New Macbook Air or Pro for a college student

I'm going to be a college freshman this august and as such, I decided to buy a mac. I basically use my computer for surfing the web, listening to music, watching movies on netflix, writing papers and making powerpoints. I often have a lot of apps open at once because I like to multitask. I neither do gaming nor do I edit movies or photos. (If I ever will edit movies, it'll be light and only for a college assignment). I'll also be taking my mac to class so I want it to be portable. On a last note, I use very very little hard drive space (80 gb max) but I like my computers to be very snappy.

At first, I decided that the 13' Pro would be perfect since it has speed and space I need. However, as the new airs came along offering a fast processor 4 gb ram and lightweight profile, I became very confused. Should I be going for the $1299 13' macbook air or base model 13' macbook pro? Is the macbook pro significantly faster than the air or will it be mildly noticeable? Also, if I buy the macbook pro, I could update it to an ssd. So, please help me figure out which one I should buy? Sorry for the long message but I wanted to be thorough because I likely won't be buying another computer for quite a while after this. Thanks so much.

5 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I think you should go for Air as its handy. Hard disk problem can be cured by buying and external one. Moreover you're a student and doesn't need much from your Mac. I suggest you to go for an Air. It will even look good when you'll get it to school. And everyone will be like OMG I must also have one. Believe me I was also confused between it and finally chose Air and it really changed my life.

    • Answered by Saurabh S
    • Apr 23, 2012
  • Honestly, I understand your concern and dilemma.
    So I acted boldly yesterday and bought into this new MacBook Air machine. And I am blown away by the speed and sheer beauty of it. Sure, the hard drive is small (got 128GB) but if you buy an external hard drive for your most important data,that will help you a lot. You will find yourself fascinated by the speed and the lightweight of this machine. You as a student want to be mobile and since you are carrying books and other stuff around with you all the time, the Air would be the ideal choice for you, since the weight is barely noticeable.

    I strongly recommend this thing to you.

    • Answered by Yohannes W
    • Aug 7, 2012
  • I also had the same dilemma. I finally went with the Air with an upgrade to an 8GB ram as opposed to the 4GB ram, my friend said it would make it run faster. It's hard to believe that the computer is ever on shutdown because it starts back up in literally 18 seconds!!! I am very pleased with my purchase. I have an external hard drive and will probably need to do a back up at the end of the school year which is fine with me because honestly when am I going to go back and read my notes for chemistry in my spare time? Now I don't know if the ram upgrade is worth it because I haven't tried the 4GB but my computer is incredibly fast. The apple service is also amazing. Only problem: there is no CD drive so I'm looking at getting an external one to install certain programs that don't come as an internet download (it's about 30$ at best buy). I think times are changing though and soon there will be no more CDs so it's not a big deal. Another great feature is that you can bring it with you everywhere! It's like what 2.5lbs?
    Yep, all in all, great purchase, I'm happy with it and I recommend it!

    • Answered by Chantal D from Iroquois Falls
    • Sep 15, 2012
  • I recommend going for the 13' macbook air, with 256GB flash storage it is way better, any fall the air with flash storage will take it, its sooo light and for what you say you use, go for the air.

    • Answered by Rodrigo A from National City
    • Aug 24, 2012
  • what did you end up going with? I am in a very similar situation with regards to what I use my computer for...looking to get a new computer for school this Christmas. I'm leaning towards the MBA. curious!

    • Answered by Will L from Rancho Santa Margarita
    • Nov 13, 2011