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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

iMac or Macbook

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Justin Cope

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Member Since: Nov 10, 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 11
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Mac Specs: 2003 17" Powerbook G4 1ghz, 1GB ram, 60GB hdd.

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I have a 17" Powerbook G4 1ghz with 1 gb of ram. I love my laptop and it's still running very very well. However, my parents want to get me a new computer for college and I kind of want an update. So, I have a choice to make... a barebones macbook or a barebones iMac 20". I record music and use photoshop CS all the time. My powerbook handles this okay, but I would still like something faster. The thing is, would it be wise to get a 20" imac for more speed and keep my powerbook for any away from home/dorm needs? Or should I go with a macbook and try to sell my powerbook to someone?
How big is the speed difference from barebones macbook to barebones imac? Also, should I put leopard on my powerbook???
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Member Since: Nov 04, 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 57
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Mac Specs: Macbook - 2.16ghz Core2Duo, 4Gb Ram, 320Gb WD Scorpio HDD, Westinghouse 22" external display

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It is a tough call...

I have a Macbook (specs in my signature) and I love it. I use Photoshop Element and my Macbook runs it great. You will definitely see an improvement in performance with Intel Core2Duo CPU... I personally like the fact that with one computer, you carry all you data and stuff all the time... Having 2 computers can be messy...

I would go with the Macbook option, or sell you Powerbook and put the extra $$$ for a Macbook Pro if you want... but a Macbook is great!!!

MacBook Pro unibody 2nd gen (2.53C2D, 4Gb, 320Gb WD Scorpio Black), 16Gb iPod Touch, 32Gb iPhone 3Gs, 160Gb Apple TV, iPad 3G 64Gb
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Member Since: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 265
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as someone who used a desktop for 2 years and now has a MacBook, trust me when I say that for university you absolutely need a good, portable laptop like the MacBook.
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Member Since: Sep 22, 2007
Location: Cheyenne, WY
Posts: 192
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.4 Santa Rosa

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iMac...and heres why...

I had a MB about a year ago and loved the performance of it. Great little machine and does great with internet, mild photo and video editing, word processing, keeping tabs on your music...etc. However, i HATED the 13 inch screen...especially coming off of a 17" Dell laptop. Its too small to do any serious photo editing and sitting in front of it for hours at a time was a real strain on my eyes squinting to see half the stuff on the screen. Since you already have a halfway decent laptop, i personally would go with the iMac. Youll appreciate the larger screen and increaced resolution when using programs like photoshop or using it for extended periods of time. Use your laptop when you need something on the go for classes or whatnot and the iMac for everything else.

Now, if your parents would let you sell your powerbook and take whatever you make off that and put it torwards a MBP, id go that way. Youll still have all the processing power of the iMac but in a portable package with a much more usable screen than the MB.

Go to your nearest Apple store if possible and spend some time with all three machines. Ill almost guarantee you once you use the iMac of MBP, you wont want the MB...not for lack of power, but for its lack in size. The 2 inches you gain with the MBP made a HUGE difference for me and screen size alone was well worth the price. The MBP is only slightly a larger machine when closed up compared to the MB and i believe is slimmer and weight difference is negligible. Plus, your getting the dedicated video card which will boost performance in video/photo editing.
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Member Since: Feb 13, 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
Posts: 1,186
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Mac Specs: 13" Macbook Pro 2.26Ghz Unibody 4G RAM 160G HDD Superdrive

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So of course there always has to be a counter argument. So here it is:

Macbook of basic configuration + 22" external LCD. External widescreen LCD monitors are reasonably priced now, and you get the best of both worlds. The iMac is made of notebook parts anyway, you get the portability you'll need at university with the bigness of the large monitor, spanned to two monitors at that. Couple that with a big honking firewire external disk and in the dorm you'll have a homework cranking machine, while being able to take your data with you to the lectures and out in the field.

Of course you also have the powerbook. Well, when I used to have a desktop and a laptop of Windows repute it was kind of a pain in the behind to keep the data synced up. Keeping everything on one machine that's always with you is superior in my experience. Make the powerbook your backup machine in case something happens like having to take your macbook in for service. You'll still have the external monitor to use with either.
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Member Since: Jan 03, 2005
Posts: 142
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As mentioned, there is always a counter argument...find what fits your needs.

Personally, I would go with the macbook. I have a imac, but in the market for something more portable. A few weeks back I purchased a 15.4" IBM. Great machine, but cumbersome to haul around. I returned it, and will be purchasing a macbook within the next few weeks. I look forward to the portability of it.

As noted above, you can easily purchase a 17-20" LCD and hook it up to the macbook. LCDs are soooo cheap now. You can easily find one for $150-200.

As for macbook vs pro. The way technology changes so rapidly, I'm not willing to pay the added price for a pro. If it was something I would be holding onto for 5 years, it's probably worth getting a pro. But, I upgrade every 1-2yrs. Others may use programs that require the added horsepower, not me.
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Justin Cope

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Member Since: Nov 10, 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 11
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Mac Specs: 2003 17" Powerbook G4 1ghz, 1GB ram, 60GB hdd.

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Wow, thanks everyone. I'll probably end up doing the macbook with the 22" widescreen... I could most definitely get enough money out of my powerbook to afford an LCD like that. Maybe even a nicer one. Anyhow, I'll still try my hardest to get the LCD, Macbook, and keep my powerbook. But yeah, the first thing I plan on doing is replacing the macbook hard drive with a 250 gb 5400 rpm. Thanks again!
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