Which Macbook for college

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by CAPkuang, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. CAPkuang macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    I have done lots of research (Googling) but every other website/forum is telling me the opposite thing. Im planning on buying a Macbook for college but Im stuck on whether to get the Macbook Pro 13 inch or the Macbook Air 13 inch. What it comes down to is whether to get a faster processor (Pro) or get an SSD (Air). As of right now, the only tasks I will need to use is Internet browsing, Microsoft Office and Photoshop Elements 10. I also cant decide on whether upgrading from 4gb of RAM to 8gb of RAM. I intend to use this laptop through my years at college.

    If there is a thread just for asking these questions please redirect me as I hate to clog up the forums with these kind of questions.
  2. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    Unless you need an optical drive, get the MBA. You can get an external DVD burner for the rare occasions you need one.
  3. techocd macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012
    As a university student who has used both, I ended up sticking with the Air. It is really a cost/benefit problem, but I found that since storage space wasn't an issue for me at 128GB or 256GB the size and weight of the Air was more important. The SSD really improves performance for everyday tasks, which in university is pretty much everything that is required. As far as RAM, upgrade to 8GB, Apple is now on a 1 year operating system upgrade cycle, and with upgrades seem to come new requirements. If you want it to last, it's worth it. But in the end it is a difficult decision, because it is a personal one. For some limited HD space is a deal breaker, but CPU seems to be an ever lessening concern for most people, especially with the new chipsets inclusion of turbo boost. Hope it helps, good luck.
  4. Blackened Apple macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2012
    Go with the Air. The processors aren't really that different, being both dual-cores with similar clock frequencies (when you take in consideration the boost frequencies). In fact, the upgraded i7 in the Air is faster than the base i5 in the Pro. The difference is much greater between the Air and the 15" Pros, since those give you quad-core CPUs and discrete GPUs. Overall the Air will give you a better experience, unless you need an optical drive or an easily upgradeable computer.
  5. MacSince1990 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    With those requirements, you could get away with a 12" PowerBook.
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  7. szolr macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2011
    London, UK
    I've just finished my first year at university. I went through the same considerations last year. But last year it was the upgraded 11 inch MBA that cost £999 and the base 13 inch Air was over £1000. That was too much for me considering the inconvenience of having to store my iTunes library on a portable hard drive. But now the 13 inch base Air is £999. It's a no brainer. :) Air wins.
  8. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2012
    I'm in University, and the Macbook Air is great. As I commute (do not live on campus), carrying the Air in my backpack does not add a lot of weight.

    The SSD is insanely fast! No time is wasted in turning it on/off or loading apps.
  9. boto macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2012
    Unless you need a optical drive, ethernet port, or planning to upgrade the RAM/SSD in the future than I would go with the MBA. Personally, I prefer the weight, form factor, SSD, and higher res matte display the MBA provides.
  10. astoxos macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2012
  11. manunited macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2012
    I just finished my first year at college and let me tell you this: if you're going to be lugging your laptop around campus, definitely go for the air. I originally bought the 13" pro but recently sold it and bought the new 2012 air. It's just so much lighter and faster for everyday tasks. Plus, the design of the machine is amazing. I'm still amazed at how thin this machine is... the 13" Pro is more of a legacy machine and at this point in time, I have to say that the MacBook Air is Apple's latest and greatest 13" machine.
  12. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
    -Corrected :D
  13. asting macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    It's a shame they took away downvotes.
  14. CAPkuang thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to go with the air. Would I need to upgrade to 8gb of ram for my basic tasks or should I upgrade it just in case since its only 90 dollars more
  15. Retina MacBook macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    If you feel like running a lot of applications (maybe Safari with Pages and Keynote and Photoshop) or Photoshop files at the same time, go get them.
  16. luqtotheman macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2012
    What is your spending limit? you can always get a high Mac air if it is within budget

    I went with the macbook air and I got 1 TB external for backing up or leaving old movies I don't watch on it on there. For me the size the key once I need a new Macbook. Books and notebooks are enough not including anything else you carry. The air is awesome but ultimately its a personal decision and make sure it fits your needs and what you will be happy with in your college experience.

    Best of lucK:):apple:
  17. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    If you have books to carry out with you, MBP is not really an option.
  18. abuleban macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Saudi Arabia
    Get the Air

    and max out the RAM, it'll be worth it in the long run


    It will do all that you need & more & is so light its great!
  19. CAPkuang thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    After reading all these helpful replies and tips, I bought the 13 inch MBA with 8gb of ram. Thanks for helping me decide on my first laptop and Mac. Now all there is left is the waiting period
  20. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
    Yet another satisfied MacRumours Forum customer :cool:

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