Need help choosing which Macbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Endoplasm, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Endoplasm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    #1
    Hello. I'm going to college in the fall and will be getting a Macbook. The problem is which one of the two whites to get. I will be majoring in business (accounting) and can't figure out which one has more of what I need.

    1. Does anyone in college burn DVDs besides those taking film classes? I was thinking of having it as a 'just in case' but if I choose not to could I easily transfer a movie/other file to someone who does and have them burn it?

    2. Is Apple easy-going with rebates? I've had a poor experience with not getting a rebate from Logitech and since I haven't trusted rebates. I don't want to spend $200 on an ipod only to have my rebate rejected. That would set back my bank account more than I want.

    Any advice would be great. Especially those taking business courses, do Macs work well or should I stick with a Windows environment?
     
  2. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #2
    A DVD burner would help you out if you ever need to back up quite a bit of information. You might think that if you've got thumb drives, etc, you'll have a backup, but that is reusable memory, and more often than not you'll want to continue using it, so you'll need to free up room on it sometime. A DVD will let you burn your backup and store it.

    As for the rebate, I know quite a few people that have used rebates through Apple and they've had no problems at all. There was only one person who didn't get their money back from the rebate--because they never sent it in! :eek:

    So as long as you send it in on time, I think you don't have anything to worry about.
     
  3. showtime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    #3
    A dvd burner is nice to have but not absolutely necessary. If you can get it for a small price difference I'd say it'd be a good investment. If there's going to be a difference of ~$150 or something around that figure, I'd have to consider whether or not I would pay close to $150 extra just to be able to burn dvds.

    For making backups, there are other alternatives. You could always get an external hard drive for the price too. It's all a matter of what you want to do with that extra money.

    As for apple rebates, apple is usually pretty good with their rebates. Just make sure to make copies of everything you send off so in the event that anything does happen to your rebate you can always go down to your apple store and show them and have them take care of it for you.

    I don't really do business but I don't see why you can't use your mac business/economics classes. I have some friends who are business majors and they own a mac. If there is something you can't absolutely do on os x you can always run xp or vista on boot camp/parallels.
     
  4. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #4
    In terms of backing up data, as others have said, an external drive would be more convenient - and personally, that's what I would go for. If you plugged it into a friend's machine that had a burner, you could get DVDs this way. Also, getting an external DVD burner isn't overly expensive and you could get one that's faster than the MB.
     
  5. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #5
    I think a DVD burner is a must these days. Apple is fine with rebates, albeit a bit slow.
     
  6. showtime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    #6
    I wouldn't say a dvd burner is a must. It's nice to have but not a must have. I had my old windows pc for nearly a year and only touched the dvd burner once, and that was to burn something for a friend. When I got my macbook I decided to same money and go for the model without the dvd burner. I still haven't seen a need to use mine yet.
     
  7. sinbushar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Jersey
    #7
    For accounting you won't need anything more than the low-end MacBook. If you have a class that needs DVD-Burning, you'll have accessibility to the required hardware. In terms of disk space, I lasted through college on my 60GB PowerBook. Just recently got an external drive. That's what you'll need at most, your school should also give you storage space on their servers. My 1GB flash drive still reads as having 911MB free.

    I regret getting an overkill laptop for school, save the $200 and use it on accessories: wireless keyboard + wireless mighty mouse

    Speaking from experience.

    If you have any questions, pm me.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Endoplasm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    #8
    Awesome. I'll probably be picking up the low-end Macbook with a 4gig Nano later this week from a store so I wont have to wait for shipping. I'm just really nervous about spending $1200 on something. Even if $200 is hopefully coming back to me.

    Thanks for the replies! You've all helped solidify my decision (which was initially the low-end Macbook). Now I have to pick the color of the Nano.
     
  9. GusR9 macrumors member

    GusR9

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    #10
    I would pick the middle end model with 2gb of ram
     
  10. brandon6684 Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    #11
    Ah, one of the things I find annoying about Apple, the lack of BTO options. The bottom end is exactly what I want, except for the lack of a DVD burner, so I have to pay $200 to upgrade the drive and get "extras" I don't need or want.
     
  11. jmh55 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #12
    another accounting major

    I'll be a senior studying accounting this fall. I bought my first Mac this weekend...the midgrade white MacBook. I absolutely love it after coming from a Dell D800. You really can't go wrong, but I love how the midgrade model has a 120GB hard drive whereas my Dell had a 60 GB hard drive and this MacBook has the superdrive and my Dell only had a CD burner.
     
  12. Endoplasm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    #13
    I was thinking that if I needed more memory (RAM or HDD) I could just replace it myself. I've built a pc so I have some experience. Have you ever needed a DVD burner for things besides backup?
     
  13. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #14
    I'd get the dvd burner if I were you, unless you have a desktop you can transfer files over to and burn. You'll have no problem replacing the ram or HD, so no worries there. Get as little RAM from Apple as possible since they charge an arm and a leg. You can get 2GB for under $70 from newegg.
     
  14. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #15
    You may want to use the Superdrive if you ever make a movie with iMovie or iDVD. I have made a couple of videos for my family and the Superdrive comes in handy at these situations.
     
  15. jmh55 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #16
    I have access to movies and other large files that I can burn. There have been occasions when I've needed it and it would have been nice to have but had to borrow a swapable drive from a friend. I certainly don't plan on using a Superdrive every other day, but to have a DVD burner without having to seek one out (especially after college) will be nice.

    Your decision is a little more difficult. Mine was between the base MBP or the midgrade Macbook. I couldn't justify the MBP based on cost, but I think between the two MacBooks, the midgrade is justifiable to the base model.
     
  16. brandon6684 Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    #17
    That's my annoyance with no SuperDrive, even as a BTO option on the lowend MacBook. DVD burners are very convinent these days with the prevelence of larger files to back up and widespread home movies and DV cameras.
     
  17. lighane macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #18
    No no no! You can purchase RAM elsewhere for a third of what Apple sells, and it is a piece of cake to put in yourself. Buy the low end and do any RAM/HD upgrades yourself ;) It's much less expensive, you get exactly what you want (especially in the case of a HD...), easy to do on a MacBooks, and certainly won't void your warranty.
     
  18. naturallight macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    #19
    Man, you guys are really making me think twice about my decision. I'm headed to grad school (business) in the fall, and thus want something light and portable.

    Originally I was set on the MacBook, because it's the smallest and lightest laptop that Apple makes and I think it has plenty of power for my needs (standard computing, I'm no whiz).

    However, I'm not a fan of the white at all, but I really hate paying a premium for the black. Also, I want this computer to last for ~5 years, and I'm worried about not being able to effectively increase the RAM to more than 2gb (I know it goes to 3, but then you lose the dual channel).

    So I started leaning towards the MBP because I can kick the RAM up to 4gb in a few years, it's practically the same weight as the MB and my 14" Compaq, the added real estate on the screen would be good for side by side documents, it has a better keyboard, and the video card eases any concern about running Leopard at the same time as Vista in Parallels (I will need to run Windows often for school stuff).

    I guess my main concerns with the MBP are that it will be too *nice* to bring to class everyday and that the 15" size might be unwieldy for taking notes in class.

    While I'm always looking to get a good deal, I'm mostly concerned with getting the computer that is *right* for me. So money is not the number 1 concern.

    Any suggestions?
     
  19. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #20
    If you are going to spend 5 years on ONE laptop, good god man, go with a MBP. 5 years is a long time on one computer ;)
     
  20. WannaGoMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    #21


    Get a refurb black. Friend just got a GREAT deal on one
    2.0 C2D, superdrive, 1gb ram, BLACK $1049
     
  21. naturallight macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    #22

    Yeah, I think normally the reburbs are a good deal, but right now, I can get an edu discount, a free nano, and $100 off a printer (which I need).
     
  22. dashboard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #23

    I'm a college student, and I use my 17'' powerbook to take notes on a daily basis. Its really not that bad, especially because I use a backpack to take it to class. I wouldn't worry about the MBP being "too nice" to take to class - a bunch of my friends regularly take their 15'' MBP to class, and they have had no wear/tear issues. The new MBP also get great battery life, so that would be great for long lectures (the same is true for the MP though). You are right about the side by side document display, I use it all the time and its incredible for taking notes about a .pdf file in a word document, and it would be really cramped on a MP. Especially since the price difference isnt a make or break thing, I would go with the MBP
     

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