So, I am changing my major to education for the fall, and seeing that my Dell laptop is crapping out already, I'm in the search of a laptop that will last me more than the two years that this one has. (Mom expected it to last longer because it was pretty top of the line, but it's got multiple problems, and I think I'm just done with Dell) The minimum requirements for computers includes a MBP with core 2 duo and some other things (the specs for current MBP is higher than the requirements). I also plan on using it after I graduate when I start to actually teach. This will be my first Mac, so I would appreciate any pointers of what I should or should not get. I will probably purchase it from Best Buy, as my mom has a huge number of reward zone points that I will be able to use (if those can work on Apple products...I don't know if they do or not). Here's my main questions that I would appreciate your input on: 1. I'm for sure getting the MBP, but is there a major difference between the lower and higher end 13" MBP? I know the clock speed and hard drive is a little different, but anything else that could effect programs I use? 2. I want to use a larger external monitor when I am at home that is not an Apple Cinema. What is the name of the connector thingy that I need to use? 3. I have a WD external hard drive for my Dell that practically has my life on it. Can I use this with a MBP? 4. Tax free weekend in Texas is in August. If I purchase my MBP on that weekend, will it qualify for tax free since it is for school? or no? Thanks! I really appreciate your help with this.