Univ. student: what/when should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cleanup, May 31, 2007.

  1. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1
    I'm off to the University of Toronto next year, which means I need a laptop.

    While my brother recommends I get a white MacBook because it's cheap, I believe I'll need a MacBook Pro (why don't they make a 13" or 12" or even 14" MacBook Pro?). I get into some pretty heavy graphics design sometimes.

    My question is what/when should I buy? I'm not very caught up on rumors and speculation at the moment. Are any new laptops coming out soon? The schoolyear starts in September but I'd like to have a laptop before then.

    Also, I'm currently located in Shanghai, China, which gets revisions of new Apple products about three weeks later than North America. Please keep that in mind!

    I want something portable enough to bring to class, but still powerful enough to handle my occasionally demanding tasks.

    What's the best time to buy? I'm basically hoping for a small MacBook Pro, but if we don't see that soon, I suppose I'll end up getting a 15", which I really don't want to do because it seems a little large for me. Just how portable is it?

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    unless you're doing video or gaming, the MacBooks will be able to handle your work just fine since they don't need a graphics card. in the end you need to figure out whats the most important aspect to you. smaller or bigger (for a cost).

    the MacBooks are great right now, imo.
     
  3. cleanup thread starter macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #3
    isn't graphics work slow going on the macbook's integrated graphics junk?
     
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #4
    PS and the like are all 2D apps, they don't use the graphics card. Video editing will and games more than anything else. PS and Illustrator would work just about the same on either MB or MBP.
     
  5. wyatt23 macrumors 6502a

    wyatt23

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Forest Hills, NY
    #5
    if you have something you cann coast off of until last minute, then use that until last minute, then order from apple canada straight to you school. Your school will have computer labs you can use for the time being as well. unless of course you're going with the macbook, then get it now, they just refreshed.
     
  6. scrubca macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #6
    Don't know if you are aware, University of Toronto students get an educational discount from Apple.ca

    www.apple.ca - Education tab on the right side under "more stores"

    you can go in an price your Mac, it will ask you for a student number, but you can make one up just to find out what kind of prices you get.

    (When you actually buy, you will need a real one).

    Keep in mind with the prices, that Ontario, Canada has a 14% sales tax to be added at the end.

    I thought Macrumors was rumoring that new smaller (13-14') MacbookPro's were going to be released in the end of June. It may be reason to wait for you to get to Canada.
     
  7. bmb012 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    #7
    Yeah, contrary to what people think, the only time a video card ever matters is for games and apps like Motion or Aperture. Chances are your 'heavy graphics apps' are not hardware accelerated. Anything that's hardware accelerated that's not Doom 3 (your desktop, widgets, core image) will run just fine in the integrated graphics card anyway.
     
  8. Klisk macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    #8
    So what about things like Flash animation? If you're developing flash animation, does that lean on the graphics card heavily?

    Also, how about video editing, a la videos you made on a digital camera?

    Sorry for cutting in here, I just wanted to ask. :)
     
  9. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #9
    Nope on both counts. In fact, have a look at Flash's min requirements and just see how paltry they are!

    Video editing tends to be a very CPU-intensive process and MBs handle it very well. In fact, Creative Mac did a test (http://creativemac.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=43717) comparing MBs running Final Cut Studio. Considering that MBs aren't supported by the software, it did rather wel...
     
  10. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a

    Dynamyk

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #10
    Get the Macbook even intensive graphics design (which is what I do for my job) is easily handled by a Macbook, just upgrade the RAM upto 2 GB and your flying. I have Illustrator, Photoshop and Dreamweaver all open doing something and its like I only have text edit open :p
     
  11. cleanup thread starter macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #11
    Thanks for the all the responses. :)

    So I suppose getting a MacBook Pro would only be justified if the graphics card was really necessary ie. for video editing? All the other specs seem roughly the same.

    Also, what's the point of getting a BlackBook besides the color? Can't a regular white one be upgraded to pretty much the same specs (or better) for less money than it costs for Apple's upgrade?

    I need to sit down one day and calculate how much money I can save, then maybe I can get other things like a printer, iCurve, USB hub, Airport Express etc...

    I need a nice, stylish, but not outrageously inexpensive powered USB hub to plug in all my junk =) any suggestions?
     
  12. furcalchick macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    #12
    will you be plugging up more than two things at a time very often? if not, then i wouldn't bother with it for now.

    and get a macbook, like the other users said, only get a pro if you are doing heavy on video/3d, as that is the only major difference.

    blackbooks are a 50 dollar premium when you compare the exact same specs to a white macbook, so unless you like black, stick with white.

    also, i suggest you max out your ram to 2 gb.

    i would also look into buying an external hard drive, which isn't that expensive. in the us, it's around 100 bucks for a 250, although it may be higher in canada.

    and apple has the ipod student discount usually around this time...see how that goes.
     
  13. cleanup thread starter macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #13
    Mouse (don't like wireless mice), iPod, printer, USB key, cell phone occasionally...

    so yes. Definitely mouse and printer whenever i'm at my desk and i like to keep at least one port open to stick in a USB key/iPod or whatever I might want to perform data exchange with.

    I do like the black, I just find it stupid how they force you to pay for an extra 40 GB of hard drive space that you might not need just for the black color, which really makes it more of a $200 CAD premium, which is ridiculous for 40 GB + black.

    Using my U of T student number, I can get the second tier white macbook for $1349 which is only a paltry $100 off the regular price :rolleyes:

    I can get 2 GB memory from Apple for $196 or I can get Corsair memory from NCIX.com for $130... then again I have to wait till I get to Canada to get this.

    Hmm... the iPod promotion deal gives me more than just $100 off doesn't it? Can I apply that promotion as well as my student discount? Then I could justify getting some other goodies...
     
  14. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a

    Dynamyk

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #14
    Yes you can combine the promotion.

    Maybe look into getting a refurbed Macbook?
     
  15. 2hondas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #15
    I am getting a Macbook also this year, and I am going to the University of Western Ontario... 2 hrs away from U of T :)

    I did some research on Memory... you can get 2 GB of memory from Crucial, $89.99 US. With 6% duty, 14% Tax, and $13 shipping, it works out to be approx. $137 Canadian! :)
    http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=23B81B25A5CA7304
     
  16. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    #16
    Apple usually runs back to school specials around mid-July. The past few years the deal has been buy an Apple system and iPod on the same order and receive a $200 mail-in rebate. I say that is the best time to buy since it will be after WWDC and rumors are floating around of MacBook Pro updates at the event.
     
  17. Anorak macrumors regular

    Anorak

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #17
    And I'm buying a MacBook this year and I'm going to the University of Waterloo! About 2 hours from both schools.
     
  18. 2hondas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #18
    Its 1 hr from both schools. ;) Waterloo/Kitchener/Cambridge is half way to Toronto from London! What program are you in?

    Will this deal be available through our Campus Computer Store? Or is it only from Apple directly?
     
  19. Anorak macrumors regular

    Anorak

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #19
    Well, it's about 1.5 hours to Toronto, pending traffic. Not sure how far it is to London, but I'd imagine it would be around 1 hour!

    I'm planning on buying a MacBook Pro sometime in July / August to take advantage of the back to school deals - but if the deal isn't great, I'll be taking advantage of the ADC discounted hardware purchase.
     
  20. 2hondas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #20
    Ah, I see. What is the ADC discounted hardware purchase?
     
  21. lamina macrumors 68000

    lamina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    From Canada, living in Seoul
    #21
    Every year Apple has a promo around back-to-school time where you get a free iPod. I'd say definitely wait. You'll be able to buy directly from the UToronto computer store, and you'll get a free iPod, AND you'll get your student discount.

    I used to work at Dalhousie University's campus computer store, and the free iPod thing is awesome... basically you pay for it up front, and you get a rebate for it. The year I was there, we had no troubles at all with it. Schools may also bundle a printer and/or software (MS Office is key) as well.

    I'd personally go with a base 15" MBP. I'd consider the pro line of Apple laptops a better investment, plus you'll have that dedicated graphics processor for when you want to game... and trust me, you'll want to game eventually. Why the heck not? Good sized hard drive, 1GB RAM, DVD burner bigger screen, sexy aluminum (pronounce it al-yew-minn-eum and it's even sexier)... it's worth the extra to me (take a look at my sig)
     
  22. Anorak macrumors regular

    Anorak

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
  23. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    #23
    To say that the only extra value of a MBP is better graphics power is absurd!

    The MBP offers users a larger screen, as some users do not prefer a small 13" screen.
    It also offers a backlight keyboard and different enclosure.
     
  24. Anorak macrumors regular

    Anorak

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #24
    Also looks a lot nicer than the original MacBooks (in my opinion).

    [​IMG] vs [​IMG]
     
  25. Young Ted macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    #25
    I think (especially for your design work) that the extra screen space is worth getting the Pro for. I have a 17" PowerBook G4 and use Photoshop and Painter, and I love it. You'd be getting that same resolution (right?) on the 15" MBP; it's pretty good. I wouldn't worry too much about the dedicated GPU, but do worry about RAM - just remember to get lots and lots. I have 2GB, and things are still pretty good, even on my 1.5GHz G4. I'd also say wait until you get to Canada. I live in Chengdu, and managed to buy RAM considerably cheaper than the going rates back home in England - but you live in Shanghai, and are going to a place where RAM is probably cheap as chips, at least compared to my home!

    In terms of portability, I find my 17" (in a backpack) no problem to cart about to all sorts of places. Personal preference I suppose. Go and compare for yourself at stores if you're not too sure about this one.
     

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