Upgrade my 2008 Macbook or Buy an iPad?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by travist128, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. travist128, Sep 10, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012

    travist128 macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2012
    Hey Everyone,

    I have an early 2008 Macbook (Core 2 Duo) that was not included in the Mountain Lion update. I'm a grad student and really like the idea of the iPad for reading articles and various PDFs rather than printing them off. I really prefer to highlight and take margin notes on my articles, so either printing them or having an iPad makes the most sense.

    Taking my Macbook to class for PDFs and to take notes hasn't worked well for me so far, as I still prefer to take paper notes. My initial thought was to buy an iPad to have my articles with me while I take notes on paper.

    Here's the conundrum: with a limited budget (I can only afford one or the other right now), is it a better idea to upgrade my laptop (say, to a Macbook Air) or to stick with my Macbook and buy an iPad? Will I have issues in the future getting the full potential out of an iPad with iOS 6 with a computer that is still running OS X Lion? Ultra-portable Macbook Air only, or an iPad in addition to my aging Macbook?

    P.S.- I should also mention that the price would be relatively the same. $550 for a refurb. iPad 3 32GB, or about $850 for a refurb. Macbook Air minus the money I could get out of my current Macbook ($200-$300).

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I would get the iPad and keep your macbook. There should be no problem getting the most out of the iPad because they really are designed to be separate devices and should not affect anything.

    And what is it about OS X ML that you really wanted to make use of? There are a lot of features that seem like fun, but all of those will be available on an iPad. I have a 2009 iMac that I have brought back to life by upgrading the RAM and HDD size along with reinstalling the OS and using Geektool to make my computing experience more fun. You'd be surprised what a nice refresh can do to your computer; especially after 3 years.

    And I would even recommend buying a refurbished iPad2 instead of the 3. It will save you some money that you can use to max out the RAM on your macbook.
  3. MacLovin78 macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2008
    I second keeping the mac. I just upgraded my 2009 MBP 15" with 8GB ram and an OCZ Octane 256GB hard drive and it is like a brand new computer. The SSD makes this computer fly and helps with battery life. I did the two upgrades for a little over $200. I don't know if I would even buy an iPad at the moment until after 9/12 or even October for the pending updates that are rumored.
  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I have the same (similar) Macbook. I just put in SSD and I'm working on maxing out memory. I'm disappointed I can't run ML but I think I can get some more life out of this thing. The biggest downer is I'm fighting beachballs, hence my desire to upgrade my ram (beyond Apple's recommended limit of 4GB).

    I take my iPad to classes and meetings. If you have to type a lot, consider a BT keyboard/case. It's the perfect form factor for: ebook reading, use on a couch, use in bed, taking notes in class or a meeting. The only caveat is it is easier to keep up with a physical keyboard. Depending on how detailed your notes are, having to "type on glass" at class lecture speed might not be very practical.

    Since you're trying to save money, who cares if a new iPad is coming. You might be able to snag an iPad 2 for even less. I picked up one for my wife to use as an ereader and she loves it.

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