Buying your first Macintosh computer
I would recommend against buying a laptop. They are ridiculously expensive. And for much less money, you can buy an iMac. And an iMac is just as simple as a laptop. You don't have to buy a separate screen or a cpu, or anything. It comes in a box. You take it out of the box, plug it in and go. Avoid the temptation to get the Mac mini. Maybe later.
The least-expensive iMac comes with a big 21.5-inch screen. Trust me, it's plenty big. Don't be tempted to buy the larger-screened one. Don't be tempted to upgrade the memory, or anything. Just get it in the box and take it home. It will work fine.
An option that I strongly recommend is an external hard drive for backups. Macs come with "Time Machine" for automatic backups, which is awesome, but it needs somewhere to go. I bought a Lacie® when I got my iMac and it's perfect.
Apple products are not discounted, so buy it wherever you want. If you are in my neighborhood, I recommend MacMedia. Or if there is an Apple store nearby, go there. Avoid the regular computer stores. There is no need to put yourself through that.
If you're still not sure if a Mac is right for you, please read my blog Should you get a Mac or a PC?
If you would like to learn Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Dreamweaver, please contact me. I do personal on-site training sessions in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area. Doing it on a Mac isn't absolutely necessary for these software programs, it just makes it a whole lot easier.
Posted by Brad Hall