College Computer Usage

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by eyeluvmyimac, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. eyeluvmyimac macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2002
    I was just curious if any of you are currently in college, have recently graduated, or are soon attending, what kind of computers you are using?

    I've been debating between several ideas myself--

    1) Get a new 12" PB and use it along side my 15" Flatscreen iMac 800mhz

    2) Get a 17" PB and only use it

    3) Wait for the 15" PB to upgrade and get it and either use it solo or with my iMac

    Not sure what is best. I guess the biggest question I have is whether or not to depend on my laptop most or my iMac most ....


    PS - BTW I'm going to PSU. if anyone else is, give me a shout
  2. chibianh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2001
    hey, i'm a sophomore in college and all I have is my Tibook. That's all I use, whether it be in my dorm room or anywhere else. I think you should get a 15" or a 12" pb and just use that. You won't have time to sync information all the time if u go with the imac/pb combo.
  3. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    Why would you need 2 computers? Use a laptop, sell the iMac and donate the money you've saved to charity.
  4. eyeluvmyimac thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2002
    thanks for your input guys, but i have a followup question.

    if you think a laptop is teh answer, do you think the 12" PB is too portable/small? should I wait for the 15" to upgrade or go with the 12"?
  5. idkew macrumors 68020


    Sep 26, 2001
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    it matters what you use it for. what will you use it for?
  6. eyeluvmyimac thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2002
    ill obviously use it in class for all my notes, papers, projects, net, chatting, etc...but I'll also be using it for movie editing and DVD burning and the like which I currently do on my iMac. (especially after the new versions of imovie and idvd are released =) 1 week)
  7. idkew macrumors 68020


    Sep 26, 2001
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    then the 12" will be fine. more than powerful enough. 15" would be nice if you don't mind waiting. 17" is too much for your uses.

    go with the 12" (or 15") and donate the iMac to your old high school. they will love it and get a lot of use out of it.
  8. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    How about

    You sell your iMac, wait for the 15" PB to be upgraded, and get that. Max it out with RAM and stuff too.
  9. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    or how about he waits until the pb 15" is ugraded and then he sells the imac :D

    just a thought
  10. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    I'm not going to say what you will or won't do.. you would be the only one to know that. HOWEVER.. I will tell you that I literally make a living buying and selling notebooks that people buy for themselves or their kids to take to school thinking they will use them in class. Unless you need the money gained by selling the desktop machine in order to purchase the notebook, I would SERIOUSLY recommend you keep both for a semester and see how much you really use the notebook.
  11. orthodoc macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2002
    I would consider getting the 12 inch PB and keeping your iMac for a couple of reasons.
    1) the 12 inch PB is very portable, yet powerful
    2) a 12 inch screen may get a little cramped for video editing, or even surfing; so you would have your imac for these tasks, or for when you feel like using a full size keyboard, etc.

    Otherwise, I would get the 15 inch PB. I use my 15 inch PB almost exclusively. I use it at work and at home; however, I don't have to carry it all over a college campus, so the extra weight (vs. the 12 inch) is not an issue for me.

    Hope this helps.
  12. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    I'm a lecturer in Music tech, I use a Ti PB (400Mhz, 512Mb ram, 10gig HD) and nothing else, over the summer I edited a video in final cut, composed, recorded and mixed music to 5.1 surround in Logic 5 and ProTools, authoured and burned a DVD in Studio Pro (external burner...) and I only needed one machine.

    Bottom line: any new Mac will do all this and more, I wouldn't give up the Ti for it's portability and capability, I recorded a sax in college in one morning and a guitar in a friends house at midday, it's the traveling life for me.

    The 17" PB is a portable A/V workstation, if the dual processor rumours are true, then Avid better watch out.

    Go with the Ti, it's a bit more pricey to run but worth it.
  13. RBMaraman macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2002
    Prospect, KY
    I'm a college sophomore majoring in Mass Communication with emphasis on TV and Film production. I go to a small, private university, and my 12" iBook is perfect for what I use it for. My professor is requiring us to edit using the school's editing lab (which is fine by me. The more time I get to spend with a dual 1.25 PM and dual 23" Cinema displays, the better), so I use iMovie to have fun.

    Here's my advice to you. Get an iBook or the 12" PowerBook. They are both very portable, and very capable of performing the tasks you describe you will be using it for.

    When I graduate in 2.5 years, I'm going to buy whatever is the top of the line PowerBook at that time. I figured, why spend $3000 on an editing computer when it's going to be out of date by the time I get out and get a job. Plus, most Universities have great editing equipment on hand.
  14. jkojima macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    In the past 3 months I have used 2 Macs at school: first a 12" iBook, and then an 867mhz 15.2" PowerBook. The 12" iBook, from a usability standpoint, is very similar to the 12" PowerBook so I'll give you my thoughts:

    The 12" iBook was extremely portable. It was so tiny that in a standard-sized Targus bag I could fit the computer, the power adapter, a Canon G2 digital camera, and a mouse all in the main compartment. It was great for taking notes in class because of the small size. BUT, the damn ports on the side of the unit meant that if you had it plugged in to AC power, and/or used an external mouse, the cables would get in the way of any books/ papers/ etc. you'd have sitting on your desk beside you. This was more of an annoyance than you may think. The 12" screen started to feel a little too small to be comfortable after extended periods of use too, and that made working more tiring than it should have been.

    The 15.2" PowerBook is considerably less portable because of its awkward dimensions. That is to say, though the unit is only marginally heavier than the 12" iBook, in that same compartment I mentioned I can now only comfortably fit the computer, and the power box has to ride in another compartment (I don't even carry the camera or mouse anymore), making the bag bulkier. That's a small price to pay though, because the 15.2" screen is so much more of a joy to use than the 12" one. And at least for now the ports are all along the back which makes the unit much more textbook-friendly.

    The 17" PowerBook looks to be brutal in terms of portability. Have you seen the launch commercial with "Mini Me" holding it on his lap? Even if you're more than 3 feet tall, you don't want to try to balance that thing on your lap in a crowded lecture theatre. I have the feeling you'd leave it on your desk more often than not, which negates the purpose of a laptop. Further, the massive footprint and side-located ports would be a nightmare to use on a dorm-sized desk if you need to have any books or paper documents with you.

    My suggestion? Get the mid-sized PowerBook. It is (or soon will be) as powerful and feature-laden as the 17", but without the extra bulk. Go for the 12" if portability is your biggest concern, especially if you decide to use your iMac.
    The 12" would, in that case, be more like a satellite to the iMac. I personally think that because the PowerBooks are powerful enough to stand on their own, they really should, which is why the 15.2" has the best balance of power, screen real-estate, and portability for a student. A 1ghz or faster PowerBook these days is fast enough to be used on its own with no desktop support.
  15. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    get either a 15" TiPB (when steve decides that it needs an upgrade) or get the 17" AlPB if you really need one right now. You won't regret it. :D
  16. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030


    Jun 25, 2001
    Moneyapolis, Minnesota
    a lot of people find having a laptop extremely not useful for taking anywhere...most laptops around here just sit on desks in the dorms with a chain lock attached to them...the ones that aren't locked are stolen.

    everyone once in a great while it would be nice to take a laptop to class to take notes...but only rarely.

    i find my powermac sitting at my desk to be the best place for a computer
  17. MacFan25 macrumors 68000


    Jan 5, 2003
    If I were you, I would get either the 12" or 15" Powerbook. The 15" would be nice. It would be a nice-sized screen for movie editing and the internet. But, I think that I would probalby go for the 12". It would be very portable.

    Just my 2 cents.:D
  18. possible switch macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2003
    I'm currently a college sophomore using a Dell Inspiron notebook. I bought a notebook thinking I'd take it places, but in reality, it has left my desk only to go home on breaks. I have never seen a student here use a laptop in class to take notes either. I'd recommend going the old paper/pencil route in regard to note taking. A computer won't give you any sort of advantage in my opinion. I actually wish I hadn't bought the laptop, and I'm hoping and praying that Apple will update the iMacs in the next week or so.
  19. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    Unfortunately I have to agree with mnkeybsness with the fact that laptops unfortunately are chained to dorm desks and such. I haven't seen many student's use laptops to take notes...although since I'm on my way out, the trend may be changing. I am the only one using a computer in class, and usually its not for taking notes, but finishing homework for another class. :( But yeah...if you want to take notes in class i must recommend the 12"'s a lot smaller.

    And depending on how many books you want to carry with you all day, you'll enjoy the 12" pb. You'll also enjoy the portablity it provides.

    Personally, I'm being a hypocrite by not taking my own advice by getting a 17" powerbook, but then again, I've been used to heavy backpacks: 6-7 lb PC laptop + 4-5 books + accessories = bad back. And this is my last semester in college, and I don't have a good desktop, so the 17" will do it all for me.

    Whatever you choose make sure you enjoy your purchase and don't regret it. ;)
  20. jkojima macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    It depends on the area of study. I'm a business student, and everybody uses their laptops in class. Especially in the first year or two, and especially if you have internet access at your desk so you can chat it up via IM. Laptops are especially wonderful for any sort of group work because you can go anywhere and work collaboratively.

    In contrast, I pulled out my PowerBook in a crowded history lecture once and instantly felt like I became some sort of horrible social pariah for the looks I was getting. So the culture of your program will largely define whether you'll use it in class or not.

    The best part of a laptop vs. desktop is even if you don't move it from your desk the entire year, when it comes time to move or head home for a holiday, you can just throw the laptop into a bag and sling it over your shoulder. If you like the ergonomics of a desktop, you can always get an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

    My 2 cents.
  21. thekaiser macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Huntington Beach, CA

    What is your intended major? This could be a fairly important factor in getting a laptop at all. I am a junior electrical engineering and mathematics major, and I have a laptop. It has not left my desk in three years! This is why: 1)Try keeping up with math symbols and electrical circuits with a laptop...pencil and paper is king here, 2)there is a lot of software and hardware that just has to be used in the labs...period, 3)I tend to write few papers and work in groups at the library, and using a laptop would rarely if ever be helpful. These are just my opinions and of course what is good for me may not be for you. I am dumping my laptop as soon as the imac is updated. I cannot wait. However, whatever you choose you will most likely not be let down. Good luck.
  22. mattevil macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2002
    im a freshman with a 1ghz dp power mac with 1024mb of ram
  23. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    I'm a 1st year med student and im using a 667 g4 powerbook with 512MB RAM. It suits me fine.The only problem is that i dont actually get written work of any kind so im just using it for photo editing,browsing playing games etc.
  24. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    I'm a 1st year med student and im using a 667 g4 powerbook with 512MB RAM. It suits me fine.The only problem is that i dont actually get written work of any kind so im just using it for photo editing,browsing playing games etc.Therefore i would agree in saying that your requirements depend on the course you are doing
  25. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand

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