I am making yet another 'should I buy the macbook pro' thread (sorry...): I am starting as a graduate student in a Ph.D. program for Electrical Engineering this fall. I currently own a Gateway laptop that was a high school graduation gift but was actually purchased in December 2004. So it was 6 months old when I got it and knowing my parents it was a closeout model to begin with. Needless to say, I am definitely purchasing a new computer before September. I have been convicting a macbook pro ever since the switch from powerpc cpu's. What I am not: * A computer gamer (I play minesweeper and checkers not half life and dragon lord games) * A graphic designer or movie producer * A business traveler * A rich white kid * An ipod owner * A prior Mac owner (I've used OS10 some, but never owned a machine that ran it) What I am: * A poor white kid (as such I don't get minority based financial assistance when going to school, or any aid really) * A student * A knowledgeable computer user * A WinXP and Linux user ok, so what I need is a computer that will be able to handle simulations and to do programming on. I am going to be doing classroom work initially, but graduate school is about research. It seems that most people in research and electrical engineering keep a macbook pro. Linux machines are also popular. I have for a while just assumed that I was going to get a 15" macbook pro, but I am beginning to question that. A couple concerns: 1) The price. I've read about Thinkpad being an acceptable alternative. Remember I dont care about OS10, I've never used it, so the software doesn't justify the price. How 'bout iLife? doesn't interest me, or at least I have no reason to be interested in it yet. 2) Do I even need a laptop? I've always just assumed laptop, is a desktop really a better computer? Reasons I do want it: * It has the power to get the job done * Everyone else has it. Not to fit in, but if everyone has one, there must be a good reason right? * Performance, battery life, solid build, compact and light, the little features (back lit keyboard, etc...) * It is pretty I am looking for some comments on my need for this computer. All of the threads that I read are about graphic artists and related professionals / students or video gamers. I am a natural sciences student with only a passive interest in those things, so is the macbook pro still for me? Also with these purchases is the never ending and perpetually annoying 'buy it now or wait' questions. I think there is no question that I will be waiting until either the next revision or August comes and it is time for school to start. I am wondering why though, that people don't seem to stress that the new chipset is going to include support for DDR3? My current laptop uses DDR RAM and it is quite a limitation as everywhere it is DDR2 that is being sold. I cannot upgrade my memory unless I want to add 512MB for over 100$ . I would hate to buy DDR2 right when that was to be obsolete and get stuck in the same situation again. Is DDR3 not that great of an addition or why is it that almost no one sites this as a selling point for the Montevina. Also most critics point to the fact that Montevina will only offer minor performance increases, totally neglecting any increased hardware support except maybe WiMax.