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Old Nov 2, 2012, 01:39 PM   #1
Hammie
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Thoughts about this 13" MBA

My son is interested in getting a Mac laptop. I decided to go halves with him and this Christmas may be the time.

His needs, for an 11 year old, are pretty basic.

- Word processing and publishing for school
- Photo editing
- Web browsing
- Gaming -- Minecraft and Roblox
- Programming -- Lua

The MBA in question is the 13" 2.0GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 01:41 PM   #2
surfer17
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First off, you're a GENEROUS dad!

Second, that's more than powerful a Mac needed for those tasks but it'll last longer too. Buy away!
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 02:42 PM   #3
oldtime
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That should suit his needs for a good while.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 03:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammie View Post
My son is interested in getting a Mac laptop. I decided to go halves with him and this Christmas may be the time.

His needs, for an 11 year old, are pretty basic.

- Word processing and publishing for school
- Photo editing
- Web browsing
- Gaming -- Minecraft and Roblox
- Programming -- Lua

The MBA in question is the 13" 2.0GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD.
Get a desktop unless you want that laptop destroyed.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 03:20 PM   #5
orangezorki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfer17 View Post
First off, you're a GENEROUS dad!

Second, that's more than powerful a Mac needed for those tasks but it'll last longer too. Buy away!
What he said - but do consider what he wouldn't destroy. I don't know him, so he could be ultra careful, or he could be like many kids and have the potential to destroy a bomb shelter in short order. Only you know him, but the MBA, though well made and designed, is far to thin and delicate to survive for long if thrown around in a school bag. Though going halves is a really good idea - generous, but he has enough investment in it to be careful.

Have you considered either a 13" Macbook Pro or an iMac, or Mac Mini? - if he doesn't take it to school, any would be more robust and offer better value. Also, if he does need to carry it around, the 11" may seem much more portable, and is available with the same 'guts'. Of course, if he is 6 foot tall, like some toddlers seem to be these days, disregard that last suggestion.

If he does get the MBA, make sure you at least get to do the grumpy dad thing and tell him how lucky he is. I'm only 29, and when I was 11, I was rocking a 486 25Mhz desktop, so advanced that it was called the 'Multimedia' version, because it had a sound card and a 1x CD ROM drive.

David
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 04:24 PM   #6
DrumApple
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Your 11 year old son is programming? What is he the next Bill gates!?

13" MBA is more than capable for those needs.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 04:26 PM   #7
jrasero
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Great

Great computer. It's the same one I have!

For 11 year old I would go with the 11" though and you would save some money
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 06:47 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone who commented. Following are some of my responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgk.emu View Post
Get a desktop unless you want that laptop destroyed.
Portability is more important than a desktop. We had the desktop, but the way our house is laid out, it is not really conducive to accommodate a desktop station. The old Dell desktop that we had was stored in a closet and brought out to the kitchen table when needed to be used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangezorki View Post
What he said - but do consider what he wouldn't destroy. I don't know him, so he could be ultra careful, or he could be like many kids and have the potential to destroy a bomb shelter in short order. Only you know him, but the MBA, though well made and designed, is far to thin and delicate to survive for long if thrown around in a school bag. Though going halves is a really good idea - generous, but he has enough investment in it to be careful.

Have you considered either a 13" Macbook Pro or an iMac, or Mac Mini? - if he doesn't take it to school, any would be more robust and offer better value. Also, if he does need to carry it around, the 11" may seem much more portable, and is available with the same 'guts'. Of course, if he is 6 foot tall, like some toddlers seem to be these days, disregard that last suggestion.

If he does get the MBA, make sure you at least get to do the grumpy dad thing and tell him how lucky he is. I'm only 29, and when I was 11, I was rocking a 486 25Mhz desktop, so advanced that it was called the 'Multimedia' version, because it had a sound card and a 1x CD ROM drive.

David
My kids have grown up around electronics. They each have an iPad and have had iPod's in the past. I have high-end speakers in my media room and they just know not what are toys and what are not.

Even though they have been lucky to have these items, they still appreciate them. Early on, they have lost items for a long time to help them understand they need to take care of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumApple View Post
Your 11 year old son is programming? What is he the next Bill gates!?

13" MBA is more than capable for those needs.
Yes, I couldn't believe it either when he asked me to download a Lua Programming book for him (it was through the Amazon Kindle app).

Actually, the largest age group for Lua programming are 8-14 year olds. Based on some research, it is a "gateway" language to others such as Java, C, etc.

My 9 year old is also programming and wants to be a software designer when he grows up. Once I told him everything that needs computer programming (which is almost everything now a days), he was super excited.

I'm a network engineer, so they have been exposed to various routers and switches and servers laying around the house over the years. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrasero View Post
Great computer. It's the same one I have!

For 11 year old I would go with the 11" though and you would save some money
Thanks. I was hoping it would be for his needs.

The two reasons I chose the 13" MBA was because his current dying laptop is a 15" and the 13" MBA was only around $50 more than the 11" MBA.

I did a price comparison for each model with as close to the same configuration. Each one I chose the best processor and this was what I came up with:

- 11" MBA = $1927
- 13" MBA = $1977
- 13" MBP = $2177
- 13" rMBP = $2477
- 13" rMBP (maxed) = $3477
- 15" MBP = $3298
- 15" rMBP = $3427
- 15" rMBP (maxed) = $4127
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 09:38 PM   #9
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I say you should go for the base MBA. The spec'd model might be a bit too much.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 11:15 PM   #10
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Get him a cheap Dell and put Linux on it. He'll learn a lot more that way.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 11:34 PM   #11
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If that is going to be his main machine for a long while time I would go with it.

If that was only his portable machine I would recommend something like the base model instead.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 02:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammie View Post
Thanks to everyone who commented. Following are some of my responses.



Portability is more important than a desktop. We had the desktop, but the way our house is laid out, it is not really conducive to accommodate a desktop station. The old Dell desktop that we had was stored in a closet and brought out to the kitchen table when needed to be used.



My kids have grown up around electronics. They each have an iPad and have had iPod's in the past. I have high-end speakers in my media room and they just know not what are toys and what are not.

Even though they have been lucky to have these items, they still appreciate them. Early on, they have lost items for a long time to help them understand they need to take care of them.



Yes, I couldn't believe it either when he asked me to download a Lua Programming book for him (it was through the Amazon Kindle app).

Actually, the largest age group for Lua programming are 8-14 year olds. Based on some research, it is a "gateway" language to others such as Java, C, etc.

My 9 year old is also programming and wants to be a software designer when he grows up. Once I told him everything that needs computer programming (which is almost everything now a days), he was super excited.

I'm a network engineer, so they have been exposed to various routers and switches and servers laying around the house over the years. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.



Thanks. I was hoping it would be for his needs.

The two reasons I chose the 13" MBA was because his current dying laptop is a 15" and the 13" MBA was only around $50 more than the 11" MBA.

I did a price comparison for each model with as close to the same configuration. Each one I chose the best processor and this was what I came up with:

- 11" MBA = $1927
- 13" MBA = $1977
- 13" MBP = $2177
- 13" rMBP = $2477
- 13" rMBP (maxed) = $3477
- 15" MBP = $3298
- 15" rMBP = $3427
- 15" rMBP (maxed) = $4127
That really sounds like great parenting. I've seen kids toying round with their iPad and iPhone and drop them with worrying about consequences, and it brakes my heart every time. I work a lot to afford these products, and to see them just take it for granted makes me wanna yell at those parents.. Those parents want their kids to have the best products, not because they think it's a good idea, but their kids becomes a brand and won't get mocked or what not, for not having iOS-devices. That's sick!

Wow, sorry for the out burst

Back to topic; I would also chose a base configuration. It'll handle everything just fine.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 05:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukewarmwinner View Post
That really sounds like great parenting. I've seen kids toying round with their iPad and iPhone and drop them with worrying about consequences, and it brakes my heart every time. I work a lot to afford these products, and to see them just take it for granted makes me wanna yell at those parents.. Those parents want their kids to have the best products, not because they think it's a good idea, but their kids becomes a brand and won't get mocked or what not, for not having iOS-devices. That's sick!

Wow, sorry for the out burst

Back to topic; I would also chose a base configuration. It'll handle everything just fine.
Not sure if your post is slamming me or commending me...

Anyway, I try not to purchase any computer with the base processor and memory. So, we will be looking at the 2.0 processor and the 8GB RAM. Based on his current HDD usage, the 256GB SSD should be more than fine.

Thanks to everyone who helped out.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 05:36 PM   #14
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I think the $1199 base model will be more than fine for anyone, especially an 11 year old.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammie View Post
Not sure if your post is slamming me or commending me...

Anyway, I try not to purchase any computer with the base processor and memory. So, we will be looking at the 2.0 processor and the 8GB RAM. Based on his current HDD usage, the 256GB SSD should be more than fine.

Thanks to everyone who helped out.
Commending
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 07:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lukewarmwinner View Post
Commending
Thanks!
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 07:14 AM   #17
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Sorry to say that, but aren't you spoiling your kid?

I would just give him a cheap Windows laptop and tell him that if he wants an expensive Mac laptop, he would have to earn it. But that's just me...
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 07:17 AM   #18
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Sorry to say that, but aren't you spoiling your kid?

I would just give him a cheap Windows laptop and tell him that if he wants an expensive Mac laptop, he would have to earn it. But that's just me...
Did you read the OP? He's halfing-in with the kid.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 07:49 AM   #19
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Did you read the OP? He's halfing-in with the kid.
Haven't seen that. Makes sense then.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRichboy247 View Post
I say you should go for the base MBA. The spec'd model might be a bit too much.
I want to make sure it is as future proofed as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calvol View Post
Get him a cheap Dell and put Linux on it. He'll learn a lot more that way.
He currently has a $400 Dell now that I will convert to Linux. I also have a couple old laptops with various flavors of Linux loaded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insilin1i View Post
If that is going to be his main machine for a long while time I would go with it.

If that was only his portable machine I would recommend something like the base model instead.
This will be his main computer. I just donated our only desktop to Goodwill (minus the hard drive).

Quote:
Originally Posted by yanksrock100 View Post
I think the $1199 base model will be more than fine for anyone, especially an 11 year old.
As I mentioned above, I would prefer something a bit beefier in order to be future proofed.

Again, thanks to all who offered up their opinions.

I've also looked in the refurb section and there is a fully maxed 13" MBA for about $150 more than a new one with only the 256 SSD. How reliable are the refurbs?
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:06 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Hammie View Post
I've also looked in the refurb section and there is a fully maxed 13" MBA for about $150 more than a new one with only the 256 SSD. How reliable are the refurbs?
Very reliable. Possibly even more so than brand new models, as they are all tested. I've bought quite a few and I've never been disappointed.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:18 AM   #22
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Very reliable. Possibly even more so than brand new models, as they are all tested. I've bought quite a few and I've never been disappointed.
Thanks! Now we may have have another decision to make.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:18 AM   #23
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I strongly suggest you get a plastic protective case for the MacBook Air, such as http://www.speckproducts.com/macbook...cbook-air.html

The Aluminum case scratches and dents very easily. From what I've seen pre-teens do with their Mac notebooks, e.g. dropping them, if you don't get a plastic protective case, don't say I didn't warn you.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:25 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammie View Post
I want to make sure it is as future proofed as possible.



He currently has a $400 Dell now that I will convert to Linux. I also have a couple old laptops with various flavors of Linux loaded.



This will be his main computer. I just donated our only desktop to Goodwill (minus the hard drive).



As I mentioned above, I would prefer something a bit beefier in order to be future proofed.

Again, thanks to all who offered up their opinions.

I've also looked in the refurb section and there is a fully maxed 13" MBA for about $150 more than a new one with only the 256 SSD. How reliable are the refurbs?
If you want something future-proofed, get base model + 8GB's of RAM. He won't need the extra processing power.

Refurbs are reliable. Just like buying new except the fancy box.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 09:19 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by TheRichboy247 View Post
If you want something future-proofed, get base model + 8GB's of RAM. He won't need the extra processing power.

Refurbs are reliable. Just like buying new except the fancy box.
Thanks.

I'll take this into consideration as we get closer to the purchase timeframe.
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