MacBook for College

karlie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
10
0
I have $1400 to spend on a new macbook, no more. The problem is I don't know which one to buy, I also want to buy AppleCare. My thinking is that the baseline non retina MacBook Pro is the way to go if I upgrade it to 8gb of ram and add AppleCare its about $1340 with tax. Or should I go with a MacBook Air baseline and upgrade 8gb ram and add AppleCare which is about $1395 I just don't see owning a laptop with only 128gb of space.
 
Last edited:

peglegjack

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2011
378
108
Brooklyn, NY
Get the stock 11 inch MBA w/ 8Gb of ram. Ram is way more important.

You can always get a portable hard drive if you need more space, but ram isn't replaceable.
 

karlie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
10
0
I definitely want a 13 inch, I also need it to last all 4 years of college.
 

WoodNUFC

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2009
618
36
A Library
I definitely want a 13 inch, I also need it to last all 4 years of college.
To be honest, I think the baseline 13" MBP with 8gb of RAM will be fine for college. I think your reasoning for choosing the MBP over the MBA is good. While I loved my MBA and will be ordering a new one this week, I think the non-Retina MBP is a good choice for a college student. AppleCare is something you should have. I learnt my lesson the hard way on that.

Plus, with the savings you can buy software or entertainment.
 

karlie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
10
0
I'll be using it for the basic stuff--browsing, word processing, movies etc. Also possibly web design, but in the span of 4 years which computer would last?
 

Gator24765

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2009
778
1
Texas
13" macbook pro or 13" macbook air should be just fine for you. You don't even really need to upgrade your ram if that is all you are going to be doing. I have a mid 2012 Macbook Pro 13" with the stock 4GB of Ram and it is running just fine.


Either machine should easily last you all four years depending on how well you take care of it.

If you do choose to upgrade your ram do it yourself, it is much much cheaper than buying it from Apple. Be sure to use your education discount to save $$$.


Personally I would go with the stock lower end Macbook Pro with 500GB of storage and 4GB of Ram. 13" of course. I used this size computer for 4 years in college and it worked out great.
 

karlie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
10
0
So by going with a MBP over the MBA, you don't think I will regret it 3-4 years down the road?
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,715
1,782
Get the stock 11 inch MBA w/ 8Gb of ram. Ram is way more important.

You can always get a portable hard drive if you need more space, but ram isn't replaceable.
I wouldn't go with an 11". The screen real estate of those 2" makes a big difference.

So by going with a MBP over the MBA, you don't think I will regret it 3-4 years down the road?
Either. The cMBP is a little more flexible if you end up with more ram hungry tasks. 8GB is the lowest I would touch today, even for normal use. Recent OSX versions have been somewhat ram hungry.
 

Gonzo3333

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
544
0
Chicago, IL
You can always hold off on the AppleCare for now. You have up to a year to purchase and activate it on your new computer. That could save you a few bucks and allow you to get more storage or buy your own ram.
 

davidg4781

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2006
2,257
181
Alice, TX
Are you going to be watching movies or editing them?

If I were you and you're just doing basic stuff the MBA would be best, possibly the 256GB one, depending on how much media you have. You'll have a longer battery life and a lot less bulk and weight to carry around. Honestly, I wish I could go back and get a MBA. The only "performance" I need from the MBP is to do some light video editing (VHS>DVD transfers) which I haven't done.

As far as lasting, I had a 2006 MB that lasted through 2 years of college and the only reason I sold it in 2012 was because I couldn't upgrade to Lion to use iCloud. Buying a newer Mac SHOULD keep you protected for years to come.
 

brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,414
774
Having spent ages in college, and owned several Apple notebooks, I'd definitely be buying the 13 Air for school.