Student Macbook/ Macbook Pro advice- which to get?

Seamoose17

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2010
20
0
Hi

I'm a student and looking at getting a Macbook Pro.

But which model should I go for? I'll get the student discount which will be handy.

I'll just be doing general web browsing, word processing etc.

Should I go for the hopefully soon updated Macbook Pro which might get a price drop or go for a cheaper macbook. Also, is the 13" big enough for what I want to do?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers!
 

techound1

macrumors 68000
Mar 3, 2006
1,977
7
For the uses you've listed, a MB will do just fine. If you really want to spend the money or have a compelling need for a larger screen, then go MBP.

The refurb store is generally cheaper than the ed store, so if you're squeezing pennies, check there. I believe that both places are offering the "buy a mac get a free printer" deal (which is after rebate).
 

Seamoose17

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2010
20
0
In terms of screen size I think 13" would be fine- what do you guys think: is 13" too small?

I am torn between a MB and MBP but with this pending update I'm really keen on the MBP.
 

stridemat

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
10,978
589
UK
In terms of screen size I think 13" would be fine- what do you guys think: is 13" too small?

I am torn between a MB and MBP but with this pending update I'm really keen on the MBP.
What course you doing? I have found 13" too small to have Word open with a PDF document open next, and still being able to read things clearly.
 

Linkzi

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2010
28
0
If you can wait until the fall, Apple usually offers a free ipod touch along with the education discount.
 

Seamoose17

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2010
20
0
What course you doing? I have found 13" too small to have Word open with a PDF document open next, and still being able to read things clearly.
Enterprise development is what I'll be doing.

So do you have the 13"? And when you talk about a word file and a PDF- do you mean they are hard to see clearly if you have them both up at the same time?
 

Hellishness

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2010
1,086
0
Bay Area, CA
every time someone has a situation like this, i can relate since this is a lot like my current situation.

*wait if you can-you don't need the MBP over MB, but you might as well see what they have.
*13" MBPs refurb'd are the same as a full price MB
*IMO, i would never spend 1K on an MB when i can spend $200 more on an MBP simply because I don't like the looks of the MB.
 

Seamoose17

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2010
20
0
every time someone has a situation like this, i can relate since this is a lot like my current situation.

*wait if you can-you don't need the MBP over MB, but you might as well see what they have.
*13" MBPs refurb'd are the same as a full price MB
*IMO, i would never spend 1K on an MB when i can spend $200 more on an MBP simply because I don't like the looks of the MB.
My main issue is screen size.

I really don't mind waiting for the update because I'm not going to university until Spetember.
 

kny3twalker

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2009
1,241
0
Wait for the back to school event later this summer, and get a free printer, free ipod (touch), and a next generation mbp 13" with student discount ($100 off).

I would get the pro just for durability. The pro will also be updated hopefully by the back to school promotion, but the macbook (if like last year) will not be.

I think the 13" size is great, but it can a bit small if its your only computer (meaning no desktop or external display). The ideal setup is a 13" for use on the go, and a 22" or larger external you can plug it into own home.
 

Seamoose17

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2010
20
0
Wait for the back to school event later this summer, and get a free printer, free ipod (touch), and a next generation mbp 13" with student discount ($100 off).

I would get the pro just for durability. The pro will also be updated hopefully by the back to school promotion, but the macbook (if like last year) will not be.

I think the 13" size is great, but it can a bit small if its your only computer (meaning no desktop or external display). The ideal setup is a 13" for use on the go, and a 22" or larger external you can plug it into own home.
I've heard about this free ipod touch thing- how does it exactly work?

Also, I live in the Uk so I'm not sure if the deals will be different over here.
 

misterwebmaster

macrumors newbie
Mar 1, 2010
22
0
I'm typing this on my new white macbook. I'm very happy with it.

The speedier CPUs that come with the MBP's are unnecessary for general computing. The 9400M is a capable GPU and can game okay too. If you want more gaming get a PS3 :D. USB 2.0 can connect you as well as firewire except for a few custom type applications.

I got a custom build MB with 4 GB Ram and 500 GB HD. I got the educational discount and compared to a similarly specced MBP, I saved lots of money. I'm spending that saved money on a good 24" monitor and I'm still ahead.

As for the 13" screen size, it's fine for web surfing and word processing, and should be fine for programming/development type work. Expose and Spaces are real useful to leverage your screen space.

Another advantage of the 13" size is greater portability. Also, a plastic MB is less of a magnet for thieves than the aluminum MBP.

Until they are updated, the MBPs don't warrant the extra cost over the MB. Even after an update, they'll still cost more and for your stated purposes, the MB is more than adequate.

It all comes down to personal preference and what you can afford, but the white MB is the best value of the portable line right now.
 

Seamoose17

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2010
20
0
I'm typing this on my new white macbook. I'm very happy with it.

The speedier CPUs that come with the MBP's are unnecessary for general computing. The 9400M is a capable GPU and can game okay too. If you want more gaming get a PS3 :D. USB 2.0 can connect you as well as firewire except for a few custom type applications.

I got a custom build MB with 4 GB Ram and 500 GB HD. I got the educational discount and compared to a similarly specced MBP, I saved lots of money. I'm spending that saved money on a good 24" monitor and I'm still ahead.

As for the 13" screen size, it's fine for web surfing and word processing, and should be fine for programming/development type work. Expose and Spaces are real useful to leverage your screen space.

Another advantage of the 13" size is greater portability. Also, a plastic MB is less of a magnet for thieves than the aluminum MBP.

Until they are updated, the MBPs don't warrant the extra cost over the MB. Even after an update, they'll still cost more and for your stated purposes, the MB is more than adequate.

It all comes down to personal preference and what you can afford, but the white MB is the best value of the portable line right now.
Sounds good.

How much is the educational discount- is it 15%?

I'm hoping that the macbook pro update will include a price drop.
 

instaxgirl

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,438
1
Edinburgh, UK
I've heard about this free ipod touch thing- how does it exactly work?

Also, I live in the Uk so I'm not sure if the deals will be different over here.
Uk we usually get a similar but not quite so good deal.

I think last year it was a rebate that pretty much covered the cost of an iPod nano instead of the touch, you could put that rebate towards the cost of a touch though.

We did have the rebate which basically works out as a free printer though.

I'm trying to work out whether or not to hold out for this year's deal or not. I don't really need a new iPod but another printer would be nice and why not get the nano too? :rolleyes: You can always sell the iPod, printer etc to put towards the cost of the computer too.

I'm thinking I'll get a macbook, just 'cause I'm worried by some of the stories of pros denting. I don't need the extra power.
 

misterwebmaster

macrumors newbie
Mar 1, 2010
22
0
How much is the educational discount- is it 15%?

I'm hoping that the macbook pro update will include a price drop.
The discount is usually about 10%, thought you can easily check for yourself. applecare is a little heavier discount.

I wouldn't bet on a price drop. The only reason the last update included a price drop was because the hardware upgrade was weak. Apple hates to lower prices.
 

tomjleeds

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2004
510
198
Manchester, UK
If you can, wait until you actually go to uni to order - you get a better discount as a HE student than you would do otherwise, and you'll need to be on your uni network to access the page. It comes to about 15%, while the 'normal' student discount works out just under the 10% mark IIRC.

Either way, if you can get to an Apple Store (I know how hard that can be over here) then just go and try them out! 13" is probably a tad small if you plan on doing lots and lots of writing but it's much more portable than a 15". Plus, you can always hook up an external monitor if it's going to be your primary machine.

Note that as part of the HE contract Apple have, you'll receive the "warranty" side of AppleCare for three years absolutely gratis.

I wouldn't bet on a price drop, though, for the new MBPs. If anything, expect them to go the other way.
 

stridemat

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
10,978
589
UK
Enterprise development is what I'll be doing.

So do you have the 13"? And when you talk about a word file and a PDF- do you mean they are hard to see clearly if you have them both up at the same time?
Exactly, when they are both open on the 13" I sometime find it hard to read both, especially when writing term papers and staring at the screen for a long time.
 

alust2013

macrumors 601
Feb 6, 2010
4,776
1
On the fence
I would say go with the 13". look around online, and there are still some aluminum MBs out there brand new with the 2.4 processor for around $1100 to 1200 (around the same as a base 13" MBP, but faster and a bigger HD). I love my computer and it does everything I need it to just fine, I even do some light gaming and it handles it no problem. I also have a 20" external monitor that I got for about $150, that works great and is plenty big enough to have multiple documents open, plus I can use the screen on my MB too. I don't think i would bother with a 22", most 20s and 22s run the same resolution, and if your dorm is anything like mine, you'll be short on space. In any case though, I would recommend the 13" with whatever you get, and if you need more space, an extra monitor is bigger and cheaper than getting a 15".

Good luck! :)
 

Seamoose17

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2010
20
0
I would say go with the 13". look around online, and there are still some aluminum MBs out there brand new with the 2.4 processor for around $1100 to 1200 (around the same as a base 13" MBP, but faster and a bigger HD). I love my computer and it does everything I need it to just fine, I even do some light gaming and it handles it no problem. I also have a 20" external monitor that I got for about $150, that works great and is plenty big enough to have multiple documents open, plus I can use the screen on my MB too. I don't think i would bother with a 22", most 20s and 22s run the same resolution, and if your dorm is anything like mine, you'll be short on space. In any case though, I would recommend the 13" with whatever you get, and if you need more space, an extra monitor is bigger and cheaper than getting a 15".

Good luck! :)
Cheers- very good advice.

Is the external monitor a necessity if I do go for the 13"?

And do apple still sell the aluminium MB or will I have to find it on Ebay or something?
 

cjohns97

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2010
2
0
I got a macbook pro 13" 2.53 ghz model last january and I am a civil engineering major. I really like the 13" for its portability, but the screen is a little small for doing some things, but you aren't going to see much difference going to a 15 inch. they both are too small. also, the macs easy zoom makes up for the smaller screen size. i am going to get an external monitor whenever I come up with the cash, then i will be set. in my opinion, the 13" is a lot easier to use in class. the auditorium seats at my campus are crammed together as tightly as possible with those tiny desks big enough for a sheet of paper. i use my macbook as a writing surface sometimes too when i am sitting in a hallway waiting for class to start and doing homework. it fits a sheet of paper on top of it perfectly. i have a case on it, of course. i intimately love my 13" macbook pro. :)

i was going to get a 15" with the 512mb dedicated video card because I will be using autocad a lot, but is it really worth the extra 1k$? you can build a decent desktop for that amount that will satisfy all of your graphical needs.
 

alust2013

macrumors 601
Feb 6, 2010
4,776
1
On the fence
The external isn't necessary, as I did without it for quite a while, but after having it, it makes it much easier having the portability of a small and light notebook and the external just to make multitasking easier. It all depends on what you do. If you are just going to be typically doing one thing at a time, the 13 is fine, but if you want to do a lot of things at once, I would recommend the external. You can probably get a pretty good monitor for cheap through your university as well.

As far as apple selling them, no. But I saw them brand new on powermax.com, and I am certain they are on other sites new as well, and it's also possible if your school has its own store that they still have some. I know that mine did a month or two ago.