Air vs Retina or wait?

FlipsideJohn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 14, 2012
4
0
Hi all. I start college in the fall and I'm looking to get a laptop. I have a desktop right now that is 5 years old. 4gb ram/old amd 3.0dual core and onboard graphics. I'll be commuting from home but I'll be spending time at the library between classes and between work/school. I have a steady job (minimum wage) and was just approved for citi's no interest/apr for 18months ($7k limit).

I plan to edit videos quite often, surf web, school stuff, and some light gaming (3-5 hours a week). Games such as league of legends that don't require too much power.

I really like the retina, but I've heard so many problems with the screen, should I purchase now or wait until apple comes out with an updated model? when do you think this will be? Or, would I be better off just picking up a 13" air 1.8/8/128 to hold me over for around 2 years until I purchase a more powerful laptop.
-Thanks
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
Hi all. I start college in the fall and I'm looking to get a laptop. I have a desktop right now that is 5 years old. 4gb ram/old amd 3.0dual core and onboard graphics. I'll be commuting from home but I'll be spending time at the library between classes and between work/school. I have a steady job (minimum wage) and was just approved for citi's no interest/apr for 18months ($7k limit).

I plan to edit videos quite often, surf web, school stuff, and some light gaming (3-5 hours a week). Games such as league of legends that don't require too much power.

I really like the retina, but I've heard so many problems with the screen, should I purchase now or wait until apple comes out with an updated model? when do you think this will be? Or, would I be better off just picking up a 13" air 1.8/8/128 to hold me over for around 2 years until I purchase a more powerful laptop.
-Thanks
Something that I recommend is finding out what the requirements are for most of your classes as far as assignments go and the format your professors want them submitted in. My school uses nothing but iMacs in the classrooms but the school is also running Windows 7 on everything through Parallels and all of my professors require Windows formats. I also have only had one professor that allowed laptops in the classroom. Keep in mind that if you do buy a Mac and have to use Windows for anything(I had to use Internet Explorer for a computer class) then you'll be forced to purchase a Windows OS at a minimum. If you decide to also buy Microsoft Office, that will be an additional cost.

I would personally recommend buying a refurbished unit that has either an i5 or i7 that you could then connect to an external monitor for when you want to play games.
 

FlipsideJohn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 14, 2012
4
0
Okay I'll wait til school starts before I make my purchase. If they don't let me use it in class, its no big deal. I was planning on taking notes in a notebook anyway. I believe my parents will purchase software for me if I need it(MS office), but i guess I'll have to buy parallels myself. The problem I see with buying refurbished is the 15inch refurbished is basically $1956 after tax. I can pick up the new macbook pro 15inch non retina for $1946 with faster ram/cpu/gpu but a smaller hdd. I don't really see the benefit of buying refurbished.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Something that I recommend is finding out what the requirements are for most of your classes as far as assignments go and the format your professors want them submitted in. My school uses nothing but iMacs in the classrooms but the school is also running Windows 7 on everything through Parallels and all of my professors require Windows formats. I also have only had one professor that allowed laptops in the classroom. Keep in mind that if you do buy a Mac and have to use Windows for anything(I had to use Internet Explorer for a computer class) then you'll be forced to purchase a Windows OS at a minimum. If you decide to also buy Microsoft Office, that will be an additional cost.

I would personally recommend buying a refurbished unit that has either an i5 or i7 that you could then connect to an external monitor for when you want to play games.
Eh, pay for Microsoft software that you need for school? Whut? Never heard of MSDNAA?
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Actually, no I haven't. I just looked it up though and that's pretty awesome.
Yeah, I get a new subscription every year just because I can. Haven't downloaded anything since the release of Win7 though. But hey - I have the option ;)

I'm surprised your teacher didn't inform you of it.
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
Yeah, I get a new subscription every year just because I can. Haven't downloaded anything since the release of Win7 though. But hey - I have the option ;)

I'm surprised your teacher didn't inform you of it.
I didn't even see the option of downloading Windows 7 on the site. I'm betting that my teachers have no idea about this.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
I didn't even see the option of downloading Windows 7 on the site. I'm betting that my teachers have no idea about this.
I don't know if there's a difference between the US and Europe here, but the site I use only showed like a handful of available programs on the front page, but once I log in there are tons of software. Pretty much everything except for the Office suite, for some reason.
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
I don't know if there's a difference between the US and Europe here, but the site I use only showed like a handful of available programs on the front page, but once I log in there are tons of software. Pretty much everything except for the Office suite, for some reason.
Yeah, I created an account and logged in and the majority of the stuff I see is for development or other things of that nature. I was hoping for something like the actual OS or Office. I guess I still get to use XP for all my IE needs! yay.

And LibreOffice for my productivity needs as well. <--This one I like even though my primary productivity suite is iWork.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Yeah, I created an account and logged in and the majority of the stuff I see is for development or other things of that nature. I was hoping for something like the actual OS or Office. I guess I still get to use XP for all my IE needs! yay.

And LibreOffice for my productivity needs as well. <--This one I like even though my primary productivity suite is iWork.
You created an account and logged in? Cool. There must be a difference then. For me, I have to get it verified by the IT-department. No automatic accounts here, no sir ;)
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
You created an account and logged in? Cool. There must be a difference then. For me, I have to get it verified by the IT-department. No automatic accounts here, no sir ;)
Yeah, it was fairly straightforward and I had to verify my email address myself, but after that it was really simple. So even though MS offers some of their products for free to students, they still don't offer their cash cow software.
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
Okay I'll wait til school starts before I make my purchase. If they don't let me use it in class, its no big deal. I was planning on taking notes in a notebook anyway. I believe my parents will purchase software for me if I need it(MS office), but i guess I'll have to buy parallels myself. The problem I see with buying refurbished is the 15inch refurbished is basically $1956 after tax. I can pick up the new macbook pro 15inch non retina for $1946 with faster ram/cpu/gpu but a smaller hdd. I don't really see the benefit of buying refurbished.
The one I see refurbished is $1359 starting, so I don't know how it would come to be $1956 after taxes. Another thing to consider is that you could download virtual box(free virtualization software) and a Linux distribution instead of Windows so that you could still use LibreOffice. And the benefit of refurbished, in my opinion, is that not only was it initially inspected it got re-inspected and is now clean and basically brand new, comes with the initial AppleCare and it's eligible for the ML up-to-date program. This extra savings will allow you to buy an external monitor and not have to use the majority of your credit on just one machine. I bought my AppleTV2, my wife's iMac, and an iPhone 4s refurbished and they have all been awesome.
 
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