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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 31, 2008
4
0
Hey All,

After reading through the Walmart post, and seeing the recommendation elsewhere on the web, I sprang for the M1 as a graduation/birthday gift for my son beginning classes in the fall. He's used to Windows from his high school Chromebook and from building/playing on his gaming rig, but I felt like Mac OS would be the better choice for a number of reasons moving forward-Chiefly, the cleaner interface and more intuitive design (he has some executive functioning challenges.) For now he's pursuing a degree in fire science so I don't think anything beyond the base model is called for, but am I making a mistake in not future-proofing him with the M2 from the Apple Store? They are running the summer sale so we'd get the $150 GC, but the M2 is $899 vs $699. I can buy tax free in the neighboring state so that's a plus. Appreciate any advice because I'm still unconvinced even after all the reading-Haha. Will the M1 be fine? I'm a teacher and my employer provides me with one, so I know it's great, but will it be good for the kid?
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,144
9,193
USA
am I making a mistake in not future-proofing him with the M2 from the Apple Store?
No no and no. I’m sure a lot of people here will disagree with me.

First, you’re taking a chance that he’s even going to like a Mac so it might just go in the dresser and never seen again.

Secondly this whole future proofing while it does have some merit, most of it causes people to buy way more than they need. M2 isn’t any more proof than M1. M4 is out now and while it’s not yet in the Mac that I’m aware of, it will be soon. This base model M1 is perfect for him to try out a Mac and see what it’s all about. If he really loves it in the future, he can future proof himself and upgrade. If you buy him the M2 now and M4 comes out this fall you just wasted money.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2016
5,442
5,300
The people delivering the course must surely have minimal hardware and software specs documented. Surely.

I’d start there, but from what you’ve described I’m sure the M1 would be fine.
 
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JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,893
24,428
Get the M2 of course. M1 is from 2020 and Apple products lose OS support based on when the product was launched. For Mac, the average length of support is 6-7 years. This means M1 support is expected to end in 2-3 years. In addition to performance, there are a number of functional improvements to the M2 model.
 
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cardfan

macrumors 601
Mar 23, 2012
4,400
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Sounds like the m2 is only 50 more after the gift card is factored in. Cheaper AppleCare too.

If something better comes out it’s simple to trade in or sell.

My daughter has a M1 Pro 14 and will attend college in fall taking that she’s owned since it came out. Her two favorite games can run on it wow and bg3. I’m thinking she’ll be fine with it throughout college (had 60 hours already). But would consider m4 when they come out to upgrade.

Surface pro is worth considering. But I’d still be somewhat worried about compatibility. Wanting to wait on that and see where it goes still.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 603
Aug 14, 2009
5,585
4,440
The M1 will be fine. It's a great machine at a great price point. That said, I'd strongly recommend AppleCare for a college student; so that if something does happen the repair is cheap or it's still covered. With the ability to extend it past 1 year you can cover 4 years of school (or 5 or 6...).

The M1 MAC with AppleCare is $858($699 plus $159). The M2 is $889 net ($899 initial cost plus AC 1t $139 - $150 GC used to to buy AppleCare). The actual out of pocket is $899 plus $11 still on GC. So for not much more you get a newer machine, if you want AC. No AC? Stick with the M1.

I am not a big fan of extended warranties, but for my Mac I get one because the costs of repairs from damage or OOW claims is significant vs the cost of AC, and thus worth it, IMHO. YMMV

edit: typo
 
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Saturn007

macrumors 68000
Jul 18, 2010
1,526
1,414
Given he's used to Windows and has a gaming rig, this surprise graduation-birthday gift of a Mac could well backfire! He could end up being disappointed.

I'd urge you to talk over his fall college computing needs WITH HIM! That is, unless he's already expressed a wish that he had a computer similar to you, his dear parent.

In addition, the two of you should definitely find out what type of computer his likely department recommends — but to also check out the expectations for the college in general and other departments he has some interest in. (Plans, future majors, etc. have ways of dramatically changing during the first two years of college.)

You may discover as well that the college bookstore provides deals on computer equipment. If not, definitely buy via the Apple Education Store as you're planning to do!

I'd also separate the graduation and birthday gifts. You should be honoring the two different milestones in two different ways! In fact, given that it's for college, the Mac would seem more appropriate as an academic-graduation gift!

I agree with the others who suggested the M2 is the better way to go. Newer and will have longer support. For another thing, there have been many reports of spontaneous screen cracking on the M1 MBAs.

Check around the net and other threads here, including one or two in which I summarized the findings and provided links to various articles, discussions, and reports. Although the problem may affect only a small, even tiny, percentage of users, it's been serious enough to lead to a class action lawsuit and the reports keep coming in. Plus, Apple's handling of the issue — even under warranty — has been mixed or poor, to say the least.

Many dismiss the issue out of hand, but I wouldn't send my son or daughter off to college with a laptop that *could* end up being a costly disaster — or leave them stranded or scrambling in the middle of a semester or finals week.

Prior MacBook Airs didn't have the problem — and similar reports for the later M2 and M3 models are very rare. They redesigned the M2, losing the wedge-shape, and some of us suspect that the M1 screen cracking was one of the factors in that.
 
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Saturn007

macrumors 68000
Jul 18, 2010
1,526
1,414
Oh, one final thought. $200 may seem like a lot, but it pales against the cost of college!

Plus, the Mac could be a four-year investment — so the M2 is only $50 more a year, under $5 a month, and less than 16 cents a day!
 
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1BadManVan

macrumors 68040
Dec 20, 2009
3,160
3,301
Bc Canada
I would go for m2 for the fairly minimal price difference. Longer OS support, faster, better screen, brighter and more color accurate. Thats my opinion
 

helloapple1

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2020
433
286
Go for the M2. It’s a slightly bigger screen and looks more immersive imo. Also a BIG factor would be the fact that if you put the M2 in Low Power Mode, it extends the battery life tremendously with little noticeable effect on performance depending on use case.(because of the M2 efficiency cores).

1719237666796.jpeg
 
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intro

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 31, 2008
4
0
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Some valid points. Unfortunately, such a variety of opinions doesn't make it any easier. Looking over the web this question of mine seems to be quite the conundrum for many.

Another thought that crossed my mind: An Ipad with Apple pencil to take notes, but being that a laptop is needed I assume the old-fashioned pencil and paper would be fine. I personally don't take notes typing. I will ask my son what he thinks.

The good news is he did sound pretty happy about getting a mac.
If I go with that I'll probably cancel the Walmart order and go with a M2 16GB 256GB SSD.

I'm a creative type and use Apple products for that reason. There's always a chance my son might want to try exploring art, music, video apps-Even if it's just to dabble, I want him to have the capability to do so without being hindered by RAM. College should be a time of trying new things out.

I don't typically buy insurance, but I take care of everything. Maybe AppleCare would be a good idea for a student on the go.

Thanks again folks!
 

richmlow

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
382
278
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Some valid points. Unfortunately, such a variety of opinions doesn't make it any easier. Looking over the web this question of mine seems to be quite the conundrum for many.

Another thought that crossed my mind: An Ipad with Apple pencil to take notes, but being that a laptop is needed I assume the old-fashioned pencil and paper would be fine. I personally don't take notes typing. I will ask my son what he thinks.

The good news is he did sound pretty happy about getting a mac.
If I go with that I'll probably cancel the Walmart order and go with a M2 16GB 256GB SSD.

I'm a creative type and use Apple products for that reason. There's always a chance my son might want to try exploring art, music, video apps-Even if it's just to dabble, I want him to have the capability to do so without being hindered by RAM. College should be a time of trying new things out.

I don't typically buy insurance, but I take care of everything. Maybe AppleCare would be a good idea for a student on the go.

Thanks again folks!

For the typical college student, an iPad is NOT a good replacement for a laptop/desktop computer.


richmlow
 
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shakopeemn

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2014
223
144
For the typical college student, an iPad is NOT a good replacement for a laptop/desktop computer.


richmlow
Agreed. But, my daughter found the ipad with pencil helpful with marking up and taking notes on PDFs for class. Everyone's unique on what works best.
 

roadkill401

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2015
488
119
I've got a kid going to university and have gone up to visit several times in the year. when going out to a local coffee shop where they seems to like to work, you see kids with all sorts of computers of all sorts of model ages and they all seems to be coping quite well. I doubt that you can buy a bad Apple laptop and not have it last for an easy 5-6 years.
My kid is using a 2020 intel i5 MacBook Air and it works just fine. Can take all the notes, do all the assignments and not had a single issue with the laptop. Our original plan was to buy a new MacBook for university but the windows laptop that was being used in highschool didn't make it through grade 11 and needed one for the last year of highschool so we bought the i5 Air as M1 was just getting released and we didn't know anything at all about it. Turns out its a great chip and MacBook with millions of people using them and everyone I've talked to say its one of the best laptops they have ever used.

I ended up getting myself a M2 MBA and it's great too. Stop over thinking it and just enjoy it.
 
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