View Full Version : Confused Potential Mac Buyer

07-17-2008, 01:56 PM
I am going to be a senior in college and surprise, surprise, my Dell PC is beyond repair. I got a new motherboard and HD for it and it is still beyond hope.

So, as enter my senior year, I am looking for a notebook that will serve me well. I've listed some of my needs below and am wondering whether I should purchase a MB or a MBP. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

So, here's some info that my help:

1.) I need a transition notebook, something that will serve me for my last two semesters of coursework, then student teaching, and then though my first semester of teaching. (We're talking about 2.5 years).

2.) I am an avid photographer, but I am not a pro by any means.

3.) I will need some MS Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PPT for school and work.

4.) I like speed, but then again, I've been living with this system for so long that I don't know whether I would notice the difference between the MB and the MBP.

5.) I need low-maintenence. I am not a super-tech-savvy person.

6.) Durability is important to me. I don't throw my computer around, but I am on-the-go frequently.

Also, is AppleCare worth its price?

Thanks so much for your help! Feel free to

07-17-2008, 02:07 PM
1) Macs generally last a long time (there are always exceptions) But a Macbook will easily last over that - My own mac is approaching its 6th birthday

2) You have most of what you need on the mac, you can even install GIMP if you cannot afford photoshop. Also , macs come with a default screen gamma of 1.8, better for photo-retouching

3), you can either Buy office for Mac, use Apple's iWork suite or use the open source NeoOffice suite

4) you will only really notice the difference between a MB and MBP if you use 3D programs, Video Renderers or intensive 3D games

5) No computer comes garanteed, but macs tend to be low maintenance, Macs have no spyware, no malware, no viruses, and the Trojans you can count on one hand and have to be especially gullible to manage to install one

6) As far as computers go, Macs tend to be better put together than most and come very high on customer satisfaction studies

7) If you buy a MB rather than a MBP you could buy Apple Care and MS office with all that loose change (especially with ed discount)

Any issues or queries – this forum is a great place to get answers if you decide to switch

07-17-2008, 02:11 PM
1) My MB is still going strong after 2 years. Granted, it's not as great as it once was, but I abuse it, as does my 4 year old.

2) Do you use Photoshop and things like that? I use CS still and it works for me - but I don't think I'd want to be doing anything too heavy with it.

3) You can get Office for Mac.

4) I dunno if I would either... I think it mostly comes down to the graphics card thing. Never having used a MBP my opinion on the subject is useless.

5) I didn't do any maintenance until a month or two ago... no viruses, no scanning, no cleaning, nothing. Still working fine :)

6) Well... though my top casing has cracked (which is pretty common), I've dropped my macbook many, many times, it's been trodden on by me and the dog, used by a sticky 4 year old child, had cola spilt on it, and on one occasion I dropped it from standing holding it directly onto a full pint glass of coca cola. The glass shattered everywhere, everything was covered in the drink, and my macbook only bares a small scratch on the corner that smashed the glass.

Though I have to say, I wouldn't recommend putting it through any of those things if you can help it!

07-17-2008, 02:59 PM
I think it sounds like you should get a MB rather than a MBP. I would just max out the ram and get enough hard drive space that you think you can live with.

A Macbook will last quite some time as long as you aren't careless with it.

07-17-2008, 03:01 PM
Alijean, Im was in your position, with the exception that I freelance and would like to work for a paper after college. I still have 3 years left and I am getting a teachers certificate in fine arts with photography as my study so I can go on to teach photography/yearbook/etc. I was involved in that stuff in highschool and loved it.

Anyways! Now to the notebook stuff.
I would personally try and go for the lowest MBP if you could and then if you want to have something to edit in, you can purchase Adobe Lightroom or Aperture 2, you probably wouldn't need Photoshop,also office is I believe 149 for Mac, and I have it as well. I was in the same situation as you, picking a notebook.

Both are great, but I was looking ahead so I could always upgrade if need be, and the MBP is basically a desktop replacement that you can take everywhere. I just think the MBP suited me better when I decided to pick one up and make the switch a week ago. BTW, my sister has the MB and so does my girlfriend. They are capable of editing if its not too heavy.

07-18-2008, 03:45 AM
I disagee with the MacMan, don't be fooled into thinking a MacBook won't run Aperture 2, i'd recommend getting a MacBook and using an external monitor if screen size is an issue, that way for the price of a MacBook Pro you could have more RAM, bigger hard drive and a huge monitor to hook up to when you want to do some photo editing. The Graphics card in the MacBook will run Aperture fine as long as you use it don't go overboard.

However I do not have Aperture on my Mac this is just what i've read elsewhere, hopefully someone else can agree or disagree with my statement. MacBook Pros are great for video editing and high intensive tasks, I wouldn't put Aperture in that category.

Either way both computers are great!

07-18-2008, 07:04 AM
Oh Im not saying the MB cant do any editing at all, otherwise why would they even care to have iphoto on there? ;) Anyways, as long as you dont open a lot of RAW files at once, your good. Like I said, both are great and its capable, but I would go with 4gb of ram in the MB.

07-18-2008, 07:10 AM
Ah okay MacMan!

Yeah I thought that was the case, MacBook Pros are more future proof too with their Graphics Cards.... but I don't think you can go wrong with either!

07-18-2008, 11:51 AM
well i was too in your situation...
first of all they weight nearly the same and mbp has a bigger screen that means same portability but bigger screen..mbp is thinner btw..
and mbp is more future proof in any means...