Which Macbook for college[Air, Pro, or Retina Pro]

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lilcorey10, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. lilcorey10 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #1
    I will start college this fall and go for a CS degree. I have been waiting quite a while for the macbook refresh... and now it's finally here. I have a $2000 budget but would prefer not to spend it all. Below are the configurations I have built on the apple store.

    Macbook Air "13
    • 256GB Flash
    • 8GB RAM
    • 1440 x 900 Resolution
    • ~$1500
    Air: lightweight, thin, higher resolution

    Macbook Pro "13
    • 500GB HDD
    • 256GB SSD (I would buy and install on my own)
    • 8GB RAM(also buy and install myself)
    • 1280 x 800 Resolution
    • ~$1500
    Pro: heavier than air and retina, thicker than air and retina, lowest resolution
    NOTE: The reason I waited for the refresh was because the Pro "13 has a 1280 x 800 resolution(low, low, low)

    Retina Pro "15
    • CRAZY RESOLUTION
    • 256GB SSD
    • 8GB RAM
    • ~$2000
    Retina: lighter than Pro but heavier than Air, about as thin as the Air, Flagship product, best resolution

    With the upgrades to the Pro and Air I can get similar specs as far as Storage and RAM go. So now the difference among the three computers is basically just the screen and structure(size and weight). Should I get the Retina Pro? Is the screen worth the $500 increase?
     
  2. arcite macrumors 6502a

    arcite

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    #2
    Go for the pro 13' then buy an external monitor of you need more resolution.
     
  3. lilcorey10 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #3
    Oh sorry I should have mentioned... I am getting an external monitor, external hard drives, keyboard and mouse for desk use in the dorm regardless of which Mac I choose.
     
  4. Fynd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #4
    Don't bother with the 13 pro.

    500$ is actually getting you a larger screen, much sharper and much more real estate, in addition to a quad core cpu(8 threads), a nice dedicated gpu capable of solid gaming if you choose, and longer battery life.

    If you have the 500, do it.
     
  5. undies1993 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #5
    Downside, 256 internal with out a current upgrade option.
     
  6. Mizzou02RS macrumors member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    #6
    If you're getting an external, go for the Pro, then.
     
  7. Blu-Ray macrumors regular

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    Colorado
  8. arcite macrumors 6502a

    arcite

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    #8
    The kid is going to college, $500 could pay for like 3 textbooks! :eek:
     
  9. undies1993 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #9
    Or like 1/4 a meal plan!! (but who needs to eat?)
     
  10. luked14 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #10
    I'd say the retina screen is worth the extra $500, but if you'll always be using an external display, then maybe not. The Air is probably the best all-around value though.
     
  11. lilcorey10 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #11
    I never thought about the Air until yesterday, but with the newly available upgrades it makes it a contender. Lightweight, thin, higher res than Pro, and same basic configuration as the Retina Pro minus the Nvidia 650M and super duper screen
     
  12. undies1993 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #12
    And CPU
     
  13. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #13
    I think the Air is the best value. If you are going to have an external drive anyway, get the $1199 model and bump the ram to 8GB. That's $1299, or $1239 with student discount.
     
  14. luked14 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #14
    If discrete graphics aren't important to you (which they possibly could be for a CS major) then the Air is everything you need and then some.
     
  15. xalexx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
    #15
    I just bought the entry RMBP yesterday in preparation for college in the fall. I'm intent on being happy with it. It's got great internals that I don't see myself ever needing to upgrade. 8GB ram will be sufficient for years. The processor is fantastic, and I have NO problem opting for an external hard drive if I ever need one. I've had my current laptop for 4 years and I've only used 150 GB of space, even being a HUGE music hog and occasional video/photo editor and gamer.
    On top of the good internals, it has retina. That's just fun. AND it's super thin. Sexy.
    To me, this is the perfect college macbook.
     

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