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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Do I get a MacBook Pro or an iMac for Uni? [UK]


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Nutty Nadim

 
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I will be (hopefully) going to uni this year (September 2011) and I need a laptop or computer to do my work on. I have decided that I want to get an Apple product seeing as they are reliable and faster than PC's. The problem I have is what to get.

I can either get a MacBook Pro or an iMac. They will both be of lowest spec but due to the education discount there is not that much difference between price. The MacBook Pro is 859.20 and the iMac 897.60.

I am going to be studying Politics and International Relations. You may question why am I changing to a Mac when I will be using it for 'office tasks'. It is simply because I have always wanted a Mac and now is the time to get one.

I have two ideas of how to go around with one or the other. Firstly, if I got the MacBook Pro I would take it to lectures and so on. However, with the iMac I would be limited but could always take notes on my iPhone. The idea would be to get a iPad2 a few months later and take that to lectures then connect it to the iMac to sync notes. I have always wanted an iPad2 so that isn't a problem.

I am just unsure due to the little price difference after the education discount. Help?
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MikeM

 
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Personally, I would probably go with the MBP. Taking lecture notes on a soft keyboard would be a pain and it would be easier to secure a laptop than a desktop.

-MikeM
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AccessPA

 
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I would go for the MBP.

As a student, the portability will be priceless. Dorm, lectures, classrooms, some friends place for collaboration, libraries...its a no brainer.

I don't care whether you love or hate the iphone...taking notes on any device that big would be tedious. Voice notes might be helpful though...
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cr1t1cal

 
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Also remember you get a decent student discount Also comet.co.uk are doing the 7% off on there website on items over 699 using code 'seven600' if you know anyone that works at the local council they also get 10% off in comet through reward gateway... So all in all you'll save a massive 17% not to shabby!

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Moss

 
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MBP. Portability. The power of a mid/high range MBP rivals (and beats) a lot of the iMacs offered currently. I'm in the same boat as you, going to Uni next fall, and I'm going the route of the MBP.

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6string

 
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To me the idea of the iPad and the iMac sounds good.
By the time you need it (September), the new line of iMacs should be out, so I wouldn't be rushing into it just yet.
The new iMacs will be pretty much the same price, where as the ones that are out now will be flooding Apples Refurbished Store (as good as new) and will be heavily discounted.
Either way a win win situation for you
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chscag

 
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Quote:
To me the idea of the iPad and the iMac sounds good.
Man after my own heart. That's my goal for this year. iMac for the business end and iPad 2 with 3G for the road. Now all I need is to come up with the money....
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Nutty Nadim

 
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Tough decisions. Still unsure what to do. The general consensus seems to be the MBP but I suppose I have months to think about what to get. Even with the iMac and iPad2 it would be around 440 more for both than just a MBP. Looking likely that I will get a MBP, thanks!
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robduckyworth

 
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Well of course, us here on a Mac forum are going to root for the Macbook Pro.

i think you shouldn't worry about the iPad. A laptop can do everything and more. sure it would be nice to have a touchscreen note taker while everyone else is on pen and paper, but is it really necessary? you will be tight on money soon; unless you have a job. heres some advice: if you have a job, keep it! i quit mine for uni, and it was the worst decision i ever made. there are no jobs available anywhere here in the UK, unless you have managerial qualifications. that extra money is a godsend, trust me.

portability is great being a student. whenever i have to go to uni to do work i just take my MBP along so i don't have to endure windows. If you are living away from home, and want to visit home occasionally you aren't without a computer for too long. that may be good, may be bad.

I live with 7 other students (one doing law, a few doing advertising, etc) and no one has a desktop.

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ArtsyAimee

 
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I had planned to go iMac + iPad. but ended up returning the iPad and getting a MBP instead...LOVE it. I just got a base 13", and the size for toting around is fantastic.
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the8thark

 
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If you live on your own then I'd recommend the imac + ipad option.
But if you live with others then I'd recommend the MBP. Simply for the fact you can lock it away for safety when you're not using it. You can never be to careful with Apple products. They tend to go walking more then any other IT product.
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bentharbour

 
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I am currently in University, and although most of what you are asking has already been answered by members who know more than me. I thought I would give my 2 cents.

I bought an iMac in January, and the ONLY reason I didn't get a MBP is because my University supplies all students with Laptops (PC-Lenovo thinkpad, but its only for my lectures so I don't care about it)....There is nothing better than the portability of a laptop because sometimes you will need a FULL computer, I spend a lot of my time at the school, library, commons, and friends places. I own an iPad, and although it could work, it is not even close to what my laptop lets me get accomplish.

So in my opinion, without a doubt, the MBP would be your best option for University.

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Nutty Nadim

 
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Thanks. I'll probably get a MacBook Pro later this year.
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ElegantEsthetic

 
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For college--which is what us Americans call it, stupid colloquialisms--I decided to get a Macbook Pro, because the Windows laptop I had available was a monster, weighing in at seven pounds. And, it crashed three times...within an hour. I knew that I'd want a portable option, so I got the MBP and I don't think I could have been happier. Or, at least...did.

The problem with my school is that so many of the desks are tiny, leaving no room for the MBP and anything--and often, they're so flimsy, I wouldn't trust my laptop on them anyway. Add to that the paranoia inherent with an Apple product, and I have to carry it EVERYWHERE.

Five pounds doesn't seem like a lot, but in practice, it has a huge 'psychological' weight. I can't take it anywhere without worrying that it's going to get scratched, bumped, etc. I have a neoprene case for it, which has helped, but with that weight, you're CONSTANTLY reminded that you have $1200 in your backpack.

I'm buying an iPad 2 soon--either when they're in stock at my local stores or when I decide that I'll live with a 3/4 week wait--and with the combination of the BoxWave stylus and UPAD, it'll become my note-taking device of choice. This is after seven months of school, though, so it doesn't hurt to try something and figure out YOUR workflow.
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