Should I buy a MacBook for University?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by sn00pie, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. sn00pie macrumors 6502a

    sn00pie

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    Jun 25, 2008
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    United States
    #1
    I will be attending University this fall and will be doing making my way into a career in Law, maybe one day a Lawyer. ;)

    I figured I need a computer for school and why not make the big switch this time around. So here I am! I am wondering whether or not I really need to buy a laptop and if I do will a MacBook be the right decision?

    I've been a PC guy my entire life and my only Apple product has been an iPod Nano. I've used OS X quite a few times and have always been dreaming to convert one day, and I think this is my opportunity.

    One of the factors I am considering is if I go from Windows to OS X. Is that I won't really be so familiar with the OS, and I hope that does not cause problems when I need to do use my Mac at university. I know the ins and out of Windows, that's why I have thinking about this.

    I've been a lurker who has always checked out the Mac photo threads, and finally I find myself posting because I need your help! :)
     
  2. M4CBOOK macrumors regular

    M4CBOOK

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    Beaumont, TX
  3. CrzyCanuck72 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 10, 2003
    #3
    whether or not you get a MacBook, 100% definitely get a laptop.
     
  4. Smighty24 macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2008
    #4
    speaking as a senior in college, having a laptop is a must. Just having a handy computer to take around with you to your classes and so you can study on the go. It's like bringing your home with you wherever you go. I got a dell when i graduated high school and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. But once the "new laptop" feel wore off (which was rather quick i might add) I found myself with a pretty basic computer that got out of date very quickly. After seeing what Apple and Mac OS X can do, i know there is nothing you can't so on these machines. I will be purchasing my macbook in August right before the new semester so i can get rid of this dell POS and finally get a laptop that really makes life alot simpler.
     
  5. Alx9876 macrumors 6502

    Alx9876

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    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    NorCal
    #5
    Keep in mind that you can run Windows XP or Vista on a Macbook via Boot Camp in Leopard, or the program Parallels.

    Here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkBZ20m6Gbg&NR=1

    I am going with a Macbook myself for college. I have been a Dell PC guy for quite sometime. I will never buy a PC machine again.


    Good luck.:)
     
  6. sn00pie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sn00pie

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    Jun 25, 2008
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    United States
    #6
    So the laptop essentially replaces the pen and paper? I'm new to this college thing. :(
     
  7. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

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    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #7
    I've been through one year of college without a laptop and I WILL definitely have one for this year. I'm just waiting for Apple to update the Macbook.
     
  8. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #8
    Yup. Along with my iPod and guitar, my laptop was my most essential bit of kit in college. It's basically your base station, in terms of documents, music, communication (email, skype), and internet/knowledge source. Whatever you do in college, definitely get a laptop, and not a desktop. It's hard to overstate their usefulness.
     
  9. Rebis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    #9
    I started a smilair thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=5658611&posted=1#post5658611

    Sill not sure what to do a macbook or macbook pro, or stay with windows based laptop.

    -will there be compatibility problems when you use a macbook? is it easy to share documents with windows users?

    - is the 13,3 inch screen big enough to handle documents?

    -is the glossy screen a problem? is matte better?
     
  10. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #10
    I definitely agree with the others. I can't say for a Law major, but back when I was an engineering student, I seldom did any assignments alone. Rather, I was always part of some group of students in the Student Union working on group projects and what-not, so a laptop is essential.

    I made the switch from Windows XP/Vista to OSX Leopard this May. I've never used OSX ever before then, always been a Windows Guy. I feel that I was comfortable with OSX after like a week, so the switch shouldn't be too bad for you.

    If all else fails and you need to do an assignment on your laptop and don't have time to learn OSX, you can always use bootcamp/parallels/VMware Fusion like the posters mentioned above, and boot into Windows.
     
  11. chan2004 macrumors regular

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    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    India, currently Zurich,Switzerland
    #11
    definitely go for it

    i never regretted changing
    but i regret my addictiveness :D
     
  12. friarbayliff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN / IN
    #12
    I wouldn't go so far as to say it completely supplants the value of a good old fashioned pen and notebook, but it is extremely useful to have around for email, reference, typing papers, etc. Granted, I saw plenty of people at my university who seemed to get along just fine taking notes and doing homework almost exclusively on their laptops.

    Try both. See what kind of study groove works for you.
     
  13. Smighty24 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    #13
    Yeah laptop's for college are a very big essential for keeping track of everything and it's always with you. I'm pretty sure all colleges have wireless internet so you are always on the internet and you have everything at your finger tips. And don't forget being a college student you get the amazing apple student discount!!!! I love it how apple takes pitty on the poor college students! You will soon find out that you really are poor when you are in college but you don't need to cheap out on the laptop. But don't forget the student discount!!!! And the back to school promo that they are having with a free ipod touch or a free ipod nano!!! You can get some real savings when you do both of them!!!!
     
  14. iTronz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #14
    I would suggest get the MacBook as at university you will want portability....

    First thing to do is, upgrade the ram. I suggest at least 2GB, or 4GB if you want to future proof you machine. One thing to do is not to buy the ram from apple as they make you pay too much for ram.

    Next thing to do is decide if the stock hard drive will give you enough space for all your work and media. I would suggest an external hard drive, as this will allow you to store media and backup your work to the external drive.

    The 13.3" screen is very nice, but I would suggest buying a nice external monitor. 22" would nice a nice size, if you are like me you will want the extra screen space when dealing with multiple word documents.

    Hope I helped :).
     
  15. ki2594 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Carmel, IN.
    #15
    i definitely suggest VMware Fusion over parallels if you are going to run windows that way IMO. Trust me, I have both of them on my dads air. Fusion destroys parallels in everything. But yeah def. go with a MacBook. I got mine in April, wow, best thing i've ever bought.
     
  16. sn00pie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sn00pie

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    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    United States
    #16
    Yeah, that's one of the things I'm considering. I have a gut feeling that when I buy my MacBook, Apple will update there lineup shortly after... in that case I think I will try to wait out until the end or near the end of August before making my purchase.

    I've been using a PC with 256mb all my life, so 1gb will be enough for an entire lifetime. :D I've used the 13" MacBook before and kinda felt the screen was small, but Apple is already stretching the budget. Do I need to buy $218 with student discount of AppleCare?

    I could get a 15" PC laptop with better specs for $500 less, but then I'd be dealing with Vista; which I don't want to be doing. :eek:
     
  17. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816

    jackiecanev2

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    Jul 6, 2007
    #17
    Try the refurb store instead of the education store. The discount is a bit more than the edu store, and the units are milled over with a fine tooth comb so theyre in perfect working order.

    As far as applecare, do you usually purchase an extended warranty on your electronics? You MB will come with 1 year of applecare; you could always wait until the end of your first year to renew it (but you must do so before the initial year expires).
     
  18. Smighty24 macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2008
    #18
    Jackie, I would have to disagree with you about getting a refurb vs a new macbook with the student discount. The cheapest refub macbook on the apple store is $949.99 for an older computer that had a problem so bad enough that the owner brought it back to the get a new one. With the student discount you can get a brand new macbook for $999.99. Thats only $50 more. If your going to spend the money to get a nice apple laptop you might as well spend the $50 dollars more to make sure you have a new one with no scratches or anything that was wrong with it.
     
  19. italiano40 macrumors 65816

    italiano40

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    Oct 7, 2007
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    NY
    #19
    i agree with smighty that is how i go mine and i love it
     
  20. Smighty24 macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2008
    #20
    The refurb store with apple is a great way to save money. But i just have some issues with getting a used laptop that had a problem with it. If you are a student that can get the discount because it's an amazing deal!
     
  21. nanvinnie macrumors regular

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    Feb 23, 2007
    #21
    i'd definitely recommend getting a laptop for college. basically everyone made all the points i would. i have an mbp and it works great for me...and i definitely like vmware fusion over parallels. sometimes, i do boot into windows for heavy 3d modeling but other than that... having osx and xp on the same machine is awesome... can't go wrong with that...
     
  22. Alx9876 macrumors 6502

    Alx9876

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    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    NorCal
    #22
    But the 15 inch PC lap top battery will die out in 2-3 hours. The Macbook will run 5 hours or more. Perfect for school. And if the screen is two small then buy a 22 inch LCD or connect it to you're LCD HDTV.

    Also 15'' PC Laptop is too bulky/heavy to carry around all day. I know my dad has the same PC laptop you are referring too. And it's freakin heavy. Reminds me of carrying an M16 all day, When I was in the Marines. Do you really want that experience?

    Besides you get what you pay for.
     
  23. sn00pie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sn00pie

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    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    United States
    #23
    You bring up a valid point, I do have a LCD HDTV that I could use for this purpose.

    I think I will spend the extra money and buy the MacBook. When would the best time to buy it be? As far as I know there is a update coming soon...
     
  24. Aztec macrumors regular

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    May 12, 2008
    #24
    I've been thinking really hard about this lately, and I think I'm just going to go with the current MacBook (2.4 GHz). I don't want to deal with Rev.A problems and I really like how the MacBook is built right now (I prefer plastic over aluminum for sturdiness). I think I'll wait until July 15th and if I don't hear anything from Apple concerning the update, I'm going to make a trip to the Apple Store in Toronto! I can't wait.
     
  25. JML42691 macrumors 68020

    JML42691

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #25
    If you are going to get a computer, either a Mac or PC, get a laptop, what if you were stuck with a roomate who makes it impossible to study? With a laptop, you won't be limited to one spot. And in means of Mac or PC, if you school doesn't list Windows as a requirement for your major or as a requirement at all, then get a Mac. Worst scenario, you use windows with BootCamp. In means of Macs, I would get a mid-ranged MacBook, it should suit you fine.
     

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