13'' MBP buying advice, the mac store cometh

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MPW99, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. MPW99 macrumors newbie


    Nov 26, 2017
    Ok team looking at a new laptop for my sister who is a landscape architect

    The options are (in New Zealand dollars but just imagine it is USD for the sake of comparison)

    New Base Model: $2200, 2018 128gb MBP no touch bar. I bought this for my wife and have no issue with the storage.

    Refurbished Model: $2400, 2017 256 MBP with touch bar and 256gb storage. More grunt for a bit more, like the ports and storage bump, downside is its refurb

    New New Model: $2999, 2018 256gb with touch bar. This is the new four core version with updated processor etc, thought it might be better if she does work from home or goes freelancing.

    It is a surprise and she isn't tech minded so wouldn't really be able to give direction on specs, I am wondering which one offers the best bang for buck? And if you happen to be a landscape architect with a mabook all the better^^

    Any comments appreciated, thanks team
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Are there any Landscape specific apps (3D driven, maybe) that she would like to run? Does she do a lot of filming and editing? Other “hard lifting”, computer wise?

    If not I would at least wait and see whatever MacBook/-Air replacement Apple releases on the 30th. Most regular users don’t really need a pro...
  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    What sort of software does Your sister need to run, what sort of computer is she currently using, and what aspect of that needs upgrading?

    ...because as far as “we” know it could be anything from web-based accounts software that would run on the cheapest iPad to fancy 3D visualisation that would benefit from a top-of-the-range 15” MBP. Is there specialist Landscape Architect software, and, if so, does it even run on Mac?

    Don’t want to be a killjoy but I’d never buy someone a $3000 computer to use in their business as a “surprisel” without consulting them - at best, it’s always embarrassing to have to say “it’s just what i’ve always wanted - did you keep the receipt? Even if she’s not technically minded she should know what she needs to achieve. Golden rule: choose the software you need then buy the computer that runs it best.

    Otherwise, it’s a case of you get what you pay for: the new 2018 TB model is the most powerful there, plus it has the (hopefully) fixed keyboard (ISTR the non-TB models haven’t been updated this year) and should be the most future-proof.

    Also, it’s feasible (but not certain) that the non-TB models will be replaced (or at least overlapped) by the new “affordable” laptop rumoured to be launched on the 30th.
  4. MPW99 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Nov 26, 2017

    Thanks for the reply, she uses Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator but typically does the majority of work at work, but that might change so I guess I wonder whether the base model can run those programs reasonably or possibly not at all?
  5. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    The base model will run them all, but it’s a question of what you’re doing with them - cropping and colour-correcting phone-camera snaps to make websites or laser-printed fliers isn’t going to be a problem, but compositing huge high-res images with oodles of layers could be a bit much for the base model (or might benefit from more RAM). That’s where knowing what hardware she’s currently using would help.

    If I were buying a laptop primarily for graphics and DTP, and the money was not a problem, I’d probably get the top one on your list, but with 16GB RAM - and might be looking at a 15” if only for the screen space. Or how about an iMac (lovely screen for graphics, more bang-per-buck than a laptop - maybe with an iPad for use on the road?) - or coupling the 13” with an external screen... At a minimum I’d probably play safe and get 16GB RAM, whichever model.

    OTOH the base model would probably be perfectly OK for general home use and once-in-a-while work (but does your sister’s work Adobe CS subscription cover home use? Otherwise that’s a nontrivial monthly fee).

    As I said, trying to “surprise” someone with an expensive laptop without first discussing their needs is a risky approach.

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4 October 19, 2018