Perfect MacBook Pro/Air For A College Student...?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Prof., Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #1
    Okay so here's the story. My 2007 MacBook is beginning to kick the bucket after five years of service and four different operating systems. Therefore, I am looking to buy a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air within the next six months. My question is: should I go with MBP or MBA? I would like my new MacBook Pro/Air to last at least as long as my current 2007 MacBook.

    In your opinion, should I get a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air and with what specifications? Like I said, I'd like it to be "future proof" for as long as possible.
     
  2. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #2
    Depends on what you want and how much you want to spend.

    I personally wouldn't look at the 13" MBP.

    I think that the 2012 Macbook Air 13" with 8GB RAM for $1299 is a very good value for the money. It's very portable while maintaining pretty nice specs.

    The Retina Macbook Pro is really powerful and will probably serve you well for a long time, but it's also expensive.

    The 15" Non-Retina Macbook Pro is cheaper than the retina version and lets you upgrade the RAM and HDD yourself, but it's heavier and thicker than the other two options.
     
  3. Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #3
    Thanks! I was thinking about the 15" MacBook Pro for $2,165. I figure with all that horsepower, it'd last me at least five years!
     
  4. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Retina version? Or non-Retina?
     
  5. Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #5
    non-retina.

    I just priced out this one...
     

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  6. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #6
    If you're already up in that price territory, it might be worth checking out a 15" Retina version in person at an Apple Store.

    For a college student I think the non-Retina 15" is going to be a tad big and heavy, especially since you're coming from a Macbook. The Retina Macbook Pro weighs less than a 13" MBP and has very similar specs to the model you posted (except for total storage space). The Retina version will also feel faster in a lot of tasks because of the SSD.

    I'm not recommending for sure either way, I just think it would be worth comparing them in person, especially since you want to use it for a long time.

    Either one is going to be a performance beast compared to your 2007 Macbook.
     
  7. Dangerdog3000 macrumors member

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    Aug 26, 2009
    #7
    If you're going to spend $2014 you might as well opt for the Retina MBP. If you use the student discount it's priced at $1999 + a $100 gift card which I recommend putting towards AppleCare somewhere down the road.
     
  8. Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #8
    Can I add more RAM later, or is it soldered to the board like the MBA?
     
  9. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Soldered. So if you want 16GB you have to order it that way. If you aren't doing pro level video editing or other super intensive stuff, 8GB will probably be just fine (and again be a big upgrade from your Macbook).

    The SSD is removable though, so at some point places like OWC should sell replacements:

    http://blog.macsales.com/14040-new-2012-macs-means-new-owc-ssd-designs
     
  10. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

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    #10
    Soldered to the board unfortunately.
    I think someone mentioned that you can take out the flash storage and theoretically replace it, but it's a proprietary SSD so no one makes bigger ones yet.

    Edit: Beaten while typing :p
     
  11. Prof., Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #11
    Oooooh! I thought the SSD was soldered! I didn't know you can change it at a later date. Okay, I'm sold. I'm gonna get the retina MBP later on this year when School starts. I'd rather have the retina MBP and have it last me 5+ years, than having to keep upgrading every 3 years.
     
  12. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #12
    :D

    Also remember that you get $200 off with the student discount, and the $100 gift card if you buy within the Back To School promotional period.
     
  13. Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #13
    Isn't that just an iTunes card?
     
  14. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    You can't add RAM and it'll be difficult (expensive) to add a larger SSD, since it's an Apple proprietary design. It's a niche size, so it'll be a specialty part with a premium price, made only by few manufacturers. If you're looking at the rMBP then configure it to last as long as you'll have it. Unless you're going to be working with HD video regularly, then the base model should be awesome for everything, including gaming!

    If you're looking at the regular MBP then you can add RAM and storage drive yourself, so buy from OWC or Newegg. The drawback is the added weight, low res screen and glossiness (a con IMO), and the graphics card is somewhat worse. With aftermarket parts you could make a MBP and rMBP with 256 SSD, 8GB RAM for about the same price, but everything else will have its unchangeable differences (screen, size, GPU, ports).
     
  15. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #15
    Yes, usable in iTunes or the Mac App Store.
     
  16. Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #16
    Right now, after having my MB for 5 years, I'm slightly over 72GB of HDD space used...
     
  17. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Sheesh. A 256GB SSD will be a huge upgrade for you then.

    If you need more space, you could always get a fast USB 3 external hard drive. They're about $100 for 1 TB (Yes, terrabyte).
     
  18. Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #18
    I think this will be the last question, but i'm not making any promises. :p Can I buy the AppleCare at a later date, or do I have to buy it when I buy the rMBP?
     
  19. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #19
    I believe you have 1 year from purchase date to add AppleCare, unless it has changed recently.
     
  20. JohnnyQuest macrumors 65816

    JohnnyQuest

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    #20
    My 2008 MBP is literally falling apart at the hinge, and I've been looking to upgrade for a while, but wanted to see what new things Apple was coming out with. I'm a Telecommunications student, and I'm pretty into photography as well. I love the form-factor and weight of the air, but the Retina Pro is the only option worth looking at IMO. If you want a "future-proof" machine, that's it.

    Retina screen. SSD. Thin form factor. USB 3.0. Better engineering. It's a no-brainer.

    I just bought the 2.6 model, and it'll be here in a couple weeks!
     
  21. Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #21
    Thanks for all your help, guys! Now I just gotta wait for school to start in August, and to pay down my CC just a bit more. :D
     

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