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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Which configuration should I choose?


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Vobs56

 
Member Since: Apr 07, 2013
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Hello everyone,

I am new to mac-forums but have been a proud 5-year owner of a 15" MacBook Pro (2008). 2.4 GHz Intel Core Duo 2 / 2 GB RAM / 250 GB HDD.

I am in the market for a new MacBook and I have done my research but I was hoping to seek some last minute advice regarding 3 configurations that I am considering to purchase.

The 3 options I have decided on are with the education discount since I am a college student:
1. 13" MacBook Air - 2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 256GB Flash Storage for $1,529

2. 13" MacBook Pro - 2.6 GHz Intel Dual-Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256GB Flash Storage for $1,599

3. 15" MacBook Pro - 2.4 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 256GB Flash Storage for $1,999

I log a lot of hours on my computer but I typically use it for web browsing, email, word processing (ms office) for school, watching videos and movies. so I am not a designer producing movies, editing pictures, etc. From the research I have done it seems like going all-out on my purchase could definitely be over-kill. My budget is around $1700, give or take a $100, but I would be willing to go up to $1,999 if the 15-inch retina is really worth it and significantly better than my other options while still being realistic about my typical usage and requirements.

I am torn between the 13" and 15" screens because I am used to the 15" on my current MacBook but I can see the practicality in the better portability of the 13" so I think I could get used to it.

If anyone would have any input on the 3 configurations I am considering or any other features that I may be leaving out it would be very helpful! Thanks in advance!
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wolfpuppies3

 
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If it were my money, I'd go with the 13" MBA (weight and portability advantage. Just saying.
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chscag

 
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Choice number 2. The MacBook Pro has an optical drive, memory can be upgraded, a second hard drive can be added. Same graphics as the Air. The size and weight are not that much different nor is the form factor.

I was just this afternoon looking at both machines and handling them. No doubt in my mind which I would choose. I was impressed, however, with the 11" MacBook Air more so than the 13" MacBook Air.
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rabbitjetta

 
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13 inch pro. It's the best for portability with power.
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Vipor

 
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Agree witht he 13" MBP.

$400 savings over the 15" yet still plenty powerful. Not much different in size/weight than the Air.


As far as the 11" Air, my wife has one and I really am not too impressed with the keyboard. The keys are so small I keep fat-fingering them. It's also too top-heavy. The display side keeps tipping it over when trying to use it while in bed. Just my opinion...

2008 Alum MacBook: 13", 2.4GHz, 4GB, 750GB, Snow Leopard
2011 iMac: 27", 2.7Ghz QC, 4GB, 1TB, Mtn Lion
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osxx

 
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Another vote for option 2 best bang for the buck.
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CanuckBoater

 
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I own the 13 inch MB Air. Love it.

The keys are different than the Pro (smaller, as noted). Also recessed/lower than the Pro, but typing is still easy.

If it were me, and purchase is not immediate (although you preface with 'last minute advice"), I would wait for the 'rumoured' end of April Macbook Pro upgrade.
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rwagner5

 
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If you are still comfortable with the size and weight of your current 15" MBP, have you thought about replacing your current hard drive with a 250 GB SSD and upgrading the ram to 8 GB. You could probably get both items for $300 to $400 including tax. The SSD and 8 GB of ram should make a huge difference in performance, for a lot less than you were planning to spend on a new laptop.
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rwagner5

 
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Or, if you really had your heart set on a new laptop, you might consider this refurbished model from the Apple website. 13" MBP with Retina display, 8 GB of ram and a 256 GB SSD for $1,359. From everything I've read, Apple's refurbished products are as good as buying one new.
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