So... MBP for college or iMac/macbook combo?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by crazydrumma, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. crazydrumma macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2006
    Hey all, I'm going to be going to college next year, and was wondering. What would be better, a macbook pro or getting a 17 inch iMac for my desktop and one of the 13 inch Macbook's for a portable? Right now I like to edit video, surf the web, and listen to a lot of music. When I get to college, I don't know if I will be editing a lot of video, but it might be nice to have that capability. As far as I've seen, the iMacs are very capable of video editing, and I would then use the macbook as a portable, for around campus/traveling use. however, if it would be more worth it to just get a Macbook Pro, please please let me know. Oh, I also have time to wait, because I will probably order the stuff in May. Thanks for the help!
  2. celebrian23 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2006
    Under the sun
    2 computers seems a bit excessive for a college freshman. But maybe that's just me.
  3. calebjohnston macrumors 68000


    Jan 24, 2006
    That's insane to have two computers. Get a MBP at the most, ideally the ibook successor - you'll need the money next year, TRUST ME.
  4. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2006
    East Coast, US
    Syncing files is a pain. Since you have time, wait and see the specs of the iBook/MacBook. A maxed out MB might be close in specs to the 1.83 MBP. Then, maybe just buy a MacBook and wait and see if you really need a second computer. If you do, you can always buy it later. Apple doesn't give you a discount for buying two computers at once.

    Also, you might want to wait until the Fall, because there's a promotion at schools that when you buy a Mac and an iPod (at the educational price), you get a substantial rebate. Even if you don't use the iPod, you basically get it for free and you can eBay if you really don't want it (or give it as a gift, sell it on craigslist, woo a girl, etc). But you won't see that until Aug/Sept.
  5. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2005
    I am a college student and love my laptop plus desktop setup. I would absolutely recommend the imac/macbook over a MBP any day of the week.
    Plus with FolderShare syncing is not a problem. You get a more powerful desktop computer, and a more portable (and better battery life) laptop for the price of one that doesnt do either as well. Trust me, in college, having a small ultraportable laptop is so convenient. However, I agree with a previous poster. Buy a macbook, (preferably the summer before school starts to take advantage of the ipod/mac promo they always run) and if you need more power then go ahead and get the iMac. But a MBP in my opinion, is not the best solution for college.
  6. m-dogg macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2004
    Hehhehhh...back when I was a kid, we went to college with just a word processor (i.e., a glorified typewriter for you youngsters), and we liked it. Nobody could afford this 'inter-net' access either. We'd go to the library if we had to go online.

    What's scary is that was just in 1993! :eek:

    Now people are debating between a sick laptop or a sick desktop/laptop combination. What happened to being a poor college kid?

    Damn, I feel old. :eek:
  7. MattyMac macrumors 68000


    Oct 6, 2005
    hey if you can afford two computers...go for it!
    The Imac would do all the macbook pro can do...except be portable...then it would be nice to have a portable macbook to take around with you. If you did any editing you most likely wouldnt need it to be portable you would do it on your desktop.

    However...two computers is kind of crazy for a college freshman...or any undergrad at that.
  8. ieani macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2006
    the states for now
    Credit cards.

    Just get the laptop. I debated the same thing over and over and over and over and over in my head finally realizing that two computers would be ridiculous. Im going to be partying or studying, which leaves very little play on the computer time.
  9. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2006
    East Coast, US
    How about when all we had was typewriters! And I would never write a rough draft. I would just type it directly, and hope I didn't make a typo late in the page. If you're feeling old, I'm sure it would encourage you to hang out with me.
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I had a desktop/laptop combo for a while, and it was more a pain than anything. I like the simplicity of one computer. Not to mention that 2 computers is really pretty excessive for a college freshman.

    well, that's not quite true though. The MBP is basically *exactly* as powerful as the imac, so the OP really wouldn't get a "more powerful desktop," just a desktop equal to what his laptop could be.
  11. calebjohnston macrumors 68000


    Jan 24, 2006
    I disagree with anyone saying two computers. You need to understand how much money you're going to need in college - and I'm not referring to beer and chips. Get one computer, and be happy with it.

    Save your money for things that matter more in life - such as textbooks, real food, and maybe even going out once or twice :eek: .
  12. jmsait19 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2004
    i bought a powerbook 2.5 years ago as a freshman (and yes i did it in the fall and took advantage of the 200 dollar rebate on the ipod, best decision ever!). anyways, I have enjoyed it ever since. Ive even used it at school, in the library, in class, wherever. It's great.

    However, I've recently learned for a desktop where I can just be organized and have a more powerful computer. I'm looking to replace my powerbook with a more portable laptop and a mid level desktop sometime in the future.

    I don't think two computers is crazy if you can afford it. I want to be there myself.

    I do encourage taking advantage of the iPod rebate if you can like i said earlier... I got mine for a total of 70 dollars after 200 dollar rebate and 30 edu discount.
  13. 1dterbeest macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2006
    Waupun, WI
    Don't listen to all the naysayers!

    Definitely get both computers. I'm running the iMac G4 17"
    that I bought my freshman year, and for awhile I was also using another
    desktop with Windows. Now I've got rid of it and I have a new
    Macbook Pro to use as well.

    While I do most of my real work on the iMac still, the
    laptop is really nice to use when I want to surf the web
    and watch the tv and surf the web at the same time.

    There are a lot of reasons to have both, and I'm sure
    that if you are considering it, you've thought of some
    already. If you have the money, do it!
  14. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    I am currently a music education student in Wisconsin. Some time last year, I thought it would be really great to buy a laptop for school work and for having a portable rig to record audio. I was using a B&W G3 at the time (still running :) ) and was frustrated with the fact that it was a huge pain to take to school and do recordings and that the audio software/hardware I could use with it was sorely outdated.
    I started looking at Powerbooks (the first time I'd really paid attention to Apple laptops) which I believe at the time were $1,999 for the 15" 1.5ghz combo drive and $2,499 for the 15" 1.67ghz superdrive. At that time I thought "good lord, that's a lot for a laptop!" but was pretty set on getting the superdrive model anyway (I should have realized that the other model would suffice).
    Anyway, over time I allowed myself to believe that a G4 would hardly be useful and that an imac G5 was what I should really get. I figured that not only would I have significantly more power than in the powerbook, but the imac itself was relatively portable. I ended up getting a rev b imac G5 (which not 5 minutes ago I maxed out to 2 gig RAM) the same month they were released along with Tiger and it was a GREAT purchase!
    Then, as time went on... I realized more and more how disorganized I was and how much a laptop would benefit me. Also, I was never actually packing up the imac to take to school and record music- I was too opposed to lugging it around anywhere!
    So this last holiday season, when the current rev 12" ibooks were going for $800 with a free Mighty Mouse via rebates from Amazon, I ordered one.
    I LOVE having my ibook. I LOVE having access to a faster computer on my desk at home. However... now I kind of wish I would have just gone for a 15" Powerbook (probably a refurb). Having two computers is fine, but it feels way too decadent for how poor I am. Also, I think now I am finding out that a Powerbook would have probably been just enough processing power for what I need. The ibook is not quite enough for the heavier audio stuff, but the imac is still more computer than I need right now. Plus, had I gotten a Powerbook, I could have probably picked up a decent keyboard, mouse, and display, perhaps saved a few hundred bucks, had dual display capabilities, and a lighter conscience.
    The imac/ibook (or macbook) combo is great, but it looks like for the next few revs, the imac and macbook pro will probably be very close in power (they're practically the same computer right now). There's no need for a consumer desktop AND a consumer laptop when the pro laptop is essentially the two of those smooshed together.
    My $.02 :rolleyes:
  15. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2005
    I like one computer. The MBP is the basically the 15" iMac with all of the speed of the top model. Actually a maxed out MBP (w/2.13GHz) is actually fast then a maxed out iMac. I would get the MBP and if need be, on your desk set it up like a desktop with external keyboard, mouse, and iCurve. That is what I do and it is just like a desktop. Then when you want to use it in the library, coffee shop, bed, just unplug those things and boom your work goes with you with the power of a desktop.
  16. Seasought macrumors 65816


    Nov 3, 2005
    My vote is for a pimped out MBP. Otherwise you simply aren't paying enough attention to one Mac or the other. It's like buying two puppies at once, one of them suffers.
  17. ieani macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2006
    the states for now
    Out of curiousity, which macbook pro were you considering?
  18. Gurutech macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2006
    If you really want to play game in college...
    Gaming console is the best choice..

    And get one computer (MB.. if you have money, MBP...)
    Trust me.. if you got money to burn, perhaps 2 comp are better.. but if not, one is REALLY enough...
  19. mlrproducts macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2004
    I am a third year college student.

    For the longest time I ran a gaming PC rig and a 12" Powerbook, loved it.

    Then, when I began photography semi-pro I switched to a Dual Powermac G5 and an IBM Thinkpad. This way, I always had a Windows machine if needbe, and I always had a desktop and laptop.

    Now, I sold them both to get a MBP which I will dual boot Windows on. When you are living in the dorms, you don't have much room. Usually my Powerbook got tossed on my bed, in the way, because there was no room on my desk.

    I see your financial situation - and curse you - you make me think twice. However, as one poster said - one will always be less loved than the other.

    If it were me, what it comes down to, is I would go for the MBP, max out the RAM, buy an external hard drive or two, and enjoy. If you ever need to do color-correct work, such as photography (and of course videography), heaven forbid you can pickup a 2005fpw for $400 and hook the MBP up to that - and you'd even have two screens (better, actually, for the vid work).

    All in all, my 2¢
  20. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2006
    East Coast, US
    Another thing to consider. One rationale for having two computers was because even the low-end iMac was significantly faster than a maxed-out high-end PowerBook. That simply isn't the case anymore. The performance difference between the MBP and the iMac is neglible.
  21. wonga1127 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2006
    Wishing for a magic bus.
    IMO, typewriters encourage better keyboarding skills. I learned to type fast on one, my old 6th grade computers teacher pulled out 30 IBM electric typewriters and timed us. No mistakes at all. Yeah sounds Hitler-esque, but it worked.
  22. ieani macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2006
    the states for now
    Which MBpro did you get?
  23. mlrproducts macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2004
    Picking up the 1.83 at Amazon today, going to max it out with 2GB RAM and perhaps, later if I need to, throw a 7200RPM drive in it.

    For the price of the low end iMac and say an iBook for $999 (assuming waiting til April 1st that the new books will be that price), you can get a MBP with 2GB RAM, and perhaps an external hard drive.
  24. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    go for the MBP. my 15" PB with a 20" external monitor are the best things for college. you have a good 20" monitor for doing work when your at your desk, and a powerful machine for going to class with. thats just my experience in college, but its still a great set up, though some people dont want the external monitor.
  25. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    I currently am using a two computer setup, and am a senior in college. I have an iMac G5 @2.1 GHz and used to have a PowerBook G4 @ 1.0GHz. I sold the PowerBook to buy my new MacBook Pro, and the amount of time that lapsed between not having the PowerBook and getting the MacBook Pro really made me realize how awesome of a setup this is.

    I really don't use my laptop much (well, I am right now, even though I am sitting at my desk with my iMac to the left of me), I just like having this computer to take to class with me, or to Starbucks to get some stuff done, or to just dick around on the computer while on the couch.

    It really is a worth while setup. In you situation, I would get the iMac Core Duo (the Core Duo processor really is amazing) and the MacBook/iBook. Like others have said, the iMac and MacBook Pro are essentially the same computer, so there is no need to shell all that money out for a portable that you probably wouldn't even need all that power for when you have it in you desktop.

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