apple macbook info? tech help!!

  1. hey, all!

    i have to buy a laptop for school and i chose the macbook in white 13". problem is i know nothing about laptops or macs. i would ask the sales associates at the stores, but i wouldn't know if they were just swindling more money out of me :p.

    my question is should i just get the 2.16 GHz stock? with these features:
    • 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    • 1GB memory
    • 120GB hard drive1
    • Double-layer SuperDrive
    or should i upgrade anything such as a 2GB memory and a 180GB hard drive, adapters, care plans, accessories, etc? i'm using it for school.. starting college at FIT in the Fall. wondering if any of you purse fanatics were also tech geeks?

    if i need to add upgrades to the stock version, which upgrades are suggested and/or neccessary for a great running notebook?

    thanks in advance! :heart:
  2. I would upgrade the RAM to 2GB (have it on this machine). However, I wouldn't let them do it in the store, they'll overcharge an arm and a leg for additional RAM installs, you can save like up to $200 doing it yourself.
  3. thanks, Vlad, for the quick response and really useful info. i'm going to look up how i'd do it myself. you wouldn't suggest getting any software or upgrade to 180GB hard drive?
  4. 160gb is a pretty good chunk of space, so unless you're going to be downloading a lot of music or movies, you should be good.
    I concur with Vlad. Memory is a snap to install....literally. Buy it yourself, flip the laptop upside down, remove the memory cover and snap the new stick in. I'd first confirm how many slots you have and how many are filled from the factory. For example, if you have 2 slots and 1 is filled with 1GB, then you can buy another stick of 1GB and put that in the open slot and have 2GB. If it has 2 slots and both are filled (2 sticks of 512MB), then you'll have to remove one and replace with the new 1GB, so now you'll only have 1.5GB. Make sense?
    Regarding software...what will you primarily be doing. Obviously you'll need a word processing software, and maybe a spreadsheet utility for finance tracking or graphing.
  5. OH...if you are going to be giving powerpoint will need to buy an adpter (the guys at Apple will probably recommend it anyways) most schools are set up for PCs only! It's around $20.

    I would also suggest buying the Applecare (it's around $200) extended warranty if you plan on keeping it longer than a year!
  6. Hi

    I went through the macbook buying process about 8 months ago - so can tell you what I wish I had done differently..

    To start with - my experience with the apple store was great - they didn't try to get me to upgrade and in fact I decided that I didn't need bells and whistles - and so walked out with the basic version.

    However - if I had realized how I was going to get into video - I would have upgraded. And by video I mean
    i) subscribing to free video podcasts (and there are going to be so much more of them in the near future)
    ii) watching youtube
    iii) a bit of video editing from a camcorder (which is mega easy and great fun), and also using the macbook camera....

    Also - it is really easy to record lectures etc with the built in mic (and export them as a podcast ) which I never thought of doing before I got my mac.

    So - I really wish I had boosted up the hard drive . I don't really know where it has all gone - I have 9GB of music and less than 100 photos - but have already used up 60GB of HD memory (I have 100GB).

    The other thing - is that I completed dismissed my need for a macbook pro - since the only difference is the graphics card - but I would advise you to look at video at the store (for example youtube) on both a macbook and macbook pro. If I try to expand the video to full screen on the macbook the image goes grainy - but looks great on my bf's pro.

    I don't regret sticking to a lower processor (2 GHz). I edited a 60 mins video in the same labs that others were editing on professional desktop macs - and didn't find that my computer was significantly slower than theirs.

    You mention that you are starting school - are you planning to get the student discount and free ipod?

    Something else that I have noticed - I have been investigating macs at about this time of year for the past 2 years - and noticed that they bring out an updated model (larger processor etc) in September (although still in time to get the ipod!). I don't know if that was just fluke - or whether it is a better bet to wait??? (There are rumors about a smaller (cheaper) macbook pro being released). (Also Microsoft have discounted student & teacher Office in late summer).

    Finally - have to been checking out the Apple refurbished models on the Apple store? They can offer models at great value - especially if you go for the pro model (and you get in there at model changeover time). You get exactly the same service etc as with regular purchases.

    Good luck with your purchase. Such great fun - I :heart: my macbook - I have been doing such great things with it.
  7. I just switched from an iMac to a MacBook as I'm going back to school part time. In fact...the one you are looking at is the one I went with....

    I ordered online and had them upgrade the hard drive from 120G to 160G as that was an inexpensive enough upgrade and my iMac had 150G and although I didn't have it full...I do have a lot of music, pics and occasionally video on my hard drive - at least until I have time to burn the video to DVD.

    I didn't upgrade the RAM with Apple because the MacBook was already an upgrade from me as my iMac was older and didn't even have the 1G the MacBooks do. That and I looked around online and its definitely easy enough, and cheap enough, to do it yourself. My new manual for my MacBook even SHOWS exactly what you need to do to install new RAM.

    I bought Apple Care again...I didn't need it during the 2 years I had my iMac...but I listen to a podcast (MacBreak Weekly) off itunes weekly and they swear by it...I figured better safe than sorry...but you can buy it anytime during the regular warranty period I think if I don't want to spend the cash right away.

    Personally for me...I like having an external mouse too... and I'd recently upgraded to a wireless and keyboard with my iMac so I didn't have all the cords. I'm hanging onto those. I figure the keyboard might come in handy when I'm writing a paper..and the mouse is just nice to have.

    I also have a 120G external hard drive that I have my mac backup to daily.

    As treesrgreen said...check into the student discount! I was excited to be able to take advantage.

    As far as announcements on new products....I know there's an event next week and rumor is they may announce a next generation iMac....other than that I've only heard wishes for smaller notebooks...
  8. My harddrive died... right outside of the normal one year warranty. I was VERY happy to have the apple care plan. Took 4 days for me to send it off, them to fix, and me to get it back. No charges.

    I have an original macbook pro. It is a 2.16 with a 100gb harddrive, and 1 gb memory. The only thing I plan on doing is adding some memory. I still have 35gbs left on my harddrive. All of my programs run smoothly, including photoshop w/ always ran slow on any PC I have ever had.

    Goodluck on you new MAC!
  9. thank you, guys! you guys have been really helpful. when i get my Mac, i'm going to look into the slots, hopefully they have a 1GB stick installed, i might just ask an SA at the apple store. and will also upgrade to 160GB, and the apple warranty. i think that's all i'm going to upgrade and will definitely use the student discount. i can't wait until september for new updates because i move in on august 18th and would want to have the notebook with me! thanks again so much!!!
  10. The only thing that you might want to be careful about if you choose to customize the laptop from the Apple store (vs. doing it yourself), is that if you decide for some reason that you are unhappy with it (you just don't like it) you will not be able to return it (even within their standard 14-day return policy). Obviously if it has a defect, they will take care of it, but otherwise once you have a computer customized by Apple you can't take it back. I personally love:love: Apples and don't see why you wouldn't be completely happy with it, but make sure you are 100% sure of what you buy if you have them customize it.
  11. thank you, lmkhlh. i didn't know that!
  12. You're welcome! I just found that out myself because my mom was going to have a new computer built for my dad (as an anniversary present) and was told by the Apple people that she wouldn't be able to return it if she got it customized and it wasn't what he wanted. So she had to ruin the surprise and tell my dad to go pick out what he wanted and then have them build it.