Do I get a MacBook for Uni?

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caithola
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#1
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I don't want an Apple/Windows fight, and I'm not looking to build my own computer as people on one post were suggesting. Just wondering from anyone at uni if it is actually getting a MacBook, if they're worth the hype or if they're just a waste of money? Looking to either be doing a computer science course or something art related at uni
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Blue_Cow
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A lot of people use MacBooks for a variety of reasons.

A MacBook is definitely worth it if you are already used to MacOS and therefore more productive with it. I hate the lack of certain ports and also the keyboard compared to my Lenovo ThinkPad.

Lots of CS students use Macs because MacOS is certified as Unix and also because they want to develop iOS apps. You won't be the minority with a Macbook.

EDIT:

You might want to post here using this template. Just fill out all of the details and you'll be able to get more suggestions!

Also, if you do buy a Macbook, make sure to use the Apple Educational discount online via UNIDAYS or just show an NUS card in an Apple store
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AperfectBalance
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Using windows and getting proficient with it is probably the best bet for you as most IT companies will be using windows and Linux. and yes macs are overpriced and over hyped there are very few benefits to using a mac, and even if people say they are better for art they are just spouting propaganda, windows can do pretty much everything better or the same as a mac for a lot cheaper
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06moca1
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(Original post by caithola)
I don't want an Apple/Windows fight, and I'm not looking to build my own computer as people on one post were suggesting. Just wondering from anyone at uni if it is actually getting a MacBook, if they're worth the hype or if they're just a waste of money? Looking to either be doing a computer science course or something art related at uni
Mac is pretty good. I don't know what programmes you would use on your course but on my biochemistry course, there are some programmes that are only available for Windows. I had to use the uni's computer instead. Otherwise, my mac is the most reliable laptop I have ever owned.
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TheMoon
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Idk I guess it's what you're used to and more comfortable with. Inevitably this will end up as a macOS vs windows fight, personally I just see them as overpriced and you can get much more powerful laptops (windows) for the same price. Plus the whole Unix thing isn't a big deal for me since I can just install a linux distro on any windows laptop. IDK about art but for computer science I can't see how a macbook has any advantage over a decent Windows laptop (although I could be wrong, I haven't gone to uni yet)

But from me visiting unis I saw lots of people using macbooks so there must be something behind it. I guess I haven't really used one properly so you can't really take anything from me, hopefully other people that own one will tell you their experience.

(Original post by Blue_Cow)
A lot of people use MacBooks for a variety of reasons.

A MacBook is definitely worth it if you are already used to MacOS and therefore more productive with it. I hate the lack of certain ports and also the keyboard compared to my Lenovo ThinkPad.

Lots of CS students use Macs because MacOS is certified as Unix and also because they want to develop iOS apps. You won't be the minority with a Macbook.

EDIT:

You might want to post here using this template. Just fill out all of the details and you'll be able to get more suggestions!
Hey what thinkpad do you have btw? I'm looking to get one for uni and idk if it's a good idea.
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Leighamc
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I usually despise apple products but recently made the decision to invest in a MacBook Air, as many recommended to me that it is good for working, and quite reliable/hardy; they were right. To me, it is the best laptop I have ever done my work on. However, I only do essays and other written work, so I really don't know how they work for art.
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by TheMoon)
Idk I guess it's what you're used to and more comfortable with. Inevitably this will end up as a macOS vs windows fight, personally I just see them as overpriced and you can get much more powerful laptops (windows) for the same price. Plus the whole Unix thing isn't a big deal for me since I can just install a linux distro on any windows laptop.

But from me visiting unis I saw lots of people using macbooks so there must be something behind it. I guess I haven't really used one properly so you can't really take anything from me, hopefully other people that own one will tell you their experience.



Hey what thinkpad do you have btw? I'm looking to get one for uni and idk if it's a good idea.
Great to hear you're considering a ThinkPad!

I'm using the T440p. I chose the T440p because it's the last ThinkPad to have a removable CPU that uses the Intel M series. Any ThinkPad past the T440p uses the U series of CPUs which are the low voltage ones. It is a pretty large laptop though! I also swapped out the trackpad for the T450 trackpad because I wanted physical TracKPoint buttons.

I would take a look at the T420 - T440p. You can find some great bargains on eBay.

I'm running Manjaro on my ThinkPad.
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frostfly
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I believe would be very helpful here
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TheMoon
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Great to hear you're considering a ThinkPad!

I'm using the T440p. I chose the T440p because it's the last ThinkPad to have a removable CPU that uses the Intel M series. Any ThinkPad past the T440p uses the U series of CPUs which are the low voltage ones. It is a pretty large laptop though! I also swapped out the trackpad for the T450 trackpad because I wanted physical TracKPoint buttons.

I would take a look at the T420 - T440p. You can find some great bargains on eBay.

I'm running Manjaro on my ThinkPad.
Thanks, I was definitely looking at a T series laptop like yours, although are the p versions (T440p) significantly more bulky/heavy than the standard versions (T440)? I guess you don't have a T440 so it's difficult to tell but is yours annoying to lug around?

That's good that you can swap the trackpad out, I think I'd definitely prefer to have physical buttons as well. From the looks of it they're like £20 on ebay so not too bad.

I don't know if the low voltage CPUs are so bad, I mean if it's a newer gen then it may possibly perform similarly to an M version from a previous gen? I don't know for sure though :confused:

Never used Manjaro, I should try it! Also, sorry everyone for talking about ThinkPads in a macbook thread
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by TheMoon)
Thanks, I was definitely looking at a T series laptop like yours, although are the p versions (T440p) significantly more bulky/heavy than the standard versions (T440)? I guess you don't have a T440 so it's difficult to tell but is yours annoying to lug around?

That's good that you can swap the trackpad out, I think I'd definitely prefer to have physical buttons as well. From the looks of it they're like £20 on ebay so not too bad.

I don't know if the low voltage CPUs are so bad, I mean if it's a newer gen then it may possibly perform similarly to an M version from a previous gen. I don't know for sure though.

Never used Manjaro, I should try it!
You might have to go quite a few gens newer for a comparable low voltage version.

The p version are the performance version, and is indeed bulkier than the non p series. I use a Wenger laptop backpack and although you can notice the weight, it isn't too much of an issue.
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caithola
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#11
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
A lot of people use MacBooks for a variety of reasons.

A MacBook is definitely worth it if you are already used to MacOS and therefore more productive with it. I hate the lack of certain ports and also the keyboard compared to my Lenovo ThinkPad.

Lots of CS students use Macs because MacOS is certified as Unix and also because they want to develop iOS apps. You won't be the minority with a Macbook.

EDIT:

You might want to post here using this template. Just fill out all of the details and you'll be able to get more suggestions!

Also, if you do buy a Macbook, make sure to use the Apple Educational discount online via UNIDAYS or just show an NUS card in an Apple store
thanks! in regards to budget, the macbook would be a present for my 18th, otherwise I'd just be taking my standard compaq laptop with me. In regards to the RAM/ weight/ screen size etc, I'm not actually too bothered about size. I don't intend to be playing games (other than maybe sims!!) and I do feel slightly miffed off at the lack of ports (USB/HDMI/anything!!) on a macbook, but I do have an iphone so I suppose there is automatically that compatibility. I'm just generally unsure if it's worth it as a present or if I may aswell just be using my normal laptop for everything as I'm already used to the windows OS and it seems to be able to do everything I need so far?
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Durhamgirl96
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I'm studying media and journalism in September and have bought a MacBook Air specifically for university. It's an early birthday present so I can't say too much on it yet, as I don't know how it runs yet. But, I enjoy Apple products so would always be the first to encourage use of them.
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by caithola)
thanks! in regards to budget, the macbook would be a present for my 18th, otherwise I'd just be taking my standard compaq laptop with me. In regards to the RAM/ weight/ screen size etc, I'm not actually too bothered about size. I don't intend to be playing games (other than maybe sims!!) and I do feel slightly miffed off at the lack of ports (USB/HDMI/anything!!) on a macbook, but I do have an iphone so I suppose there is automatically that compatibility. I'm just generally unsure if it's worth it as a present or if I may aswell just be using my normal laptop for everything as I'm already used to the windows OS and it seems to be able to do everything I need so far?
If you can do everything you want to do so far, then I'd probably stick with a Windows machine then. Unless you really like the aesthetics of a Macbook!

However, if someone is offering it as a present... well that changes everything
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caithola
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
If you can do everything you want to do so far, then I'd probably stick with a Windows machine then. Unless you really like the aesthetics of a Macbook!

However, if someone is offering it as a present... well that changes everything
see! this is what I'm struggling with!
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AngryJellyfish
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Moved to Laptops, netbooks and tablets.
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TheMoon
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
You might have to go quite a few gens newer for a comparable low voltage version.

The p version are the performance version, and is indeed bulkier than the non p series. I use a Wenger laptop backpack and although you can notice the weight, it isn't too much of an issue.
Ah I see, I guess I'll just have to look at the prices and see what the best deal is.

That's funny, I literally have a Wenger laptop backpack that I was planning to use for uni! Their bags are really good imo. Meh I guess I could handle the weight. From what I've seen, ThinkPads seem really well built and reliable so it would probably be worth it.

Thanks once again for the info!
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by caithola)
see! this is what I'm struggling with!
Have you given the Macbook a test-run at least?
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caithola
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Have you given the Macbook a test-run at least?
I've spent a while fiddling about in PC World, but other than that, not really😕 I feel like the lack of ports etc and the difference in comparison to my knowledge of windows will inevitably be a problem and annoy me eventually!
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by caithola)
I've spent a while fiddling about in PC World, but other than that, not really😕 I feel like the lack of ports etc and the difference in comparison to my knowledge of windows will inevitably be a problem and annoy me eventually!
If that's the case, then definitely get a Windows machine.

Most important thing is to be comfortable with your machine, seeing you're going to be using it for a number of years!
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BigYoSpeck
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(Original post by caithola)
I don't want an Apple/Windows fight, and I'm not looking to build my own computer as people on one post were suggesting. Just wondering from anyone at uni if it is actually getting a MacBook, if they're worth the hype or if they're just a waste of money? Looking to either be doing a computer science course or something art related at uni
Either computer science or art? Jeepers talk about unsure!

Things about the mac that are nice are the fit and finish feels really high quality. You'll sit running your hands over it appreciating how it feels like a piece of jewellery in its design. Not really a useful feature but it's a nice if you have that fetish for the equipment. It runs macOS which I personally don't like using, but if you do then it's the only way to get it. If you like to video edit then people swear by Final Cut Pro, especially how fast it is, any other software though is incidental and if it's software available on both mac and windows then typically windows outperforms mac by a few percent on the same hardware. Finally, you have the Apple stores you can walk into if there is a problem. I'm quite handy with computers so I'm happy to deal with most things myself, but if you've deadlines piling up and the computer starts acting up I can see why people like having that support.

I'm studying computer science as well and personally, I think they're hugely overpriced for what they do. It's ultimately just PC components with macOS which I don't like so I don't see the justification in the premium for my own use case.

If you want advice on a device then give the below template criteria from the laptop and computers forum sticky (where this thread should really be posted):

Budget:

The subject being studied:

Software that will be run on it:

Screen size (e.g. 10", 12", 13.3", 15.6", 17.3" )

Operating system preference:

Battery life:

Minimum Ram requirements:

Minimum Storage requirements:

Weight limit:

Will it be used for playing games?:

Touchscreen or stylus support needed?:

Are there any specific port needs? (e.g. USB type C):

What current devices do you have? (including desktop, tablets and phone):
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