What should I get and when? (UK)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Cherrysftw, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Cherrysftw, Dec 3, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013

    Cherrysftw macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
    Hey I'm going to uni in sept 2014, and currently am laptop-less. I have had windows machines in the past, but never been impressed by their durability/speed etc.

    I am set on getting an apple laptop, whether pro/air. My uses are very simple:

    Browse internet
    Check emails
    Listen to music
    Watch videos on YouTube
    Play 2 games (very old games), RuneScape and counter strike 1.6 (released on Mac OS)
    Process basic documents on Microsoft word

    Pretty much it, I'm studying maths at university so don't require a laptop for that purpose. Don't plan on doing any designing/editing/programming etc.

    I figured the medium rMbp would be good (2,4ghz/8gb ram/256gb 13in).

    Would this machine do all the tasks flawlessly? Where would it struggle? What can it not do at all? Is the 13 inches too small? Is there anything I should be aware of before buying my MacBook? What are the negatives of having a mac laptop?

    Should I buy my laptop now as I don't really need it now, (could use a cheap NetBook for 6 months). Is the back to school sale worth waiting for, would a newer model come out by then? I also qualify for the 15% discount for students.

    I receive grants when I hit uni, so can upgrade to newer models then but if it is blatantly obvious to not buy one now then I will refrain from doing so. Also what do they offer with the back to school offer?

    This is the first apple computer I am buying.

  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Macbook Air's are excellent machines. Get one next August to make sure you get the latest and greatest.
  3. Tfb macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    You definitely don't need the power of the MBP over the MBA, and MBAs are a dream for portability and battery life.

    Is the retina screen what is drawing you?

    In any case if you are happy with whatever you are working with for now I would absolutely wait. Who knows what next year will bring! See the MBA and MBP threads for rampant and enjoyable speculation about a 14" retina mba, for example!
  4. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    i'd go with the Air as well. Those things are a dream - fast, light, all day battery...

    Save the $500 and buy yourself some goose :D its what uni's for ;)

    congrats on getting in, and good luck. it'll be a big change enjoy it while you can :D
  5. Cherrysftw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
    Haha I don't drink lol.

    So waiting for the air next year then? Is it a lot better? I was liking the new rmbp, the exterior and interior is quite aesthetic.
  6. Angra-mainju, Dec 3, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013

    Angra-mainju macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2009
    Hey, I am a student in the UK; if you add educational pricing, rMBP 13 256 has almos the same price as MBA 256; about 50 pounds more expensive or something - get the rMBP when the new one will come out! :)

    If you will study maths then you will be doing some Mathlab or Mathematica; I'm doing empirical methods in finance course now and do Eviews, MatLab extensively.
  7. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    fine don't drink then, and by the end of year 1 if you still don't drink, then you can get rink/court side seats to the game you always wanted to see, or take a trip for a weekend with nice young lady/lad (whatever makes you happy) :D


    uhm, you still get the education discount on the air... no?
  8. Cherrysftw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
    Ah ok, they provide us with very good computers (I think iMacs) at the university.

    When does the new rMBP come out, seeing as it was updated 3-4 weeks back. Also if portability isn't an issue (the new Mbp is quite close in weight and height to the air) is there a point in buying an air? The new pro is like an air but better hardware and aesthetics and retina which is good to look at.


    Haha definitely going to take a lady with me, especially as I'm in Manchester.

    We can get 15% on anything in the apple store.
  9. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    Battery life. My wife uses the our Air for similar purposes as you (she is a PhD student), and
    1) the extra couple of hundred grams make a difference in a bag full of other crap
    2) not having to carry the charger adds another few hundred grams as the Air will last 12hours easily without worrying about lowering scree brightness to much and turning off stuff like wifi/bt

    on the other hand the retina is nice to look at, and the HW is faster :D but like i said the extra cash makes it not worth it for you perticular purposes (unless you are hell bent on the retina)

    the other thing to consider is that the Air is due for screen upgrade next year so perhaps wait it out for now :D

    the rMBP won't be updated any time soon, it just was probably will see a minor speed bump in a few (5-8) months and a switch to Broadwell when that becomes available late next year :D
  10. Cherrysftw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
    What do you say to buying the rmbp with the specs stated and then using the scholarship money/grants to upgrade to whatever is appropriate at the time. I have nothing now so a mac would be good to get used seeing my lac of experience.

    I'm going into the store to examine each laptop
  11. And macrumors 6502


    Feb 23, 2009
    92 ft above sea level, UK
    If buy with student discount do it via the online apple store, you get 3 years free warranty, you don't get that in-store.

    If you wait until the summer, Apple normally bundle a gift card. I think it was £60 this summer, useful for app store purchases.

    Wait until you get to uni before buying any software, often unis have good deals for selling software to students (I got mac office for £30 for example. This may also apply to things like custom mathematics software, avoid buying the 'student' edition, yo umay be able to get full edition for very little).
  12. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    LOL,, the impatience of youth, ahhh i love it... btw that shi7 does not go away with age lol

    I say, buy it enjoy it. if you want the newest, shiniest, brightest after, deal with that then :D
  13. wb123 macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2013
    When I last checked the UK student discount worked out at about 30% once you knock off the price of the applecare if you would have bought it otherwise. I'd wait till you start and can order on campus.
  14. Cherrysftw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
    Do you get more discount if you buy off the campus or if you go in store and show proof of being a uni student?


    Haha, I just want a MacBook ASAP. Well a laptop for that matter.
  15. Cherrysftw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
  16. Cherrysftw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
  17. Kevclark1985 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2013
    You are right about the price of the MBA/MBP not being much different with UK student discount. I went for rMBP mid model (256gb/8gb/2.4 i5).

    This will do everything you need and do it really fast. The slight price increase over the MBA has some point that (in my opinion) makes it worth it:

    The screen (its awesome)
    The SSD has much faster read/write speeds
    Faster processor
    Smaller footprint over MBA (i.e the width and length are smaller so takes up less room on a desk)
    It's not much heavier and will not be a chore to carry it around
    Still gets around 9-10hrs battery life which is still great!
    Resale value will be higher if you decide to sell/upgrade down the line.

    The only reason I can see anyone going for a MBA is if they want the smaller laptop (11") or they must have the 15hr battery life (some may, but they are the minority)
  18. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    You also get the ability to use two external displays. 2 x thunderbolt and 1 x HDMI is a lot better than 1 x thunderbolt. I do prefer the air form factor, but the MBP has much better overall functionality.

    I wouldn't buy any of these without 8GB RAM and a 256GB drive if wanting a good experience over 3-4 years and reasonable resell. That config from Apple with UK education pricing puts the MBP at about £40 more.
  19. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Get a Dell Precision M4800. It only weighs around 25KG! *Joking*

    I'd get the rMPB as there isn't much of a price difference and the extra speed will make you want to keep it for longer. Unless you must have the absolute lightest laptop the extra speed and better screen would win it for me.
  20. Kevclark1985 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2013

    Totally forgot the Air does not have HDMI, good point. For me the 13" retina is far too close to the Air in size, weight and price to make the 13" the correct choice for 90% of people. Only those that need the battery life makes sense to me (unless you just prefer the design and so on)
  21. Cherrysftw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
  22. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Just decide already! You've went from buying a MacBook, to returning it, deciding, and now full circle!

    My advice is the same. Buy the 13" rMBP, with 8GB memory and 256GB SSD, which will be great for your needs. I wouldn't go near the Air. The display is *awful* in comparison to the rMBP.
  23. Cherrysftw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2013
    LOL hahah, I got ripped like a fool for that MacBook, like damn.

    I'm getting my MacBook on sat, going in store as I'm too impatient to wait for China (well actually need a laptop really bad!). Gonna have to fork out £48 for the AppleCare.

    Thanks people
  24. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    If it's not custom, it will likely ship from UK and you'll have it in two days. ;)

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