Refurbished rMBP or new MBA for medical school

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nm825, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. nm825 macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2015
    I'm starting medical school in about a month and need some advice on what to buy. I currently have a 2012 model MBP.

    My main uses are going to be reading and annotating large PDFs of textbooks, sometimes streaming webcasts of lectures, listening to music, and surfing the web.

    I've been debating what to go with.

    I was looking at this on the refurbished site:

    It's a rMBP 2.4 GHZ with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage.

    1. Would this be sufficient for my needs, especially streaming webcast of lectures and downloading, reading, and annotating large PDFs of textbooks?

    2. Do I have anything to worry about it with it being from the refurbished site?

    3. Should I look at MBA? I was originally going to go with the MBA before finding the refurbished site and I figured the retina display would be nice for all the reading I'm going to do.
  2. Cricketman macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    hey! I'm also going to go to med school in the fall. I'm deciding between the MBP and rMB right now. Personally I think the MBAir is totally out of question for me. The nonretina screen looks absolutely obsolete in comparison to the ones on the MB and rMBP. We are going to be looking at our screens A LOT over the next few years and I think a retina will really help with that.

    Other than that yeah it looks good! Compared to most people our uses are going to be really quite minimal; if you are like me (do no photo/video editing, no gaming, strictly using it for studying, FB, messaging and netflix) I think the any laptop in the line would work well. Honestly your 2012 MBP could probably last the preclinical years too

    Good luck!!
  3. Cricketman macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    Oh and Apple refurbs are great and come with a nice warranty. My family's desktop has been a 2009 mac mini refurb that runs wonderfully. My sister has a white unibody macbook refurb (2009ish i believe) that is still running well to this day.
  4. nm825 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2015
    Thanks for the advice. My dog stepped on my MBP screen and cracked it all over, plus the batter can't hold a charge any longer, so I think I definitely have to upgrade.

    Are you planning on going all digital for your textbooks?
  5. Cricketman macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    All my course packs are digital so I will be using it primarily for that. As for textbooks, i'm going to try my best to get digital copies and if so i'd use that, but for the important ones (board review series books, first aid etc) I like having physical copies that I can mark up as much as possible. The big reference texts I might try to find PDF copies of.

    If it helps, I just came back from the apple store and am pretty much zoned in on the MBPr. The MacBook is sexy AF but the screen is a bit too small for the hours and hours i'll be staring at it. I think we both will be happy with the new Pro, that retina screen is gorgeous I wouldn't look twice at the air if I was you!
  6. ChrisStayte macrumors newbie


    Apr 27, 2015
    I know it might be a weird recommendation on the MacRumors forums but I would suggest the surface pro 3. Great computer for the uses that you would like to use it for. If you must go with a mac I would just go for the new macbook they came out with. If you don't mind a lower resolution and just wan't the best bang for the buck go with the smallest MBAir.
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I'm currently studying (postgrad in medicinal chemistry) and I am so glad I went with the Pro the retina screen is brilliant for text and PDF's etc, so clear it's as good as print, much nicer on your eyes for hours of studying.

    I would go Pro all day long these days, unless battery life is your only priority.

    Just a quick tip for PDF's acrobat reader and precview are pretty resource hungry for working with PDF's, I use a little freeware program called Skim it is brilliant for pdf's and notations etc and it's easy on your computers resources.
  8. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    We have MBPs and MBAs here in our house. One key difference is the 1.5 pound difference between the two. Otherwise, I would go to a retailer and do some reviewing. I use an MBP all day long, but don't really mind using the MBA at home. I think either will have the compute/processing power you need for what you've described.
  9. canuckRus macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2014
  10. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    If you are going to be doing a lot of reading, the then choice is easy. Go with the rMBP. Your eyes will thank you.
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    There is only 1/2 a pound difference betwwen the 13 inch air and the 13 inch rMBP.

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10 June 30, 2015