I'm helping a friend shop for a computer for her son who's starting college in the fall. I think a Macbook should be perfectly adequate for him, but the other parent has in her head that he needs a Macbook Pro. The boy has some interest in graphic arts or design, and may take some classes in that vein, though it's not at all clear that he'll major in it, but parent 2 thinks that a potential interest in graphics warrants forking out for the Mackbook Pro. She also has some sense that it would help timeproof the purchase; I think they hope that whatever they buy can get him through four years of college. Money is very much an issue for them, so they can't just say, "what the heck, let's drop an extra $700 just in case," though they are willing to scrape if the kid really needs it. I'm also looking for a reality check for myself; I think I'm reasonably sensible about computers, but I don't do graphics work, and I was in school back in the days of the Mac Plus, so I don't have any real world sense of what students expect to have or use these days. So, given the above, which do you think is the sensible purchase? Does the student need a Macbook Pro if he takes a few classes in graphic design? What if he majors in it? If the Macbook is the way to go, I could use some ammunition for parent 2 to talk her down. She's headstrong, but naive about computers, and is I think a bit freaked about the decision, leading to "let's get everything and the kitchen sink to cover our bases," with a bit of "only the best for my kid" thrown in. If they go for the Macbook, does it make sense to step up to the 2.4GHz white model? I don't think the black Macbook is worth the price for some extra storage (and bragging rights in the library).