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nviz22

Cancelled
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
5,277
3,071
Hi. I start law school next month and need a new laptop. I am deciding between the Air 2015 and new MacBook 2015 with the Core M processor. When I customize a 13" MacBook Air, I get it out to about $1239. With the base 2015 MacBook, it comes out to $1250. I love the retina display, but it comes at the cost of battery life. I just need to type notes, memos, and essays. I also want to watch Netflix a ton and be able to get the best laptop to last about 5 years. I want to be future proof for the next 2 years, so I feel 8gb of RAM is a must. Any advice?
 

sekman

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2012
18
1
Based on your stated needs I don't see any reason why the new Macbook won't fit the bill, your not doing anything too crazy intensive. I'm going on year three w/ my 2013 Air now, I see no reason why either machine won't be future proofed for another two years.
 
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SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2012
1,151
2,104
Interstellar
Both machines are fine for your usage, as your tasks aren't that strenuous. It comes down to personal preference.

Have a play with both at the Apple store as the keyboard in the new MacBook may or may not be to your liking. Having read some reviews, some people love typing on it, some hate it.
 

Rusty33

macrumors 6502
Jul 8, 2011
274
53
Australia
Hi. I start law school next month and need a new laptop. I am deciding between the Air 2015 and new MacBook 2015 with the Core M processor. When I customize a 13" MacBook Air, I get it out to about $1239. With the base 2015 MacBook, it comes out to $1250. I love the retina display, but it comes at the cost of battery life. I just need to type notes, memos, and essays. I also want to watch Netflix a ton and be able to get the best laptop to last about 5 years. I want to be future proof for the next 2 years, so I feel 8gb of RAM is a must. Any advice?
Studying law?

You won't have any time for Netflix my friend!
 
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Rusty33

macrumors 6502
Jul 8, 2011
274
53
Australia
It amazes me how after 2012, all these "inferior no-retina" displays kill your eyes. They were fine for a decade.
I wouldn't even know if the display in my office is 'retina' quality or not...

I too remain unconvinced...for me, brightness, colour quality and viewing angles win over pixel density every time...
 

tbirdparis

macrumors 6502
May 30, 2015
292
206
I wouldn't even know if the display in my office is 'retina' quality or not...

I too remain unconvinced...for me, brightness, colour quality and viewing angles win over pixel density every time...

Sure, more pixels ≠ automatically better quality. But the rMB display definitely does deliver the goods in brightness, colour quality and absolutely in viewing angles, especially vs the Air. Also, once you get used to the idea of res independence, it's a nice thing to have lots of scaling options to choose from.
 
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nviz22

Cancelled
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
5,277
3,071
If the rMBP gets 9 hrs at best, does that mean I can expect 6 hrs or so in year 3 of its lifecycle?
 

burgman

macrumors 68030
Sep 24, 2013
2,677
2,262
It amazes me how after 2012, all these "inferior no-retina" displays kill your eyes. They were fine for a decade.
So were a lot of things. Called progress, simple A/B comparison at store will demonstrate the concept. Now if the difference is important to you or not, is another decision. It is to me.
 

burgman

macrumors 68030
Sep 24, 2013
2,677
2,262
If the rMBP gets 9 hrs at best, does that mean I can expect 6 hrs or so in year 3 of its lifecycle?
Impossible to answer, to many variables. A out of warranty battery replacement by Apple is only $200 so to me it's a nonissue.
 
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Ghost31

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2015
3,310
5,083
It amazes me how after 2012, all these "inferior no-retina" displays kill your eyes. They were fine for a decade.

It's not them being all prissy and stuck up or their imagination. Really. I got used to the 2012 retina pro and when back and used my girlfriends MacBook Air and it literally hurt my eyes. No joke. I'm sure science can explain it. Anybody wanna tweet bill nye the science guy?
 

Queen6

macrumors G4
It amazes me how after 2012, all these "inferior no-retina" displays kill your eyes. They were fine for a decade.

IPS HiDPI display`s are simply easier on the eyes, it`s ironic the one aspect of a portable computer that is generally inescapable when one is on the move is the display, yet frequently not considered. It`s not solely about Retina (resolution), IPS display`s offer significantly better viewing angles and colour gamut versus TN technology. Directly compare an Air to another Mac with a Retina display the difference is very obvious, anyone who spends significant time behind the screen would be wise to opt for HiDPI.

Q-6
 
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nviz22

Cancelled
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
5,277
3,071
Truth. Maybe over breaks and during your 3L year.

That said, get the rMB. Your eyes will thank you to get retina anything considering the number of hours per day you'll be looking at the screen.

I understand the work will be a ton, but it's unhealthy to deprive yourself of a break, social life, physical activity, etc. A Netflix break is perfect to keep me sane. Looks lie the rMB is my choice, especially since it's cheapest one w/ my spec line. Just waiting for my state's tax holiday.
 
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KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
17,987
7,775
What's force touch and how is it?

It is haptic feedback for the touchpad. It doesn't actually click, but it feels like it does. You can even click "harder" and pull up more features, but I don't use that very often.

To your original question, both should be fine for your stated usage pattern. Neither processor is a speed demon, and it's hard to say what software will be like in 5 years (but the pace of development has slowed down a bit), but I'd go with the MacBook. I was a long time Air user, and like how the MacBook has the nicer display in a package smaller than the 11.6" MacBook Air.
 
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nviz22

Cancelled
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
5,277
3,071
It is haptic feedback for the touchpad. It doesn't actually click, but it feels like it does. You can even click "harder" and pull up more features, but I don't use that very often.

To your original question, both should be fine for your stated usage pattern. Neither processor is a speed demon, and it's hard to say what software will be like in 5 years (but the pace of development has slowed down a bit), but I'd go with the MacBook. I was a long time Air user, and like how the MacBook has the nicer display in a package smaller than the 11.6" MacBook Air.

My problem is the USB Type C part though. Will that get in the way since it doesn't have much IO ports as the Pro?
 

tillsbury

macrumors 68000
Dec 24, 2007
1,513
454
The question is really how many ports you think you'll use. I can't imagine many, for the uses you've identified. I thought I'd use a whole lot more ports than I have ended up doing. I bought a USB-C to USB-A adaptor, but have only used it once to set up a friend's daughter's ipod. Other than that everything is wireless.

Separately, for long-term use doing a lot of reading and writing (I'd imagine, at Law School), you would certainly benefit from the rMB screen. I'm thinking about things like referring to large PDFs and books with tiny print, in a window while you have an essay you're writing on the other side of the screen.
 
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