A good starter notebook?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2012
Is the MBA a good starter notebook? If you are young and have no job and is used for everyday life like surfing the web,playing games, and maybe music software. :confused: And any ideas on how to make money to get one?

I <3 :apple:


macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2012
Yeah, as for the money, get a job.

The MacBook Air is an excellent portable computer.
I am not sure, though, if I'd like to have it as my main computer.

I own a 21.5" iMac and a 13" MBA.
I use the MBA whenever I am at work, attending congresses and meetings, sitting in a café, relaxing on the couch. But whenever I am at my desk, I am glad, I have the 21.5" iMac.
In the end, it depends.
I've used notebooks as main computers for many years and I was fine with it, but after making the switch to a proper desktop computer, I wouldn't want to miss it.

Hard to tell what your preferences are.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2011
If you are young and have no job and is used for everyday life like surfing the web,playing games, and maybe music software.
Toaster seriously you are making my stomach hurt!

Man oh man my version of everyday life is somewhat different from your version of reality!

Just maybe a sub 300 dollar laptop might be a better current target for you at the moment.


macrumors member
Jan 7, 2012
Great Lakes
The MacBook Air is a spectacular notebook but I also work hard every day to pay for my Mac products. It can be an expensive hobby but not one worth going into debt for. It is all luxury in my honest opinion.

I'm not sure your age and situation but if I didn't have the money to buy it, then I wouldn't. Plain & simple.

I will always chose a machine running OSX over Windows however in your situation you can get the same utility for far less money.

What about an iPad? Will you be doing much where a physical keyboard would make a huge difference?


macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2009
An Air is, in my opinion, one of the best laptops you can buy at the moment if you want something portable and for everyday use.

Using it for "standard" tasks like mail, surfing and such is a dream. Gaming on the other hand isn't that great. OS X don't have nearly as many games as a Windows PC has (although you can of course always install Windows on it too), and the built-in graphics is really not that great. You can run most games, but usually on lowest settings and in not-so-good framerates.

Also, as others pointed out, it's quite expensive. If you need to save up for any extended period of time or get in debt to buy it, I'd recommend getting a much cheaper PC laptop that can handle the same things.

I personally love the Air because of OS X (couldn't imagine going back to windows), the trackpack (hard to live without once you're used to it), the extreme portability (easier to carry around than an iPad imo), and the great build quality. But yes, it's a bit of a luxury item.


macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2011
Yeah... get a job. Priorties first. Or if you are still in school, stay in school. Either way, if you have no spare money... Apple is still a luxury due to pricing, IMO.


macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2011
At the end of the day, Apple products are luxury computers. We buy them because we prefer the way they function; but there is no way that it is worth getting into debt for.

Buy a very cheap notebook if you need something right now, Apple is so not worth getting into debt for.


macrumors 68000
Feb 13, 2009
United Kingdom
While MacBook Airs are lovely (I have several), their definitely not worth it if you don't have a job.

As everyone else has said - Macs are luxury items and aren't really designed for people who have little resources and need a computer for basic use. If you must have a Mac look into getting a used one on eBay (Thats how a lot of people with little resources get started - plenty of $100- PowerBooks to be had. Not that they'll run software newer than about 2003 in the best case).


macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
not sure what you mean by "starter laptop"

this might be up your alley.

What I think you need to do, whenever buying any computer is jfigure out exactly what you want to be doing with it first, and then start looking for options that fit your need

"starter laptop" makes no sense. starter what? learning to use a computer? learning to use a laptop? it's not like bikes where your "starter bike" has training wheels. Computers don't come with training wheels.

To be fair. If you're looking for a basic, entry level laptop that will be primarily used for sitting around on the couch watching youtube and reading websites while watching TV. There are a LOT of options that range from a few hundred bucks (netbooks) to a few thousand (Full blown gaming rigs).

What is your budget. What exactly are you planning on doing.

The Macbook air is a nice laptop. it's well built, looks great, and is extremely portable.. But being Apple, it comes with a "premium" pricetag.


macrumors newbie
Jan 16, 2012
Given the expected lifetime and its specifications, either 11" or 13" base version is good value for money so in that sense I think either base version is a very good general-purpose laptop. That said, you can make do with less and find a nice laptop for less than €300. I'd recommend using Linux if you want to learn about computers, and you will save money on software too.
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