This week it appears that most college level students have received their A-Level results (congratulations!).
Around this time of year many people will soon to be looking to purchase a computer to see their sons and daughters through university. I thought that I’d chip in with, given my experience at uni, which Mac I would take with me (and why it might not be necessarily be the one that you’d think)!
I’ll cut to the chase, although it might not be the lightest, most high-tech or even the most powerful my Mac of choice would be the 2012 13” MacBook Pro. There are definitely a few negative points that I’ve just mentioned but I don’t think it’s time to fully discount this Mac’s usefulness!
Firstly I’d like to mention storage – this is an important one. Whether it was the countless video lectures or research images that I stored or equally the several hundred photos that I insisted on taking each and every night out, storage was a precious commodity! The 2012 MacBook pro may have a slower spinning hard drive as standard but it does have a 500GB drive included! In order to get a similar amount of storage on one of the newer styled Macs you would have to spend in excess of an additional £300. With the money that you’re saving through this you can instead invest it and pick up what I’d deem the utmost vital accessory to take with you – a backup drive!
Sadly missing from the other MacBook models is a more unique feature that I wouldn’t trust myself without – The Kensington lock slot. For anyone who’s never used this before you may have seen it – there’s a small hole that’s placed along the outer chassis of the Mac and from there you are able to attach a locking cable to secure a computer to a desk. There’s always a fair amount of debate as to how useful these locks are as anyone with a set of fairly hefty bolt cutters would be able to cut through but this is usually enough of a deterrent that many would be thieves will be put off. During my time at university there were several spates of laptop thefts that were targeting specific university accommodations and, although common sense is a great way to stop thefts, if you are going out for the night it’s simple enough to secure your computer and know that it will still be there when you return!
Another reason to perhaps consider this Mac is it’s possible upgrade options. Whereas the thinner MacBook, MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro lines all have soldered RAM, unique SSDs and sealed enclosures the 2012 Macbook Pro has older, more updatable hardware. If you’re looking to increase the storage of your computer you can fit any standard 2.5” hard drive, up to 2tb in some cases, at a very conservative cost. Equally if you wanted a more snappy Mac you can upgrade to an SSD or if multitasking or high end software was more your cup of tea then that’s possible too with a RAM upgrade!
Lastly it seems to be the most obvious feature of the older MacBook but the DVD drive is somewhat invaluable to some! I for one, at least, spent many a uni night unwinding with a cheesy 80’s horror film as a few close friends gathered around my laptop. If the idea of a room full of 6 or 7 people gathered around a 13” display seems absurd, then of course there is a display output option through the thunderbolt port too if there’s space in accommodation for a TV! Nowadays a DVD drive may not be too much of a necessity if you’re subscribed to a streaming package online, but with internet shared between several people, and the thought of another recurring monthly fee, streaming isn’t always the most attractive option for students!
Of course this is just my opinion and everyone should consider carefully which computer to is right for them given that it will be their most used asset throughout most university courses! Good luck!