MacBook as a daily driver?

Cricketman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2008
201
18
Hello guys,

I also posted this in the Buying Forums, but I had some questions specifically relating to the new rMB and probably could get more insight here. I am currently running a 2011 MBP (8GB RAM and 320GB HDD). It does everything I need to do but I am going to Medical School next year and need a reliable computer during this time for my studies.

I am heavily considering purchasing a rMB. I will be primarily using it for streaming lectures (around 6 hours a day) and viewing large PDF files (textbooks, course packs, lots of images etc). My work will also include MS Office for writing papers and presentations - nothing too heavy overall.

Honestly; will this computer able to reliably keep up with these tasks? Will 12" be too small to be able to comfortably read heavy and dense information for hours on end? And like the title says, is this a good enough machine to be the only computer for a *busy* medical student?

Thanks guys! Whether I end up purchasing this or not I think the rMB is great and congrats for owning it!
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
I don't see why not. This about how I use it. But for reading PDF files, an iPad is just so much more pleasant. That's the main reason I have an iPad.
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,051
Somewhere
I use an 11" MBA for similar tasks, and it isn't too small. As long as you don't feel that the lack of ports on the MB will hurt you I'd say go for it.
 

seong

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
1,031
28
It's very capable despite its minute size. As long as you won't be doing some serious 3D GPU/CPU intensive workload in the near future (incl. gaming, simulating, heavy FCP X and Motion 5, etc,) you should be fine.
 

soupcan

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2014
732
2,926
Netherlands
If you can live with just one USB-C port then go ahead. If you do need ANYTHING that's not USB-C get the 13" MacBook Air. Although I believe Apple will soon update it, it didn't get a refresh at WWDC and it's still lacking a Retina display. Oh and Force Touch. Still not there.
 

Flunkyturtle

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2011
298
157
Hello guys,

I also posted this in the Buying Forums, but I had some questions specifically relating to the new rMB and probably could get more insight here. I am currently running a 2011 MBP (8GB RAM and 320GB HDD). It does everything I need to do but I am going to Medical School next year and need a reliable computer during this time for my studies.

I am heavily considering purchasing a rMB. I will be primarily using it for streaming lectures (around 6 hours a day) and viewing large PDF files (textbooks, course packs, lots of images etc). My work will also include MS Office for writing papers and presentations - nothing too heavy overall.

Honestly; will this computer able to reliably keep up with these tasks? Will 12" be too small to be able to comfortably read heavy and dense information for hours on end? And like the title says, is this a good enough machine to be the only computer for a *busy* medical student?

Thanks guys! Whether I end up purchasing this or not I think the rMB is great and congrats for owning it!
It'll easily do this for you, i've just gone from an Air 2012 13 inch to the base model rMB.

Runs rapid, haven't been able to stress the CPU to more than 70% yet and that's been deleting 30,000 images, and about 50 HD videos and moving them about.

I also opened all apps at once and nothing crashed or caused problems.

I would say go for it, the screen is beautiful as well!
 

RUGGLES99

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2015
409
94
You never know what you are going to be hit with, and the rmb is pretty limited in a number of ways, all of which you'll discover from reading reviews and in this forum. It might seem capable to you in the present, but that might change. I would think the 13" MBA or mbp might be more viable for med school, along with a tablet.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,231
3,368
You never know what you are going to be hit with, and the rmb is pretty limited in a number of ways, all of which you'll discover from reading reviews and in this forum. It might seem capable to you in the present, but that might change. I would think the 13" MBA or mbp might be more viable for med school, along with a tablet.
on this note, I actually think it will become more capable. El Capitan seems to only improve things on the software side, and everything is going to a more wireless world.
 
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the_imprisoned

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2015
5
2
Fourth year medical student here. I am actually waiting for my rMB. This is a great pick for us. The main things you will need this for are long battery, light and portable, and good solid retina display. An air would be a second option but honestly this is a great choice. Message me with any questions. Good luck joining the ranks!
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
If you can live with just one USB-C port then go ahead. If you do need ANYTHING that's not USB-C get the 13" MacBook Air. Although I believe Apple will soon update it, it didn't get a refresh at WWDC and it's still lacking a Retina display. Oh and Force Touch. Still not there.
That is wishful thinking, the air did get updated when the 13 inch pro did to the new broadwell processors. It got no other updates because it won't be getting anymore. The rMB is the air replacement and the air will just hang around in it's current form until people stop buying them then it'll be discontinued.
 
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soupcan

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2014
732
2,926
Netherlands
That is wishful thinking, the air did get updated when the 13 inch pro did to the new broadwell processors. It got no other updates because it won't be getting anymore. The rMB is the air replacement and the air will just hang around in it's current form until people stop buying them then it'll be discontinued.
The MacBook isn't a MacBook Air replacement. Maybe in 2-3 years, yes, but that one USB-C port is still a no-no for most people. Until USB-C gets implemented in EVERYTHING from USB sticks to external HDDs and cameras and iPhones and mice and keyboards and whatever else it is you plug in to a notebook it will not be a replacement. Besides, if you opt in for the i7 you can do some hefty work on the MacBook Air while the MacBook struggles along with the more CPU/GPU intensive tasks because it isn't designed to do it.

Apple created a market with the MacBook Air of ultra portables that can still do some CPU/GPU intensive tasks. Apple won't leave a market they have a big share in.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
The MacBook isn't a MacBook Air replacement. Maybe in 2-3 years, yes, but that one USB-C port is still a no-no for most people. Until USB-C gets implemented in EVERYTHING from USB sticks to external HDDs and cameras and iPhones and mice and keyboards and whatever else it is you plug in to a notebook it will not be a replacement. Besides, if you opt in for the i7 you can do some hefty work on the MacBook Air while the MacBook struggles along with the more CPU/GPU intensive tasks because it isn't designed to do it.

Apple created a market with the MacBook Air of ultra portables that can still do some CPU/GPU intensive tasks. Apple won't leave a market they have a big share in.
What you think is a macbook air replacement is irrelevant Apple clearly think it is the Air replacement and thats all that counts....

Many people would have said the same thing about the air when it replaced the macbook in 2011... Apple were right then as well...

USB C will be in everything by the end of next year, about the same time they'll look to discontinue the current macbook airs by my reckoning.
 
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556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,614
923
Frankly, the 2011 MBP should be perfect, as long as it's a 13" and not subject to the GPU failures. I would not go with the MacBook based on the lack of ports. I'm not a med student, but often need to give presentations which require VGA or HDMI. I also like having multiple USB ports for charging my phone, using an external mouse, etc. Sure, this can be accomplished with adapters, but I'm not buying adapters to get the same functionality my current laptop provides. I also really dislike the MacBook's keyboard and would never want to do any serious typing on it.

Your mileage may vary.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
I would not go with the MacBook based on the lack of ports. I'm not a med student, but often need to give presentations which require VGA or HDMI.
Your mileage may vary.
No Mac notebook has VGA output, but 99% of projectors still use VGA. So, you need an adapter no matter what Mac you buy, not only the MacBook.
 
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mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,231
3,368
No Mac notebook has VGA output, but 99% of projectors still use VGA. So, you need an adapter no matter what Mac you buy, not only the MacBook.
Also it is a much "cleaner" experience using an adapter. I have one single cable plugged into the macbook....before I had 2-3 cables coming out of both sides of the mac.
 

Flunkyturtle

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2011
298
157
Also it is a much "cleaner" experience using an adapter. I have one single cable plugged into the macbook....before I had 2-3 cables coming out of both sides of the mac.
Agreed with this. I have one adapter out which does HDMI, USB C (which i then plug the charger in) and then USB.

More than enough for me, i have one external harddrive, everything else is wireless.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
Agreed with this. I have one adapter out which does HDMI, USB C (which i then plug the charger in) and then USB.

More than enough for me, i have one external harddrive, everything else is wireless.
Yes. With my previous MBA, when I used it at the desk I had four things to unplug (external screen, power, two USB drives). Now there is only one thing to unplug, the USB/HDMI adapter. So, Apple has the vision right with just the single port.
 

Flunkyturtle

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2011
298
157
Yes. With my previous MBA, when I used it at the desk I had four things to unplug (external screen, power, two USB drives). Now there is only one thing to unplug, the USB/HDMI adapter. So, Apple has the vision right with just the single port.
Good thing is the battery life and hardrive is big enough that you can just leave the adapter and charger at home as well, then just one plug in when you get back to connect it all up again.
 

Cricketman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2008
201
18
Thanks everyone for the responses. Still thinking about it! I think it may be helpful to say that I rarely plug in USB drives to my MacBook Pro currently. If I do end up purchasing this device I will be fully subscribing to cloud based computing and wireless transfers. Also, I do not regularly plug my device into a larger screen besides my TV at times for streaming sports. I was thinking of getting an Apple TV anyway
 

Dayv

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2009
380
93
Thanks everyone for the responses. Still thinking about it! I think it may be helpful to say that I rarely plug in USB drives to my MacBook Pro currently. If I do end up purchasing this device I will be fully subscribing to cloud based computing and wireless transfers. Also, I do not regularly plug my device into a larger screen besides my TV at times for streaming sports. I was thinking of getting an Apple TV anyway
The use cases you describe are basically perfect for the retina Macbook. I've had one for about six weeks now and I hardly ever long for any other ports.
 

Esoom

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2010
415
48
Colorado
I think it'd be perfect, honestly, I see medical students using iPad Mini's quite a bit.

One of the cooler things I've heard someone do is take their textbook and turn it into PDF's at Kinko's, throw it on their laptop or tablet.

Plan B is to use your current PC 1 more year and get a MB next year on the refresh...
 

JoePa2624

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
231
92
AZ
Given what you're describing, I'm confident it'll work as your daily driver. Which configuration were you looking at going with?