MacBook air in college...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by danielveeee, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. danielveeee macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    Those of you that have used or currently used a MBA in college I would like to know your experience. I just finished my first day of class in college, and I definitely want an air because it is so light...
    I don't do much, just iTunes and internet basically.. And I think a mbp 15" is too heavy and overkill... The only thing that's holding me back is the non glass trackpad.

  2. danielveeee thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    The last MacBook I've used is a white 2007 MacBook, which worked fine for me, will the air still be an upgrade to that? And I don't care about a refresh cuz I need it this week... And 13 mbp is out the question because there is prolly 20,000 plus of them on campus
  3. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Just because it has a button does not mean the trackpad is unlike the others. It likely is glass.

    The MacBook Air is a turd. There, got the obvious out of the way.

    I carry my MacBook Pro 13" everywhere I go and the only time I notice a difference between it and a MacBook Air is when I place it on my lap or lift it from the bag. Otherwise I never stop and think, "gah, why so heavy? I neeeed a MacBook Air!"

    If that's all you do, consider buying an older Mac. Perhaps an old Aluminum MacBook or a refurbished MacBook.

    The MBA is underpowered, hot, noisy, and will start crying each time you visit YouTube. The storage and expandabilty is a joke and the display is flimsy.

    The only time I've heard a client NOT complain about their MacBook Air is when they happen to be the type of person that would be just as well-off with a 5-year-old PowerBook because all they do is sync their iPod and check Facebook.

    Save some cash and get a more capable notebook. The MacBooks are not that heavy until you compare them side-by-side.

    Edit: I'm sorry, why is a MacBook Pro out ofthe question? Also, the MacBook Air will be noticeably slower and hotter than the MacBook if doing similar tasks.
  4. theappleguy macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2005
    I'd say that if you get the SSD version then it will be a worthwhile upgrade.
  5. danielveeee thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    I don't like the fact that everybody has a 13". It's almost like the " thing" to do.
    But yea I'll get the ssd version or a 15 i5 with AG

    But I basically just need it to sync iPhone and download music and use blackboard and Internet to do my math hw
  6. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    SERIOUSLY? you're going to throw down an extra $600 just because you don't want to look like a conformist!?

    Dude, ok, throw some decals on it and change the desktop background. I'm not about to sell my favorite phone and buy a crappy one just because the iPhone is the most popular phone on the market. That's senseless.

    Also, if that's the kind of needs you have, just get an old Mac. Even a PowerBook might suit you, if you don't watch online video, or really any digital videos. They sell for $300-500... You don't need an i5 for iTunes.
  7. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    I would go for the computer that works best for you....the 15'' is a great computer, the high resolution screen is awesome, very well worth the 100 dollar upgrade.

    But if the 13'' works for you, you should get it, even if many others use it, its because its a nice computer.

    Honestly, the Air is cool, but its not really worth it, at least in this case, You could try a normal white MacBook if they are less common in your area.
  8. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    you have obviously never owned an Air, my friend, otherwise you would not post such insightful and eloquent comments :rolleyes:
  9. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I recommend the MBA to all of the business school students who ask me for advice. It is really amazing, and fits nicely in a tote basically unnoticed compared to text books. In addition, for the rare Windows needs, install Windows 7 Pro via BootCamp. It all depends on the programs you will need for your university, but where I have taught the grad students pretty much can keep their work in Mac... the undergrads have to use Windows to run a few apps for some of their courses. Overall, it's perfect. In school, you can get away with one OS or the other at all times. You don't need both OSes at the same time.

    In the end though, it has to meet your needs. I believe the tradeoffs are well worth it to have the ultraportable features. If you NEED a 10-hour battery, 15/17" displays, optical, huge drives, 8 GB RAM, and etc... then obviously the MBA isn't for you. I don't believe any of that is necessary at the end of the day. To me the rewards of ultraportability are far more valuable than the extra "need more power" components. One last consideration is waiting for the MBA update which should come in either mid-September or late-October.
  10. danielveeee thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    I actually owned a white MacBook and sold it a couple months back, lol I've gotta have aluminum I hate the plasticy feel.

    But for the REAL air owners, honest opinion would you get one in my case?

    I'm thinking about getting the i5 cuz my dad is buying it for me for graduation/birthday/$500 scholarship money.. And then down the road when a new air comes out I can sell it and get that..
    I take it the airs resale value is dirt cheap?
  11. danielveeee thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    Thanks Scottsdale, and yea I'm a biology major so don't need any specific programs or windows or anything..

    And from experience what would u say is a true battery life of the rev d ssd air?
  12. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    No, I've just worked on enough of them to know the users are usually peeßed off by them. As well, I've carried plenty MBA's around in a bag beside my MacBook Pro. The only time I notice a difference is when I realize how unobtrusive the laptop feels, holding and resting on my lap.
  13. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Not to call you out, you may have meet with a few MacBook Air users, but statically, that number is meaningless. How many people have you met who hated their Air? 5? 10? 100? Even 1000 and you're not even looking at any meaningful amount of users. Not to mention tons of other factors you couldn't know(was it dislike of Mac in general or just the Air?, what was their usage of the Air?, what generation was the Air? Did you check in with them for a long period of time to ensure they were indeed unhappy with the Air?)
  14. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Get an older 17" MacBook Pro:

    You'll get one for less then $1000, I guess. Max out the RAM (2,4 or 8GB depending on model) and install a Momentus XT if you are on budget or a SSD.
    Weights only 2 pounds more than an unibody 13" MBP.
  15. PsyD4Me macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    under your bed
    Doctoral student here and I've lived with the MBA for the last 2 years, of course its not my primary machine though
  16. DiamondGCoupe macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2007
    SSD is a must. If you can stand the extra pound, 13" MBP is the way to go.
  17. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    By now, the number is in the 20-30's.

    Some dopes that just bought it to check Facebook and show it off enjoy it. They are the kind of users that think the ONLY place to store anything is the desktop, disk images are where you keep the applications you download, and the only reason the desktop image or Dock are not default is because they accidentally spazzed and hit a button.

    Yeah, that sums up the people that are happy with their MBA's, in my experience.

    Otherwise, I get people asking if I would just buy the damn thing from them because, "you expect a nearly $2,000 notebook wouldn't burn you just from watching YouTube or using iChat." As well, they complain that the ports are cramped and minimal, and the MagSafe is awkward, being on the bottom.

    These are the first two generations. I have yet to even see a third-gen, so I can't say for certain how the performance and thermal management is. Just know that the majority (80-90%) of these clients came to me because they believed it wasn't performing as fast as they expect a new computer to perform.
  18. Moodikar macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2010
    Toronto, Canada
    The Air is prestige, light weight/use, and good for indoors

    I recommend an Air for you cause it sounds like it fits all your need (meaning it's not going to be under powered) and have the image that you'd like to represent. That's why we buy/or don't buy specific jeans or clothes...why we furnish our houses the way we do.

    The Air has a taste that differs from the Macbook Pro or Macbook or even powerbooks. Environmentalists like it for their form and energy consumption. Travellers love it cause it is lighter (yes not much but then again if you don't need a DVD drive, why bother having it all the time). Writers take it to cafes, finance people use it for excel and executives use it for presentations. All of these are fine for the Air.

    It won't be an powerhouse for Artists, gamers, Movie Editors (although I do use it for this purpose on basic to medium needs of FCP), and those that want bigger screens and multi-tasking (lots of programs open at once).

    You sound like you're an Air person and I think you will not regret it (unless you need more power). Although you can get an older computer like a PB, you probably will enjoy the Air more (since it is newer and as long as you won't regret a refresh coming within the next few months...if it doesn't get discontinued altogether).

    My suggestion is that you buy a 2.13ghz SSD perhaps even used off of Craigslist or Kijiji or ebay. Just make sure however that it is in MINT condition and perhaps may even have Applecare on it.

    Or, buy a refurbished Air from Apple. This is probably the best choice and will save you the money.

    Finally, I do own a MBP 2010 13 inch and despite it being a great computer, I still tend to use the Air for all personal stuff and only use the MBP when I have to for Video editing. There is a difference but more so, it's a difference between jeans and preference.

    Hope this helps.
  19. MacRuler macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    i recommend the macbook air, ssd, i get 4.5 hours surfing the web, listening to itunes and typing on word with the screen at 13 blocks. i get 3 hours if i go on youtube and play around with garage band. install clicktoflash and coolbook and the macbook air is a great machine for what you are trying to do. oh and p.s i have the first gen 1.6ghz so you will deff have no problems.
  20. MacRuler macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    oh and by the way, buy from ebay. the third gen 2.13ghz are going for around 900 dollars. just make sure that is has some warranty on it and you should be good.
  21. WoodNUFC macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2009
    A Library
    I'd say absolutely buy an MBA for your university experience. I bought mine for the sole reason that I'd need to carry it with me every single day while I'm in grad school. One caveat though. I'd buy it refurbished. I did and it's worked brilliantly. With the money I saved, I invested in a mac mini for a media server. I can't recommend the air highly enough to be honest!
  22. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    My 3 pence: I own both a MBA and a MBP and honestly I don't even turn on the MBP any longer; in fact, I loaned it to a friend whose laptop died. With the SSD the MBA is a LOT faster than the MBP and the weight difference is noticeable. For the activities you described, the MBA will work well.
  23. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    Scottsdale do you teach Business? Im going to be a business major next year and was wondering if the Air would be fine for that. So in your opinion its perfectly fine? I would get the next refresh or refresh after that depending on how quick they are and I would get the SSD.
  24. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    I like using my Air in my college class but thats because I have a desktop at home and can afford to spent extra on a laptop. When people ask me if they should get an Air, 90% of my answers is hell no. Most people:

    -dont have the extra money to burn on a machine like an Air.
    -dont have a desktop to make up for the lost power.
    -use too many damn flash programs that make the Air cry.

    I wanted a light backpack to class, thought the 2 pounds was worth a few hundred for me and got it. If you like the Air, then keep it. Do not use macrumors forums to make you feel better about getting the Air, cause it is not going to happen.
  25. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    Nuff said.:)

    On to the issue, though. The MBA is certainly not "a turd." In fact I admire the MBA for all the reasons Scottsdale stated earlier. Nevertheless, I think there is a reason why so many college students, including my grandson and his roommate, choose the base model 13 inch MBP. It provides the most bang for the buck of any computer in the Macbook lineup, it seems to me. Better yet, it includes an optical drive and is expandable. With 8Gb of RAM and a SSD drive, the 13 inch MBP is a real powerhouse and would not be that much more expensive than the MBA. Of course if you don't need the extra RAM and can live with a conventional hard drive, the 13 inch MBP costs $600 less that the SSD equipped MBA.

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