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  1. #1
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    mknightretke's Avatar
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    Trading up to a MacBook?
    I bought myself an iPad 2 about six months ago. I vowed that I would never do it, but I knew a few people who'd gotten one and I fell for the Apple magic. Obviously, because I'm a starving student without a whole lot of cash to spare, I had to make some sacrifices to get it. And because I was so caught up in that new-Apple-product enthusiasm, I decided to sell my Windows laptop and my Kindle 3G to get it. "It will do everything those things do!" I confidently asserted to everyone who would listen.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my iPad, and I wouldn't trade back down to a Kindle for the world. But it definitely doesn't do everything a laptop can do - even a Windows laptop. When school started up again, it became an incredible hassle to do any kind of work away from the computer lab. I couldn't save files to a flash drive, access some of my classes' pages, or watch the hopelessly outdated WMV movies; printing a file involved ten minutes' work, uploading and downloading and converting on the decade-old Optiplexes.

    I got a four-years-old Mac mini for practically nothing, which eased the problems somewhat, but now I feel like I have two devices doing what one could do before. I just use the iPad to walk around browsing the web and reading Flipboard or Zite; for everything else, I sit down at my desk or remote in with PocketCloud. So I'm really starting to wonder if selling both of these devices and upgrading to a MacBook wouldn't be the best idea. I can get a MacBook Air for $799 or a MacBook Pro for $929; the profits would just about cover it. And I'm almost certainly getting an iPod touch for Christmas, which will do the whole "walk around reading" thing (although I will admittedly miss the bigger screen!)

    This was mostly just my brainstorming, but any thoughts or conclusive arguments either way would be helpful. :S
    1.83 GHz Mac Mini (80 GiB) | iPad 2 Wi-Fi (16 GiB)

  2. #2
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mknightretke View Post
    I bought myself an iPad 2 about six months ago.

    ..."It will do everything those things do!" I confidently asserted to everyone who would listen.
    Yeah...this is what I and others tell folks all the time. An iPad is not a replacement for a laptop. It's a nice fun addition to a laptop...but not a laptop replacement.

    Quote Originally Posted by mknightretke View Post
    So I'm really starting to wonder if selling both of these devices and upgrading to a MacBook wouldn't be the best idea. I can get a MacBook Air for $799 or a MacBook Pro for $929; the profits would just about cover it.
    I'm personally not a big fan of the MacBook Air. Yeah it's really thin and light...but it has many expansion limitations (the new models you cannot upgrade the ram). And it doesn't have an optical drive (which even though I don't use it very often...I still like having one. So you have to buy the external optical drive if you need one.

    I'm assuming you would be buying a used MacBook...since Apple no longer sells them (discontinued).

    Quote Originally Posted by mknightretke View Post
    And I'm almost certainly getting an iPod touch for Christmas, which will do the whole "walk around reading" thing (although I will admittedly miss the bigger screen!)
    It would sure be nice to have the $$$ from the iPod Touch to use towards the new laptop. IMHO...the iPod Touch is just a small iPad. And if you already have a "smart phone" of some sort...the iPod Touch is sort of redundant. An iPhone would be a better choice. I bought my wife an iPod Touch...and she doesn't even use it anymore since she has a Blackberry.

    If you decide to sell your iPad...getting an iPod Touch just puts you back in the same boat when you had the iPad...but with the iPod Touch...you have a much smaller screen (of course it will fit in your pocket).

    With what you mentioned...sounds like you would be much happier with a laptop...and maybe an iPod Touch. Maybe in the future when you have some extra bucks...you could get another iPad.

    Just my humble opinion of course,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    mknightretke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    I'm personally not a big fan of the MacBook Air. Yeah it's really thin and light...but it has many expansion limitations (the new models you cannot upgrade the ram). And it doesn't have an optical drive (which even though I don't use it very often...I still like having one. So you have to buy the external optical drive if you need one.

    I'm assuming you would be buying a used MacBook...since Apple no longer sells them (discontinued).
    Nope, I was thinking about an Apple-refurbished MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. The cheapest option of each is $799 and $929, respectively. I was leaning in the direction of the Pro myself, mainly for the optical drive, but I do like the thin and light aspect of the Air. Would I realistically need to upgrade the RAM? I mean, could I multitask on Lion with Pages, Keynote, iTunes, Preview, and a few Safari tabs? I don't plan to game much.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    It would sure be nice to have the $$$ from the iPod Touch to use towards the new laptop. IMHO...the iPod Touch is just a small iPad. And if you already have a "smart phone" of some sort...the iPod Touch is sort of redundant. An iPhone would be a better choice. I bought my wife an iPod Touch...and she doesn't even use it anymore since she has a Blackberry.

    If you decide to sell your iPad...getting an iPod Touch just puts you back in the same boat when you had the iPad...but with the iPod Touch...you have a much smaller screen (of course it will fit in your pocket).
    I don't have an iPhone, because it's just too expensive! It comes out to thousands of dollars over the course of the contract, and the unlocked versions are just as cost-prohibitive. The iPod touch seems like a good "sweet spot" - it's cheap, at least compared to all the other iDevices, and it does most of what they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    With what you mentioned...sounds like you would be much happier with a laptop...and maybe an iPod Touch. Maybe in the future when you have some extra bucks...you could get another iPad.

    Just my humble opinion of course,

    - Nick
    That's the direction I was leaning toward. Sell my iPad for $450 and my Mini (with wireless keyboard, mouse, and LCD) for ~$400, throw in another $100, buy the MacBook Air and the iPod touch.

    Any more advice on the Pro vs. Air, though?
    1.83 GHz Mac Mini (80 GiB) | iPad 2 Wi-Fi (16 GiB)

  4. #4
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mknightretke View Post

    That's the direction I was leaning toward. Sell my iPad for $450 and my Mini (with wireless keyboard, mouse, and LCD) for ~$400, throw in another $100, buy the MacBook Air and the iPod touch.

    Any more advice on the Pro vs. Air, though?
    Personally, I find the Air to be far too limiting. 4GB of RAM isn't enough for me - especially when I've got Windows 7 running in a VM. And unfortunately, it's soldered in, without even so much as a factory option to bump up to 8. Although 4GB should be plenty for a student, I like to think of what my needs might be within the useful lifespan of the machine I'm about to buy. And I think before too long, 4GB will be a major shortfall.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  5. #5
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mknightretke View Post
    Nope, I was thinking about an Apple-refurbished MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.
    You did say "MacBook" in your thread title & original post.

    You mentioned $799 for a refurbished MacBook Air...I'm assuming you're talking about this one:

    Refurbished MacBook Air 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - Apple Store (U.S.)

    It only has:

    - an 11" display
    - 1.4ghz cpu
    - 2 gig of ram

    Like I mentioned earlier...the ram on a MacBook Air is NOT upgradeable...and by buying a MacBook Air with only 2 gig of ram...you're already sort of starting out with a "semi-obsloete" computer.

    You mentioned $929 for a MacBook Pro...so I'm assuming it's this one:

    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.3GHz dual-core Intel i5 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    This would be a MUCH MUCH better computer (IMHO)!!!

    My vote would be for the MacBook Pro.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    mknightretke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    Personally, I find the Air to be far too limiting. 4GB of RAM isn't enough for me - especially when I've got Windows 7 running in a VM. And unfortunately, it's soldered in, without even so much as a factory option to bump up to 8. Although 4GB should be plenty for a student, I like to think of what my needs might be within the useful lifespan of the machine I'm about to buy. And I think before too long, 4GB will be a major shortfall.
    You may be right. However, I'm currently running a Mini with Snow Leopard and 1 GB of RAM, and my only issue with it has been some lag while multitasking. 4GB would be a really major step up for me. 8GB...inconceivable!

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3
    You did say "MacBook" in your thread title & original post.
    Heh, I suppose I did. Sorry for the confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3
    You mentioned $799 for a refurbished MacBook Air...I'm assuming you're talking about this one:

    Refurbished MacBook Air 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - Apple Store (U.S.)

    It only has:

    - an 11" display
    - 1.4ghz cpu
    - 2 gig of ram

    Like I mentioned earlier...the ram on a MacBook Air is NOT upgradeable...and by buying a MacBook Air with only 2 gig of ram...you're already sort of starting out with a "semi-obsloete" computer.

    You mentioned $929 for a MacBook Pro...so I'm assuming it's this one:

    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.3GHz dual-core Intel i5 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    This would be a MUCH MUCH better computer (IMHO)!!!

    My vote would be for the MacBook Pro.

    - Nick
    The display is not a problem for me. I've seen it in person and it looks extra-crisp. I was, however, under the impression that it had an i5 (or at least an i3, maybe?). I can't check right now because the Apple Store has the "We'll be back shortly" thing going on. Core 2 Duo would mean it's last year's model, no?

    The MacBook Pro looks pretty great, but for the extra $130, it basically means I have to choose between Pro or Air+iPod. >.<
    1.83 GHz Mac Mini (80 GiB) | iPad 2 Wi-Fi (16 GiB)

  7. #7
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I do agree with Nick. If the Macbook will be your only system, the Pro would be the way to go in my opinion also. The air is not bad, but getting one with just 2GB with Lion is a bit low if you do any real multitasking. And any new Mac will come with Lion and there will be no option to install Snow Leopard at all. What the new Mac comes with OS wise is the oldest it will go.

    So if you can, get that MBP.

  8. #8
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mknightretke View Post
    You may be right. However, I'm currently running a Mini with Snow Leopard and 1 GB of RAM, and my only issue with it has been some lag while multitasking. 4GB would be a really major step up for me. 8GB...inconceivable!
    My biggest issue with the "low-end" MacBook Air is the 2 gig of ram. Maybe you're running Snow Leopard at the moment with 1gig of ram on your Mini...with no issues. With the MacBook Air...it will either come preinstalled with Lion or eventually you will want to run Lion (either because you want to...or forced to for compatibility reasons).

    "Lion" requires at least 2 gig of ram. If you get a MacBook Air with 2 gig of ram...you will only be meeting the minimum requirements...and the ram in the MacBook Air is NOT upgradeable.

    There is absolutely no way I would purchase a computer with only 2gig of ram where the ram wasn't upgradeable.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    chscag's Avatar
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    But Nick, the MacBook Air is so cute..... I'm amazed at the number of folks who have asked me about buying an Air and then said what they were going to use it for. I have to agree with you. The only Air I would even think of buying is the one that's fully loaded and that's more $$.

  10. #10
    Trading up to a MacBook?

    Member Since
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    I also am not a huge fan of the MBA. I can speak to the refurbished MBP. I bought the 929$ MBP which is 2.3 i5 4gb ram and 320 HD. If this is the same one you are talking about, then absolutely pick that mac. I don't know half the stuff about these computers that the other guys on here do, but I love this computer. I am using it for school, as well as editing pictures and videos and I haven't had a single disappointment. As to the quality of a refurb, it is outstanding! I did not find a single scratch on it whenever I got it in the mail. I have found just one thing that is different from the brand new MBP. It doesn't come with the MBP box, it comes in a blah whitish gray box. So if you want to pay a few hundred extra for that pretty box, then by all means haha!

  11. #11
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    But Nick, the MacBook Air is so cute.....
    Yes...cuteness can really cloud someones judgement.

    Then we see posts here saying..."I didn't realize that the MacBook Air ram wasn't upgradeable!"

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  12. #12
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Yes...cuteness can really cloud someones judgement.

    Then we see posts here saying..."I didn't realize that the MacBook Air ram wasn't upgradeable!"

    - Nick
    CLOUD your Judgement? Cloud Computing? Grin

    Sorry, I had to say it!

    Yes the Air is cute and I would take it over any Netbook, but for a real powerful notebook, it's MBP for me.

  13. #13
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    We really like our MBA, but we have some very specific requirements which it meets quite well. For one thing my wife is extremely limited in the weight she can handle; even a 13 in MBP is too much lifting for her back.

    On the otherhand I see a lot of people gravitating to the air when a MBP would serve them far better, and dollars are limited. I guess that just shows the "power" of cuteness.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  14. #14
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
    On the otherhand I see a lot of people gravitating to the air when a MBP would serve them far better, and dollars are limited. I guess that just shows the "power" of cuteness.
    Before Lion was released (with it's 2gig ram requirement)...I wouldn't have been so "hard" on the MacBook Air's with 2gig of non-upgradeable ram. But now with Lion's higher ram requirement...there will certainly be less ram available for applications. And in a couple years...who knows what we will need in terms of ram.

    Regarding MBP vs. MBA price. Funny...a little over a year ago before the 11" MacBook Air was released...and before the MacBook was discontinued...the MBA was definitely over-priced. One was always able to get a better equipped MacBook for a lower price than the low-end 13" MBA.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  15. #15
    Trading up to a MacBook?
    cwa107's Avatar
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    I've moved your post to a more proper forum; please be sure to check the forum descriptions to find the best place to post.

    By posting in the right forum you help people not only find your question faster, but it helps others looking for the same information in the future.

    Thanks for understanding!
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

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