Buying for my daughter.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by denraepat, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. denraepat macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2013
    I need some advice. We have iPhones and iPods and we want to make the move over to Macs. To start, I want to get my daughter a Mac for a graduation present. However, I am unsure of which one is the best to take to college. This may have been addressed and I did "look" through some threads, I just need some good advice from users vs. sellers. :D
  2. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
  3. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    That would depend on what she is majoring in, but I would recommend a 15" non-retina MBP. This way she still has a high quality computer with a superdrive(in case she wants to install non- Mac App Store software or watch a DVD) and a dedicated GPU in case she is majoring in something that would require a machine that is more capable when handling graphics applications.
  4. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    Depends on her intended major but if it is non-engineering a MBA 13 would be the best choice.
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Some schools recommend certain models.

    If not, either MacBook Air and MacBook Pro would do, but make her lock the dorm room!

    I guess the more important question is: how much storage space does she need for music and other files. If she needs a lot of space, than a MacBook Pro with harddrive is needed. Otherwise get Mac with SSD (such as MacBook Air or retina MacBook Pro).
  6. denraepat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2013
    Great advice. She doesn't know what she is majoring in...yet. But she is interested in graphics. I think this is where we will start!


    Thanks! She is going in undecided. I will have to weigh the options of value of each one you guys mentioned. MBA or MBP. She has a LOT of music! This is my first of 3 daughters I am sending off to college.


    I want to stay around $1000-$1200. We are in the US and I will look here! Have you ever got a refurb? If so, what do you think?
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Since she'll be studying, and carrying it around, a Macbook Air. The Pro is not that much faster, and for her studies, the SSD in the MBA will be much more useful.
  8. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    I got my daughter a 13" MacBook Air and she loves it. She wants to study medicine.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I would suggest a 13" display as being the easiest to cart around at school without the extra weight and dimensions of the 15".

    If she gets into graphic design, she could always get an external display for her room, and use that in conjunction with the MacBook.

    Something a lot of college kids never think about is "backing up". It's neither difficult nor time consuming (I would recommend using CarbonCopyCloner instead of Time Machine), and a backup system can be put togther for not much $$$.

    Also -- try to impress upon her the importance of safeguarding the laptop against theft, a common problem at school. You might even consider spending the $$$ for one of the "laptop recovery" apps out there -- "Undercover" has gotten good reviews.
  10. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I LOVE Apple refurbished products. Same quality, same warranty, cheaper price.

    If your budget is less than $1200, then the 13" MBP is what you might be limited to, but those are still more than capable machines.

    Apple is currently selling a 13.3" MBP 2.5GHz i5 w/ 500GB HDD for $1,019.


    This is great advice. In addition to this, if you buy it with a credit card that allows you to replace it in case it gets damaged; that would be a good addition to also getting AppleCare. This way, it will be completely replaceable.
  11. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    The low-end 13" MacBook Pro has a 500GB hard drive. Since she has tons of music, I would recommend it. That's the one I have. Although I would really consider a 15" if she's into graphics. I regret buying a 13" because my screen isn't big enough to really work with them without everything getting it in the way (menus). Wasn't an issue on my previous 15" model.

    The MacBook Air is great, but the solid states in them are pretty low in space. And there's actually advantages to the black bezels on the Pros - They don't warp. They're also a lot easier to repair.
  12. PatrickCocoa macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2008
    My Experience . . .

    We bought my daughter a 15" MacBook Pro 2.5 years ago. She's a Chemistry major. We got the anti-glare screen. She's been fairly happy with it, or at least I haven't heard any complaints.

    I liked the form so much I bought one myself about 6 months ago.
  13. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Love love LOVE Apple refurbs! I always recommend them, whenever they're an option. Also love the Air, too - whenever I replace my bulky 15" MBP, it will be with an Air (or maybe a 13" retina... not sure). The Air I linked was the 13" for $999, so you can definitely get in on the $1-1.2k range. I don't think I'd recommend the 11" Air for college, though; while a dandy machine, I think the small size would get old when typing lots of papers and doing research.

    Like others have said, if she's looking into something heavily graphics-focused, it might be worth looking at the 15" with the dedicated GPU - but, I hate to say it, if she's looking at a program like that, the school will probably require/strongly recommend a particular (probably PC) laptop.

    As others have said, if she has a lot of music, the 128GB SSD in the base 13" Air might be a bit small, but I can say this - I have been buying MP3s from iTunes AND have ripped my entire CD collection (not huge by anyone's standards, but probably 300+ discs) and my iTunes library is about 65GB. I do keep my Movies in a separate folder, though, as I have a metric ton of them. :D I'd look for a 13" Air with a 256GB SSD.
  14. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Check what deals the school she will be attending offers. I've seen some colleges offer MacBooks with a 4 year, on site warranty for a reasonable price, cheaper than AppleCare.
  15. b3av3r macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2012
    I love my 13" MBA and can't even tell when it's in my bag because it is so light. It is plenty fast for me but I do very, very little photo editing and nothing in video editing. I thought the 13" screen was going to be too small but it seems just as big as my old 15" laptop and I never have issues with desktop space. Also, the battery life is amazing, I can work on it for 5 hours easy on one charge, probably a lot longer but that is my standard work day.

    As far as the question of storage space for her music and such, why not spend a few dollars and get an external hard drive? It gives her a back up of everything and allows her to download as many songs, movies, etc. as she likes without fear of running out of space.

    edit: Don't forget you should be able to get a little bit of a discount through the education store.
  16. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    13" MacBook Pro, non-retina, high-end model.
  17. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I would highly recommend a refurb. I've purchased 2 MBPs and they have both been in pristine condition. They also carry the same warranty as a new machine.

    One other recommendation, get Applecare just before the one year anniversary of your purchase. Since she's undecided, I would get the 13" Air but Applecare will not only protect from the rough miles this machine will likely see, if she goes into graphics and needs to sell, AC will sweeten the deal and help her unload it.

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