What should I get?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iMacXpress, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. iMacXpress macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hello, everyone! I am a new comer here on MacRumors. :)

    I currently own a HP laptop from a few years ago that have and is still quick for all my needs. I plan on purchasing a new laptop soon and hand this HP over to my younger sister. I have never owned a Mac before..

    I will be starting college here in a couple weeks and I need something that will be quick enough for school. I will be attending a community college for 2 to 3 years and then will be transferring to a university for about 4 years. After that, I am planning on going to dental school for about a few years...

    So, I believe I will mainly be using Microsoft Office.. but I also like to do photography as a hobby and I use Adobe CS5 a lot. I have no need for games or any other programs that I know of. Oh, and of course web browsing.

    My budget is around $1100 USD but I can possibly cough up a little bit more.

    I have absolutely no clue what to get. I recently have been looking at the Macbook Pro's and MacBook Airs. I, personally like the Macbook Pro.

    What would you recommend? Should I get a brand new laptop or just get a second hand one until I am finish with school? If I were to get a second hand, which model, spec etc?

    Any advice, opinions, etc. will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #2
    I would go with new one as you get full warranty and all that.
     
  3. englishman macrumors 6502a

    englishman

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    #3
    I always buy used, the warranty with Apple follows the machine if you get one less than a year old.

    You can then add Applecare yourself.

    With a new machine you lose money straight away.
     
  4. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Detroit
    #4
    I like the 13 inch Macbook Pro as a solid college machine, especially if you can get a deal on it. Microcenter has been selling them for $999.

    The 11.6 inch Macbook Air is an even better choice if you want light weight and don't mind a small screen. The 13 inch MBA is also a good choice if you can afford a little more and still want a relatively light machine.

    I would also get a USB or firewire disk and run Time Machine backups to the disk so you have your stuff backed up. Nothing is worse than having some computer glitch the night before an assignment is due and you have nothing backed up. Of course computer glitches on Macs are nearly non existent but if you spill a drink on your machine, you need a way to get your files back so you can turn in your assignments.
     
  5. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #5
    I have the Macbook Pro 13". It is a solid computer, and is available for a very reasonable price new. I think it will easily handle the tasks you mentioned.

    If you are feeling a little more daring, the Macbook Pro 11" is less expensive, packs quite a punch, and is as light as a feather. Honestly, it is one of the most beautiful devices on the market right now in terms of function and form.

    If you are feeling extremely brave, you could experiment with using the iPad (this is what I do for about 90% of my work--reading and writing). It will NOT be able to help you out much with the kind of photo work you do, and you will still need a computer at some point (usually available on campus) for final drafts of papers and so forth. However, it is light, with long battery life, doubles as an e-reader/TV/movie viewer, and can cover most of your reading and writing needs (but not quite all). For more about this, see the links belos:

    1. Getting Things Done with the iPad
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1197650&highlight=
    2. Going from Paper to iPad
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1198956&highlight=
    3. Getting Things Done: iPad for Academics
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1189442&highlight=


    Perhaps the best setup is an iPad + computer combination. If you tried this, with your budget you would probably have to go for an iPad 1 (about 350 dollars new if you can still find one, less if you go used) and a refurbished / used Macbook Air 11".
     
  6. iMacXpress thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Thanks for the heads up, everyone! I think I am going to head to the Apple store and Best Buy later to mess around with the computers.
    Any more thoughts and recommendations for me?
     
  7. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I recommend you go with an apple refurbed macbook pro 13 inch!
     
  8. iMacXpress thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I went into the Apple store and Best Buy today.

    I looked at the 11.6" Macbook Air and the 13.3" Macbook Air.

    The 11" was a bit too small for me but I loved the 13". It is perfect.

    The Macbook Pro 13" was really nice. The weight wasn't really a big issue. It seems to be more bulky but I believe it is a lot faster. Plus, I noticed that only the Macbook Pro had a disc slot.. and the Macbook Air didn't have a disc slot..

    Can I get a disc slot for the Macbook Air?
     
  9. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #9
    you can get an external disc slot for about $90. The macbook air to the naked eye looks faster because it does have an ssd while mbps do not standard come with one, but you can upgrade to a ssd down the line whereas you cannot upgrade a processor which the mbp has a stronger one.

    If i were you, unless you need ultimate mobility to go with the mbp 13 and try to find one on refurb
     
  10. iMacXpress thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    I found a Macbook Air on Craigslist.

    Is this a good price? $700.

    13 inch display. 1.6GHz core 2 duo processor, 4MB shared level 2 cache, 2GB of onboard DDR2 SDRAM, 80GB 4200rpm hard drive, 13 inchTFT glossy widescreen display 1280 by 800 pixels, intel GMA X3100 graphics processor w/ 144MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory, built in iSight video camera, one USB 2.0 port, headphone jack, built in airport extreme wireless networking. Comes with original box.

    About 3 years old. Thanks in advance!
     
  11. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    #11
    ...I don't think that's a very good deal = its got intel crap graphics from 3 years ago, the slowest HDD type made and low screen resolution.

    I'd go with something from the apple refurb site so you can get a full warranty for not a lot of $$'s more.
     
  12. iMacXpress thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I see. I lowered it to $600. Better or still bad? :p
     
  13. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #13
    still bad, the HDD that is in that model is the same as the Ipod Classic lol
     
  14. treestar macrumors 6502

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    #14
    If you are going to use CS5, get the MBP. People criticize the screen resolution, but whatever. The other option is a decked out 13" MBA, but it's out of your budget.
     
  15. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #15
    yes and there are many many ways out there to get a cheaper mbp (i mean a lower price)
     
  16. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #16
    if you are going to get used, make sure it is still under warranty (applecare) and that the warranty is still valid (the owner hasn't invalidated it by spilling drinks on it or screwing around inside of it). basically, i would meet with a seller outside of an apple store and ask them to look at it and make sure the warranty is still valid.

    or, get a refurb unit.

    or, get a new one.

    you don't seem terribly familiar with macs, and i think it would be very easy for you to get scammed, or ending up with some ancient beast by trying to buy one used.
     
  17. iMacXpress thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
  18. treestar macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Why did you get Lion as well? It comes on your new computer for free, preinstalled.
     
  19. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #19
    yes Cancell your order for the OS X lion because that comes preinstalled on the computer... also did you get the education discount? (u get a discount on the computer as well as a 100dollar app store card
     
  20. iMacXpress thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I actually messed around with the MBP for a bit but I found it very bulky and a bit big for my needs.. I returned it and purchased the new MBA 13.3-inch. Along with that I bought an Incase case, magic mouse, Canon printer, and a super drive. In my opinion, the MBA suits me better. Thank you all for the help! :D
     
  21. macman312 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Don't you mean Macbook air 11"?
    :p
     
  22. aonali21 macrumors member

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    Jhang.Punjab,Pakistan
    #22
    In my opinion you should buy 13-inch MacBook Pro (2011)... because don't buy things occasionally.....You should buy things that fulfill your school's desires also some special thing ....!
     
  23. englishman macrumors 6502a

    englishman

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    #23
    And you will get lots of advice here if you need it on how to set it up or if you run into problems.
     

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