MBA 11 inch v 13 inch for ExamSoft and Bar Exam

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by beaux, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. beaux macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    I have the old white mac book, and it works perfectly. But, this year I am at law school and will be doing research and taking classes, and I can’t take the exams with this macbook because the system requirements doesn’t match the req for the examsoft, also it is quite frustrating to carry the macbook all day long... I was planning to buy the 11” inch Macbook Air, but now I am worried that it might be hard to read during exams and more importantly in the bar exam. Any suggestions? I am planning to either buy a 11 inch or 13 inch.
  2. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    Go to an Apple Store and look at both models of computers. That's the only way you'll be able to tell if the 11 inch is the right size for you.
  3. mrnoglue macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2011
    3L here...

    Congrats on deciding to study law! I traded in my macbook (white; 2006) when I first came to lawschool for a macbook pro 13. I found the pro to be adequate for class, but a bit heavy and distracting. The problem with apple computers w/ the new operating system is that it makes it almost too easy to "multi-task" in class. I cannot count the number of days I spent browsing around the internet on random blogs or just playing with the trackpad while trying to stay away during lecture. As a result, my attention and grades suffered a bit my 1L year. So I would keep that in mind when choosing a mac.

    As for taking tests on a machine, you are going to want a device with at least a 13 inch screen. Legibility, typing speed, and screen real estate are incredibly important for softest exams, especially when they are open computer or "unlocked" exams. Remember, these tests are bell-curved, thus any potential advantage should be leveraged.

    All in all, for lawyers, technology is not very important. You need a simple product that can essentially be a good typewriting and research machine. I cannot, however, stress how important the screen quality of your chosen product is. You are about to start using a computer a hell of a lot more than you are going to want to. In the past three years, I have probably spent over 1/2 my waking hours in front of a computer screen. As a result, I have become MUCH more concerned with the quality of the screen I have to stare at for hours on end. Screen resolution affects my quality of life, as sad as that sounds.

    It was this concern that eventually led me to purchase an iPad Retina for note taking. I use the iPad in conjunction with a Bluetooth Keyboard and an App called Evernote for all my classes. I prefer the iPad to a computer due to its light weight, beautiful screen, and inability to multitask. Yeah, you heard that right: inability to multitask. Having to reach forward and interact with the screen is distracting for your fellow students, your professor, and yourself. As a result, I tend to keep multitasking during lecture at a minimum. My grades and class attention have really improved since purchasing this device.

    And now to the recommendation. If I were you, I would go with the 13 inch Macbook Air, or if cash is not an issue, the new 13 Macbook Pro Retina. Despite it's cost, the Macbook Pro Retina will have an absolutely fantastic screen, and it might be worth the investment. The additional screen real estate will help give you that edge on exams, and will also be useful when researching legal issues. It really is all about the screen.

    Of course, this is all coming from a guy who would buy a really luxurious car if he had to commute 3 hours a day in rushhour traffic. I like the little things.

    Hope that helps.
  4. beaux thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    Thanks a lot, for the detailed answer.. My backaches are killing me so a macbook pro is not really an option, I am at a point that I even consider the little weight difference between the 11 and the 13 inch air. Although, still not sure about what to do, will probably buy the 13 inch MBA this weekend.
  5. jrasero macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    Tough decision

    Tough decision but I would ask what is your budget and what else would you use it for.

    The 13" is best obviously because it's larger screen size and it has better battery life 7hrs.

    13" borderlines being a little big for college only do to the fact that the desks are really small as I remember. With the 11" you get netbook portability but with full on performance, well almost fill on, but you only get 5 hrs battery which in my experience is for 3-4 hrs.

    I would use your student discount and get a custom 11". i7, 126GB, 8GB for $1274, which is only $74 dollars more than the base 13"

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