Best laptop for high school switcher?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TorontoLRT, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. TorontoLRT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Duh!
    #1
    Alright, here's my situation. I'm a high school student in a quite demanding enriched science program that basically requires you to have a laptop. Until a few weeks ago, I used an old Toshiba Satellite, but now it's having hardware troubles and will no longer boot properly. I need a new laptop, and fast. I want to switch to Mac though, and am tired of slow, buggy PCs. I'm thinking of either a basic MacBook or a MacBook Air, and would like some advice on which to buy. My main concerns are portability, since I must walk several kilometers to and from school as well as carrying it around the school, and long battery life, as I am using it almost constantly throughout the day. I am thinking of a MacBook Air 11 inch, but I'm worried about the slow specs and smaller screen, as some of my classes involve resource-jogging software like Photoshop. I also thought of a basic white MacBook, but I don't want to buy right before an upgrade, and also can't really afford to wait an indefinite amount of time. My parents, meanwhile, do not think I should buy a Mac at all, and want me to get a basic PC laptop or netbook. What do you think I should do?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Take stock of what software you have to use and whether or not you'll be required to buy new (Mac) licenses for them.
     
  3. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    If you can get Mac software, then Id get the Basic White MacBook. In 2008 I was in the UK equivalent of 11th Grade and I got my White MacBook and Ive used it since as my main laptop, doing everything from complex mathematics in Wolfram Mathematica to editing HD video in Final Cut Pro, it also had brilliant (6 hours + if you kill bluetooth and keep the screen on 25% brightness) battery life (2 years later it still has 4hrs on the original battery) - however one thing I would say is try and plug it in for 1 class a day, then it should last you the day and give you a small amount of juice when you get home.
     
  4. SESpy macrumors regular

    SESpy

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #4
    If you have the extra cash go for the MBP. I am a college student and I have both Macbook Pro and the new white Macbook unibody but the Pro is better.
    You as a student will use it extensively and I had a couple of issues like the lower plastic base ( on the bottom side which is made of aluminum covered with some kind of rubber ), that bubbled up. I had issues with the charging port... So don't risk it if ou have the extra money, go for the Pro :)
    That's my advice.
     
  5. TorontoLRT thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Duh!
    #5
    ^I'd love a pro, but I really can't afford it. Do you think an Air would be better?
     
  6. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #6
    Go for the 13" Pro. Has all the features you might need, good battery and a more powerful processor. Then again, thats basically what the white macbook is
     
  7. alust2013, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

    alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #7
    If you can't do the base 13" pro, then go for the white MB. Pass on the 11" air, as that would not be ideal for a computer to take through high school and potentially into or through college. It has limited storage, not too fast of a processor, and you can't even upgrade the memory. Plus the white one has a 10 hour advertised battery, while the 11" MBA is only 5.

    Also, read post below. That puts the base 13" pro at the price that the white would be normally
     
  8. AF08 macrumors member

    AF08

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    #8
    Micro Center

    Do you live close to a Micro Center?

    They have MacBooks for $799 and MBP for $999.
     
  9. SESpy macrumors regular

    SESpy

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #9
    I dunno about the Air. I really need the CD-s and I hate dragging a CD reader with me.
     
  10. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    And, although you may not, at least have the Optical drive kicking around, which in my books is relatively essential for HS/College (For some reason some instructors like providing CDs, instead of a file we can download)
     
  11. HuggyLowDown macrumors regular

    HuggyLowDown

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #11
  12. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #12
    Good advice...

    It sounds like you want the Air, although I can't imagine a student doing something that sounds like it might be somewhat intensive (given the science thing) that the Air would be the right choice.

    The MacBook Air suits certain people, but absent a medical condition where the difference in weight becomes monumental or a space issue where for some reason you under no circumstance good deal with the bulk, it is a luxury item.

    Unless of course someone wants to defend the productivity of being able to boot up quicker.
     
  13. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    #13
    I bought a Powerbook G3 Pismo in high school against my parents' wishes who thought it would be better to get a PC due to the cost and because "PC had won."

    So ignore your parents and buy what you want.

    I'd take that MicroCenter deal on the Pro at least the regular MacBook. The Air won't serve your needs as well.
     
  14. thunderboltspro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest
    #14

    So you want a Air that has a max of 4 gigs of ram and a cap of 256 GBs of drive space and it has to run resource hog applications...Logical answer would be No to the air, yes to a Mb or MBP, i would try to swing for a mbp ask the parents for a early bday present to pitch in.
     
  15. Cool Runnings macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Sweden
    #15
    If you have managed with an older pc you are good with any mac. But DON'T get a netbook or same cheap generic PC from the local chain for electronics.

    Like everything else good quality costs, PC or Mac..... good is never dirt cheap...
     
  16. TorontoLRT thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Duh!
    #16
    My current thoughts are to try to get a Pro for under $1100 (easier said than done, I'm in Canada) or, failing that, wait for the basic Macbook to be upgraded.
    EDIT: Refurbished pro for $1100! I know what I'll be buying!
     
  17. tbayrgs, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

    tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #17
    Guys, if you'd paid a bit more attention, you'd have noticed he's in Canada---Micro Center is USA only.

    If you really want a Mac, keep an eye on the Refurbished Mac section of the Apple store (Canada)--looks like you can save $150 on the base MBP and likely at least as much on a white MP (none currently in stock but that changes daily).

    UPDATE: Taste of my own medicine for posting before I read the last post--glad to see the OP took my advice (before I gave it, that is ;)).
     
  18. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #18
    And if youd read the OPs most recent post youd see hed found a 13" MBP in the Apple Canada store, in his budget, making MicroCenter irrelevant. (OP - Get that, youll be set then :D)
     
  19. TSE macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #19
    You could also wait a couple weeks for some more Sandy Bridge PC notebooks coming out - look up the Thinkpad X220. Thinkpads are durable as any PC or Mac save for the Toughbooks and the X201 (The X220's predecessor) gets 10 realistic hours of battery life.

    Just a suggestion.
     
  20. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a

    leftywamumonkey

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #20
    Here's what you should do.

    1. Go to an Apple store
    2. Talk to the manager and ask him politely to price match.
    3. He should comply since Apple does have an unadvertised price match policy.
    I think it's in here somewhere, http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/salespolicies.html#topic-17
    it is also in the operations manual.
    4. Show them the microcenter deal, since microcenter is an Apple Authorized Retailer. He should offer you the base Macbook Pro 13" for a little over $999.

    This should allow you to get the MBP for around the same price as the Macbook. It's worth a try.
     
  21. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #21
    Hes already said he wants to switch to Mac, and I wouldnt think Hackintoshing a Thinkpad would be the most sensible way forward...
     
  22. jetblk328i macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
  23. TSE macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #23
    He just said he was tired of old, buggy PCs.

    Perhaps he didn't switch to Windows 7. And Thinkpads are just as well built as any Mac is... plus they look incredibly professional.

    It was just a suggestion.
     
  24. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #24
    I guess. I still think a Mac is better for education though (Despite me having a ThinkPad Tablet for several years, I wasnt converted - just never found they fitted "me")
     
  25. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #25
    Since elementary school (Currently in HS), the schools have provided us with Macs. We had Power Macintosh G3s, iBook G4s, and eMacs in elementary school (which we're getting replaced with iMacs G5s as I left) and middle school had eMacs and iBook G4s but my HS has 2007 iMacs + MacBooks (probably because my HS is fairly new). Either way, they've been teaching us on a Mac.
     

Share This Page