Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ElusiveTramp, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. ElusiveTramp macrumors member


    Jul 2, 2009

    This is my first post so be gentle :D

    I've had a Windows PC for as long as I can remember, and basically, I'm sick of them. Nothing to do with crashes or bugs etc but just Windows on the whole is really beginning to annoy me.

    So I leave home for University in September and I decided that I'd treat myself to a brand new Mac to comfort me whilst being away from home. Trouble is I can't decide between a Macbook Pro or an iMac.

    I don't need mobility and I'd get more work done on a desktop I know it, but I adore the multi touch gestures on the trackpad and the option to move it if I have to is quite appealing, if I had a MBP. Then there's price. I'd roughly have about £850 to spend (roughly works out at $1393.21) but with the education discount that works out at a slightly modified version of each.

    University means being in Halls, and theft is of course something that plays on my mind. I realise that a MPB would be much easier to snatch than a more cumbersome iMac, and with parties with God-knows-who walking in and out, I can't really be sure I'll be there the whole time.

    So what I'm asking basically is, what would you go for?
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
  3. Surely Guest


    Oct 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd go with the MBP. Even if you got the least powerful model, it will have more than enough power for your needs. You can take it to the library, coffee shops, lectures. Also, you can lock it up in a trunk/foot locker when you aren't there.

    I wouldn't leave it sitting around.
  4. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    A desktop in college is not a good idea. I had the same decision to make but went with the MBP because the iMac takes up too much space, and you will want to take your computer with you when you go home over christmas, and to your friends room. I would go with a MacBook Pro for college. Just buy a $15 laptop lock for when you are not in your room.
  5. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2008
    Welcome to the Mac Universe! go for the mbp. You'll get much longer use out of a laptop compared to a desktop because as the system ages, you'll still be able to use the laptop for lighter duity applications whereas nobody wants a big old obselete klunker hanging around their room.

    as for theft, dont' worry about it. I stressed about the same thing when i went to college. I ended up getting one of those antitheft thingies that you tie the computer to and never ended up using it.
  6. ElusiveTramp thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 2, 2009
    iMac takes up space? I always imagined them to be quite slim for a desktop.

    As for taking it out, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't use it in lectures simply because I like to write notes first and then organize (weird I know). I just can't imagine myself ever taking it out for fear of denting/scratching/losing it. Although I must admit, moving between friend's rooms would be a real advantage.

    Even considering performance we'd still say the MBP?
  7. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    You get more performance for your dollar with the iMac, but I would still say get the MacBook Pro. The 13" or low end 15" just got price drops and are great machines. Don't worry about scratches, it's life and it happens. Plus, if you end up with a crazy roommate do you want to by tethered to your room with the iMac. they are slim but not idea for college in my opinion.
  8. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    MBP, if you don't you WILL regret it, trust me, my mate bought an iMac, he really regretted it, had to shell out £250 for a netbook to take to classes in the end.
  9. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    I believe getting a desktop in college is a MASSIVE mistake. Group meetings to make powerpoints? Getting some work done outside when you don't want to be inside? The uses are endless.
  10. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. Also consider how to get an iMac to and from school.
  11. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    Exactly. Portability is key. Being stuck in your room will eventually drive you mad apart from anything else.

    Everyone in my halls had laptops and incidentally we never had any problems with theft (to be fair though there was less than 50 people in my halls so we knew everyone)
  12. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    13" MacBook Pro or white MacBook. Trust me - you don't want to be carting around a 15" notebook in Uni. And you will end up carting it around - library between classes, group meetings, presentations, etc. Notebooks are kind in university, and the 13" is the one to get. Best mix of portability and power. An external monitor is a consideration, but not a necessity.
  13. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    MacBook Pro you can buy locks for them and there great to take notes on!
  14. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    This doesn't make any sense.

    If you choose to use an aging laptop for lighter-duty tasks, you can certainly do the same with a desktop. And the desktop doesn't take up any more space when it's three years old than it does when it's new.

    The posters here are right - a portable is much more useful in college. If you want a "workstation" setup in your room, get an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse to use with it.
  15. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Well, as it appears that you won't be needing the power, a 13" MBP seems to be the best option for you. (the 15" is good as well, but more of a powerhouse, and more cumbersome). Also, make sure you get a MiniDisplayPort -> VGA/DVI adapter (whichever your Uni uses for it's projectors)

    The portability at Uni is a HUGE plus. You'll find so many extra uses for a laptop at Uni.
  16. pranavss11 macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    San Jose
    I agree with all the posters here. I am in college right now and I have a 13" white MacBook for portability, but also have external monitor + keyboard + mouse for when I am in my room.
  17. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I would get a laptop, but I'll go against the grain and say that there's nothing wrong with a desktop. It's cheaper, more powerful, and you can still take notes in class with a pen and paper despite what everyone else seems to think.

    I guess a big factor is how far away you live from your university- if you're flying cross country obviously an iMac isn't going to work...
  18. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    make sure that before you buy it you have checked the higher education price on the online Apple Store, as with higher education purchases, you can get up to 14% off it when buying through your university. alongside this you also get very cheap AppleCare (£50) a free iPod, and a free printer.

    Please don't pay more than you have to.
  19. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    My Friend Complains about lugging his 15" around.
  20. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'd recommend a laptop rather than a desktop and get a lock for it as many other posters have suggested, if you feel security may be an issue. The MBP is the best of Apple's laptop lineup - I have one and it is an excellent computer - and - with educational discounts - you should easily be able to afford the base model which should see you through college. If portability is an issue, go for the 13" MBP, or for bang per buck, the white MB cannot be beaten.

    Cheers and good luck
  21. mathlete123 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    I think what he means (correctly, i Might add) is that while the iMac does not seem so big because it is powerful when new, as it ages he will dislike the fact that it is huge, and probably end up wanting a new computer. after all, a 24 inch iMac takes up a huge amount of space. Why waste that space when it cannot do everything? With a 13 inch laptop, he can still get a cheap PC (hackintosh) or even mac pro later on (Arrandale) and use the 13 inch for note taking, light stuff, etc. Basically, what people use ibook g3-4s for now. Some people swear by their old computers, (i.e. eMac g3 or whatever) but we all know that as awesome as they are, they are generally only powerful enough for basic tasks. IMO, the ibooks make way more sense to keep to me. They are PORTABLE.
  22. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2009
    I totally agree with previous posts.
    The 13" MBP is the way to go. I'd rather prefer a 13" over 15" for portability, and unibody over white MB.
    Also, keep in mind that imacs also use components similar to those in uMB's. So you should not notice big differences.
    It's nice to have a larger screen, sometimes. Check around for an external monitor to hook up to your MBP, maybe with an external kb.
  23. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    MBP and if you need a bigger screen then get an external monitor. You get the both of best worlds then:)
  24. ElusiveTramp thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 2, 2009
    Thank you everyone for the suggestions.

    An external monitor does seem to be the way forward with a MBP, I just have to find one that's looks as good as the Apple LED one.

    Plus an external monitor would let me have the best of both worlds as previous posts say, a workstation in my room and a multi-touch track pad I can take outside.

    Now to raise £1000 :D

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