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macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 21, 2013

My girlfriend is starting her education in about a month, and I was thinking I should surprise her with a MBA to get her started.

At the moment she has a IPad 2, which serves her purposes right now, but when starting school I figure it would be nicer and easier too have a real computer.

She is going to study occupational therapist, so nothing fancy computer requirements are in need, and will be using it for surfing, note taking, listening to music and writing on.

I was thinking of the 13" MBA basic model, It's probably portable enough to still have it in her bag. But I'm still unsure if to get her the 11" or 13", and if it's enough with 4GB of RAM, or if I should get her the 8GB. I'm a student myself and just recently bought a 13" rMBP to myself, so I'm not loaded with money so will only upgrade it if necessary.

Any input would be appreciated.


macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2012
I'm a college student myself and my personal preference is to recommend the 11" MacBook Air due to its amazing portability.

Just my 2 cents.


macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
My vote is for the 13" MBA and up it to 8GB as the others have stated. I find the 11" too small imo, and the 4GB may be a bit too meager - better to be safe then sorry with the ram since its non upgradeable.


macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 21, 2013
Ok, thank you all for the replies. It is really helpful

It seems that the most suggested option is 13" base model with 8GB RAM.

I can see the 11" is more portable, but after some consideration, I think I'm leaning towards the 13".

As for har drive option 128 GB should be enough for her, she hasn't so much music, and she won't download a bunch of stuff (other than some school work, but that's hardly going to exceed more than 3 GB), and her photos doesn't use more than 5-10 GB so I figure it'll be enough.

Still a little unsure about the ram, but I'm leaning towards the 8 GB now because of suggestion. It's true it'll get more future proof and it wouldn't hurt if she could manage to through the education with the same computer (3,5 years). Besides it isn't that much a extra cost, and if it runs smoother it'll be worth it. :)

But the 1.3 GHz processor should be enough for her usage, wouldn't it?


macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
Bedfordshire, UK
CPU will be just fine for most tasks. Your girlfriend should find the base 13" MBA a great machine and should last her for at least 3 years.

I strongly recommend the 8GB upgrade though because 4GB is incredibly stingy. Plus the upgrade cost is really quite insignificant given the price of the machine.

Jefe's MacAir

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2010
If she's rolling w/ the iPad 2 and it's getting it done then the 11" base should be overkill. Get her the 11". She'll appreciate the smaller size and weight. I don't think she needs the ram or the storage. Especially if she's already set up in the Cloud. I just have a feeling the 11" will feel 'just right' for her.

I RARELY suggest the 11" or 4g. I just don't see the need here. Get her AppleCare for the phone support or Apple in store 1 on 1 w/ the money you save and she can learn how to maximize her use of the OS.
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