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MacBook Pro vs ???? (Is there better for uni)? (1 Viewer)

BlueGas

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Is there a better macbook than the MacBook Pro (with Retina Display) 128GB for uni and is required for general stuff e.g. browsing enter, typing up documents (these are done simultaneously most of the time), watching videos, etc. Is 128 GB enough? Weight is not a factor, so is there a better macbook? Air?
 

D94

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What do you study? Will you need to run any programs that are only available on Windows?
 

turntaker

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You guys know you can run Windows on a macbook right?

But macbook is just over priced
 

BlueGas

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What do you study? Will you need to run any programs that are only available on Windows?
I'm doing a science degree (so I gotta be typing up alot of things). I can already put office and I'm not sure if there is paint because I'll probably be needing that for copying photos, resizing, etc.
 

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I got a macbook pro late 2013 model. It's got the 128gb ssd and I filled it up within 6 months of having the computer so I ended up having to buy a 1tb external ssd where I can store all the stuff I don't use as much such as photos, movies, etc. Also, since I'm using a ton of chrome tabs (30+ over three screens) and with only 4gb of ram, It can start to freeze up sometimes if you do things too fast such as alternating between desktops but this isn't too big a problem since it fixes in a few seconds. Also, Mac's don't have 'paint' built in but i'm sure there are other programs out there to download.
 

seremify007

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So why a MacBook?


This is coming from someone who is an Apple fan (although I am posting this using my Surface Pro). Yes the quality of the devices is great, and yes I do enjoy Mac OS X and it's ease of use/seamless backups/speed/lack of annoying things/etc... but really you need to figure out why you are choosing a MacBook.

IMO the MacBook Air is the ideal uni student laptop but it's so old now (heck I bought an 11.6" MacBook Air when I was in uni) that unless you really really like it, it's probably not worth it even though it's quite well priced now <$1k with education discount IIRC. You can install Windows on it too but that almost defeats the point since it'll add quite a bit of cost (assuming you buy the retail version of Windows and not an OEM) and then you're missing out on some of the benefits of Mac OS X. That leaves MBP and MacBook if you're heart is set on a MacBook but in both those cases you'll be facing compromises whether it be lack of ports (and high price) on the MacBook, or just size/weight/price for the MBP.

Before you jump in to this make sure you research what else you need to run - I suspect if you're doing a science degree, you might end up needing Excel and some advanced macros/scripts which won't run on the Mac version of Office as far as I know. It'll also boggle your mind later on when it comes to working on a Windows machine which is what the vast majority of companies use and hence make things harder- I struggle using Excel on my MacBook despite living most of my professional life inside Excel on Windows! It'll also make things easier on you during your degree if you can share stuff easier with friends on Windows/etc.. If after thinking about this you still want a MacBook, then I'd say the MacBook Pro is probably the best bang for buck solution and will cover you in other scenarios - but if it were me, I'd go for the MacBook with it's limitations since it just had a hardware refresh for the new Core M processors, USB-C is becoming more common so charging it should be a little less inconvenient as more people may have chargers with them you could borrow if needed, and it's just a more compact machine. Downside is it's not really that powerful so you won't be playing games or anything on it.

I'd also suggest you consider some of the other form factors or devices whether it be pure tablets (e.g. iPad) or 2-in-1's (e.g. Surface 3, Surface Pro 4). I'd probably avoid a Surface 3 now given it's a year old and hasn't had a spec upgrade (unless you find it for a great deal?) but the Surface Pro 3 and 4 are looking like better value options although you will need to carry the charger with you since it might not be easy for you to find someone else with a charger for this on them.


FYI when I was at uni I used a Dell Mini 9 (a netbook!) which was horrible, and then I moved to the MacBook Air. I also had a work provided Lenovo T_series which was great but damn heavy so I rarely pulled it out. Now I own a Surface Pro 4 (and recently sold my Surface 3) and if I was to go back to uni again, I'd definitely go Surface since it's just so convenient having a 2-in-1 which I can write on, type on, and have enough power to do other things.
 

BlueGas

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So why a MacBook?


This is coming from someone who is an Apple fan (although I am posting this using my Surface Pro). Yes the quality of the devices is great, and yes I do enjoy Mac OS X and it's ease of use/seamless backups/speed/lack of annoying things/etc... but really you need to figure out why you are choosing a MacBook.

IMO the MacBook Air is the ideal uni student laptop but it's so old now (heck I bought an 11.6" MacBook Air when I was in uni) that unless you really really like it, it's probably not worth it even though it's quite well priced now <$1k with education discount IIRC. You can install Windows on it too but that almost defeats the point since it'll add quite a bit of cost (assuming you buy the retail version of Windows and not an OEM) and then you're missing out on some of the benefits of Mac OS X. That leaves MBP and MacBook if you're heart is set on a MacBook but in both those cases you'll be facing compromises whether it be lack of ports (and high price) on the MacBook, or just size/weight/price for the MBP.

Before you jump in to this make sure you research what else you need to run - I suspect if you're doing a science degree, you might end up needing Excel and some advanced macros/scripts which won't run on the Mac version of Office as far as I know. It'll also boggle your mind later on when it comes to working on a Windows machine which is what the vast majority of companies use and hence make things harder- I struggle using Excel on my MacBook despite living most of my professional life inside Excel on Windows! It'll also make things easier on you during your degree if you can share stuff easier with friends on Windows/etc.. If after thinking about this you still want a MacBook, then I'd say the MacBook Pro is probably the best bang for buck solution and will cover you in other scenarios - but if it were me, I'd go for the MacBook with it's limitations since it just had a hardware refresh for the new Core M processors, USB-C is becoming more common so charging it should be a little less inconvenient as more people may have chargers with them you could borrow if needed, and it's just a more compact machine. Downside is it's not really that powerful so you won't be playing games or anything on it.

I'd also suggest you consider some of the other form factors or devices whether it be pure tablets (e.g. iPad) or 2-in-1's (e.g. Surface 3, Surface Pro 4). I'd probably avoid a Surface 3 now given it's a year old and hasn't had a spec upgrade (unless you find it for a great deal?) but the Surface Pro 3 and 4 are looking like better value options although you will need to carry the charger with you since it might not be easy for you to find someone else with a charger for this on them.


FYI when I was at uni I used a Dell Mini 9 (a netbook!) which was horrible, and then I moved to the MacBook Air. I also had a work provided Lenovo T_series which was great but damn heavy so I rarely pulled it out. Now I own a Surface Pro 4 (and recently sold my Surface 3) and if I was to go back to uni again, I'd definitely go Surface since it's just so convenient having a 2-in-1 which I can write on, type on, and have enough power to do other things.
Thanks for your reply, but I'm still not sure as to whether I should stick with the Mac Pro or not. The things that I love about the Pro is: retina display, high processing speed compared to Air, 8gb RAM, and I think that's about it. But what I'm worried about is the 128GB storage, I have USBs but I prefer storing on the device rather than USB (I mainly using USBs if I'm transferring files between computers, or if in the future I do actually end up running out of space). I'm also more worried now after reading that office is slow on the pro, as it'll be the main thing I'll be using. I don't know what's best for me because I think about so many things at once, PLEASE HELP lol.
 

BLIT2014

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Thanks for your reply, but I'm still not sure as to whether I should stick with the Mac Pro or not. The things that I love about the Pro is: retina display, high processing speed compared to Air, 8gb RAM, and I think that's about it. But what I'm worried about is the 128GB storage, I have USBs but I prefer storing on the device rather than USB (I mainly using USBs if I'm transferring files between computers, or if in the future I do actually end up running out of space). I'm also more worried now after reading that office is slow on the pro, as it'll be the main thing I'll be using. I don't know what's best for me because I think about so many things at once, PLEASE HELP lol.
I find that word/excel doesn't seem to be slow on macbook pro's.
 

BLIT2014

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Thanks for your reply, but I'm still not sure as to whether I should stick with the Mac Pro or not. The things that I love about the Pro is: retina display, high processing speed compared to Air, 8gb RAM, and I think that's about it. But what I'm worried about is the 128GB storage, I have USBs but I prefer storing on the device rather than USB (I mainly using USBs if I'm transferring files between computers, or if in the future I do actually end up running out of space). I'm also more worried now after reading that office is slow on the pro, as it'll be the main thing I'll be using. I don't know what's best for me because I think about so many things at once, PLEASE HELP lol.
I find that word/excel doesn't seem to be slow on macbook pro's.
 

seremify007

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Thanks for your reply, but I'm still not sure as to whether I should stick with the Mac Pro or not. The things that I love about the Pro is: retina display, high processing speed compared to Air, 8gb RAM, and I think that's about it. But what I'm worried about is the 128GB storage, I have USBs but I prefer storing on the device rather than USB (I mainly using USBs if I'm transferring files between computers, or if in the future I do actually end up running out of space). I'm also more worried now after reading that office is slow on the pro, as it'll be the main thing I'll be using. I don't know what's best for me because I think about so many things at once, PLEASE HELP lol.
If you're worried then get 256gb? What do you plan to put on there anyway as 128gb for uni work is more than sufficient - also depends how you listen to music/watch movies/whatever else you plan to use it for. I've moved very much into the cloud because I have great internet speeds and I also suggest you use OneDrive/Dropbox/etc anyway for your uni work.

As for Office being slow- that's from the older versions but they're now pretty much at parity. Bigger issue is if you need to run third party add-ins which may not run on Mac for uni.
 

BLIT2014

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Excel is a lot easier to use on windows too.
 

BlueGas

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Guys how do I get office on the macbook for free?
 

BlueGas

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Also I'm such a noob with how the macbook works, are there any things I should know? I don't even know how to scroll properly on pages and such.
 

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Is the mac book charger magnetic? Is there a specific way of taking it out? Because I feel like it's about brake or snap when I take it out lol.
 

parad0xica

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Is the mac book charger magnetic? Is there a specific way of taking it out? Because I feel like it's about brake or snap when I take it out lol.
Tilt it upwards (or downwards) i.e. perpendicular to the surface of the table, ground, etc
 
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