A Macbook Pro for a Med Student

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by areskins, Dec 3, 2016.


Macbook for student w/ ocassional gaming

  1. Macbook 2016

    6 vote(s)
  2. Macbook Air

    3 vote(s)
  3. Baseline 13' Macbook Pro 2015

    8 vote(s)
  4. Baseline 13' Macbook Pro 2015 nTB

    10 vote(s)
  1. areskins, Dec 3, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016

    areskins macrumors newbie


    Dec 3, 2016
    Hey guys I just wanna know your opinion on which macbook to buy. I'm currently a med student in asia and would use my macbook for internet browsing, paper works, once or twice a year video editing for school projects, and ocassional gaming during semester breaks (love dem tycoon/sim games). Money's kinda tight since med school isn't cheap at all. Which macbook should I choose? I can only purchase the baseline models though. Kinda leaning towards the 2015 13 inch retina macbook pro. Also, the next laptop I would get is probably 2020. This would be my very first macbook ever.

    Macbook 2016: very compact but 12 inches is too small for me
    Macbook Air: Perfect design and all but the screen resolution is a let down since I would read a lot of books and journal articles. They said that retina makes reading easier on the eyes?
    13 inch Macbook Pro 2015: Can still perform as good as the 2016?
    13 inch Macbook Pro 2016 NTB: The only reason why I would even consider this is to have the newest looking macbook and better gaming performance but I would not mind the 2015 graphics.

    Is the 13' rMBP 2015 right for me? Thanks in advanced guys. I also read some of the previous threads but most of them are considering upgraded older models but I can only get the baseline models.
  2. skids929 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2011
  3. areskins thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 3, 2016
    Well my parents would prefer the cheaper one. As much as possible I don't want them to waste their money.
  4. snowman1 macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2010
    Hi! Fellow med student here in the US. I currently have a 2014 MBP, and I would say that it is PLENTY for med school stuff like reading papers, watching videos, writing documents, creating spreadsheets, etc. I do a little bit of light gaming here and there as well (Mass Effect 3, Call of Duty MW3, Arkham City, and Bioshock Infinite), and my computer is good enough for that.

    In terms of recommendations, I really think that you can't go wrong with the 2015 rMBP or the 2016 rMBP (non-TB). I don't find the old rMBP to be heavy or anything, but I also wouldn't mind a lighter, sleeker laptop. I think it sorta depends on what kinds of ports you want: are you okay with just 2 USB-C ports or do you want to stick with legacy ports for now?

    Overall, I'm very satisfied with my 2014 MBP - planning to keep it until I graduate from med school in 2020. I personally don't think I could justify the extra cost of the non-TB version over the 2015 rMBP.
  5. skids929 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2011
    you mean the cheapest of all of the ones you listed? I would go with that you aren't doing anything intense. But if you're mobile the new MBP are nice for that.
  6. JohnnyGo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2009
    How mobile and how much/little desk use will change the answer to your question. You will truly appreciate the new MacBooks if you need something mobile or for couch/bed reading.

    I use mostly an iPad for couch surfing / reading. But I have been using MBAs for the last 5 years so I am ready to upgrade to a Retina display on my MacBook as well.
  7. WhiteWhaleHolyGrail macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2016
    Just get a MacBook as it's more than enough for your requirements. Unless money is no obstacle in which case get a pro. Really no right answer here...
  8. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    My older brother just finished med school and he started with a 2012 13" MacBook Pro and it fit him just fine. He did end up having a liquid spill accident so he now uses a 2011 15", but both were more than enough for him. I think the 12" MacBook or the 2015 13" MBP would be plenty.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    If money's tight, choice 3 or 4 from above.

    The 2015 MBPro is a mature design, fast enough, plenty of ports, should last you through school. More for your money.
  10. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    Whatever you get, I would recommend investing in an external monitor or two for home. I'm a med student too, and it was so much easier to just have multiple screens displaying everything I need (whether it's a few papers, multiple sections of an anatomy atlas, some combo, etc).
  11. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Since I'm presuming it will be mostly for notes, I'd go for something that has ample battery life. Either one of the 2016 MacBooks (the m3 is plenty sufficient for just text editing) or the 13" 2016 nTB MBP.
  12. linguist macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2009
    if you bring this laptop around everyday, then weight, and battery life is important.

    no touch bar 13" , compared to 2015 13" have better integrated graphic (iGPU 2x as fast), smoother animation/scroll is worthwhile, and brighter screen, and slightly less screen reflection, faster SSD, battery life similar to macbook air 13", runs cooler.

    (I found older 13" retina a bit dim)

    older one has more acceptable keyboard for most people, but at 256 GB storage upgrade the price is already similar to newer one ... 128 GB is too limiting ( windows bootcamp, VM , phone backup, games, movies ), this is no.1 reason for me not to get 2015 one.

    for lots of PDF reading i don't recommend macbook air TN panel screen ,still I know a lot of people doing excel and documents over the years and very productive on 11" and 13" macbook air.

    get the base speed model, the extra Mhz real life performance difference is negligible, for 2016 non touch bar product line.

    8GB RAM should be more than enough for most uses.

    if budget is really tight , Macbook air is no slouch, get a PC reading glasses it helps a lot ! typing this on my girlfriend's 4GB RAM macbook air 2014, connected to external 1080p monitor.
  13. Mobster1983 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2011
    Third year law student here. My uses are similiar to yours (except reading hundreds of ear of anatomy).

    I just purchased the new 2016 MBP 15". I see this as an investment for myself so spent the extra money and had it maxed out. Probably not necessary, but I much prefer fast computers.

    Came from a 13" MBA. Don't get the MBA. Great computer, but with all the reading and image viewing you will be doing on it a Retina display is almost necessary.

    Between your options, I would choose the 2016 MacBook or MBP models. They are much lighter and better battery (mine is good for 10+ hours in class doing research online and taking notes). I am very impressed with the build quality of the new MBP and personally love the keyboard. No issues with pain and I type faster and more accurately after only having it a couple weeks. The higher quality display is key for long research and reading sessions.

    I know money is an issue, but you should consider the 15" MBP. If you can afford it, even the base model, this will serve you much better. I found the 13" screen was just too small for me and very annoying. The 15" is perfect for having multiple windows open st the same time. (I also like the new touch bar and the Fingerprint sensor itself is worth the extra money).

    If you look at what you will be doing with it 3-5 years from now, it may be a better investment to spend a little more money now. Just a thought.
  14. jmebbk macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2013
    If you can't afford it go for the 2015 15'
    Not as good as the new one but still a good computer
    I'm a law student too and opted for the 2015' because of all the ports and the fact that it was cheaper

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