Which Macbook is right for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SportsPerson, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. SportsPerson macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2012

    I am beginning university in a few weeks and will be needing a laptop. I've been reading over the forums for a while and doing a bit of research but I can't seem to settle on which kind of Macbook to get.

    I will mostly be using the computer for web-browsing, Microsoft Office, lighter gaming due to the limited availability on Macs, and I may get back into Photoshop and other editing programs as I've taken a few classes throughout high school in that area.

    I'm intending on taking arts classes such as English and History throughout university, so nothing too heavy in terms of computer requirement.

    I'm also trying to factor in that I will be looking at this screen every day for the next 4-5 years at least, so I don't necessarily want to get something that's not great, although both the Air and the rMBR have nice screens.

    I've been told by some to go for the 15" retina due to both the screen size and the resolution, but I'm not sure if that would be complete overkill or not. Again, I'll be using it everyday so maybe the larger screen is the way to go, but I'm not sure. I've checked out the different computers in store but it's difficult to assess just how big they'll seem when using them at home or at school.

    I was waiting for the Haswell Pros to be released but it doesn't look like that's gonna happen until October at the earliest, and I don't currently own a laptop that can tide me over so now's seemingly the time to buy for me.

    Thanks for any suggestions/help! :)
  2. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    In my opinion, either system would be fine for the majority of your needs. Unless you plan to always be working on-the-go, you can use a larger, secondary display when you're in your dorm room. You might want to consider that setup even if you go with the 15" retina MBP, as dual displays are very useful for media work. OS X hasn't made the usage of two displays particularly great for productivity, but OS X 10.9 will make changes that should greatly increase the utility of two displays.

    The two big issues in your case really depend on two things: the gaming, and then portability. Look into the games that you think you'll be playing or will expect to play, and determine if the Air is capable of handling them. You may be forced to the retina MBP for the discrete graphics chip. If the Air would be fine for gaming, then portability and size is the other concern. The retina MBP is very portable, but the Air is still the best. Again, bearing in mind that you can connect a larger secondary display, consider whether a 15" system would be larger than you'd want to bring around.

    Whichever you choose, enjoy!
  3. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    If you can't wait for Haswell I'd really find a way to fit the MacBook Air into my workflow. 12 hours battery for a student on the go is just amazing. Price is reasonable enough that maybe (just maybe) you could also swing an iPad for leisure use.

    Good luck!
  4. macmastersam macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2011
    Essex, england
    do you have any kind of budget for your macbook?

    I would personally agree with the friend who suggested that you grab the 15" retina macbook pro. The screen on it will come in handy when you come to use software such as photoshop, and other hardware provided with the machine should be powerful enough to do all the editing, and the light gaming that you intend to do on the macbook.

    It also comes down to if you plan on taking the macbook evrywhere you go. if it just sits on your desk nearly every hour of the day, then you would be better of with the iMac. Bigger screen for all your needs, and more power to do what you want with it.

    If you go completely mobile, and take this machine around with you in university, then take into consideration of the fact that is could potentially get left behind in class or stolen, which means that you have thrown nearly £2299 down the drain, but what are the chances of that happening? :rolleyes:

    did i mention that you also get £70 to spend in the mac app store coutesy of apple when you buy an apple mac in this season as well? :D
  5. SportsPerson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2012
    Thanks for the replies :)

    I'd like to keep my options open in terms of what I can use the computer for, so maybe the 15" rMBP is the way to go? It does seem like a bit of overkill for an arts student but if I'm using it every day for years than I'd rather spend a bit more for an overall more enjoyable experience I suppose.

    I'll be commuting to school (public transit) so portability is a slight factor, but I've heard that the 15" rMBP isn't too heavy, only like a pound heavier or something along those lines so I'm not sure how much that will 'weigh' into my decision. Weight pun...ya. :p

    Is the MBA 13" able to use the Adobe programs and all that with ease or are there any hiccups or anything? I've heard the rMBP 13" has some issues with the HD 4000 but I'm not sure if they're as big a factor as to make the machine not worth buying altogether or if they can be fixed with future updates?
  6. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I use the 13" i5 rMBP for some Photoshop. The lack of GPU shows up when previewing edits, using content aware tools, panning large pictures at 100% zoom and the processor strives to get through HDR's. None of these lags bother me that much, even though they are noticeable. However, I have friends who think they just can't live with it...
  7. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Haswell based 13" MBA is for you. They can handle everything you can throw at. Good luck at the university. :apple:
  8. iPoopeh macrumors regular


    Aug 7, 2010
    Freshman Art student here! I'm getting a 15"rMBP since my major does require it. (Graphic Design) I live 20 minutes away from my college and shall be at school for 5+ hours today. My classes are pretty spread out, so a lot of walking. When I went to the Apple store to check the laptops, I fell in love with the big, beautiful screen of the 15". It's not heavy at all. Much lighter than my 6+lb laptop in high school (btw, I'm a girl, it was pretty heavy but nothing to complain about). I would totally say get the rMBP. The 13" MBA can handle the Adobe programs very well. So you shouldn't have to worry much about that.
  9. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    The 13" MacBook Pro or 13" Retina will do fine. Honest. If you want portability, then stick to the 13" Air.

    Although the Air won't be storage friendly for the many pictures you plan to edit.

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