Heading Off to University

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by blairbeckwith, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. blairbeckwith macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #1
    Hey guys.

    I've been a huge Mac "fan" for a long time, although I've never owned a Mac before. I have, however, had more then my fair share of iPod's and iPhones.

    Anyways, here's the straight facts:

    - As a graduation present, my parents are willing to put about $600 towards a laptop for me for school.
    - By my guess, I'll be able to save up about $1000 by the time school starts in September, and maybe more. My total budget is in the $1500-$2000 range.
    - I'm going to be taking computer science, so I won't need a lot of graphics power, although I would need to do simple photoshop work and stuff occasionally. Nothing heavy.
    - In a perfect world, I'd like to be able to run two 24-inch displays, which I currently have. They're 1920x1080. I'd need to be able to run at least one, but REALLY want to be able to run two.
    - I want to spend less then my budget if possible.

    With this in mind, what would you recommend? I'd love the Macbook Air, although I'm not sure if this has the graphics power to do what I need to do. I also wouldn't mind the 13-inch MBP, but I'm also not sure if it can run the two monitors. Then, the fifteen inch entry level would be great, but it seems really pricey. Is the i5 really worth the price for the kind of work I'll be doing (generally programming, word processing, very light photoshop, etc.)?

    Thanks so much everyone.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    13" should be fine, upgrading RAM to 8GB later on might be a wise thing to do. For running two ext display, you need an USB video adapter
     
  3. rdp5008 macrumors regular

    rdp5008

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    Agreed with the above. Go for the 13" and use the adapter for the dual monitors if you must.

    Save some money for other things you will want to have in college!
     
  4. mattnotis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #5
    Definitely pass on the air, especially if you want two external displays. You will need a mini displayport to dvi (or vga if that's what you use) adapter and a usb displaylink adapter. I have heard the displaylink can be a little slow when you move your mouse between monitors though. For what you want to do though, the 13" pro should work great for you, specifically the base model.
     
  6. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma

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