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General Discussion

Purchasing a new laptop. Need guidance !

So I've finally came up with a nice chunk of change to upgrade from my prehistoric 2008 Macbook. I'm going to take my programming much more serious, but before I make any purchase I wanted to consult with the Treehouse community! I have my eyes on Apple, specifically the Macbook Pro Retina 13" display. Although I'm quite interested in this machine I want some opinions! If you agree with my current preferred choice please recommend specific specs and perhaps accessories to ensure my new device's longevity!

Thank you all!

14 Answers

macbook pro's area always a good choice.. but I would really go with a macbook air.. after I bought my MBP 15" Retina I realized that I didn't need a big laptop. The 13" macbook air is light and you can work from anywhere on the go. The battery last unto 12 hours with a charge. but it's all up to you... if you want to be mobile the air is the one for you. now if you going to do photo editing or video then you need a macbook pro... but really u if you plan programming you don't need too much just a air

The MBP Retina is an excellent choice. You won't be disappointed. It has plenty of power to run any software you might need, plenty of storage, and a gorgeous display.

All your responses are greatly appreciated! Keep em' coming!

Oliver Brewester
Oliver Brewester
3,180 Points

I agree with the above, however processing wise it all depends on how you want to use the machine. If you are using it solely for coding etc then a MBA will be fine. However if you are interested in in things like Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro at all then a a high spec MBP would be better suited. I personally don't think retina display is essential for coding as you will have to consider although it looks great on you new mac will it look as good on a user viewing the website on an older machine. Also WWDC has just gone and they may release a new machine so best to check out release dates. I talk from experience on spending hard earned cash on a laptop only for Apple to announce an even better spec machine 3 months down the line.

Hi Jared,

I have the 13 inch Macbook pro (non-retina) which i think is great but sometimes I find it quite annoying when trying to flip between watching videos on here and coding on sublime text editor as it just feels like the screen is too small!! So I'm looking to upgrade soon to a 15 inch retina MBP.. Also, in my experience the 13inch is not a great size for using Xcode and iOS simulator, however the 13 inch retina may have more screen resolution sizes so may work better for you..

@ Oliver . WWDC? I was actually worried about the whole releasing a better model shortly after I make my purchase. Anyone have any info on new models coming out soon?

@ Gary. I know where you're going with the lack of room on the screen but I also don't want to carry a huge laptop.. Perhaps I should look into the 15"?

Yea i know what you mean but to be honest it doesn't really seem too much larger in size.. see here

probably best to visit an apple shop and have a feel to which you'd prefer.. but my advice would definitely be to go for the 15"!! Best of luck in whatever you decide on anyway!

Thank you for the feedback Oliver!

Oliver Brewester
Oliver Brewester
3,180 Points

@ Gary - Could not agree with you more. I hate just coding on a 13" laptop even a 15". I feel i need a second laptop just to watch the videos lol

@ Jared check out http://www.macrumors.com they usually know and will announce new macs etc or the apple website will say when something has officially launched.

If you have the cash for new machine you may as well make sure it is the most up to date.

I checked the rumors site an I can't seem to find any news on new MBP. I did see something about updating the MBP retina display I the third quarter of 2014. Any idea when that is? And yea I would use my old MacBook to watch the videos. I just think 15" is bit too expensive but more so too large. I will go to the apple store and mess with them both!

@ Oliver and Garry i've decided to go with the 15". should i update the base model to 16gb ram?

Good choice Jared! I think you'd be fine with the standard 8gb Ram to be honest... but you can always upgrade it at a later date if you ever needed to..

Apparently you can't upgrade rMBP after purchase. But if 8gb ram is enough I'll just go with that!

Oliver Brewester
Oliver Brewester
3,180 Points

Yes you can bump up the ram by DIY . Apple charge a fortune for ram upgrades so I tend to but the basic machine and ram it up myself. If you can spare the cash and don't fancy the work I would get the higher spec. Just because the processing speed does make a difference. Running multiple applications making PDFs etc are things that a higher spec mac will handle faster.