View Full Version : New Mac user: iBook purchasing advice!

2005-07-16, 14:29

I just registered a minute ago and would like some expert advice on my switch from PC to Mac...

Actually, what had happened was that Apple screwed up on my order 3 times so they are giving me a refund. So now I am being extra cautious and asking for some advice before I buy any Apple product..

I am a student looking for a portable and affordable machine. I don't do any of the hardcore video-editing stuff. My daily usage of my current computer would consist of writing in Word, using the internet and e-mail, occasionally playing online games, and listening and downloading music. I would also like to be able to record stuff onto my computer- I play the violin and sometimes I want to record myself to hear what I sound like, and also I am thinking of recording some of my teachers' lectures during class because I take very slow notes.

Preferably, I would not like to stray out of a $1200~$1400 range.

>+ extra questions!

1) Is it better to customize the laptop for extra HD by Apple, or to buy an external HD? I know that external HD's cost much less for more.

2) I know this sounds very stupid, but I am a noob and know NOTHING about computers... but can I still burn CDs on a combo drive?

2005-07-16, 14:52
2) The "Combo Drive" reads CDs and DVDs and can burn CDs (but not DVDs). The "SuperDrive" can read and write both CDs and DVDs.

Franz Josef
2005-07-16, 15:04
Hi. Given your budget, you probably want an iBook, 12" or 14". If you are happy to burn / play CDs and play (but not burn) DVDs, a 12" iBook should work for you. You ought to have 768MB or more of RAM and a, say, 60GB harddrive. iBook doesn't have a sound-in so you will need a workaround ( http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic/ ).

1) External HD a good idea but nonetheless get a reasonable internal HD - 30GB (the default) is too small, 60GB or 80GB better.

2) Yes, burns CDs not DVDs.

2005-07-16, 15:53
If you want to input audio recorded from external sources (for your violin to play along with Garageband, for example...), you'll need a USB microphone or adapter (such as the Griffin iMic), or patch through another device (FW, mixer, etc).

None of the current iBooks have audio-in other than the internal mic, which probably doesn't have the dynamic range for professional violin sampling. Consider the powerbook 15 if your budget stretches that far and you want an all-in-one fix.

You might be able to use the recording accessories for an iPod, depending on the audio quality you need.

And the Superdrive isn't just for burning movie DVDs... you can back up 4.34GB of data per DVD disc rather than the 700MB per CD on a combo drive. Useful if you're planning on monster music collections.

See if the iBook 14 (with an iMic) suits... could have Superdrive.

If you're a student, you should also check out educational discounts or special offers like the Cram and Jam (free iPod with some CPUs).

And of course, the obligatory reference should be made to the fact the iBook is overdue for an upgrade based on the cycles observed in the Buying Guide (http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/)


edit: d'oh... Franz Josef beat me to the iMic comments, with linkage!

2005-07-16, 17:38
i wouldnt worry about burning dvds with a build in drive. If you wanna do that, you can always get an external drive. You shouldnt burn a DVD on battery power anyways.

as for an external HD, ask yourself what you need. If you're always on the go, and are going to need a lot of info away from the home desk, you may want to get the upgrade for the internal.

If not, an external will be cheaper, faster, and bigger.