Choice of Laptop + time machine

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jamesthemidwife, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. jamesthemidwife macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009
    Hi, I am a proud owner of an iMac, which I love. This replaced an old MacBook that came to the end of its life after a good five years faithful service.

    I am about to start a PhD, and need to get a laptop - I have become somewhat obsessed with the MacBook Air, but think I may be in lust rather than love, and wanted some advice.

    Is it style over substance? I expect to be carrying it round with me at least 4 days a week, so size and weight are important.

    Maybe a pro or even a macbook will be better options. I will be using lots of programs at once - statistics packages, various office programs, bit of desk top publishing, internet browser etc but won't be doing much gaming.

    I don't envisage needing a CD/DVD in the library, or needing USB for anything other than my iPhone while out - is that stupid of me?

    I want a nice machine with a decent screen, that will last at least three years, isn't likely to loose my thesis and isn't going to break my back lugging it on the tube everyday - oh, and one that makes everyone with a crappy looking PC laptop feel jealous too of course! What would you get?

    Also, does anyone have a time machine thingy? Is it worth it? Am thinking about thesis, making sure it’s backed up - I have an external hard drive and airport already, but I like the wireless functionality of the time machine.

    And finally, can anyone - other than customs officials of course - think of a reason why I shouldn't get the computer from the states -either myself or a friend bringing it over - which works out at about £300 ($500) cheaper?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    First, congratulations on your PhD or the start of it that is.

    I have a MB Air and I would say that I wished I had it in college. Instead I lugged a 15" PowerBook.

    The issue I take with the Air is the low RAM. I love my Air, it's hugely capable and I've never quite maxed out the ram (have ran iWork, Photoshop Elements, Office 2008, Office 2004, iTunes, Safari, etc). I've watched movies both streaming and locally stored. But still, more ram would not suck.

    I think for a pound more (that's in terms of weight not £), I would say for you, 3 years, you may enjoy the MBP. Get the 13", remove your optical drive, install a 2nd drive to act as additional storage and on-board time machine, redundancy right in one notebook. I think your apps will run a bit better and if you can swing an SSD as your main drive then do it.

    Again, I will say that I bet you a MBAir would suit all of your needs but I somehow think for you and the extensive work you will inevitably do outside the home, having the 13" MBP with the on-board time machine is a great idea.

    I cannot answer your question about buying overseas. But mind if I ask what your PhD will be in? Does it have something to do with being a midwife?
  3. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    The first MacBook came out in May 2006, so I don't know how you could've had it for 5 years?

    Do you mean Time Capsule or just Time Machine? It's definitely worth using Time Machine.

    A US machine will have a slightly different keyboard layout and a different plug, but you can get a adaptor.
  4. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    You should get the 13" MBP and then remove the optical drive and put a hard drive in instead to use it for extra storage/time machine. :)
  5. jamesthemidwife thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009
    Thank you for your replies!

    Jessica, yes it is a Midwifery PhD - bit daunting, but exciting.

    Sky Blue - it wasn't a macbook then! What was it called? An iBook? The one that was white and wasn't a pro! And yes, sorry, I meant a time capsule rather than time machine. Getting all my products confused!

    I hadn't even considered getting an additional internal hard drive, something to think about.

    Although don't know if I will be able to stop myself getting the air! ;)

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