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  1. #1

    Member Since
    May 20, 2007
    Best Option for High School Student
    Greetings to all!

    I hope it is alright to dive in with a slew of questions. I'm a confused PC owner (not by choice, but a work requirement, lol) tiptoeing into Macland.

    My parents have offered to buy my daughter a Macbook for her birthday. She'll be starting high school in the fall and they are hoping this one will last her all 4 years. She takes all honors courses and they seem to do a lot of projects using programs like Powerpoint. She of course does all the normal teen digital stuff (ipod, digital camera, IM, etc) and does like to play games, but is not a huge gamer. More along the lines of Sims and Guitar Hero.

    A teacher at the high school said she will need Office with Powerpoint and iLife, but didn't give me much else to go on. My parents are trusting me to tell them what to buy and they are willing to spend what's necessary without over buying for what she needs. Is the black Macbook more than enough to handle what we anticipate her needing throughout high school? Should we bump the RAM to 2GB? Will the graphics on this one handle amateur dabbling with pics and video or should we consider the lower end Macbook Pro?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated and any other recommendations for additional software or other additions would be very welcomed!

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Mar 11, 2004
    The laptop's model lineup is reversed in your post. The least expensive is the white MacBook. The next one "up" is the black MacBook that costs more simply because it's black. It's identical in every other way. Next in the upward price spiral is the MacBook Pro.

    There may be some confusion as to what her requirements are. It seems a bit strange that a school would demand she have iLife, an application that can run only on Macs, while insisting she also have PowerPoint, from Microsoft.

    If this is indeed the case, she has no choice but to use a Mac. It's the only machine that could run both.

  3. #3

    narf1899's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 05, 2007
    iMac 20" C2D 2.4 ghz 2gb iMac 20" C2D 2GB 256MB Graphics Macbook C2D 2GB Powermac G4 Dual 450
    until apple updates its MBP line, (which should be soon), the high-end macbooks are almost identical to the cheapest MBP. Both have 2.16 GHz processors and 1gb standard RAM. the only difference is the graphics card and the screen size. For what u need, id go with the high end white macbook with 2gb RAM.
    iMac Aluminum 20" 2.4 ghz 2gb RAM 300gb HD
    iMac 20" Core2duo 2gb 250gb
    Macbook White Core2duo 2gb 80gb
    Powermac G4 dual 450

  4. #4

    kgeier82's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 01, 2006
    MBP 2.4/2GB/200HD/256 8600gt
    if your parents are buying it, and can afford the extra few hundred, just either of the white macbooks, and warranty UP.

    either one will be sufficient for her HighSchool/college career

    if it were me, id go with the high level white macbook, get 2gb of ram (after playing with the mb for 1-2months and deciding if i needed it REALLY)

    and just get the warranty.
    2.4ghz Unibody | Hitachi 320GB 7200 | 256MB 9600gt

  5. #5

    DoubleCap's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 12, 2007
    Northeast US
    MacBook 2GHz/2GB/CD

    Get the 2GB of ram, it'll be worth it. MS Office for the Mac will be slow right now since it's not Intel-native yet, but once MS releases the new Office for Mac, it should run pretty fast. Don't think it's your MB.

    As far as the hard drive space goes, the standard should be good enough.

    The MB or MBP will be able to do whatever you need it to do as far as IM, digital camera stuff, etc.

    Good luck!

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Dec 02, 2006
    Vancouver, Canada
    macbook white, 2.0 ghz core duo, 2gb ram, 160gb hd, superdrive
    ...and you can install NeoOffice on the macbook for free.

    NeoOffice is an open source office application which is compatible with microsoft office. Check it out here:

  7. #7
    would going from 1 gb to 2 gb make microsoft office run faster? i notice with 1 gb, its kind of slow when typing on word, like some times it pauses as your typing for a second. its not a big dea, i was just wondering if it would help. thanks.

  8. #8

    XMARLTONX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 14, 2007
    Marlton, NJ
    3.06 iMac i3|12GB|500GB
    It might help it load faster.

  9. #9

    Member Since
    Mar 26, 2007
    United Kingdom
    Macbook 1.83Ghz, 2GB Ram, 120GB HDD
    I'm starting college myself soon and decided i need a Mac, so i put all the options together and got a Macbook.

    I advice getting the white Macbook 2gHz, 1gb Ram, 80gb HDD. The Macbook is a VERY powerfull laptop. Just because its the low end of the Apple Laptops currently sold, don't let that underestimate what it can do.

    The Macbook can handle most things that you throw at it. I use mine (1.83Ghz C2D, 1gb) to do video editing with final cut. It works great.

    I only advice getting the MBP if you're going to play intense games. My Macbook can play Counter Strike fine and handle Vista fine aswell. I made a video, check it out if you want.

    Microsoft office wont be fast on the Macbook, even if you put 10gb of ram in it. Its because Office isn't designed to run on the Intel chips that Apple put into the Macbooks. Having more Ram will make Office open faster, but wont make it any faster in the actual application (aimed at going from 1gb to 2gb).

    For a student, i'd recommend the Macbook because

    A) Its cheaper then the MBP
    B) The battery life is longer then the MBP
    c) Its smaller and lighter then the MBP
    d) If it gets damaged or stollen, you won't cry as much.

  10. #10
    alright, i understand. thanks for the help.

  11. #11

    Member Since
    May 20, 2007
    I understand the lineup. It's just that we had already narrowed it down to either the black Macbook or the Macbook Pro. My mother convinced herself the black was cooler and would wear better. It's her money, so who am I to argue?

    The school doesn't require anything specifically. The instructor was simply recommending programs they use at school frequently that she would get the most use out of at home, since he already knew we were buying a Mac.

    So we ended up going with the black Macbook and upgraded the RAM to 2GB. While I told my mom she wouldn't necessarily need it right now and could always upgrade later, she decided to just go for it to give her the entire package. She also got her the extended warranty, the additional software, some odds & ends (like cleaner, trackpad film, USB drive, etc) and they were running a special on an all-in-one printer, so she got that too, lol. Yes, my mother is a salespersons dream.

    So in the end, she may have ended up with a bit more than she needs right now, but she will be set. Most importantly, she didn't waste money on the Pro model which would have been major overkill, larger to lug around, and I would have worried more about her banging it up. My parents gave it to her tonight - she had an school awards show this evening and her b-day is tomorrow. She had no idea she was getting a laptop, so she nearly jumped out of her skin. It was wonderful!

    Thank you so much for all of the advice and explanations - it was extremely appreciated!

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