Mac for college, help needed.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cian93, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. cian93, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    cian93 macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    Hi all, complete newbie here so please try to bear with me:eek:

    I'm going to be going to college this year to do electronic engineering. I don't have a laptop and will no doubt need one and Macs look like better laptops to me, mainly due to the fact that they have longer lifespans, even if they are more expensive.

    Anyway I was hoping to buy one when I head over to the US this summer on holiday to take advantage of the tasty exchange rate (I'll save over 25% if it doesn't change too much). I wanted to put these questions to Apple directly but couldn't find an email address anywhere so hopefully I can get some help here.

    First off, as a foreign student (from Ireland btw), am I entitled to the student discount in store? I don't expect so to be honest but it would be a nice surprise if I was.

    Second, do I have the option of customising in the shop? I can't really order online and I do want the high-res screen with the cheaper 15" option.

    Is anti-glare any good? Or can I look at the difference myself in the shop?

    Is it easy enough to switch over from Windows? I don't want to install Windows btw, I know I could but I don't want to fork out for it.

    When I bring it back, if I have problems while it's under warranty, can I bring it back to the shop?

    Does Mac work with Android phones?

    Can I have multiple displays with the new Thunderbolt thing?

    If I buy my own SSD (a small one, say 60GB) can I install the OS to it and replace it with the 500GB one? I know that there are optional SSD upgrades but they're very expensive and I can't view the transfer rates.

    Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read through that exhaustive list of questions:)
  2. cian93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
  3. Derango macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2011
    Sorry, don't know on this one. You might be able to

    Usually you need to configure the BTO stuff online or by telephone. Not sure if they'd do it in the store and if they did, they'd just be going to the website there's not much of a difference

    Most apple stores (unless they're fairly tiny) will have an anti-glare equiped machine set up. I much prefer anti-glare but I'm a (wannabe) graphic designer who values color accuracy over the artificial vividness of the glossy screen

    That depends on what programs and such you use, really. Most stuff has an OS X equivalent but if you're doing specialized work (not sure if there's any electronic engineering software that would be windows only that you might be using in school, for example) you might have troubles without windows (either boot camped or virtualized using something like VMWare Fusion or Parallels.

    As far as getting used to the OS, it might take you a little bit of time to get used to where everything is, but it's pretty easy to make the transition.

    Yep. That's a big part of the apple experience, the in store technical support. Just make an appointment with your apple store online and then show up with your computer and they'll help you out. A lot of times they can do repairs right in the store. They'll also help if you're out of warranty but, of course, you'll have to pay for parts at that point.

    That may help. I don't use android.

    Unsure. I want to say you're limited to dual displays at this time (one external monitor and the one on the laptop), but I don't think anybody's tried it yet.

    You could, yes, but I'm not sure what you're trying to do here. Replace the 500GB drive with a 60GB SSD? That's definitely possible but I'm not sure I'd want to give myself the space limitations.

    There's kits out there that let you replace the optical drive with a second hard drive. A lot of folks around here do that, run a small SSD for the OS and a larger 500GB-1TB hard drive for data storage.
  4. cian93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    Hmm, I see. So I take it then that if I were to buy it in the shop, it would have to be one they had already pre-configured?

    That's good, I should take a look at one if I get the chance at a local Apple shop.

    That's a good point. I should email the university about it to see. Thanks for the tip.

    Good to hear. I wouldn't want to spend around $2000 on a laptop and then be left hanging.

    Thanks, looks like it's easy enough to do. Even if it isn't, I'll probably still have my Windows desktop to use.

    Well what I was planning on doing was replacing the 500GB with the 60GB as the OS drive. I was going to get some kind of caddy for the 500GB drive to store all media on and just plug it in via USB or Firewire. I have a 64GB SSD on my main desktop PC which does fine for the most part for installing software. I keep all media on an internal 1TB drive but I've found out first hand that that is pretty overkill for how much I use it. I could be in the wrong though, would using an external drive for most files be limiting?

    I could alternatively go with a 128GB SSD and buy my own 500GB. I don't want to lose the optical drive.

    Thanks for all the help so far :)

Share This Page