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davyvfr 07-15-2011 12:35 AM

A MacBook for college....
 
I am looking for a MacBook that is fast and can be durable for 4 years. I have looked at the MacBook Pro 13" series but I can't seem to make up my mind between the i5 or the i7. I've seen both and when I did use the i7 everything was just so much better and way faster but since I'm not doing video editing or photography I don't know if the speed will be needed and the price will be justified. I am also planning to get an Ipad 2 (32GB new) or Ipad 1 (16GB Refurbished) to check email quick without having to pull my laptop out of its case and if I want to go into a coffee shop and do research on the go. Basically, it comes down to this:

Choice 1:

MacBook Pro i5 (stock specs)
Ipad 2 (32GB)
$1698 w/student discount


Choice 2:

MacBook Pro i7 (stock specs)
Ipad 1 Refurbished (16GB)
$1748 w/student discount

Its such a tough decision since the i7 gives me almost desktop performance (or so it seems) and the i5 is nice too. What would be best?

Zizuno 07-15-2011 02:01 AM

iPad really defeats the purpose of a MacBook at college. Do you not have the option of using a smartphone?

chas_m 07-15-2011 03:35 AM

The MacBook (not pro) is about to get refreshed, it would seem. Might want to hold off a week or two and see what happens.

As for the notebook/iPad combo, I'm *all for it.* I mostly leave my "notebook" at home attached to a big monitor and use the iPad on-the-go whenever possible. We've had a number of threads about college students and iPads, give the search a whirl.

StMFA 07-15-2011 09:47 AM

I'll chime in with my situation. I am a college senior, so the iPad did not exist when I was a freshman.
That said- I started off with a Thinkpad and it worked OK, was a little big and clunky, so I eventually bought a netbook for something more portable and began leaving my thinkpad in my room except for when I had to meet to work on group projects or needed to do some serious library studying.
After buying an iPad2 at launch I can honestly say that is WAY better than lugging a laptop around, especially if you get a nice folio case to go with it. I would also suggest getting a stylus so you can take some handwritten notes with it. IMO it will work quite well for most scenarios unless you happen to have a class that requires you to be constantly typing in a lecture situation.

I'm all for having a mbp and an iPad, though personally I eventually opted for an iMac for the better performance as I do some web editing, gaming, etc. So yes I no longer have that portability, but there are plenty of apps that for the iPad that will let you get around many of the limitations (splashtop remote desktop is a great app).

Deckyon 07-15-2011 10:28 AM

Having the full PC at the dorm/apartment with an iPad for class makes a lot of sense. It just does.

I am not in college anymore, and ****, there really were not any laptops that would fit on my lap when I was in college so that didn't happen. There was the Apple Newton... I wish I had something other than paper, something that could turn notes into papers. Being able to take notes on the fly in your own handwriting with something that comes on instantly is priceless. Especially since you can take it home and sync it up.

I would also recommend the student ver of Microsoft Office:mac 2011 with Documents to Go Premium while signing up for Dropbox. All your papers can be synced up at the press of a button and you will be able to edit them on either device. Papers dont have to have all the bells and whistles of other documents so you will easily be able to edit your papers whenever or where ever you are on either device. This I use all the time for work.

Get a Referb MBP and Referb iPad and you will see a nice savings. Both will have a full warranty and good as new with a few scratch/dent.

StMFA 07-15-2011 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deckyon (Post 1265975)
Having the full PC at the dorm/apartment with an iPad for class makes a lot of sense. It just does.

I am not in college anymore, and ****, there really were not any laptops that would fit on my lap when I was in college so that didn't happen. There was the Apple Newton... I wish I had something other than paper, something that could turn notes into papers. Being able to take notes on the fly in your own handwriting with something that comes on instantly is priceless. Especially since you can take it home and sync it up.

I would also recommend the student ver of Microsoft Office:mac 2011 with Documents to Go Premium while signing up for Dropbox. All your papers can be synced up at the press of a button and you will be able to edit them on either device. Papers dont have to have all the bells and whistles of other documents so you will easily be able to edit your papers whenever or where ever you are on either device. This I use all the time for work.

Get a Referb MBP and Referb iPad and you will see a nice savings. Both will have a full warranty and good as new with a few scratch/dent.

This is true, though going with iWork and using iCloud is a cheaper and nearly as good alternative.

Deckyon 07-15-2011 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StMFA (Post 1265977)
This is true, though going with iWork and using iCloud is a cheaper and nearly as good alternative.

Yes, it will be cheaper. Docs2Go will probably switch to support iCloud (they support iDisk now). The thing is, the college may require Microsoft Office. Stranger things have happened, and with the Student version and discount, it will not be much more than iWorks.

No matter what, there are tools in place to make sure you can easily edit papers on both machines from anywhere using some kind of cloud service. I wish I had the tech they have now when I was in college. Man, papers would have been a breeze.

Young Spade 07-19-2011 05:26 PM

Definitely the first option. There is going to be a negligible difference between the i5 and i7; depending on what you do, the i5 should be able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it, aside from heavy rendering or the like.

I would do that and get the iPad 2; I've used both iPads and in the end, you're saving money and getting the most bang for your buck if you get the iPad 2/baseline MBP.


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