View Full Version : Buying Advice...

Oct 18, 2011, 09:43 AM
Hi everyone,
I will be a first time Mac buyer here in the next 6 or so months. I'm a college student majoring in Elementary Education, with a minor in educational technology (so I blog, do digital storytelling, skype, dabble in Photoshop, etc). My current Dell is starting to, well, crap out on me, and I think it's time to invest in something that will last me the long haul.

I'm torn between the base 13" MBP and the 11" MBA. This will be my only computer. Being a student still (and for yet another year and a half... sigh), I have a small list of what I want in a laptop, especially one that I hope to have well after college:

-Portability: I want to be able to take my computer to study, class, what have you, and not have to break my back or lug around a ton of chargers.
-Storage Space: I'm not sure if 64 or 128 gb will last me on an Air... This is one of my biggest worries if I jump for the cheaper Air
-Ram: I've always had the rule of thumb that 4 gb ram is pretty much needed in a computer... Is this still true with Macs?
-Screen size: What are your experiences with the 11"? Is it too small for my only computer?
-CD drive/eternet port: I know you can add these to the Air via dongles... but having them built in sure would be nice, but I honestly don't know if the amount I would use them justify the price jump to the MBP...
-Price: I'm in college, and going to be a teacher... I know this is a costly investment, and don't want to pay more for things I don't need...

So, my question for you all: Which one would be better suited for my needs? What are your experiences with them? I'm really a Mac newbie, so all feedback would be great!!

Oct 18, 2011, 09:59 AM
13" inch Air is my recommendation.

I'm a student and I work. I have to write reports, take notes, use Skype, edit images, and the Air goes with me everywhere.

The 13" Pro is a tad too heavy and offers very little, if any, performance benefit. 11" size inch Air is good, but not as a main work/study computer.

SDD drive space is up to you, I have the 256GB and I'm using about half. 4GB ram is essential if you want the computer to last though.

I have never missed the DVD drive... its all about thumb drives and online resources at my uni. On price, Macs tend to last- so get the features you need over a small saving now.

There's always second hand too!

Oct 18, 2011, 01:28 PM
I am on the 13" Air bandwagon too. However, the new 11" is very tempting. My wife has a 13" pro and I have the 13" Air, so I have a lot of experience on both. For me, the Pro is just too heavy and I can't deal with the 1280 resolution screen, even though it is a better quality display.
When I was a student, I would have died for something like the MB Air. It's easy to plug into an external monitor, great battery life, extemely light, a very all around computer. Also, I have very little need for a CD/DVD, so that may play into your decision.