Buying MacBook Pro- Need some advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JoeUnited, May 22, 2010.

  1. JoeUnited macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    #1
    Hi all, I plan on buying a new MacBook Pro within the next week or two. I've never had an Apple computer before, so this is a whole new world compared to PC and Windows. I've had a Dell Inspiron for over 4 years now and it was OK, but I can't use it anymore.

    I have tons of questions, hopefully you all can help :)

    -I'm graduating from HS this year and have committed to a college already. I've heard there's a discount for graduating seniors- is this by presenting your acceptance letter? And are there any other deals/rebates I should know about, like free printers, discount on a protection plan, etc.?

    -I'm still going to be using MS office, because I'll need to print things out at school on PC's and at home from a desktop PC (unless I buy a printer). First, I know openoffice.org let's you convert documents to Word format, but what about doing a presentation on Powerpoint vs. Mac's 'powerpoint version'? Would I need this program?: http://store.apple.com/us/product/TQ744LL/A/Office-2008-for-Mac-Home-Student-Microsoft - and why does it have such bad reviews??

    -And second, if I do buy an Apple printer, how expensive do the cartridges run generally? I'll mostly be printing papers and research stuff, maybe some pictures here and there, but nothing big.

    I think that's pretty much it; I'll post up some more questions if I think of any. Anything else you think I'll need to know, feel free to share. Thanks!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    As far as I know, yes, if you have been accepted to a college/university, you are eligible for edu discount. Back To School promo is kicking off soon which means you get a free iPod Touch and I think printer promo is starting too. In UK Higher Education students get automatically 3 years of warranty for no charge

    iWork can save documents in Windows format so you can then use them in Office too. I suggest you trying the trials of both, iWork and Office for Mac.

    99% of printers work on Macs as well
     
  3. kmaute macrumors 6502

    kmaute

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    A couple of things... PDFs are your friend. You can ensure consistency between your professors and other students. iWork, Open Office, M$ Office - whatever. I'd refrain from buying until you get there, depending on your institution - you may be able to get some sweetheart deals on software once you are a student.

    Do some calculations on your expenses with the printer. You might get a free one with your mac but if you were to craigslist that and simply buy prints as you need them - you would need an awful lot of prints before you'd break even. Also, your department might offer free printing to students or you might be able to get by without printing - I prefer to have students send a PDF as it is much easier to manage. Later on, if you find yourself reading a lot of journal articles - a simple b&w laser can be an affordable option to build your journal library. I prefer Papers (link in sig) as an alternative to paper however.

    Make sure you have a reliable hard drive for time machine or superduper, some mechanism for backups is essential. Good luck in your studies.
     
  4. Christina1971 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #4
    Not sure about graduating senior discount. Do you have an Apple store near you? They can answer that one.

    Even though the iWork suite can open Microsoft documents and save in Microsoft formats, I would recommend just getting Microsoft Office for the Mac. I like the iWork suite (I use it frequently) and I know OpenOffice has its adherents, but if you just want to get things done with minimum of fuss and worry over whether your professors and/or classmates will be able to open the documents you create, or whether you'll be able to open theirs, just get MS Office and forget about it. It's just the easiest way to avoid worrying about cross-platform compatability, especially since you're new to Macs.

    With that said, a new version of Microsoft Office for the Mac is said to be coming late this year, in time for the holiday season. It *may* be worth using OpenOffice for just a few months and waiting until the reviews of the new program come in. Because, as you can see, the 2008 version of MS Office isn't well-liked.

    Also, a printer is a printer is a printer. There are printers for sale in the Apple store, but they aren't only made to work with Apple computers.
     
  5. willieva macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #5
    If you still have access to the dell laptop and it has office installed on it, then you could convert it to a virtual machine and keep on using it on a mac. Then you wouldn't have to worry about any strangeness taking files from you mac to the pc's at school. Plus it would be cheaper than buying all new software.

    I know vmware has a converter program to turn your old computer into a virtual machine. Parallels must too.
     
  6. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #6
    with the whole iwork vs office debate I would go with iwork. I had liked office 07 before switching to mac and then went to 08 on mac and hated it. The mac version is laid out very poorly imo. I downloaded the iwork trial and after I got used to it I loved it. It's also cheaper (only $41 if you buy it along with your computer vs $149) As for compatibility the only issues I've had was with a font here or there.
     

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