MacBook for college

Thatguy120191

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 31, 2012
25
0
I'm starting xray school in a few month and I was wondering what everyone thought was the best laptop for a college student. I currently have the newest iMac but I want something I can take to school with me. Any suggestions ?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,095
30,695
Boston
I was wondering what everyone thought was the best laptop for a college student.
There is no best laptop for a college student. There is a best laptop for you as a student, but you need to define what your needs are.

The MacBook Air is an excellent computer, but your needs may in fact point you to the MBP.

What apps will you be running?
Do you need portability?
Which MBA form factor works best for you?
What's your budget?
 

Thatguy120191

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 31, 2012
25
0
There is no best laptop for a college student. There is a best laptop for you as a student, but you need to define what your needs are.

The MacBook Air is an excellent computer, but your needs may in fact point you to the MBP.

What apps will you be running?
Do you need portability?
Which MBA form factor works best for you?
What's your budget?

I think I'll be mainly using it for word and power point. Also keep some books on there and to surface the web. My patents have the MacBook Pro I like that but I'm not sure if I'd like the retina or air better. And I could go up to 1500$ But would rather not.
 

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
807
141
I think I'll be mainly using it for word and power point. Also keep some books on there and to surface the web. My patents have the MacBook Pro I like that but I'm not sure if I'd like the retina or air better. And I could go up to 1500$ But would rather not.
Any laptop made in the last 10 years can do all of those things. So I guess, go to an Apple store and see which one you like best within your budget, and buy that?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,095
30,695
Boston
I think I'll be mainly using it for word and power point. Also keep some books on there and to surface the web. My patents have the MacBook Pro I like that but I'm not sure if I'd like the retina or air better. And I could go up to 1500$ But would rather not.
Either machine will work, and given your budget the MBA will be a less expensive option.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
46,516
31,255
The Far Horizon
The advantage - and glory - of the MBA (especially the 11") is its wonderful portability. Secondly, the SSD drive makes it an amazingly fast, responsive and powerful computer. And thirdly, the battery on the 2013 models makes all day use (minus the need for peripherals) a distinct possibility.

These days, a MBA is more than powerful enough for the uses you have outlined in your OP. I have one, and find it so useful that - irrespective of what else I may buy in the future - I do not intend to be without a MBA.
 

DisplacedMic

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2009
1,411
1
I'm starting xray school in a few month and I was wondering what everyone thought was the best laptop for a college student. I currently have the newest iMac but I want something I can take to school with me. Any suggestions ?
a lead-lined one?
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
I'm starting xray school in a few month and I was wondering what everyone thought was the best laptop for a college student. I currently have the newest iMac but I want something I can take to school with me. Any suggestions ?
I really like my mid-level 13" rMBP. Lightweight, but it can do everything, and the display looks great!

But of course it's entirely up to you since it's your device. You may also consider an iPad to supplement your iMac. Take the iPad to school for notes, ebooks, etc., and use the iMac at home for papers and more heavy duty work.
 

kage207

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2008
961
8
I really like my mid-level 13" rMBP. Lightweight, but it can do everything, and the display looks great!

But of course it's entirely up to you since it's your device. You may also consider an iPad to supplement your iMac. Take the iPad to school for notes, ebooks, etc., and use the iMac at home for papers and more heavy duty work.
This is true. You also can use the Apple Bluetooth keyboard on the iPad too.

I love my MBA. And of course it is more than powerful enough to hand your needs. I run Plex, Safari, Reminders, Mail, Messages, Calendar, Evernote, Preview, DropBox, Xcode and more all at the same time. No issues whatsoever. MBA is awesome. I love the battery life and portability.
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,566
1,977
I personally hate tablets. I had an iPad for 3 years (used for travel only). After those 3 years, I couldn't get rid of it fast enough.

I now have an 11" MBA and it's great to have a real computer to use on the road to in hotel rooms. It's portable, light with the power of a real computer. And the keyboard is part of the computer not an extra piece I need to shlep around and hook up. My main computer is a much modified 2010 Mac Pro.

Where the OP has an iMac for his main computer, IMHO, an 11" MBA would be the perfect adjunct for him for what he needs to do.

Lou
 

dbroncos78087

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2013
132
0
Northern Virginia
I would always recommend looking at your specific situation and determining what your most important characteristics are in a laptop.

Do you anticipate moving around frequently and needing to be able to pull your laptop out frequently? Or perhaps, you might even need to travel (flying or commute) with the computer. If this characteristic fits you, then I would suggest a MacBook Air.

Do you expect to have to run a lot of different programs? Perhaps even ones that will require Windows to be installed? If this is the case, then I recommend going with a Retina MacBook Pro(perhaps with the RAM upgraded).

If you're an in-betweener, then perhaps the 13" rMBP would be the path for you.

My personal experience has been that the MBA has been perfect for me because I require no extensive processing or intensive programs and the most straining program that I will be running is Microsoft Outlook and Chrome. I don't do large queries or sorting in Excel either.