Incoming College Student. Which Mac Laptop is the best for me?

Hi, I'm looking to get into a Mac laptop and I'm not sure which is the best fit for me. I like the look and size of the Macbook air but I know that there isnt a CD drive on the computer itself. Also with the 11 inch MBA there isnt a SD slot in it. Is that a big inconvienence for people? Im looking to major in History with a minor in communications/ psychology. I also have a strong interest in photography. I've heard that with the MBA 11 inch that you cant surf the web easily and doing a power point is next to impossible. I need a small computer thats light and serves every purpose. I have a heavy laptop now and it kills my back when transporting it. I also need something to do school projects on, papers, and everyday use. Any help would be appreciated.

6 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I just had this very same dilemma and ended up going with the 13 inch Macbook Air. I initially had in mind the 13 inch macbook pro, but after testing out both the MBA made much more sense. The battery life is great, the weight and size are incredible, the lack of moving parts makes it extra durable, and it is more than powerful enough to do anything you will ever need to do with your major. The 2011 models outperform many of the older MB pros so speed/performance is not an issue unless you are into heavy video editing or other media-heavy tasks that require VERY powerful machines. Also, the weight difference between the 13 inch MP pro and MBA may look small on paper (1.5 lbs), but trust me it is HUGE when you're carrying it around in a backpack with books and supplies. I considered the 11 inch but just couldn't see the value at such a high starting price point. Lastly, one often overlooked area where the MBA shines is heat output. After 2+ straight hours of browsing and working the machine will BARELY be warm to the touch. It's also whisper quiet. My best advice is to go into an Apple store and spend some time with the laptops. Pick them up, close them, open them, type on them. If I wouldn't have done this I would have ended up ordering the 13 inch macbook pro. Maybe I would have been happy, or maybe not, but at least now I know FOR SURE that I made the right choice for my college needs. You should do the same.

    • Answered by Brian W from Chula Vista
    • 08 19, 11
  • I have the 11" MBA and i love how small it is. Personally i think that there is no point in getting the 13" MBA because practically it is just as big as a 13" MBP so you can rule that one out. I haven't noticed any problems surfing the web or writing word documents. Writing Powerpoint's is not bad, but the screen size makes it hard to write a powerpoint and view a webpage at the same time, so you may have to print out the webpage. As far as the dvd drive I have used remote disc once to install Microsoft office. Writing school papers and power points takes up almost no space but pictures do, so look at how many pictures you have right now, you might need the 128gb version or an external hard drive. I have 1 and a half years of school papers, projects, and a bunch of iTunes music on mine and have 30gb of used space. As far as the sd card slot, just find the usb cable for your camera and you will never need one. the only other problem I can think of is the shorter battery life. How much time do you spend on your laptop in a day? If you still can't decide go to an apple store and mess with one for a while and see if you like it. Take a research paper on a flash drive and open it to look at the screen size. Surf the web a little bit. You may just fall in love with it!

    • Answered by Brandon A from Argyle
    • 10 8, 11
  • Have you looked at the MBA 13 inch? It's a little bigger, more powerful, but not much heavier. You can pick up a USB based card=reader (12-in-1) from Safeway by me for about 30, so lack of SD isn't a real issue. And, no, the lack of CD drive is not really a problem, most of what is done from DVDs can be done with ISO files, or flash drives.

    • Answered by Alan X from Northfield
    • 07 9, 11
  • buy a macbook pro15 inch .its good and also it solves the problem of a CD drive. it is also not very heavy. and it has a n excellent multitasking. you can also watch movies and play games HD. there are more frames per second in the now macbook pro 15inch. you can do your power point presentation and other stuff on it too. its battery life is also very good. it can go up to 7 hours without WI-FI. it has a HD camera and you can edit items of photography or a movie with great ease.

    • Answered by Ashwani A from Singapore
    • 07 24, 11
  • The 13' inch macbook air is a good choice. You can use it for about 5-7 hours and it has a good processor. It also has an SD card for your camera and iCloud if you have an iPhone. If you have the money I recommend the Mac Book air 13'. I have used a 13 inch Mac Book air a couple of time and found it works well with powerpoint or keynote. Hope this helps

    • Answered by Sawyer M from Corte Madera
    • 12 12, 11
  • Well, i'd suggest a macbook pro running Snow Leapord

    • Answered by Aninda G from Augusta
    • 05 17, 11