, CA
  12. Raje macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2010
    Right now the ipad does not have enough features to justify its price tag. I say by the 15" and forget about the ipad until gen2 or gen 3
  13. gbay2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2010
    Thanks for all your input
    the logical decision seems to be the 15" so all I have to do now is wait for steve.

    and to who said imac and ipad... read my post, i have a pc.
  14. Norskman macrumors member


    Feb 23, 2010
    I would recommend the MacBook Pro for sure. I have the 15" and I really like it. Initially I was going to get the 17". I was all set on it, but when I got to handle it in the store I decided it was really too big and walked out with the 15".

    Since I have an iPhone, I consider it to be my iPad Nano. :p
  15. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    But 2 macbook pro's that equal 3000 dollars or close to it. Submit the receipt to the government, then return them unopened to get your cash back. Sit back and wait until the laptop lineup gets refreshed, then make your decision.

    Since you already have a killer desktop, you might want to get a decent but not the most expensive laptop and an ipad.
  16. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    BTW, do you have to buy everything from Apple or can you buy it from there and then buy RAM and SSD from 3rd party

Share This Page