what to buy for my needs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by toby jones, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. toby jones macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2007
    I apologise that this issue seems to have come up a number of times already. I am not sure that I've found people making reccomendations as to what to buy with respect to what it is that I want to use the machine for, however.

    I'm attracted to the black imac (with memory and hard drive upgrade) but a friend is telling me that I'd be crazy if I didn't go with the low end powerbook given that they would be similar in price.

    I'm attracted to the black mac for the following features:
    - weighs a little less
    - is a little smaller
    - battery lasts a little longer
    - it is black!!!!!

    I want to use it to
    - write a PhD thesis
    - do seminar presentations (not sure about keynote vs ppt. yet - I'll be new to mac)
    - do some database / google scholar searching on the web

    I WON'T BE PLAYING GAMES. I've promised myself already. A little Skype... But aside from that just work work work. Ideally... I'd like to keep the system uncluttered so it loads up FAST so people don't have to wait for me to get my presentations up and running. What would people reccomend?
  2. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Are you referring to the MacBook and the MacBook Pro? Those are the two lines of notebook Apple sells.

    For what it sounds like, you wouldn't gain anything from the Pro but a much lighter wallet. The MacBook is plenty fast, and if you stick it full of RAM it'll be an amazing machine for your needs. The Pro will just be overkill. You don't need that much power. Both computers will come with adaptors for VGA and DVI, which will work fine for presentations.

    I gave Keynotes off my 12" PowerBook... which is so much slower than your options, you ought to laugh. But don't. I loved that machine! :)

    The BlackBook will be more than enough for ya.
  3. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    Your friend gives wise recommendation, listen to him!
  4. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    Wait till january if you can. Updates will come for the macbook pros possibily and no matter what happens, it means you can probably get cheaper prices on the current models...

    however, I'd go with a 2.2 macbook pro refurb. mainly because the difference between the blackbook in the pro is smaller, and the pro will probably last a bit longer, not to mention is a professional machine and may look a bit nicer for work and such... AND the extra screen space is nice. Then again I am biased.

    There is someone selling a 2.2 macbook pro for 1600 SHIPPED it looks like AND it includes teh extended warranty. THAT is a HUGE deal. A black macbook new with applecare would be about 1800 with tax... a little more probably... So i'd definitely check into our marketpace for that deal!

    Otherwise.. refurb macbook pro 2.2 (or other deal that pops up on here) is my suggestion. But like others have said, you won't need that all that power, but the difference is abut 200 bucks between a new blackbook and pro, so it might be worth it for screen size and the dedicated graphics (future proofing) (and already 1gig extra ram i think?)

    edit: PS DO NOT get memory upgraded through apple. It's ridiculously overpriced.
  5. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    Assuming you're talking about the MacBook vs. the MacBook Pro, I'm with Mechcozmo. For your needs you stand little to gain by upgrading to the MacBook Pro.

    With that said, there are also non-performance-enhancing features in the MacBook Pro that also deserve consideration. Primarily in the screens...

    How do you feel about the glossy screen? If you're cool with it, no need to upgrade based on that. If you're a glossy screen hater, the MBP is your only choice.

    Screen size would be another one. I have horrible eyesight (lasik gone wrong), so a 13" simply wouldn't cut it for me. Some people may be in a similar situation, where the bigger the screen is, the better. By contrast, others may prefer a smaller screen because it yields a smaller, more portable computer.

    There are other considerations (back-lit keys, more ports, etc.), but the screens themselves are the biggies for most people.
  6. toby jones thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2007
    > Are you referring to the MacBook and the MacBook Pro?

    Yes. Sorry I wasn't clearer (new to mac).

    Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will go with the black one. Slightly lighter, longer battery life, and smaller = more portable. I guess those are the main considerations for me.

    Since I'll only be using it as a glorified word processor for the most part I don't expect the higher screen resolution or dedicated graphics card will be much of a bonus for me. I get that the pros are more upgradable... And that is a bit of a shame for me... But yeah, it will still be much much faster than anything I've had :)

    The glossy screen should be nice with the good black white contrast in dimly lit working environments. Slight shame about the absense of backlighting, though...

  7. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    He needs more posts before being allowed in the MarketPlace.

    The screen is plenty bright. In dark work environments, I use Nocturne. You can't beat that red-on-black! Linkety

    Also, Command+Option+Control+8 works well.
  8. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    ummmm I didnt' tell him to POST in the marketplace. Read posts before commenting please. Anyone can read the posts in the marketplace and PM sellers....
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    OP, you mentioned you wanted something lighter and with more battery life. I advise you wait until MacWorld (mid January). There's a strong possibility that something you'll like will be released then. In the end, even if it doesn't suit your needs, you can always get yourself that macbook. ;) :)
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you do not need the GPU Power of the Pro and can get by with the MacBook, then get the MacBook.

    The plastic case is a little more durable than the Pro's aluminum case, so the MacBook will shrug off a bit more punishment than the Pro.
  11. toby jones thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Thanks guys.

    My parents are donating the money for me on the 28th December. I'm really itching to get the thing because my old laptop died a week ago and I'm going crazy without one. I'd also like buy in Australia for the educational discount and free (and fast) shipping.

    I looked at getting 2 1GB memory sticks for it and was finding that the price for that (in stores such as Dick Smith at any rate) were comperable to getting the Mac people to upgrade it before they ship it. Am I missing something with this?

    I'll wait for Microsoft Works 2008 to come out so it will run better with the Intel Chip. I get that December is probably the worst time to buy - but I really do need to get this quickly. New products are likely to be beyond my budget. I guess there might be a saving on current products after the new ones come out, but then again maybe not.

    I'm tossing up teaching myself LateX and BibteX. Worth it for a thesis (the odd logical symbol and text box diagram is all) do ya reckon? I guess I'll need Word anyway for collaborative projects...
  12. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    Look around some more. You also have to remember if you buy from apple you don't get the old ram to sell off.

    The prices shouldn't be comparable.

    not to mention you may not need more ram right away, upgrade later, you should still save money.
  13. capitanbuzo macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2007
    The best places to get RAM are from Crucial and OWC. For 4GB of RAM, OWC charges $99 US and Crucial charges $150 US.
  14. toby jones thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Wow. Okay so I'm going to the US in Feb so I might hold off the memory upgrade and get some RAM from them once I'm there. Thanks for that..

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