Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Buying Tips and Advice

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:18 AM   #1
denraepat
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Buying for my daughter.

I need some advice. We have iPhones and iPods and we want to make the move over to Macs. To start, I want to get my daughter a Mac for a graduation present. However, I am unsure of which one is the best to take to college. This may have been addressed and I did "look" through some threads, I just need some good advice from users vs. sellers.
denraepat is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:56 AM   #2
js81
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: KY
What's your budget? That said, a laptop is almost a guaranteed "need" for a college student; I would start with either the 13" Macbook Pro, or (if your budget allows" the 13" Macbook Air.

EDIT: If your in the US, don't forget to check the Refub section at http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac Same warranty as new. I see a 2012 13" MBA for $999.
__________________
Late-09 Mac mini server, 16GB iPad 2, 12" iBook G4, Dell D830 "Macitude"
js81 is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:58 AM   #3
RedCroissant
macrumors 68000
 
RedCroissant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: California
Quote:
Originally Posted by denraepat View Post
I need some advice. We have iPhones and iPods and we want to make the move over to Macs. To start, I want to get my daughter a Mac for a graduation present. However, I am unsure of which one is the best to take to college. This may have been addressed and I did "look" through some threads, I just need some good advice from users vs. sellers.
That would depend on what she is majoring in, but I would recommend a 15" non-retina MBP. This way she still has a high quality computer with a superdrive(in case she wants to install non- Mac App Store software or watch a DVD) and a dedicated GPU in case she is majoring in something that would require a machine that is more capable when handling graphics applications.
__________________
Welcome to the Grid, Program.

27" iMac, 3.2GHz i5, 16GB RAM, 3TB HDD; 32GB iPad 1 WiFi+3G; 30GB iPod Video 5G
RedCroissant is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:04 AM   #4
lixuelai
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Depends on her intended major but if it is non-engineering a MBA 13 would be the best choice.
lixuelai is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:16 AM   #5
Consultant
macrumors G5
 
Consultant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Some schools recommend certain models.

If not, either MacBook Air and MacBook Pro would do, but make her lock the dorm room!

I guess the more important question is: how much storage space does she need for music and other files. If she needs a lot of space, than a MacBook Pro with harddrive is needed. Otherwise get Mac with SSD (such as MacBook Air or retina MacBook Pro).
Consultant is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:41 AM   #6
denraepat
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCroissant View Post
That would depend on what she is majoring in, but I would recommend a 15" non-retina MBP. This way she still has a high quality computer with a superdrive(in case she wants to install non- Mac App Store software or watch a DVD) and a dedicated GPU in case she is majoring in something that would require a machine that is more capable when handling graphics applications.
Great advice. She doesn't know what she is majoring in...yet. But she is interested in graphics. I think this is where we will start!

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by lixuelai View Post
Depends on her intended major but if it is non-engineering a MBA 13 would be the best choice.
Thanks! She is going in undecided. I will have to weigh the options of value of each one you guys mentioned. MBA or MBP. She has a LOT of music! This is my first of 3 daughters I am sending off to college.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by js81 View Post
What's your budget? That said, a laptop is almost a guaranteed "need" for a college student; I would start with either the 13" Macbook Pro, or (if your budget allows" the 13" Macbook Air.

EDIT: If your in the US, don't forget to check the Refub section at http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac Same warranty as new. I see a 2012 13" MBA for $999.
I want to stay around $1000-$1200. We are in the US and I will look here! Have you ever got a refurb? If so, what do you think?
denraepat is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:41 AM   #7
T'hain Esh Kelch
macrumors 68000
 
T'hain Esh Kelch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Denmark
Send a message via ICQ to T'hain Esh Kelch Send a message via AIM to T'hain Esh Kelch Send a message via MSN to T'hain Esh Kelch
Since she'll be studying, and carrying it around, a Macbook Air. The Pro is not that much faster, and for her studies, the SSD in the MBA will be much more useful.
__________________
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
T'hain Esh Kelch is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:47 AM   #8
James Craner
macrumors 68000
 
James Craner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Bristol, UK
I got my daughter a 13" MacBook Air and she loves it. She wants to study medicine.
__________________
Productivity Orchard Be more productive with your Mac
James Craner is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:49 AM   #9
Fishrrman
macrumors 601
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
I would suggest a 13" display as being the easiest to cart around at school without the extra weight and dimensions of the 15".

If she gets into graphic design, she could always get an external display for her room, and use that in conjunction with the MacBook.

Something a lot of college kids never think about is "backing up". It's neither difficult nor time consuming (I would recommend using CarbonCopyCloner instead of Time Machine), and a backup system can be put togther for not much $$$.

Also -- try to impress upon her the importance of safeguarding the laptop against theft, a common problem at school. You might even consider spending the $$$ for one of the "laptop recovery" apps out there -- "Undercover" has gotten good reviews.
Fishrrman is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:56 AM   #10
RedCroissant
macrumors 68000
 
RedCroissant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: California
Quote:
Originally Posted by denraepat View Post
Great advice. She doesn't know what she is majoring in...yet. But she is interested in graphics. I think this is where we will start!

I want to stay around $1000-$1200. We are in the US and I will look here! Have you ever got a refurb? If so, what do you think?
I LOVE Apple refurbished products. Same quality, same warranty, cheaper price.

If your budget is less than $1200, then the 13" MBP is what you might be limited to, but those are still more than capable machines.

Apple is currently selling a 13.3" MBP 2.5GHz i5 w/ 500GB HDD for $1,019.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
I would suggest a 13" display as being the easiest to cart around at school without the extra weight and dimensions of the 15".

If she gets into graphic design, she could always get an external display for her room, and use that in conjunction with the MacBook.

Something a lot of college kids never think about is "backing up". It's neither difficult nor time consuming (I would recommend using CarbonCopyCloner instead of Time Machine), and a backup system can be put togther for not much $$$.

Also -- try to impress upon her the importance of safeguarding the laptop against theft, a common problem at school. You might even consider spending the $$$ for one of the "laptop recovery" apps out there -- "Undercover" has gotten good reviews.
This is great advice. In addition to this, if you buy it with a credit card that allows you to replace it in case it gets damaged; that would be a good addition to also getting AppleCare. This way, it will be completely replaceable.
__________________
Welcome to the Grid, Program.

27" iMac, 3.2GHz i5, 16GB RAM, 3TB HDD; 32GB iPad 1 WiFi+3G; 30GB iPod Video 5G
RedCroissant is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:03 PM   #11
Jessica Lares
macrumors 604
 
Jessica Lares's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by denraepat View Post
I need some advice. We have iPhones and iPods and we want to make the move over to Macs. To start, I want to get my daughter a Mac for a graduation present. However, I am unsure of which one is the best to take to college. This may have been addressed and I did "look" through some threads, I just need some good advice from users vs. sellers.
The low-end 13" MacBook Pro has a 500GB hard drive. Since she has tons of music, I would recommend it. That's the one I have. Although I would really consider a 15" if she's into graphics. I regret buying a 13" because my screen isn't big enough to really work with them without everything getting it in the way (menus). Wasn't an issue on my previous 15" model.

The MacBook Air is great, but the solid states in them are pretty low in space. And there's actually advantages to the black bezels on the Pros - They don't warp. They're also a lot easier to repair.
__________________
Have You Hugged Your Mac Today?
Daily Expressions | iMac G4 | Late 2011 13" MacBook Pro | iPod Nano (7G) | iPad Mini | iPod Touch (5G) | iPhone 5S
Jessica Lares is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:01 PM   #12
PatrickCocoa
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
My Experience . . .

We bought my daughter a 15" MacBook Pro 2.5 years ago. She's a Chemistry major. We got the anti-glare screen. She's been fairly happy with it, or at least I haven't heard any complaints.

I liked the form so much I bought one myself about 6 months ago.
__________________
iMac 21.5", 3.06GHz, 4 GB, 2 TB HD.
iPod Touch 3G.
PatrickCocoa is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:34 PM   #13
js81
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: KY
Love love LOVE Apple refurbs! I always recommend them, whenever they're an option. Also love the Air, too - whenever I replace my bulky 15" MBP, it will be with an Air (or maybe a 13" retina... not sure). The Air I linked was the 13" for $999, so you can definitely get in on the $1-1.2k range. I don't think I'd recommend the 11" Air for college, though; while a dandy machine, I think the small size would get old when typing lots of papers and doing research.

Like others have said, if she's looking into something heavily graphics-focused, it might be worth looking at the 15" with the dedicated GPU - but, I hate to say it, if she's looking at a program like that, the school will probably require/strongly recommend a particular (probably PC) laptop.

As others have said, if she has a lot of music, the 128GB SSD in the base 13" Air might be a bit small, but I can say this - I have been buying MP3s from iTunes AND have ripped my entire CD collection (not huge by anyone's standards, but probably 300+ discs) and my iTunes library is about 65GB. I do keep my Movies in a separate folder, though, as I have a metric ton of them. I'd look for a 13" Air with a 256GB SSD.
__________________
Late-09 Mac mini server, 16GB iPad 2, 12" iBook G4, Dell D830 "Macitude"
js81 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:58 PM   #14
glenthompson
macrumors Demi-God
 
glenthompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Virginia
Check what deals the school she will be attending offers. I've seen some colleges offer MacBooks with a 4 year, on site warranty for a reasonable price, cheaper than AppleCare.
__________________
15" MBP (late 2011), iPhone 5
iPad Air, ATV3 Mac Pro 3,1
glenthompson is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:24 PM   #15
b3av3r
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Louisiana
Send a message via AIM to b3av3r Send a message via Yahoo to b3av3r
I love my 13" MBA and can't even tell when it's in my bag because it is so light. It is plenty fast for me but I do very, very little photo editing and nothing in video editing. I thought the 13" screen was going to be too small but it seems just as big as my old 15" laptop and I never have issues with desktop space. Also, the battery life is amazing, I can work on it for 5 hours easy on one charge, probably a lot longer but that is my standard work day.

As far as the question of storage space for her music and such, why not spend a few dollars and get an external hard drive? It gives her a back up of everything and allows her to download as many songs, movies, etc. as she likes without fear of running out of space.

edit: Don't forget you should be able to get a little bit of a discount through the education store.
b3av3r is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:02 AM   #16
Yebubbleman
macrumors 68020
 
Yebubbleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by denraepat View Post
I need some advice. We have iPhones and iPods and we want to make the move over to Macs. To start, I want to get my daughter a Mac for a graduation present. However, I am unsure of which one is the best to take to college. This may have been addressed and I did "look" through some threads, I just need some good advice from users vs. sellers.
13" MacBook Pro, non-retina, high-end model.
__________________
MacBook Pro (15" Mid 2012); PC Tower (3.4GHz Phenom II x4; Radeon HD 6850); 5th Gen iPod touch; 2nd and 3rd Gen tv; iPad Air Verizon; Galaxy S5 Verizon
"Don't Cry, Eat Pie"
Yebubbleman is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 2013, 06:14 AM   #17
designs216
macrumors 65816
 
designs216's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Down the rabbit hole
Quote:
Originally Posted by denraepat View Post
I want to stay around $1000-$1200. We are in the US and I will look here! Have you ever got a refurb? If so, what do you think?
I would highly recommend a refurb. I've purchased 2 MBPs and they have both been in pristine condition. They also carry the same warranty as a new machine.

One other recommendation, get Applecare just before the one year anniversary of your purchase. Since she's undecided, I would get the 13" Air but Applecare will not only protect from the rough miles this machine will likely see, if she goes into graphics and needs to sell, AC will sweeten the deal and help her unload it.
designs216 is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Buying Tips and Advice

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
All iPads: Which iPad for my daughter JaredVegas iPad 6 Nov 7, 2013 07:24 PM
What size MBP for daughter? G4er? MacBook Pro 19 Mar 26, 2013 03:27 AM
My daughter lost her iPhone 4S bluehawaii1 iPhone 8 Mar 18, 2013 08:30 PM
All iPads: Help me! How to make my daughter happy? Jerry20 iPad 30 Feb 9, 2013 02:04 PM
Buying for a *friend* in school rather than a son/daughter JMC08 MacBook Pro 6 Jul 3, 2012 01:54 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:38 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC