Buying for college- Should I wait, or indulge?

seenew

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 1, 2005
1,568
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Brooklyn
I've been waiting for these Intel Macs for a long time, being an Apple fan, ever since I heard about the switch, actually.
Anyway, I recently got my stock report for some Aflac shares I have saved for college, and it totals to around $2000. My parents are going to put some cash in with that, so perhaps I'll have about $2,500 for a new computer for college next fall.

My question is two parts: What should I buy? A laptop, or a desktop? I will be using it to edit high resolution photos, but nothing much above that. I only dabble in video, so that would just be a plus. So I know I probably don't need a powerhouse like the Powermac G5, but I am looking at the new Intel iMac.
I would love the portability of a laptop, but the price to power ratio is way higher than a desktop, and I never liked the short battery life of any laptop. I'm still open if you think they'll be coming out with cheaper laptops, though.

I am really eager to spend this money and get a new iMac. My question is, should I wait? Will Apple release any new desktops anytime soon?
And what all are the problems with application pprtability to Intel? Will my Photoshop, Flash, and other Adobe/Macromedia apps work?

Thanks for any advice!
 

milky23

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2005
161
0
I think you should wait, if only for Apple's free iPod deal in the summertime.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,081
287
Indianapolis
Wait, Apple has great deals for the summer. I got an extra $100 off of my iMac G5. The rebate center was in my state too. I got it back in two weeks. :cool:
 

seenew

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 1, 2005
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Brooklyn
But I want it sooo badly.
AGH!

I suppose I'll wait.
Graduation money from relatives and friends will come in handy for purchasing accessories as well.

Bah.
May is too far away!
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,081
287
Indianapolis
seenew said:
But I want it sooo badly.
AGH!

I suppose I'll wait.
Graduation money from relatives and friends will come in handy for purchasing accessories as well.

Bah.
May is too far away!
Wait for June. >.>
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
Im in the same boat as you. Personally Im going to wait and see what comes out in the Macbook Pro and iBook lines. If a nicely powered iBook or MacBook Pro with a small screen and good battery life comes out I'll get that. I mostly use photoshop, chat apps, Office, etc. I would like to have a desktop, however I really want to bring a computer to class. My class sizes will all be under 25 kids so there wont be much temptation to play games during class. Plus it'll give me something to kill downtime between classes on and working essays and what not outside of my house/dorm.
 

matperk

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2004
443
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I ordered a MacBook Pro for school next year. I do enough stuff on a computer to require the processing power, but I believe that for students, the best laptop is the iBook--way above everything else.
 

AliensAreFuzzy

macrumors 68000
May 30, 2004
1,561
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Madison, WI
matperk said:
I ordered a MacBook Pro for school next year. I do enough stuff on a computer to require the processing power, but I believe that for students, the best laptop is the iBook--way above everything else.
The only problem I see with that for him is that he wants to edit high-res images and the iBook is only 1024X768. Maybe if they release a higher res screen when they move the iBook to Intel, but not the current models.
 

adk

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2005
1,937
21
Stuck in the middle with you
I bought my powerbook for school about two weeks before the free ipod deal started. Haven't stopped kicking myself since. If I were you I'd wait until late june. I also highly recommend getting a laptop for school. I personally run a powerbook with at 20" dell display so I feel like I have the best of both worlds.... although it's pretty hellish to explain the concept of extended desktops to EVERYBODY who comes into my room.
 

xparaparafreakx

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,273
0
I feel like I am repeating myself all the time. Please wait for the iPod Back to School sale. I too want to get a MBP but this TiBook is good for everything I do, no slow downs. So wait for the sale and it also buys time for a Rev B MBP.

As for the adobe and mac studio programs, you have to wait til CS 3 and studio 2008 to come out.

As for a laptop or desktop, get both. A intel iMac and Macbook. I will be getting a MBP and MacMini connected to a video projector in my dorm. So I will have a TiBook, MBP and MacMini.
 

T-Stex

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2006
470
1
Pennsylvania
I'd suggest waiting, and then getting either a new iBook(or whatever they'll call them), or the MacBook Pro. Then, get a nice 19" LCD monitor to go along with it, and you'll have a great desktop replacement. They'll be fine for everything you're going to do, and you'll only need one computer. You really aren't going to need two computers in college, and you'll appreciate having all your stuff on one when you need it. Getting two would just be a waste of money.

Oh, but wait for the back to school sale.
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2004
2,106
90
I don't know how some of you think there will be a MBP Rev. 2 around the summer. NO WAY!! Apple does not update its professional lines nearly enough. Take a look at the previous powerbooks. they updated in october, but when was the last time before that? and the powermacs as well. Except for the last revision, they wanted from June 2004 to April 2005.

My bets are on another MBP rev around October 06
 

adk

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2005
1,937
21
Stuck in the middle with you
xparaparafreakx said:
As for a laptop or desktop, get both. A intel iMac and Macbook. I will be getting a MBP and MacMini connected to a video projector in my dorm. So I will have a TiBook, MBP and MacMini.

Not a great Idea for somebody who says he will have $2500. "It's simple! Buy $3200 worth of computers with your $2500!" Not even to mention the fact that that I fail to see why somebody would be able to fit two computers in half of a dorm room.
 

T-Stex

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2006
470
1
Pennsylvania
adk said:
Not a great Idea for somebody who says he will have $2500. "It's simple! Buy $3200 worth of computers with your $2500!" Not even to mention the fact that that I fail to see why somebody would be able to fit two computers in half of a dorm room.
Exactly. There's no point in having two computers at college. Especially in this situation, he'd be much better off getting a good laptop that will work as a desktop replacement, and a decent monitor if he'd like some extra screen space.
 

tartsquid

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2006
110
0
Reston, VA
Well personally I think the best option for the student who can afford it is an iMac and an iBook, but that's just me (and what I plan to be doing when I sell my TiBook to get an iBook). While laptops are nice and convenient, they still don't offer the same bang for the buck as desktops.

But I guess everyone has their own preference on this issue.
 

maxterpiece

macrumors 6502a
Mar 5, 2003
729
0
laptop, wait

if you're in college, odds are you are making a trip home at 2 or 3 times during school year, plus all of summer break. You are also not necessarily going to want to study exclusively in your dorm room, you're going to be meeting up with groups to study or do projects. I wouldn't even consider a desktop. It's a pain just to have to pack it up in the summer. Plus you are going to have limited desk space - you can just move the lappy off your desk.

It sounds like for your purposes processing power is nice, but screen real estate is going to be pretty important. I'd wait and see what happens with the iBook line. They may release a new iBook that offers higher resolution, and they are bound to release a replacement for the 12" powerbook. Portability in college is essential.

Apple is going to be releasing a lot of new computers in the next 7 or so months. There could be something really exciting and you're not gonna lose anything by waiting. For college iBooks are great. The cases are really durable, the battery life is great, and they are historically the best value in the apple product line. Be patient. You will be happy you were.
 

wPod

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2003
1,654
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Denver, CO
wait. apple always has good back to school deals during the summer. but when you do buy go for a laptop. freshman year i had a desktop PC, then over the summer i got an iBook. wasnt very powerfull, the 700mhz G3 but man, was the portability many many many times better than the power for the setting of college. take it to class, work on projects take it to star bucks (or the usually more popular indie-coffee shop!) if you like the desktop set up, then get an external monitor (cheap one, not an apple one, a PB and an apple monitor wouldnt fit into your budget) but yeah, in my opinion 15" is the best combo of portability and screen size. (i used to be an adamant 12" advocate, but the 15" is just tons better)
 

xparaparafreakx

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,273
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T-Stex said:
Exactly. There's no point in having two computers at college.
I would like to have only one computer but my TiBook is old with the modem not working anymore and the superdrive working on certain days. Im a type of person that likes to have a back up computer. For example in my house there are 2 powerbooks so if something goes wrong with mine, I can use the other one to do my HW. It seems like a spoiled little brat talking but I seen werid problems come up when people need their computers the most.

And yes, apple may not update their Powerbook line but I will take that risk that they will update it. I remember the powerbook like in 2002 updated in November den in MWSF, the AlBooks came out.
 

bigbossbmb

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2004
1,759
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Pasadena/Hollywood
T-Stex said:
Exactly. There's no point in having two computers at college. Especially in this situation
In this situation...yes, having two may be too much.

I've had my 2 macs for the last 1.5yrs, and as a film student its been a blessing. When I went home over Thanksgiving, I did a stop motion film in 720p30. Imported the stills and did all of my arranging in after effects and fcp on my powerbook. But there is no way I could've rendered each segment and edited without going insane if I didn't have my G5 back in Santa Cruz.

For most media students, it is quite beneficial to have two computers. But for most, one is fine.
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,734
158
bigbossbmb said:
In this situation...yes, having two may be too much.

I've had my 2 macs for the last 1.5yrs, and as a film student its been a blessing. When I went home over Thanksgiving, I did a stop motion film in 720p30. Imported the stills and did all of my arranging in after effects and fcp on my powerbook. But there is no way I could've rendered each segment and edited without going insane if I didn't have my G5 back in Santa Cruz.

For most media students, it is quite beneficial to have two computers. But for most, one is fine.
I'd probably have to agree. They said $2500, so they might be able to squeeze an iMac and consumer Mac Book in there, but not a lot of point to it.

I'd say they should wait until summer, and then get a MacBook Pro. Students often need portability, so the Mac Book Pro will give them that. Furthermore, the additional speed and performance of the Mac Book Pro (over a Mac Book for example) will give the machine more longevity.
 

bigbossbmb

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2004
1,759
0
Pasadena/Hollywood
powerbook911 said:
I'd probably have to agree. They said $2500, so they might be able to squeeze an iMac and consumer Mac Book in there, but not a lot of point to it.
very true, get the MacBook Pro this Aug/Sep and it should suit you nicely, especially with the merom expected this summer. I would definitely recommend the 15" or smaller (if/when they release one) for school. If they sell a 17", it is sort of a waste for students that want to take it to lectures and labs since it really doesn't fit on your lap or desk.

I chose the 12" just for the portability since i knew that 6-8 months down the road I was going to get a G5.

Maybe next winter or spring (07) you can think about using whatever leftover/saved cash to get a refurb Mac Pro or whatever. Then you'd have a really nice setup!
 

Timepass

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2005
1,051
0
I have both a desktop and a laptop and it very nice. Mind you my laptop is very old and it starting to show it age. For most people get a laptop with an extrnal monitor (and maybe hard drive) and you will be fine. If I only had to choose one I would go with just the laptop.
For me space is not as much of an issue as it is with incoming freshmen. Sadly I still live on campus but I have my own dorm room which is also larger than the average dorm room (extra 30+ sq ft). So the lost space to the desktop not a huge issue for me. but for people with a room make it comes into play loosing all that space. Plus I have to agree moving my computer from home in August and back in may is a role pain. My laptop goes home over xmas and spring break.
The other issue with 2 computer is keeping track of what is saved on what and trying to keep them both upto date with your school work. I would say it is a waste of money for a college student to buy both a new desktop and a new laptop. Later on after a first year or so you can deside if you need or want a desktop as well.
Start out with just buying a powerbook or Macbook Pro. Dont get an iMac. unless after a while of trying the desktop replacement does not work.

Things you need extra to make up for many of the weakness of laptops.
Extranall monitor
Extranal Hard drive.
Extranal Keyboard and mouse.
Extranal Speakers.
and you should be good and will not noticed any real draw backs to going only one.

hmm think I going to make a post in off topic of other items.... good list from there