MBA or rMBP for a 8th grader?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TheEpicGlitch, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. TheEpicGlitch, Mar 21, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015

    TheEpicGlitch macrumors member

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    #1
    Ok, I have decided I will help my son buy a MacBook for school and home, however, he is wondering what model would be the best for him, a 2014 rMBP or a 2014 MBA, and what specs for each (the most I am willing to let us spend combined is $1300CAD, however we would prefer cheaper, we are also not against refurbished) this is what he would use it for:

    -School (Word docs, Powerpoints, research, web apps, taking notes ect.)
    -Creative work (Photoshop, light After Affects and Flash,animation, as well as writing short stories and editing songs/clips in iMovie/Garage Band)
    -Web (Social media, forums, Youtube, Netflix, blogs and definitely NOT torrenting *wink*)
    -Light gaming (The odd indie game or roguelike)
    -A computer that he can slip in his bag quickly if we wants to take it (i.e. A friends house)

    He would also need very good battery life that would last over 8hrs consistently doing fairly basic tasks.

    Edit: if you have not read my previous thread you can find it here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1857661 it is not necessary but it may provide further insight

    I would also like to clarify that OS X Yosemite/Mavericks has good multitasking (he says they do and that it will make taking notes much easier.)
     
  2. noodlemanc macrumors regular

    noodlemanc

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    #2
    I've got a 13" MBA, and with 8GB of RAM and the i5 or i7 it's pretty powerful, will be able to handle all of that easily. I was in the same position as your son 5 or 6 years ago, got a base 13" MBP and even that was fine for most things :)
     
  3. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #3
    A base mba would work fine, except for after effects.
    The best macbook really for that is a 15" rmbp.

    Another option is the new 2.2i7/8/256 mba. Great battery life and the i7 is powerfull.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    I'd go with the MBA, it will provide him with sufficient horse power to do his school work and has great battery life.

    I typically like the rMBP line of computers over the MBAs just because you get more computer and a better screen, but since battery life is a major element in your purchase matrix, that tips the scales in the MBA favor.

    Have you considered the new 12" MacBook? That gives the retina screen, and great battery life.
     
  5. TheEpicGlitch thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    MBA or rMBP for a 8th grader?


    Good to know, he could use after affects on his laptop, which we know works.

    ----------


    Yeah battery life is a major issue, and about the new macbook, my son does not like it, he says one port isn't enough, it's too underpowered, overpriced and most likely too fragile.
     
  6. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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  7. TheEpicGlitch thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Should 4gb of RAM suit his needs, or should I upgrade too 8gigs
     
  8. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #8
    8GB would be ideal as you can not upgrade later, but the 4GB model will cope with the mentioned tasks.
     
  9. TheEpicGlitch thread starter macrumors member

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    #9

    My main dilemma with getting 8gigs is the fact I can't get a refurbished model.
     
  10. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #10
    No problem. 4GB will do fine. ;)
    There are rarely ideal situations in life.
     
  11. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #12
  12. TheEpicGlitch thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
  13. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #14
  14. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #15
    You have to be aware that this is a geek forum and we keep nitpicking about specs.
    Of course a new macbook air will run after effects much, much better, if you compare it to the windows laptop you mentioned in the other threads. I only mentioned a 15" pro in case your son wants to grade and edit a feature film on the go. ;)

    Going on what you have explained so far in the two threads about this topic, I think you are seriously underestimating the macbook air. Your son will not touch his old windows nightmare laptop ever again.

    I am still trying to fathom that someone would wait half an hour for a computer to boot up. :D
     
  15. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

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    #16
    As mentioned, the MacBook Air should do fine. Though 8GB of RAM would be ideal, you can cope with just about anything when it comes time to make things fit the budget.

    I split the purchase of my first MacBook when I was in 8th grade myself. It was the Late 2008 MacBook that had just come out, so I split it with my dad and got the 2.4GHz model with the backlit keyboard, oh how awesome it was! And still is.

    We got it with 4GB RAM back in '08 when the norm was still 2GB and then I upgraded it to 8GB some time in high school to help out with Photoshop and Aperture when I was in a photojournalism class. Great machine and it's still going.

    I just upgraded to a Late 2013 rMBP in July of last year to replace it. It got me through 8th grade, all through high school, and well into college. And I could easily still use it, I just needed something that went longer than 3 hours on a charge and didn't go nuts editing HD video :)

    It's a great long-term investment and I'm sure he'll be overjoyed with it!

    That '08 MacBook (non-pro mind you) ran $1,600 USD for the 2.4GHz model, and then adding RAM plus Apple Care ran it up right under $2,000. Amazing what you can get for nearly half of that today! Lots of lawns mowed, stones laid, fields mowed, fences built, etc. But well worth it back then.

    It's still in use today as the main (and only) computer for my brothers family. :apple:
     
  16. TheEpicGlitch, Mar 21, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015

    TheEpicGlitch thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    MBA or rMBP for a 8th grader?


    You could upgrade the MBA back then, that would be helpful now
     
  17. BrettApple, Mar 21, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015

    BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

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    #18
    Well, not exactly. It wasn't a MacBook Air, just the MacBook. The one with a long full name - "MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008)".

    [​IMG]

    The MacBook Air came out in Early 2008 and never was really upgradable. The RAM has always been soldered to the board. Though the original had a replaceable HDD/SSD and the newer ones still have SSDs that can be swapped. Though the new PCI-e ones aren't really available third party. The 2012 ones are but it ends there.

    And from what I've used, yes. I currently still use CS5 and when I had 4GB of RAM I was on CS4 or 5 I think. It worked just fine for what I used it for. 4GB will work with most images unless you're using really high resolution stuff with tons of layers.

    Example: I got my Canon T3i in 2011 when I still had 4GB RAM and CS4. It would handle images shot in RAW at 18MP with no problem at all. I'd expect it to be the same now and probably even better. If you do use over 4GB RAM with the recent MacBook Airs it will page to the SSD which is way faster than the old 5400rpm HDD I was using at the time. He should be fine.

    I can use well over 4GB when stitching 5+ large RAW photos together in a panorama, but that's not every day stuff. For what most use it for 4GB will be enough :)
     
  18. TheEpicGlitch thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    MBA or rMBP for a 8th grader?


    Also, would 4gigs of RAM work for programs like photoshop?
     
  19. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

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  20. TheEpicGlitch thread starter macrumors member

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    #21

    Some reasons why?
     
  21. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

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    #22
    Its a more complete package vs the air.

    Yes, its a little heavier, but not a lot, battery is a little less but the screen quality and extra performance make it better and more useable going forward.
     
  22. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #23
  23. TheEpicGlitch thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
    Ok, would it be better to get 8gbs of RAM or 256gb of storage?
     
  24. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #25
    How is anyone supposed to be able to answer this question for you?
     

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