Laptop decesion for med student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jriddel, May 16, 2008.

  1. jriddel macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2008
    I am new to posting here but not reading the forums and hopefully have my first mac sometime soon. I really need a laptop for taking to class and traveling with and to have as my second computer. I have a gaming pc that is still smoking fast and can run any application I need fine.

    Right now I'm torn between the air and mbp. I really like the portability of the air while i love the screen size and power of the mbp. Plus its only like 250 more for the mbp with such an increase in power but i'm wondering if it is over kill for my needs as a second computer?

    I will be spending some extensive time at the new apple store when I go to Boston this next week and I was just looking for some input before I go. Also I would need an upgrade on the wireless modem so I was wondering if time capsule was worth it or not. Thanks for any help!
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    It all depends on what you want to do on it, and if the HD will have enough room for what you want.

    If you only need need a computer for email, web, writing, MBA would do fine.

    If you want to run a number of processor intensive apps, have all your music with you, and run VMWare at the same time, then MBP.
  3. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mt Brook, AL
    IMO, a MBP is the way to go for someone in Med School. You may have a smoking fast machine to game with, but once classes start, you will not have time to do that much. If you are going to use your laptop in school, there are some aps you will find the MBA won't handle. Also, you may need to run some form of emulator ( Fusion, Paralells, etc) for the occasional Windows only app that is mandatory at school which the MBP will handle without breaking a sweat. Think about how you may be using your laptop when making your decision, not just what you want it for now. You will quickly become dependent on your laptop, so be sure it will handle all of your current and anticipated needs before you buy.
    Good luck in Med School. Sleep now while you can!:cool:
  4. Gatorman macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2002
    Speaking as a med student myself,

    I'd recommend the Pro. I like it for several reasons:

    1. The bigger HD. I have a lot of notes, practices exams, clinical videos, lectures, etc, that take up a good chunk of space, and having that extra HD capacity really helps.

    2. The graphics card. My med school prefers people to have Windows based computers (despite about 20-30% of my class toting macs...and future customers on the way). The MBA carries the integrated chipset, whereas the MBP has it's own card. Having the graphics card over the integrated chipset provides an advantage for running the windows (and sometimes mac) heavy rendering anatomy programs, etc.

    3. The Optical Drive....allows you to use the disks and media that come with your text books, without having to tote around an extra piece of equipment, since it's built in.

    So, that's my recommendation to you. It all depends, I guess on your med school requirements and where you go, but I'd recommend the MBP overall.

    P.S. Enjoy your freedom now...the first year will kick you in the rear end!
  5. thechidz macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2007
    New York City
    I would highly recommend a laptop with a good spell check;)

    seriously though, if spelling were an indicator of one's ability to operate, please let us know where you will be practicing so we can avoid it like the plague:p
  6. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Time Capsule is not a modem. It does not include any sort of modem - you need to buy one separately and plug it in.

    Secondly, I recommend the regular MacBook. As you've already got a gaming machine, you won't be using this to play games. You seem to think that the MacBook Air would suit your needs, but having used both MacBook and Air I can definitely say that the Air is NOT worth the extra money. It isn't that much lighter and its smaller dimension is only its thickness - the actual footprint of the laptop inside a bag in terms of width and depth aren't really any different to a MacBook.

    The GPU in the MacBook isn't as far behind the MacBook Pro as it used to be. I have no experience with medical programs, but I have run many 3D games on my MacBook just fine. The GPU is the only real feature of the Pro which sets it apart in my opinion, and the new MacBooks are just as fast as the Pro for anything except 3D rendering.

    I think you need to have a long look at the laptops on offer - I still maintain my view that the MacBook is the best designed notebook on the market - it looks better than the Air and it is a lot more modern looking than the Pro. It's also a much nicer size than the Pro and to top it all off, it's several hundred units of your local currency cheaper :D

    One other thing: The MacBook also seems to be a lot more durable than the Pro or Air. I've seen countless people with bashed Pros but I've never seen anyone who has a dent in their Macbook.
  7. plgplg macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2004
    PubMed searching

    check out PubSearch for a better way of searching PubMed
  8. damnyooneek macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2005
  9. Wreckd macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2007
    I concur with the previous posters that would like to never encounter you as a medical professional. These forums are full of morons like this who bellow ignorant misinformation like this all day long. That's part of the problem with forums, 5% are helpful, 95% are self proclaimed experts.

    This guy has no idea which one will last longer, it's completely random due to variances in manufacturing. He or she might state that the Macbook Pro will last longer from a technological side of things, however if one will just think about that statement for a moment one will realize that it is a fallacy.

    As someone who has worked in a research lab for over three years and heading to a MD/PhD program, this is what I know. Your computer doesn't need to run Photoshop, every lab already has the latest version installed on it, free of charge to you. There is a reason medical school is so expensive. You do not need to go anymore into debt than necessary. The same goes to a number of other graphic intensive research applications. I know of three separate cases of doctors in their forties who are still over one hundred thousand dollars in debt, one of which is having their house foreclosed on. Before the credit crunch banks were very willing to lend doctors large amounts of debt. With the huge problems banks are having now, it will be a long time until this leniency is restored. So when in school, do not live in a house all by yourself spending more than you have to, thinking you can pay it off later very easily. You'll make more friends living with others.

    Most posters on here are so obsessed with power. Threads are started here everyday asking if their computer or future computer is powerful enough to handle windows or some program that could be run by any computer from three years ago. The answer is almost always yes. Macrumors celebrates that they have so many threads and postings. I believe that this is a celebration of idiocy. If my iBook can run Photoshop, then your Macbook Pro, Macbook, iMac, Macmini, Windows machine ect. can run it too. So many posts are dedicated to asking if a computer is powerful enough to handle what a user does. Users ask if they need to upgrade their Macbook Pro mid 2007 to a Macbook Pro early 2008. The answer is no, one does not need to upgrade their computer, one needs to upgrade their brain. You know what most people do, they surf the internet for the majority of their time on their computer. Sure they will occasionally do some word processing and send some email, however most people have their computer for their entertainment, not their job. This will probably elicit five or ten responses that they do their job on that computer, however I hope that those who do are self employed. I would not wish to have an employer who did not provide me with tools to perform my job.

    The bottom line is that before posting you already knew that as your second computer, the lowest specification Macbook would be just fine. If you want to have the Macbook Air or Macbook Pro as a status symbol that is your choice, it is the same reason that most people buy those products.
  10. muldul macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Sussex, England, UK
    I would go for the macbook air as you have a fast, powerful computer and the air will fit your needs nicely
  11. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    If the extra money is no problem, then get the MBP. I feel you get more and you will have more at your disposal if you choose to use all of the MBP's capabilities.
  12. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    Agree with previous post that suggested a Macbook. Its a lot more
    durable and easier to carry around than a MBP.

    Most people who buy a MBP simply don't need it. People are spec crazy
    these days from cars to computers.
  13. jroller macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    I think this is primarily a personal decision in the end, since it is a second computer.

    Frankly, in my buyer's guide, I only recommend the Air to travelers. In my opinion, you are giving up way too much for the price UNLESS what you are looking for is a lightweight, incredible-looking design and you are wililng to sacrifice hd space, an optical drive, firewire, and extra usb ports. However, I agree that for a second computer the recommendation would be the same.

    Good idea to visit an apple store to help decide.

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