Buying a Mac For College: Why its Right For You

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Importance of a Computer for College

The days of being able to make it without a college education are soon to be over. More and more positions require at least an Associates Degree in some field. The only issue with this new education requirement is that it’s very expensive. One of the biggest upfront costs a college student must endure is the purchase of a computer. With all this money being spent on one item it is easy to understand why the pressure of finding the perfect one can sometime push people over the edge. While the price tag on a Macintosh computer may seem to rich for your blood, the computer will pay for itself within two years of use.

As a student attending a university right now, I can truly say that without my computer I would be lost. When you are in college your computer is essentially as important as breathing and eating. For me the choice of what computer to buy was very clear. I knew that I wanted a Mac. I have used them all my life alongside PCs. I just couldn’t purchase a PC, it felt like the cheap alternative to a Mac. Why is this? I knew that when I was up at school working diligently on term papers and research projects I would not want to have to fuss with an unreliable computer. Now, I am not slamming PCs, for many they get the job done. But that is all that they do, there is no room for outside of the box thinking when you are working with a PC. In college you have to be able to do whatever it takes to get what you want. I did not want a computer that I paid a good sum of money for holding me back. So I went for the MacBook with 2.4Ghz. As soon as I received it and started exploring the limitless capabilities, I fell in love. I couldn’t believe that I had ever laid eyes on a PC. Oddly enough it was almost like I had been cheating myself by using such an inferior piece of technology for so many years. The feeling only snowballed as I began using this beautiful machine to accomplish the never-ending pile of homework everyday.

Features That Improve Your Efficiency

The first thing I noticed when doing schoolwork on my Mac was its simple user interface. Apple has produced a product that makes it very easy to find what you’re looking for. For instance, when I would write a paper on a PC I would save it and then exit. When I came back to finish the paper I would have the hardest time finding it. With a Macintosh system everything is beautifully organized. All I had to do to find my file was type in the title. If I couldn’t remember what that was I could go to my history and see what I had been working on for the past couple of days. Knowing where your material is stored is extremely important in college. If you are not organized you will find your experience to be a lot more difficult than others will.

Another great feature that Apple has incorporated into its operating system is the ability for your computer to complete a number of different tasks right out of the box. Instead of having to find on the Internet an unreliable freeware program to edit video or music, its already installed on the hard drive. This is excellent for those students who are undecided about their majors. The included applications cover a wide variety of possible subjects to study. Video editing, music recording, video recording, writing, publishing, and website design are just a few of the many features your Mac has right out of the box. While this may make Macs sound like a generalized machine, they are anything but. In fact a Mac is a lot like its user. With all of the personalization abilities it is hard not to see a reflection of the owner within the computer itself. Also, based on what type of system you have it is easy to tell what kind of work a person is doing with their Mac.

Different Configurations to Fit Your Needs

There is a long list of Mac systems that you can choose from when deciding what kind of computer will fit you best. As a college student I can say from experience that you are going to want a laptop. A desktop is nice; it’s got a lot of power and usually costs less then a laptop. But a laptop has the portability that your education experience will demand.

The downside to a laptop is the cost. Because of the necessary technology and development that it takes to fit an entire desktop into a portable computer that is only an inch thick, the consumer pays more. As I said earlier, your purchase of a Mac laptop will pay for itself in no time so do not fear spending the extra money on that sleek portable power station. Now that we have established the family of computer you are going to want to buy we need to specify a model. I personally have the MacBook, it is the version that is just under the MacBook Pro in computing power and on average hard drive size. As alluring as the MacBook Pro is, there is really is no need to purchase that much of a computer unless you plan to use it. Unless you are going into fields that deal with video editing and music manipulation you really don’t need that much of a computer. Recently Apple has lowered its prices of MacBook Pros, essentially phasing out the MacBook series. It is still there but the price difference between the two is starting to become slim to none. So basically if you can spend the extra couple of dollars to buy a MacBook Pro, be my guest. For everyone else that does not see the point in spending more money for computing power that you may not use, stick with the MacBook. The software is exactly the same for all Macs that are released at the same time. Currently if you buy a Mac it will come loaded with Apple’s latest OS, Snow Leopard OS X 10.6.

How Your Mac Gives You Your Money Back

You may be asking yourself, how in the world is this computer going to pay for itself in two years? The truth is it will probably pay for itself long before then. Most of the viruses, trogans, worms, and other computer polluting programs out there are designed for Windows based computers. This means that while all your friends who are laughing at you for spending nearly double what they did on their computer are spending hours doing virus scans and repairs, your sitting pretty surfing the net updating your facebook and twitter. Also, your hardware is of a higher quality then that of the generic PC computer. This can be easily related to the saying, “you get what you pay for”. Computer hardware does experience wear and tear from prolonged use. Its just like a car engine, when you don’t use the best oil or other chemicals to keep your engine running smooth damage will result a lot sooner. Think of the operating systems created by Apple as the best oil, gas, and nitrous oxide on the market. Pretend that it was formulated just for your engine so that you have the best of everything.

This is essentially what the difference between PCs and Macs is all about. Mac products run seamlessly with their software, ensuring the best performance possible. Microsoft however creates on operating system that is expected to work on a number of different PC models that vary from company to company. Nothing is specially designed to the specific model; it is all thrown together and shipped. With the better hardware, software, and greater reliability it is easy to see why in the long run a Mac is a better buy then a PC.

In the end you the user has to decide whether or not a Mac is right for you. I guarantee that the future holds a time when Mac is the dominate platform used by most schools and industries. Starting now will allow you to have a leg up in the future world of technology. Plus you should treat yourself to one of the greatest experiences any individual can ever have. Personally I find my Mac to be a computer that allows me to express myself, my work, and my life. I can honestly say that I love my Mac and it has made me into the Mac enthusiast I am today. I hope that it does the same for you.

This post is part of the series: Tips for Young Mac Users

As you enter college you are probably just starting to use your brand new Mac. You may be new to the Mac world or a veteran user. Regardless of your status this series will only be beneficial for you and your Mac.

  1. How To Save Yourself and Your Mac Some Heartache
  2. Why Buying a Mac for College Just Makes Sense
  3. Internal or External Hard Drives for Your Mac?