need laptop for going to Italy for study abroad - help?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pohtaytoe, May 17, 2009.

  1. pohtaytoe macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009
    Hello all! I am a photography major traveling to Italy for a month this summer with a study abroad program my school hosts. I was thinking about purchasing a macbook pro 15in sometime this week before I leave in two weeks. I was really considering maxing out all of the options and getting 2.93ghz with 320g at 7200 rpm, but I'm second guessing myself because of the cost. I plan on using the laptop for regular internet usage, editing photos, and hopefully the rest of my undergraduate studies.

    My question is should I get a less powerful processor/macbook?
    I will probably only be using the general apple apps such as Mail, Safari (or probably Firefox), iTunes, iMovie etc along with the Adobe Creative Suite, and the Microsoft Office applications... and maybe a few games/chat applications, but nothing other than Starcraft.. if I ever have time for it.
    I also have a Mac Mini I purchased three years ago, and I use a Canon 40D so I will definitely be shooting in RAW while overseas.

  2. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    May 5, 2008
    Mainland Europe
    My opinion only, but I think that a high end MB will do you. I have a 2.0 macbook with 2 gigs of ram, and I use Adobe CS, Photoshop and Aperture quite a lot. I thought I'd have to bump it up to 4 gigs of ram, but to my surprise everything ran very well.
    In my estimate it should run totally slick on a 2.4Ghz processor, especially if you upgrade to 4 gigs of ram. I'd go with the top-end macbook (though even the lower aluminium one should suffice), no need for the pro in my opinion, unless you absolutely need the bigger screen or Firewire.
  3. smurfjammer macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Get a MacBook or a refurb from the Apple store.
  4. kindablue09 macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2009
    Keep in mind this is all purely my opinion...

    Get a unibody mb providing that you absolutely don't need firewire; if you do get a whitebook.

    I say this b/c
    Italy is a gorgeous place with a ton of stuff to do and see (no starcraft) and I think its pretty sweet that you will be able to take some pictures of the place. I went there two years ago and am still dying to go back. I brought a cruddy point and shoot digital camera for pictures and currently have one of the landscape photos from Tuscany as my desktop :).

    But for the actual reason, the mbp will be a bigger liability b/c it costs more (theft, damage, etc). Plus the mb weighs less, and after hauling you luggage around enough, you'll appreciate it. Also an added bonus because of the size restrictions of carry on luggage these days.

    I don't know enough to give photo advice, but I would hate for you to loose/damage a $2500+ laptop.

    Enjoy the trip :cool:
  5. WorldTravel26 macrumors newbie


    May 6, 2009
    If I were you, I would just save my money and buy the regular Macbook. If all you are gonna be doing is using Safari, playing around with iMovie, and using Adobe and Microsoft office, I don't really see the need to spend the extra money on the Macbook Pro. You can always max out your regular Macbook with a bigger HDD and more memory (which you can get cheaper anyway through 3rd party vendors instead of upgrading through Apple).

    Plus, since you have a Mac Mini, I assume you have an external monitor, which you can use with your Macbook as well, so the smaller screen size of the regular Macbook won't make that much of a difference (unless you just absolutely need a portable computer with a bigger screen size).
  6. JCastro macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    If you need/want the extra screen space I would not hesitate to go with a MBP. I don't think you need to max out the processor though. 2.4 or a step or two will work fine. The size and weight will not be an issue. I travel internationally all the time with mine. I don't notice it at all. And like Worldtravel26 said, don't upgrade your HDD or RAM through Apple. But it from a different company like OWC or Crucial.
  7. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    To be honest, if you were going to buy a MacBook Pro then go ahead and buy one. As a studeent abroad you should be taking out insurance anyway and I highly doubt you will be taking it out of the house much at all. It's certainly not the culture to take your laptop anywhere in Italy...

    However. I would say think about your purchase, just as I'd say to anyone really. Do you really need the top range MBP? The alu MB is an excellent piece of hardware and will last you at least 4-5 years. I have a 3 year old MacBook 2 Ghz and it's still going extremely strongly and I hope it to last another year or so. I use alll the pro apps you can think of and they have all worked really well.
  8. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    Just remember that travelling things get lost, stolen and broken. Even when you are careful.

    If you are going to be travelling a lot then I would say that you should choose something that won't attract a lot of attention or weigh very much.

    If your travels are limited then you should think Macbook. I would even consider the white macbook.

    Italy is a great place, but it is not laptop friendly.
  9. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...get a netbook for your travels to stay connected, not much of an expense if it gets broken, stolen, etc...
  10. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2009
    If you really need a mac, go for a MB 2.0. It surely covers all your need in terms of the software you currently use. It also weigth less than MBP and thus should fit better on your shoulders...
    Said that, if you're going to use during your travel for download digital pictures, just remember it does not have firewire and neither a card reader.
    If you only need it as a temporal computer, to get connected on the road, maybe a netbook would fit your needs. They noromally also come with an SD card reader.
    Now, if you really need portability, and have money to spend on, you could give a try to a macbook air...

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