Unoriginal questions, but I need your help, please. :)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pbacsik, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. pbacsik macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    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. :)
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    1. What programs do you use?
    2. Ask them and read the package. Your external monitor has DVI or HDMI?
    3. Yes
    4. Almost certainly, but of course those things differ by state so you might want to read it

    Check best buy price vs. Apple education price. Isn't there some kind of promo for education users? Something with iPod touch. Look into it.
  3. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    And if you have an external HD "...that practically has my life on it..." for goodness sake make sure you have a backup. And for the really important stuff, like the school work you need in order to graduate, make sure it's backed up off-site. Please. Otherwise you'll be back here in year or so asking how to recover your thesis that you need to hand in tomorrow, but that your "friend" managed to spill a rum and coke into your MBP. Really. I can see into the future. :D
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Just go with the low end. The difference between the high and low end versions is not worth $300, especially with an education major.

    I think it's fairly safe to assume you don't have a 30" display, so you could use the MiniDisplayPort -> DVI (or VGA depending on which one your monitor has) to connect, and the monitor basically sets itself up when you connect it.

    The external HD will work with your MBP. You will definitely be able to read whatever is on it, but I am guessing it is formatted as NTFS, so your MBP may not be able to write to it initially. But if you transfer your stuff to your new computer, then reformat the disk to a Mac-friendly format, it will work with it just fine. Just be sure that you have everything that you need backed up onto your computer, because formatting wipes all the data
  5. pbacsik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    I forgot to list, but it's nothing too huge. Probably mainly iWork, internet, watching movies, listening to music and probably a little more. I'm not a gamer, so no need for extreme graphics and such. I may dabble a little in Photoshop or other photo editing software at some point, but not heavily and not too often

    I'm not sure. The monitor is nearly 300 miles away at the moment, but it's a 5 year old Dell monitor that we no longer use

    I'm holding off until August so I can check around for pricing and get my parents on board with it. They aren't really wanting to spend so much on a computer, but if it lasts me longer than this piece of crap has, they may be more willing.
  6. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I agree- get the lower end MBP- and worst case scenario if your parents won't get you one, the MacBook is a great computer for a grand give or take a bit. It would do everything you listed and much better than a Dell paperweight!

    Also, being a college student you would get a discount from Apple directly, but if you have plenty of best buy points then that may be best.

    Another thought- a free iPod when bought through apple directly....if your parents refuse....maybe your parents could be convinced by giving them the iPod:D

    There is also the refurbished units directly from Apple.....I have had a couple and they have done quite well and have the same warranty.

    This email is brought to you by an educator....which is why there are plenty of money saving ideas....oh yeah, my wife is an educator as well which REALLY explains the money saving tips!:D
  7. Baycon macrumors member

    May 10, 2010
    1) Get the base model.
    2) Replace the stock HDD by a SSD.
    3) ????
    4) Profit!!
  8. pbacsik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    Also, is it safe to run windows on a mac via parallels or boot camp without virus protection? And which one is better or are they the same? I plan on using it at some point in the future, but I know nothing about the program at the moment, so any advice/help would be awesome.

    Thanks! :)
  9. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    You can run Windows without an AV application in a VM, but if you connect to the internet via Windows, you will be still susceptible to malware for Windows. It will not harm Mac OS X though.

    VMware vs Parallels threads
  10. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    You will need virus protection- as it is basically Windows just using Mac hardware.

    Guide is right here

    My other tip- search macrumors first using the search link in the bottom of my signature. Most everything has been asked. Good luck.

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