MB or MBA for College?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dudewheresmymac, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. dudewheresmymac macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2004

    I currently have an almost two year old MBP (2GHz, 1 GB RAM, 80GB HD) and will be going off to college next year. The one thing that i worry about my current set up is battery life. I use my computer daily in high school to take notes in certain classes. Im lucky if i get 2 full 45 minute periods of battery life on one charge. I worry that this amount of power wont be sufficient next year when i will be away from my dorm room for extended periods of time.

    SOO, i am thinking about setting my current comptuer on ebay and purchasing either a macbook or a macbook air. First, how much would i get for my computer (it has a few cosmetic blemishes but otherwise works perfectly)? Second, what are the real-life battery lives for each the macbook and macbook air when using apps such as word and safai? Third, which computer would you recommend for a student going off to college?

    Thanks for your help?
  2. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    Get a MB. You're going to want the drive and the extra USB ports may come in handy. It's better to have those features and not use them than not have them and need them.
  3. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    Your current machine should be entirely sufficient. Keep in mind you could always get a second battery, and also most places on campus (including classrooms) are likely to have a power outlet you can use.

    Moreover, you likely won't see that much battery life improvement with a new machine. As a final helpful hint, if you are in a pinch and need the battery to last as long as possible, turn down the screen brightness as far as you can, and it will significantly increase battery life.
  4. pseudonymph macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2007
    New battery: $129 max

    New mac notebook: $1099 minimum

    I know which one I'd try first.
  5. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    My MacBook gets about 4-4 1/2 hours of battery life on one charge. I can go to my two classes, use it the entire time, then have some time left over to do homework in the library.
  6. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    I would say get a new battery and if when your taking notes and don't need internet turn wifi off, that should save battery power.

  7. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
  8. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    The Macbook Air would be the worst possible thing you could get. It is made for people who travel, not for people who use it daily.
  9. FanOfMac macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2008
    New Battery

    I agree with the various posts suggesting the purchase of a new battery. Evaluate the overall condition of your MBP. If it is really solid except for the battery, then replace the battery. It should last you at least two more years. At that time will have better options to choose from for your next Mac.
  10. Adokimus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2007
    Boston, MA
    x 2

    Plus, if you have a second battery, charge both and switch out half-way through your day. Save your money for beer.
  11. cheekybobcat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2007
    U-S of A
    I whole-heartedly agree with buying a new battery and even possibly a second one. Unless your current computer's specs are insufficient for what you need, buying a battery will save tons of money.
    However, if you insist on buying a new computer, a MacBook would undoubtedly be your best choice. A MBA has very limited capabilities. Mainly, the single USB port, smaller HD, and no disc drive are going to slow you down. Plus, you can get a better performing MacBook for the price of a default MBA.
  12. forafireescape macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    I agree with getting a new battery, if you really want a new computer, go MacBook.
  13. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2003
    Boston, MA
    You're also likely to find that in a lot of classrooms, you might be able to find somewhere to plug in, which will get rid of some of the battery concerns.
  14. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    as others have said, try to get another battery for your current machine. and turn the brightness down and all that.

    only get a MBA if you have another computer (desktop). if not, then just get a macbook
  15. MaciMac macrumors newbie


    Apr 2, 2008
    I would also try to get a new battery. Maybe you'll find a good deal on the internet.

    If you really wan to buy a new laptop, I would go for the MB. At least, it has everything you could need while you're on the go, and a MB is not that large/heavy to carry around any way :D
  16. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    x3. No reason to buy a new computer when a new battery would suffice.
  17. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
    Eff That

    Dude, get the MBA -- you'll get laid way more with it. Trust me.

    It sounds like you don't care about the MBP performance any longer and could settle for something that is powerful as the MBA.
  18. The Man macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2004
    Your MacBook Pro will let you run more apps, like Final Cut Studio, because it has discrete graphics, versus integrated graphics on the MacBook and MacBook Air. So if this counts, get an extra battery, and maybe bump up the memory. If battery life really counts, get a MacBook. But I would really try a new battery first. If it doesn't work for you, you could always sell the battery.
  19. mrmids macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2008

    Dude, getting laid with your macbook air? thats hoping, ive never met a lady who will give up the goods for the looks of my computer, but on a serious note, the MBA, not enough usb ports and to be honest you'll need a cd/dvd drive as you never know when you'll need to copy over or transfer media. The MBA is a fashionable item or an external portable to your desktop.
  20. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    I would have to join the others and say get a new battery, it seems like the best way to go when comparing prices, and plus, your MBP should be fine the way it is. HD size doesn't sound like an issue to you as you are considering the MBA, which has the same size drive as your current computer, and you could always upgrade the HD and/or memory on your current computer to get more of those. I don't really see a need for you to get an entirely new computer if there is only a battery problem.

    But if you have your mind set on getting a new computer, then I would pose one question, would you be bringing your MBP to campus with you (but leave it for dorm use only, or only when you need a more high performance machine)? Because if so then I would suggest the MBA, as the MBA works best when it is used with another computer, preferably one with a noticeable difference in performance power. Because the MBA is extremely lightweight and an amazingly slim profile, which would make it great for transporting it between classes, while I find the MB to seem heavy.
  21. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    I also suggest a new battery. I also have a 2GHz MBP, 80GB hard drive, albeit with 2GB RAM, and it's fine for college. a new battery will give you 3+ hours of battery life, assuming you're just word processing and surfing the internet. go macbook if you want a new machine- comes with all the ports you'll ever need and a disc drive

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