Should I buy a MacBook Air for school?

Macdude2010

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Mar 17, 2010
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Hello everyone,
I am deciding whether it is a good idea to buy an 11 inch Air for schoolwork. Here is the backstory:

I bought the top of the line retina MacBook Pro for school last year (I have a writing disorder and use the computer for almost everything school related), now, it served its job very well, but I noticed two things, one is that the 15 inch is pretty big to be on a high school desk along with books and other things, and that as the year moved on, I became a little uncomfortable bringing around a computer that costs as much as it did, especially after it was splattered with ink and damage to the bottom case (both were fixed because of repairs needing to be done).

I was thinking maybe about buying an 11 inch MacBook Air and keeping my Retina MacBook Pro in the like new condition it was restored to in the repairs. I would probably buy the base model and then maybe sell it and upgrade when newer models come out.

I would like some advice on what to do, I buy all of this stuff with my own money, however, this time my parents might pay for part of it as a birthday present (birthday is this saturday.) The Air would be the computer I bring around for work, and then the retina would be used for when I need to do something intensive, like Movie, Photo and Music editing.

Thoughts?
 

Macdude2010

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Mar 17, 2010
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I use an iPad 4 on campus and a Mac mini at home. You might be surprised what an iPad is capable of.
I own the Mini and the Full size, I used the full size one in 8th grade, I would have continued to use it if it wasn't it for all of my 250 or so documents mysteriously disappearing, plus, multitasking on the Mac is much better
 

PhD Chick

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2013
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Norwich, UK
Have you tried out the 11-inch in store? I know that some people are absolutely fine with the small screen, but I know that I'd prefer the 13-inch version if I was going to be using it for an extended amount of time. The 13-inch model is only half a pound heavier, and they aren't all that different in size.
 

Macdude2010

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Mar 17, 2010
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Have you tried out the 11-inch in store? I know that some people are absolutely fine with the small screen, but I know that I'd prefer the 13-inch version if I was going to be using it for an extended amount of time. The 13-inch model is only half a pound heavier, and they aren't all that different in size.
I have tried it a little bit, but i've heard the 11 carries a lot more like a tablet then the 13
 

mentaluproar

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May 25, 2010
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If you make use if mission control, the 11 isn't bad. As for your disappearing files, where you running snow leopard on that machine?
 

schopaia

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Apr 14, 2010
72
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I would say to go with the 13 inch. Since you are dependent on using it for word processing, the keyboard and trackpad are a bit more generous, and you will be able to see more of the document because of the (obviously) larger screen. The vertical real estate on the 11" is too cramped for my tastes - and it's especially apparent when reading longer texts.
 

chumawumba

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Aug 9, 2012
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Ask the NSA
I have a 13 inch (2012), and I can say that it works pretty good for me.

As for video editing, when I use Final Cut Pro and Motion, I notice minor lag, also accompanied by slight overheating. Otherwise it works perfectly fine on ordinary tasks such as word processing and web browsing.
 

Macdude2010

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Mar 17, 2010
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I would say to go with the 13 inch. Since you are dependent on using it for word processing, the keyboard and trackpad are a bit more generous, and you will be able to see more of the document because of the (obviously) larger screen. The vertical real estate on the 11" is too cramped for my tastes - and it's especially apparent when reading longer texts.
I have a 13 inch (2012), and I can say that it works pretty good for me.

As for video editing, when I use Final Cut Pro and Motion, I notice minor lag, also accompanied by slight overheating. Otherwise it works perfectly fine on ordinary tasks such as word processing and web browsing.
So, even though I own the 15 inch Retina, you still recommend getting the 13 inch, and why specifically?
 

designs216

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Oct 26, 2009
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I would sell the rMBP and apply the proceeds toward a 2012 13" Air. Try to make it your goal of graduating with a little debt as possible. One other note, as this machine will get bumped around quite a bit, consider investing in Applecare.
 

Macdude2010

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Mar 17, 2010
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I would sell the rMBP and apply the proceeds toward a 2012 13" Air. Try to make it your goal of graduating with a little debt as possible. One other note, as this machine will get bumped around quite a bit, consider investing in Applecare.
I need the Retina MacBook Pro for more intense stuff, I also am considering the new MBA because of the improved battery life
 

hkim1983

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2009
353
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I would sell the rMBP and apply the proceeds toward a 2012 13" Air. Try to make it your goal of graduating with a little debt as possible. One other note, as this machine will get bumped around quite a bit, consider investing in Applecare.
He's already stated that he buys all of his stuff with his own money. When I hear "money", I think cash, as in the liquid asset cash, and not a payable in the form of credit.

He also stated that some of the expense will be picked up by his parents (possibly), so unless you consider that a liability to his parents, he's not taking on any additional debt.
 

designs216

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2009
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Down the rabbit hole
He's already stated that he buys all of his stuff with his own money. When I hear "money", I think cash, as in the liquid asset cash, and not a payable in the form of credit.

He also stated that some of the expense will be picked up by his parents (possibly), so unless you consider that a liability to his parents, he's not taking on any additional debt.
True. Didn't know at that point that there was a reason to tie up money in two laptops. Perhaps you skip the Air then and get an iPad with keyboard case for taking notes and light productivity?
 

Macdude2010

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Mar 17, 2010
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True. Didn't know at that point that there was a reason to tie up money in two laptops. Perhaps you skip the Air then and get an iPad with keyboard case for taking notes and light productivity?
if you look up, i did that in 8th grade, it didnt work out for two reasons, one was that my 250 or so documents disappeared, and i cannot multitask on it (this year i had a lot of times where i needed multiple documents open at once
 

hkim1983

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2009
353
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if you look up, i did that in 8th grade, it didnt work out for two reasons, one was that my 250 or so documents disappeared, and i cannot multitask on it (this year i had a lot of times where i needed multiple documents open at once
The disappearing document issue is a little odd, you could probably keep stuff in Dropbox unless you're using programs not supported by Dropbox.

The multitasking issue should be better addressed once iOS 7.0 comes out though.
 

Macdude2010

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Mar 17, 2010
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The disappearing document issue is a little odd, you could probably keep stuff in Dropbox unless you're using programs not supported by Dropbox.

The multitasking issue should be better addressed once iOS 7.0 comes out though.
Not exactly, the multitasking I am talking about is between documents, pages does not allow me to do that
 

montom

macrumors member
Jun 25, 2005
63
2
If you're only using it at school, then an 11" should be fine. You'll appreciate the portability, size, and cost. You can then switch to the rMBP at home.

But if you're going to be doing all your writing, researching, and homework on it, then go up to the 13" Air because multitasking will be easier.
 
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Macdude2010

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 17, 2010
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Ok, so I think I have it figured out, I bought an iPad mini and gave my other one to my brother as a present recently and it's still under the return policy, what I'll probably do is return it and use that money to put towards buying an air