Luddite new computer recommendation

bohous

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Jul 21, 2005
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Check this out (side note: jfc Apple, way to proliferate the number of chip variants). About 2/3's of the way down there is a bar graph, for non-intense workloads (Word, Excel, email, etc) the "geekbench 6 single core" tab (the middle one) is basically the one that matters. (Some things benefit from multicore but not as many as you would hope - mostly multimedia stuff). The M3 is a good chunk faster than an M2.

The M2 is in both the 13" MacBook Air (2022) and the 15" MacBook Air (2023). The 2024 MacBook Air (announced in March) laptops have M3 processors (both 13 and 15 sizes). Note that Apple has educational discounts for current models, not sure how you get them (university bookstore?) so maybe check into that. A 13" Air M3 is supposed to be $999 starting price for educational buyers ($1199 for 15").

You might be able to find some clearance/discounts on the 2022/2023 models at bestbuy/etc but unless it's an absolutely smoking deal I would think the M3 ones would be the way to go and should last through 4+ years of school.

I am personally a fan of the MacBook Air form factor as it's nice and light. Unless someone needs the extra power from a MacBook Pro, the Airs seem like a slam dunk to me.
The Apple online store has an education section.

https://www.apple.com/us-edu/store
Thanks for this. Super helpful. Leaning toward a 16gb M3 Air. The edu discount is nice but basically the same $100 discount offered at a lot of places right now.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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I wont recommend it as a complete laptop replacement but I just got the new 2024 iPad Pro with the OLED display and the new magic keyboard / trackpad. It’s not a 100% laptop replacement but I will no longer be traveling with my laptop. This hits all the sweet spots. The display is amazing, the sound is amazing, the keyboard and trackpad are almost perfect for a 11” device.

Can i use it to do heavy Excel or PowerPoint work? Probably not but the trackpad makes all the difference. I previously had a 2018? iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard and this is a massive step up.
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

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Jul 12, 2008
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I wont recommend it as a complete laptop replacement but I just got the new 2024 iPad Pro with the OLED display and the new magic keyboard / trackpad. It’s not a 100% laptop replacement but I will no longer be traveling with my laptop. This hits all the sweet spots. The display is amazing, the sound is amazing, the keyboard and trackpad are almost perfect for a 11” device.

Can i use it to do heavy Excel or PowerPoint work? Probably not but the trackpad makes all the difference. I previously had a 2018? iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard and this is a massive step up.
What made you decide on 11" vs. 13"? I've been rocking 13" MacBooks for awhile. I'm thinking about upgrading in June or July, and I'm torn between the 15" MacBook Air or 13" iPad Pro.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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What made you decide on 11" vs. 13"? I've been rocking 13" MacBooks for awhile. I'm thinking about upgrading in June or July, and I'm torn between the 15" MacBook Air or 13" iPad Pro.
I have a 16" MacBook Pro for work that's a few years old. I'm debating between the newer 14" and 16" as my next work computer. For me it was pretty simple, I use the iPad for 1) Media Consumption 2) Microsoft Office Work (mainly Outlook) when traveling. Cost was not a factor, but it was really the portability. I HATE traveling with my 16" MBP, honestly the 14" isn't going to be much better for flights.

I really saw very few benefits of the 13" vs the 11" for what I wanted for the use cases I had. Holding it while reading a book on it, the size of coach seats and using it to watch shows/movies in bed all pointed me to the 11"

I took it for a full test run today and didn't need my MBP once except for an hour presentation I gave via Zoom. I probably could have, but I wasn't risking it with 10 clients on a meeting. The trackpad I find to be a game changer on the iPad.

I think my setup will be a 14" MBP and the 11" iPad Pro going forward.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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This is a fantastic machine. It’s exactly what I was looking for. The new Keyboard & Trackpad is nearly perfect, it’s as fast as hell and is great for doing general email, video conferences etc. I am going to Virginia for a meeting tomorrow and the MacBook Pro will be stayIng home, which is the main goal for me. I’ll be able to be productive and work on the plane (or watch a TV Show), present my PPTX and not have to lug the MBP around.
 

Pandarama

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Aug 20, 2018
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For those old enough to remember the first Compaqs, the talk of “lugging” a MBP is, well, not the first word that comes to mind.
 

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
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Thanks for this. Super helpful. Leaning toward a 16gb M3 Air. The edu discount is nice but basically the same $100 discount offered at a lot of places right now.
FYI: I think (some of) the M4 processor models will be announced on June 10th/11th at their WWDC event. I believe that will knock the M3 models down in price but I don't know how quickly that will happen, others here might be more familiar with the timeline/cycles of apple products. Basically if you haven't bought this thing yet maybe hold up a month to see if you can get a better deal, I think.
 

bohous

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Jul 21, 2005
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FYI: I think (some of) the M4 processor models will be announced on June 10th/11th at their WWDC event. I believe that will knock the M3 models down in price but I don't know how quickly that will happen, others here might be more familiar with the timeline/cycles of apple products. Basically if you haven't bought this thing yet maybe hold up a month to see if you can get a better deal, I think.
I've read conflicting things. It sounds like the M3 MBA is still pretty recent so they may kick the M4 release on the Air down the road.

I also understand Apple has run an additional $150 giftcard promo on top of their edu-store program that starts in June (at least it did last year). Right now I'm holding out for that, although the boy graduates on the 7th and would like to make this a graduation gift so timing is tight.
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

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Jul 12, 2008
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I'm lusting after the new iPad Pro, but the 13" iPad Pro + Magic Keyboard is so much more expensive than the 13" MacBook Air. Is it worth it for the upgrade to OLED display (and the fact that the iPad Pro is ~1.5 lbs lighter)... maybe! I'm excited to see what's in store for iPadOS at WWDC!
 

bohous

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Jul 21, 2005
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Just pulled the trigger on a 15" MBA from B&H for the boy. Might be a better deal coming for Back-to-School season down the road but this seemed like a pretty solid deal at $200 off.