Student looking for advice and a few questions for future purchase

akkkmed

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 3, 2010
332
0
Hey everyone. I've been lurking here for a while now, but I finally decided to register. I've never owned a Mac, but I have always loved them and know the basics of them. I'll be going to college in the Fall and will be buying a MacBook/Pro. I have a few questions. Thanks in advance!

1. I'm well aware that new models will be coming out (hopefully) soon. Besides what's to come, I don't know what model I should get. I love the looks of the MBP, but the MB price is looking better and better. All I need it for is Safari, iTunes, iChat, Office, watching movies, etc. No art, no editing. Possibly ripping DVD's if I don't build a new desktop. The biggest I'll go is 15", but I am pretty sure I want a 13"... What else do I need to consider? What else are big differences?

2. Apple has student discounts. They also have the free iPod in the Summer. When does that program usually start? I also know about the MicroCenter MB deal for $800. Is there any where else I should look for a good deal? I THINK I want a "new" model, but if the deal is good enough, I will go Apple Refurbished.

3. What else should I be thinking about before I purchase a MB in the next ~6 months (hopefully less!)? If I need it, I already have a 22" LCD monitor.

Thanks!
 

RudyGrow

macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2009
170
0
1. Last year I was in the same situation as you. I really could not decide which to get. I decided on the Macbook Pro due to the fact that it has the LED Display (at the time, the macbooks only had LCD), the faster processor (at the time), the backlit keyboard (which is bloody helpful) and just overall cosmetics. The Macbook would be really good for your needs, but I do no regret my Macbook Pro one bit.

2. The deal usually starts in late June, I think. The best place for deals is eBay or Craigslist. I paid $1000 flat for mine from eBay.

3. If you have the monitor, you need the dang $25 cable to change mini display to dvi/vga. Other than that, a mouse is always handy.
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,772
5
dallas, texas
1. I'm well aware that new models will be coming out (hopefully) soon. Besides what's to come, I don't know what model I should get. I love the looks of the MBP, but the MB price is looking better and better. All I need it for is Safari, iTunes, iChat, Office, watching movies, etc. No art, no editing. Possibly ripping DVD's if I don't build a new desktop. The biggest I'll go is 15", but I am pretty sure I want a 13"... What else do I need to consider? What else are big differences?
Screen size, weight. It's hard to say given the likely update that we should see in June.

2. Apple has student discounts. They also have the free iPod in the Summer. When does that program usually start? I also know about the MicroCenter MB deal for $800. Is there any where else I should look for a good deal? I THINK I want a "new" model, but if the deal is good enough, I will go Apple Refurbished.
June. Best Buy has of late recently ran essentially the same discount. If you were looking to purchase some of the higher-end MacBook Pros, i.e. 17" - the Student ADC.

3. What else should I be thinking about before I purchase a MB in the next ~6 months (hopefully less!)? If I need it, I already have a 22" LCD monitor.
Printer? Which should be included in the deal. I have a bunch of accessories, but let's not order anything you don't need. ;)
 

bluskale

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2010
105
0
if there is no laptop refresh by june, I wouldn't be surprised to see extra appealing bundles over the summer, followed with a refresh in fall shortly after the offer expires.

frankly, I wouldn't go with the macbook. the 13 in pro isn't that much more, and the screen quality is considerably improved, I believe. then again, I tend to have the buy bigger, better and infrequently sort of approach, which is why I'm still using the laptop I had at the beginning of college, several years into my graduate program >.>
 

akkkmed

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 3, 2010
332
0
Thanks for the responses, everyone!
I'm really leaning towards the 13" MPB. It's thinner, much sexier (damn you, metal!), and I love the backlit keyboard. Am I correct in thinking only the Pro's have a backlit keyboard? I regret not getting it on my Studio 14z :(

New question: Is Apple Care something I should really get? For the price of the laptop, I don't think $200 is too bad for 3 years. But what is covered under the extended warranty? Are there any good warranties that covere physical damage too? Or those probably cost as much as a new MB...

Thanks again! You guys are great help!
 

RudyGrow

macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2009
170
0
Thanks for the responses, everyone!
I'm really leaning towards the 13" MPB. It's thinner, much sexier (damn you, metal!), and I love the backlit keyboard. Am I correct in thinking only the Pro's have a backlit keyboard? I regret not getting it on my Studio 14z :(

New question: Is Apple Care something I should really get? For the price of the laptop, I don't think $200 is too bad for 3 years. But what is covered under the extended warranty? Are there any good warranties that covere physical damage too? Or those probably cost as much as a new MB...

Thanks again! You guys are great help!
I don't have Apple care at the moment, but I plan on getting it just in case something was to happen to it.
 

Coldmode

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2010
167
23
In college you will find yourself absurdly mobile. Also, you will tend to use your computer on your bed. Both of these facts lend themselves to damage, so I'd go with the MBP 13 for its better construction.

You can get the student discount as soon as your uni issues you an email address. Also, definitely get AppleCare. You have a year to buy and Apple hardware issues are rare, but it's better to be safe than get screwed by a bum logic board.

No Apple warranty covers accidental damage. Buy a case from Speck or another company or keep the computer in a sleeve for travel to avoid dings. Also, just be careful with it. Apple products aren't cheap, and it'd be a shame to have to buy another two years in and have no money left over for booze ;).

You'll probably be using this machine for four years, so I'd sit on your money until they refresh the line. Shouldn't be much longer now...
 

akkkmed

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 3, 2010
332
0
In college you will find yourself absurdly mobile. Also, you will tend to use your computer on your bed. Both of these facts lend themselves to damage, so I'd go with the MBP 13 for its better construction.

You can get the student discount as soon as your uni issues you an email address. Also, definitely get AppleCare. You have a year to buy and Apple hardware issues are rare, but it's better to be safe than get screwed by a bum logic board.

No Apple warranty covers accidental damage. Buy a case from Speck or another company or keep the computer in a sleeve for travel to avoid dings. Also, just be careful with it. Apple products aren't cheap, and it'd be a shame to have to buy another two years in and have no money left over for booze ;).

You'll probably be using this machine for four years, so I'd sit on your money until they refresh the line. Shouldn't be much longer now...
I'm 95% sure I'm going to a local university, so I'll be commuting. So some of that doesn't apply to me. But thanks for the info!

The education discount with the free iPod is what I'm interested in. I already have a 1G iPod Touch, but I wouldn't mind selling the old one for some cash. (Or maybe the new one...) Since they started this deal a few years ago, when does it actually start? Beginning of summer or when?

Also, do warranties like SquareTrade or anything else cover damage?