High school and a Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Muncher, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    Alright, so I'm going into high school this fall. I used to have a dell laptop, which I sold in May on ebay because I hated it. Now the new imacs have come out, and I have a tough decision to make: imac, macbook, or possibly even a mini? I won't spend more than $1500 for a computer, but my dad is a professor so I can use his edu discount. My options are basically:

    iMac 2.4Ghz 20" base - $1399
    Macbook 2.16Ghz base (white - there's no differnce between White and Black other than HDD, right?) - $1199
    Mac mini 2.0Ghz with KB & Mouse - $ 877

    That's not counting tax. I would get a refurbished, but then I don't get my free nano ;) So, anyways, I'm open to pretty much anything. What do you guys think?
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    First off, I wouldn't even consider the mini. Almost $900 just isn't a good price considering you can get an iMac for $1150.

    For desktops considerations, I would cross out the mini, and replace it with the cheapest iMac (basically the mini with a screen + larger HDD + better graphics).

    So basically, you need to decide if you need a portable or not. If you do, then get the MacBook; if not, get the iMac.

    If you decide to go for the iMac, then just decide if the extra components in the higher model are worth an extra $250.
  3. phungy macrumors 68020


    Dec 5, 2006
    Like Eric said, don't go with the Mini.

    It pretty much boils down to: Do you need portability or not?
  4. Muncher thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    And there's the problem: portable, or faster? If I get the imac, it'll be the 2.4Ghz 20".
  5. giganten macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2006
    I would go for a the macbook, and use the money you save for something fun.
  6. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    I would get the macbook (maybe because I was having the same problem and got the laptop...) but that's because I will have to haul it around a few times every month. If you don't think that you'll need the portability very often, get the iMac. Just do me a favor and don't consider the mini.
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Personally, I wouldn't bring a laptop to high school. Too much chance for breakage/theft. I would go for the iMac. If you play video games, the mid-range iMac is the best choice. Only get a mini if you already have a good screen/kbd/mouse and even then probably not the best choice.
  8. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    I vote macbook because I've always loved portability, but if you don't mind being at a desk, want a bigger screen, and play the occasional game go with the imac.
  9. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    imac probably. I spent all of highschool with a green imac :) and I loved it. I never had a problem. I got a ibook senior year (green imac needed a fix, and college was coming so it made sense) and really never moved it except for down in the family room or around my house. Chances are you will get a new computer come college time... so I would go for the imac.

    You'll get a bigger screen and have a really slick computer for HS that will do everything you need, and will be easier to work on projects and such with (with the screen size) and gaming and everything else, then the macbooks smaller screen, and the portability probably won't really be much of a benefit UNLESS your family goes on a lot of trips during the year, or you really like working in different places in your house. (then maybe it would be useful, because you could work on HW during trips etc)

    In this case, the mini isn't an option. imac vote +1
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    assuming he takes it to school you mean. i dont think most high schools allow for computers anyways or at least they didnt when i went.

    i think macbook is way to go
  11. kikobarbada macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    Low-end iMac for 1200 dollars is a great deal. That's what I would get.
  12. RainCityMacFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    What are you going to use it for?

    I know as a high schooler you'll be using word and such but are you going to be playing games or video editing?

    If not I say you should get baseline iMac, buy a seperate 1GB from Crucial/OWC, upgrade the hard drive to 500GB (freedom!!!), and use the extra money to get an iPod. I know an iPod is basically free after the rebate but you have to pay upfront anyways.

    If you do play games and have more in your budget then go for 2.4ghz 20".
  13. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    You don't "need" a computer for high school.

    You could get a MacBook, just don't bring it to school. It's pointless. Unless you are showing a presentation, you don't need to bring it to school.

    I'd get a shiny new iMac if I were a high schooler. The prices on those are great.

    I graduated a few months ago from High School, I've moved on to a Mac Pro. The money came out of places you wouldn't imagine. :D
  14. CrzyCanuck72 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2003
    I would get an iMac, and then a good MacBook/MB Pro/whatever they're called at that time when you're going into university. Portability isn't as important to high schoolers (and bringing a laptop to high school would probably be a bad idea)
  15. RainCityMacFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    Unless you want to take your Macbook to the library and work there. If not then I would just get an iMac if you don't need the portability...
  16. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    i would go for the mini and a nice screen. it depends on how you feel about the current imac display
  17. BioChron macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2006
    High schools where I live allow for you to bring laptops, but it's basically a "we aren't responsible if it's stolen" type thing. So far, I haven't had any problems with anyone stealing or damaging my MacBook, but I don't know how your school is about that kind of thing.

    Anyway, unless you need the dedicated graphics, for for a MacBook. they are really nice, and fairly portable as they are small.

    - Daniel
  18. CaptainWOW macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2007
    San Diego
    Like most have said if you don't need the portability get the iMac.

    I entered High school in '03 with a G3 iBook and didn't take it to school at all. My Sophomore year I got my iBook G4 (the G3 had logic board issues) and again I didn't take it to school. It just sat on my desk in my room or on the coffee or kitchen table. It was basically a desktop - just slower, with a smaller screen.

    For those first three years I probably would have been better off with an iMac.

    It wasn't until my Senior year (which I just finished in June) that I really liked having a laptop. I had a ton of extra credits from college courses and AP classes, so I had a lot of extra time on my hands last year. It was really nice to be able to take my computer to the library (which had Wi-Fi) and browse the internet or work on an essay.

    Most of my presentations became PowerPoints (even though they weren't required to be). Computer labs, which we visited quite often, became a non-issue as I had my own mobile lab all the time. I was also the Co-Editor and Chief Layout Director for my school newspaper. Having the iBook was nice because it allowed me to be able to work on that during downtime as well.

    Of course, I took my Laptop to school because I knew it would be safe there. I was able to keep it either on my person or with a teacher I could trust (that usually kept it locked in their office).

    As a Freshman you probably would benefit more from the iMac. And if you want to play any games you'll want a dedicated graphics card, which neither the Mini nor Macbook can offer.
  19. Muncher thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    I'm seeing about as many votes for the imac as the macbook. Yes, I got the point, I won't get a mini :D. I do play some games (like RCT3) and now that more games are coming to the mac I will probably play some of them, too. As for the fact that I don't need a computer, of course I don't :p. But as I sit here typing on a P4 2.8Ghz I'm beginning to think it ain't such a bad idea. As of right now, I'm leaning on getting an iMac, and maybe in 2.5-3 years, I'll get a used notebook for on the go stuff.

    Like I said, I won't go over $1500, but I'll spend anything upto that, and I do have the edu discount at my disposal :D.
  20. Willis macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2006
    Beds, UK
    Get the iMac. Its a better machine overall.

    Then later on, get a notebook. Even then you'd still get Edu discount!

    Good luck!
  21. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I don't think college professors qualify for the free iPod, they simply get the EDU discount. As a high school student, you don't qualify for either, so I assume you have to use his name to get it right?

    As for which computer, I vote macbook. Even if you don't think you'll take it to school, it's portability around the house is very useful. Also, you never know when you might need to do a presentation at school that might require the super powers of Keynote. You'd blow everyone away;)
  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    haha just like you don't "need" a macpro 4 months after high school right?

    unless you know his situation dont assume anything just like you may need yours for some reason.

    i just know i got by great with my emac 1ghz for my first 3 years of engineering and last year got a mb which is still more than what i really need it for performance wise. just needed portability at the time

    to that end any mac mac mini included will suit needs if you just use it for school purposes

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