Tuesday, 26 September 2017

UNI ADVICE: Do You Really Need A Macbook For Uni?

I always see a lot of talk around this time of year about whether or not people should buy Macbooks for their university course. I've had mine throughout my entire degree, so I thought I'd write a post on whether or not they're worth it.

Uni is a huge life change, and it can all seem very exciting! So naturally, people will want to "refresh" their "life" before moving away from home, but I think that people feel the need to curate the perfect university experience: buying a fresh new Macbook, notepads from Paperchase, a new tote bag, looking cute every day... when it really and truly doesn't matter. You'll quickly notice that people go from wearing cute and fashionable outfits, to the weird grey hoody they got for free on their first day and leggings. University is like anywhere else, people feel the need to impress others and just like moving house, you want everything to be new and perfect.
Uni advice: do you really need to buy a macbook for your university course

Macbooks are expensive. There is no beating around the bush - they're not worth the insane cost, they're a fashionable and trendy gadget, basically. And they're not just expensive in the initial cost, which is around £1,100 for a student, but in their upkeep, too.

I have had my Macbook Pro since around September 2014 and my battery needs replacing, my screen has had to be replaced (I'm pretty sure this was a screen fault from Apple, but I wanted to mention it anyway), and my charger cable has broken and the wires are exposed - yes, they suffer the same annoying fate as their iPhone counterpart eventually - and those are £79 to replace. Yep, £79. You need to keep in mind whether or not you'll have the funds later on down the line to repair the laptop and keep up with the insane servicing that Apple products seem to need. I'll state now, that 2 years down the line, you'll be shelling out £100+ for a battery replacement, even if you are careful not to over-charge it and let it drain down to nothing every so often as I do.

I bought my Macbook under the Education Store in 2014. I can't recall the exact price I paid then, but the price right now is £1,124. In 2016, Apple made some pretty rubbish changes to the (already limited) Education store pricing that they offer. 


CHANGES APPLE MADE IN 2016:

  • Dropping the discount from (up to) 15% to 10%
  • Free Beats headphones
  • No more complimentary AppleCare (They now offer that for 50% off with your purchase)

At first, this looks like a great deal. It's not.

1. You don't need Beats headphones. No, seriously. They're exactly the same as any other headphones. I wish I was lying - it's marketing rubbish making you think they're amazing and worth more than your average £20 pair.
2. No more free Applecare! In my opinion, it's pretty much a necessity when if you don't want to run into issues later on down the line with your laptop. Mine expires this month but has been worthwhile when I ran into issues with my screen, that Apple recognised as a fault on their side, but I do wonder how they would have responded, had I not been holding a piece of paper with Applecare on it.

I think that this is disappointing, given that Applecare was such a nice perk to get when buying through your university, but hey, all good things must come to an end. (Sarcasm..)

My favourite things about my Macbook Pro:
  • Photobooth (I haven't clicked on this in over a year though..)
  • In sync with my iPhone easily
  • Portable and much smaller and slimmer than a Windows PC
  • The style - sorry, gotta admit I wanted one of these for about 3 years before I bought one.
  • Built in, "free" Microsoft Word counterparts - These work just as well and are very user-friendly. I've had no issues ever exporting them to a word document and I prefer the Apple programs to Microsoft now.
  • Aesthetics - It's so simple to use. Like iPhones, the Macbooks are so simple that my Nana has one and loves it. No fuss downloading and installing things, easy searches and use.
  • Perfect for the university if you buy the super-light air model.

Negatives:
  • The charger cable is awful. I'm having to replace mine after 2 years at £79. It's like the iPhone cable, only bigger. What's worse, is that Apple have patented their charger in some weird way inside (Or so I have read) so good luck finding a half-decent, cheaper version. I searched high and low and wouldn't trust the sellers I found selling replacements.
  • Battery "cycle-life" is awful. After 2 years I'm having to shell out £100 for a replacement - I never, ever had to do this so soon on the numerous other laptops I've had over the past 8 years or so.
  • There is NO DISC SLOT. Not that anyone ever uses discs anyway, and you can buy something that plugs into your USB slot, but be aware of this! Lots of people assume that it's a given to get it, but as discs phase out, so are laptops having the slot.
  • They aren't as Pro as they seem. I am not a techy person (As in I don't know what RAM is...) but every single tech blog I've ever read states that Apple vastly overprice their products for what they are. Acceptable for iPhones, perhaps? But definitely not for a laptop you'll want to last you several years... It's why no gamer dudes ever buy Macs.
  • Easily overwhelmed - it'll run the Sims, but not your mountains of custom content.

I hope this blog post gave some insight into owning a Macbook. The brand itself it's hyped beyond words and Apple are outstanding at branding themselves as new and innovative. (It explains why people line up to buy a new iPhone that is only marginally different from the old models!)
Bottom line? If you have the extra income, go for it. Don't buy an Apple product if you know that you are going to struggle to feed yourself in two months. They're a luxury product and everything that can be done on a Macbook (within reason) can be done on a cheaper laptop or on the affordable £879 Air model. John Lewis offer a free three-year warranty - so it may be worth spending your cash here if you want to purchase something pricey from a trustworthy company that are good with customer service.

Are Macbooks the student essential that people make them out to be?

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12 comments

  1. My husband has wanted to buy a Macbook for so long, not for uni but for ordinary life. I will make him read your post and let him decide whether to buy or not. Thank for letting us know to make the decision so much easier!

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    Replies
    1. I think it's a good all-rounder for everyday computing! I use mine 24/7. x

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  2. I think a laptop is a good thing for college. You need to do research and type papers maybe even correspond with your professors. I think it is a good tool to have.

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  3. I have a Macbook and I love it for the most part. But you're SO right about the battery. I'm constantly having to recharge throughout the day.

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  4. I think this depend on the work you have to do during the Uni.But a laptop is good enough too.Glad that you've shared both pros and cons.

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  5. I got my own MacBook Pro almost two years ago. I love it for editing my videos and photos but sometimes I do hate it doesnt have a disc slot.

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  6. I'm getting a new MacBook Pro this weekend! I've had my current one for 7 years and it still works but it's time to retire it. So excited!!!!

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  7. This is REALLY good information to know. I've been considering a MacBook or Apple desktop. I think I'll stick with the desktop.

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  8. Macbooks are cute but not my first choice. I have the ASUS and its awesome :) Never fails me.

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  9. Macbooks are cute but not my first choice. I have the ASUS and its awesome :) Never fails me.

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  10. As someone who studied a creative course, I really wished I had a MacBook back then. I feel as though I would've been at an advantage. I know from your review you're totes against it. but I've had a Mac now for quiet sometime now. I have graduated uni and work. a Mac is just so much easier, being an iPhone user and knowing that whatever I'm doing on my phone can be picked up on my computer is a big plus for me.
    I think at university people do need good reliable computers and Macs are 1 of them.
    it all depends on how well you take care of them and what the purpose is for.
    personally, I use my Mac for photoshop, writing, work and shopping. and find that it's great! the price isn't cheap, but I just feel like its a much better product that whats out there.

    at university, I suffered with a HP sub brand called Compaq, never again! I had it replaced 8 times in 1 year.

    Lucy,commenting as AJULYDREAMER.COM

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  11. I never got the hype around Macbooks. I got an ordinary Toshiba laptop and it suits my need really well. However I don't take it to my lectures, I don't know if that's a thing there haha I would totally agree that they're overpriced!
    Also, I agree that we all want to impress others and it usually lasts about a week :D

    xo Honey - blog Royal Lifestyle - Twitter - Instagram

    ReplyDelete

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