Apple Laptop Newbie

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by asmallchild, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. asmallchild macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    So I've been happily using a Windows desktop unit throughout my entire stint at college and medical school.

    I've just entered my final year of medical school and with the recent upgrade to my school's wireless network, my desktop is now obsolete (it has a reeeeaally old and expensive desktop wifi card in it)

    I've been planning on picking up a laptop anyway if not to get current with the times than to gain some function on the road during interviews, away electives, etc... Traditionally, I've never needed the mobility of a laptop but I will be spending 1 month on an away elective and 3 months interviewing. I probably won't have much use for mobility once I finish this final year but it's always nice to be able to use the computer on the couch in front of the TV instead of being tethered to the desk.

    The Windows laptops out there are not too appealing aesthetically (and since I've always been a Dell purchaser, their laptops are not too appealing price-wise either). So I've been thinking about going with Apple.

    The problem is, I'm not really sure how to differentiate between the 3 lines that Apple currently has running. Could anyone provide some recommendations based on my usage? Thanks a bunch!

    (I'm also going to have an old Windows laptop as a spare because my med school does require a couple of Windows programs. I've heard of dual-booting OS on Apples now but while I'm quite proficient on Windows machines, I doubt I'd have the skill to jump right into that kind of setup for a Mac)

    1) Do all the Apple laptops support WPA2 wireless network encryption?
    2) I currently use my desktop for: iTunes (large music and movie collection), DVD burning, Palm Desktop, playing DVDs, word processing, spreadsheets, email, web surfing, very minor Adobe Photoshopping, organizing large volumes of vacation photos, AIM, Audacity/Bitpim to edit MP3's and upload them to my cell phone, Epocrates for my Palm Pilot, Handbrake to convert movies to my iPod Touch
  2. forafireescape macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    I'd go with either a top-of-the-line MacBook or a low-end MacBook Pro, considering your needs. And don't worry, Macs are very easy to learn...I just switched over from Dell myself fairly recently :)

    And, you can get Microsoft Office for Mac if you don't want to relearn all the stuff you'll need for making spreadsheets and stuff. Also, iPhoto is great for editing photos, IMHO.
  3. AutumnSkyline macrumors regular


    Oct 5, 2006
    This isn't much help, but you will be able to use Epocrates with your iPod touch very soon ^_^.
  4. IainThornton macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2008
    Unless you are a serious high end user, the MacBook will certainly fulfill all your needs...particularly if you haven't got Windows on it-you won't be running high end games which the graphics can't keep up with-that's about the only weak link on the MacBook
    and all Core 2 Duo Macs are 802.11n, so yes, they will support WPA2.
    They're easy enough to get Windows running on as well-even Vista
    there are countless guides and references on the internet
    removes the need for a second computer
  5. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    From the sounds of it, a MacBook would meet your needs fine. Also, yes, all current Macs support WPA2.
  6. asmallchild thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    In terms of selecting between a Macbook and MBP, would it be a good idea to base this on aesthetics?

    For instance, I've been reading around here and it seems like the White MB can pick up yellowish discolorations over time.

    The Black MB can pick up greasy marks all over the keyboard. (I currently use a black keyboard myself with my desktop and it doesn't seem to have any grease-accumulating issues. Maybe the Black MB keyboard has a different material lining it?)

    Would it be worthwhile to bypass this decision of black v white by opting for a MBP? Does it pick up any weird discolorations over time? Or does it accumulate grease quite easily?

    I was messing around and pricing out some units and in terms of pricing, it would only be a ~$400 jump to go from the white/black MB I had priced out to the low-end MBP I had priced out.

    Small price to pay for a better system and no-hassle over aesthetic concerns?
  7. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    You could also go with a refurb macbook pro 2.2. PLENTY of power for your needs, the MBP asthetics and on the refurb store only about 1449 (1530ish with tax) which is about the same as a new macbook black or white.

    A macbook would do everything you need just fine, but a macbook pro (IMO) is a nicer experience (I had one before getting this macbook, which i like mind you, but i do miss my pro)

    About the same size, and the screen is bigger and crisper, the backlit keyboard is nice in dark lecture halls and traveling in the evenings on a bus or something.... and they get darn good battery life because of the leds and if this is going to be primary computer away from home and traveling, the larger screen might be nice since you won't be around an external to plug it into.

    If you can afford a macbook pro new, go for it :) but that might be a good option since you probably don't need the performance boost of the penryn, and you could save a few bucks and have a pro computer anyway... which IMO are easier to keep clean. :)
  8. nsbio macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Go for the MacBook Pro if you can afford it. Buy it with the minimal amount of RAM, which you could add later.

    The screen of MacBook might be a little small it does not have backlit keyboard, which turns out to be very useful.

    Another advice would be for you to go to an apple store and play with with either to see which one you feel comfortable with.

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