Gezz am lost with what to get my daughter for college

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by mrskullfreak, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. mrskullfreak macrumors 6502a

    mrskullfreak

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    Jan 25, 2012
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    michigan north detroit
    #1
    I have no clue what I should get her for college?
    Laptop, chrome book, Microsoft tablet?
     
  2. Aika macrumors regular

    Aika

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    #2
    That depends on how much you have to spend and what she will need it for.

    You can't go wrong with a 11" Macbook Air but a Chromebook may be all she needs.
     
  3. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oregon
    #3
    Ask her. And she should check with her college for what they recommend.
     
  4. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    Oct 31, 2009
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    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #4
    A normal laptop would be best. The most important program any college student needs is a word processor, that and a web browser that can handle flash, javascript, PDF, and just general web standards.
     
  5. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2012
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    U.S.
    #5

    This, but I couldn't imagine EVER doing any real research and work on anything less then a 13" screen.


    The classic MBP13 is a rock solid choice for a college student. Built like a brick, simple to repair compared to the other MAC13's
     
  6. mrskullfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mrskullfreak

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    Jan 25, 2012
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    michigan north detroit
    #6
    Am looking to stay around 500 if possible.
    Also she thinks she will need dvd/cd drive but I really don't think she will.
     
  7. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #7
    A Chrome Book or a Tablet (from any manufacturer) are more secondary devices, or accessory items.

    She will need a laptop and I would expect that you'll have to pay approximately $1,000 to get something worthwhile. I welcome anyone to prove me wrong on this, but a laptop for $500 is not going to get you very far (unless you go for a used item which is not a bad approach by any means).
     
  8. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #8
    I needed a CD/DVD drive for portfolio work my first year at college, so she might need it, yes.

    Lenovo is having a sale right now. The best bang for your buck. ThinkPads have ALWAYS been good. I have a few from the 90's that still work, hahaha. There are a few in the range you want.

    http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/
     
  9. Aika macrumors regular

    Aika

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    #9
    You'd be surprised how necessary a disc drive can be in academia.

    If that's your budget I would get a used 13" MacBook from a few years ago.
     
  10. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Colorado
    #10
    As others have said, a laptop is the best way to go.
     
  11. blackhand1001, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013

    blackhand1001 macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #11
    I would recommend the air over the mbp13 inch. The ssd makes it so much more responsive. Overall though, for college there are much cheaper alternatives that will work just as well though. You can do pretty good with a new laptop in the 500 dollar range. Even the intel i3's are super fast, faster for the most part than the ULV i5's and i7's in the macbook air etc. not that those are slow by any means. The only chips today that I would consider anywhere close to slow would be older atoms, and now even bay trail is pretty quick.
     
  12. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oregon
    #12
    Sorry. bit nothing for $500 will last 4 years. I teach and see many student notebook computers. The cheap ones are basically broken and falling apart after a year or two. Best to budget for a business quality computer.
     
  13. mrskullfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mrskullfreak

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    michigan north detroit
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #14
    I don't think that's a good idea. First off you shouldn't have to go that far back to get a 13" for $500 unless the seller is asking too much. The problem with used machines in general is lack of warranty combined with not knowing the condition of the components. If something fails and you are on a tight budget, repair can be problematic. DVD drives fail in the macbooks, because they use the trayless slot loading kind. Those are terrible. The HDD may be the original, and typically in a notebook I would suggest replacing such a thing after 3 or so years. The battery is likely to be past its mid life. I've personally experienced the swelling battery issue. You have to check every key to make sure they all work. It's both a case of the potential for electronics to fail and that you don't know how it was taken care of just by glancing at the machine and testing whether it turns on.
     
  15. Aika macrumors regular

    Aika

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    Apr 7, 2006
    #15
    My mum's old Macbook is still going strong. Getting a second hand laptop isn't ideal but given the choice between a second hand Macbook and a bottom of the range PC laptop I would take my chances with the former.
     
  16. Vegastouch macrumors 603

    Vegastouch

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    Las Vegas, NV
    #16
    I see no benefit a Chromebook brings for college.

    My Yoga 11s(11.6" screen id just fine) was $799 and i got it on 18 months no interest. I didnt need that long as it is almost paid off already after three months but that makes it easier to get a laptop that costs more that will perform better than a $500 one. Of course it didnt come with a CD/DVD drive.

    I agree those Lenovo's that are on sale are good units.
     
  17. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    U.S.
    #17
    What ? No.

    College = files. Books. Presentations. Office. PDF. Just for your 100-200 level classes. Depending on the major you might need special software

    You want the most expandable computer possible. MBA has expensive ssd. Upgrading it is expensive from apple or owc.

    Need to run windows? No problem for mbp. Upgrade ram if needed. Hdd has a ton of space. Optical drive for when ever it may be needed.


    This is coming from an 15R owner. Op the more I think about it the more I feel it is a waste of money to get anything but a 13classic mbp.
     
  18. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    #18
    11 -13" Macbook Air with Applecare.

    Cheap laptops are crap typically. Don't take the chance if you want to buy once.

    If you are okay with buying 3 or 4 times over 4 years as monitors die, hard drives fail, touchpads stop responding, and batteries discharge in 20 minutes, get a cheap PC with no extended warranty.

    It is entirely possible to function with a Chromebook or tablet, but that really depends on the workload and if the school has certain online portals or installed tools.

    OSX and Windows is the safer bet for those moments
     
  19. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
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    Other
    #19
    OP the question is this. How responsible is your daughter and does she look after her stuff.

    The amount of college / uni students computers I have to fix because for the most part they have been bumped, dropped, had a million tons of malware from torrenting all day long, passed around and used by housemates etc........

    Personally I would spend less than more. Unless they need specific hardware requirements the chances are the laptop will be running word, surfing the net, listening to music / movies and tahrs about it.

    For those tasks she doesn't heed the power a new mac laptop affords. A second hand model would suffice.

    It's alright spending $1200 on a laptop and $250 on apple care, but if the computer is dropped (by accident or in a drunken college stupar) I'm not sure Apple would cover user damage. Meaning in one moment of silliness your looking at 1450 down the drain.

    We all like to think young adults going to college will behave. But the reality can often not be the case as they get their first taste of freedom and away from home.

    Unless your daughter genuinely values and appreciates the $$$ spent on the laptop and is responsible enough to look after it and take the responsibility herself of replacing it themselves should the damage scenario play out! and you are confident in that! I would recommend setting a budget limit and buying a good value second hand model of a mac, or a mid price PC laptop.
     
  20. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #20
    The real question is what software does she need? If she is majoring in something such as art or engineering that needs special software? The computer will need to be tailored to that need. What is her major? I'm currently a student and truth be told, 80% or more of students don't need more than basic specs (i.e. 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD/SSD, any i processor from the last 3 years). Hell, even I don't need the specs in my MBA but because I bought it, I splurged on the RAM in case I ever entered more computer intensive activities in the future (which aren't related to college). Any psych/business/English/history/etc. major isn't going to need a powerhouse of a laptop.
     
  21. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    #21
    A laptop would be a godsend. $500 should get you a solid i3/i5 machine. Even $300 would get you an adequate machine for college use. Word, web browsing, DVD's etc. Make sure she has MS Office. You can get it for $79 with a .edu email address. Word processing on a tablet is a joke especially iPads. And you can forget making presentations or anything with actual depth. Tablets are good supplements but not replacements. A chromebook is nice on an extreme budget but chances are she'll need Windows software at some point.
     
  22. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #22
    This is probably true for ANY major. Student assignments are always lighter weight than the "Real World". I teach (part time) Electrical Engineering and work full time as an Electrical Engineer. I've got a 2 year old 15" MBP with a high res display (primarily for my photography hobby!). It's got 8GB of RAM where I never go above 5GB in use. I'm using about 1/3 of the 1TB HDD. For the class I give demos and need the computer to be fast (it is) running the CAD software that they will be using. I run a Windows VM in Parallels. I also do a screen capture at the same time (iShowU Pro). The system hardly breaks a sweat. It only gets taxed when I run FinalCutPro, which students don't need. Even on my "day job" it loafs except when I do simulations.

    The schools usually have computers for really demanding use for courses that need it. This is why the school needs to be contacted on what to buy.

    My kids grew up with computers in the house (they are in their upper 30's now). I sent my son to school (in the mid 1990's) with a computer that was cobbled together from spare parts. He was in the computer science program and grumbled that the other students had brand new computers their parents bought them for college. But that computer did all he needed and he even got a student job in the school's IT department helping other students. He had graduated before he bought another computer. All of my kids got just hand-me-downs. They all turned out fine. The only thing that is important is the computer quality -- a breakdown can end up hurting grades. See what computers can be quickly serviced at the school.
     
  23. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #23
    The cheapest laptop I would go for is a 1600x900 ThinkPad L

    The Edge lineup is very weak in the US.
     
  24. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

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