MacBook Air good for student?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Hazellle, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Hazellle macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2011
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    I am considering getting the MacBook air. What I will be using it for is the following;
    1. Word, PowerPoint, publisher, smart board software
    2. Browsing, social networking sites, YouTube.
    3. Not much downloading but photos for projects and such. And downloading music from iTunes
    I am also a student so Bringing my laptop to class to class and such. Is the MacBook air good choice for my needs?
  2. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    A MacBook Air would fit the requirements for all those tasks.

    Just a few things to bear in mind:
    • How much HDD space you need, you're limited to 256GB.
    • Your MS Office can't be transferred to a mac, you need to buy the mac version separately.
    • You don't need the i7
    • 4GB of RAM is a must
  3. MasterHowl macrumors 65816


    Oct 3, 2010
    North of England
    The Air would be brilliant since it's ultra-portable, but you're very limited when it comes to hard drive space since it's an SSD.
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    It's perfect. I'd get the 11 inch MBA (because I own it, and it's perfect), but the 13" has better battery life, so if you need more than 5 hours of battery, I'd get the 13" MBA instead.

    To me, the only real benefit of the 13" MBA is the battery life. The screen resolution is similar enough to not be a huge factor to me, but the battery life is soooo much different.
  5. Melrose, Sep 10, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011

    Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    Perhaps get the Air and at least supplement it with a backup HD... but being in college I don't know if that's feasible? I'd be at a toss up between the Air and a 13" MacBook Pro with SSD. I considered opting for that route myself when I upgraded this summer. I went for the 17", but it was a close call.

    The Air is a very trim, very stylish machine, but unless you really truly need the slim design I think it's one of a very few Apple products where you pay for the name... I could be wrong, I've never used one. It's just the specs are the same/lower than a MacBook Pro for the same/more dollars. And if it's that small, does the extra minutia of size really matter?

  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I owned the previous gen 15" MBP i5 2.4 GHz with high-res matte screen, and I feel that I "upgraded" to my 11" MBA with 256 GB SSD drive. ;)

    And between the 13" MBA and 13" MBP, I'd get the 13" MBP if cost isn't an issue. It has a higher resolution screen, and better battery life.

    I suppose if you're not worried about portability, then the 13" MBP is better. Then again, the 15" MBP would be better than the 13" MBP.
  7. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2009
    have to agree. went from a 2.2 15" high res quad to a 13" mba i5. Loving the change. Only thing i miss is the 15" amazing handbrake numbers. Don't know why i care though, never used handbrake once in my life :p
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Oh yeah, I really miss alllllll those DVDs I used to rip....almost as much as i miss having Blu-Ray on Macs in general. ;)
  9. Firestar macrumors 68020


    Sep 30, 2010
    221B Baker Street.
    I would say go for the MBP. Like others said, it has better capabilities than the Air, for the same amount. Thinness isnt' really a big deal for me, but it might be for you.
  10. sumone macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    I'll be the different one and say...

    I don't see the necessity based on your intended uses. Unless you really love OSX and are committed to the mac universe if I were you I would just get a Netbook. They are small and light which makes them more portable than the traditional laptop, they can perform all of the tasks you require with an ample amount of HDD space, and they are significantly cheaper than the air.

    I am actually quite surprised by the number of people I see on campus with netbooks I definitely thought that with all the press MBA has been getting, more students would have jumped on the bandwagon. Of course i'm only using one school as a sample and it may not be representative of all schools but so far I have only seen one kid with a MBA.
  11. secretpact macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2007
    My current situation:
    Studying Abroad with my Macbook Air 11"(previous gen with no backlit keyboard. And I bought the cheapest model $999). I am having absolutely no trouble with school. What I do have a problem is that I brought two seasons of my favorite TV show on DVD, and I can't watch them haha.
  12. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Any of the Mac laptops will meet your needs. The Air is skinny, the MBP has the most capabilities, most important if you like gaming AAA games.
  13. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    The MBA is an excellent computer, and is extremely "good" for a student. It will do everything that you have asked about in your original post - and do it very well; however, its real advantage is its sheer portability. If weight matters to you (it does to me), then, the MBA is the computer to choose. It also offers a SSD drive (seamlessly fast), and an excellent screen.

    Downsides, or drawbacks, tend to be bang for buck; other computers (especially the lower end MBPs) offer better value, a greater spec level, and more power.

    In essence, it's your call; what do you need more - extra power or greater portability?

    I have had the MBP, and currently have the MBA. Both were excellent, but the portability of the MBA is hard to beat.

    Good luck with it.
  14. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    The 13" MBP is totally fine portability-wise.

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