Suggestions on getting Macbook Air or Pro.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Oblivious.Robot, Jul 8, 2015.


Macbook Air or Pro?

  1. Air at 2.2Ghz-3.3Ghz Turbo i7 8Gb Ram 256Gb SSD, 1449$

    0 vote(s)
  2. Air at 1.6Ghz-2.7Ghz Turbo i5 8Gb Ram 256Gb SSD, 1299$

    0 vote(s)
  3. Pro at 2.7Ghz-3.1Ghz Turbo i5 8Gb Ram 256Gb SSD, 1499$

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Oblivious.Robot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2014
    Hey, could anyone give me a suggestion?
    Thinking of gifting my sister a Mac, she's a doctor and I have absolutely no idea which apps or how she uses her old Lenovo and as it's a gift I can't even ask her if she needs more performance hungry machine.
    Anyway, looking to get a maxed out Air at 2.2Ghz-3.3Ghz Turbo i7 8Gb Ram 256Gb SSD, or 1449$ or Macbook pro 2.7Ghz-3.1Ghz Turbo i5 8Gb Ram 256Gb SSD for 1499$.
    I know it's a no brainer to get the Pro model, but am wondering to not max out the Air with original processor 1.6Ghz-2.7Ghz Turbo i5 then it's 1299$ so yeah 150$ cheaper.
    Any suggestions? Will original Air with just upgraded ram be sufficient for normal tasks?

  2. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Hard to make the determination without really knowing what she uses it for, or what she values. Does she have a husband/boyfriend/partner you can talk to?

    In my experience, it seems that many women really enjoy the portability of the very small Apple laptops - the 11" Air or even the new 12" Macbook. Unless she is doing some sort of significant work on her computer (I take it this is for personal work - not her job?) the Pro would be overkill. Yet the Air has the outdated screen making the new Macbook much more appealing.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Air would be sufficient, but you get a lot more for your money with the Pro - as such its longevity/performance is guaranteed for longer.
  4. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    If I were to gift my sister a laptop, I believe I would make the choice by asking these questions:
    1) What do I know the user is in to?
    -- Photos, but simple family style
    -- Netflix Consumption
    2) What tasks do I know she would need to do?
    -- Simple pages and numbers documents for her family planning and events
    -- obvious email
    3) What technology does she have?
    -- no iPad, but an iPhone, and an old iMac

    My choice would 100% be the gold retina MacBook for $1299. It would do everything she wants, allow her to do it anywhere, and it would not be something she would buy herself... The rMB is a work of art, and for her needs, would last just fine. the HDD is 256 which is appropriate, and the RAM is default to 8 GB which is awesome. If she had an iPad, I might reconsider. But that's my sister and situation.

    What is your sister into? Is she a power user on anything like photos or videos? Does she carry around peripherals all the time? The MBA is an awesome machine, but the retina screen will make any user happy, especially a doctor who must read screens all the time. I suspect the rMB would empower any doctor to have it on his or her person 24/7, or at least nearby. The rMBP is not heavy, but if she's on her feet at a hospital 24/7, I suspect the Pro might be out of the question.

    For what it's worth, I'm typing this on an MBA and plan upgrade to a retina MBP likely in a year or so, but that's due to owning an iPad Air 2 and the power I need for my single machine for work & life.
  5. Ulenspiegel, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015

    Ulenspiegel macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    The Air will be sufficient for normal tasks. Nevertheless, she is a doctor and she might use it for her work as well (i.e. X-ray, CT or MRI results analysis etc.) where she would need better resolution. Beleive me, she would appreciate it.
  6. Oblivious.Robot thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2014
    Thanks so much everyone! Really helped with the suggestions.
    I talked a bit to her and now I understand that she uses her old laptop mostly for word processing and making lots of presentation but little to no usage for gaming and video/photo editing with mostly time spent on Microsoft Office apps.
    I hope the Air could handle it with just updating 8Gb of ram, plus portability for her as she travels around a lot.
    And I totally get that the Pro will be sort of an over kill, but it's technically more future-poof and if she ever needs more processing power it'll always be with her for 3+ years without a hiccup. So am partly decided to go with the Pro, although as now Ram isn't user accessible and can't be upgraded later, anyone think it's worth going from 8Gb to 16Gb? Do Microsoft programs eat a lot of memory? I for one am hoping she transitions to Apple's Pages/Numbers/Keynote.

    Just need to save a bit more cash to get it now :D
    Thanks again for the advice!
  7. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    First, this is an extremely generous gift - so I hope she appreciates it! :)

    From that stated use, I would strongly consider the new Macbook. It's about the same price as the Pro but it is so much more portable. If she travels a lot, she will really appreciate it, as it's a size that will fit in many women's daily bags without them thinking much about it. Any of the machines that Apple sells today should go for 3+ years no problem. The 11" Air is a nice choice too, but I don't think she will see any benefit from the faster processor, and the screen is extremely outdated. The new Macbook also gets Force Touch, which is an awesome improvement, and has a base of 256GB SSD/8GB RAM which closes the door in price once an Air is similarly outfitted.
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    that usage will be fine on any laptop made in the last 5 years. 8GB of RAM is a huge amount and will be overkill, for that use case 4Gb is fine.

    Basically buy any of apples current offerings and you'll be golden, the best thing is a retina screen though especially if she works with lots of text, it looks brilliant on the retina, almost like print.
  9. Oblivious.Robot thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2014
    The new 12" Macbook was first thing on my mind when I had started to think about gifting her, a brand new Golden Macbook! It does look amazing, but the main criticism for it was that M core processor would lack power if ever she needed to do some heavy tasks. Thats why I was halfway across Air and Pro, but eventually Pro does give me a lot of performance and is overall superior, plus get's Force Touch too and the only downside was portability, but whenever she does travel it's with some Lenovo junk :p so am pretty sure she could handle the Pro!

    Am focusing on power at the moment as she's just moving from Oz to NY, and she needs lot of word processing and presentation apps but eventually after a few months she'd probably need to use it with lab equipments too, so definitely Pro would be wisest choice.

    Thanks again for your input though, cheers! :)
  10. Oblivious.Robot thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2014
    Thanks mate! I'll be choosing the 13" Retina Macbook Pro itself and it starts with 8Gb Ram as standard so have that covered up! :D

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9 July 8, 2015