A Mac for a student

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Tomerco, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Tomerco macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2013
    Hi there!
    first of all let me apologize for my English, its not my first Lang...

    This year im going to start a degree in computer science, therefor i need a laptop to take with me to the university.
    I'm a long time pc user and i think its time for a change...
    My usage will be mostly:
    Web browsing
    SW developing

    I leaning towards the new MBA 13" 256GB with 8GB ram and i7 upgrade...
    that would cost me about 1600$ after taxes and student discount...
    do you guys think i'm better of with the rMBP? or maybe i should wait for the haswell update for the rMBP?

    anyway i dont want to spend more then 1600$ which is more the enough...
    for 1600$ i can get a better overall pc but it wont have the mac stuff i need.
  2. ylrd macrumors member


    May 25, 2013
    Do you want it NOW? Get the air.
    Are you patient/able to spend some extra cash? Wait for the Haswell rMBPs.

    Either way any of them would serve you just fine.

  3. Tomerco thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2013
    any idea when the new rMBP will be announced?
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say the MBA will handle your needs quite well. The 13" MBA has a higher resolution then the 13" MBP so you'll get more screen real estate then which is needed for photoshop.

    Overall the MBP should run a bit faster because its not using the ultra-low voltage cpus from intel. The MBP also gives you more upgradeability, i.e., adding ram

    Apple does not communicate when they'll release updates so its anyone's guess. I think the current consensus is around september / october but that in of itself is a wild guess.
  5. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    Get the Air.

    Don't know how useful the i7 would be for you but if you want it get that.

    I did a CS degree (2010 - 2013) and my 15" Pro I loved but it did become very noticeable how big and heavy it was and the battery didn't last the full day so I'd have to take in a power cable with me too and look for a seat near a socket etc etc.

    If I had the option of a rMBP and an Air I'd go with a 13" Air 8gb 256gb for sure.

    Also I had an external monitor in my room I connected too, which gave me more screen real estate but I don't think I really needed it but was nice to have.
  6. Tomerco thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2013
    thank you very much for your quick replies!
    now i think maybe i should wait for the update rmbp because its around the same price but will be with a much better screen!
    what do you say its worth the wait?
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its worth the wait if you want a retina based haswell computer. If you're in need of a computer now, then it doesn't make sense to hold off but from the sounds of it you can defer the purchase.

    I have the rMBP 15" and its a great machine, the haswell chipset should give better battery life, slightly faster performance on the CPU, hopefully better GPU performance. If that's something you're willing to wait then yeah hold off
  8. ryan101 macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    If you want something portable, then MacBook Air's are great. And they can be quite powerful, although for obvious reasons not as powerful as the MacBook Pro's. I have the whole CS6 Suite installed on my MB Air, and it runs it well.
  9. Zephyer macrumors member

    May 22, 2013
    im studying for a CS degree as well, planning to get the MBA i5/8/256 as well. i think its enough for any use you can throw at it (virtual machines, heavy IDEs like eclipse, even light photoshop if you do some graphic design) and you cant beat the lightweight, long-life battery with any other machine.
  10. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    Perfect machine for your needs, I easily did a design course last year with a i5 MBA 13" 8GB ram, this included video design. I would say, you can manage easily with a 2013 MBA i5, 8GB. i7 isn't as important as it's still dual-core, the performance would be slightly better, hence it's not worth the extra money. 256GB is a smart upgrade, if the 128GB is too small for you and you don't want to carry an external hard drive around all the time.

    But, I decided to upgrade to the next rMBP. I want the screen mostly, but I'm sure anyone would be happy with the MBA, and it saves money at the end of the day if you don't want the Retina. It will be worth the wait if you want it, otherwise I'd be happily go with the MBA base with ram upgrade (8GB).
  11. Tomerco thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2013
    Thank you all very much!
    The only thing that bothers me is that every where i read reviews keeps saying that the display is below average... Its kinda disappointing for a 1.4k $ laptop...
  12. tehsprayer macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2013
    To save a little more get without i7, it's not needed and I heard it's just overkill...


    That should be more than enough to run these programs. This is my configuration and should be receiving my macbook air tomorrow.

    Best of luck with the CS course you're taking, that's what I would like to do in my future...!
  13. Suraj R. macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    The 13" MBA is just as powerful as the 13" MBP and rMBP, it may Geekbench slightly lower (400 or so) but in real world usage, they're practically the same. The 13" MBA is Apple's best performing 13" as of now with the Haswell chips (battery life) and the impressive integrated GPU.

    I got myself the 13" i5/8/128, like others said you'll easily get by on the i5. I got the 128 because the Air will mainly be at home for me so I have a 3TB external HDD and a 23" 1080p external monitor. It sounds like you need the hard drive upgrade, so go ahead and get that.

    The screen is perfectly fine, forget what others say.
  14. mattdo93 macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2010
    The display really isn't that bad. Especially if you can calibrate the color profile. The all-day battery life and portability more than make up for the display.
  15. Tomerco thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2013
    so the decision is now down to 3 different models

    13" rMBP http://www.macmall.com/p/Apple-MacBook-Pro/product~dpno~9418688~pdp.iadfdbh

    13" macbook air with core i7 256ssd and 8gb ram

    or wait for the new haswell macbook pro

    i dont need the extra horsepower i just dont want to be
    disappointed about the screen...
    if the difference is like from iphone 3gs to iphone 4 its a big enough change to get the pro dont you think?
  16. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    I would say the difference between screens is no where near 3GS > 4 screen quality. Sure the pixels are really hard to see on the rMBP, but they aren't exactly SUPER obvious on the MBA, especially true if you don't have them side by side or if you haven't used a rMBP extensively before.

    I'd say go MBA still, because in 'retina' mode the resolution of the rMBP 13" is shockingly low. (1280x800 I believe). You can however upscale it to 1440x900 (MBA) or 1680x1050 (High Res cMBP).

    If you still aren't sure or are still very much interested in the rMBP wait for the Haswell. Because the increase in battery life and graphics power will be a very welcome addition especially for driving the amount of pixels it has.

    Otherwise get the MBA is my advice.
  17. Suraj R. macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    The difference from the 3GS to the 4 is a lot bigger than the non-Retina to Retina Mac laptops. You're viewing the laptop screens from a lot further away than with your phones, so it won't seem like as big of a difference. There is NOTHING wrong with the 13" Air screen. At all.

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