Macbook Air or Macbook Pro for college

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Toughpuddle, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Toughpuddle macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2009
    This is the first Mac I will be buying, I've never been a huge fan of Apple I prefer my Pre to the Iphone but that's a whole other story. I'm heading off to college this fall and I want a lightweight portable laptop that will suit my needs. I really only use my laptop for internet, office, and basic video/music/picture editing. I don't drive, so I'll be carrying my laptop with me on the bus/train and just walking around the majority of the time.

    I was wondering which model would better suit my needs, the 2.53GHz 13 inch MBP and I add my own SSD drive or the refurb 2.13GHz Macbook Air?

    Or just get the baseline MBP 13 and put my own ram and SSD drive in?
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I got a MBA a few years back and I regret it. I wish I had gotten a MB/MBP. Unless weight is a concern (and let's be honest, the full laptops don't weigh that much more) I'd go with a MB/MBP. The MBA doesn't get you anything and tends to cost a fair amount more for lower specced hardware.
  3. IBradMac macrumors 68000


    Jun 27, 2008
    Agreed. The MBP is is freakin' sweet.
  4. drjuice macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2008
    I think the better value would be the Macbook Pro. In fact, I'd say get the baseline 13" Pro, then upgrade it. You'll miss 0.27 GHz - which you might not even notice - but you'll save $300 to throw at upgrades.

    You'll probably run into some sort of wall with the Air faster than with even the baseline Pro - no built-in optical drive, 1 USB port, no Firewire, something.

    And I'd say upgrade the RAM before throwing an SSD in there. For the price of a 120 GB SSD (at newegg, anyway) you could easily go to 4GB and toss in a 320 or even 500 GB mechanical HDD - I dropped a 320 Hitachi (5400 RPM) in my unibody MacBook for $80. Now I've got plenty of space and 3 OSes on here for no other reason than to have them.
  5. MB98XJ macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2009
    Get the MacBook Pro. I got the 15" and love it. However, you should look at the 13" MBP. Seems very popular among other students at my college.
  6. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    The macbook pro 13" is the exact same footprint as the air and only a bit thicker, but gives you so much more for your money. I talked my wife out of an air for a 13" and she doesn't regret it.
  7. NikFinn macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2009
    I faced the same decision a few weeks ago, I decided for the MBP not because I didn't think the MBA would be up to the tasks that I'd throw at it but for the longevity of it. 2GB of RAM seems decently snappy now, but in 4 years are you still going to be ok with 2GB of RAM? Other things that influenced my decision was the 7 hour battery, and the addition of more ports, oh and the optical drive, even though I have only used it like..twice.

    This is what I did, 4GB of crucial ram for about $60 on newegg and a 500GB WD 5400 for about $90.
  8. Jigsawjammer macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2009
    Another vote for the 13" MBP. The air is awesome but you will be better off with something that has more upgrade options as well as connection options. I went from a 15" PowerBook to the 13" MBP and I don't even notice in my bag at all anymore. Get a decent sleeve to protect it and just throw it in your bag.

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