buying a macbook air help

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jezss, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. jezss macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012
    id really appreciate some help as i'm struggling to decide what to buy. i am quite money conscious - however i have saved enough to buy upgrades IF they are really needed.

    im going for the 13" air, but i cant decide what specs to get...
    i'm a university student so will need it the laptop to last me for a good few years as i wont be able to replace it easily in the future.
    it will mainly be used for office/documents, email, general browsing but also some photo editing and occasional gaming. i do have a fair amount of music i'd also like to store.
    im going to get an external harddrive for the photos.

    im stuck between getting:

    base model with 1.8 i5, 128 GB ssd and 4gb ram (which i was quite set on upgrading to 8gb especially as its only an extra £75 for me as a student)

    the 1.8 i5, 256 gb ssd and 4/8gb ram.

    i'd like to know whether i need the extra 4gb ram for either model, and whether or not it would be worth upgrading to the 256gb model for my needs.

    i really do want this computer to last a while and have mixed responses on what i should do up to now - i just want to order it now but i dont want to overspend unreasonably!

    thanks for your help
  2. dbdynsty25 macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    The reality is if you want it to last a few years, you may as well up the ram to 8gb, especially at that cost. The rest of the specs on the AIR are pretty good and will last quite a while so it all depends on if you think you need the extra space that the 256gb SSD gives you over the 128gb. They charge a huge markup for stepping up to the bigger hard drive so in my opinion, the base model with the ram upped to 8gb is the way to go.
  3. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    And you want to buy a Mac? ;)

    Speaking as the money manager of this house, I see some quite capable Wintel machines out there at about 2/3 the cost, not as "nice" looking but spec-wise... but I digress.

    U may have an unrealistic expectation how long this thing is going to last u. Being a student, you will lug this thing around with u everywhere. The more it moves, the more it's subject to damage, theft. Am just saying, it's real life.

    But whatever, Air only thing upgradable is the SSD, and not eazy. So go ahead and max out ram, I would stick with 128 SSD. How big of an iTunes library are we talking about?

    Don't forget, the laptop is just the beginning of your expense. Soon enough you want to buy a nice bag for your nice toy, the "best" cable for your baby, maybe Applecare/insurance. An extra power plug so you don't have to stove one more thing in your backpack already stuffed with books... the cost of ownership issue.
  4. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Get the base model or base model + 8gb ram. That should be more than enough for your needs.
  5. plucky duck macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2012
    True words. A nice case cover, keyboard cover, backpack, Applecare, it can surely add up.
  6. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Get as much as you can afford. If you can't really afford the 256GB, then at the very least get the 8GB of RAM. The SSD is at least upgradeable later on. RAM isn't, and it's absolutely something I'm noticing my Mac using more of these days.
  7. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    Don't do what I did and get a base 13 inch when you really wanted more.

    I sold my base 13" and bought an i7/8GB/256GB model. It was ~$500 more, but far more future proof.

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