MBA - iMac - New College Student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Darius Aziz, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Darius Aziz macrumors member

    Darius Aziz

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    #1
    So I am starting college in a few weeks and I need to ditch this old Late 07 early 08 Macbook, my mom wants it so before the apple care runs out (was purchased and sent to me while I was overseas in a harsh climate) going to get the bezel and key surface replaced.

    I have several questions, I was inspired by another post here to consider the base level MBA + iMAC combo, my requirements:

    -Something small and mobile, I will be biking to school a lot (MBA)
    -I want something with good battery for notes (I have classes all day two days) (MBA)
    -Screen real-estate for studying (iMac)
    -I need something that can handle Aperture and other photo editing/managing software (iMac)
    -Some games would be nice, mostly minecraft (iMac?)

    Now the questions:

    Are there any of the upgrades I should consider? I pumped the Air's ram since I am not confident about after marketing the air.

    Applecare do you get it? I've never had a major mess up during the applecare plan periods with my hardware.

    i5 vs i7, is it worth it to spend a little more and jump the the more expensive 21.5'

    I am trying to be somewhat economical, but I need some stuff that will get my work done.
    Thanks for any responses.
     
  2. Epic Xbox Revie macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #2
    I like your idea with two computers... I was trying to figure out if I should do something similar... I'm still not sure... :D
     
  3. Darius Aziz thread starter macrumors member

    Darius Aziz

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    #3
    Yeah, I love the idea of the AIR since I will be rather mobile, want to be able to study anywhere, and I will bike/walk a lot. But I also need something with some power, I am a few months backlogged on photo editing since the last Aperture update made it unusable for anything other then archiving on my MB.
     
  4. Epic Xbox Revie macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #4
    If I were to get an Air to accompany my MBP, I would specifically set each aside for certain tasks. This way, I don't have to worry about data syncing, keeping 2 sets of apps updated (for the most part), and I can have my school work separate from my personal hobbies, web surfing, etc. It sounds great. Except, I'd look kind of bad having two laptops juggling around in my dorm. It is REALLY tempting though...

    As for your situation, I'd go for it. I don't really have the need for larger screens, 15 is plenty for my schoolwork. And I honestly think 11 would be enough for my personal use.
     
  5. MacInLaw macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #5
    Why get two computers?

    I would suggest getting the 13 inch Air (the 11 is nice, but would be hard to type on). Then get a display (either the new Thunderbolt Cinema Display, which is gorgeous, though expensive) and a wireless keyboard and Magic Trackpad. That way you can dock your laptop when you're at your desk and take it with you when you need. Then you don't have to worry about syncing everything and the like.

    Aperture runs VERY nicely on the i7 Air, and basic games like Minecraft should also be OK. Unless you're a hardcore gamer, you should be fine with the integrated graphics.

    I don't usually think that AppleCare is necessarily worth it on a desktop, but on a laptop I think it is. If you have any battery issues, it's nice to have the knowledge that you can get it fixed. What I recommend is putting the money aside and getting AppleCare towards the end of the first year - might as well let you earn interest on it rather than Apple. :)

    The Air is a GREAT machine for students - my first gen Air got me through my last half of law school and the bar, and I loved having a really light machine when you're lugging around lots of heavy books...
     
  6. Darius Aziz thread starter macrumors member

    Darius Aziz

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    #6
    I guess my thought was getting the machines with the tasks they were intended for. Ok so it can handle Aperture, but PS? After Effects? I mean I believe it, it seems like a mean little machine and I love the form factor, but I just don't want to be stuck where I am now with my little MB which can barely launch aperture anymore.

    I do play some other games, and want to play things like SWTOR when it launches (via bootcamp) but as much as I love it I am trying to make it secondary to working out and school at least for this year. Been out of HS for over five years and I am taking 16 credits off the bat, first time to college!
     
  7. iSee macrumors 68040

    iSee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #7
    Two machines stinks because you need to deal with keeping them in sync.

    That said, I don't know what to tell you because I doubt the Air will be much good for games.

    (I'm not sure about photo editing -- the synthetic benchmarks look good, but I'd want to see the real-word benchmarks first.)

    I guess: 13" Air + Display for everything except gaming + Windows gaming rig
     
  8. Darius Aziz thread starter macrumors member

    Darius Aziz

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    #8
    Yeah I would love to hear from someone who is actually using the AIR for editing etc.

    Syncing issues, how about the upcoming iCloud?
     
  9. Darius Aziz thread starter macrumors member

    Darius Aziz

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    #9
    One other question, what are people impressions with the wireless keyboard and magic mouse from apple? If I go this whole docking station route might as well go all the way!
     

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