College Computer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dani23, May 21, 2009.

  1. Dani23 macrumors newbie


    May 21, 2009
    Hi everyone . . .

    I'm going to college this fall and, being a journalism and photography major, need to purchase a Mac. I'm trying to decide whether to get an iMac or laptop, and which to buy. Any suggestions?

  2. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    If you are photographer I think you would benefit from portability. I would get a MacBook. You will love it. :)
  3. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    Personally I would get a notebook over a desktop any day. But that is just personal choice. I travel a bit and so need to take it with me and also like using it in bed lol:)
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Photoshop and Lightroom are available for Windows too. If you don't have any specialised Mac software to buy, do you really need to spend the extra on a more expensive machine?

    The latest Microsoft advert shows a girl paying $972 for a Dell machine which is equal in performance to a model Apple sells for $1774.

    Anyway, if you HAVE to buy a Mac go for the 2.0GHz MacBook (plastic or aluminium) or the 2.4GHz MacBook Pro (if you really need the extra screen space). Every single one of Apple's other notebooks is decidedly worse value for money.
  5. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    I'd go for a portable. I had a PowerBook G4 all throughout college. You will really enjoy being able to study/work wherever you want, instead of just in your dorm or your apartment. Mobility is key while in school.

    Personally, I would get a MacBook Pro because of the larger screen. I just can't work effectively on a 13" screen. If you're fine with that, then the MacBook is a great computer. If you plan on doing photo editing you would probably benefit from the larger display.
  6. eyefoniac macrumors 6502


    Nov 21, 2008
    Everywhere and nowhere
    Well, if you could go without the portability of a laptop, I would definitely say go with the iMac. It is a lot more "bang for your buck". You would be able to use more power, especially for photo editing and such with the iMac.
  7. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I always liked having a laptop in college. Get the MB, either 2.0 or 2.4 and buy an external monitor. 22" can be had for 200. Perfect to use on the road and at home.
  8. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    If you can make sure that you take advantage of the back to school offer if you go for a mac:)
  9. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    Kind of off topic but one reason i prefer Mac to windows PC's is the trackpad.

    I find that Apple have written very good drivers for their trackpads and they are very accurate and easy to use. Windows trackpads seem to be less accurate and make more mistakes (like scrolling when i don't want it to and not scrolling when i do).

    I have an older MacBook Pro and i really like it. I really liked my Macbook too (white one). I personally won't buy a laptop that isn't apple. I have no qualms about standard pc's for desktops though. This isn't an OSX/Windows argument. I just prefer Apple laptops.

    Get a base MBP if you can afford it (refurb if necessary) or get a MB. You'll be happy with either.
  10. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
    I'd differ here a bit. Being involved in photography myself.. I can attest to the fact that a 13.3" screen is literally going to make you cry if you'll be working on LR or Ps for long long hours!

    So get atleast a 15" MBP or a 20"/24" iMac! The portability is a big minus but big screen+price is a big big plus. If price is not that much an issue, go for the 15" MBP without pondering anymore!
  11. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    You can always get an external monitor that way you have the best of both worlds if you chose a notebook:)
  12. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Just get a macbook, and with the money you save, get a nice 24" monitor for working at home. That's what I did. :D
  13. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    That is possibly the best thing to do :)
  14. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2009
    It depends on what you're gonna do. You'll probably save some hundreds of $ if you get an iMac, with better specs.

    He wants a Mac. Not a PC. Stop trying to ruin other people's experiences. Not everyone wants to waste time with Windows. Get over it.
  15. yayitsezekiel macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    amen :p
  16. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    In college, getting a laptop over a desktop is almost a no-brainer. Between study groups, working in the library, taking it to class, late nights at Denny's - the portability is just about too much to overlook.
  17. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    If people come here looking for advice, we can do our best to give the best advice that we can. As a student, I'm sure that they would appreciate advice which helps them to save money for other things.

    If you want to continue thinking that Apple's machines are the ultimate and cannot be surpassed, then I can't stop you from doing that. But if you're going to give advice to people, make sure you're properly informed first.

    Blanket and unfounded statements like "waste time with Windows" help no one.
  18. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    I understand your previous post as it relates to saving money... it's just interesting considering your signature. ;)
  19. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
    Buying an external monitor is an excellent idea.. heck it's literally a necessity if you go for a notebook! But be sure NOT to waste on some itty-bitty one. Rather save up and get a nice LED backlit screen! LED backlit is basically a boon for photo-editors. Otherwise correcting things like gamma might restrict you to the middle 75% of the screen only!
  20. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2009
    Best advice? Can you call recommending Windows an advice? It's obviously good to save money, but it's always good to enjoy using your computer, and avoiding the many problems which can be avoided by using a Mac. If you want to get the cheapest thing you can buy, fine, but no money will be enough to make you feel better when you'll encounter those problems.

    I am properly informed. After using Windows since I was kid, I realized it was indeed a waste of time. You don't have to be a genius to realize that.
  21. bigdaddyp macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2008
    I would get a notebook.

    As a college student I would go with a notebook. Personally I would go with a alminum macbook over a mbp and use the savings to buy a 24" screen and a external hard drive like a newertech ministack or owc mercury elite. Each one of these can take up to 1.5 tb of data and act as a usb/firewire hub.
    The only question I would have is does aperature and/or the photo software that you would be using make extensive use of the computers video card? If so then maybe you do need a imac/mbp.
  22. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Well I've been lucky enough to have the money to afford the equipment in my signature but I also know what it's like to be a student who needs to keep money for other things. I'm confident that not everyone shares my interest in technology, and they probably want to avoid spending money on their computer where possible.

    This is what I mean - people here dismiss Windows because of prior bad experiences and refuse to accept the possibility that it has improved. Hell, I too might have said the same as you until a year or two ago when I started using Windows more regularly again.

    I 'switched' in 2005 and at that time Windows was terrible. There were so many viruses and issues and the OS was not stable at all. But since then they have made massive improvements to security and reliability. I've been using both Windows Vista SP2 and Windows 7 and they are now much more optimised. I've not had a single program crash whatsoever on 7, something which Leopard cannot claim.

    I think with 7 Microsoft is definitely ahead again and the current release of Vista is only marginally behind Leopard. If you could directly compare two machines running the different OSs where price was also equal then I'd definitely be recommending the MacBook, primarily because the build quality is so good. But as it stands right now Apple are selling laptops which are massively overpriced, underfeatured (where's my eSATA, FireWire or Blu Ray?) and outdated. People should not be paying $1300 for a machine with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo and integrated graphics, especially when the screen and battery are so poor.
  23. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2009
    You see, who said that I don't use Windows anymore? It's not about some bad experience, it's about regular bad experiences. I keep trying new versions of Windows, and still, from Xp, I haven't really seen any improvement. Saying that Vista is an improvement would be stupid. Windows 7 looks better, but it's still Vista. A little bit faster, but still Vista. I cannot say anything concrete before the final version.

    Marginally? I'd say that Vista is faaaaar away from being close to Leopard. Windows 7 is just faaar away though.

    I don't consider Apple products from being overpriced. I think that the screen and the battery is quite good. I don't see nothing wrong with them. But the main reason is OS X. I think it's fully right to pay more for something that good. And, unlike PCs, it will last more and give you less problems. If it were for me, I'd rather pay that 800$ more and get a longer-lasting, trouble-free computer than a PC. Especially since even Macs with weaker hardware are better than PCs with much better hardware, again, because of the OS. It's just stupid, for someone who wants to do some real work, to waste time with other problems, slowing down the workflow.
  24. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    Instead of further derailing the thread,

    I would suggest a macbook. You really will appreciate the portability. Get a desktop when you leave college and you're not going to classes everyday.
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Computer systems are nothing more than tools, which the OS is a part. It's up to the OP to chose which is best, but eliminating/ignoring options isn't necessarily the wisest way to go about making an informed choice.

    I've had a love/hate relationship with any computer, Mac, PC, or even Unix systems. Nothing is perfect.

    For me, part of the financial aspect of it, has to include the software applications. It can be expensive to switch, as the software can easily out cost the hardware. It all depends on specifics, and each person has to make their own decisions. It's their money after all. :D :p

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