Advice on what to get for college..

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by uiop., Jul 4, 2011.

  1. uiop. macrumors 68020

    uiop.

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #1
    I'm going to college next year (fall 2012) and don't know what Apple product will best suit my needs. I have had a late 2008 MBP (the first generation of unibodies) throughout high school, its been a great laptop, no doubt. As its nearing 3 years old, the battery is really starting to show its age, barely can hold a charge for more than an hour and a half. My dad offered to buy me a new laptop for college...which just seems silly since this one is otherwise working great. So should I just buy a new battery for this thing and then maybe a 27" Cinema Display to use it as a desktop computer too? Or should I just get a more portable Mac, like a MacBook Air or 13" MacBook Pro? I'll be hauling the computer around campus often I'm sure, and as we all know, the 15" MacBook Pro isn't exactly light. I'm leaning towards a new battery for the MBP and an 11" MacBook Air. I'm so indecisive at this point.

    Thanks for your suggestions in advance. :)
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    I'd start with the new battery and go from there. If it's working fine, $130 for a battery makes a lot more sense than a new laptop. If you find that most of what you do while on the go is pretty light, perhaps an iPad would fit the bill. An external monitor is also great to have for college. Personally, I have an aluminum MacBook and 20" monitor, and that's a great setup for me. My computer doesn't really leave the desk that often (you'd be surprised how little laptops actually get used in class in many universities). Also, if you are living in a dorm, you may find space a little tight for a large monitor. In my dorm, a 23" was about as big as you could fit on the desks, but I know some differ in space.

    Ah, I see you already have an iPad. I would imagine a MBP+iPad combo should be good for just about any college needs.
     
  3. jetblk328i macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #3
    Since you don't start college until next fall, I suggest you either get a new battery or tough it out with your current battery and wait. You said that your current machine works perfectly fine and senior year work shouldn't be too demanding.

    You can buy one now, but there should be improved MBP and MBAs as time progresses so I would get one when you really need one/right before college.

    As to what you should get, I got a 13" MBP and a 23" monitor and the setup works great for college. My roommate had a 13" MBA and didn't complain.

    Regardless of what you get, I would wait until possibly next summer to decide what to get based on new MBP and MBA releases.
     
  4. ano0oj macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #4
    you'll hate yourself if you get a new one this year...theres rumors of complete redesign for 2012!
     
  5. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #5
    What major are you? Do you just need something to take notes and for writing papers or will you need to run some custom programs?

    I'd also stick with a new battery until you get to college and find out what's waiting for you and what will work for you. Getting a new computer is always fun but like you said, if the old one works, why throw it away?

    I'd also get a lock that can be secured with your desk or something. Things have a habit of randomly walking away in the dorms...
     
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #6
    In class I use paper and pen, in between classes I read on the iPad (digitize everything) and take notes with paper and pen, and at home I digitize my notes using scansnap and upload those to Evernote.

    I don't even carry a backpack, because i have no books and no computer. I just have a large man purse (waterfield vertigo), and I don't carry around my mbp much.

    Of course, everyone has their own system, but it is entirely possible to succeed on campus without toting around a computer. You have a year to give a think to your workflow. Get a battery now, and by the time you are ready for uni next year you'll know a lot more about what is best for you. By then, the iPad 3 might be able to pair with a Bluetooth mouse and you won't need a computer at all:)
     
  7. Lwis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    #7

    As mentioned in this, using your iPad is a good idea for lectures (I wish I done the same thing!) But when studying I wantedc something more so I took my uMBP in a backpack (my incase backpack makes my macbook feel soo light, my old shoulder bag used to dig in loads) and I am able to have the best of both words. I'd say an iPad and a new battery would be perfect for you right now.

    And besides, you'd be surprised how much you're going to need for all that beer! :D
     
  8. uiop. thread starter macrumors 68020

    uiop.

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #8
    Thanks for all the suggestions, really is appreciated. I think I will just buy another battery for this computer and then an external display of some sort. I'll be in school for 5 years so it'd make sense to just hold off on getting another computer until I need one. I'll tell my dad to wait until my MBP here dies. :)

    Business with a minor in economics. I plan on doing an accelerated masters program after 4 years to get my MBA, so I'll be in school for 5 years or so.
     
  9. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #9
    Cool - good stuff.

    I used to have a bad habit of falling asleep in boring lectures. They weren't all boring, but some were. Anyway, it's a shame Google docs were not available back when I was in school. I always thought it'd be cool to setup a buddy system where you and a few friends from the same class would take notes together in the cloud - help each other fill in the missing parts.

    I used a pen and pad back in college too and whenever I try to go back and read the notes I took - especially the ones about 8 minutes leading up to me dozing off (where I was fighting it), it was always funny to see how the handwriting deteriorate into meaningless squiggly lines. Needless to say, my 1/2 notes were pretty useless.
     
  10. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #10
    I'd research getting an MBA right after undergrad. One of the key considerations for employers of MBA's is previous work experience - 3-5 years of post undergrad seems to be a sweetspot - so you might find it tough to get an MBA job after you finish school.
    In addition, consider the brand value of your MBA - I don't what to start a Top 10 vs other school debate - but there's a definite value to the alumni network in terms of size, and breadth.
    That said - your MBP should be fine - there's nothing in business that really can't be done on a good HP calculator other than typing papers; so a MBP with Word and Excel (or equivalents) will do just fine. Do get a good backup program (I like SynK from Decimus Software especially for its real time sync as you update a file - they have a deal at $10 for academic purchasers) for the inevitable time when your HD crashes.
     
  11. Aldaris macrumors 65816

    Aldaris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    #11
    Get a new battery for now, and hold off till you have a better idea on what the offering will be a year from now.

    Who knows where the Air and Pro will be next summer.
     

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