What notebook is best for my use?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PaperMacWriter, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. PaperMacWriter macrumors 6502

    PaperMacWriter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    #1
    Hi, I'm entering High School and my brother broke the laptop my dad gave me(an icky PC!), and I have saved up $1,500 towards a "new"(refurbished) computer. I currently cant decide if I should
    1) Save up for a refurbished 15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz

    or

    2) Get a refurbished iMac 24" and an older notebook. If I do this, I would need the weaker notebook to run: iWork 09, Safari 4 beta, and Leopard.

    I would be running the following on the more powerful computer: iMovie, Bricksmith, iWork 09, iTunes, Safari 4 beta, DVD player, and other iLife suite and Apple brand software(not pro level).
    I would like to know:
    a)Which of the two options is best for what I have specified(or other options if you can think of any).
    b)if I choose option 2, what notebook should I get? I was thinking an iBook, or maybe a PowerBook. Where should I get it from?
    c)What iMac would be best? I type this on my moms iMac 24" 2.4GHz from late 2007, and I am quite fond of it. Would a refurbished version of this be good enough for me?

    Thanks! SG :apple:
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    Why not opt for a refurbished unibody (current generation) MacBook, and leave yourself some spare change for those rainy days?
     
  3. PaperMacWriter thread starter macrumors 6502

    PaperMacWriter

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    Apr 5, 2009
    #3
    I'm afraid I couldn't stand the MacBook screen if it was my only computer, but I have thought about it. SG :apple:
     
  4. txnoob macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #4
    Question, why does a person entering HS, NEED a notebook??? If it was college I could see. IMO, get the refurb 20" iMac and save that extra money you have toward the best notebook you can get when you Graduate HS into college.
     
  5. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

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    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    #5
    This. You don't need a notebook in high school.
     
  6. PaperMacWriter thread starter macrumors 6502

    PaperMacWriter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    #6
    Quite frankly, I don't. However, I would like to have the portabilaty of a notebook, and I would like to be able to take notes with pages, do reserch papers on it using Safari, and then do the final editing on an iMac, or all on a MBP.
    Maybe only an iMac, but NEVER a 20". IMO, if you are using a desktop, ESPECIALLY an all-in-one, the larger the screen the better (to a certain extent). Also, I think a MBP would be plenty of power for a good while, at least till a a good way through collage (maybe half before it wont run the newest operating system, and same with an iMac).
     
  7. PaperMacWriter thread starter macrumors 6502

    PaperMacWriter

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    Apr 5, 2009
    #7
    I don't believe I NEED a notebook, but it would be quite a bit more useful in various situations, such as lending it to my brother when on vacation (while laying down the law to make sure he doesn't break it). And a new laptop SHOULD last about, six years maybe(saying there is no droppage), with the same for a desktop. Then, in collage, I could use the same idea of an "old" laptop (probably a macbook from today), and be using the current OS(hopefully).

    SO, please don't suggest getting not getting a notebook, as that is definitely what I want(even if it is an iBook). SG :apple:
     
  8. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    Mar 6, 2008
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    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #8
    A late model g4 ibook or power book with maxed out ram should do nicely. And if you want to get a job and save your money for it, get a 17" mbp with 8 gigs of ram! Frak everyone else telling you what you need.

    Kids these days are having to do more and more stuff online. I sent my 13 year old daughter a lenovo ideapad (sorry, txnoob, she wouldn't let me hackintosh it) for school after I checked with my ex-box and my daugher's teachers. My housemate's daughter, 14, has to do papers, etc., that have to be typed.

    My ex's first question was whether they'd be able to hook up a printer to it via a usb connection.

    It boggles my mind a little bit, but I could see how a high school kid could make a legitimate claim that he needs a computer.
     
  9. kindablue09 macrumors regular

    kindablue09

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #9
    I just finished college and can see that the computer world has flipped upside down since I was in HS. Plus the thread starter never said that he/she "needs" a notebook. Maybe he/she will be on yearbook staff and wants to do movies or something like it... anyways...

    I'd say get a 2.0 refurbed unibody macbook (~1100). No the screen isn't that small, yes you could get used to it (my apologies if you have a vision impairment). Worse comes to worse you could pick up a cheap external display for your imovie/DVD player needs (20" dell ~$200) and it would still be cheaper than a mbp. Either way, I would stay away from the mbp b/c apple care is significantly more expensive for it (imo all laptop users should have apple care). Also, the entry level mbp isn't all that different from the 2.4 mb. They perform very similar on benchmark tests.

    http://www.macworld.com/article/136214/2008/10/macbookbenchmarks.html

    Since you are starting out fresh (no computers) I wouldn't go with two; it can be a big hassle.

    Plus, look into firewire. If you will be heavy into pictures/videos you may need it. The unibody macbook doesn't have firewire. The whitebook does.
     
  10. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816

    Lurchdubious

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    High school? Just get a refurb whitebook and save your extra cash.
     
  11. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #11
    Why not get a netbook of any sort, run a Hackintosh on it, and then get a iMac 24". That way you could save a ton of money on getting a used powerbook/iBook.

    I'm in 9th grade, have a nice PC with good graphics card (That I never use to play games), a 2.2Ghz Core2Duo processor, and 4GB RAM. Then I have a MSI Wind that I (almost) have a Hackintosh running on. I'm taking various classes in school that relate with computers, and my school's computers are like a Pentium3, with Windows 2000, and have like 256mb RAM. So, yes, I'm allowed to take in my MSI Wind to school and work on that instead of the crapptastic computers.

    By the way, its definitely. Not "defiantly"...which is a adjective of defy.
     
  12. PaperMacWriter thread starter macrumors 6502

    PaperMacWriter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    #12
    I don't really want to get a Hackintosh, even when the specs read high. One of the high points of a Mac to me is that they are high quality, and that they designed the OS to work WONDERFULLY on their products, so that kinda defeats the purpose....

    I've heard this, but I may do some stop motion, video editing on iMovie, photo editing on iPhoto, and Bricksmith, a Lego building program. These would all benefit from a bigger screen and a better graphics card(I think), so a MacBook Pro would be better. BTW, Im not sight impaired(or at least no that I know of, haven't had a vision test in some time).

    Haha! Spell check can lie...:D

    SG :apple:
     
  13. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #13
    While I don't agree with the "Why do you need a notebook in HS?" comments, I *do* think that you should spend as little money as possible right now and instead get a nice machine when you enter college/the work force. I'd look into something like a refurb or used 2 GHz Merom Macbook Pro or maybe even a G4 if you want a laptop or an older iMac (I haven't owned one of these in a while, so I won't bother trying to list specific models) if you decide for a desktop. Any of these machines will be able to competently run the things you listed.
     
  14. Durnaurion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Bielefeld, Germany
    #14
    I have a different suggestion. Buy a white MacBook (pretty cheap with students account or an ebay) and a nice "24 screen to use at home.

    The white MacBook has plenty of power for non-gaming uses and will have for a couple of years. In comparison to a MBP, it's also more portable, because it's smaller.

    I use an "old" MacBook hooked up to a "20 screen to do everything and it works really well. And if I need a computer on the road, I always have my "main machine" (all the data, working environment etc.) and never have to sync anything. So, I prefer this over having a desktop AND a portable machine at the same time.
     
  15. macgrl macrumors 65816

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #15
    I would agree with the suggestion of buying a white book or a refurb mb and hook it up to an external monitor
     
  16. txnoob macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #16
    Students in our high schools aren't even aloud to bring computers to school because the significant risk of theft or damage. To me this makes a lot of sense. However the kids school's computers are updated at least every 2 years. With the very basic tasks that you listed below, a nice used Notebook would do the job quite well.

    It seems to me that with your nice desktop, and your netbook, that you have are much more fortunate than a lot of kids. Especially considering you're contemplating 2 more computers. Regardless, Best of luck in your search.
     
  17. allmIne macrumors 6502a

    allmIne

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    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #17
    Absolutely this. imo, the only reason you're considering anything else, is because you're a big Apple fan. The refurb whitebook will do all you need it to, and a lot more.

    Get a cheap external monitor if you want, but this is all the computer you need.
     
  18. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    #18
    If you don't need a notebook, as muchas you might want one, I would still advise against it. People that don't need notebooks—and instead are thinking about all the times they might be toting it around—tend not to port their computers around in the long-run.

    A Mac desktop will generally last longer than a comparably priced Mac notebook for two reasons:
    1. You're not carrying the iMac around. Accidents do happen.
    2. You're getting higher specs. While accidents happen, I'd say most people only replace their Macs when the performance is no longer adequate. This can take quite awhile.

    I am still going to advise toward getting a refurb iMac (24" if you please) and saving some money toward whatever to current Apple notebook is four years from now when you go to college (you might even get some help from parents/relatives as a grad gift). You're going to appreciate having a new laptop in college (where it is a lot more likely that you'll need its portability—dorms are not the best place to study).

    If you're really totally deadset on a laptop, I would keep the price very low. Maybe a 12" G4 PowerBook? Check these out: http://www.macofalltrades.com/Apple_Notebooks_s/5.htm
    Would definitely do everything you want and should get you through high school—then you can upgrade to a nicer Mac. It won't last as long as the iMac performance-wise—which could likely last through college if you wanted it to—but it should be solid for several years.

    In any case, I would think hard about the things you need in a computer right now vs. what you might want four years down the line. I would go very cheap right now while you have access to a family computer so you can upgrade when you need your own primary computer.
     
  19. kindablue09 macrumors regular

    kindablue09

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    Mar 26, 2009
    #19
    Greatest laptop ever, go with the 1.5 (scrolling trackpad) :D
     
  20. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #20
    AND two finger right click touch! WOOT! Hollah!
     
  21. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    Isla Nublar
    #21
    I remember when I was in highschool I didn't get a computer till my junior year : / It was a complete necessity (how can one be a computer programmer without a computer?) So I have to sympathize with the OP.

    Get a laptop if you want but desktops generally run faster (and have faster harddrives).
     
  22. cloudblood84 macrumors regular

    cloudblood84

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    Location:
    san diego, ca
    #22
    HS kids getting 1500$ computers, this is some terrible economy we are in.;)
     
  23. Freewayjim macrumors regular

    Freewayjim

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Atlanta
    #23
    To the OP, I like your #1 option the best but a $1299 Unibody MacBook and decent 20-22" monitor is not a bad option either.

    My child will be starting 7th grade at a new private school next fall and they allow students to use laptops at school, what's the big deal?

    On a side note, during our interview to get in to the school, the official had a PC laptop stuck under a bunch of papers & books and had a MacBook Air on the other side of the desk, away from the clutter, how proper!
     
  24. txnoob macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #24
    It's not if you don't care about the strong possibility that it will be damaged. For me, money doesn't grow on trees for one. For 2, a computer at home is more than adequate to do any required work of a 7th grader, private school or not.
     
  25. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #25
    If the child will be using, and is expected to use, the laptop at school, then fine. Otherwise, yeah a desktop at home should suffice.

    I remember junior year of hight school in computer lab. The first day, we all walked into Mrs. Wilson's class, sat down, and looked around for our individual 5 1/4" floppies.

    As we all looked up at her with incomprehension on our faces, she proudly announced that we weren't getting floppies to use. The computers this year, she said, came with a 'hard drive' already built in.

    I can't recall the exact capacity she said it had, but it was some saganesque, made up figure like 10 mega bites. We all oohed and aahed, wondering how even a room full of students could possibly hope to fill up such a monster...:rolleyes:

    God, I'm old.
     

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