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militaryman911
May 3, 2011, 06:49 PM
So I'm looking into buying a laptop for college. I want something fast, reliable and with a lot of storage (preferably 500GB). I recently talked to a Apple employee and he suggested waiting till mid-June for the new Macbook Air release. He suggested a MBA because of it's mobility and structural differences.

"Being a student, you will take your laptop with you a lot. Because the MBA has no moving parts inside, other than the fan (no disk drive), it is much less devastating if dropped or knocked around," he told me. "All Apple laptops will soon be moving over to this "solid state" with no moving parts." I agree with this, however if this is the only benefit over a MBP, I would rather go with the 13" 2.7Ghz MBP.

So, what do you all think? What should I do? And if I were to get the MBP, should I still wait a while, or since the 2011 models have already been released, buy now?



paeza
May 3, 2011, 07:00 PM
So I'm looking into buying a laptop for college. I want something fast, reliable and with a lot of storage (preferably 500GB). I recently talked to a Apple employee and he suggested waiting till mid-June for the new Macbook Air release. He suggested a MBA because of it's mobility and structural differences.

"Being a student, you will take your laptop with you a lot. Because the MBA has no moving parts inside, other than the fan (no disk drive), it is much less devastating if dropped or knocked around," he told me. "All Apple laptops will soon be moving over to this "solid state" with no moving parts." I agree with this, however if this is the only benefit over a MBP, I would rather go with the 13" 2.7Ghz MBP.

So, what do you all think? What should I do? And if I were to get the MBP, should I still wait a while, or since the 2011 models have already been released, buy now?

go with the MBP. you can upgrade SSD in the future when price drops down, if u want. HD normally last more than 3-4 years and it shouldn't be any problem.

nebulos
May 3, 2011, 07:10 PM
So I'm looking into buying a laptop for college. I want something fast, reliable and with a lot of storage (preferably 500GB). I recently talked to a Apple employee and he suggested waiting till mid-June for the new Macbook Air release. He suggested a MBA because of it's mobility and structural differences.

"Being a student, you will take your laptop with you a lot. Because the MBA has no moving parts inside, other than the fan (no disk drive), it is much less devastating if dropped or knocked around," he told me. "All Apple laptops will soon be moving over to this "solid state" with no moving parts." I agree with this, however if this is the only benefit over a MBP, I would rather go with the 13" 2.7Ghz MBP.

So, what do you all think? What should I do? And if I were to get the MBP, should I still wait a while, or since the 2011 models have already been released, buy now?

i'm surprised an Apple employee mentioned an update, and advised you to wait. i would not mention that to his coworkers.

as for waiting, the free ipod deal starts at the end of May. (google it.) if you want to wait for a new Air, June seems to be it (but no one knows for sure).

if you want a lot of storage, you probably don't want an Air. nor would i consider the Air a computer that can be 'knocked around'.

in particular, if you really want 500GB of storage, forget an SSD, and thus, an Air, assuming this is even an option on the new ones. just look at SSD prices. have you?

Henry Spencer
May 3, 2011, 07:21 PM
If you want to buy the MPB then you can do it now since it's was refreshed a short time ago. And if you really want a 500+GB HD then you don't really have a choice, go with the MBP.
You might want to wait for the MBA refresh like the apple rep said but i doubt there will be a 500GB SSD since the new imac doesn't even have that option... But i could easily be wrong...

On a personal note I kinda agree that portability is key here, most people I study with have 13" MBP and they only bring it to university when they really have to since it's pretty heavy. But then again, the MBP is a more capable machine especially if it's going to be your primary computer. And like I said if your dead set on a 500GB HD then you already made your choice.

RealScience
May 3, 2011, 07:41 PM
Since you're considering the 13" MBP, make sure to look at the resolution differences between that and the 13" MBA. The MBP only comes with 1280x800, while the MBA has 1440x900. If you're planning to use your laptop on the go without hooking it up to an external monitor, that may make a difference to you. For me, having higher resolution on the go (i.e. without connecting to an external monitor) is more important than having higher amount of storage on the go (i.e. without connecting to an external hard drive). Unfortunately, this is an either/or option right now, since you can't even custom-order a higher resolution 13" MacBook Pro.

macjonny1
May 3, 2011, 07:55 PM
Get the MBA. What the hell can a 13" MBP do that YOU will be using it for do for you? Only thing really is hard drive space. You do have that SD slot if you want a bit more storage, etc, as well.

Young Spade
May 4, 2011, 03:17 AM
You should definitely get the MBP. Yes the Air is a great computer and is great for what it does, however it isn't made to be one's "main" computer if they are going to eventually get "real" work done on it. For things like surfing the web, watching videos, composing documents, yes the Air will do fine. However it only has (one?) usb port and if you're out and you need to charge your phone along with plug in a usb drive, or in your room and you need to get some documents but the printer is hooked up, it can become quite a nuisance.

He is right, they dont' have "any" moving parts, however you want as much hard drive space as you can built in so you won't have to rely on external hard drives (which you're probably going to have to get if you stick with the SSD in the air) and for most work, they are just as fast as SSDs.

Now these were both minor reasons but probably the most important would be the fact that it's your computer, and going into college you need a computer that's going to last. The MBAs aren't as powerful as the other macbooks, it's the least powered in the entire lineup. For only 200 more you can get a pro which will have a larger screen (going by baseline models here), a faster dual core cpu, more ram, a larger hdd, more ports, a great battery life (if not the same, longer), a backlit keyboard (not a a great deal for most but I would love to have one on my blackbook now that I'm hanging out at a friends house late at night), and it will generally last you longer in terms of specs and holding off until an upgrade.

I am using a blackbook right now from 08 and love the thing to death, I won't have to actually upgrade and get a computer for a very long time. I upgraded it to a 320gb harddrive (which i think should be the minimum) and 4 gigs of ram so it runs "just" as fast as the MBPs. I never have to actually wait for anything; whether it's running HD video in the background on top of browsing on top of other HD video (I don't do editing so those are the most intensive tasks I put it through).

All in all, get the Pro. It's going to last you longer and overall be the better value of the two.

TrollToddington
May 4, 2011, 05:07 AM
You should definitely get the MBP. Yes the Air is a great computer and is great for what it does, however it isn't made to be one's "main" computer if they are going to eventually get "real" work done on it. For things like surfing the web, watching videos, composing documents, yes the Air will do fine. However it only has (one?) usb port and if you're out and you need to charge your phone along with plug in a usb drive, or in your room and you need to get some documents but the printer is hooked up, it can become quite a nuisance.
1) it has 2 USB ports
2) if all you do on your computer is watching videos, writing documents and basic photo editing I think it can be used as a sole computer. The only limit is the low disk space. Unless 512GB (or at least 256GB) SSD became affordable I wouldn't even consider the possibility of using a MBA as my "main" computer.

Young Spade
May 4, 2011, 06:37 AM
1) it has 2 USB ports
2) if all you do on your computer is watching videos, writing documents and basic photo editing I think it can be used as a sole computer. The only limit is the low disk space. Unless 512GB (or at least 256GB) SSD became affordable I wouldn't even consider the possibility of using a MBA as my "main" computer.

Ah, ok, thanks for letting me know. Even then, you have to think about the lack of specs that you're getting with that laptop. Yes you have the SSD, yes it's very thin and light, but, and of course, this is all my opinion, if you're getting something for college and it's going to be you ONLY computer, you should actually get a full featured computer. Hell, he might need to use a CD for something.

In all seriousness, the Air is a great PC for someone who knows what they are going to have to use their computer for. I would love having one for my college studies as well. However, I chose to get an upgraded blackbook. It's heavier and doesn't have the glass trackpad BUT it is more powerful. It's blazing fast and when I have to do ANYTHING from editing all the way up to 1080p video, the computer never slows down.

As a college student, he should get something he can rely on to give him possibly everything he might need from start to finish. Of course it's up to him to decide and he's getting a great computer either way, but I can't immagine using a macbook air as my only computer for college.

s2dio
May 4, 2011, 07:21 AM
Young Spade, It's great to hear how good your blackbook is performing.

It's heavier and doesn't have the glass trackpad BUT it is more powerful. It's blazing fast and when I have to do ANYTHING from editing all the way up to 1080p video, the computer never slows down.

although, I doubt that it outperforms the current MacBook Air, especially the ultimate model. The SSD is much faster than HDD, the processor is different and the GPU as well. I suppose that the blackbook has Intel IGP or something? It makes a world of difference.

Young Spade
May 4, 2011, 08:26 AM
Young Spade, It's great to hear how good your blackbook is performing.



although, I doubt that it outperforms the current MacBook Air, especially the ultimate model. The SSD is much faster than HDD, the processor is different and the GPU as well. I suppose that the blackbook has Intel IGP or something? It makes a world of difference.

Does it? I know that it doesn't have a lot of ram (around 112mb or so) and it is an older model, but does it have great specs overall?

And just to be clear, I respect the opinions that you are giving, they are all very valid ones and I do agree with everything that you're saying. WHat I think we both need is a MBA with a larger SSD, higher cpu clocks, and a backlit keyboard :)

Big D 51
May 4, 2011, 08:37 AM
Get the MBA. What the hell can a 13" MBP do that YOU will be using it for do for you? Only thing really is hard drive space. You do have that SD slot if you want a bit more storage, etc, as well.

+ 1 :apple:

jsgreen
May 4, 2011, 08:53 AM
Might also consider what you are going to actually use the machine for - if you are doing a lot of CPU intensive work, that the MBA might not be a good choice (slower processor).

However, if you are going to be using it mostly for writing and browsing/reading (low CPU) then I'd give the MBA serious thought. I use the 11" as my primary work machine (mostly writing) and it is great.

One major plus is the small form factor - I can put it on a desk and it doesn't feel like I've got a wall between myself and the other people in the room.

You can pick up an external display for your dorm room for a couple of hundred bucks (Dell makes a good 23" model - search these forums).

If you absolutely need 500Gb to take with you at all times, then you'd have to have an external drive with the MBA (which would get old fast, I think). If you just have a lot of stuff to store and only need occasional access, I think the MBA + external would be a great setup to use in school.

RealScience
May 4, 2011, 05:20 PM
Both the Air and the Pro have the exact same number of USB ports. Yes, the Pro also has a Thunderbolt port and a Firewire port, but that doesn't exactly help if you've got 4 USB devices and nowhere to put them... So that's not an argument for getting a different computer, it's an argument for finding a portable USB hub you can carry around with you.

Jaro65
May 5, 2011, 08:22 PM
I just finished my grad school (business), though I still continue working on another grad degree. I have an MBP 17 hooked up to a 27" ACD, which used to be my main machine. Since I got my MBA 13, the only time I fire up the MBP is when I need to do something more heavy duty in Windows (through VMware Fusion), or when I really need the extra screen real estate. Other than that, the MBA 13 is my main machine.

militaryman911
May 6, 2011, 02:09 PM
Oh yeah speaking of VMWare Fusion, I forgot to mention something kind of major hahaha. I will most likely install Windows 7 on which ever MB I choose to get through Parallels. If this changes anything, or anyones opinions or suggestions, let me know.

Jaro65
May 6, 2011, 05:17 PM
It depends on what you want to run in Win 7. If it's just MS Office and such, you're fine; if you're planning on using some more demanding applications, those 8 GB of RAM available in MBP could be handy.