College laptop

By top_model_guy
Jun 13, 2008
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  1. Okay, so I'm going off to college this year and thought I would take my desktop across the country with me--but that's too much--so I think I'm now in the market for a laptop. I recently spoke to a former teacher who warned me against window ran computers because she says Vista is terrible and has crashed numerous students and her daughter's laptops. She said I should go with a mac. So I was considering a macbook (http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs.html) either the 2.1 GHz for $1,099 or the 2.4 GHz for $1,299. Are these options good for what I do--surf the web, AIM/YIM, play the Sims 2 (lots of expansion packs), upload photos and edit, write papers, occasionally do slide shows, download music/upload music onto ipod, watch movies? If so for what I do, does it make a difference if I get the cheaper one vs the more expensive one? I currently have a Dell Dimension E521, AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+ 1.80 GHz, 960 MB of RAM run with Windows XP. Though my computer's been acting up lately, it does these task pretty well--though it doesn't multitask as great as they advertised--so will my replacement surpass my current computer in performance or at least be equivalent? Thank You.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,489   +292

    Yep, you can do all of that on a MacBook. My only concern is Sims 2. You likely have a Windows only install disk for them, and there is probably a Mac specific one. I don't know for sure that the disk doesn't have both, but I haven't paid attention. You can play it, you will just need the right version. For everything else you have listed I think you will be happier on a Mac anyway, there are some excellent programs for those tasks.

    You will qualify for the Educational discount dropping the price on each of those $100. So that drops the 2.4 to $1199. One thing I would NOT do is add additional RAM at purchase time, they will charge you an incredible amount to add more RAM and adding your own on the MacBooks is incredibly easy. I just did it to one recently and it took me no more than 2 or 3 minutes.

    As far as performance compared to your desktop. They will be very similar, the slower hard drive in the laptop will be what hurts the most, but the processor in the laptop is better. Multitasking should not be an issue at all, OS X is an excellent OS for that.

    Edit: If purchasing Sims 2 again is the only holdback you are having, I would remind you that I saved you $100 by telling you about the educational discount, so you could buy it with that money saved :)
  3. top_model_guy

    top_model_guy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 93

    So does the $100 student discount take away the free ipod--which I don't really need: I'm fine with my 60GB Video iPod? Or is it inclusive with the iPod deal? Also I just realized, I'll probably need the more expensive one because I just noticed that it comes with a DVD burner (though since a laptop is portable will I any longer need burned dvds seeing I can play things from my computer screen and will I even have/watch things on tv in college?)
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,489   +292

    I think you can take the cheaper one and add the dvd burner. I also do not think it removes the free ipod. But I think the free ipod is limited to 2 models, I can't confirm that right now (because I haven't looked), but I think I noticed that a few days ago.

    You can check by going to store.apple.com and then in the left side there is something pertaining to educational store, click that, it will ask where you are going to school, then it brings up the schools there, you choose the right one and that is it. I don't believe you even have to prove you are going there.
  5. top_model_guy

    top_model_guy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 93

    Thanks for the site. Learned I'll be saving $200 if I purchase a printer at the same time. Both the printer and iPod are covered by rebates--sucks that though it covers up to $299, it only includes the 8GB Touch and Nano. So outside of this--which right now I'm very likely to buy--are there any alternative laptops I may look into? Also I was wondering how could I find out how much I could sell my current desktop for? and where?
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,489   +292

    As much as I'd like you to buy a MacBook (because I think it would be perfect for you) I would suggest waiting a day or 2 before deciding. Friday night isn't the best time to get a range of opinions on what you should purchase.

    Just FYI so you know about what I have, I own:
    PowerMac G4 450 (running a modded Leopard (10.5) install)
    Main comp as an Intel Core2Duo E6400, 3 gigs of ram, nvidia 8800GTS vid card (Vista)
    Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz with 2 gigs of RAM (OS X 10.5)
    Secondary tower a Core2Duo E4400, 2 gigs of ram, nvidia 7800GS (Windows XP Pro)
    Mac Mini Core Duo 1.83Ghz with 1 gig of RAM. (OS X 10.5)
    I also had an Athlon 64 2800+ system that just died on me last weekend, so until then I was balanced with 6 computers, 3 Mac 3 PCs.

    I think I have a more balanced perspective than almost anyone else on these forums, but I wanted to let you know where I was coming from (as well as others) as to avoid any hidden agenda.
  7. top_model_guy

    top_model_guy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 93

    Aww, thanks for listing your creds :). I was trusting your opinion though--I haven't had any problems on this site, yet. LOL! Everyone here is always so helpful--actually bought this desktop I have after debating it on here. But yeah, I'm seeing what appears to be a deal from HP and their notebooks, but they have that Vista which I haven't heard any good news from. Is Vista that terrible? I heard it was being replaced in the first quarter of next year--which is a sign for how bad it must be. Also don't worry about me just leaning on you...I'm asking my peers with laptops too ;-).
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,489   +292

    I use Vista, I'm using it currently, I think it gets a ton of badmouthing that isn't fair. I have had some incredibly minor issues with it, such as a right click sticking occationally, actually it is a very specific bug but I just can't remember how to make it happen.

    Vista WILL require good hardware though, and unfortunately a lot of lower cost laptops do not have the hardware horsepower to handle it.

    That MacBook is a great computer though, something you probably can't spec for spec beat on price in the PC world. Now the worst case senario if you get a MacBook is you hate the OS (unlikely but whatever), you can also run Windows on those things. So you could turn it into a Windows laptop without any problem (although you would need a copy of Windows).
  9. top_model_guy

    top_model_guy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 93

    Okay, so I read something about new macbooks coming out in August. Should I wait for those to get my macbook or will these new generation notebooks be a lot more pricey?
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,489   +292

    That is an impossible question to answer. There will always be a newer model coming out.

    If you can wait, then wait, it will likely be the same price or very similar. Otherwise buy now, waiting for the new crap is realistically only going to give you a few more months of life anyway.


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