New Laptop for School

Discussion in 'Macintosh' started by X-Istence, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. X-Istence

    X-Istence * Political User

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    Hey guys,

    I have not been to an Apple store lately, and as such have not had the chance to play with the different MacBook [Pro]'s, and I wanted to ask what machine would be recommended for the following:

    0. Desktop replacement
    1. Heavy programming
    2. Will be running Windows XP/Vista in Virtuoso or whatever it is called
    3. I don't game

    Would a Macbook suffice, or would a Macbook Pro run better with regards to Windows XP running at the same time. This would be replacing two items that I would then not have to take with me from home:

    1. A desktop machine with currently 3 17" screens attached
    2. An iBook with 12" of screen space.

    Also, the Macbook at 13.5", seems a bit small, especially if I will be heavily taking notes on it, writing papers and other such items. Even now on my 12" I feel really cramped, and I can't even open Pages properly with a page thumbnails showing and editing at the same time the text properties.

    Money is not a factor, I need something that can run Windows on it because my university has that as a requirement to enroll in their "distance" classes, which I will need to do next semester. (I have at least a month or so before I have to make the purchase).

    Thank you!
     
  2. falconguard

    falconguard Carbon based lifeform Political User Folding Team

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    For a true desk top replacement? Go with the pro...Black...ya know bigger hard drive and all. :)
     
  3. Mainframeguy

    Mainframeguy Debiant by way of Ubuntu Folding Team

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    interesting - can someone post up pricing linkage on this - maybe I could consider the option for my laptop replacement (there's a thread for that too!) and why you ask, givent he price hike?

    Well for one it may be cool to have OSX access, I like to play and keep my awareness of options open... also to be able to give my daughter access to more OS than the five she can already choose from (!)

    But mainly, my existing eMachines (extended warranty 3 years) failed the fan after about 3 years and 3 months - although I am trying to repalce it getting the part is such a problem I may not be able to... My hunch is with a powerbook I would not have repair issues - they would be possible (though at a price!)
     
  4. falconguard

    falconguard Carbon based lifeform Political User Folding Team

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    I know he is an Apple zealot, and he said money is no object in regards to what he is looking for. So, in his case an Apple Macbook Pro would be the ideal desktop replacement. If your thiking about that, they are constructed quite nicely. However, for that price you could get 2 beefy xp notebooks and then dual boot them using anything you really like. I played around with Ubuntu and to tell you the truth I am really liking Suse 10, now that I figured out how to hack it into a true desktop replacement.


    At some point in time I will try a BSD distro. But go play around with some distros and a Mac
     
  5. SPeedY_B

    SPeedY_B I may actually be insane.

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    A 2.0GHz MacBook would suffice, if you want more screen estate, there's the option of hooking it up to external DVI. However if you want more screen on the move, then go for the Pro.

    Either way, you'll be filling it with ram, and the HDD size is entirely up to you and your needs. :)
     
  6. X-Istence

    X-Istence * Political User

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    I am definitely not an Apple zealot, seeing as how I run FreeBSD servers, and desktops.

    As for why I don't get another laptop from HP and use XP and dual boot Linux, is the for the fact that I do want Mac OS X. Just because I feel that it is a superior "desktop" operating system for day to day use over Windows and Linux, from personal experience my Mac OS X laptop, the iBook is open it up and go. It always works, no fiddling around with RPM's to update Applications, in Windows no problems with the registry and other such items, including the possibility of a virus/internet worm.

    The Macbook Pro's are not black. They are titanium.

    They are on Apple's store, here in the US the following prices:

    13 inch white Macbook: $1099
    13 inch white Macbook: $1299 (Processor upgrade)
    13 inch black Macbook: $1500 (More HD space, and it is black)
    15.4 inch MacBook Pro: $1999
    15.4 inch Macbook Pro: $2499 (Processor upgrade, more ram (512MB), more HD space (100 GB))
    17 inch MacBook Pro: $2799 (More HD space (20 GB), bigger screen, 8x Dual layer DVD burner, FireWire 800)
    Note, the MacBook Pro's also have the backlit keyboard that the Macbook's don't have.

    Well, I have an external firewire drive now that holds up to 300 GB or so, HDD size was never that important, I have only 30 GB in my iBook right now, but it would be nice to be able to carry more data around on my laptop.

    As for hooking it up to an external DVI, that is possible indeed, but I will have to take the first month to asses how much space I have available in the apartment I will be in. It is a two bedroom, two bathroom, one living, and kitchen apartment, and that has to be shared with three other people (1 room mate). When I went to check out the apartments there was barely enough space for just even a TV and a console (Xbox seems to be popular at UAT), let alone the four PC's that were set up on cramped workspaces, this is the reason why I have decided to not take my desktop with me to Arizona, but instead look for a replacement to replace both my ageing laptop and my big desktop.
     
  7. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    I think the 2.0GHz MacBook would perform well for the type of work you'll be doing, but if screen space is a big issue then you'll probably want to go with a Pro -- unless it's an option to connect to an external monitor.
     
  8. falconguard

    falconguard Carbon based lifeform Political User Folding Team

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    You will miss the screen space...and my apologies x the term zealot was not used in a perjorative sense. Although, you might think it gives you more portability, you will find that the screen space is definitely a factor, especially coming from a 3 screen workstation.
     
  9. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    Yeah, I love the size of my Macbook for the portability reason. But I also have a dual-screen setup for my desktop, so I'm not restricted by screen space when I really need it. If it were going to be my only computer and price wasn't an issue, I'd go with the Pro.
     
  10. Geffy

    Geffy Moderator Folding Team

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    I've got a 13.3" 2.0GHz MacBook with 2.0GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive and it runs Parallels fine for Windows XP stuff though its not recommended for watching WMP10 episodes of the "IT crowd" on.

    As speedy said if you need more real estate screen wise you can slap an external screen on it (no need for screen spanning doctor). The resolution is 1280x800 which is quite ample for most of the development I have been doing recently.

    Pages, well I've just checked and I can open the thumbnails down the side and still access the inspector palette

    So the fastest MacBook would probably do you (you definitely need the 2GB of RAM though if you are planning to run any virtualisations) but if money is no object then go Pro, theres no reason not to, though if you do get the Glossy screen option, it really does make it so much easier on the eyes.

    Finally as you will be in shared accomodation by the sounds of things I would really recommend getting one of those Kensington security cables. On the MacBooks the cable lock slot is near the front of the laptop
    [power] [ethernet] [dvi] [firewire400] [usb2] [usb2] [line out] [microphone] [security lock]

    I dont know the location on the MacBook Pro's but its something to check for.

    Thats about all I can think off at the moment.
     
  11. X-Istence

    X-Istence * Political User

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    The apartment will be shared with 4 people. Depending on what I judge their character to be when I first meet them I may get a security cable.

    I have decided that if I do get a new Mac, which is highly likely, I am going to go for the MacBook Pro 17 inch, since my dad thinks it is a good fit for a desktop replacement. Especially considering I have to make it last for the next 3 or so years.

    I will be keeping my iBook, so in case I ever need something small and easy to take with me, I have that.

    Thanks for all your replies guys!