Best MacBook for visually impaired college student?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dj64Mk7, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Dj64Mk7 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #1
    I currently have a 2016 15" MacBook Pro that was granted to me by the Maryland State Department of Education's Division of Rehabilitation Services. Basically, I paid nothing for the computer because (at the time) I was part of a state program for visually impaired students. My vision then improved (so I was removed from the program) but is now getting worse again; once you're removed from the program you can't re-enroll.

    Anyway, the computer is just too big and heavy for me to continue to lug around in day to day life, so I'm here loooking for something smaller and lighter.

    When at home, I currently use an Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock as well as an LG UltraFine 4K 27" monitor connected via a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter cable, with the laptop in clamshell mode. This enables me to be able to use the computer just like any other sighted person.

    When not docked at home, I use VoiceOver to assist me in using the computer, since I can't see items on the screen.

    Essentially, I don't gain anything with the larger screen because I can't see it anyway. It added weight and dimension for no real purpose other than to say "I have an expensive computer."

    Also, the Touch Bar isn't very usable with VoiceOver, or at least I didn't find it to be easy to use.

    I'm intrigued by the 12" MacBook and the 13" MacBook Pro (sans Touch Bar), but I'm worried about the lack of third-generation butterfly keyboard and what that means for future reliability. As for the MacBook Air, I've heard bad things about the built-in FaceTime HD camera, and I've heard that the display isn't as good as the one on the MacBook Pro.

    Noting that my primary uses are research for projects, word processing (Pages and Google Docs), presentation creation (Keynote and Google Slides), some light usage of GarageBand, as well as general web browsing and video streaming (in Safari), along with a fair amount of music playback through iTunes, and also noting that I am selling my not-very-useful 12.9" iPad Pro (which is also too big and heavy for daily use) to help pay for the new computer (can't sell the 15" so I'm giving it to my dad), which MacBook could you recommend for a VoiceOver user?
     
  2. Nbd1790 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    You may fall into the same category that a majority of users fall into, which is the waiting category. Hang tight for a few more months if possible to see what happens with Apple laptops as far as design changes and general updates. You made it 3 years with a gen 1 butterfly keyboard so I wouldn't be TOO concerned with gen 1 vs gen 2, 3 etc.

    I would imagine that the 2017 MBP (the one without the touch bar) will receive an update this year which is the only reason I would advise against picking one up now (unless you find a really good deal on one)
     
  3. Dj64Mk7 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #3
    Best Buy had the 24-hour flash sale yesterday, so the MacBook Pro (w/o Touch Bar) was $400 off the normal price ($1100 vs $1500). This put it within my budget of no more than than $1500 (after AppleCare and taxes), so it seemed like a better deal then the 2018 MacBook Air I bought last Friday (with the same specifications) for $1250 (which ended up being $1550 after taxes and AppleCare, so slightly out of my budget.) Anyway, I returned the Air to the store last night, where I found out that they had just sold the two remaining Pros not even 30 minutes prior to my arrival at the store. Ended up that we had to do a Ship-to-Home order, which is a bit of a bummer. Although I am happy that I got the silver color. Was $400 off the MacBook Pro a decent price, or should I have tried to hold out longer?
     
  4. Nbd1790 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    $400 is probably just about as good as it gets for that configuration.
     
  5. Cosmosent macrumors 6502a

    Cosmosent

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #5
    Send an email to Tim Cook (tcook@apple.com) & ask him ... he may actually reply.
     
  6. Dj64Mk7 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #6
    The computer arrived today. I'm really liking it so far, but how's this deal from B&H on a same generation (as this MacBook Pro) MacBook (USB-C) with the i5 and 512GB of storage space for $999? As a student, I value portability more than anything really, and since I can't exactly see the UI that doesn't matter either.

    Is $600 savings off a mid-range MacBook worth more than $400 off a lower-end-but-still-mid-range MacBook Pro?
     
  7. brandiop macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2019
    #7
    Wow, really. Will Tim Cook reply? Or will he see it? A personalize macbook for those with disability is another great work for Apple!
     

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6 April 24, 2019