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college laptop

Looking at buying my daughter a macbook air for her first year of college. Any comments or other suggestions?

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Comments
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Nod from me.

Less support for the usual, nice build quality and more.

Go for it. But one piece of advice. Stick with the 13 inch model. 15 max and don't pop for the 17.
Bob

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college laptop

I am looking at the 13" 128 gb flash drive, 2gb ram. Adding windows office and the 3 year service warranty.

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Nice.
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Just FYI

Just FYI, the Air only comes in 11 and 13 inch models. The MacBook PRO comes in 13, 15, and 17 inch models however. The Air is the sort of netbook of the Apple lineup.

And just to economize posts, I'd reconsider the Air for college use. In fact, I'd reconsider the whole laptop idea completely. Laptops get stolen often, and more than that, they are a distraction in class far more than they are a useful aid. If your daughter has even the slightest of inclination towards websites like Facebook and Twitter, and isn't one of the single most disciplined people you have ever known... Get her a nice iMac or something to keep in the dorm/sorority/apartment. Otherwise, she's going to spend more time on Facebook and the like than paying attention in class, her grades will suffer and either you'll be paying for an extra semester to a year for her to graduate, or she'll be an extra semester to year in debt as far as loans go.

Laptops in college sound like a great idea, but they really almost never work out that way. I eventually had to just start leaving mine at home when I found myself doing other things besides taking notes, and for the most part, I could give a toss about the likes of Facebook and it's ilk. The only thing of moderate interest to me about Facebook, is the HQ is about 20-30 miles down the road from me. That and it's like this bizarre sociological microcosm along the lines of a train wreck. You know it's going to be gruesome, you know you shouldn't look, but you just can't stop.

So get her a nice-ish computer for her dwelling, that stays in her dwelling. I'd even encourage her to do all her homework on campus using lab computers. For one, part of her tuition will be to pay for those, so may as well use them, but also it helps create a psychological association between work and play. When she's on campus, her associations are with work, and when she's off campus, she can focus on her social life. Useful for college life, and useful for life after college.

Also, I doubt a 128GB drive would be big enough for most people, and the fact that it's flash storage PROBABLY wouldn't work so well with a college student. Flash drives don't have the same kind of longevity as platter based drives. Platter based drives typically work until the motor spinning the platters gives out. Flash cells, on flash drives, have a finite number of times you can write to them before they fail. And you can just take the new MacBook Air anywhere to get the drive replaced like other laptops. It's a custom designed drive, and the screws used to lock the bottom case on the new MacBook Air are exceedingly difficult to find if you're not an Apple Authorized Service Provider. I honestly don't know how they will classify drive failures on the new Air models either. It's entirely possible that they will deem them consumables like batteries, and thus not subject to replacement under warranty.

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Was that reply to me?

My son who just finished college did fine with laptops. I'm unsure what happened to have you not like laptops for the college folk but here and all over, it all works out fine.
Bob

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Yes and no

Yes and no... The first bit about the different models of laptop was, the rest was just me being too lazy to make a new post, and was more for the OP.

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college laptop

My gal is pretty dedicated. She has recieved the President's Scholarship at Pacific Lutheran University. Has been excepted into the school of Nursing as a freshman and was Student Body President at her High School. On top of all that my husband died in a motorcycle accident the beginning of her Junior year of High School. I'm not worried about her not applying herself. She has chosen a small University with a huge support system and knows that life is not a bowl of cherries. The big but is that she likes the trends, wants to be stylish and nneds to make this computer last at least three years.

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Then avoid the Air

Then avoid the Air. Can almost guarantee it will not make it 3 years for college type use. The Air is aimed at people who want portability and battery life more than performance. That's actually all the more reason to consider something like the iMac. Desktops tend to have a much longer shelf life than laptops.

I have no idea what your budget is, but the 13" Air I believe runs at around $1500, so using that as a basis, I'd say either go for the 15" MacBook Pro, or probably better still, one of the lower end 27" iMacs. Though you may want to consider kind of splitting the difference. You could get a 21" iMac for the majority of the real work she needs to do, and then maybe an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard for taking notes and what not in class, that can then be transferred over to the iMac in a variety of ways. If you go with the MacBook Pro, I'd upgrade the RAM (third party) first thing. Same deal with an iMac. That alone will give it a huge leg up in lasting three years.

The one kind of important thing to remember, and IMO they're missing out on a huge golden opportunity, is that none of Apple's warranties covers accidental damage. So if the laptop falls off the desk in the lecture hall and breaks, she's SOL and will be looking at anywhere from probably $400 and up to get it replaced, depending on the size of the display. They ONLY cover manufacturing type defects, or basically what we'd call natural causes if it were a human. Liquid damage is also not covered at all, and laptops tend to be placed in areas where liquids abound, so something else to consider. Even the most careful person can have someone ELSE spill their soda or something all over her laptop.

I actually repair Apple computers for a living, and so I can tell you that if you went with just the cheap MacBook, and the display were broken due to abuse, or there's liquid damage, you'd probably be looking at about $400+ cost, for the part alone. Then there's the markup for the place replacing it, their labor, and by the time it's all said and done, you've probably paid 60-70% the cost of a new one. If the logic board ever suffers liquid damage, forget it, just get a new one. Especially after the earthquake in Japan making a lot of precision electronics a bit short in supply, the cost of a new logic board would probably be more than a new system and that's before markup or labor.

Just some things you may want to take into consideration while deciding what option is best for the situation.

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We have folk that have the Air.

And travel a lot. These are at they were early adopters. None have failed. I'm unsure why someone is that sore on them.

You seem to be opting for the 3 Year Apple Care.
Bob

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