College Macbook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rhodest, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. rhodest macrumors regular

    May 12, 2005
    So I'm going to college next year and am thinking about a macbook or a macbook air. I know there have been tons of threads like this, but they all care about the optical drive, storage, usb drive, while I don't really care about any of these things. All I care about is the power and portability. So obviously the MBA wins on portability, but is the slow processor noticeable. I could get the MBA cheaper than a new macbook, but if it is a huge step backwards, I don't know if it is worth it. (Right now I have an unstable macbook 2.0 CD with 1 gb ram) I will only be using iTunes, Word, and Safari really nothing too intensive. Thanks!
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    If you aren't using anything intensive then you won't really notice a difference. The "lack of power" of the MacBook Air is really overblown as the MacBook Air is about as powerful as the original MacBook Pro. I'm currently in college and own both a MacBook Pro (2.4GHz) and a MacBook Air (1.6GHz) and use the MacBook Air a lot more than the MacBook Pro because of the portability. I've even used my MacBook Air for Photoshop and Lightroom and it runs them decently. You really can feel the difference in weight, it is quite noticeable, so I say go for the MacBook Air :)
  3. drichards macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2008
  4. ukmacpro macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2008
    In that case, I honestly think the MacBook Air will be fine. That's mainly what I use mine for, and I have no problems what so ever. I also run photoshop occasionally, which is slower than on my MacBook Pro, but not unusable.

    It definitely wins on portability and the battery life is pretty good. Mine generally lasts 4 to 4.5 hours, if I have the screen a bit dimmer and the keyboard backlight off.
  5. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    When you add textbooks to your bag in addition to your computer, the decision is a no brainer. Get the Macbook Air instead of the MB. Your back and your spine will thank me for it :)
  6. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Some of the best advice I give people going to college is to wait until the summer / fall before to buy. Whichever you buy now, there will be a much better version out before you go back to school. If you need the machine now, that's one thing. Otherwise, wait it out and re-evaluate then.
  7. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Well, I've got the Air and it's been a godsend for all the commuting that I do. At least (2) hours roundtrip and several spots on the train offer free RailWiFi. I'm able to work with Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Pages, and Keynote, with the occasional WiFi Safari search or check my email (I have my iPhone as a backup). My Air easily hooks up to all school projectors, TVs and other computers flawlessly. My Air's connectivity is much better than earlier generations of MBs and anything PC. Seems my school's WiFi is difficult to connect to by PCs, and those that do connect are limited to 1 - 2 bars...:cool:
  8. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    I use my Air when I travel for Firefox, Mail, and the iWork Suite. I have never noticed it being slow for any of those apps.

    I agree with the poster above the iMac as a main computer and the MacBook Air as a secondary computer is a perfect setup. But for light use such as yours the Air could be a main computer.
  9. TheRiseofTheFal macrumors regular


    May 9, 2008
    Well as a current college student I can attest to how nice it is to have the macbook air, I had the original blackbook when I first went away to school and didn't come to realize how much extra weight I was lugging until i got the air. With that being said, I have no problems with speed in any way or any problems that wouldn't allow me to do what i need for school. I often have word, firefox, ichat, itunes, mail and other apps all firing at once and it works without a hitch so I would definitely recommend it, good luck with whatever you choose!
  10. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    You should be fine with the Air. I take my Air to class and it feels nice to such a small but decent screent size, its not 7" like a netbook.
  11. rhodest thread starter macrumors regular

    May 12, 2005
    Is there any reason not to buy a new macbook and go for the black one instead.
  12. coupdetat macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    The old MacBook screens are awful, I wouldn't recommend it. Your eyes will thank you.
  13. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    the base model will be fine it has enough power for notes web and iTunes plus light gaming.
  14. rKunda macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2008
    I bought a Macbook only because I couldn't justify spending the extra $ on my budget. I was and am still fully convinced that I would be completely happy with the air.
  15. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I would buy the Sony P and the iMac. MBA's performance is not too far off from the unibody MacBooks. You shave off only about 0.2 - 0.4GHz of cpu speed, same graphics chip (lower clock speed), same keyboard and multi touch trackpad (not glass though).
  16. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    The Air would likely be fine for the first year or two but then you would start to notice that it is slower than most other computers out there.

    Buy something with more power if you plan on keeping it through 4 years of college.
  17. ventro macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2006
    Not a good idea. Pretty much every textbook comes with a CD of stuff that often you need for assignments and so on. The Air is a good satellite if you already have a desktop, not for your primary computer.
  18. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    external superdrive?
  19. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    external superdrive? you wouldn't want to be carrying that everywhere to class.

    To echo what some others have said above, for a college student, the macbook is really your "do everything" computer. Reasonably priced with plenty of power, durable, and its size in contrast to the MBP makes it a good computer to lug around to class with.

    With the Alu macbooks it just gets better. :)
  20. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    um... keep the superdrive at home. copy the CD/DVD info to your hard drive. you could even make it into a DMG/ ISO and mount as necessary.
  21. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    majority of the education cds that have come with my textbooks do not allow you to do that for obvious reasons. External superdrive would be fine if the op would only be needing it at home.
  22. flipside217 macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2009
    If you already have a primary computer and want to have something light and to perform simple task e.g. web surfing, email, word docs etc. I think the mba would be a good fit. Carrying a 3 pound laptop instead of a 6 pound laptop around campus makes a big difference especially when you have to walk 3/4 of a mile through campus. This is one of the main reason why I choose the mba.
  23. rrpalma macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2008
    I even do *simple* software compilation within a Linux VM inside Fusion, with acceptable performance.
  24. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    The Multi-Touch Glass Trackpad and the much better graphics card.

    In your case, a Macbook Air sounds like it will be fine, but I always tell people that as a Primary computer, the regular Macbook will last you longer. You never know if you will have different interest in a year or two for video or photo work.

    As for weight, it really is not that much heavier, and it has better specs. If you really do not need them, go with the Air.

    An this whole thing about textbook cd's...I didn't know anyone used them...ever...

    A CD drive however can be nice if you are on a campus. If someone wants you to play something, and you don't have the external drive with you, it might be annoying. Not sure if that really ever happens. I've never needed it so far.
  25. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    Whatever you get i wouldn't get the older generation. A BlackBook is a significant downgrade from a new MB Unibody.

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