Which Macbook Would You Suggest?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zsmaniac, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. zsmaniac macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2016
    Hello All,

    My wife wants a Macbook for Christmas. She is a Elementary Education teacher and has been dreaming about a Mac for the last few years. I want to get her one but I want to make sure to get the best one that will suit her needs for the money.

    I am trying to decide between the latest model of the Macbook Air (Model MMGG2LL/A) which goes on sale on Black Friday for $1000 and the New Macbook Pro with 256GB SSD (Model MF840LL/A) which is $1500.

    Obviously the Macbook Pro is better, but I don't know if it will be worth an extra $500 for what she will use it for. She will not be doing any video editing, mostly just Microsoft Office and other similar programs. However I want to get her one that will last for a while.

    I am pretty knowledgeable about PC's but I am kind of in the weeds here with Macs.

    Any suggestions would much appreciated.

  2. UnluckyXIII macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2014
    someones going to be getting a special "thank you" for Christmas ;)
  3. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    If you can swing it the MacBook Pro would, in my mind, be the better choice. And for her use, the reason is simple: The display. The retina display and richer colors will simply just be nicer and easier on the eyes, also for text. I have been spoiled by having a 13" retina MacBook Pro for 3 years, and even the "old" 27" iMac with the 2560 x 1440 looks pixelated in comparison.
  4. zsmaniac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2016
    Thanks for the reply, however my question is, can you actually tell the difference? I went to the store today to look at them side by side and I couldn't see that much of a difference in the Retina Display. But I realize that 20 minutes comparing the 2 in the store is not the same as everyday use. So in everyday use the difference is noticeable?
  5. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I wouldn't buy the Air. It's screen is outdated along with the rest of machine. Apple has pretty much signaled that it's going to discontinue the line. If you want a subnote then look at the Macbook.

    But for longevity I'd go with a 13" MBP. It has a great screen, more ports, and better processor. It could last 4 years easy. I don't think the MB will be relevant in 4 years, i.e., any OS X updates will make it laggy.
  6. frankgrimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2016
    If I were you I would get her the MBP because of the nicer screen and better built quality.

    But if you do so also buy her an external doc for connecting her usb sticks
  7. brewmonkey macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2016
    Holy moly, yes. I perhaps have sensitive eyes, but in my opinion the razor-sharpness of text and quality of images on the Retina displays are probably still one of the best reasons for going Mac. Whenever I look at a non-Retina/HiDPI display now, my eyes bleed (only a very slight exaggeration...).
  8. Freshjs59 macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2016
    i purchased the macbook pro without touch bar yesterday for my wife from best buy with 200 dollars off price match of micro center. I would easily do that over the macbook air because its smaller in size than the macbook air which the ladies love. plus better specs.
  9. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    The screens are hugely different. If she is doing a lot of work in Office with documents, or anything with text really, the Retina screen is perfect. If you want to compare them, simply look at text the same size on both machines. The MBP will appear almost as if printed on paper, while the Air will be pixelated.
  10. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I would definitely get the entry model 13" MBP over the Air. The screen difference is huge, and you are getting Apple's latest computer vs. one of their oldest.

    What about the retina MacBook? It should meet her needs and she might really appreciate its weight and footprint. It's small and light enough to virtually disappear into many women's bags.
  11. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    Sounds like you have 3 options, MacBook Air, Retina MacBook, or MacBook Pro.

    Any of these will be more than suitable for your wife's needs, so don't worry about specs. The screen on the MBA is older than the others, but it's by no means a weak display. Longevity wise again for her needs, I'd say any would be suitable.

    So budget is the Air, middle is the rMB, and top is the MBP. I think you'll just have to weigh in the differences to decide which is best for your needs, but as I said anything will be suitable and last. So some things to consider (Just ignore RAM/CPU). Battery life will be fairly similar, however will go from best to worst MBA > rMB > MBP. Portability again similar, rMB > MBA > MBP. Longevity, MBP > rMB/MBA. Ports, MBA > MBP > rMB.

    If you want the best for her with no questions asked, the MBP all the way. If you want something she can easily carry around (None of them are heavy), and also comes in various colours, get the rMB. And for a classic portable and cheaper option, get the MBA.

    One thing to consider though is if you're happy to get the MBP at the top price, do have a look at the rMB as if I wanted a portable computer, I think they're the best. It's a little cheaper than the MBP, but you could get the rMB, a nice case, and a few accessories like dongles or hubs, possibly AppleCare too, and it's a more unique and modern design. So basically you could get a nice little package of things she might also want/need.

    Hope that helps!
  12. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    If it was me I would get the MacBook Air for her. I've used a 2013 MacBook Air for the past 3 years in an academic setting (scientific research, data analysis and thesis writing). I also use a retina 12.9" iPad Pro regularly and a 1440p phone so I do have experience with higher res displays. The smaller weight and longer battery life made a bigger difference to me (as a woman who needed to carry this computer back and forth to lab every day) than a retina screen ever could. Also keep in mind that the MacBook Air display is still much better than most budget PCs. If neither you nor your wife have experience with recent high end laptops, the display will still be an improvement. For example my husband has a Lenovo thinkpad. My MacBook Air screen is brighter, higher resolution and has way better viewing angles than his work machine. If you have no point of comparison, you will not notice the screen quality. Your wife will be much more likely to notice the weight.

    Just my 2 cents.

    My only caveat to that is does your wife use an HDMI port often? If so then the 2015 retina MacBook Pro would be better because it has that port built in.
  13. zsmaniac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2016
    This is exactly what I was thinking about doing. I am glad to know that Best Buy price matches Microcenter. Thanks
    --- Post Merged, Nov 16, 2016 ---
    Hello All,

    Thank you everyone for your replies they all were unique and helpful.

    I think I am going to try and see if I can save enough to swing for the MBP because it's the newest and should provide the most longevity. If I can't get that one then I will have to decide between the Air and the rMB.

    Thanks Again, (my wife will thank you too)
  14. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    Try and get the new MBP. If not go for the rMB. Like everyone's said the Air is old stuff. If there was a significant discount you maybe can consider it. As a teacher does she use USB drives? Having the MBP with extra ports may benefit her.

    Does she happen to be excited about the Touch Bar?
  15. Elcompa, Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016

    Elcompa macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2016
    NC, USA
    Ha! We just went though this in our family. My wife is a petit language teacher in a high school. She has to carry her laptop around with her everywhere. I got her a the MacBook 12" M5, 512Gb. She is in love with this thing. Has a small footprint so she can plop it down on her school desk anywhere or sit on the floor with kids and have it on her lap or plug into the video screen to show a powerpoint (needed a dongle for this). She slo plays the audio for pronunciation for the kids and it is quite loud enough. In short, the 12" MacBook was a distinct hit. In fact, she now even takes it with her to the teachers long for coffee break and lunch. Didn't do the before with her 2011 13" MBP that the 12" MB replaced.

    *She came from a 13" MBP from 2011 and this was a very big step up for her. I swear she actually likes her job a bit more as she loves this little laptop and no longer has to lug around the old MBP...especially for a 120 lb lady.

    Apart from the 12" MB you could get the 2015 13" MBP. Still a great one and great value albeit a little less portable. And if you wanted to splurge you could get her a 2016 base MBP non-touch bar, especially of she needs more capacity and an extra port. My wife compared the 2016 MBP non touch and the 2016 MB and chose the 2016 MB M5/512 and has not looked back. Im pretty sure she likes that thing better than she likes me.:(

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