Buying a macbook, no clue what I need

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jasony0423, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. jasony0423 macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2009
    LIke the title says, I'm buying a new laptop, and after a crappy experience with my HP laptop, I'm going to switch over to a Macbook. My only problem is I'm not a computer geek, so I have no clue what I'm doing. True computer geeks won't be offended by the title, I don't think. It's not meant to offend.
    I'm hoping someone can give me some pointers.
    Here are the details:

    I'm starting back to college to get my masters.
    I will use the laptop for frequent internet access.
    I will NOT be playing computer games on it, with the exception of maybe an online scrabble game with my sister, or somthing... Nothing too intense.
    I frequently take and upload pics to photobucket.
    I frequently download the same pics to my computer.

    I don't want to overkill, and get way more computer than I need, but at the same time, I don't want to go too low, and be disappointed. Can someone take my needs list, and translate that to English for me.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. joehahn macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    get the low end 13 in macbook pro.

    it's got the SD card slot for your pictures, the graphics card is fine on it, and it's also better looking then the white one. with your student discount it'll be $1099
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  4. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2002
    And the build quality of that machine is excellent too.
  5. sishaw macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2005
    You may want to consider getting one of the optional larger hard drives. It's amazing how fast photographs can fill up a hard drive. Of course, you can always add an external drive later on, but I find sticking with the internal drive more convenient.
  6. tayshon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2009
    Philly, PA
  7. feflower macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    I recently returned to grad school and I ended up buying a MacPro desktop. I also wanted to do some music recording, but I realized this was much more than I needed. My basic aim was "buy the best thing I can". Well I kind of regretted my initial purchase; and now I have a better idea of my next purchase (after I graduate). So hopefully I can be of some help.

    What area are you in? I'm in the humanities and I do a lot of essay writing. I also download a lot of research articles from the net. I also use applications such as Sente and Devonthink while doing my essays. If you are in a similar field or if you are going to use different applications simultaneously, a large monitor or multiple monitors is a must (I've gotten used to working with two large monitors and I don't think I can ever work for a long period on a small screen now even for a simple essay).

    The obvious choice is a smaller MBP; but think hard and if you don't think you will need portability (most people think they do...but not really) consider the following:

    1) MBP plus an external monitor.
    2) Seriously consider the Mac Mini (it is always under appreciated) if you don't anticipate carrying your computer around (I do all my work at home). If you already have a usb monitor and keyboard, then you are good to go. The macmini is also very portable, as long as the place you go to has a monitor and keyboard.
    3) 20 or 24 inch iMac (they look so good).

    ***Always, always get an external back-up drive. They are very affordable now.

    Personally, my next purchase will most likely be a macmini. I realized that I like working at home, and when I'm away, most universities have computers from where you can type ideas, email them to yourself and then do the deep thinking at home...
  8. mrj205 macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2009
    Most people? Where are your statistics on this? Or is this some sort of vague assummption? Portability is a personal preference. Most of us who enjoy the portability of having a MBP, MB, or MBA do so because it suits our needs. It is definately not a must for all users, but for many it is a feature that comes in handy.

    OP, you could suffice on the 13"MBP. And is screen real estate is a must, go bigger, or get a cheap external display to use while at home.
  9. jasony0423 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2009
    Thanks for the advice. Looks like a 13" MBP is the one to go with, then. I was considering the MBP, anyway, but in 15", just because it seemed like a pretty decent, middle of the road one. It should be fine in its stock configuration, then, or would a larger hard drive be better? One person said yes, nobody else mentioned any options or upgrades to the MBP. If the stock version for $1199 PLUS a free ipod touch will work, then I think I'm getting a pretty decent deal, and I"ll have my little sisters Christmas gift taken care of, too. :)
    I'm going for my mba, so not a whole lot of artsy-type stuff, really.
    Anything else I should look into?
  10. theMaccer macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2006
    Im going back to school for my MBA in August as well. Obviously the 13'' MBP will do fine for you, but if you can afford it, I say go with the Refurb 15'' ($1349). I just think the 15'' will be more business like than the 13'':)
  11. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    If you plan on storing a good deal of data, go for a larger hard drive (at least 250gb). You don't really seem to need an SSD at all, so a mechanical drive is ok. Also, if you get the $1199 ($1099 with edu discount), upgrade the RAM to 4gb for now, but buy it from because it is good quality, comes with a lifetime warranty, and its $35 or more cheaper than buying direct from Apple. The only downside is that you have to read the manual and put it in yourself, which would require a Philips head screwdriver and about 15-20 minutes of time, as well as a safe place to store the memory that came with it.
  12. Mac N Tosh macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2009
    Get the most memory you can afford ..Sure will help
  13. robindahlia789 macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2008
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'd echo almost all of the other posters in recommending that the lower end 13" MBP ill probably best meet your needs and in suggesting that you make certain that you have plenty of memory, as images eat memory.

    Cheers and good luck
  15. jasony0423 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2009
    Alright, it looks like I'll get the 13" MBP then. Would installing memory on my own void the Apple warranty? Nevermind, I'm sure I can search google and figure that much out on my own.
    The only other question I have pertains to where I should get it. There's an Apple store here in Columbus, but I've heard that it's staffed by holier than thou types, and, well... I don't like people like that. Should I get it at the store, anyway, or is online a better option?
  16. jasony0423 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2009
    Just wanted to post that I'm back. I bought the 15" Macbook Pro. I went to Apple and tried the 13, 15 and 17" out, and the 15" just seemed like the best fit for me.
    So far I love it. :)
  17. tayshon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2009
    Philly, PA
  18. chan2004 macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2007
    India, currently Zurich,Switzerland
    welcome to the the dark side
  19. Freewayjim macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2008
    Metro Atlanta
    To OP, good choice on the 15", you'll love it!

Share This Page