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  1. #1
    Difference between a MacBook and and a macbook air?
    I am looking to get my daughter some sort of macbook or macbook air for christmas. She will be using it for college. I have no idea what the difference between a a reg macbook and the air version? I want to try and stay around $6-800 for a used or refurbished one. Which one would be better for her needs? Which year model will suffice staying within my budget.
    Thx in advance.

  2. #2
    The Macbook is a old model that had been around for a while, but was bulk. They created the Macbook Air to be light but still useful. After a couple of MBAs came the redesigned Macbook that is also light and has fewer ports. Recently the MBA was updated to essentially have the same number of ports.

    Bottom line, the Macbook and Macbook Air are very similar to each other now with the MBA update. They are priced fairly close to each other. The MBA comes in two sizes, 11 and 13, while the Macbook is 12".

    From a college use perspective, what kind of use are we talking? Writing reports and so on or more rigorous things?

    Based on your budget, the cheapest refurbished model is going to be the previous generation MBA at around $850. Everything else starts at $1000+.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  3. #3
    Difference between a MacBook and and a macbook air?
    RadDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulwgraber View Post
    I am looking to get my daughter some sort of macbook or macbook air for christmas. She will be using it for college. I have no idea what the difference between a a reg macbook and the air version? I want to try and stay around $6-800 for a used or refurbished one. Which one would be better for her needs? Which year model will suffice staying within my budget.
    Thx in advance.
    Hi Paul....... - Ashwin has already given you some excellent advice and you need to provide us w/ more information on your daughter's potential need for a computer in college, i.e. will she just be writing reports, checking email, and browsing the web, or more intensive work, such as complicated mathematics, complex audiovisual needs, etc.? The latter would obviously impact on wanting a more recent device w/ plenty of speed (i.e. more RAM) and excellent graphics just to mention a few considerations.

    As you likely know Apple hardware is relatively expensive compared to PC computers and your budget of less than $800 is not going to buy much recent and powerful in the Apple world - just for 'sticker shock', the first pic below is a composite made from just visiting Apple's website - the 3 'new' laptops are offered currently and the prices at the bottom are just the starter costs (more if RAM & SSD are increased and faster electronics/graphics are desired; plus, don't forget AppleCare). The next 2 pics are from Apple's Refurbished Site showing some MacBook & Mac Air offerings verifying that a thousand bucks might be your cheapest entry price - now of course you could look for offers on older Apple laptops w/o the warranty given by Apple, but the deals become more risky.

    You might want to provide some further thoughts, e.g. can your budget be increased and/or are you willing to look at non-Apple computers? Good luck and please post back your thoughts. Dave
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  4. #4
    Difference between a MacBook and and a macbook air?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the biggest difference between the MacBook, and the MacBook Air, is the screen on the MB is a "Retina" display, and the MBA is not.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    In my opinion, the biggest difference between the MacBook, and the MacBook Air, is the screen on the MB is a "Retina" display, and the MBA is not.
    Correct, except now the latest version of the MBA that were recently announced also have the Retina display. So less of a difference now between the MBA and Macbook.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  6. #6
    Difference between a MacBook and and a macbook air?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    Correct, except now the latest version of the MBA that were recently announced also have the Retina display. So less of a difference now between the MBA and Macbook.
    Except OP is looking for a used or refurb model.

    I would say, go with a used MBA, they have the most port options, compared to a MB. Look for the newest model, at the price you can afford.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  7. #7
    Difference between a MacBook and and a macbook air?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    @paulwgraber
    I am looking to get my daughter some sort of macbook or macbook air for christmas.


    I just came across this article and thought you might be interested in it:
    Is the MacBook Air a good laptop for students, enterprises, and non-power users?
    https://9to5mac.com/2018/11/04/is-th...p/#more-560589







    - Patrick
    ======

  8. #8
    Difference between a MacBook and and a macbook air?
    iggibar's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, use your daughters eduction to her advantage! Apple offers education/student discounts as log as you can provide proof that they are a student at the school they are going.

    As of right now, a quick look at Apples website shows you can get a brand new MacBook Air for $850 after student discount.

    Apple laptops last a long time, and in my opinion, it's worth the cost for the total package. I've had good experience with refurbished, but the student discount is what give you the better deal. My sister has a 13" MBA that she's had for many years now, and from my experience with it, these computers are going to be relevant for many years to come!
    That is DEFINITELY what I would go with! Tell her to pitch in the difference price
    Last edited by iggibar; 11-05-2018 at 01:03 AM.
    Call me IGGI
    “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

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