Best Mac for a college student

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by linnylu, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. linnylu

    linnylu Mouseketeer

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    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!
     
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  3. mommy23

    mommy23 Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  4. linnylu

    linnylu Mouseketeer

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    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?
     
  5. Dizzyworld

    Dizzyworld DIS Veteran

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    What are the college's requirement?
     
  6. Firefly09

    Firefly09 going through Disney withdrawals

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    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.
     
  7. lesabrowning

    lesabrowning Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  8. CJMickeyMouse

    CJMickeyMouse Please do not disturb.

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    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
     
  9. linnylu

    linnylu Mouseketeer

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

    silmarg SIL

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    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.
     
  11. TraceyDisney2008

    TraceyDisney2008 Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  12. lesabrowning

    lesabrowning Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  13. powellrj

    powellrj DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
  14. xCourxCorex

    xCourxCorex DIS Cast Member<br><font color=deeppink>You can't

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    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!
     
  15. hannahdrewmom

    hannahdrewmom DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  16. linnylu

    linnylu Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  17. CJMickeyMouse

    CJMickeyMouse Please do not disturb.

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    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!
     
  18. gacompguy

    gacompguy Mouseketeer

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    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.

    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.

    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 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.
     
  19. lesabrowning

    lesabrowning Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  20. linnylu

    linnylu Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  21. lesabrowning

    lesabrowning Mouseketeer

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    Congratulations and a happy four years for your son!
     

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