college freshman, mba or macbook? now or later?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kj123492, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. kj123492 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2008
    so my question is, mba or macbook? i like the size/weight factor of the mba and don't mind the price, i just want to know whether the specs will hinder its performance for me - i just want a laptop that will perform as good or better than my desktop now, (2.5 year old hp desktop, i watch movies and tv on it and have a lot of windows open at once, but it's only 1gb of ram and old so it's starting to slow down. 2.41 ghz, xp) will the 1.6 ghz processor be a noticeable drop in performance? or is it not that bad because macs are just amazing lol
    also, this would be my main and only computer. when i look around these forums a lot of people seem to have mba's as a travel computer in addition to a macbook pro or imac at home, would that be an issue?
    and, when i look at the buyer's guide it says there's usually an update in the spring and the fall, but there are no rumors for an update this spring. should i just buy now and get more use out of the computer for the rest of this year? i already have an iphone so the free ipod won't be a huge deal, i'd just buy off amazon or something for cheaper
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Your desktop is probably a Pentium 4 (?), so comparing a 2.4GHz P4 to a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo doesn't mean a whole lot.

    But to answer your larger question: the newer Air can serve as a reasonable main computer. Most of what you're doing in Uni will be word processing, internet surfing, email, etc. The Air was designed for tasks like that.

    That said, it does not come without its limitations. RAM is capped at 2GB, smaller HDD, no optical drive (though I can count on one hand the number of times I've used mine in the last 2.5 years), fewer ports.

    I would seriously consider the base MacBook. It will give you more power, better connectivity, and is better prepared for the future (e.g., is can take 4GB of RAM), and is nearly as small and light as the Air. It's also a fair bit cheaper, and while you might be able to afford the Air, you'll always appreciate cash in your pocket.

    Why were you considering the Air? I don't take my notebook to class nearly as often as I thought I would - in fact, I could very well have lived with a desktop through my university career. The Air is nice, but it's a lot of coin and the advantages for a student tend, imo, to be pretty insignificant.
  3. kj123492 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2008
    it's an amd athlon 64. is that even before the pentium 4?

    wait how is the base macbook better connectivity? connectivity to what..? don't they run on the same wifi thing

    i'm considering the air because i'm just a really lazy person haha, i bring a folder to class max and hate having a heavy bag (which is like >2 water bottles, which is <macbook). plus i like to have my computer with me if i'm doing homework or something, so i'd carry it to the library and stuff and i'm planning on bringing it to class

    and what is the newer air? the newest model? will there be a new air coming out soon with a new design and trackpad and stuff because the mba now looks like an old generation on the apple page next to the macbook and mbp
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Get the Macbook. It will last longer and is a better machine in the first place.
  5. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    get the macbook, it'll be your go to "machine" throughout college.
  6. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...get the white Macbook, bottled beers will bounce of it (provided you keep the lid closed)... aluminum dents:D
  7. qubex macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2004
    045°042'21.99"N, 009°005'056.57"E
    ** Deleted and moved to new thread since it was off-topic. **
  8. galactic732 macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2008
    get the macbook. trust me as a college student that has one.

    also, wait until the student summer promotion and get a free ipod out of the deal
  9. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Savings on white macbook will enable to buy bottles of beer. Maybe fund a kegger or two.

    Sigh. Those were the days...
  10. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    If weight is a big concern, think about a Netbook. For a lot less money than a new Air you could get a Netbook that's even more portable than the Air, and a Mac mini or iMac that is loads more powerful, and have some money left over at the end of the day.

    I've got a Macbook, and I am planning to replace it with an HP Mini 1000 + 24" iMac, hopefully. :)

    Having two computers is more of a pain compared to having only one, but if you want portability, nothing beats the new Netbooks. :)
  11. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2008
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    Macbooks have larger hard drives, 2 usb ports, ethernet, a superdrive. I don't think a machine that requires an external or virtual superdrive can be considered "home base".

    Does your college have a book store that sells Apple products? I'm sure your college student discount would be the best way to get one.
  12. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
    Get an aluminum macbook, theyre pretty slim and light. Im a design student, and I can tell you Ive never taken my computer to school before, mainly because all the computers at the campus (2008 mac pros) are a ******** better and have all the software that Ill ever need. Im sure your university is the same.
  13. Mr$Whale macrumors member

    May 19, 2008
    As I'm just finishing up my final month at college, I would recommend going with the macbook. I used a 1GHZ G4 iBook up until this year, and switched over to a new macbook in the fall. It does everything I need it to (word processing, presentations, spread sheets, movies, music), and it is HIGHLY portable. I use this for most of my classes, plus books or other random stuff, and it definitely does not weigh me down. Though the Air would be nice and flashy, you should probably save your money for either an HD upgrade or for something else (or just save it for much much later). The battery life is great, especially since I don't use bluetooth often unless I'm using my external set up in my room.

    And a word of advice...don't believe you'll have a set study pattern or routine until you get two-three months into college (or a set idea of day-to-day life in general). My freshmen year roommate said he'd be studying at the library all the time, but usually doing all his work in our room. Even four years in, my study patterns/locations/times have continuously changed.

    Good luck finishing up HS, enjoy the summer, and get ready for a fast four (or more) years!

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