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College student: Macbook Pro vs iMac


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Cutwolf

 
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I am deciding between a Macbook Pro (2.4 ghz, 15", 160 gb HD) and an iMac (2.8 ghz, 500 gb hd, etc).

The iMac would come out to be a few hundred cheaper.

I know laptop would seem like the obvious choice, but it seems the imac gives FAR more bang for the buck. I do like taking my laptop to class and taking notes on it and such, but I also find I am more easily distracted that way.

I do play games. World of Warcraft, Civilization, some FPS games (FEAR, Half-Life 2, etc). I don't do it as much as I used to but I'd still like to be able to.

But since portability is a big issue in school and I can honestly say that it is harder to motivate myself to go to class when I don't have my laptop (when I didn't charge my old one, for example), I'm leaning towards laptop.

I'd like some opinions, though. I do plan to go to Law School where a laptop would be extremely important, but that is 2 years from now and I may just upgrade then anyway.

Edit: I'd like to add that I've always been PC. I've always "hated" on macs (bad experiences with older macs). But we had a family reunion this weekend and my cousin and aunt had Macbook Pros (my cousin is an artist/graphic designer) and I fell in love with the speed, portability, ease of use, etc. It blew my XPS2 out of the water.
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todd51
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I know what your going through, you just have to come up with a list of the disadvantages and advantages of each.

I ultimately went with the MBP since I had never owned a laptop and I like going to the library to study for exams since I can never focus very well with roomates being around. I would always end up being distracted from my studies.

I really wanted the iMac though since it came with a much bigger hard drive and the bigger screen. I do like the decision I made though. I love being able to lie in bed and surf the net. In the near future I plan on purchasing an external hard drive bay so I can take one of the old internal drives out of my PC and use it as more hard drive space. I also plan on getting an Apple keyboard so I don't have to stick with the laptop keyboard when it's sitting on the desk.

My personal opinion, I would spend the extra money and go with the MBP. I've even brought my MBP over to a friend's apartment and played some LAN games. Much better than packing up an iMac and putting it in the back seat!
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hunkerpularama

 
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I think what you need to weigh up is whether you want the portability of the MBP or the extra 9" of screen size on the iMac. I think as far as games go you will not really notice the difference between the two, as the iMac has 0.6 Ghz extra clockspeed, but the MBP has a much better graphics chip.
I would wait until the benchmarks of the iMac come out, and in the meantime think what you want out of your computer.
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FishinFool

 
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I am in the exact same predicament for college. I had been leaning towards the MBP but with these new iMacs I am just as stumped as I was in the beginning.
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I'd like to add that I've always been PC. I've always "hated" on macs (bad experiences with older macs)
All these Mac haters are so ignorant to the "speed, portability, ease of use" of the new Macs. They seem to think that they are exactly the same as they were in gradeschool (ie. the clamshells and whatnot)

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Levi

 
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You'll probably find that a laptop can offer you more when you're moving around a lot, and since you're more likely to take it with you when you normally wouldn't have a computer you'll get more done.

I went the MBP route

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Cutwolf

 
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Yep. In gradeschool we had these terribly slow, ugly, bulky macs to use in our library. Kind of traumatized me. But with the "modernization" and "hip-ification" and seemingly newfound user friendliness of Apple's products (seemingly arising from the success of the iPod), I decided to play around with my cousin's computer and it was like night and day compared to my Inspiron XPS2 (which is a solid computer, but like all PCs, it seems to lose it's kick pretty quickly). I like PCs, but the Mac just seemed to be less loaded with a bunch of BS software, much smoother, prettier, user friendly, portable, sexy, etc.

I also played on my Aunt's computer and assumed it was brand new like my cousin's. I come to find out later it was over a year old. Color me impressed.
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visualpurple

 
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a laptop is always the better choice for university. I used a desktop for the first 3 years of uni and I always regretted not getting a laptop. I never even bring mine to class, but my studying method requires typed-up study notes, and I always work in the library, so having a laptop is soo convenient. You don't need to take it to every single class for it to be worth having a laptop, its value is in being able to do your work where and when you want to. Want to go do some work in Starbucks? You can. At your friend's house? You can. On the train going home for a weekend? You can.
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Alexis

 
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Quote:
but the MBP has a much better graphics chip.
Someone over at Mac Rumors was saying there was actually not much between the two at all.
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shadowmancer

 
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I'm in the same position, starting college in september and looking for a new mac. I was going to go with the MBP but these new iMacs have really got me thinking... I really want to take my laptop to college... but the iMacs shiny... and bigger HDD and faster CPU... ARGH

EDIT: I wonder if the other macs are getting upgrades too? I don't wanna splash out on an MBP for a new one to come out straight after...
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Levi

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowmancer View Post
EDIT: I wonder if the other macs are getting upgrades too? I don't wanna splash out on an MBP for a new one to come out straight after...
They will be upgraded, but likely not until January (could be sooner, but I'd say October/November for the holiday season at the earliest; they where just updated in June and as far as I know the quickest product refresh Apple has done was updating the G5 iMac 3 months before releasing an Intel one... I can't see them doing that again).

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todd51
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Don't really worry about the upgrades, heck my MBP is just over a year old and they have already upgraded it 3 times..it's technology, it's bound to happen.
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joshbrez

 
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I'd say pick up the MBP. It's got more than the specs required for an average college student's purposes. The importance of portability in college cannot be overstated. I had a desktop for two and a half years at university, and it was irritating. Having an MBP is so much nicer. You won't regret it.
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Dialtone

 
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I contemplated a similar decision in regards to a MacBook or MacBook Pro. After making numerous trips to the Apple store, posting threads on here, and talking to users...I ended up going with the MacBook. It has suited me just fine and I like the portability factor. I don't take it with me that much, but it's nice if I want to travel with it.

If you're in college, a laptop would be my recommendation. Even if you don't take it to class, you would have the option to, especially when you enroll in Graduate school...
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Chad

 
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My first reply since joining. I just purchased a MBP for many of the same reasons as stated above. I'm starting grad school in a week and I wanted a new computer. I too went back and forth with the MBP, and iMac. I wanted to have the flexibility of working in a couple of different rooms in my house if needed (noise, etc.) Ultimately, the MBP allows me the flexability I am looking for.
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wolfpackmac

 
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deffinately go with the mbp, I got mine last week and I love being able to take where ever I go. I know the imac seems like a better buy, but regardless the mbp you're looking is blaing fast. So it's really between really really fast (mbp), or really really really fast (imac).
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