Base level MacBook air for college

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mslittlebookowl, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Mslittlebookowl, Aug 16, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015

    Mslittlebookowl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    #1
    My 6 year old HP Envy 17 is dead. I need a new laptop for the next 2 1/2 yrs. my budget as a student isn't high so I'm considering the base level 2015 MacBook air, I can get it for $750 after education discount since its on sale from best buy. Would the 4gb memory , 128 gb be enough for me? I have a external hard drive some where around if needed. I'm an accounting and management major. I usually use my laptop to browse, homework, online research, write papers, take notes, and Netflix. I do like to open quite a number of tabs simultaneously. I also have an iPad air, I'm afraid I might hate the non retina since Im coming from that. I really want the MacBook pro with retina but is it worth it to really tight financially for that? I'm thinking when I get a full time job when I graduate, I ll upgrade it then, so this needs to last for maybe the next 2 years plus though.
     
  2. adcx64 macrumors 65816

    adcx64

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #2
    The non retina Macbook Air has a spectacular display.
     
  3. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #3
    I think it'll be fine, but if you don't like it, doesn't Best Buy have a fairly liberal return policy?
     
  4. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #4
    You will be more than satisfied with it. It is a capable machine, even if it's a base model.
     
  5. akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #5
    Don't let anyone talk you into the RAM nonesense. Buy what you can afford. If you can afford to upgrade its storage, then do that. 128GB isnt alot, but it will last you if you buy portable, external storage. Or use the cloud. Dropbox will be your friend.

    I upgraded my SSD to 256GB and I'm loving my Macbook Air :) I do programming on it, take notes in conjunction with my iPad, play medium-intense games (Skyrim, League of Legends, Minecraft..) and most other things I do on my iPad.
    To clarify, I dual boot Windows 10 on bootcamp. I would happily get rid of Windows but my course is Windows-based.
     
  6. itsmefudge macrumors regular

    itsmefudge

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Location:
    Middle of the Pacific
    #6
    I love my base level Air. I do wish I had the extra $$ at the time for a larger HD, but I have a 128gb thumb drive I use for iTunes. Love this machine.
     
  7. MacBoook160, Aug 17, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015

    MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #7
    I have something more fully loaded, but honestly, I think this will be perfect for your needs, and will last even beyond your two plus year needs, especially if you have additional hard drive capacity somewhere. Great price, too!
     
  8. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
  9. Thrifty1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    #9
    That will work very well for you in college. If you need extra storage buy a small USB thumb drive. I bought one on sale last week that barely sticks out from the side of my MacBook Air. Sandisk 128gb was on sale for $29.99 and a great way to have extra storage for iTunes, iPhoto, etc.

    Another way to drop the cost is to take advantage of the Apple Back to School deal. Get Beats headphones for free. Valued at $200 so maybe you could sell them on eBay for $75-$100.

    Enjoy your new MacBook!!!
     
  10. akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #10
    Or keep em and listen to some sick beats. I wish that promotion was there when I bought mine just last fall.
     
  11. DavidLynch macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    #11
    I have an upgraded model now, because I need it for work, but I was using the base model before that and it is more than adequate. Hell, I was using a 2011 MBA with 2GB ram before that and my major issues were battery life and USB 2.0, not the lack of ram. Throw your media on to an external or in the cloud if you're running out of space and you'll be fine.
     
  12. Splitbolt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    #12
    I think it will be fine for you. I use a base model 13" 2014 MBA and love it. I usually have it connected to an external monitor, though. Night and day difference having lots of screen real estate.

    This is completely false. I know some people don't mind the poor display on the Air's, but for someone to call it "spectacular" is mind boggling.
     
  13. Flow39 macrumors 68000

    Flow39

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Location:
    At the Apple Store
    #13
    I bought a 2015 13" rMBP for school this year (Computer Science) with the upgraded 256 GB SSD. The extra 128 GB really is helpful because I keep a lot of stuff on my computer compared to storing it in the cloud. Like others have said, you can live with 128 if you use the cloud for a large amount of storage. The RAM could be a problem if you plan on using this as your daily computer for 2 years or more. 8 GB will be ideal for lasting for 3-4 more years, so if you can upgrade RAM, do it.
     
  14. akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #14
    Nah, 4GB of RAM will be okay for more than 4 years, not just 2.
    It's only necessary for people planning on using software that requires more RAM. Photoshop, VMs, etc.

    Trust me. Also, can't agree more; the extra SSD space will be greatly appreciated.
     
  15. Flow39 macrumors 68000

    Flow39

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Location:
    At the Apple Store
    #15
    Haha, maybe my CS studies clouded my thinking because I need VMs/IDEs open all the time. I'd still recommend a RAM upgrade it if at all possible, but storage really is the #1 upgrade I always make on my devices. If I had to choose between upgrading SSD or RAM, I'd go SSD every time.
     
  16. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #16
    I agree. I'm glad to have the RAM I have, but the SSD (for me!) was non-negotiable. 'Course, I should also be more responsible about culling out my files...I'm bad about that.
     
  17. Splitbolt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    #17
    It really depends on what the user is doing. Ever since I quit downloading movies 10+ years ago, I haven't used more than 60GB of storage on any computer I've owned, and that's mostly the OS and programs. For me, a 256GB hard drive would be a huge waste of money, so would more than 4GB of RAM.

    I assume that money may be tight for a college student so it's important that the OP takes into consideration his/her uses.
     
  18. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #18
    If somebody's going to use VMs then I would say they should get 8GB RAM.

    I'm surprised you had to use VMs to do CS though. It seems like most CS programs are unix* based and you should be able to run all the unix dev stuff natively on OS X.


    * I use the word "unix" loosely of course.
     
  19. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #19
    You're right, of course, Splitbolt. And I'm impressed, I have to say. I'm clearly a hoarder! I'm less dependent on the Cloud and such, as I should be. I keep it all on my SSD. And external back-up.
     
  20. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #20
    I did my CS degree in the late 90s, and most people worked in Linux after the first quarter. That being said, given the advances in development tools, I would definitely do a lot of work in VMs if I were a CS major now, simply to have the ability to rebuild the development environment (e.g. Vagrant + VirtualBox).
     
  21. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #21
    I would like to hope that a CS program today isn't materially different than the one I did in the 90s too, i.e., that you learn how computers work and the theories behind programming. I could have done my degree using TextEdit and a command-line build chain. In fact that's what I did most of the time. :)
     
  22. akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #22
    As a side-note, I'd like to point out that it's not impossible to run a VM on 4GB of RAM. In fact, it works quite well from my experience.
     
  23. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #23
    vi. Nothing else.
     
  24. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #24
    <grumpy_old_man>You young whippersnappers and your new-fangled fullscreen editors. In my day we had DOS and we wrote code in EDLIN... one line at a time. We stared at the screen until our eyes bled. And we loved it! Oh, how we loved it! </grumpy_old_man> :D
     
  25. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #25
    On my rmbp I have 8gb and with the most demanding things I do (Lr raw, large panorama HDRs) the dual core is always the bottle neck, never ever ram.

    Try the heal-tool on a massive raw file and watch the cpu go through the roof and lag to occur.
     

Share This Page