MBP vs MBA

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by qwerty994, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. qwerty994 macrumors member

    qwerty994

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Hello people of MacRumors!

    A little background first. I am 15 years old, in high school, and dirt poor. Over the past few months I have been heavily into web and graphic design. I plan on getting a job and saving up for a Mac. What I want to know which would be better for my needs?

    On a daily basis with what I do, I plan on using:
    Spotify
    Photoshop
    Illustrator
    Xcode
    Eclipse
    Chrome/Safari
    iTunes,
    and a lot of that at the same time. I have thought about getting an iMac or Mac Mini, but I don't have a desk and would like to take a laptop to school to work on stuff. Would a top of the line Macbook Air or Macbook Pro with Retina Display be better for me? My main worries are:

    Macbook Air: I'm afraid the screen will be too small for me, and I'm scared of the Photoshop flickering issue. I currently have 17inch Windows 8 computer (now you see why I want a Mac), and the screen size is pushing it a little. I'm scared I'll regret getting an Air.

    Macbook Pro: When I went to Apple and played with Photoshop on it, I realized it wasn't Retina optimized when it comes to the artboard. Everything is smaller than normal.

    What do you think the best decision for me would me? I'll be buying a Magic Mouse with either on of these, and maybe a Thunderbolt Display down the road if I really need it. Thanks for the help everybody!
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    I think if you are dirt poor you need to stick with that 17" Windows laptop until you can afford a MBP. Then, when you can, I would say you should go for the MBP, non-retina. If retina is standard by the time you have your funds, then spring for retina.

    Why are you worrying about this now if you're dirt poor with no job?
     
  3. qwerty994 thread starter macrumors member

    qwerty994

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Because with my friends and family getting a job is a phone call away. I want to save up for one and have something of my own.
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    You don't need top of the line, but do need a good, high resolution display. I'd suggest a refurbished or used Macbook Pro, either a 15" high-res anti-glare (non-retina) or 17". The problem with the Retina Macbook Pro (15") is it will cost you about $1000 more.

    An alternative that can cost even less would be a 13" MacBook Pro (non-retina) or even an 11" MacBook Air, and a separate high resolution IPS monitor, but that would take some desk space.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    At 15 a job is just a phone call away? Must be great.
    So save up and then start shopping. You have no idea what will be available when you have your money.
     
  6. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
    #6
    I've got to agree with the previous posters. Get your job, save your money, see what's available when it's time to purchase. If you absolutely positively need something today, look into refurbished machines.
     
  7. qwerty994 thread starter macrumors member

    qwerty994

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Thanks for the help everyone! The reason I was so eager is because my Team Treehouse subscription is ending soon, and I wanted to get a head start on their iOS Development program, but I need a Mac for that. I'll probably just renew and buy the Mac later.
     
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #8
    They are different computers aimed at satisfying different needs in users.

    On the one hand, the MBP is more powerful, has a better spec, and - with the retina - offers a superb screen.

    On the other hand, the MBA is blazing fast (the SSD is wonderful) and, until the invention of retina, offered the best screen a portable computer could offer. It is also exceedingly portable - its main strength.

    So, your choice is power versus portability. The answer depends on what exactly it is you want to do with the computer. Personally, I don't game, and video is not important to me, whereas, given that I travel a lot, portability and speed are; hence, I have a MBA, and have had one for three years.

    However, in your position, - especially given your remarks about your financial situation - if you really, really think you need an Apple, I'd strongly recommend that you consider the refurb route. I've bought a few, and recommend it highly.

    These are Apple computers that come with the exact same guarantee and warranty as a brand new computer, (and you can add Applecare to that mix later if ) but they are often between 10-20% cheaper than a brand new model, and may well be the older - as in not necessarily the most recently updated - model; sometimes, they have been returned under the warranty, or have been CTO machines which were returned; in every case, they will have been gone through with a close attention to detail, and, to my mind, it is an excellent way to afford a brand new Apple computer at a relatively decent discount.
     

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