Student looking for laptop - Advice please :)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jamesthatcher, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Jamesthatcher macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    #1
    I 'm going to be studying Fine Art with Marketing next year and i 'm looking for a computer to help with my studies. I 'll be most likely using it for Photoshop, Keynote applications, Word, Powerpoint ect, and possibly some video editing.
    I would like to have a laptop, i think i 'll need the extra mobility during uni.
    I have a iMac which is fantastic, and i usually have tones of websites going whilst i 'm working, so a decent amount of power is essential.

    I have to save up for living expenses and i am prepared to squeeze a little more cash if it will be worth it in the long run ( this has to last me 3-5 years ).

    I 've looked at my options.
    1; Firstly I 'm abit worried about the screen sizes on the laptops, so i thought i could pick up a monitor for 100ish pounds and opt for the Macbook Pro 13inch, 2.53Ghz. I really would like that extra RAM, i think it will benefit my photo/video editing. This would give me a decent size monitor to edit on, and i would have mobility is a need it.

    -( i did read somewhere that the 13 inch's display was not nearly as good as the 15 inch, is that still so? )

    2; Or would the 15 inch do, could i effectively edit photo's on it?, - the extra money spent on a monitor could be spent on getting a better size laptop display?

    3; Or do you think i would benefit squeezing a little more and going for the more powerful 15 inch 2.66Ghz with the extra power. Do you think for what i 'm using it for i 'd need it? would it become more "future proof" for the ever more intensive applications.

    Suggestions and Advice warmly welcomed, Thank you everyone for your time :)


    P:S please no nasty stuff, i 'm only seeking your advice, not arguements :D
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    Honestly this isn't really that different from the umpteen other "Which Apple laptop to buy?" threads, if you look at them.

    Even the white Macbook is going to do fine with any of the tasks you mention. A 13" MBP isn't "overkill", but you're right in that getting an external screen is probably going to be more beneficial in the long run than a bigger laptop screen. I would not bother with the 2.66 GHz, but I would upgrade the RAM to 4 GB.
     
  3. Jamesthatcher thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #3
    Sure, i just wanted to specify what i would be using it for. See the responses.

    Yeah i think the 13inch with the monitor might be the best bet.

    Many Thanks for the advice
    j
     
  4. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    Location:
    Buffalo
    #4
    Every single computer Apple sells will do exactly what you want it to do. If screen size is important to you, as you already stated, you can get an external monitor.
     
  5. redking31591 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2008
    #5
    A few of questions first

    How fast do you want your photos to render after edits. Will you be doing big edits? I you will or would you will be best off getting any computer with a faster processor. I don't think memory has much to do with rendering only multitasking.

    Second the screen in the 13in MBP is just a good as the one in the 15in only smaller.

    I would advise personally for portability purposes with one of the 13in models. The high end 13in is just as fast as the bottom end 15in the only major difference is the screen size. In day to day tasks you won't notice the difference between the 2.53 and the 2.66, you might notice it in photo rendering but the difference will be only seconds of saved time. You could go with the 13inch and get a nice 20+inch screen for a desk getting much more screen space for possibly less than the bottom end 15in and have an easier to carry computer to boot.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy your new mac whatever you get!!!!

    edit: I went into such detail because I started typing this before anyone else had answered!!!

    edit 2: by the way the number of websites you have open has nothing to do with processing power. It all depends on how much RAM you have
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #6
    Get the base 13" MBP and put in 4GB RAM and SSD, it'll be a beast after that! Then get external HD or two to store your files
     
  7. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #7
    I really do not know how one could quantify if a computer is "future-proofed." iThink that you are probably doing fine going for the 13".
     
  8. Jamesthatcher thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #8
    Thanks for such a fantastic answer!!,

    - The photo's would be fairly large not sure how many Mb's.. but they would be taken on 13 mega pix slr.

    I doubt the video edits will be very intensive.

    thanks again

    j
     
  9. Jamesthatcher thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #9
    I wanted to highlight the fact that i would want this computer to last :)
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #10
    The machine that will last you the longest is the new model you buy right now. If it comforts you, I had a 2 GHz Core Duo Macbook Pro that i bought in August 2006. If it hadn't been stolen recently I would not have replaced it until well into 2011 or 2012 barring major hardware failures. It did everything I needed to do perfectly well, including several processor-intensive programming tasks. The releases of the newer MBPs didn't make mine run any slower, and while it might have been nice to have the latest and greatest it didn't really bother me.

    There will always be something better- the best advice you can get is to replace your machine when it stops doing what you need it to.
     
  11. Jamesthatcher thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #11
    Sure i understand that. My iMac has lasted since 2005 perfectly. I 'd just like to get something nice, that will last a good length of time.
     
  12. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    Location:
    Bay Area, Ca.
    #12
    The plastic macbooks have horrendous screens. I've heard this has improved, but meh.

    I'd say go grab a 15" if you can. The 13"er is too small as well! UGH!
     
  13. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #13
    Go for the 15" MBP, I had a 15" MBP Classic and it's awesome for FCP and Photoshop, unless you're going to be using Final Cut Pro or graphically intense games, I don't think you're going to need to fork out for the 2.66ghz version, but if you want it to really last you years and years, then the 2.66 is the way to go.

    Also, the 15" is just suitable to work with, I would suggest you also invest in a large external screen, I bought a 22" to take to uni with my MBP, it's awesome to work with.
     
  14. Fizzoid macrumors 68020

    Fizzoid

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    UK
    #14
    The new 13" MBP has a better quality display than the older 13" uMBs.
    As for your 13"-15" dilemma, are you going to be editing photos while mobile? If not, buy the 13" and spend the cash you've saved on a better\bigger external display
     
  15. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    #15
    I think the 13" is absurd if he happens to actually be doing anything serious on it. Granted, I'm typing this on a 13" plastic macbook, and I was lucky I didn't get one of the nasty screens! XD

    What do I have to say about it?

    The white plastic is 3 different shades of white, the edges of the case develop cracks over time, the default hitachi HD is a piece of crap that so far I'm on my 3rd one, and every now and then this one beeps loudly at me (it's probably going to die in the next few months). The battery crapped out around the time the machine turned 2 years old, and in a quiet room the EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE noise of the chipset on power management mode will drive you insane.

    Oh yeah, and there's the LCD - it has a glossy plastic coating with a mild case of orange peel, and you either get a slightly washed out one, or one with nasty dithering.

    Good luck!

    One of my friends had a uMB and it was great, he replaced it with a new uMBP 13" and that's great too, minus the squeaky keyboard. Apparently the optical drive is quiet now (yay!)

    OTOH one of my friends has a UMBP 15" - it's been replaced 3 times and numerous other fixes have had to be done. He's pickier, but stuff like airport not working..

    My 15" PBG4's battery died but I never sent it in for anything otherwise. I wonder what happened to Apple
     
  16. Fizzoid macrumors 68020

    Fizzoid

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    UK
    #16
    The MB isn't even being considered though
     
  17. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

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    #17
    The screen on my 13" 2.2 BMB is beautiful, TYVM:cool:
     
  18. Jamesthatcher thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #18

    I 'd like the computer to last past university, so 5+ years ideally.
    The 15 inch is defiantly more suitable to work with, - the computer needs to be mobile, but WORKABLE. - The question really is, ..is it worth that extra 150 quid :)

    Which external screen did you buy?

    Thanks for your help Schtumple :)
     
  19. opera57 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 15, 2009
    #19
    Yea, Personally I would go for the 13" (better portability and still powerful) and the external screen (more comfortable to work with an external screen than a small(ish) laptop display. [​IMG]
     
  20. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    Europe
    #20
    Get the 13" MacBook Pro and add more RAM and a bigger hard drive yourself. Way cheaper than getting the top end 13" model and still a plenty fast machine. I'm with the people who are endorsing the 13" models as being the perfect travel mates. Pair it with a 24" screen at home and you have yourself a perfect combination.
     
  21. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #21
    Fine Art and marketing? Awesome. For the 5 years, are you getting a Master's?

    Back on-topic; personally, if I had the choice, I would go with the 13" MBP and an external monitor for actual colour-correct work; on a budget, the Dell 2209WA or the 20" ACD; if 1900x1200 is a factor, then the HP LP2475. Whatever you do, avoid TN like the plague - cheap monitors are generally TN, which display 6-bit colour and must dither for the entire 8-bit spectrum. *VA and IPS panels run 8-bit natively.
     
  22. Jamesthatcher thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #22
    The course is 3 years, and i am thinking of doing a masters which would take another year :).

    I 'm not on a budget as such.. but i need to make sure what i get is worth every penny, because i need all i can get for living expenses.

    I 've never really looked into monitors before, so it's all completely alien to me, I 'm assuming TN is a type of monitor? If so i 'll be sure to avoid them :) thanks for telling me!
    The LCD ones look nice, are they any good?

    Thanks alot Dr.Pants, really positive info :D
     
  23. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #23
    Well I'd say if you want it to last for 5 years, get the 2.66 model, it's easily worth it...

    I only got a cheapy 22" from ebuyer (link), I wasn't bothered about colour perfection, it's literally just for holding the library window in FCP. I also hook my xbox up to it with a VGA cable. It does it's job, and it's cheaper than getting a TV license :D

    Out of interest what uni you studying at?
     
  24. 5DollaFootlong macrumors 6502

    5DollaFootlong

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #24
    get a dell monitor. the best value. u can snag a 1080p 22 inch monitor for less than $150
     
  25. Jamesthatcher thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #25
    Sure, but if i got the 2.66 model i 'd defiantly have to get an extra few days of work, and i doubt i 'd be able to afford the monitor for awile,
    - is it worth those extra few pennies??

    I 'll be studying at hertfordshire university, it's got a fantastic course and awesome facilities, check out the website :) i would link you, but i 'm really not that tech savvy on forums :p

    Thanks again for your help

    j
     

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