Originally Posted by sumguy
Of course I could be wrong and she'll be thrilled with everything she bought. But just tell her some random guy on the internet said not to get overly attached to it, and not to be afraid to sell it and get something else anytime she wants, and even then, sell it and go back to what she had if that doesn't work out. Just don't let yourself get locked into a particular setup just because you paid a lot for it and you'd feel bad that you spent so much on the wrong thing. It's just a tool, you're not married to it! ...
Welcome to MobileRead, sumguy. Thanks for your input. She's aware her computer and tablet purchases will be slow in a couple years compared to the new crop of tech available then, and get slower in comparison over time. Thanks for the point about selling hardware periodically to trade up capability as necessary -- that may be something she decides to do in future.
Regarding upgradability on Mac models. Processor is not upgradable on any Mac Models without hardware hacking. On the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina, user has to choose any RAM and Flash Drive upgrades up front at purchase since they are soldered on and not upgradable later. On non-Retina MacBook Pro the items that are upgradable later are RAM and internal storage, the hard drive or Solid State Drive. (SSD is essentially a Flash Drive in an enclosure). On all MacBook models the battery is upgradable later if a better one becomes available for that model.
The MacBook Air option was recommended earlier in this thread by other folks. I believe e-ink readers were also mentioned in email if not here, though I think tablets are probably better for textbook reading. Personally in college I probably would have preferred carting around a small computer like MacBook Air rather than a tablet like iPad, for everything except possibly reading textbooks, and that point was made earlier too.
She may find that the iPad itself is fine for mobility purposes, and leave the heavier MacBook Pro behind in her dorm room rather than carting it around. I believe that was her thinking. Or in hindsight she may decide she wants an 11 inch MacBook Air to cart around instead of iPad, supplemented by external large display and external keyboard to leave behind in dorm room instead of 15 inch MacBook Pro. Or some other configuration. These usage and configuration decisions are pretty much based on requirements and personal preference within any particular environment and budget.
She read this thread. She made all of these decisions herself. She'll live with the decisions she made, or change them later.