1 2 Previous Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Sep 22, 2013 10:03 AM by LouisaClare
LouisaClare Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

It's for a 17 year old student doing A levels. I will be using the macbook for Internet browsing, youtube, writing essays, making presentations, digital art programs, a bit of video editing, some photo editing, possibly composing music and maybe a bit of light gaming. It would be good if the macbook would last through sixth form and university so at least 5 years and hopefully longer. I am not too bothered about portability or weight. I will probably be getting a 13" and it will probably be refurbished. So should I get the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro retina? And what memory etc should I get? Thanks :)

  • 1. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    Attilas Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Hello,

     

    Im a PC user since more than 10 years and purchased a Macbook Air 13" in early 2012 which I used for 3 months and then upgraded to a Macbook Pro 15" retina since the last 5 months. Both device are above average performer in their categories and both of them was more than enjoyable for me.

     

    If you plan to use for more than 3 years, don't really focus on ultra portable and don't mind refurbished (As I did for my Macbook Pro Retina), I would invest a bit more to get the Macbook Pro Retina 15" 2012 mode available here:

     

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC975LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-23ghz-quad-c ore-intel-i7-with-retina-display

     

    Macbook Air is a really good laptop (More focues on mobility) but the retina display of the macbook pro line simply blow the competition. Put them together as I did and you brain simply go toward the retina display of the macbook pro. For the price difference between a Macbook retina 13" and 15" and the amount of time you plan to use it, I would strongely suggest to get the bigger one. You will enjoy a 128 to 256Gig SSD upgrade, bigger screen, real quad core i7 processor and dedicated graphic card to push all of thoses pixels and games.

     

    The 300-400$ difference at purchase time is a bit rough if you are on a budget but you will regret the expense in a couple of months.

     

    Feel free to ask any question.

     

    Thanks

  • 2. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (14,610 points)

    GIven the parameters of your use indications a 15" macbook Pro with 16gig RAM upgrade (you can do it yourself).

     

     

     

     

    If not for your mention of Video editing and gaming, I would have recommended a macbook Air 13"

     

     

    Ive got both a couple of Pros and a new 13" Air, Id choose the Air 4 to 1 over the Pro,....but I only do featherweight Video edits and simple Photoshop and no gaming. 

     

     

    Your use is subjective and the macbook Pro is the "best" of the computing world you say you will be involved in.

  • 3. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    Attilas Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Let me specify that the macbook pro retina 13" or 15" as no way to upgrade memory after purchase. Memory is soldered on board and only SSD can be upgraded using third party manfacturer.

     

    That being said, I strongly suggest to avoid the regular Macbook Pro that doesn't have SSD drive and retina display. You can get a new Macbook Air 2013 or reburbished retina 2012 for almost the same price at this time.

  • 4. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (14,610 points)

       Let me specify that the macbook pro retina 13" or 15" as no way to upgrade memory after purchase.

     

     

     

    I know that,... Ive owned 2 macbook Pro Retinas, .....I didnt mention the Retina for upgrade, rather the macbook Pro.   I know about soldered memory, I used to repair laptops.

     

     

    Your 'strong suggestion' against the standard macbook Pro,... other than Retina display,  is without substantiation.

     

    A standard macbook Pro can get a SSD upgrade in 15 mins. , Ive done it a dozen times.

     

     

    The Original Poster mentioned----- "It's for a 17 year old student doing A levels"

     

    As such, .....most of the more knowledgeable posteres here would NOT recommend the Retina given that parameter.

     

     

  • 5. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    LouisaClare Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, thanks for your reply. You said you preferred the MacBook Air over the Pro, why is that?

     

     

    Also, can the Air not handle any gaming or video editing?

  • 6. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    LouisaClare Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello, thanks for the reply! So does the extra 2 inches really make a lot of difference? My first choice would probably be the 15" Pro with retina, but it is very expensive.

  • 7. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,655 points)

    OK, I'll jump in here...

     

    ...for your purposes, I really don't think that you need the Retina model: I certainly wouldn't buy one right now. If I were you, I would go with the basic 15" non-Retina MacBook Pro, making sure to upgrade the processor so that you'll have 1GB of video RAM, which you may need in the future.

     

    You can later upgrade your RAM and hard drive to a lager HD/SSD. It would be much less expensive to DIY rather than buying from Apple.

     

    My 2¢...

     

    Clinton

  • 8. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    LouisaClare Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, thanks for replying :)

     

    I was thinking about the non retina MacBook Pro, but the thing that put me off is I saw a lot of people saying it is outdated and inferior to the other MacBooks, is this true? Also when was it first released?

  • 9. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,655 points)

    The 'present' non-Retina MacBook Pro was introduced in June of 2012. Same with the Retina models (although a few got a 'speed bump' in early 2013). Will Apple be announcing/releasing new MacBook Pro models anytime soon? No one can say... even if we did know, we couldn't comment on unannounced products. The only thing that I can say is that I were in the market for a new MacBook Pro NOW, I would get the non-Retina model. But if you can wait a month or so, there may be some new models announced (but who knows?).

     

    Clinton

  • 10. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    LouisaClare Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok, thanks

  • 11. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    Attilas Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Didn't want to test your knowledge in anyway but simply wanted to make it clear about the memory upgrade difference for LouisaClare.

     

    Here is the main point for my suggestion:

     

    - Owner of a laptop don't want to get only 4 Gg of RAM. 8 Gb is minimum to support 4-5 year of OS and softwares.

    - HHD is nearly dead in term of main storage of any device. SSD simply make thing fly and will ensure proper performance for many years to come.

    - Buyer is not affraid of refurbished.

     

    Here is the options I see on Apple.com:

     

    Refurb Macbook Air 13" - 2012 - 128 SSD - 4 RAM (Not upgradable) at 849$

    New Macbook Air 13" - 2013 - 128 SSD - 8 RAM memory upgrade at 1199$

    Refurb Macbook Pro 13" - 2012 - HHD - 4 RAM at 999$ (300$+ upgrade SSD/RAM)

    Refurb Macbook Pro 15" - 2012 - HHD - 4 RAM at 1449$ (300$+ upgrade SSD/RAM)

    Refurb Macbook Pro Retina 15" - 256 SSD - 8 RAM at 1599$

     

    For me regular Macbook Pro simply doesn't cut it there in term of size, speed and features. I would either go all out for the 15" retina with dedicated graphic card, real quad core and 256 SSD or get the Macbook Air 13" with 8 Gb of RAM. Don't get me wrong, 4 Gb of RAM and a regular 5400RPM harddisk is not future proof for someone that want to use it of 4-5 years. So here are my two recommendation:

     

    New Macbook Air 13" - 2013 - 128 SSD - 8 RAM memory upgrade at 1199$

    Refurbished Macbook Pro Retina 15" - 256 SSD - 8 RAM at 1599$

  • 12. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,655 points)

    To keep adding to my 2¢... I think that the best on the list for the OP would be the:

     

    Refurb Macbook Pro 15" - 2012 - HHD - 4 RAM at 1449$

     

    RAM could be upgraded to 16GB and, if needed, 250-1TB SSD.

     

    I just simply do not care for completely closed systems.

     

    Clinton

  • 13. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    Attilas Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Both Macbook air and Macbook Pro retina have a resolution of 1440x900. That mean both offer the same desktop space.

     

    The extra space is simply more for your personnal eyes confort.It is a mater of taste and would suggest you go see both devices side by side.

     

    But if portability is not your first concern, bigger is better then. Especialy you get the sharp retina screen that gonna please you for years to come. I can also add the 15" Macbook pro retina as a IPS display that offer way better color saturation and viewing angle compare to all other non retina Macbook.

  • 14. Re: Which macbook should I get?
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,655 points)

    The problem with the Retina displays, presently, is that you're likely to get either an LG screen, with severe image retention, or a Samsung screen, many which suffer the notorious yellow tint. While the color saturation is far better on an LG screen, you still have the chance of getting one with bad IR. And if you're 'lucky' enough to get a Samsung, you're liable to get one with the yellow tint.

     

    If IR and yellow tints are OK for the user, then by all means, go for a Retina. I can't live with either which is why I am not, at this time, either purchasing Retina display models nor recommending them.

     

    Clinton

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