MacBook or MacBook Pro for a university student

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mittens09, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. mittens09 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I am new to these forums, so I wasn't sure where exactly to post this. I am a second year Journalism student and in need of a laptop for university. I currently own a PC, but after using a Mac at uni, I think I would much prefer a Mac laptop; however, I am undecided as to whether I should purchase a MacBook or MacBook Pro.

    The laptop will be used for internet, compiling assignments and general usage... I don't really need any creative software, but it may come in handy in the future. So, which would be the better laptop computer for me: a MacBook or MacBook Pro?
     
  2. bluskale macrumors regular

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    Mar 29, 2010
    #2
    you would be fine with the macbook.

    However, the cheapest macbook pro does come with more ram installed already (4 gb instead of 2 gb), which might save you the trouble of adding in more in the future if you end up doing things beyond text editing. The addition of the firewire port, the sd card slot, illuminated keyboard, extra ram, and aesthetic appeal would certainly push me towards the 13 inch macbook pro, were I in your situation.
     
  3. mittens09 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for that. So the MacBook doesn't come with an SD card slot? And would you recommend the Office for Mac software?
     
  4. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #4
    Nope, the white Macbook lacks an SD card slot. You can go for either Office for Mac or iWork from Apple. They are both suitable application packages and will fit your needs, but iWork is a bit cheaper than Office i believe.
     
  5. mittens09 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #5
    Thanks for that, tristangage. Aside from what bluskale mentioned, are there any other downsides to the MacBook?
     
  6. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

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    Manchester, UK
    #6
    There is the heightened chance of the polycarbonate shell cracking, although I don't know how widespread this problem is. A few cases have already started being reported though. The aluminium Macbook Pro doesn't have this issue, although it is more prone to denting on the lid (but obviously, if you are careful, this shouldn't happen). Powerwise, the Macbook would be adequate, but for durability, plus some extra features, I would personally go for the MBP.
     
  7. Patdt13 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 26, 2008
    #7
    Even though the MacBook is $200 cheaper, the MacBook Pro is the better deal. The RAM upgrade is at least 100, so thats 100 cheaper, but for 100 more you get the aluminum unibody, Firewire 800 SD card slot and the illuminated keyboard. Thats worth 100 to me, but it is up to you.
     
  8. GidbinN macrumors member

    GidbinN

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    Dec 25, 2009
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    Northrend
    #8
    yes MacBook is enough for you,

    but I'd like to say, it depends on whether you like white or aluminum,
    low-end MBP isn't that expensive at all, you should think about that.

    (I mean ONLY if you liked the Aluminum and 4GB of RAM)
     
  9. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

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    May 12, 2010
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    Prescott, AZ
    #9
    As far as specifications for most universities go, you should be fine with a macbook. I have a macbook, and it not only meets, but exceeds the requirements for an engineering degree. In my opinion, for a base-model book, that not bad at all :D But, as other people have said, if you want the extra ports, ram, and aesthetics, I would probably recommend the MBP
     
  10. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #10
    Durability

    I would invest in the MacBook Pro. The durability of the case as well as extra ram and sd slot are worth the extra money IMHO. As far as Office for Mac, it is ok, and so is iWork. It depends how much you are going to be collaborating with classmates, and the pricing that you get. Office for Mac was $11 at my Uni so it was a no brainer. It is necessary if you intend to work in groups and share PowerPoint and Word files with PC users. I have both but use Office out of necessity and habit.

    Keynote is not very compatible with Powerpoint in my experience. Sharing those files requires a lot of format editing. I spent hours doing it the other night.
     
  11. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502

    Wehrwolf

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #11
    It really comes down to personal preference, unless you absolutely need Firewire or the SD slot on the Pro.

    If you were to configure the Macbook with 4GB of RAM (recommended highly) to bring it up to the 13" Macbook Pro's specs, it would cost you $1039 as opposed to $1099 (for the Pro), so there's really no difference in terms of cost.

    Personally I'd go with the Pro. It's thinner, nicer looking, and doesn't have that rubbery bottom like the Macbook does, which can make getting it in and out of a sleeve or backpack compartment a little harder.
     
  12. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #12
    I'd go for the MBP, since the price difference between the MB and the MBP isn't very big now. The MBP looks a lot nicer and also is more durable:D

    Compared to my MB, which has several cracks in it, my MBP has NO cosmetic damages at all!
     
  13. mittens09 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #13
    Thanks for your all your responses. It seems the MacBook Pro is the way to go. I live in Australia and at the moment, a department store can offer it for $1329 and that's cheaper than with my student discount. I really, really like the appearance of the MacBook (solely because it's white), but it seems silly to buy a laptop based on looks.

    I think having the SD card slot is quite handy and as others have mentioned, the MacBook doesn't have that. I will head into Myer today and have a play around with both, but please, keep the opinions coming!
     
  14. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #14
    Id go mb and use the cost savings for a future computer in a few years

    I did all my undergrad (mechanical engineering) with an emac and macbook

    I will be doing my grad work with....a macbook

    No complaints on my end at all

    Keep in mind, you can get a usb adapter for all types of card slots so I would NOT let that be a driving factor in the decision
     
  15. mittens09 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #15
    Thanks for that. All I really need for my Journalism degree is Word, the internet etc, so it's not as if I need any high-tech programs, so I would imagine the MacBook would be fine.
     
  16. mittens09 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #16
    Sorry to double post, but are you able to save files as .doc in iWork?
     
  17. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

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    #17
    Yes, you are. Save As>Save Copy As Word checkbox (or something to that effect).
     
  18. mittens09 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #18
    ^^^^ Thanks for that. A few more questions - are you able to replace the battery (when it dies) on this MacBook? I have been reading a few reviews, and obviously they are talking about different models, but apparently a few models are unable to have the battery replaced.

    And what is the discolouration of the white MacBook like? Is it still nice and white after a year or two of usage?
     
  19. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

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    Apr 10, 2009
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    #19
    No, the battery is not user replaceable on that laptop. However if you are willing to open up the bottom of the Macbook, there will be guides on sites such as iFixit.com that show you how it can be done, even if Apple haven't made it easy. Whether you can get a new battery somewhere is a different matter though, one which I'm not sure about.

    The discolouration is nothing major if you take care of your laptop and clean the muck off it regularly. You will only really notice the yellowing if you put it side by side with a brand new model. It shouldn't be a dealbreaker really, and you can get cleaning equipment such as the Magic Eraser which can clean it pretty well.
     
  20. Jiten macrumors 6502a

    Jiten

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    Jul 16, 2008
    #20
    I have the first generation Aluminum Macbook (basically the same chassis as the 13 inch Macbook Pro now) and a white 2009 Macbook. Although I take care of my portables and never abuse them I do carry both units a lot for work. I have noticed that my more then a year old Aluminum Macbook still looks pristine while my white Macbook picked up quite a lot of scuffs and seems older then it looks.

    So far no cracks on the white book yet but I know someone with a 2009 Macbook that developed a hairline crack on the magsafe area. Like the others I would suggest spending a bit more and getting the aluminum MBP for its chassis alone.
     
  21. micahR macrumors newbie

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    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    Urbana, MD
    #21
    If you have a microcenter near you then go get the Pro. See my other Post for more details. If I have 1G laying around, I would scope up a MBP today.
     
  22. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

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    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #22
    My gf was kind of in the same dilemma a couple weeks ago. She was pretty much set on the 15 base model since she was used to the 15 inch screen on her old laptop. But then she caught a glimpse of the white MacBook and she fell in love with the design, and she likes it more than the aluminum. For her use the MacBook is perfect, maybe I'll upgrade to 4GB ram, but other than that, its quite a capable machine.
     
  23. mittens09 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #23
    So I ended up getting the MacBook Pro on sale, as it worked out to be about $5 more than the MacBook (with 4GB). I love it! I was just wondering if anyone used any kind of virus protection software?
     
  24. miicah macrumors regular

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    Apr 14, 2010
    #24
    No, it will just slow your mac down.
     
  25. AndyK macrumors 65816

    AndyK

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #25
    Antivirus is mostly pointless for mac os, don't bother & welcome to a world free of windows drawbacks !
     

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