Laptop advice for MBA Course

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nickb1984, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. nickb1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    #1
    I have enrolled on a distance learning MBA and need to sort an appropriate laptop. I use a Dell Windows machine for work and, as well as wanting to keep work and study ‘separate’, I am also keen to explore an Apple laptop (rMBP 13” or 13” MBA?).


    In addition to studies, the machine will be used during leisure time – such as using it as a Hub for media (music, pictures nothing heavy) and watching football /rugby on Sky GO when the Mrs (and Miss) have commandeered the TV!


    I have a budget of c £1,000 but can stretch if needs be.


    Now I know I will still need the Apple machine to handle word documents (assignments) and minor excel – so any advice on this is also welcome. I have searched but still can’t get my head around Bootcamp et al. I am thinking Office for Mac would do the trick?


    I have looked across rMBP models and MBA and know refreshes may be due so perhaps I should hold off?


    That said, the course starts in a week!


    All and any views very much appreciated.


    Cheers

    Nick
     
  2. keltor macrumors newbie

    keltor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    #2
    Office for Mac works great, but probably you should look at Office 365 Student assuming you qualify.

    For your needs any Mac will work fine even the Macbook. Personally I think the Macbook Air 13 is pretty perfect for anyone, though for £1000, you could easily get almost any reasonable Mac. Also read this article for "college students" - http://thesweethome.com/reviews/college-school-supplies/

    Boot camp basically is a "driver pack" for Apple laptops. It also makes the actual install part slightly easier. That's all it is.
     
  3. nickb1984 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    #3
    Thanks for this - I've read the article which is a big help.

    Seems a shootout between Air, rMBP and Dell XPS.

    Leaning toward the rMBP 13 but remain confused!
     
  4. anotherscotsman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Unless you are into video editing in a big way, IMHO the only real advantage of the rMBP over the Air for your expected needs is the better quality screen. I use an Air (2014 8Gb/i7) for a wide range of uses and it does the job extremely well. I don't use Bootcamp but instead have two separate virtual machines running two varieties of Windows under VirtualBox (free) for when I need to use Windows-specific software. As Keltor says, Office for Mac works a treat and you may also qualify for student pricing for that if the 365-route is not to your liking. I'm on my second Air and am extremely happy with the balance of power, portability and battery life - the screen isn't actually bad; just not as good as that in the rMBP. I don't think you would be disappointed with either of the Apple options.
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    Go for the Pro the difference in price once you have the same SSD size and RAM amount is so small as to make the air a poor buy. I would also say get the student office 365 package you will get the latest version on your mac and your PC as and when needed for 4 years at a very reasonable price.
     
  6. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #6
    Between the 13" Air and the 13" Pro, I'd probably go for the Pro since the size and weight are rather similar. I would also look at the 12" MacBook, however.
     
  7. nickb1984 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    #7
    That's all very helpful indeed, thank you!

    What's the fundamental difference(s) between office for Mac and 365?

    Cheers
    Nick
     
  8. brookter1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    #8
    Office 365 effectively rents you the latest Office suite (either Mac or Windows or both) in exchange for a monthly or annual fee.

    In the version I've got, I can have the software on 5 separate computers, which can be a mix of Macs and Windows. I have an iMac and a retina Macbook, both boot camped with Windows 10 and and all 4 have Office 365 on them.

    When new versions of office are released, you are entitled to update to them free of additional charge. You also get 1 Tb of space on OneDrive.
     
  9. nickb1984 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 10, 2013
    #9
    Getting close to pushing the button on a Dell XPS...

    Confusion, confusion!
     
  10. triple-tap macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    #10
    you will regret it... :)

    FWIW, I just went from a 2013 MBA 13" to a 2015 rMBP 13", and the extra $$$ was WELLLLLLLL worth it. The screen is amazing. The battery life is still incredible (MBA lasted me 2-3 days at work; rMBP needs charged at the beginning of day 3). And the additional ports, especially TB2, are very convenient.

    I wanted to like the macbook, but the whole USB C thing won't work for me. I use a Thunderbolt SSD most of the day to access files.
     
  11. Mal67 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    West Oz
    #11
    Get the MBPr or the XPS. I would imagine that the MBP will have better resell value a year or two down the track if thats what you wanted to do. Don't worry about the Macbook.
     
  12. pjfan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #12
    Any machine will do, but since you're use to windows laptop, is lean towards choosing rMBP. More power than you need, but it will feel light compared to your normal laptops and the screen is terrific.

    With that said, if I were in a similar situation, I would go with MacBook as your requirements are extremely low. My 2010 MBA 13" is delivering the goods on those apps today just fine.
     
  13. nickb1984 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 10, 2013
    #13
    Wouldn't the Macbook potentially be a bit of a pinch for assignment writing. Writing papers and assignments. Also potentially drag processor wise with windows?
     
  14. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #14
    A pinch how? You have to try the keyboard and try it yourself if that is what you mean. Many of us love it. The processor isn't going to be a limiting factor in anything you are doing, which is why people are suggesting it to you. You might as well take portability if you don't need the power of the bigger machines.
     
  15. barbu macrumors 6502

    barbu

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    wpg.mb.ca
    #15
    +1 for Retina MBP. The Macbook Air is great (i have an older 11" model) but for getting all your work done, the extra power and screen real estate is going to really help. And since you are doing *distance* education, you don't need to worry about the weight vs power tradeoff.
     
  16. Mal67, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015

    Mal67 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    West Oz
    #16
    +1 ^ again for Rmbp or if you must then the Dell. Don't worry about the mb. If the Air had a better screen though and came with 8 gig memory I would recommend that and then you could have a MBA to do your MBA :)
     
  17. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a

    TheGenerous

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    Nov 14, 2010
    Location:
    I'm an Austronaut
    #17
    For an MBA I doubt you need technology at all
     
  18. nickb1984 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 10, 2013
    #18
    You've lost me there..?
     
  19. nickb1984 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    #19
    rMBP 13" 256bg - Ordered and will be with me tomorrow!

    Cheers
    Nick
     
  20. pjfan macrumors regular

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    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus OH
  21. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #21
    Include Ulysses and OmniOutliner in your purchase in addition to Office. I use them a lot and really helpful.
     

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