Buying New Laptop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ClapAlongChorus, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. ClapAlongChorus macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    Me: Healthcare professional who would find it easier to work if I could take a laptop from site to site and not rely on e-mail and a thumbdrive to keep important folders and documents near me. Portability, reliability, longevity are the most important qualities.

    My History: From 2008 to 2013 I relied on the late 2008 13" MacBook as my sole computer. In 2013 I build a desktop computer which I used as a Hackintosh which actually worked really well for me, especially when I added an iPad as my mobile reading device. But over the last year there have been times when I wanted to use a mobile computer for tasks the ipad wasn't suited for, the 2008 MacBook is a pain to lug around and the Hackintosh's... quirckiness...and lack of reliability has become untenable. This new laptop needs to be a reliable every day computer and a portable, take back and forth to work 3-4 times a week option.

    My thoughts so far:

    - Retina would be nice since I tend to read a lot of small text, but not a deal breaker.​

    - There is no reason for the laptop to have a discrete GPU (I have the desktop for that) and given the added heat and the fact I hate fan noise, I'd prefer not to have a discrete GPU.​

    - It needs at least 256 GB of SSD storage.

    - I'm kinda scarred of USB-C. F***ing dongles. I tend to hang onto things until they break so I'm going to be using dongles until my 32 GB thumb drives and corrupt and that's going to be a pain in the butt. I get that USB-C is better in almost every way except that nothing uses USB-C.
    So this has me debating between the June 2017 MacBook Air and the 2015 MacBook Pro. I'm open to refurbs as well, so I could also be in the market for 2015 MacBook Air. The size and weight difference between the two is probably small enough that I'll never notice, and no one ever seems to complain about the 2015 MacBook Pro's fan noise so that probably not a big deal. I'm tempted to go with the 2017 MBA just assuming it may be supported by apple for a longer period of time, and the Kaby Lake microprocessor architecture may be subject to fewer problems in the long run. The fact that it's much cheaper is a bonus.

    As much as I want it to be portable, I think the 12" of the 2017 MacBook might be too small for me, and the reputation of the butterfly switches isn't exactly "reliable" and everyone describes the 2017 MacBook Adorable as "welcome to dongle-town" which make it an even less attractive option.

    So... thoughts? What would you recommend? Will I regret not getting the 2015 MBP if I have the money? Will I love the portability and reliability of the MBA? Should I be prioritizing retina more even if I'm not exactly blown away be the difference in the apple store?
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well unless you buy an air they are all retina, I love the retina screen its especially good for text and makes reading anything more like print. This is a vastly underestimated bonus of retina screens in my opinion and as a healthcare professional you will be very glad of it when those walls of text need to be ploughed through.

    Lots of dongles are not needed you can replace cables for anything with a removable cable, hard drives cameras etc, very cheaply. My favoured solution would be a portable single cable charging dock though,

    I would recommend a refurbished 2017 non touch bar MacBook pro for your use, slim, light, great screen, 2 TB3 ports and the latest tech going forward should do you at least 5 years. Its also similar in price to a new air.
  3. canuckRus macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2014
    Lots of MBP reviews on YouTube. MacBook has improved keyboard and weighs in at only 2lbs. Retina screens the bomb. Lacks ports though.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you don't want USB-c, get a refurbished 2015 model MacBook 13" or 15" from Apple's refurbished store. Same warranty as if you bought new and you can get AppleCare as well if you desire.

    Apple still sells the 2015 15" model (withOUT a discrete GPU) as "new product". You have to:
    1. Go to the new MacBook Pro page at the Apple store, then...
    2. Click "buy", then...
    3. Scroll down to see the 2015 model that's still available.
  5. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    Unless you are or will be heavy into video, I don't think you will see all that much performance advantage from the 2017 models. The Retina screens are really nice. I'm typing this on a late 2013 15" without discrete graphics, and it runs everything I need perfectly well. In your case I'd lean towards the refurb 2015, and probably the 15 inch.
  6. CrystalQuest76 Suspended

    Dec 14, 2015
    West Cost A Lot
  7. ClapAlongChorus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    Thanks for the advice and thanks for the dongle suggestion. Maybe it won't be that bad. Thanks again!

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6 October 8, 2017