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View Full Version : Advice re Macbook for my Wife



taxboy4
09-12-2012, 11:41 AM
Hi there, she uses it for email and making photobooks, a bit of word etc - what would be the best version of the Mac to buy her for Xmas please?

Nick G
09-12-2012, 11:58 AM
Retina disply 15 inch MacBook pro. Hope you're rich ;)

Edit - looked at the Apple website, holy **** those MacBooks cost an arm and a leg!!

icow
09-12-2012, 12:04 PM
Some actual advice here: 13" Macbook Air (11" might be annoying to use keyboard wise), if she needs a CD drive however you might want to go for a 13" Macbook Pro or a 15" without the retina display. My only major concern with the Air might be SSD (Hard drive) space. Seeing as she is working largely with emails and word it shouldn't be too much of a problem but you might want to pay a bit extra to get the SSD size upgrade. You can also get an external CD/DVD drive for the Air but that might be annoying to carry around.

nedkelly
09-12-2012, 01:39 PM
I agree with icow, spot on advice.

Nick G
09-12-2012, 02:14 PM
Adding to actual advise - is a entry level 13 inch retina Macbook pro in budget? The retina display sure would be nice compared to the non retina display models.

icow
09-12-2012, 02:22 PM
Adding a retina display effectively adds $500US to the price. In most cases I wouldn't recommend a retina Macbook. Anyone in graphic design who needs the extra pixels should just buy an IPS for $400-$500NZ. The only photographers/graphic designers might actually find a use for a retina display Macbook (say if they travel a lot). Average consumers probably will never notice the retina display for anything apart from when it makes things very pretty, is that $500US of value? Not in my books. Sure it's a great piece of tech but if your average joe consumer wants a 2xxx X 1xxx resolution screen they are better of getting an external monitor or even an iPad (new one) which are going to be far cheaper.

However if money is no real concern to the OP then buy all means go for a Retina display Macbook. Note: Retina display Macbooks don't have DVD drives.

Zippity
09-12-2012, 02:38 PM
Give her a good slap on the rump and toss her a cheaper PC........................












and some roses :) :)

Chilling_Silence
09-12-2012, 02:44 PM
Yeah if she's doing email / photobooks, save yourself a TON of money and grab one of the other similar-spec PC's from PBTech on sale running Windows 8, for around half the price!

Nick G
09-12-2012, 02:44 PM
Adding a retina display effectively adds $500US to the price. In most cases I wouldn't recommend a retina Macbook. Anyone in graphic design who needs the extra pixels should just buy an IPS for $400-$500NZ. The only photographers/graphic designers might actually find a use for a retina display Macbook (say if they travel a lot). Average consumers probably will never notice the retina display for anything apart from when it makes things very pretty, is that $500US of value? Not in my books. Sure it's a great piece of tech but if your average joe consumer wants a 2xxx X 1xxx resolution screen they are better of getting an external monitor or even an iPad (new one) which are going to be far cheaper.

However if money is no real concern to the OP then buy all means go for a Retina display Macbook. Note: Retina display Macbooks don't have DVD drives.
Yea, good point, an external monitor would be better. Wish they'd make more 1080p laptop screen, most are stil 1366x768 which is getting pretty low.

plod
09-12-2012, 04:23 PM
Yeah if she's doing email / photobooks, save yourself a TON of money and grab one of the other similar-spec PC's from PBTech on sale running Windows 8, for around half the price!yeah because you would be happy with a similar but different phone of your choice to save money

Chilling_Silence
09-12-2012, 10:15 PM
If there is no speed difference, then if it's between spending $475 on an iPad Mini vs $375 on a Nexus 7 ... Hell yeah take the cheaper one!

8ftmetalhaed
09-12-2012, 10:22 PM
If you're dead set on getting a mac, get the most expensive one possible with the most ram you can now. Since it's soldered to the board and non upgradable.

plod
09-12-2012, 10:27 PM
If you're dead set on getting a mac, get the most expensive one possible with the most ram you can now. Since it's soldered to the board and non upgradable.true for the airs and the retina pros. Not the non retina pro

Chilling_Silence
10-12-2012, 09:14 AM
Not the non retina pro

Yeah they're the DDR3 laptop RAM.

Personally, if you're going to go down the Apple path, and that's all that you can see yourself doing is the aforementioned, then because Apple uses pretty well regarded "recent gen" hardware inside their products, I'd personally go for one of the cheaper non-Retina Macbooks, and spend the money on a few extra things like the Magic Mouse and maybe a Time Capsule for backups.

Air vs Macbook, have a look at the pros / cons of either. To be frank you're not likely to need to upgrade the RAM if you're only doing what you're saying you're doing. Macs also hold value quite well so if you sell second hand 6-12 months down the track, you won't be losing a truckload.

icow
10-12-2012, 10:59 AM
..and spend the money on a few extra things like the Magic Mouse and maybe a Time Capsule for backups.

Normal mouse and external HDD? As *cool* as a magic mouse can be (I don't really like them) they aren't really worth the asking price. Same really goes for the Time Capsule. Standard externals work just as good. Time Machine doesn't limit your HDD choices.

Chilling_Silence
10-12-2012, 11:06 AM
True but being a laptop, Time Capsule is one less thing to plug in. Same for the mouse, and having the multitouch on the mouse means it's quite easy to transition from touchpad to the mouse. If you're going Mac, that's what I'm saying, might as well save the money and go for those two things, coz the OP wouldn't *need* something super powerful, and if it's only a Mac they're gonna go for, then why not do it like that and make life as easy as possible?

Alex B
10-12-2012, 01:36 PM
I'd go for the 13" Air over the non retina 13" Pro. 1440 x 900 screen res VS 1280 x 800 on the 13" Pro non retina. 128GB+ SSD VS Standard hard drive.

The only thing to consider is if you need a DVD drive then the Air does not have one, although you can use an external drive with it.

Chilling_Silence
10-12-2012, 02:02 PM
Yeah the SSD is a HUGE bonus if she's not gonna be storing a ton of video on her laptop :)

pcuser42
10-12-2012, 02:28 PM
The only thing to consider is if you need a DVD drive then the Air does not have one, although you can use an external drive with it.

I've owned a netbook for nearly two years now and haven't missed an optical drive, especially now that Windows 8 can mount ISOs natively.

icow
10-12-2012, 03:22 PM
Yeah optical media is nearly dead (pc wise). Some people still need to use it apparently. That implies they purchased something from an actual shop :p

Alex B
10-12-2012, 03:34 PM
I've owned a netbook for nearly two years now and haven't missed an optical drive, especially now that Windows 8 can mount ISOs natively.

Yeap I ripped mine out so I could fit a second hard disk. People still use them for audio cd's to MP3's and the likes, so just something to keep in mind. :)

plod
10-12-2012, 05:49 PM
I would be more inclined to go with the AirPort Extreme(without drives). And just add external ones to it. Save yourself a heap.

Nomad
12-12-2012, 11:07 AM
I have a Thinkpad laptop running Win7 bought 3yr used and 3yr that I owned it now, doesn't have a optical drive unless I use the Thinkpad dock base. My PC has a DVD-RW (IDE) taken from a older AMD Sempron. Hardly use them. Other than the OS. The Tertiary Students MS Office 2010 was a download. Other stuff if you can just make ISO files and mount them with freeware. Maybe like many casual users, I just end up with Windows/Office/internet browser and a few utilities like CCleaner, Skype and that is pretty much it. If I didn't get a laptop for my studies (to be used away from home), I may well just saved the money or pick up a tablet of some sort (with 3G).

If I was getting a laptop, I would consider a MBA myself due to a larger keyboard but so much portable. More expensive yes but the PC laptops doesn't have much to choose from, I vaguely heard that they might have some PC clones to the MBA (a Dell ultrabook comes to mind) but they are not cheap also and once you compare the dimensions and weight they are still not as portable.

icow
12-12-2012, 11:26 AM
Asus, Dell, Samsung and Sony(?) all have MBA clones/ultrathin laptops that look similar. From memory the ones of comparable spec are around the same price point. I think a few brands make cheaper ones but they have atom (or similar) processors.

pcuser42
12-12-2012, 11:28 AM
the PC laptops doesn't have much to choose from

lol. One of the benefits of PCs is the wide variety. ;)

Nomad
12-12-2012, 12:22 PM
MBA
Height: 0.31.7 cm (0.110.68 inch)
Width: 30 cm (11.8 inches)
Depth: 19.2 cm (7.56 inches)
Weight: 1.08 kg (2.38 pounds)

Asus Zenbook UX21A
1.1kg
Width 11.77 inches
Depth 6.63 inches
Thickness 0.67 inches

Dell XPS 12 (12" though at least)
1.54Kg.
$2200.

Sony - only dual core E2 processor.

Dimensions (Approx.) : 11.42" (W) x 0.93" - 1.25" (H) x 8.02" (D)
Weight (Approx.) : 3.32 lbs. (with Standard Battery)

icow
12-12-2012, 01:03 PM
http://www.samsung.com/nz/article/series-9-notebook-inspired-by-design

Rather expensive from memory though. Used one at Hardly Normals. Great laptop.