I want a MBA.. But is it a good idea?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SodiumBenzoate, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. SodiumBenzoate macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2008
    The MBA has more than enough power for my needs - I'm mainly going to use it to take notes in lectures, etc. I'm taking my desktop to college, so any "heavy" stuff can be done with that.

    Obviously the MBA gets points for looking awesome. However, it's also not upgradeable at all (aside from the HDD/SSD, but it's a somewhat involved procedure from what I've read).. Is this a concern for what I'll be doing? I really need it to last for at least two years. I'm not the kind of person that needs to always have the latest stuff, but I would like to have the option of upgrading to new office programs and versions of OS X (and have everything still run smoothly).

    Basically, does it make more sense for me to get a MB instead, or should the MBA work fine?

    edit: Forgot to mention this.. Any speculation on MBA upgrades? Obviously it's a very new product, but there's some conference or trade show or something in June I keep hearing about.. Should I wait until after that to purchase, or is the MBA unlikely to be refreshed then?
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    It makes more sense to get a MB. Sure the MBA has the coolness factor, but it costs almost twice as much. Be smart with your money.
  3. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Seriously. As a high school student, take it from college students: money is scarce when living on your own. Try not to spend more than you have to on non-essentials.
  4. Spritey macrumors regular


    Sep 22, 2006
    Take a look at your current computer:
    How much hard drive space do you use, and how much of it would you like to always carry with you?

    What and how do you currently use your computer? Do you just surf the web, write papers and chat? And when you do all these things, do you have about 10 different windows open, perhaps even watch streaming TV episodes in one window? (I generally have 2x10 tabs open in my browser, 3-4 word documents with research notes and one-two chat windows running constantly. Sometimes I'll watch a movie in a minimized screen mode while working on papers (not exactly efficient...). As a result of this, I know the MBA will feel rather slow compared to the MBP I'm used to. Plus there's the screen space issue).

    Furthermore, do you plan on running any kind of games on it?

    However, if you're like my friend who has the MBA and isn't as large of a multitasker as I am (and not a gamer), stores all her music on her iPod, and has a TV with a dvd player in her apt, you'll probably enjoy the portability of the MBA. It's very easy for her to just put her MBA in her purse (and not backpack). [Edit: missed the 'I'll bring a desktop' thing at first]

    If you were just going to have your computer for two years, I can almost guarantee you that Windows nor Apple will come out with a new OS as they both relatively recently came out with Vista & Leopard. Furthermore, the same is true for Office (for Mac and Windows) and iWork for Mac, both productivity suites that were recently updated and probably won't be updated for 2+ years. (At least not significantly).

    But definitely weigh the pro/cons of forking out the extra cash for the sake of portability/lightness. Perhaps you might even want to look into the cheapest Macbook Pro if you're willing to go that high in price, and leave your desktop at home. That even gets you a 256mb graphics card. A MBP is guaranteed to have a much longer life before technology catches up to it. But as someone before me mentioned, a Macbook could suit your needs better, and it's cheaper.
  5. Mo Tiggas macrumors member

    May 5, 2005
    Oregon, USA
  6. macDonalds macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2007
    Another vote NOT to get the MBA.

    Pretty much been said but as a college student, there's no need to make any lavish purchases. Especially one that's aesthetics only. You're better off sticking to just the desktop or the lower-end Macbook model.
  7. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    MacBook now, MBA when you graduate from college.
  8. jonswan macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    MB: yes. MBA: nope

    I don't see THAT much point to the MBA either, and if you're at college then the extra $$ will help. The MBA's also a rev A machine and will have its problems for a while to come whereas the MB, apart from the stupid sharp edges, is a fine machine and is now rock solid. But, if you're desperate to be cool, and you have more money than sense, then obviously the MBA is for you.
  9. Mo Tiggas macrumors member

    May 5, 2005
    Oregon, USA
    I'm changing my vote. Get the MBA now. It'll be perfect for what you're using it for and although it is an expensive machine - it's a good looking expensive machine that will treat you well. This is a side note, but I think that it may get you laid. Girls like cute stuff and that's a cute computer and what better bonus could there be?!?
  10. spacecadet610 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2006
    the MBA, in my opinion, is great if you can afford it and if you use it as a secondary computer (due to its limitations).

    As a primary computer, i'd recommend a macbook..
  11. cloudnine macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    You have to respect peoples' advice to watch the budget...

    But... if money's not a concern, keep in mind that the MBA is going to be the most "comfortable" laptop of choice if you're carrying it around from class to class... that combined with the fact that if you're just going to be surfing the web, typing up reports, taking notes, chatting, maybe doing iWork stuff, MS Office '08 (2004 runs sluggish on Intel machines... someone correct me if I'm wrong, please), and iLife, then you should be fine.

    The instant you start doing stuff that depends on the GPU, you're screwed... keep that in mind :)
  12. gothamm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007
    i know its been said by several posters, but I am going to repeat it so it sinks in:

    Buy a Macbook. Much much better value.
  13. soccersquirt82 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2008
    Also, no disc drive on a MBA??? And $700 more???
  14. SodiumBenzoate thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2008
    Thanks for the advice.

    I think I always knew that a MB makes more sense, but damn the MBA is pretty. :eek:

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