My daughter needs a laptop for when she goes to University in the autumn. Her original idea was to get a Sony Vaio, primarily because it was in hot pink. I vetoed that and turned the conversation to more practical attributes such as ease of use, portability and so on. It turned out that ability to run The Sims and MS Office were both important considerations for her.
Support was a factor in my preference. My son is more adept at computers than my daughter but I have had to help, remotely, a number of times. Plus, when his desktop, bought in the UK, died in The Netherlands it was hard to get Dell to come and attend to it. Like him, she will be studying in two countries, whilst we live in a third. My experience with my Mac Mini is that software issues are less common than with Wndows and the international flexibility of AppleCare – you can get support in any country – was a distinct posiitve.
After some debate I convinced her to go for a Mac but was myself unsure whether the basic MacBook, with the white plastic body, or the 13″ MacBook Pro was the best choice. The MacBook Pro had a faster processor, better graphics card, and could have up to twice as much memory but was, of course, more expensive. I might have ordered a MacBook straight away but knowing that my Mac Mini – which has similar processor, graphics and memory – made me hesitate especially as, according to MacRumors, that model was approaching the end of it’s lifecycle. In the end I cracked and ordered a MacBook Pro, next day Apple upgraded the MacBook with improved processor and graphics so I immediately cancelled the order. However, when I sat and looked properly at the new specs I realised that a MacBook would cost only €60 less than a Pro with the same processor, graphics and memory options. I decided that the built in SD slot, which matches her camera, and option to increase memory later were worth the extra. So, a new MacBook Pro order was placed.
It shipped last night and delivery is forecast on June 2nd. That seems a long time away but I expect it will actually come a bit quicker (ash permitting). I will have to get it set up for her, a list of essential software is forming in my head already, so I will have chance to play too.
I confess to being quite excited.