Macbook Pro or …

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  • Macbook Pro or …
  • My wife and I are both teachers and used to being given a school laptop to use. Reasonable spec MBPs for the last 7 years, replaced after 4 when they slow down.

    We’re moving to new schools and will have a computer in the classroom. The school is replacing all computers and we don’t know if they’ll be Mac or Windows. We do know they’ll use Google Suite a lot and be desktop as opposed to portable. We both like working from home so need laptops. Looking at the price of two new Macs is a little surprising to say the least – especially if they’ll last 4 years before they need upgrading.

    Bite the bullet or look elsewhere?

    A Chromebook won’t do as we need more than the 32Gb local storage. Wifi will be a little iffy at times.

    We both have newish iPads so laptops with touchscreens seem overlappy / redundant.


    Premier Icon allfankledup

    We recently looked at Ipad Pro / Macbooks etc – but didn’t think they were worth the cash. We’ve got a big fast desktop so took the option to buy an ex office Lenovo Thinkpad or similar – £300 or so for an i5 with a 180Gb SSD and 8Gb of Ram.

    For 99%of stuff day to day, the laptop is great

    You should be getting more than 4 years out of a mac. My basic 2009 MacBook lasted 8 years with upgrading the ram and HDD after a few years but maintaining the latest version of IOS. And it was still going strong when the battery decided to basically explode. Pretty light home usage i’ll Grant you. And do you really need MacBook Pro’s? MacBooks are cheaper and unless you’re doing something really processor heavy like CAD or heavy design work the normal MacBook will be easily good enough. You could go windows laptop, but by the time you spec one up to equivalent mac spec there is not much in the price.


    You should consider that macs and PC run on the same hardware.

    The only difference is preferable operating system. Windows or mac os.

    Well they do run on similar hardware but macs are pretty highly spec’d hardware compared to the cheaper laptops. For comparable hardware specs your looking at windows laptops at the higher end of the price range. But even for a fanboy like me the mac premium is starting to become a bit silly now and not sure i’d pay it any more. I got an iMac last year, pretty good spec and thought it was reasonably priced, but looking at MacBooks I thought they were way too pricy.


    I’d wait til you know whether it’s Windows or MacOS before making a decision. Could be a lot easier to integrate (e.g security policy) if you’re on the same platform.

    BTW If the current school is writing off Macs after 4 years, I’d see if you can buy your current machines before you leave. As wobbliscott said, 4 years isn’t long for a Mac – you could get a bargain before you go. Although the batteries will be pretty jaded.

    Final thought, there are (pricey) Chromebooks with up to 512 GB SSDs, if that is something you might consider?

    Top notch Chromebook with 128 GB

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Are the prices before or after education discount? Also don’t discount buying an Apple refurb.


    I cannot believe you need to replace a MBP after 4 years! I’m still using my 2012 MBA for pretty much everything – including video editing.
    Could you supply more information about this ‘slowing down’? What is running slowly, precisely?


    I’d wait til you know whether it’s Windows or MacOS before making a decision. Could be a lot easier to integrate (e.g security policy) if you’re on the same platform.

    This. I use Windows, but I’d find out what the school is using first. As above, a Mac or Windows machine should last more than 4 years before needing replacement.

    Premier Icon kelvin

    I’m still use a 2010 MacBook Air for all my work. People like the new and shiny, but well made kit just keeps working.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes

    I’d be checking with the new school what’s allowed before buying anything.
    Fixed PCs may mean they don’t approve of taking school data home on laptops. I’d not be putting any work data that had even a hint of gdpr about it on a privately owned laptop without approval.


    I guess we could wait. I’m procrastinating more than anything. By ‘slowing down’, I meant the Macs were beginning to get those spinning rainbow circles for no apparent reason. Honestly, they’re used lightly but a lot. Running to interactive whiteboards or whatever else, they’re usually on most of the time.

    I believe that as we hand back the MBPs, they move to the banks of devices available for student use. These don’t last as long as you’d hope for various reasons.

    We won’t be taking my quite high-spec desktop PC with us so although there won’t be heavy CAD or video editing, there might be occasion for it.

    I can see why knowing whether the school will be running OS or Windows could be beneficial but with Google Drive, G Suite and browser based VLE / school administration etc, it likely won’t be too much of an issue.

    I’m drawn to Mac simply because they do seem to just work. Even my well speced and looked after desktop doesn’t boot as quickly as the MBP and often needs things fiddling with. Just now Chrome was forced to be the on-top Window. Last week the screens wouldn’t come out of stand by when the computer had slept.

    I’ll have a loo around and see what’s available for the money so I can get a better idea of direct comparisons.



    Even my well speced and looked after desktop doesn’t boot as quickly as the MBP

    A modern Windows machine with an SSD will boot in 20 seconds or less. My 2012 MBP with a regular HDD takes a couple of minutes to boot to either Mac OS or Windows in Bootcamp. Comparing low-spec machines to high-spec machines will pretty much always come out in favor of the high-spec one, regardless of the OS.


    If the school uses Google products then anything with a browser will do.

    I’ve got a 128gb pixelbook and all my docs are created using online apps (Google and Microsoft), it’s at least as good as any MB and should never slow down.

    Apple stuff maybe mega money but..

    We have 2010 IMac, external drive and an extra 16gb of RAM and it’s fine for all wife’s office work and basic video editing. ( struggles with 2.7k video never mind 4k though). Still looks amazing with the all in one screen design.

    Sons iPad mini I bought on here six years ago with a rugged rubber case, it’s been used daily and although slower than mine it’s been fine for him.

    Wife has had blackberry tablet, Samsung and a windows tablet and iPad and complained about them all 😐

    True the old macs lasted for years, and so will a new one, however you will have to manage the new butterfly keyboard issues, I regularly have to spray compressed air over mine and Apple have a program for what they class as a small issue.

    Have a good read here for view from current users, I’m not sure I would replace mine with another Mac unless the design was changed.

    Premier Icon kelvin

    Agree about the new Apple laptop keyboards (see also a lot of non-Apple trackpads). The physical build and reliability of new laptops seems to be low priority for many brands … a mistake when it’s got to the point that a slightly faster cpu or more memory is close to irrelevant to just about everyone not editing video, but is still the focus of attention.

    The point was more that a four year old Apple laptop should still be useable for a good few years yet… I don’t think anyone is saying (or can say for sure) that a current/new model would have a long life.


    My MacBook Pro that I am typing on now is 8 years old. I have never had ONE single issue with it! I love it and could never face going back to Windows. Having said that, I did look at the price of new ones recently and got a bit of a shock! I will just buy a MacBook and a mahoosive external monitor to replace it when the time comes.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy

    I hope it’s not a state-funded school replacing MBP’s after 4 years (heck even buying MBP’s in the first place)…

    As for your question, depends if you’re wanting to still with Macs or would be happy switching to Windows. I would have thought the school would be using Windows on the new desktops but then it would depend if the VPN solution and anything you needed to run locally (as opposed to browser-based) was Mac compatible. Personally I’d change to Windows and save myself a fair amount of money unless I desperately wanted to stick with Macs.

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