Macbook Air for college student...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by waloshin, Jul 18, 2011.


Are you a college student with a Macbook Air? / Would i miss my Macbook?

  1. Yes im a college student with a Macbook Air.

    11 vote(s)
  2. No im a college student with a Macbook Air.

    2 vote(s)
  3. Yes you would likely miss your Macbook.

    1 vote(s)
  4. No you would likely not miss your Macbook.

    11 vote(s)
  5. I am or are going to be a college student , who is going to buy the new Macbook Air.

    6 vote(s)
  6. I am or are going to be a college student , who is not going to buy the new Macbook Air.

    8 vote(s)
  1. waloshin, Jul 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011

    waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Couple of questions.

    Who's a college student and has a Macbook Air?

    Do you think I would make a mistake ny selling my 2008 Aluminum Macbook 2.4ghz for the supossed new Mba coming out this week?

    Update: Mba advantages lighter, better screen.

    Can a admin or mod change the poll so it has multiple choice options.
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Multiple questions, without multiple choices. :confused:

  3. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I'm a college student with an air. I haven't had any problems with it as far as school goes and it's convenient to carry around. So if you want to upgrade then go for it, I don't think you'll regret it.
  4. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    I know I wish I could change that.
  5. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    I'm a college student about to get either an Air or a Pro, depending on the prices and configurations available when they get refreshed. I had an 07 MB and loved it, however I wanted something newer (with a warranty) that could play games and give me longer battery life to last throughout the day.

    You might see a performance hit if you do heavy things like rendering, however I rarely, if ever, saw my MB hit over 50 percent for each core (2.2ghz, 4 gigs of RAM). I don't do anything more taxing than HD video so.... you should be find if you stay in that area (I also do a little bit of photo touching in Aperture and the results from that were great).
  6. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Well, it's different for everyone so we really can't answer that for you - but I guess you want some opinions.

    Personally, for me, I would say yes. You get much more expandability with the MacBook. Disregarding the SSD drive, you won't really notice a substantial performance boost (CPU intensive tasks). That being said, you could always just install an SSD drive yourself and boost the performance of the MacBook. I'm not saying that the MBA is inferior to the aluminum MB/MBP, but I don't really think it's worth selling your machine for $600 ish, buying a new one, and getting similar performance (excluding the SSD). I would just upgrade the SSD if you really need the speed of one.

    Just my opinion though, which I assume you were looking for.
  7. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I am afraid your question is too vague. Some students could get along just fine with a first generation imac from their parents' basement, and others will not be able to make it without a mac pro.

    i assume you are going into the humanities, in which your most intensive application will be Microsoft Word. In that case, anything will do :)

    Personally, as a grad student, I have an mbp 13 and an ipad. I leave the mbp at home most of the time and just take my ipad to campus, because I don't do a whole lot of content creation on campus. The computer is just a distraction.

    Here is what I do.

    1. take notes with paper and pen in class
    2. read on the ipad between classes (i digitized everything)
    3. scan notes at home and upload to evernote

    anyhow, the mba will surely be a fabulous computer and a lot of fun. if you have the funds, why not? if you don't there are lots of other strategies for learning, and you probably won't need a computer much at all.
  8. jetblk328i macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
    I'm a college student and I won't be buying the new Macbook air...the reason? I'm plenty satisfied with my 2011 13" MBP with SSD. Looking to add 8gb of ram soon.

    I don't see many reasons, besides added portability and a better screen , to upgrade.
  9. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Do you know how incorrect you are?

    1) Lack in speed/power: They are the "fastest" when doing "most" applications due to the ssd. Go on youtube and watch videos of them opening and using applications in comparison to any other Mac. If the other mac has a hard drive, it loses. Of course, that depends on exactly what you're doing; with the OP's uses, the MBA would be faster.

    2) Power: With the SNB processors, it's better than "all" (might be one or two MBP outliers) of the C2D Mac laptops that have been out. Go look at the benchmarks.

    3: Build quality: Aside from having a SSD, it's flimsier and less durable than the MBP.

    4: Battery life: The 11 inch has ~5 hours and the 13 has "the same" as the MBP.

    Now of course, you could have said that you're comparing to other Windows laptops, but in this case there are the Asus UX21 and various higher end (and cheaper as well) Thinkpads from IBM that trump the air in ALL aforementioned categories.

    Just saying.
  10. RolandNights macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    What do you mean by digitize everything? Notes, textbooks, etc.? Just curious. I'm also a grad student, and with long school days, I try to keep my backpack packed lightly (and possbly find a reason to get an iPad 2).
  11. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    My science textbooks all come with CDs that have the book on them; you could simply save the PDF pages from that and put that on your iPad.

    Also taking handwritten notes and scanning them to put on the iPad/laptop helps as well. If done right you can take one iPad and scrap paper to class and be done with it. Maybe a calculator or whatever extras you might need; but if you have your textbook and writing materials, what else is stopping you?

    It takes a little bit of time to get used to doing it but once you get a system down that you're comfortable with, you'll love it.
  12. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    The Air has a better CPU and GPU than your MacBook, also better battery life. The Air's displays are sharper than your current MacBook, though apparently the colour reproduction isn't quite as good. Port-wise you're only missing ethernet, though there's USB to ethernet adaptors available.

    I can't really see what there is to miss.
  13. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I agree there isn't much to miss.

    I own a 2008 Penryn Macbook that geekbenches in the 3200 range. I used it for the most recent college class I took Fall semester 2010/2011. I had an ebook textbook which I exported to pdf and put on my iPad. In the past month I have upgraded to 4 GB RAM and have a 500 GB/4GB hybrid SSD drive. I looked at an MBA in the Apple store some time ago and it geekbenched at a rather lukewarm 2700. I heard arguments then that they were still better because of the SSD. Now that the MBA has a faster CPU I wouldn't miss my Macbook one bit. I'd probably go for the 13 in version to get the longer battery life and larger SSD. I breathed new life into my kids' Minis by installing SSD drives so while my hybrid SSD is better than the 5400 RPM drive I was used to, reall SSD makes a HUGE difference and you will find the MBA to be a lot faster than what you are used to.

    Still there are some relatively minor things you might miss: Separate audio in and out jacks. These were standard on Macbooks but are missing from even the 13 in MBP these days and of course they aren't to be found on the MBA. More than one USB port, not such a big deal really. Mini DVI output (If you use an external monitor, you'll have to buy a new adapter to go from the Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort to your monitor as the mini DVI cable won't work any more).

    BTW, how about a poll option for I used to be a college student and I wish I had a MBA to lug around campus. :D
  14. merrickdrfc macrumors 6502


    Jan 8, 2011
    I'm a student with a 2011 MBA, and it manages to do everything I throw at it, FCP X, iOS development and Photoshop work. The latest MBA will blitz your '08 uMB, mine even benches close to my Arrandale 3.2GHz i3 2010 iMac.

    However it is not my primary machine, and storage and lack of SuperDrive may become an issue further along in up the road, I have the luxury of an iMac to keep all my iTunes library on. External HDD's can make up for this I suppose, and ThunderBolt will add even more expansion in the future (hopefully)
  15. hyungsup macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2009
    I'll be a post grad student next year.
    I sold my macbook and got the air.
    I can't remember what macbook looks like.
    Also when I look at my brother's 13" MBP I can't imagine I had carried that
    humungous thing!!!!
    Really quick!!!
    just have to test the results with actual datasets but according to geek bench it's much faster than my old one!
    Go for it!

  16. RolandNights macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011

    Ahhh, I just found out none of my upcoming textbooks come with CDs. There's some that come in ebook format, but I'd need the CourseSmart program to view them (I'm assuming some DRM is involved, as well). However, things like note-taking, the study apps, etc., would be great for this purpose! I might look further into this because I like the idea of simplicity (and having an iPad).
  17. tortura macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    you need is macbook pro

    at least 15 inch,
    13 inch is just to small for doing some work

    i ve bought 17 inch an am very very happy
  18. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Yea; I never really used it because I can learn/study a lot more efficiently if I'm looking at an actual piece of paper or something.

    Regardless, you don't really need an iPad to do it; I'm probably going to do it this semester though. Just scan the text book (all of our science text books are coming in 3 ring binder format [lame then awesome]) and put the file on the computer.

    I'm probably just going to do this to ensure I only need to bring a folder, pen, and paper to class along with my MB.

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