Must buy before school - best option?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sully, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. Sully macrumors regular

    Sully

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #1
    I've held out for a long time waiting for updates from Apple and for my use I'm going to continue to wait. However, I'm buying for a student who must have a laptop computer by September.

    I'm not buying used so I'm thinking the best value is the base 13 inch rMBP. The 13 inch Air's aren't that much cheaper but their specs are significantly worse than the Pros.

    Given that I can't wait for Skylake, at this point what are your opinions on my best Apple options?
     
  2. jerryk macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    What sort of classes are you taking? If you are taking anything that does a lot of computer modelling the 13 rMBP might be a bit limiting. But for general college students, 13" rMBP pros are a nice systems. Regardless of which you get just remember to get the configuration you can live with since they are not really up-gradable (memory solder on, SSD extremely expensive to buy and hard to find). The 128 GB base model seems too limited to me. But you can expand the storage with an with SD card slot based expansion jet drives, which is considerable slower than the in system ssd.

    Since this is for a student, you may be eligible for a student discount and a pair of beats headphones.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #3
    What's the intended usage? Its hard to make a recommendation when we don't know what apps will be running.
     
  4. Sully thread starter macrumors regular

    Sully

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #4

    Nothing intensive to start. An Air would work. But, looking at the specs, the best value for the money right now seems like the base 13 in. pro or maybe the 256 gb one. The 11 in screen on the cheaper Air is just to small.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #5
    I think a 13" MBP is better then the MBA, simply because you get a much better screen, never mind the superior processor.
     
  6. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #6
    You'd be surprised what you can make do with. My Late 2008 MacBook lasted all the way though high school and college with no issues whatsoever. That being said I would go with the 13" rMBP. I own both the rMBP and MBA. I prefer the rMBP over the Air for the most part but my daily carry around computer is the Air due to it's crazy long battery life.

    My recommendation is the 13" rMBP 8GB/256GB model. Mine is a Late 2013 model and it runs swimmingly. Or the base 128GB if they don't plan on storing a whole lot locally since the base models have the same amount of RAM now.
     
  7. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Location:
    MO
    #7
    I would definitely stay away from the 128GB SSD. I know that I have had a couple of classes that basically required the Windows version of Office, and for me it was nice to have to space to dual boot instead of having to go to a computer lab(never mind the fact I have other machines running Windows).
     
  8. BondFancy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2016
    #8
    This. Also, I would highly suggest you use the .edu email to sign up for student deals from Best Buy. If you currently have a Best Buy credit card and the $100 student coupon you can get the 13" rMBP with 256GB SSD for $1,249.99.
     
  9. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #9
    My daughter is in the same boat. Its a shame that Apple does get in sync with the idea that so many students need to buy Macs for the school year and they unload their out of date machines on students right before the new ones come out. Students of all people typically don't have a ton of money and need this machine to get them through college and into early career until they get a good enough job to buy a new one. It just seems that Apple would get their product lifecycle aligned with all that.

    But ranting aside, my daughter is a Graphics Design student and been getting by with my Macbook Air hand me down since her first year, but starting as a junior this year they will be doing more intense work. She's ready to just buy something and doesn't care about it being a year old... but I'm thinking about all these rumors of a total redesign. I'm starting to think now that maybe I buy her a used MBP to use for a year, and I could probably sell it again without much loss in value.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    OP wrote:
    "I'm not buying used so I'm thinking the best value is the base 13 inch rMBP."

    Since you already know -which- rMBP you would buy (if you had to buy TODAY), my advice is as follows:

    1. WAIT. Mark a day on your calendar today, that represents the final day that you absolutely need to buy, to be ready for school. Say, last week in August.

    2. WATCH. Watch for the new product announcement from Apple, and the shipping date of the new models (latter is important, for if new models are announced in August, but not shipping until October, may impact your decision).

    3. DECIDE. As soon as the new models are announced and a shipping date is as well, evaluate the new model vis-a-vis your "current choice". Then, make a decision as to which you want.

    4. BUY. Either pick up "the latest and greatest", or go for a "closeout" (older) model and save a little money.
     
  11. romanhernandez macrumors newbie

    romanhernandez

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #11
    What kind of software will you be needing your first semester? Had you considered getting something like a Chromebook to use for a few months until the MacBooks are updated? I know it's not ideal, but you'd be surprised at how much you can get done with one -- especially if you're only starting off school and will be taking basic courses like calculus, chemistry, literature, or intro business courses.
     
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #12
    They have got it aligned with that they sell off all their old stock to students (with student discounts and offers) before they release the new stuff. It's brilliant get rid of last years models stock, to people who the vast majority won't know or care what year or specs it is and clear out for the new release.
     
  13. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #13
    We went ahead and pulled the trigger last night on the 15" rMBP with 512G SSD. In total, the savings were about $625 including Beats headphones and Applecare. We talked about waiting for the new models and her hanging on for a few months with the Air. She is not enamored with the super thin laptops, and one concern I have is the new models being thinner and requiring a lot of dongles to use. She also didn't want to have to swap mid-semester. She could have possibly hung on for a few more months with my old Macbook Air that she's been using the first two years of college, but the classes she is taking next say they require an rMBP. And of course, she REALLY wanted a new pair of wireless Beats. So we got it now so she has about a week or so to get it all setup before heading back to college. She worked all summer to earn the money for it and was quite happy when we got to the store and I told her that I'd match her dollar for dollar so she only had to pay half! Now to help her get it all setup. She's going to be running the Adobe Creative Cloud - Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc... which I don't think we can setup yet because she needs the student discount on that... but I can get all the other stuff on there.
     

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