Dilemma: Macbook Air and Commute or Die

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zer0tails, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    I'm interested in what YOU would do if stuck in my situation.

    The dilemma is: an hour's commute (one way) to university/work 4 Days a Week, 10-9. Together with my macbook pro + books its darn tiring.

    1. Solution: is to get a macbook air to ease the burden. Make commuting much more enjoyable plus new toy.

    2. Solution: get a room in the city for weekdays, which will cost about 700 bucks a month. No money left for macbook air.

    cost of macbook air=2 grand after taxes. That's about three months rent.

    I already have a workstation at home so the air will primarily be a travel computer. Whilst i love my mac pro, I miss having a laptop at university since i already sold my MBP.

    comments please :)
  2. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Honestly then get a new MacBook Air because it seems you have already made the decision.
  3. grimreaper1377 macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2007
    MacBook Air. But wait till they release the new ones (duh).
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    It's 2lb difference. If you're finding it "tiring" right now to carry your laptop plus all your stuff then you're probably carrying a bag which weighs a lot more than just the laptop.

    Shaving such a small amount off the laptop's weight isn't really going to make a difference to you - you'll still be carrying all those books plus any accessories for the laptop.

    Keep what you have and look into saving some weight by taking fewer books or lighter ones.
  5. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    wait for the new MacBooks. maybe they are 13inch and 4 pounds and $999.

    or buy a 400 dollar netbook and put OS X on it (eek, that of course would be morally questionable...)

    honestly, i would go for commute and MB. living in two places is complicated and expensive since you compensate the lack of a real home with going out and spending money. in addition to the rent.
  6. Slobs macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2003

    They're fine for light work and the batteries last a fair while, not to mention the size and weight (and money) savings. Use Dropbox or similar to sync the files and you'll always have up-to-date copies of whatever you're working on on each computer.
  7. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You'd be amazed what that 2 pounds can do. Sure, slimming down the rest of the bag is good too, but sometimes there isn't another place you can slim down (books are a necessity, and bags only get so light). It could definitely make the difference.

  8. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Jul 8, 2008
    my house
    i downloaded an ebook for my economics class from zinio.com for about 50% of the price. It's a lighter alternative and gives you an excuse to use your MackBook
  9. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    truth is, whilst $400 is an awesome price, moral questions aside.. I'm too much of a mac fan to buy a netbook.

    I love the way OS X just works, and don't want to compromise with a hacked version of OS X on an eee or msi wind.

    Yes, the difference is only 2 pounds. But trust me, it makes a big difference when the days are long, and as I walk all over the city.

    @Mel: I like your suggestion. that would definitely be something I will look at.
  10. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    Neither of your solutions are solutions.

    You have a workstation at home, so sell the MBP and take an Air, if you have to. Spending $1800 because something is tiring to carry when you don't have any money isn't smart no matter how you cut it.

    $700 a month for a place that's nearer to your classes in addition to your other place? Do I have to say anything else?

    Between the two, the Air is a one time charge of $1800 as opposed to a monthly $700. The Air will be cheaper obviously.

    However if you actually want to save some money, the netbook with hacked OSX is the way to go. It's easy. So easy. Very easy. No "moral conundrum" about it.

    I myself am thinking about picking up a mini note 9 for browsing and papers. No sense in turning on my PC with it's power hungry components, and the G4 isn't exactly a smooth ride anymore for any task.
  11. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    appreciate the advice. I think I should clear up a few things, which I should have made more explicit earlier.

    1. I already sold the MBP to purchase the workstation.

    2. I do not pay rent at my other place as it is a family home.

    Again, apologies for not being clearer: the decision I think i have to make really boils down to whether I should spend the money on rent living in the city.


    spend that money on a macbook air, which hopefully would improve the whole commuting experience.

    thanks again for the honest advice :)
  12. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I would go for the laptop, but only if its a real reason to get one and not just an excuse to spend money for apples newest toy.

    Rent will have nothing to show for it. You will have a macbook air after you buy it, so you can sell it.

    Perhaps you can look into something else. Like renting a locker or something at school or try some e-books. Perhaps a gym near school so you can keep books in the locker and work out as well? Just thinking outside the box.

    I say the air, but make sure its for a real reason, not inventing a reason to get an Air.

  13. Piplodocus macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    It may sound silly, but don't underestimate a good quality comfortable bag, with sensible sections to separate and properly balance the weigh around too. Some bags I could walk up a mountain with my own weigh of IT equipment in, some would ache by the end of my driveway with just a MBA in. :(
  14. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    woah, those are some very good reasons, ways of thinking. I never saw it in that way actually. you're right at the end of my lease, I'll have nothing to show for it.

    No, I'm not inventing reasons just to get an Air. I do need an ultra-portable to carry to university/work. ASAP is best actually as I have tons of presentations coming up in November and will need a notebook in order to run my keynote presentations. So there is definitely a need for it.

    Piplodocus: I have a dedicated computer bag with its own section for the laptop, and papers, books. So it's balanced but maybe the strap could use more padding.

    I know Google is my friend, but from your personal experience, did you have any particular bag in mind?

    cheers everyone.
  15. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Buy a rolling bag to carry your stuff in. Or, buy a second set of books and rent a locker space in the city if you don't want to transport them. Renting a flat in the city would allow you to focus on school. Ask yourself how well you will do at homework during a commute. As for me, I would doubt I'd get much done because I get distracted easily and like to stare out the window.

    It seems you are just trying to find an excuse to buy a new computer.
  16. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Why don't you work out and loose 2 pounds of fat? =p

    Actually a quality bag will probably make a difference.

    Where is the "or Die" option? You might want to elaborate.
  17. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    Get a bike?

    I recently replaced my MBP and Mini with a MBA and MP, and I am getting along fine, but there are times I miss the mobile power. It is great for daily tasks, but data modeling software and music software does not do as much at once.

    Is there a way you can avoid taking your books to school? Do you really need them for classes?
  18. MatLane macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    England, United Kingdom

    Get the Macbook AIR my friend..

    It matches your needs, nice looking thing, suitable for what your doing

    Go for it! x
  19. dubhe macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Norwich, UK
  20. steviem macrumors 68020


    May 26, 2006
    New York, Baby!
  21. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    @ gotzero: That is the exact same setup I'm hoping would fit my current needs. Yes, unfortunately, I do have to bring my books to class.

    Using books as .pdf is an option, if so, i might have to invest in a scanner.

    @Consultant: :p I think if i lose another 2 pounds, i may become underweight. Well, the "or die" option really meant that this is a decision I have to make ASAP, because I need to give an answer to the prospective landlord by noon tomorrow.

    While it may seem like an excuse to buy a new computer, I would not consider the MBA my secondary machine, but rather MP=primary computer at home. MBA=primary computer at university/work.

    I did think of a macbook, it's cheaper for one. But it's still heavy. Superdrive and stuff isn't really an issue because I hardly used the one on my old macbook pro.
  22. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
  23. Wingscofounder macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2005
    Whatever you decide, a rolling bag might be helpful. I have a swissgear one that holds books, my MBP, and additional goodies. Sure, I have to lift it when getting into the subway, but it makes walking long distances in the City a breeze. You could by Macbook for a lot less, a great bag, and then use the additional funds for ???;)

    Good luck!
  24. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    thanks guys. :) Appreciate the opinions.

    Just to clear something up: my motivation in creating this thread wasn't so I could use other's opinions as justification for getting a new computer.

    I'm actually interested to know what others would do in my situation.

    @Wingscofounder: I will look into the rolling bag idea, thanks.

    I'm going to take the rest of the day to think about this, but if I do go with the MBA and commute option, I'm probably gonna go refurb.
  25. duval macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2008
    Recently I faced a kind of similar problem: My Macbook crashed and I had to get a new one, though the University gave me an old fan/G4 for the time in between. However buying a Macbook these days is not that easy as it sounds (October 14...) and I got fed up after last Tuesday, so I bought myself a netbook (Acer Apsire one) for about 300$ (179£).
    I'll soon buy a 2.8 Ghz iMac as the netbook is surprisingly capable. On the move I just use it as a mobile typewriter, but it is fast enough for most things that I would do on the way, compact and quite powerful thanks to the Atom/SSD combination. Your mileage may vary, but what turned out to be a test could well become a stable relationship ;-)
    Which also means that as soon as Apple comes up with something comparable I'll be back on board, but for now I just want a machine that works and therefore I go with the installed Linux version.
    If it helps: It's such a small computer ... that doesn't really count as disloyalty ;)


Share This Page