Mini or Laptop for College!!!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by lorkp, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. lorkp macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2005
    Hello, I'm not sure if I want a laptop for college. I'm deciding between a mini and some sort of powerbook or iBook. I think the main reasons that I would want a laptop are that I could do work around campus, surf the net (limitedly—wireless is not everywhere on campus), take it home during breaks, and on trips. The cons I see are that it will probably not be as fast as a mini and they are expensive because they are laptops. Pluses for the mini—it's cheap! Plus it is transportable to a certain extent. Like if I'm going home, I could just pack it up and then connect keyboard, mouse, and monitor when I get there. So that's where I stand. What do you think?
  2. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    Most folks, myself included, seem to think a laptop is the best choice for toting around campus. Those new iBooks, while not as tricked out as some people would like them to be, are sturdy computers for the price.
  3. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Go for a laptop. I agree with Powermac666, an iBook would be a great notebook for college!
  4. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    I third the iBook.

    Actually, the 12" iBook has a slightly (read: not noticably) faster processor than the low-end Mini, so the speed isn't feel different to the user.

    Lappies are great to be able to lug around. Having a desktop seems kind of binding.
    You can't like.. go study at starbucks and use the wifi, you know?
  5. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    I'm with powermac666 and the Captain – I'd say go with the laptop option. You pay a bit more but you get a lot of extra portability around campus – you can take it into classes or lectures if you're so inclined, something you certainly can't do with a Mini.

    The iBook would seem perfect – as cost is a concern you might be able to get a bargain on an 'older' model (ie, the models Apple were selling until earlier today ;) ). And don't forget either that as a student you'll be eligible for the student discount.
  6. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    Laptop's are the way to go for college. If you get a mini, you'll have to buy a monitor, and unless you want to spend significantly more for an LCD, then you'll end up having a big clunky CRT on your desk, and if you're in a dorm, you know that CRT's aren't space-friendly :)

    Like you said, iBooks can be taken home during breaks, taken to the library, in class for notes, etc. The possibilities are endless! :D
  7. Sam I Am macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
  8. briangig macrumors regular

    May 16, 2005
    I always tell people this when they ask laptop or desktop, a laptop can be carried around and used anywhere, and also can be used as a desktop just fine...a desktop is only a desktop...I doubt you want to lug your entire system down the hall to study, or to a friends dorm..
  9. iDM macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    8th for a laptop, besides i don't think the mac mini is anything that much better then the ibook, plus you'd need an external monitor which unless you have a nice expensive Apple or a Dell widescreen the monitor would look pretty ugly. Finally some parts of campus may be wireless and when you move off campus you and roommates may desire to go wireless with your router(thats what we did at my apartment). Good luck!
  10. ak004m macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2005
    get the iBook, or powerbook if you feel like splurging, i've had the same ibook since i got to college, going into my senior year, and i still love it although i'm definitely gonna upgrade for next year to either a new ibook or maybe a powerbook
  11. 20rogersc macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2005
    Brighton, UK
    I'm with all the others, 9th is that for the laptop.

    And what a great time to buy one as well when they have just been upgraded. Go for an iBook.

  12. anikgol macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2003
    get a mini..sorry, had to be the first to move against the current..

    but let me ask you, do you really need a new computer? specially why a mac? im writing this from a borrowed pc... sucks but i dont want to be a victim of advertisement and liberal economy. there are tons of better way to spend your money than on some machine
  13. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    I'll 10th the vote for getting a laptop ... the beauty is you can use it anywhere. During the spring you can type up reports outside, during the winters you can read next to the fireplace at the student union.

    Laptop is definitely more versatile, just buy a second LCD for your dorm room if you have some money leftover and use it like a desktop there with a nice spacious LCD.

    Of course if you plan to play games while in college, then a desktop may be the better choice, but look at it this way.

    Games are going to distract you from your studies, so it's better off cutting down on gaming time now.
  14. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Looks like I'm 11th for the laptop. I'm a student and I don't know if I could live without one. And the only guy the recommended the mini doesn't seem like he knows what hes talking about.
  15. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    depending on what his major is, it isn't just "some machine". If he's doing graphic, music, or video, it can be a lifeline for his classes.

    Being able to type a paper on your own computer at any time of the day (read: after the computer lab has closed) is a real good thing, if you do your best writing at night, or a time that is inconvenient for access to the computer lab.

    Having an iBook that will last you well past college is a good investment, IMO.
  16. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    10th for the laptop. Especially the iBook and NOT the powerbook.

    I have both, and the ibook has better battery life (despite being older) and much better wireless range, and also I feel safer pulling out the iBook in public. (the PB is much more expensive and seems to scream 'steal me') I'm happy with the PB - it does what I brought it for, but I reccomend the iBook for college.

    With Mac mini + screen + kb and mouse, are u actually saving anything over a cheap iBook? Also, plugging and unplugging cables gets tedious very very quickly.

    Just buy a tucano second skin for the iBook that's all.

    xoxo T
  17. joker2 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2003
    DC area
    Definitely Laptop

    I'll.... 12th? 13th? the laptop. I personally found that I was much faster at typing my notes in class than writing them down, and they were easily searchable as well. Granted, I couldn't use the notes on the test, but studying was so much easier because I could read the notes I did have!
  18. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    I found typing notes in class hurting my grades, since I can type way faster then I can read, so I would just type what I saw and heard, rarely looking at the screen. So then when I looked at my notes again, I couldn't remember anything. When I write, I'm always looking at what I'm writing, so it (hopefully) goes back into my brain. I stopped using a laptop in class and went back to paper and pencil ;)
  19. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    I (what ever number we are on) for the laptop. Also, I am glade that I am not the only one who uses pencils for taking notes. Many people I have seen use pens.

    One main reason is that you can take the iBook anywhere at anytime.
  20. anikgol macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2003
    a good old writing book and a bunch of pens. nothing beats that. my mac stays home. its very scary that people write less and less with their hands. the art of writing might be forgotten, the handwriting worsened. this is very very serious and bad for the human animal race. maybe in the future no one can write or draw...
  21. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    I don't like taking notes in class. I only use my laptop during class to follow along Powerpoint presentations ... saves paper, and I can see the slides while sitting in the back. Otherwise I take notes via hand (ink even) ... altho' I've found that sometimes printing the slides in note taking format (three slides to a page with a spot to take notes to the right of the slide) works well too, just that I have to print it out.

    But I suppose taking notes by paper or by hand is a matter of preference. But papers should all be done on the computer :3nod:
  22. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Get the laptop. I reccomend the iBook 12".

    BUT, save the $200 you would spend on the 14" and buy an external display of about 17 inches plus. Then, plug in your iBook using VGA to the display (or mini-DVI to VGA adapter and then a VGA to DVI adapter) and close the iBook screen and buy a mouse + kb (as you would with the mini anyway) and type on the display. OR, to save money on mouse + kb and have more screen space (but worse graphics and possibly voiding warranty + hurting iBook) you can download the Screen Spanning hack for free and have two screens with 16 MB video each.
  23. Ph4lynx macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2004
    University Place
  24. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2005
    I also recommend a Laptop for college. If you are living on campus, a laptop is much easier then an desktop to take to and from school, home, library, friends dorm/apartment.

    The 12" iBook is a students best friend.

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