Looking to purchase my first macbook, thoughts?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by George20, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. George20 macrumors newbie

    George20

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2017
    #1
    Hello everyone I am new to the forums, but I would like some input on purchasing a macbook. I was wondering what the best option is for someone on a budget. The new macbook air is around 900 dollars give or take, but I have noticed tons of macbook pros on ebay refurbished for a deal. I have never owned one so i would like your input please. I am a college student, and I have noticed tons of 13 inch laptops never running out of battery in class, and it intrigued me.

    Thanks,
    George
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    To be able to be of optimal assistance, I'll need to know more about what you would be using the computer for - what kind of programs you would run and that sort of thing. I can however say that pretty much no matter what, I cannot recommend the MacBook Air. They were brillant computers once, but they're no longer up to snuff and haven't been updated on key areas like the screen.
     
  3. George20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    George20

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2017
    #3
    I take notes, read college books, do college course work...learnsmart,vhl central, microsoft office) listen to itunes music subscription, browse the web, youtube, play some games once in a while(more of a console gamer nowadays, wouldn't mind a pc that would play h1z1 but it's not a deal breaker)
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #4
    So I had to look up what this H1Z1 thing was, but for that you'll need to go up to a 15" MacBook Pro and a copy of Windows (you can run macOS and Windows as a dual boot system). The game doesn't appear to be available for Mac at least on Steam. But yeah, still possible with dual boot.

    Since the price jump to a 15" MacBook Pro is so massive however, and your needs aside from that one game aren't that big, I'd advice you that you get either a MacBook or a 13" MacBook Pro. The MacBook is lighter, the battery will most likely last longer under most circumstances, and it's what I'd sort of call the proper refresh of the MacBook Air. The 13" Pro is obviously a fair bit more powerful than the MacBook, and only slightly thicker and heavier. Both will easily last a day in terms of battery life.
    If it were me, the determining factor between the two would be the keyboard. I recommend you go to a store and try typing on both of them. Some people complain that the Pro's keyboard is too loud, but I personally don't think so. I do however think that the MacBook's keyboard is a pain to type on. Hope this helped
     
  5. George20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    George20

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    Feb 6, 2017
  6. jimbo1mcm macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    #6
    I would go for a refurbished Macbook M5. The retina screen is so much better than the screen on the MacBook Air. You can get around $300 off retail price with a refurb. Mine came with 5 cycles on the battery. Most of the refurbs are just returns. Good luck.
     
  7. George20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    George20

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2017
    #7

    Is something like this a good buy, or too old? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-MacBook-Pro-Core-i5-2-5GHz-4GB-500GB-13-3-MD101LL-A-/131324038642


    This is the specs of the laptop I currently have....only thing is the battery life really.
    • Windows 10 operating system
    • 2.2GHz AMD A8-7410 quad-core processor with 2MB cache, up to 2.5GHz
    • 17.3" diagonal TrueLife LED-backlit HD+ display with 1600x900 resolution
    • 12GB DDR3L 1600MHz RAM
    • 2TB 5400 RPM SATA hard drive
    • DVD+/-RW drive
    • 802.11ac dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi
    • Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
    • Radeon R5 graphics
    • Stereo speakers with Waves MaxxAudio
    • 720p HD webcam with microphone
    • Backlit keyboard
    • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card reader
    • USB 3.0 port
    • Two USB 2.0 ports
    • HDMI 1.4a port
    • Kensington lock slot
    • Measures approximately 16-1/2"W x 11-1/4"D x 1-1/4"H; weighs 7.46 lbs

    Would a tablet be more sufficient for note taking?
     
  8. bytecurious macrumors member

    bytecurious

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    Jan 25, 2017
  9. George20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    George20

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2017
    #9
    Would a Ipad Air 2 be a solid device? or is it too old now days? I was looking at an asus zenpad, but they were saying if it don't have nougat i can't multi-task. I guess android tablets are terrible about updates or something.
     
  10. bytecurious macrumors member

    bytecurious

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    #10
    iPad Air 2 is a great device, but it's for extremely passive users who do nothing but consume. Anything slightly productive, like note taking, will be too much. You don't have a decent way to type with that.
     
  11. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #11
    I'm kind of thinking the 12" iPad Pro would be a better fit for you. You could do your note taking, read textbooks, iTunes, Office is on it...that or possibly a Surface Pro 4.
     
  12. maerz001 macrumors 6502a

    maerz001

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #12
    George please focus. Maybe best is to go in an Apple Store and try things out first.

    Do u know that iPads run iOS and MacBooks OS X?
    So that's a very big difference on how things and what applications work on these devices.

    U can find tons of infos about that via google. And when u know if u need a consumption device or a productivity device feel free to ask ;) and give us ur price limit
     
  13. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #13
    Any retina MacBook Pro will do you great, and I recommend making sure you get enough RAM. I cannot recommend an iPad or a tablet in general (and yes, Android devices are terrible with updates). I have used my iPad for school once, and after a week of "This is horrible", I finally just brought my MacBook Pro to school. What a bloody relief that was.
    If you want to save some money, you can go a few generations back, as long as it's still a retina model. They're all brillant. You can also get the retina MacBook as someone else suggested - a refurb will also work just fine there.
    And as I recommended earlier, try a few devices in an Apple Store and see how you like typing on them and whatnot. For heavy note taking, the typing experience will be pretty crucial. If you absolutely want to go the tablet route, you'll need to go with an iPad Pro, as the SmartConnector for the keyboard is basically a must. You can also get a keyboard with older iPads, but the Pros offer the most elegant solution. As I said, I don't recommend it though. I love my iPad, but it's for YouTube, Netflix, podcasts, hell, even GarageBand and reading books - so yeah, you can be productive with it if you want to read some textbooks, but that's for when you're just sitting at home. When you're trying to follow a lecture or keep up in any other circumstance, you need to be able to do quick context switching and for that, nothing gets around the Mac. The iPad Pro can somewhat competently handle two apps side by side, so you can have your notes and your book at the same time, but more than two things is a no-no. now if you then have to Google or whatever too, you have to close out of that, open Safari, do the Googling, and then return to the two other apps once more, spending time setting up things to continue taking notes - it's not efficient. When I use my Mac at school, I regularly switch between 6-7 apps, and they're all just a swipe away from each other, with no waiting for one to close and the other to open or whatnot. And I have a keyboard to type on at all times, and all the potential for shortcuts that brings. I can't recommend a full on Mac enough.
     

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