My First Laptop Ever - Help me make the right choice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dalius, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Dalius macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2004
    Hello. I'll make this pretty short.
    I need a laptop. I am a university student. These are the things I need to do with said laptop :D:
    - Taking notes in lectures (School)
    - Video/Audio Editing
    - Web Design (JavaScript + CSS + Graphics)

    Not interested in gaming at all - I have a Wintel desktop for that, which is my primary workstation at home. I`m really just looking for a laptop to be productive on - whether it be school, or hobbies - and something to use while lazing around the house

    Like many, I`m having trouble deciding between the high-end GlassBook and low-end MacBookPro. The only differences between them that I can think of is a) size; b) one extra pound of weight; and c) apparently the MBP display is a lot nicer.

    I have seen them both in person and I am still having trouble deciding. The MBP screen is not that much nicer than the MB, and the 13 inch form factor seems very nice for a portable deviece. My only other experience with an Apple computer is my mothers old iBook G4 - unfortunately, it did not age well and runs quite slowly today (10.3.9 OS) Any suggestions would be appreciated. :)
  2. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    MB should be fine for you. You don't need to have the best screen for web graphics and if you are confortable with 1280x800, I don't see a problem :)

    The top model MB now has keyboard backlighting - the feature previously available only in high-end Apple portables and it has plenty of power to last you for years to come.
  3. Paramecium macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008
    I was actually considering something similar... getting one of the last generation MacBook Pro's with the clearance + student special on the Apple site for $1400 or a MacBook.

    And I ended up getting the MacBook and absolutely love it. Since you said you don't care about gaming, getting the pro would seem unnecessary.

    The MacBook's size is perfect and I would almost rather have the MacBook over the Pro just because of how much easier it is to carry around. Even with the larger screen, I don't think it's enough of an improvement to offset the decreased portability.

    If you don't mind spending a bit more, you might want to try and get the higher end MacBook. The performance difference might not be too great, but the illuminated keyboard is amazing to use and I almost can't imagine not having it now.
  4. iSlave macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2007
    - Video/Audio Editing

    You can't edit video on the new Macbook! Bear this in mind!
  5. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
  6. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    He's taking the point to its extremes but it is worth noting that the MB has no firewire, so if you're editing from a DV cam which uses firewire/ilink, you're stuffed.
  7. Dalius thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2004
    Wow - thanks for the quick responses guys! I appreciate it, it really helps my decision easier to make.

    @iSlave - I don't have a video camera with FireWire anyway - only USB, so not having FireWire is not a huge deal to me. Also, my desktop has FireWire on it, so if ever had the need to actually USE it, I have an option.

    The keyboards on the MB & MBP looks the same size - I've heard in another post than the MBP is slightly larger, yet the MacBook keyboard seems quite large as well. This whole decision really comes down to the size. Anyone here have similar hobbies on me, and decided to get the MacBook? (specifically web design, light image editing for web design)
  8. marold280 macrumors 6502


    Mar 16, 2008
    mate. if its for general stuff. get the old macbook.
    new macbooks look better, more expensive, light up keyboard, better graphics. no firewire!

    white macbook =]
  9. Dalius thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2004
    But the new GlassBook is so pretty! Plus I love the size of the trackpad, and all the finger gestures... I'm pretty set on getting thew new-gen Apple laptops :p I just don't like the plastic look to be honest. :p Plus better tech specs in the GlassBooks compared to the old MacBooks
  10. nidserz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Dubai x Toronto
    just curious, how old are you?
    not sure if that is relevant but i think for school and general puproses for teens the macbook is prefect.

    also judging by your description of use, the macbook will suit your needs quite well :)

    i was in the same dilema and opted for the high-end macbook. graphics, a little photography, basics.
    i have an imac (you have a wintel desktop) as a powerhouse if need be.
  11. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    if cost is an issue for you, get the white MB.
    If you can afford it, get the cheaper glassbook. I wouldn't pay so much more for the illuminated keyboard and the small performance bump the upper MB has.
  12. muldul macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Sussex, England, UK
    They said they were a University student. So i'm guessing not in their teens, if they are then late teens.

    The macbook should be more than enough given the updated graphics card
  13. Dalius thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2004
    I am 21, currently in University... already finished a college program but decided to go back for more!

    I am able to afford the high-end MacBook without worrying too much, I've been in the market for a laptop for a good three years :p so there is money saved.

    So far I think I'm leaning towards just getting the high-end MB... Since I have a powerful desktop, with a 22" monitor that I could hook up to my MacBook, I'm mainly looking for a portable solution... a MacBook Pro would be appropriate if I didn't already have a desktop. If anyone sees fault in my reasoning, though, please point it out... I am not making the purchase until the middle of the week, most likely, so I still have time... yet this seems like the right choice (key word: seems)

    I know a lot of you say the performance bump of .4 Ghz isn't worth it, but since you can't upgrade the CPU in MacBooks, I thought I might as well max it out.
  14. redmeister macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2007
    sounds as if regular mb is your solution... especially if ya dont need firewire
  15. Dalius thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2004
    So it's been a week since I last checked this post, and I was wondering if people still had the same opinion? I've been hearing a lot about loose battery covers, questionable screen quality (blacks don't seem as black as they should be), mirror-like gloss... and they are a little discouraging to hear. I know that it's easier to find criticism than praise of an Apple product online, but my fears are easily raised.

    The Old MacBook Pros (low-end, 15") are the same price as the high-end MB (which is what I would get).. I was really set on getting the 13" MacBook, for its size but I'm worried these problems would be too much? Again, I already have a primary desktop so I don't need anything to watch movies on, or to game on... just typing up lecture notes, using TextMate to do CSS & JavaScript, GIMP or (if I can afford it) Photoshop for web image manipulation, iMovie occasionally and probably that's it...

    Please, shower me with your opinions!
  16. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    I'm a senior in college heading into the masters program next fall. I have done very well for myself with an iMac as my primary workstation and a regular white MacBook for everything else. I take notes (typed and audio via a software program called "Boom Recorder", I highly suggest it, having audio copies of lectures is GOLD), check web pages, e-mail, chat, and conduct online courses. It has worked exceptionally well, it is the 2.1GHz model with 4GB of RAM, very speedy.

    More on recording lectures, if you do decide to purchase Boom Recorder, set it to mono audio (less space and it makes one audio file versus 2), then convert the .wav it produces into .mp3 via iTunes. Then you can upload it to your iPod or whatever you use to listen to on the go. You know everyone zones out every now and then in class, and having the entire lecture recorded will save you eventually :). Being a college veteran yourself I'm sure you know that!
  17. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    the older macbook pro is very good especially if the price is the same as the current 2.4 ghz alu macbook. It's a solid performer whose tech, and design has been perfected over the years, and optimized.

    I think you would be happy with and can't go wrong either way.

    What it comes down to is size, and maybe you might prefer the 13" macbook for the extra portability and note taking in class.

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