I have a $3.5k budget for my college Apple(s). I am going to be attending Dartmouth for a Biophysical Chemistry Major this coming year also picking up a minor in CS. I was debating with a 27" iMac with Quad core i7 and 8GB ram for $2K+ plus a Macbok Air refurb under $1.3K. with student discount under $3.4K Pro: I have a heavy duty machine and a portable machine in which the portable machine will only need to sync a few QT video clips, JPEGS, PDF, and other word documents for class studies/notes etc. This setup might last longer than only a Macbook cuse if i need to upgrade i can upgrade one or the other. I satisfy my crush for the macbook air (obviously not a standalone laptop) while having a strong desktop that performs. I use Adobe photoshop and Illustrator moderately, Garageband and Logic Studio (occasionally but intensively), Molegro, Matlab, Mathematica, Probably other coding applications as I dwell into my CS minor. These apps are based on my hobbies and predicted to be using in the future. I realized the need for a sophisticated computer when i embarked on this independent group study: www.devataa.wordpress.com The theory behind it has to account for many data points, centered on Matlab, but has high potential to expand. Naturally I will most likely be part taking in as "intense" if not much more intense research during my undergraduate years with my intended major. Backup major is BME. Con: I have two computers, not the safest thing in a college environment. I have heard stories abt stolen notebooks, etc. iMac might be an Overkill if i look at the grand scheme of things, When I plan on actually perusing guided research with professor heavy-duty equipment will probably be given to me via access. Two computers may be a hassle at times. I do movie editing and music remixing as my hobby. Play in an orchestra in which i use some of my equipment to record our performances. Also i LOVE photography. Macbook 15" 3.06Ghz Duo 8GB ram. Just under $3K Pros: One Laptop. less tedious. Cheaper, and portable (if we average the portability of the iMac and Macbook air). still pretty powerful, since i will most likely have access to Campus computers, then it should be just fine for my personal needs and heavy duty stuff can be done at campus comps. I am not as confined to one spot as i am with an iMac. Huge campus network keeps macbook useful to remote with campus computers with Student ID login. has a line-in and line-out unlike the air, i have used it countless times on my current macbook when i use garageband. If i have a multimedia presentation, like a 1.5 GB movie powerpoint in front of a large hall, will perform better i assume with if it's graphic intense unlike the macbook air. Con: still, relatively less power than the iMac. kinda bulky to carry around all the time, i have a herniated disk in my lower back and with a heavy book bag, every pound counts. Campus computers have limitations on what you may or may not install, so programs like molegro are restricted in library computers at least. Other open source third party applications are also restricted. If the iMac might be an overkill, this one might be an underkill, I think an overkill is to be in the safe side, yet still, more pricey and despite my budget being $3.5K, i still wanna save some money if possible. People who have been through rigorous Undergraduate schools, what would you recommend? One laptop or one desktop and one laptop.