Is the MacBook Pro what I should buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by EatsRainbows, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. EatsRainbows macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2011
    Melbourne. VIC.
    I'm a student and i am contemplating a MacBook Pro for my first Mac.
    Im thinking of purchasing 13", 2.7Ghz, 8Gb RAM, with a 500 or 750Gb HD. or a maxed out MBA.

    My activities on my current PC include: downloading and watching movies, listening to music, researching and writing essays, and surfing the web, nothing to processor intensive.

    any opinions?
  2. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Skip both.

    Get the base 13" and add your own ssd.. cheaper than the maxxed 13" and way faster in day to day for 'student' activities.

    Macbook air, who knows.. we have no idea how it will perform.. but while the weight is nice, a lb isn't likely to make or break your back.

    If you're like every student I've known.. well.. you will need the power to last, so why get a machine that isn't as fast as it could be when you have to hang onto it for a while? (air)
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    An iPad has enough processing power for you.

    I'd personally go with baseline macbook pro, you don't need 8GB of ram, nor do you need the 2.7ghz processor(the difference in speed would be completely unnoticable for your use). If you insist on having more hard drive, buy a bigger one and install it yourself, keep the stock apple drive in an enclosure for backups.
  4. ahdickter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    An MBA would also suit you extremely well. The new ULV Sandy Bridge MBA's should set you up for several years to come.
  5. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    I think the 2.3 -> 2.7 is one of the worst upgrades you can buy. You're looking at a 10% benchmark performance increase, which translates to less than 5% real world performance increase, and it comes with more heat, less battery life, and a loss of $300.

    Following that, RAM upgrade is also useless. 4 GB will be enough for all but the most extreme users, for years to come. If you're ever having to NEED more than 4GB RAM, then you probably shouldn't have purchased a 13 inch MBP.
  6. intwo macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2011
    If you enjoy watching movies, I recommend getting the 15" MacBook Pro. To somewhat balance it out, you won't need 8GB of RAM so you can downgrade to 4GB.
  7. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    You're only going to want 8GB RAM if you're using virtualisation software like Parallels or Fusion. Even then it's not necessary. If you think you can survive using ~100GB of internal storage, go for an SSD. If not, it might be cost prohibitive. The 2.7 GHz upgrade is rather pointless, and you would be far better upgrading to a 15" MBP instead if you want the extra speed.

    You don't want an MBA. That is unless you're an arts student, or a girl. :D Or both :p

    You can remember this by reciting the simple statement: MacBook Pro goes in Back Pack. MacBook Air goes in Hand Bag.
  8. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    i bought a 13" mbp / 8 gb ram. i use it to create pdfs, optimize pdfs, search files (thousands of pdf books, articles, and other scanned materials), write essays, surf the web, take notes, watch movies, etc. it is perfect for my needs. i think the high end 13 is not a good value.

    i recommend managing your files well using an external drive rather than upgrading to 500 gb, depending on what you do.

    you could pay 50 percent + more for the 15, but if you don't need that power, it orobably isn't worth it. get an external monitor if you want a bigger screen.

    mba is old. new mba is unknown. mb is old.
  9. EatsRainbows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2011
    Melbourne. VIC.
    Thank you for all the replies!

    I am actually an arts/psychology student who has picked up a few history and globalisation electives. In other words a buttload of writing.

    the only reason I was going for the up-specced 13" was that Im trying to 'future-proof' my purchase I guess.
  10. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    I think a MBA or iPad with keyboard should be good for you. Just my 2 cents. Also, a more appropriate place to post this thread would be under the buying advice and tips sub-forum.
  11. palpatine, Jun 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

    palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    an ipad and keyboard is insufficient. editing without a mouse is a pain, footnotes are no easy task, you won't be able to use bibliographic software, you'll have a toughtime printing, inserting media into documents will be a pain, and worst of all you cannot have two things open at once--forget about reading and taking notes at the same time. i love my ipad, but for university it is not a replacement for a notebook.

    the mba is outdated and due for an update. i think a purchase today would be a huge mistake. a new one will be out any day now (acc. to rumors) and then it might be viable.
  12. EatsRainbows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2011
    Melbourne. VIC.
    There is no way I am going to buy untill the update comes out, then I will weigh up my decisions from there.
  13. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Your ram comment is a gross generalization. While I agree, 4 gb is fine for day to day for many people..a ton of people make family movies, dabble in photography, etc...furthermore, for years to come? I disagree, 4 is the minimum at this point..and ram is cheap...just don't pay apple for it.
  14. tombubi macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2011
    Another vote for MBA. Slim , light and ultra portable
  15. eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    If you move around a lot with the laptop, then definitely a 13" MBA.

    1. Lightweight
    2. Boots up fast
    3. Superior battery life

    Wait for the update, then max the ram for that, as most likely it won't be user upgradable like the current model.
  16. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    the mbp can get heavy if you plan on caring around school ect...

    if you can wait a month or so (new sandy with lion osx) mba should be coming out...and it will more then take care of your needs...and your back will thank you!
  17. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The 13" MacBook Pro is a fine choice; unless you have money to burn, you will be pressed for storage space when you buy the MacBook Air; if you download a lot of media (especially with fast school Internet access), you'll want space on your computer. Folks might recommend an external, but you don't want to carry one of those around all the time (not to mention it would defeat the purpose of buying a lightweight computer if you have a carry external drives that weigh as much as your computer). Obviously at this point (any impending updates aside), the MacBook Pro is a much faster computer; if your needs expand and you need an SSD or you need more RAM, it's all upgradeable on the MacBook Pro; that can't really be said for the MacBook Air; RAM is soldered and as far as I know, the only company that sells an upgrade SSD for the MacBook Air is OWC.

    And don't even consider using the iPad as your main "computer" (if I can even call it that); it's grossy limited in capability; sure you can take notes on it, video chat, etc., but the reality of the matter is it's still really only an accessory to a "real" computer. You can't really download anything, you can't use peripherals, and you can't install otherwise many very good free applications available to suit your needs.

    Anyways, good luck with your choice and endeavors.
  18. ormie macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2009
    If your not playing games or anything processor intensive, and have the means to buy one, then I'd go for the Air. Lighter, slimmer and just as capable as a MacBook for what you want to do. Just get the larges size drive you can afford.

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