Which Apple Computer Is For Me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Chandler Adaway, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Don't hate me, I realize this thread has been posted 5 million times here, but it's always nice to have some personal help on the delima of which computer to drop two grand on.

    Ha, especially for a 15 year-old with little to none income. :p

    I could ask for a MacBook for Christmas if I wanted to, (not saying that I want a MB) but I'm pretty dead set on getting this myself. I'm trying to work on life skills and with collage and me moving out of the house coming up in 4-5 years, I don't want to be another one of those kids who depend on their parents for everything. It's important to me that I do this by myself.

    So, with that said, let me begin by stating my options.
    And with all of these (excluding MBP) I would be getting the higher end model.

    I guess you would also need to know what I'm going to be using this machine for as well.
    The main purpose of this purchase is to replace my current HP laptop.
    I intend to use the computer with of course the average use (internet, email, iLife) but also Photoshop and Aperture 2 as I'm a photographer.

    Black MacBook:
    This is for sure an option and wouldn't take as long to save up for, but honestly, with this computer being the one that's going to last me for the next 3-4 years, I'm not in any rush of buying.
    The computer overall isn't bad though. The screen on paper looks bad, but after messing with one in the Houston apple store, I realized that it's not that bad on the eyes. Though I've always been a bigger is better kind of guy.
    It's also lacking the multi-touch option that would really be neat to have.
    And this might be completely irrelevant with the update of the MacBook coming up towards the end of the summer, but as of now, that's pretty much where I stand on that. Though I would be satisfied if I got one, I'm just trying to be picky.

    15in MacBook Pro:
    I said I wouldn't mind saving up for the system of my choice, but I don't want to save up for a system that I don't need and may not get as much for my money as say the iMac.
    I really do love this computer though.
    It's a true beauty. It has everything the MacBook doesn't have and alot more. I like the screen real-estate as well. I would be getting the higher end 15in.
    But there also might be an update to the computer with the MacBook, which would be really cool, so we'll see.

    24in iMac:
    Yesterday and most of today, I was dead set on getting the 3.06ghz iMac.
    Portability comes into play, but I still also have the HP laptop.
    And I have a feeling that I would be buying a MacBook after purchasing this computer as well.
    Which is a good thing.
    More Apple the better. Haha.
    I LOVE the screen on this bad boy. The glossy screen is not an issue as for one, I have one on my current computer, and two, I love the colors they put out. The power these things put out is a real selling point. I just overall see myself lasting with this computer the longest. No chance of it getting dropped, even though I'm very careful with my equipment, and I would be getting more for my money.
    I'm still leaning towards this machine the most, but I've heard a couple of screen problems occurring. I would have Apple Care though either way, but it just seems like an obstacle that I don't want to ever overcome.

    So you now know the choices..
    Which would you pick if you were in my situation, and why?
    Do you know of any problems with any of the systems?

    And please note the whole "I'm 15 with no job thing".
    I know I said I don't mind saving up, which is true, but money doesn't come as easy for us kids as someone with their career going and money coming out of their ass. :p

    Thanks in advance for the input.
    I promise you it will help with my decision.
    As long as you don't recommend feeding me back to the Bill Gates shark pin. :rolleyes:

    -Chandler :apple:
  2. Mjmar macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2008
    The Macbook Pro sounds like the best choice. It has the best of both worlds pretty much. I too am in the same situation as you, and have ruled the Macbook out since I was hesitant on the screen size. Due to past purchases, I have learned that you need to be 100% sure on a purchase before you buy. The iMac is probably great, but I just can't see the point in getting an iMac and then a Macbook too. Desktops seem out of date to me. The Macbook Pro will last long, and offers desktop like performance. I'm going to go for the Macbook Pro when I have enough money. :)
  3. savvos macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    If you plan on printing out your photos, I hear that glossy screens mess you up because they make the colors seem more vibrant than they actually are. A matte screen MBP might be your best option.

    That said, you could get a lower-specced 24" iMac and a low-end MB for the price of a mid-range MBP, so you would get better specs than a MBP with the iMac and better portability with a smaller MB.
  4. macworkerbee macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2008
    Whenever somone is unsure about getting a macbook, a mbp, or an imac, I always say they should get the mbp. It's powerful enough to act like a desktop at home, especially if you hook it up to another monitor and it's still portable. Save up for this one it's worth it.
  5. Super Intendo macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    As a 16 year old photographer who currently owns a black macbook, and is selling it to buy a macbook pro, that is most certainly what I'd recommend.

    The portability is important so that obviously cuts out an iMac (although i'd still love one) and for photo editing and running lots of programs at once the power and screen size and resolution is important.

    Go refurbished and save some money for a product thats virtually the same, if not better (I've heard sometimes they accidentally have RAM upgrades!)

    I'll be ordering my 15" 2.5GHz 2GB 250GB 512MB MacBook Pro soon and it should more than fill the void left by my macbook when it comes to photo editing :)

    Good luck!
  6. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    If it's going to be your only computer then I would say get the Pro.
  7. ColinEC macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2008
    Go with the MacBook Pro, if you're too worried about spending so much money on one you could go for a refurbished model.

    A glossy screen may not be the ideal display to use for Photoshopping and Aperture. The MacBook Pro has a lot more GPU power (future Photoshop versions may rely more on GPU stuff), plus it's got the bigger screen that gives you more freedom to work.
  8. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    You should not buy a $2000+ high end computer if you're serious about your goals.

    In your post four points seem most important:
    * Goal: Buy it yourself
    * Goal: develop some skills useful as an independent adult
    * Uses: email, web suring, hobbyist photog
    * Finances: none. no job. no allowance mentioned. no help from parents (see goal 2)

    An independent (and sensible) adult doesn't (and can't) spend $2000 on a luxury computer when they have no income. End of story. And a sensible adult doesn't buy a high-end system for low-end uses.

    If you're serious about paying for your new computer yourself and behaving as if you were independent (that is, living in your means), I suggest figuring out how much money you have, what you really need from a computer and then how to buy it on your budget.

    If you want a high-end Mac, got the cash (whatever the source), buy and enjoy. But this doesn't match your specific, unique, and laudable goals.
  9. Chandler Adaway thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    That's a really good point.
    I would hate to be stuck with something that I'm going to regret.
    Though, it's going to be my first apple computer.. How much could I regret? Haha.

    I'm really not to worried on the whole printing thing as of now.
    But as my photography grows, that might change.
    Honestly, my photography doesn't deserve to be printed.
    And I mostly work in black and whites.
    But I'm really leaning to the iMac with a low end MacBook idea.
    It may not make sense to some, but I'm in love with that idea.
    I'm not totally ruling out the MBP though.

    That's a good point also..
    But I have an HP laptop for portability, so it's between getting a awesome portable machine, or a badass desktop with a crappy portable machine.
    Eh... I hate being in this situation.

    Nice to hear from a fellow photographer.
    I would love to have a MBP, but I'm kind of leaning towards getting an iMac, and a MacBook.
    If you plan on selling yours, I'm TOTALLY interested. Maybe. Haha. I'm still so confused on all of this. :p
    If your interested in crappy photography, here's my gallery.
  10. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    This is the most valuable information in this thread.
  11. Chandler Adaway thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Firstly, I'm not trying to disregard your advise, as I asked for it. Literally.

    But, I guess I just look at it differently from some people.
    I totally see where your coming from though.
    And, I see where this could have been confused, but when I said independent, I just meant bought for myself. Not literally independent, living by myself, paying for my own food, etc.

    I look at it as, a teenager of my age sets out to save for a high end mac as a good thing.

    I don't have income (job), but I do get paid for doing house hold stuff around the house and sometimes doing stuff at my dads office.

    It would be bad to set this goal for myself if I had rent due, bills due, and numerous other things to pay for.
    I've just never really had to pay for anything myself. My cell phone is paid for, my housing, my food, pretty much everything.
    I bought my camera myself (Nikon D40), though, and it felt great.

    Also, I consider it a responsible choice to get a Mac.
    They last a lot longer than any other computer I know of, and are cheaper in the long run.

    I'm not saying I'm a going to use the Mac to its fullest extent, but I'm sure I wouldn't be the only average user that owns a mac.

    But thank you for the advise.
    Seriously. I'm taking alot of it to heart.
    And it is going to affect the purchase of my mac.
    I agree saying that you sent the most useful reply also.
  12. Super Intendo macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    I think your photography is quite impressive, especially for someone just starting out! Good work!

    But ya, considering your not editing multiple, huge images at once i'm sure a macbook would suit your needs, and i'd be more than happy to sell it to someone who i know will get good use out of it! (craigslist has way to many shady people...)
  13. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
    Absolutely. A computer isn't going to make you a better person, even if it has a "pro" at the end of of the name.

    Remember, a computer is just a tool, not a life decision.

    The iMac has more power, the Macbook is portable, and the Macbook Pro feels more solid. All will more than accommodate your needs, but the iMac and Macbook will cost less.

  14. Chandler Adaway thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    But you don't think being able to save money and not have a burning hole in your pocket is a good life lesson?

    Like I said, I guess I just look at this differently.
    And I'm not getting a Mac for the reason that it will make me a better person.

    I do believe though after all of these replies that I'm crossing off MBP off my list.
    It would be nice, but it's a luxury I don't need.
    Not that I NEED a mac at all.
  15. NintendoChick macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2008
    I'm a sucker for portability, and I don't believe in Getting something you won't use to it's full extent, so I say a lack macbook is the way to go. I was stuck between a macbook and an imac as well, but I have decided to save towards a black macbook, as I like the option to take my computer anywhere I like (around my room, house, town, etc.) And would truely miss portability.

    I also think you wouldn't use the macbook pro enough to justify the price.

    Your photos are terriffic! I'm experementing in the field of photography as well, and your really good! I like the one with the dog, and the colored eye. (Falling snow, I think?)
  16. Chandler Adaway thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Ya. I lowered my budget to about 1,200 for my new purchase as apposed to 2,000.
    I think it's more reasonable, and sense it's my first Mac, it will be PLENTY of computer for me.
    Right now, I'm going to get an iMac I think, just because it's more power for the money.
    But until I see the update of the MacBook, I won't know.
    If there are some cool new features brought to the table, I can see myself rocking a MacBook for sure. :p

    Oh, and thanks for the compliment on the pictures.
    Best of luck to your photography.
  17. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    in college, some kids like to bring their laptops around while others keep it at home, like i did

    unless you have a compelling reason to take notes or use the laptop on campus, get the imac

    the imac has more bang for the buck

    also, how far from college campus do you plan to live?

    where i went to college, some kids were two hours away from campus in our very rural county, so laptops were key as they could use it on the bus and make the campus excursion an all day thing and do all homework while away from home

    being down the coast so far from campus, the only real task at home would be to sleep, eat breakfast, and eat dinner...that's all

    but if you live near campus, then use a regular pad and pen for classes and if you need to use computers, use the ones at school, and have an imac at home where you can do the majority of your research and homework

    btw...when i had laptops, one pentium II PC and and a G3 ibook, all homework was done at home on them and i could have really had a better computing experience had i owned a similarly, or less priced imac
  18. Indohottie macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2004
    Go with the 24 in iMac... at 15 you probably dont need to haul it around with you, plus it will give you the best staying power through high school and into college..

    Plus the screen real estate is awesome!
  19. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
    When I was in school (2000) I didn't even own a computer. The computer labs after 4:00 were empty enough and it forced me to finish papers so I could get out and have a beer with the guys. From what I see with laptops at school, people use them for almost everything BUT school work.

    If you are just writing a paper for a course you could seriously get by using a 386 and Windows 3.0 The rest is just gravy.

  20. emac82 macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2007
    NB, Canada
    I had a 17" iMac and I loved it!! I sold it for a Macbook as I needed more portability, and I couldn't justify two computers, but I did like working on photos/video on the iMac more...
  21. sargent bannana macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    its not bad pretty good in my opinion

    im stuck in the same situation as you. im 15 and yet to decide macbook or imac though i need a laptop i dont have one so the macbook i have a self built pc for gaming so no imac so macbook it is BUT wheres the money for i yet have no job either and my parents are not paying.
  22. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    That's fine. I was making suggestions based on what you described as your goals and needs. It sounded like you were doing more than saving money to buy something expensive.

    And I did the same things when I was your age: save money and buy the expensive toy I wanted. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong either with having a high-end computer for low-end uses. :)

    But I still suggest figuring out what your budget is and buying according to that. If you can earn $1000 in 12 months and you've chosen a $2500 computer, you won't get it for 2.5 years -- you'll be going on 18 and graduating high school.

    Set your timeline and budget, and choose the computer that fits. Depending on your allowance, current savings, and patience, it might be a mac mini :)

    [edited for dumb math error)
  23. Chandler Adaway thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Yeah, I've lowered the price of what I want to spend.
    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
    I've got almost $500 saved up since last month, so, it won't take me to long to get 1,200 or so.
    Even if it didn't take long to save up 2,500 or so... I wouldn't need that much of a computer.
    Especially with this being my first Mac.
    Now it's between the 20in iMac, or a MacBook when the new one comes out.
  24. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    good luck

    either direction you go, you will be very happy
  25. Superdelphinus macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2008
    get a macbook and max the ram - ps wouldn't bother waiting and waiting for a revision

    on the other hand you might not get another opportunity to be in such a beneficial financial situation (i.e. basically no outgoings) so it might be advisable to spend the most you possibly can - you might not get another chance for a looonnnng time!

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