Which Mac should I buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SPJones17, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. SPJones17 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 2, 2013
    #1
    I'm going to college. I want a Mac that's fast, will last me at least six years, and has decent battery life. Which of these three choices should I buy?

    -13 inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display
    256 GB SSD
    8 GB RAM
    2.6 Ghz i5 (Ivy Bridge)
    $1720 with an Amazon Basics External DVD Drive (Amazon Next Day Shipping)

    -13 inch MacBook Pro non-retina
    256 GB SSD
    8 GB RAM
    2.9 Ghz i7 (Ivy Bridge)
    $1720 (Same Price Range as Retina) (Apple Online Store-Will take about a week to ship)

    -13 inch MacBook Air
    256 GB SSD
    8 GB RAM
    1.7 Ghz i7 (Haswell)
    $1720-1730 (I will buy the Mac from the Apple online Store and a cheap external DVD drive from amazon)
     
  2. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

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  3. SPJones17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I'll use it for web-surfing, writing papers, power points,, the occasional use of photoshop, and watching movies (Netflix). I do want a computer that I can rely on should I ever need some power though.
     
  4. sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

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  5. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

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    #5
    MBA unless you really want a retina screen and can wait until the refresh this fall.
     
  6. VanillaCracker macrumors 68030

    VanillaCracker

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    #6
    Idk about 6 years, but I would say MBP retina (just cus I like resolution), but since the 13'' still has the old form factor, I'd wait till October. Otherwise, if you can't wait, I guess MBA is just as good. Seems a little too thin for my taste. Honestly a 13" MBP is awesome. But you don't need the 2.9 processor. You can probably get the non retina 2.6 for $1500
     
  7. Memole macrumors member

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  8. EmbraceTheOne macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    What's your budget?
    If you have a high budget, go for the retina. Photoshop will be nice on it, along with HD Netflix movies.
    If you'll be on the move a lot, MBA.

    Retina :)
     
  9. SPJones17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Thanks to all of you guys for your suggestions. It's been almost unanimous for the Air, but I'm still going to wait for some more answers for different opinions.

    @EmbraceTheOne I have an $1800 budget which is enough to get any of the three machines I listed in my question. That's why this decision is so difficult. I would have been set on the Retina Macbook pro had I not heard of the overheating issues, it's outdated hardware that struggles to run the retina display, and the fact that it's getting an upgrade in a few months that I can't wait for since I need a new laptop in the next two weeks or so.
     
  10. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

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    #10
    All of those machines will be out of budget if you include Applecare,va must if you want to keep it for more than 1 year. I would go for the 13" MBA i5/8 GB RAM/256 GB flash for $1339 and a $100 gift card.
     
  11. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    #11
    The lagging on the Retina actually has to do with the OS. Mavericks will fix this, and already has for people running the developer betas.

    On the other hand, what is it that you need daily access to a DVD drive for? If you're going to be keeping this machine for 6 years, I would steer clear of the classic MBP. Also look into whether the screen on the Air bothers you or not.
     
  12. SPJones17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I was planning on buying AppleCare later in the year. It's only $183 with an education discount.
     
  13. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

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    #13
    Whatever computer you decide to get, do not upgrade to i7, because you are just wasting the $150 or $100 without benefits for your uses.
     
  14. SPJones17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I don't think that the Air's screen would bother me since I'm currently using an old, Windows Vista Acer Aspire Notebook. My computer has a 1366 x 768 screen while the Air has a 1440 x 900 resolution. I'd still be seeing an improvement. Not the improvement of a Retina, but an improvment nonetheless.
     
  15. EmbraceTheOne macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    If you really want the power when you need it, I don't think you should go with an air. I've never personally owned one, but only having a 1.7ghz processor, it won't give you 'as much' "power when you need it." Airs are nice for surfing the web, note taking, carrying around campus. Or watching videos online.
    I think you should go Non retina or retina. Retinas are beautiful, and powerful. Non retinas are great machines, and the displays are decent. I've had my 2011 i7 MBP for going on 2 years and it still runs like a champ. Correct me if I'm wrong.. the retinas have a GPU too, that's always nice :)

    If I were in your shoes, I would buy a retina. Screens are beautiful, they have a GPU, are thinner then MBPs, and they are just plain sexy. Do you NEED a Retina MBP? Probably not. I'm the kind of guy that always wants the newer technology. It may be overkill for you, but you get a nice machine.

    Hope I helped.
     
  16. sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

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    #16
    OK folks. The OP wants to hear us suggest him retina...

    +1 retina if it pleases you :D
     
  17. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    #17
    For your listed uses, I would too say the the Air is all you would need. But if you want the power just in case you might need it for something, I would say go with the cMBP (slightly higher processor speed than the retina + self-upgradable SSD and RAM) but the rMBP is almost equally as powerful, but you cant upgrade the internals.

    I can say that all would definitely do what you need it to. At this point its going to have to be your preference of:
    -Screen
    -Battery Life
    -Customizability

    If the screen is most important, go retina; if battery life is most important, go air; if customizability is important, go cMBP
     
  18. iPoopeh macrumors regular

    iPoopeh

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    #18
    I would personally go for the Retina~ (I'm also attending college). Yes the weight and battery of the MBA is nice... But the screen of the Retina is too good to pass up. Also you still get pretty decent battery life since what you are doing isn't that intense. :) And the 13'' Retina isn't all that heavy either.
     
  19. SPJones17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Well if that were the case, then I wouldn't have pointed out all of the flaws that I see in the Retina would I? It's because of all the suggestions for the Air that I've seen today that I'm seriously considering it.

    And besides, the retina pro just went up $100 on Amazon anyways. It's over my budget now and I don't think the screen is worth the extra $100.
     
  20. sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

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    #20
    If you get the MBA, get the i5. According to your usage you'll be very fine. If you are very fond of a retina then get the haswell i5 not the current one.

    Don't expect your laptop to last 6 years. In three years it'll be outdated. You'll very likely resell in two years after Intel broadwell is released...
     
  21. VanillaCracker, Aug 3, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013

    VanillaCracker macrumors 68030

    VanillaCracker

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    #21
    Yeah, as a casual user here (I don't really use design or creation programs at all) you'd totally be fine with the MBA. I think it's the obvious best choice for you, because 1) it's the lightest. The MBP isn't a brick, but compared to the air it will definitely weigh your arm, or back down carrying it around campus. And 2) The price is right. It's the cheapest of all the choices. The display is a great improvement in your case as Apple's LED displays will probably look much better than acer regardless of the resolution. Enjoy your new Mac


    Edit: I would also second what others have said about not getting the i-7 processor. I didn't realize at first why your MBA configuration was the same price but for $1100, or $1300 (I would probably suggest the latter for the 256Gig drive) you would get a muchhh better value in getting the i5. You won't need the i7. My old laptop was an i3, and it more than served me well. I know this is most likely your parents money, but if you decide to blow it on the i7 anyway because they wouldn't know the difference, I think that's dumb. Trust me, I've been in your shoes before, and if you can save them $400 you may see more benefit from saving them money than you would in actually getting an unnecessary i7.

    Oh, also, the 13'' MBPr is outdated. Since you can't wait for the update (lighter, thinner, current processor/graphics) I would easily rule that one out.
     
  22. skaertus macrumors 68030

    skaertus

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    Brazil
    #22
    It will depend on what you want. The 13-inch retina MacBook Pro has a faster processor and a much better screen. The Air is a little bit lighter, has a better battery life and a better video card. I would go for the 13-inch retina model, but each to its own. You may also want to wait for the 13-inch retina with Haswell, which will have a better battery life and a better integrated video card too. It should come up in the next few months.
     
  23. SPJones17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 2, 2013
    #23
    Well actually no lol I'm not using my parents' money. All of my budget is money I earned by getting a scholarship. I would feel bad spending my parents' money on ANY Mac.

    But anyways, I've also decided NOT to buy the retina because of the overwhelming majority of people telling me to stay away and I'm 90% likely to go with the Air. As for the i5 or i7 thing, you're right. It might be a waste to get the i7 and plus I read that the i7 lowers the amazing battery life of the air. Thank you for the input
     
  24. Jesse813 macrumors newbie

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    Pottstown, PA
    #24
    if you want Retina screen with & SSD performance & HDMI & 2 Thunderbolt ports than this is the Mac to get

    if you want firewire, ethernet, SuperDrive, and like being able to check the charge on your battery without lifting the lid and don't mind the extra weight than this computer is still a pretty good option


    if you want the most portable 13' Macbook available than this is it
     

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