HELP, opinion on which to buy for college student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by vcinsb, Jun 19, 2005.

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  1. vcinsb macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2005
    My daughter is a college student (business) one year to go...which notebook ibook or pb, would be ideal for her situation? I have a pc and know nothing of mac. Thanks!
  2. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    I personally am going to college as a freshman next year. I decided to choose the 12'' powerbook combo drive.

    I specifically decided to go 12'' over anything else is because usually at college the desks that are provided is no larger then your loose leaf paper. I also decided on the powerbook because the 12'' iBook's CPU power is a bit on the low side. Also there is SUPPOSE to be a revision on it sometime but has yet to surface so Im just going with the PB.

    As for specs and what not, what Im told is that 512mb for ram is good for your normal uses, but if she will be using professional software on it that requires alot of power a gig of ram is best.
  3. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    Hi, I just bought a 12 inch powerbook yesterday (my first ever mac) and I'm loving it!

    Several reasons (for me), for choosing the PB over the iBook were:

    - i like the aluminium design
    - i could easily afford the additional cost
    - i'm an IT professional and although i won't be using this too much for work, i will be installing virtual PC on it to run certain windows only applications so needed the extra power
    - i'd like to get more into graphic design so again better graphics card/vram was important

    I personally think that for any student an iBook is more than sufficient. The iBooks are targeted more at the home/student market and as such (from what i've read on the Apple site and on these forums) the battery life is slightly better and the white plastic casing can take more of a battering than the aluminium! If your daughter were studying computer science or graphic design etc then i'd probably recommend the additional processing power of the Powerbook. But for a business (or any other student) who is generally only going to use office-type applications and email i'm sure an iBook would more than do the job.

    Hey when i was at university i had to make do with a 486 pc running Windows 3.1/95 and that worked fine!!
  4. chemdav macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2005
    Both are Great systems

    Some general info:

    Mac sells to two lines of laptops: iBooks & PowerBooks, both with various configurations. iBooks are very powerful systems (I venture more powerful than the average PC laptop). PowerBooks are Extremely powerful. Everything about the PowerBook is a step up from the iBook. PowerBooks are generally aimed at professionals or Prosumers (professional consumers), while iBooks are aimed for students.

    Software: The software on both is the same (although some very high end digital video software won't run on iBooks). On both iBooks & PowerBooks, the operating system is quick and response and running multiple applications is not a problem.

    Hardware: The hardware on both is impressive: FireWire, USB 2.0, AirPort Wireless etc. The PowerBook is more rugged and durable, the alloy construction of the PowerBook is sturdy. For typical student use an iBook should be more than enough, but PowerBooks have more hardware features that will make it last longer in the future (FireWire 800, Bluetooth 2.0, Sudden Motion Sensor).

    iBooks cost less, and are great value for money. PowerBooks cost more, but you get a lot more. Without knowing too much about your daughter's business program, I would suggest getting the cheaper iBook as it will fill her needs, but if you want her to have the best then a PowerBook is the way to go.
  5. 7254278 macrumors 68020

    Apr 11, 2004
    ibook will be fine for most things and come one people stop underestimating ibooks so many people do it its amazing. ibooks are very fast the only reason I would get a PB over an ibook would be to get a bit better results gaming and for hardcore video editing, that being said I do video editing and I do game on my ibook and it handles it just fine.
  6. vcinsb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2005

    I have to buy I am scrambling to help her make the right decision. I am a pc user so its all new to me.
  7. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I'm just curious, since you claim to know nothing about Macs, why get her one? Did she ask for one? If so, you are a cool parent... you won't regret it and she definitely will not!!! :D

    I have a 12" PB, and am a third year in college. I would choose PB over iBook not only because of the power, but also because it LOOKS more elegant/ polished (which may come into play for a business major), and for me, because it is lighter. Yes, I know it's only 0.3 lbs difference, but hey, when I'm walking around on campus, especially on a hot day, it makes a difference!
  8. vcinsb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2005
    Anything else to purchase with it???

    When we purchase either the ibook or there anything I must absolutely purchase with it??? Her roommate has the office software to share with her, but what else will she need???
  9. _bnkr612 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    An iBook will be plenty. Running apps like Word, Excel, a web-browser and Mail, the iBook will run well. Extra RAM always helps too. Throw a 512MB stick in there.

    Though if you can, I would hold out the iBooks for a couple weeks to see if there are going to be updates. I recall the current iBooks being released last October I think...

    Save some money on the iBook and buy her some nice accessories for it (i.e., bag/case, a sleeve, AppleCare, an iPod shuffle (for documents of course) or maybe even take her out to dinner to celebrate her completion of school)

  10. 7254278 macrumors 68020

    Apr 11, 2004
    ibooks have significantly better battery life and wireless reception which might also be important.
  11. vcinsb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2005
    my guess is I'm a cool parent...

    She is asking for a mac because her roommate has one and loves it! She has a pc laptop that has given us a lot of trouble and it finally crashed!
  12. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    Not sure where you're from (am assuming US) but in the UK the price of the PB is 150% of the iBook price. And it does look more 'flashy' being silver. I'd be concerned about a student carrying around such expensive equipment so again i vote for the iBook and i'd suggest a decent sleeve or padded laptop bag for it, a security lock and also some sort of backup device (external hard disk).
  13. vcinsb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2005
    new ibook???

    is there a new ibook coming out in a couple of weeks?? is this a sure thing??
  14. nichos macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2004
    Jacksonville, Fl
    I have to agree - the iBook is a great value, and though the powerbook IS step up in every aspect, it's not a big enough (imho) step up to justify the cost. That is right now, traditionally the Powerbook has many features over the iBook.
  15. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Nothing on the grapevine is showing that there are any new iBook's on the horizon. Although this is the last line of Macs to get an update, the possibility exists, but it would not be a significantly different machine than what is offered now. Any update (which I think is not too likely) would probably be a speed boost, and a maybe new memory configurations. No new re-design of the iBook should be expected until Intel machines start being produced (the mid to end of 2006).

    This is my thoughts on it all.

    For a business major in her final year. I think a Powerbook 15" would be an Overwhelmingly GREAT gift. The difference would be between a combo drive or superdrive, that is up to you. But I highly endorse the Powerbook. That machine would carry her for 3 years, at the very least.
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