Which is better for High School, iMac or Macbook?


macrumors 68000
Sep 19, 2006
Millis, Massachusetts
It really comes down to the portability question. Have you given thought to getting a MacBook and getting a 19-21 inch screen for when you are home and need a bigger canvas to write all those papers and do all that reading? You can hook the bigger screen up to the MacBook when needed.

At your highschool do the kids bring in their laptops for certain classes? In my daughter's HS she used her ibook in school every day.


macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2009
You are in middle school? :eek:

I'm going to HS too next year wish they let us take our comps there :( and this is in Burbank, media capital of the world... They're so strict like amish status.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2008
In my high school, there is not a single person who brings in their computer, we either write our notes or use in-class computers. Just so you know, the Education Discount is only for college students.


Feb 17, 2010
Actually, I checked and the Apple Education Discount applies to nearly every school (including the high school I'm going to) in my state. :p
It applies to the teachers at those K-12 schools.

As far as the computer question goes, I would go with the macbook. Not only is it cheaper but if for some reason you need to take it any where you have that option.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2009
Typical use of computer in school is writing a report in a group, anywhere you sit be it a classroom, lab, library, cafe, friends home, on the roof tanning. Using the internet with 3G modem anywhere. Get the portable macbook.


macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
dallas, texas
I had a 17" Powerbook/MacBook Pro all through High School. Then again, there is a debate about whether that is portable. Portability is a huge plus, my desktop got used rarely leading to it being sold.

Perhaps wait, I unwisely got a desktop before entering high school thinking that I was never going to need a notebook until college. Two weeks into high school that changed and I ended up spending a year paying for it.

Depending on what you decide to do in high school could depend on what you need/would be more desirable, there are plenty of activities that could justify the power over portability and vice versa. In general though, most students I knew at my school who had Macs, had notebooks.


macrumors 603
Mar 22, 2010
No 14 year old needs a Mac in h/s haha. IMO save your money and buy one for college. Take advantage of your parents money and use the family computer and the library while you can lol


macrumors member
May 16, 2009
I'm a senior and I take my MacBook to school every day to take notes. I type much faster than I write (my writing isn't legible anyway), and I like having all of my notes in one file. I will say though, now I wish I had gotten a more powerful iMac, and then ordered an iPad. Though it's a more expensive route, I think it's the way to go. The MacBook is like a clunkier, less cool iPad, while it is also a smaller, less powerful iMac. I run programs like Logic and Photoshop CS4, so an iPad alone wouldn't be enough. But the only time I use my MacBook outside of my house is when I am taking notes at school, or when I'm hanging out at this coffee shop downtown. So you might keep that in mind for the future, but the MacBook is an awesome investment; I love mine to death.
Best of luck in high school.


macrumors regular
Feb 8, 2010
As stated before

Apple Education Discount Applies for teachers k-12 and students in college if you have any information that is different then please tell us different.

Now iMac vs Macbook.

#1 iMac will sit at your desk so it more than likely will last you longer than the macbook

#2 iMac will be much much more powerful, but this doesn't matter if all you do is browse the internet and write papers as netbooks can suffice these small tasks

#3 iMac will not be portable so you are stuck at your desk at home


#1 Will be carried around by you, so may suffer wear and tear damage therefore may not last as long

#2 The macbook will be much less powerful then the iMac but will basic word processing and internet and much more just the iMac will do more sophisticated tasks a little faster.

#3 With a laptop you have portability. You can be at your desk or on your bed, couch, kitchen, or where ever. As well if you travel a lot or often a laptop often comes in handy so portability will be great.


What are you buying this computer for? Is it more for school or is it really for you and will be used for school some? I don't know your school district, but as a HS freshman your workload will not be very hard. Your classes will not be to greatly difficult for you I imagine and I don't know if you'll be taking enough notes to bother carrying a computer to school to do that. I know several people who carry notebooks to school to take notes for example, in my AP stats course there are two people who take notes on notebooks and I've done it before. Now in that class our session is 85 mins long and 70 mins of it is taking notes from powerpoints and lectures so this task is worthy of a notebook. Basically, I would wait till the start of HS to buy your computer either way. Honestly depending on your needs I think a iMac would better suite you. Chances are you are not the most responsible person in the world as you are still in MS and you are prone to lose, break, or get your Macbook Stolen. So go with the iMac and just write your notes.


macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2009
Although you don't really need a laptop for high school (nobody NEEDS one), I have found mine very useful. If what your going to be doing is taking notes then MacBook. I'm sure ALL of your classes don't have computers for EACH student to take notes on, which would make portable computer king over desktop.

It's important to ask if your school has wireless also. No wireless for me = no laptop.

Wait till school starts either way. If you think a laptop would be useful then go for it. Until then deal with what you have for now.

But for real... do you need a nice expensive computer for high school?


macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
Go for the macbook. Portability is king. It'll handle relatively heavy video and photo-editing with ease and iWork will keep you going academically. I would strongly consider a time machine backup or at least drop box or MobileMe to keep backups of all your stuff.

At least when I was in high school, I was doing a lot of things on the go either with school, work or family. The macbook will keep you connected. Just stay smart, don't take it places where it could be stolen and you'll be fine. Keep in mind that you'll be wanting a new Mac no matter what model you buy for college in a couple years anyway. Good luck.


macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2008
You can use the education discount when your in High School. All it took was for me to show my school ID at the Apple Store.

You really should look at the refurb MBP though.. ;)


macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2009
You didn't say whether or not there is a family computer at home, but you said you were on a budget, so assuming the new Mac is going to be used by you pretty much exclusively, you're going to need a desk or table for the iMac.

If you have a good place to set it up, I'd go with the iMac. This way, your family might be able to take advantage of your generosity, and use it once in awhile. You'd get more power, and there would certainly be less wear and tear then there would be on the laptop.

Being a teacher, I don't know of a high school district that allows students to bring their own laptops to use in class, due to the fact that while the teacher is lecturing, demonstrating, leading a discussion, etc., the student could be on the internet unsupervised. This could lead to legal problems for the school district.

You can always just bring a flash drive, and transfer your work back and forth to an approved computer at school.

If you're going to be working in your living room, kitchen, etc. and need the portability around the house, save the $200 and get the MacBook. But I wouldn't worry too much about needing to bring it with you all the time.
When you get to college, THAT's when portability becomes an issue. For now, not so much. Whichever you choose, enjoy your new Mac.


macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2010

I'd get the macbook. For high school i assume you will rarely be rendering video and the like. I had a macbook pro 15 inch in high school and it worked out well, and still 5 years later is working perfectly.

One thing I would think about is a Wacom tablet! If you are in a lot of science and math classes then you can use that to take notes! It comes in handy all the time, and who knows maybe some hot chicks will come up and ask for your awesome digital notes ;)

Im a junior in college and now use an imac 27 inch, 13 inch macbook pro combo, but then again I travel internationally quite often, and also need the 27 inch screen and power for music production. However my 5 year old macbook pro gets used more than anything else because I dont care if it gets beat up anymore and it works perfect for my light in class use.