Going to college soon... what mac should i get?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Macvillain, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. Macvillain macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    New member, first time poster, long time reader, and big fan of macrumors. First off let me say that i am sorry if there is another thread just like this already. Well my problem is that i am going to college, but i am going to a community college and staying home for two years to save some money. As you can see from my signature i am in great need of a new computer. At first i was thinking of getting a Macbook Pro from the get go to last me through all of college. but recently ive been thinking since i am staying home for a while that i should get an iMac now or in the summer and buy a Macbook or Macbook Pro when i get accepted to the program i am majoring in at a university. I figure by that time Nehelam and the case redesign for the laptops will be done and most of the bugs will be worked out. Money is not really an issue because i should get some decent money for my graduation and i am a workaholic and save most of my money. Any suggestions or advice on what to buy and when would be greatly appreciated. I figure you can never have too many macs anyway:D
     
  2. Say What?? macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #2
    I am going to college also and am planning on buying a macbook when nehalam comes out. I too was thinking about a macbook pro. macbook is just more realistic for what i need
     
  3. coolant113 macrumors 6502

    coolant113

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    it depends on how much money you have to spend and if u think you will be able to afford a mac when you get accepted in to your other college or whatever it is.. a laptop is probally your best bet because you can take it to class and take notes on it if you want to and you wont have to wait to go home to do stuff on the computer.. A macbook should be good... if you are looking to save some money get a certified refurbished apple from the apple store online.. good luck..:apple::apple:
     
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #4
    Get a Macbook, the portability is awesome, and you don't need a Macbook Air. Chances are, even if you have an iMac, you are going to find yourself wanting portability, obviously the Macbook Pro would solve both problems, but it's more expensive and I agree, two years later your Macbook will be fine and you can upgrade.

    Also, WHATEVER YOU GET is going to be a step up, not only Windows to OSX but also in general specs.
     
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #5
    Well having fairly recently been to college I will say this first. Do not get a laptop! Unless of course you have other uses.

    They are useless for taking notes in class unless the professor uses a strict outline format. Try taking notes on a computer when a professor is jumping around on a topic and drawing diagrams. Secondly, they are more weight to carry around. When you have multiple classes requireing giant and heavy textbooks space in your satchel or backpack is precious. You do not want to be trying to stuff a laptop in your bag when you have five courses where you need to bring binders and books, nor make 15 to 20 minute trips to the parking lot to switch out books. Another consideration you do not want it as a crutch for classwork. If you want to excel in class and know your material visit the library and read books.

    Honestly when I went to college I never touched my iBook unless I knew I was having a light workload day. At which time I would bring my iBook to watch a movie and that is it. For any course related work and general computer use I used my Powermac.

    I whole heartidely recommend a Desktop Mac. If you want to save some money and do not need tons of storage nor a dedicated video card get a Mini otherwise get an iMac. The money you can save with the mini can go towards partying. Just so you know none of my friends used laptops in class nor had much use for them outside of class.

    In my opinion I would say if you want to do well. If you want to learn, have less distractions and excel in your courses do the following. Do work with Pen and paper (only use the computer for your final draft), use the library and textbooks and do not use the internet for class work unless it is required. It took me a long time to figure this out but I went from a 2.3 GPA to a 4.0 every single semester.

    /end rant
     
  6. JoshLV macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #6
    I'm going to Uni in August also. I chose a MBP 15" Matte 2.4GHz and I love it. I have been using it for high school and it has been great. It stays cool, has a long lasting battery, and can do whatever I need it to do. My undergrad study is Pre-Veterinary Medicine and I'll be going into Veterinary school afterwards and I'm confident that this will do everything that I need it to do. I definitely recommend it. :apple:
     
  7. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000

    Hawkeye411

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Canada EH!!!
    #7
    I'm not sure why students bring their laptops to class. When I walk around while I'm teaching, I look at what students are working on and it seems that most students are surfing the web or playing games. It's seems that a small number of the students are using their computers to take notes. Students ...... correct me if I'm wrong.

    If I were a student today, I would probably go with the MBP if I could afford it. And with the MB if I wanted to save a few bucks.

    Cheers.
     
  8. JoshLV macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #8
    Agreed on the note taking. I prefer diagrams and writing with a pencil/pen. But having a MBP to take my work with me and being able to work on it anywhere is a huge help.
     
  9. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #9
    students do it for the same reasons people in office environments bring sudoko puzzles and crosswords and palm pilots and laptops to office meetings and lectures and faculty presentations.

    people like to check mail, check the news, amuse themselves, and follow up on things covered by whoever's speaking in front of the room. it's not a student thing, it's just what a lot of people will do when given the opportunity in such situations.

    personally, i rarely brought my laptop to class, but some people did. it depends on the situation. there are times when what's being covered is too dull to focus one's full attention on, yet too important to be physically absent from. this is a common scenario in the workplace, the lecture hall, and other forums of life.

    on topic: to the op, i'd rec a macbook if you absolutely have to get an apple laptop. i wouldn't rec a desktop for college, as there are too many times when it's just handy to be able to bring your laptop with you, even if you're simply moving from your desk to your bed.
     
  10. Crossbone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #10
    I believe the MacBook Pro is the best laptop period.

    It has it all.
     
  11. fuzzielitlpanda macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #11
    dead on. OP do what this person says. even though i have a laptop, i don't use it to take notes in class because most of the time, i have to illustrate a diagram or picture. it's much faster to do it the old fashion way than to try to do it on the computer.
     
  12. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #12
    I started off college with a fully-loaded Powerbook G4. After sophomore year, I got a Macbook. I found that I really preferred the smaller package since I take my laptop everywhere I go. When in my dorm, I hook it up to a 20" LCD to get the benefit of the desktop computing experience. I think that unless you need the computing power of a Mac Pro, it makes much more sense to get a Macbook over the Macbook Pro and use the money you save to upgrade the RAM and hard drive.
     
  13. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #13
    I have to completely disagree with the "Dont get a laptop" deal. What if you want to go home on break? Would you trust leaving your desktop in a dorm room? I sure wouldnt.

    Also for class depends what you are going for. I had to have a laptop in my classes because they were all comp sci and the penn state computers were WAAAY too slow so we all brought our own. Also a lot of people, myself included type a lot faster then I write. I would only use my laptop in my comp sci classes but it was nice to have in between classes to sit and do homework.
     
  14. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    toronto
    #14
    i second teh macbook, powerful enough for most students and sooooo easy to carry everywhere, and when you are in your dorm or at home, just hook it up toa big monitor tahst hwat i do,works like a charm i love it.. Also it's helped me a lot in between classes to keep up the work, i have a coupel of classe sthat are separated by two or three hours break, there is alot of work that you can do sitting at a uni lounge or student center in your comp, also facebook, flickr and MR to kill time if you have nothign else todo and just dont feel liek goignt o eat or something...
     
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #15
    I say get a macbook. I found having a laptop was great in the core classes. They seem to be classes that seem to have notes that flow really easily.

    Now in your major it can depend. For my major it was mostly useless but it was having math and science base which are a lot of diagrams and formulas.

    I did the committy college route and I will say the laptop was double great there. It let me take my notes else where with me. When I transfered it was nice to have a computer to take home with me. I did get a desktop my 2nd year at a 4 years unveristy and that became my primary computer. I hardly touch the laptop after that.
     
  16. kmac07 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    #16
    I'm going to get a macbook because I commute to school and spend about 40 mins on the bus each way, every day. I know I could get a lot of work done with a notebook in my lap, instead of a shaky pen and paper.

    This will be my first mac (and first laptop) purchase. I've seen ads for 'buy a mac get a free ipod' on campus at the beginning of the school year. Any ideas if this deal will be available again this year and possibly when? Last year's ad on the Apple Edu site says it started in June 2007.
     
  17. kmac07 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    #17
    Nevermind, just found another thread answering my question! :)
     
  18. ajmccoll macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    #18
    You're going to want to get something that will benefit you.

    With that being said, what are you majoring in?

    My personal experience with using a Macbook in school has been nothing but wonderful! I am a Mass Communications major (radio, television, newspaper, film, ect.) and unlike what others have been saying on this thread, I actually take notes on it! Of course my major doesn't involve drawing diagrams or pie charts, or anything like that, so it works for me. In fact, it helps a lot because if I'm learning about something and I want more information than what the teacher is supplying, I can just look it up on the internet.

    So, choose the best thing for you. :)
     
  19. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #19
    I completely agree with this! There has been so many times where the prof says something that interested me then hopped to the next subject so I do a google and bookmark the page. Problem solved :)
     
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #20
    what classes are these sheesh, i cant miss a second of lecture without risk of falling behind haha
     
  21. byocrysis macrumors regular

    byocrysis

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #21
    I am currently a Senior in college. When I first started I bought a 12" powerbook figuring that I would bring it to school with me. I soon realized that the binders and books I had to carry around everyday were more than enough weight and I hardly ever used the powerbook, as there are many computer labs on campus and they are hooked up to printers which your laptop is not. I have since replaced the powerbook with a 24" imac and I couldn't be happier. Do yourself a favor and go with a desktop mac rather than a notebook, you will not be sorry.
     
  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #22
    so true. in my 5 years at college, i have never needed my laptop.

    take his advice and get a desktop.

    if you bring a laptop you just worry about it
     
  23. Macvillain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #23
    I am majoring in Nursing, so i probably wont be doing anything graphically intensive. and thanks for all your help everyone.
     
  24. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #24
    Actually, you will be in classes where you will need to take notes, and I'd say nursing classes are more likely to include charts, illustrations, and other diagrams than, say, English or Communication. For that major I'd say a laptop is not necessary.

    That said, there are other reasons to have a laptop in college. Some dorms are very noisy and the only way to get work done is in the library. Or you might prefer just to have the flexibility of computing wherever you want. As another poster recommended, security can be an issue with leaving your computer in the dorms (though I'd bet many more laptops are stolen than desktops at most universities).
     
  25. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #25
    Personally, as a biology undergrad in the UK I find computers are far more a distraction than a useful tool. I have an iBook G4 (which I never use) and a Mac mini with associated 23" screen which I waste a great deal of time on.

    Advantage of a laptop:

    • You can chuck it out the window easily - with magsafe trailing power leads aren't a hindrance.

    Advantage of a desktop:

    • You can't actually take it to the library, if you ever managed to get out the door to do some work.

    The only thing I *need* a computer for is email, as all the reminders & registrations come by it and I could potentially use systems in the department for that.

    Get the worst laptop you can. Really awful. A 486 DX2 66 perhaps. And some books.

    More seriously I've never ever taken notes with a laptop, nor has anyone else in the same lecutres. In my lectures it would be impossible, too many diagrams and too much stuff in general. Also, the keyclicking would probably induce your theatre-mates to stab-stab you in the face.

    Most students buy their computer because they want to waste time, look cool(?), communicate, watch films, listen to music etc. Get the one you want. They can all do the work things.

    The only thing that irritates me about my setup is carting my 23" screen (it has a huge stand) home at the end of each term. As such my ideal system would be a 17" MBP with the high-res screen. I like tweaking photos and use aperture a fair bit so 1920x1200 is really the min.
     

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