College Freshman

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Cnercessian, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Cnercessian macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2012
    Im going to be starting college in the fall and I'm looking to buy a Mac. I have my eye on the rMBP (base with 16gb ram), the only reason I'm hesitating is the size of it. 15.4 inches is quite large and 4.46 pounds isn't very light. Do you think it will be a problem, keep in mind I will have to walk probably 10-15 minutes between classes and probably have 2-3 classes a day. My alternative option is a 13inch MBA (base with 8gb ram), but I'm really leaning towards the rMBP.
  2. Free Ale macrumors member

    Free Ale

    Mar 29, 2012
    It's less than 5lbs.. Be a man and carry it..
  3. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    What's the reason for leaning towards it? The air will be WAY lighter.
  4. andymac2210 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2011
    You want the eMBP, but you'll be fine with the MBA.

    Your choice.
  5. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    What will you need to do with your laptop? I think that the 13" MBA is a great college computer, especially if you intend to carry it around with you all day.

    On the other hand, I carried a 13" MBP around in my backpack no problem, and the 15" Retina is a hair lighter. The extra size might make it feel a bit less portable, but it should definitely be manageable.

    Basically it depends on whether you really need/want the quad core processor and dedicated graphics chip.
  6. Collin789 macrumors regular


    Mar 29, 2011
    Greensboro, NC
    I just got the Retina MBP for college. I plan on doing everything you described as well. I really don't think it's too heavy to carry around from class to class. I had the 13in MBA and although it's really light, the screen was just too small for me.
    Some people say this computer isn't portable. I really don't see why they say that. It's pretty light. You won't be disappointed.
  7. EatMyApple macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    Your major may play a factor into your decision as the courses may require some powerful programs.
  8. whdigital macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2011
    Have you even considered the regular 13" MBP? You're going to beat the crap out of that thing for the next few years and you may want/need the durability. On-board CD/DVD is handy too for a student certainly.
  9. Rmafive macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2008
    Richmond, Virginia
    Unless you need power go with the MBA. I am a college Freshman as well, but I went with the retina pro for the power. Seriously, 4.5 pounds is not heavy unless you are a shriveled up old man! I carried around my 5.5 pound uMBP for four years during high school and had no problems, it's light compared to my books!
  10. semicolon macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2012
    It's not just about the weight; many lecture hall desks are TINY...I've had a 14" computer for the past 2 years and it was always really uncomfortable to bring to class..and the people with the 15" MacBooks also look like its uncomfortable for them. You should go with the 13".
  11. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    I'd recommend the MBA for portability (also an MBA degree isn't bad either).

    I got a feeling that a lot of people who are saying that 15.4 inches is quite portable, may just be taller than the average person. I am about 5'6", and for me four and a half pound 15.4 inch machine is quite heavy to carry around all day. The 13 air is perfect.

    I wonder how tall are some of you guys, maybe that will explain why for some 13 is too small and 15.4 is perfect and for others 15.4 is huge and 13 is awesome.
  12. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Agreed here. The lecture hall desks make my 13" MBP look huge.
  13. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    I was coming in to post the same thing. Room in the classroom can be a serious issue. I can't think of many reasons not to go with a MBA for a college computer. If you go into a major that needs heavier processing there will be labs and in a lot of cases ways to log into the schools servers and let them do the heavy lifting. I'd say the extra time spent waiting for something to process down the line will be more than outweighed in the overall better portability of the MBA. When you are toting around 10-15LBS worth of textbooks you are going to want to lighted every pound you can.
  14. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm a sophomore in college, my current 17" is definitely too large to carry around to classes but I had a 15" during my freshman that was okay, just a little heavy. This new rMBP should be light enough for me and I'm 5'3". So it's different for everyone.
  15. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Any college freshman would do fine with an MBA. Is there any reason that you think you'd need to have an rMBP?
  16. M5RahuL macrumors 68020


    Aug 1, 2009
    This!!! The 13" MBA is perfect for most students! It's about portability and nothing fits better than the MBA, unless you must have a very powerful processor!

    There's nothing *manly* about lugging around a 15" laptop with books! :rolleyes:
  17. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I have once been a college freshman, and I currently own both a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air so I think my opinion on this is somewhat relevant :p.

    Here's what I would do. Instead of getting a MacBook Pro, get a maxed out 11" MacBook Pro. Sitting in college lecture halls with a big computer is annoying. With the leftover money that you have from not getting a Pro, buy a Cinema Display and some nice speakers. That way when you're in the library or in class, your laptop isn't a big deal. And when you're back in your dorm room, you've got a nice huge monitor to work on and some good speakers.

    The only thing that would have me recommend something else is if you said you were a PC gamer. In that case, I'd get the pro. But my freshman year, I had a TV and a brand spanking new Gamecube in my dorm room... way more social to have a console system + TV than just be a PC gamer.... I mean c'mon... it's your freshman year - gotta have fun! But that's a separate topic...
  18. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    You want the rMBP because it is the new toy. In four years you will be glad you chose the MBA. I would be looking at an 11" with a TBD.
  19. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

    Jun 16, 2009
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois

    As a 67 year old, I resent your implications in your post (#9 of this thread) that, "Seriously, 4.5 pounds is not heavy unless you are a shriveled up old man!"

    I happen to own an rMBP and even today carried it all day in a messenger bag WITH my iPad AND all accessories with no problems what so ever.

    Any reasonably healthy college student should be able to do the same, but most college professors that I see around town, (I live in a university town) most likely could not do it.

    I write totally tongue-firmly-in-cheek.

    Seriously anyone who is worried about carrying around a 4.6 LB weight all day needs some serious physical training.

    Think about what the average soldier carries around all day, every day, and then engages in combat. He'd gladly swap backpacks.

    Amen to them all.
  20. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    If all you need the computer for is notes and papers, I'd second the 11 or 13 with an external display. Good idea! Same price too and you get to use a 27" 2560x1440 display when you are in your room.
  21. tomtom2234 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2010
    New Orleans
    Just a reminder, the MBA does not have a dedicated GPU so if that is important to you (gaming/etc) you should probably go for the RMBP. Otherwise the MBA would do fine. I will also be starting my freshmen year and decided to go with the RMBP because I need the gpu.
  22. mat25 macrumors regular


    Aug 13, 2008
    What computer would guys reccomend for first year engineering; Retina MBP or MBA?
  23. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Probably depends a bit on your specific curriculum. Most people I know who did engineering never had to run the more advanced CAD etc. apps on their own computers, they always had lab computers and time available for that.

    If that's the case you could easily get by with a Macbook Air.
  24. cmdrmac macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2012
    IA, USA
    As a former engineering student, I will tell you that there may be a chance you'll need to run windows-only apps on your mac. You may not need Windows, but there are several applications that your college may provide that are Windows only or are Windows versions which are made available. In other words, Mac versions may exist, but your college may not make them available to you at little to no cost.

    I think you should go with a rMBP if you are comfortable with not taking notes or using your computer during lectures. Nevertheless, if you are looking for portability so that you can take notes, an MBA would be an excellent choice. Just remember that the rMBP has more power under the hood than the MBA. Again, my biased vote is for the rMBP as it will offer power and some portability for the next few years as you progress through your college career.
  25. rocanlover163 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2012
    The desks in my college are pretty small too, but to me honest I've never had an issue with my 15" I currently use. Especially if your class isn't full and you can take up two desks! the weight of the rMBP shouldn't be much of an issue I don't think, compared to all the heavy books most college students need to lug around.

    Are you saying he won't be able to take notes or be on his computer during lectures? Sorry I'm not sure if I misunderstood this..

Share This Page