$2,800 - what would you do?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by AppleSticker54, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. AppleSticker54 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    MN
    #1
    I don't think this type of question has been posted before, but I am willing to admit to being wrong if it has.

    I have been saving for several years and now am ready to add a 13" Mac laptop to the family of other Apple products I already own. I am in no hurry so I will wait for the refresh(es) to happen. But once they do - assuming the prices remain basically the same as they are now - what would you go out and buy (specifically) and why would you buy it?


    Please help this buy-and-hold-for-a-long-time father of three decide!
     
  2. jmgregory1 macrumors 65816

    jmgregory1

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago and a few other places around the world
    #2
    What do you need to use the laptop for? Work, home, web, email, spreadsheets, docs, presentations? The 13" mba I have (mid 2011 model) was a work replacement for a 2007 15" mbp that is still going strong (except for the battery). For work, I'm not doing any graphics processing, mainly spreadsheets and proposals, email and web work. It's great at work and at home because it's so light and easy to move around with great battery life.

    The thing I am now saving up for is a TB display. There are times where I have to be comparing multiple spreadsheets and the 13" screen just doesn't allow for good side-by-side page views. I know the 27" screen may be overkill, but I know it will help me be just that much more productive.
     
  3. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #3
    Being a father of three, I can see what took time to save up. I am a father of one, and she's a spoiled one. I am hoping to purchase a MBP this summer. I might have to put it off until the fall.

    If you don't do much hard core stuff, photo or video editing then you probably can get away with the base model of the computer you like. I'd go into an Apple store and looks at the MBP and the MBA and see what size suits you.


     
  4. Bigredhawkeye macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    #4
    We really need to know what you are going to be using this primarily for.

    If just for the basic tasks,then I'd get a 13" MBA or 13"MBP refresh (Assuming that it lacks the optical drive and is skinnier), and would also get a thunderbolt display to use when stationary.

    However, if you plan on doing any video editing of gaming, since you have the money I'd purchase a a fully loaded 15" MBP. The refresh should lack an optical drive and will be more portable, while hopefully maintaining a good GPU/Quad Core i7, etc.

    If I would buy just one computer for $2,800, it would be without a doubt the refreshed ivy-bridge MBP 15".
     
  5. AppleSticker54 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    MN
    #5
    Thanks everyone - yeah, sorry I guess I should have said more about what I would be using it for.

    I am not a 'gamer' at all so as I've read that is a really big driver on which way to go for some people.

    I want to watch movies (I am currently using my iPad to watch and would also want to download and watch on a larger screen).

    I hadn't considered the TB Display but thanks for suggesting that - I do 90% of my 'computing' with it sitting on my lap, or on a plane - but for those times when watching a movie stationary, that would be much easier on the eyes!

    I really might want to someday edit video - right now just doing simple photo editing - so that makes me thing I should have a system that would give me the ability to do so, but I don't understand the differences in technology yet to know what I need or don't need.

    I subscribe to the lighter is better school, although I do think we get carried away in searching for the almighty feather-lite system. Air is currently great, but a slightly heavier refreshed Pro would be fine too.

    I do mostly my iTunes and office stuff, and don't know what the future holds for my uses (my crystal ball cracked the other day, so I'm SOL on the predicting front).

    I am still using my first gen iTouch and it looks brand new and still works perfectly for me. I'm a buy-and-hold guy, so this one has to be "the one" for the next 5 years or more.

    Hope that helps - again, thanks everyone for your input - this is really helping!
     
  6. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #6
    Gotta tell you - it's refreshing to hear about someone saving up in advance and not buying on credit.
     
  7. jim4spam macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    #7
    remember that you can hook up a TV for watching movies. (we hook ours upto the 37" inch TV in the lounge, for example). It would seem to be overkill to buy a specific monitor simply to watch the occasional movie.

    It is sounding like a laptop of some sort is indeed the right thing - have a think about the amount of data you need to store. With a current macbook pro you can have a small SSD boot disk, and swap out the DVD drive for a regular hard drive giving you speed and space. The air you are locked into the internal SSD only. My other concern with the air is the lack of RAM, as running with 8Gb is nice but I think the air coming with 4Gb max.

    Last piece of advice is to check out the refurb store - we bought a Macbook pro last year from the refurb store and used the saving to buy applecare.

    hope this helps,
    Jim.
     
  8. planetnaples macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #8
    For what you need it for, have you thought about buying an $800 PC and putting $2,000 into yours kids' college funds?
     
  9. amoda macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    #9
    Wait for the around-the-corner refresh, pick up a 13" Pro and a $200 Dell display. Voila, all your computer needs are met and you can pocket the rest for a rainy day.
     
  10. mfuchs88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #10
    Here's my thought. Money is hard to make and takes a long time to save up. With three children, it must have taken a long time to save up this much because even at my age I can understand that supporting a family is tough work and I respect anybody who works hard at it, as you clearly do. If I was making such a big purchase, I would want it to last as long as possible and be as future proof as possible, because I plan on keeping mine for a long long time. This is why for me, the Macbook Pro was a better choice because of the upgradability. It will be plenty powerful for the next few years, and when you feel it starts to lag a few years down the road, you van easily and cheaply throw in 16gb of RAM and an SSD and it will run better than ever and will be up to date with current technology for a long time to come. If you keep it physically safe and if nothing major fails in it, it will last you many years. The only additional costs will be repairs if necessary, and the constantly lowering price of the upgrades mentioned earlier. I think that when money is a factor (and anyone who says it isn't a deciding factor is just naive), this is a better choice because it will last you a long time. Just my $.02. Anyway, enjoy whatever you choose, and an congrats on your future purchase. Enjoy your family, because its a truly great thing. Peace! :)
     
  11. Cheffy Dave, Apr 6, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012

    Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #11
    I honestly believe, the Apple family, is where you want to be, just choose what meets your needs, and buy it. My 2007/2008 Black Mac books are still going strong, with my Grand Daughters loving hands, and the 3 2010 11"MBA's with OWC SSD's are litterly speed demons, with NVIDIA graphics. Buy what you want,And keep it, it will last, and last,and last.:cool:
    I have bought everything refurbed, never new, saved some money, and just enjoy the Apple experience. I have never had a bad pixel,yellow,blue or red screen,light bleeding, or any of the issues, so many post about.I have been 1000% happy with Apple, their iPads,laptops,and phones, never had a bad Apple in the bunch, and their Stock, well that has made me rich!
     
  12. AppleSticker54 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    MN
    #12
    TheRealDamager - Thank you! It was hard to save but $50 a paycheck made it possible to get where I am now. Speaking of credit though, I think I am going to have my college freshman daughter 'buy' the laptop, using her education credit (which will cover my Apple Care) and have her open a credit account through Apple to make the purchase. Then I will deposit the funds into her account, have it paid off in 10 months, and she'll then have credit established, earn a few pennies of interest and everyone wins (I think).

    jim4spam - Great suggestion about a TV monitor. You're right - doesn't make sense to buy the other display just to have a display, especially when I can use a 1080p TV for other things and plug it into the laptop when I want to. Thank you!

    planetnaples - I already have two in college and a third as a sophomore in HS. Fortunately, we're making ends meet with scholarships and grants, on campus jobs and only a bit of Fed Loans (I want them to be invested in their education - to know they will have loans to pay back so make their time there worth it). So this is my hard-earned/saved laptop money for me :)

    amoda - Yes, I will be waiting for the refresh, and based on all the good insight and advice I am hearing, I will be going with the Pro. Doubtful on the display -see above :)

    mfuchs88 - Such sage and sound advice. Peace to you, my friend. You clearly understand where I am coming from and were speaking words I can understand. Yes, I want to hold this a long time, and yes, upgradability is vital.

    I am now really thinking that I am going to go with the 2012 refreshed IB 13" MBP, 256GB SSD, start with 8GB of Ram, cover myself with Apple Care, and hopefully be set for for the present and near future, as well as protected for the long term with a machine I can upgrade. I am hoping the cd drive is dropped (no need to carry that around everywhere, same with the spinning HD too) but I will probably add an external cd drive for adding cd's to my iTunes.

    I really thought I was going to go with the Air - obviously, why I posted it here and not on the MBP side of the forums, and got overly excited about the thinness - but I got what I was hoping for, which was great advice and insight. If anyone has additional thoughts, comments, ideas, suggestions or insights, I certainly welcome them! In the meantime, thank you to all of you!
     
  13. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #13
    I honestly believe, the Apple family, is where you want to be, just choose what meets your needs, and buy it. My 2007/2008 Black Mac books are still going strong, with my Grand Daughters loving hands, and the 3 2010 11"MBA's with OWC SSD's are litterly speed demons, with NVIDIA graphics. Buy what you want,And keep it, it will last, and last,and last.:cool:
     
  14. jmgregory1 macrumors 65816

    jmgregory1

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago and a few other places around the world
    #14
    For watching movies, the current Air will be totally fine and then spend the extra $99 for the new Apple TV and you can stream movies to the tv so there is no need to hard connect the Air to the tv.

    And if you don't already have one, get the latest Time Machine 2TB. I did that as well and it's been rock solid, fast and great coverage. You'll still have money left over to pay for video rentals, music, whatever. If you're worried that the newer Air will be that much better, you could sell what you have and buy new. You won't take that big of hit - especially if there are few improvements other than the new processor, as I suspect will be the case. I've even done some photoshop and illustrator work on my current year Air - with little issue, but then I'm not a designer using it everyday, so my needs are different.
     
  15. Old Smuggler macrumors 6502a

    Old Smuggler

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #15
    I would buy a macbook air and save some of your money and take your kids somewhere for the weekend
    That way everybody wins
     
  16. Techwriter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    #16
    I also purchased the 13" Macbook Air, and after 20 years as a Microsoft Windows PC user, I find this laptop simply incredible.

    If you travel, it's fast and it's light. It's the first thing I pack when going on a trip. It gives me 6 to 7 hours of battery life while my old Windows PC was lucky to give me 2 to 3.

    If I choose to sell when a new upgrade comes along, I know my Macbook Air will hold its value. Most people are like me. They want something thin and light. Laptops by their definition are meant to travel.

    I have also purchased the new Apple TV for $99 and now stream all my movies directly from the Macbook Air. It's simple and doesn't take any extra cables to do it. I also watch Youtube and view photos.

    The only downside is the ability to upgrade. Having saved for two years for my first Macbook, I nearly bought a 17" Macbook Pro, but I reminded myself that technology changes so fast. Did I really want to spend that much on something that would be outdated in 3 years? Yes, I could spend money to add RAM and so on, but what about the CPU, Thunderbolt ports, or other advantages not imagined only five years previously?

    Anyway, I digress. I joined this discussion to tell you that if you buy a laptop that doesn't include an internal CD/DVD drive, I purchased this one and it works great with my Macbook Air:

    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-External-SE-S084D-TSBS-WriteMaster/dp/B0044DEDBG/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

    And while I love my Macbook Air, as a previous poster mentioned, go into the store and examine all the models carefully. This is not a snap decision. Like me, you've waited and saved and carefully considered. Now you should buy what you believe is the best for you - a Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air, either way you win!
     
  17. minnus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    #17
    Correct me if my reading comprehension is off... but it seems like OP is asking what model he should buy AFTER the refresh and why.

    There are always a couple school of thoughts. The BEST model for resell is the BASE model. This means that I would lose less money overall reselling the current base 13" vs the "ultimate" 13". This is almost always true.

    If you want to be a person who buys a Mac every refresh and sells the old ones, the base model would be best from a financial perspective.

    The other school is though is simply buy the best model that you can afford ~ which for 2.8k, will likely be ANY model you wished.

    You might also want to consider other brands. Asus next generation of ultrabooks will have an option IPS monitor at 1080p. This may or may not be important to you. There will also be other ultrabooks from various vendors that will support touchscreens.

    No one really knows any of the specs of the new machines (except that it will run on Ivy Bridge) so we can't really provide suggestions based on anything concrete...
     
  18. Kayan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    CA
    #18
    It doesn't seem like you're too crazy about lighter weight OP, however, in my opinion, from going to school everyday, if one is traveling frequently, no matter how strong you think you are or how much you are willing to compromise with a few more pounds to lug around for more capability, in the long run, you will always want the Air over the Pro. Of course this is coming from someone with a big nice 17" MBP who never gets to carry a laptop around because its too heavy (and I use engineering computer at school anyways), but I have most of the time wished that I had bought the Air just because of the nature of my lifestyle right now. You may not be in school, but that's my 2 cents.
     
  19. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #19
    If you are thinking of spending the entire $2800 on a souped up Mac, I would highly advise against it. Rather than spending $2800 on a computer with cutting edge components that would become obsolete in 4 years, you are better off spending $1400 for a mid-range computer every 2 years.

    Depending if your tasks will be of the norm (Internet, iTunes, YouTube, email), I would probably get the base 13" MacBook Air and use the rest towards an iPad or just keep it in savings for when you are ready to upgrade to a new Mac.
     
  20. David Menzel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    #20
    I love my Mac Book Air but I would advice you to wait for the refresh and to buy a MacBook Pro (if they don't merge both lines anyway ;) ) because if you want to hold your MacBook for a long time, you need a product that you can upgrade (RAM etc.). In this case a new MBP with the ability for upgrades makes more sense to me.
     
  21. AppleSticker54 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    MN
    #21
    Update

    I just thought I would pop back on to say I waited for the refresh, and was quite happy to see the RAM bump on the MBA. In the end, I considered everyone's contribution and decided - for me, right now - the 13" MBA was the way to go.

    I opted for the i7 and 8gb RAM upgrades and settled on the 256gb SSD after considering a 1TB external is only $100 if I ever needed it.

    As a new Mac guy, doing all this saved me enough to get both Apple Care and also a year of One on One, which I plan to visit frequently (I work across the highway from an Apple store) and hope that within a year, I will become as expert on my MacBook as all of you currently are.

    Many thanks again for the contributions - Cheers!

    :apple:
     
  22. Spankey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #22
    Settled?

    That's one fine laptop. Settled is hardly the word I would use. Good luck with it!
     
  23. AppleSticker54 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    MN
    #23
    Oops - my bad

    Not "settled" - it was a figured of speech meaning I had decided after so much thought and deliberation.

    By no means do I think I "settled" as in an inferior laptop - on the contrary, I am THRILLED!!!

    :D
     
  24. OptyCT macrumors 6502

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #24
    Congrats! Certainly a nice laptop that you'll enjoy for years to come.
     
  25. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #25
    Ok congrats!!! 
     

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