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linnylu
06-25-2011, 12:01 PM
We need to buy ds a laptop for college and he'd like a Mac.
I looked at the website and can't tell the difference between a macbook and a macbook pro. Can someone explain it to me? Is a 13" screen a decent size?
I know he'll want to skype and watch movies on it. His school actually will supply word for the mac for free. I would also like something that I won't have to upgrade in the next 4 years. Any thoughts? Thanks!

mommy23
06-25-2011, 01:00 PM
You should visit an Apple store. Your son will be able to 'play' with the mac laptops. The employees are all very well versed in their products and will be able to answer all your questions. If you work for an educational institution (in any capacity) they offer an education discount. At least they used to. They also usually offer something free (ipod touch two years ago) after rebate (of course) when purchasing a laptop for school.

We have 2 13" macbook pros. One is used by my daughter in college and she has never complained about the screen size. I use the other and also have no problem with the screen size.

linnylu
06-25-2011, 02:13 PM
Mommy23, we will definitely go to the mac store but won't they try to sell us as much as possible? I know nothing about mac and just would like an idea of what is typical for a college student vs what the best apple has. Does that make any sense?

Dizzyworld
06-25-2011, 02:54 PM
What are the college's requirement?

Firefly09
06-25-2011, 03:14 PM
Mommy23, we will definitely go to the mac store but won't they try to sell us as much as possible? I know nothing about mac and just would like an idea of what is typical for a college student vs what the best apple has. Does that make any sense?

Actually, we have always enjoyed our experience in Apple stores. We have never felt the pressure to buy more than what we came to the store to buy. In fact, the saleperson is usually surprised when we ask to upgrade RAM or harddrive space. Those are the 2 things we usually look to upgrade from the base models to help the computer last longer.

A 13" screen is good size screen. Any larger would make the laptop more difficult to carry around when he needs to go to the library or take to class.

lesabrowning
06-25-2011, 03:23 PM
Right now this is an easy answer. Macbook Pro. The Macbook is way overdue to be replaced and are considered a "don't buy" by most "experts" as it is outdated compared to the current Macbook Pro. The Macbook Air is also expected to replaced as early as the end of the month. The basic 13 inch Macbook Pro is a great computer. I use one and all our college kids use them as well, including our oldest who works for Apple. You can get the educational discount direct from the Apple page and there are likely some other back to school promotions.

CJMickeyMouse
06-25-2011, 06:04 PM
Definitely visit an Apple store, but if you have a Discover Card I would go through shop discover and buy online when you are ready to purchase. :thumbsup2

linnylu
06-25-2011, 07:41 PM
Definitely visit an Apple store, but if you have a Discover Card I would go through shop discover and buy online when you are ready to purchase. :thumbsup2

CJMickeyMouse, can you tell me what the advantage is to going through shop
Discover? My dh does have a Discover Card.

silmarg
06-25-2011, 07:46 PM
Apple store is the antithesis of high pressure sales.

They will let you browse till your hearts content - with no pressure to but what so ever.

Car dealers should learn from these guys.

I have an older MacBook (not a pro). And in retrospect, I wish I had bought a Pro for one reason - a back lit keyboard. I cant tell you how often I use my mac in the bedroom w no lights on. I bet in college, DS will use it at odd hours. He will want a back lit keyboard.

But to be honest. Mac's are great... and even the cheapest model should give him years of good service.

TraceyDisney2008
06-25-2011, 07:51 PM
Bought a macbook pro for my DD a couple months ago so she ould feel it out before she started University and she loves everything about it. The 13 inch is great because it is light. No preasure at the apple store they were very helpful. The back to school promotion is $100 in free Apps and we also got a free mail in rebate for the printer.

lesabrowning
06-25-2011, 08:20 PM
If you look online at Apple.com, then click store, look to the the left and you will see Educational store. You can enter in the college name and get about at 10% discount. You do not need any proof to get this. I am sure you can do it in the store as well, I have just never done that.

powellrj
06-25-2011, 08:47 PM
We got DS a macbook pro 2 years ago when he started college and it is the best! He is a TCom major and its great for school.

Buy the extended warranty. We took it in last week to have it looked at and they ended up doing over $2000 worth of work all under warranty. This is a kid who is attached at the hip to his laptop, so it was in pretty rough shape. It's a brand new computer!

xCourxCorex
06-25-2011, 08:52 PM
I have a 13" white Macbook that I purchased February of this year after my HP laptop crashed. I LOVE IT!!

I got a college student discount on not only the computer, but the 3 year protection plan, as well as iWorks (Apple's version of Microsoft Office ... word document, power point and spreadsheet software)! From now til September they usually run promotions for college students.

I also have an iPhone and I love that I can sync up my calendar and my contacts and everything is so compatible and EASY!

I'm going to be a senior in college this fall, and I use my computer for mostly internet, writing papers, doing projects, uploading pictures, calendar, and itunes. I also got this great flashcard making app from the Mac App store... definitely awesome! (I'm in nursing school and eat, sleep and breathe flashcards... this thing is a lifesaver!)

The app store has tons of cool apps for organizing school, papers etc. There's Garage Band for making songs and ringtones, and iMovie for video making...

The security is amazing, everything flows and I don't find using any part of it to be a hassel. The apple store people are the BEST! I can't say enough about the employees or products.

If your son is considering one, definitely check out an apple store! The salesperson assessed my needs, recommended this, let me play with it for 30 minutes, got me all set up with accounts and making sure I felt comfortable with using everything... just all-around AMAZING!

hannahdrewmom
06-25-2011, 09:05 PM
They really are low pressure. We were in last week for a fix (upgrade to the 3 year warranty.... $500 repair free!! and it looks new now!) Anyway, my DH was asking about a blue tooth for his phone and the guy actually said ... I have one I can sell you but I wouldn't recommend it. Go to best buy they have better ones there! :rolleyes1 They were great in all aspects we will never buy a pc again.

Also, we have the regular macbook and have had no issues with it. We both work from home and are do everything online. It is fine. For us we didn't feel there was a need for the pro version.

linnylu
06-25-2011, 09:39 PM
Well thanks everyone for the advice. I will take ds into the apple store.
One more question- Is there a way to connect a lock to the macbook pro?
DH has a cable with a lock for his pc when he is at trade shows. I thought that might be a good idea for ds at school. Also, what kind of bag/back pack does a guy carry around campus that will hold his laptop? What about a girl? My niece is also heading off to college in the fall.

CJMickeyMouse
06-25-2011, 10:49 PM
CJMickeyMouse, can you tell me what the advantage is to going through shop
Discover? My dh does have a Discover Card.

All you have to do is link to the Apple Store through ShopDiscover and use your Discover Card to pay... you get a certain percentage back in rewards - for Apple I think it is 5% - which is a nice chunk of change when buying a computer. You can use this with the education discount as well!

gacompguy
06-26-2011, 06:04 PM
I know he'll want to skype and watch movies on it. His school actually will supply word for the mac for free. I would also like something that I won't have to upgrade in the next 4 years.

For your "average" college student, either the MacBook or MacBook Pro will work. Personally, I would lean toward the MacBook Pro because it is aluminum and tends to have a faster processor. I would also make sure to get the AppleCare with it so that Apple will cover the laptop for three years of warranty. By default, it only has a one year warranty.

What are the college's requirement?

Call the Office of Undergraduate Admission and as to speak to his assigned counselor and ask this question. Someone majoring in early childhood education or liberal arts will not need as much laptop as someone majoring in engineering or computer science. Most schools today have a standard that is updated annually for incoming students. They also usually have different standards depending on the student's major. You can also ask if they have a student discount program. It is entirely possible that the Admissions counselor won't know about the discount so be prepared to call the book store to ask that question. You can also click the "Education Store" link on the left-hand side of the page and see if your school is listed.


One more question- Is there a way to connect a lock to the macbook pro?
DH has a cable with a lock for his pc when he is at trade shows. I thought that might be a good idea for ds at school. Also, what kind of bag/back pack does a guy carry around campus that will hold his laptop? What about a girl? My niece is also heading off to college in the fall.

Yes, the laptop should have a Kensington slot for connecting a lock. Though, I would recommend never letting it out of his sight in public areas. I would also recommend something like CrashPlan (http://www.crashplan.com) in the event his laptop dies or does decide to walk away. As for the case, I would leave that up to him. Working at a large university, I see just about everything... it is totally up to the person.

lesabrowning
06-26-2011, 06:54 PM
My four college sons (2 bio, 2 step) carry their Macbook Pros in a "satchel", which looks like a canvas messenger bag to me. (man bag?? LOL) I think it is like a ladies purse, everyone likes a certain style when it comes to how to carry a computer.

If you want this computer to last for his four years of college, go with the Macbook Pro. The Macbook is already out of date and will be replaced or possibly even discontinued soon. You can go to Macrumors.com and look at the buying guide for more information.

linnylu
07-14-2011, 07:50 AM
I just wanted to update by saying I took my ds to the Apple Store and the man who helped us was great. He did not try to "upsell" us at all. He was very knowledgeable and ds and I were very happy when we left. We ended up getting a Macbook Pro.

lesabrowning
07-14-2011, 11:28 AM
Congratulations and a happy four years for your son!

jwfla422
07-14-2011, 08:10 PM
Definitely "low pressure"...as a matter a fact the store closest to us is ALWAYS jammed, no matter what time of the day and what day of the week, it's always packed and sometimes you have to wait for someone to help you!:lmao:

A few years back I originally looked there but ordered online because I wanted some different specs which couldn't be changed if you bought it from the store (don't know if that option has changed-I upgraded my hard drive space and RAM back then) and I have had my MacBook Pro for 3 yrs now and absolutely love it!! It still feels like it's up to date with everything (except for the keyboard, some of my keys took a beating-but they have changed the keyboard since...)

I can't recommend the MacBook Pro enough-I went through the awful Power Macs of the 90s and swore I'd never buy another Mac after that, then went through PC after PC with constant issues. My SIL bought a MacBook a few yrs back and loved it and said she never had problems like I did with the earlier Power Mac versions so I took a chance and glad I did. I even have windows on it but barely use it.

For the price difference of the regular MB and the MB Pro I'd go for the Pro.;):thumbsup2

Tinker'n'Fun
07-14-2011, 11:05 PM
Just wanted to throw out there, DD researched and was so excited to get her Mac last year. Her college is Windows based and prefers them. They do not have a support team for Mac. So if she would have bought it and had problems, they do not answer questions or work on them. Also many of the programs were not easily converted to Mac. I know many people are much more savvy and can do it from Windows to Mac, but we could never had done it.

I would make sure before you purchase.

Doorman
07-16-2011, 07:39 PM
A lot of IT staff do prefer Windows, since it's what they're used to, but Mac is getting common enough at colleges that I think many will be ok with it. If there are programs that absolutely have to run on Windows, you can install something like Parallels that lets you run the Windows operating system inside the Mac.

furb & dez
07-17-2011, 11:02 PM
Just wanted to throw out there, DD researched and was so excited to get her Mac last year. Her college is Windows based and prefers them. They do not have a support team for Mac. So if she would have bought it and had problems, they do not answer questions or work on them. Also many of the programs were not easily converted to Mac. I know many people are much more savvy and can do it from Windows to Mac, but we could never had done it.

I would make sure before you purchase.Keep in mind also, that in the real business world, people generally use Windows.