PDA

View Full Version : New 13" Air vs. 13" Pro - Which one to get?




shrihari
Jul 24, 2011, 11:44 AM
Hello everybody,

I'm planning to get a new laptop this week and I'm circled down to the new 13" Air and 13" Pro.

A little background: I own a Windows desktop. Once I buy this new laptop, it will probably become my primary machine. I'm into Web designing and (web & desktop) development. But, its just web design most of the time. I don't do heavy Photoshop work. So, typically I work with a Google Chrome, Text Editor and a Terminal most of the time.

I'm confused between these two machines because:

Pro was updated in February. So it'll probably be upgraded for Lion in a couple of months.
Air has 1.7 GHz. I'm not sure if that would be a big drawback for me considering my activities and Air has an SSD (which boosts performance I hear)
The new Air's Geekbench scores are on par with the Pro. (13" both).


And yeah, I'll be taking the machine to college. So, a fair amount of Travel involved.

Thanks,
Shrihari



Obscurelight
Jul 24, 2011, 11:47 AM
Actually if you consider the MBA 13" Ultimate and MBP 13" with the same specs the macbook pro is actually $50 more factoring in the education discount for both. You aren't really getting more because you have same

Intel HD3000
4GB RAM
256GB SS
Battery Life

Then

MBA has higher screen resolution
MBA Weighs 33% less than the MBP
MBA Bluetooth 4.0 vs. MBP 2.1
MBA 33% Thinner than the MBP
MBA has 1mb more cache but MBP I5 processor clocks 500mhz faster.
MBP has optical drive

Overall I think for the convenience of the that the MBA provides compared to the MBP 13" I can't justify the 500mhz faster clock speed at the cost of $50 more, extra weight, and lower resolution. I frankly think the MBP 13" has become obsolete since you cannot even get a dedicated video card on it. MBA will probably kill off the 13" MBP unless apple finds some way to reinvent and add features that will entice buyers to get it instead of the 13" macbook air. After all apple did say Macbook Air is the next generation and the future of MacBooks. If you don't plan to do anything on a professional level often like video encoding, rendering, editing and such you will be just fine with the MBA

On a side note, the new i7MBA has turboboost up to 2.9ghz and also can hyper thread which will give it 30% performance boost when needed.

nebulos
Jul 24, 2011, 11:48 AM
... upgraded for Lion? i wouldn't wait for a MBP update, if that's you mean. (if you buy a MBP, i think you get Lion for free.)

both machines will handle web design just fine. the air has better resolution which will make working with many windows MUCH better, and the light weight will make travelling MUCH more pleasant.

Air.

adnoh
Jul 24, 2011, 11:53 AM
dont hold your breath for a MBP lion update in terms of hardware. The next hardware update to the MBPs will be 1Q next year.

I think the MBA is the one for you.

shrihari
Jul 24, 2011, 11:54 AM
@Obscurelight, Thanks for the reply :) I'm from India and am getting the laptop from USA. So, that annuls education discount form me :-/ And I'm looking at the base models of both. So, that is the Air with 128GB, 1.7Ghz vs. Pro with 320GB. As you mentioned, there's a whole list of Air advantages.. Optical drive - I don't remember the last time I used mine..

@nebulos, Yeah, I meant the MBP update.. So, I guess Air beats out the current MBP..

hutchingsp
Jul 24, 2011, 11:56 AM
Personally I'd go try them both and see which you prefer.

For what it's worth, I've been using a 24" iMac the last four years. When the new MBP came out a few months back I went to the Apple Store to look at one thinking I'd pick up a 13" and hook it up to an external monitor.

Then I saw the Air.

The form factor is gorgeous, the SSD as standard is fantastic, the only "problem" was that it was "only" a C2D so not really any great leap over my iMac.

I decided to wait until they released the anticipated updated Air's and Lion. and yesterday I went to the Apple Store and picked up a new 13" i5 Air.

I'm sitting typing this in the garden, in the sunshine. It's fabulous.

Yggbert
Jul 24, 2011, 12:00 PM
The 13" MBP still running 1280x800 kills it for me. That and the fact you are getting an SSD in the 13" I kind of see the 13" MBP as a dead product. I'd only get it if you really, really need the optical drive.

They should just make the 13" MBP the new 'MacBook' as there's nothing particularly pro about it at all. Using that resolution still in 2011 it should really be cheaper than what it is. Save the 15" and 17" for the pro line, at least until the 13" machines have the option of quad cores.

h00ligan
Jul 24, 2011, 12:10 PM
I have to agree. Unless you need hdd space and are buying bottom of the line the air is a much better buy.

Velin
Jul 24, 2011, 12:13 PM
Web design and a lot of travel? No question, Air. Get a maxed-out 13" Air, you will never look back, truly is one of the best laptops on the market, period. You will have it with you everywhere you go, and will be happy you bought it.

tranmillitary
Jul 24, 2011, 12:41 PM
well, you're on the macbook air section... you're gonna get macbook air.

It's like asking people on a bmw forum, BMW or Mercedes??

Mac air can do everything mac book pro can at roughly the same speed. Just buy an air, if you don't like it, buy a Pro.

It's not a hard decision. you get 14 days.

shrihari
Jul 24, 2011, 12:57 PM
well, you're on the macbook air section... you're gonna get macbook air.

It's like asking people on a bmw forum, BMW or Mercedes??

Mac air can do everything mac book pro can at roughly the same speed. Just buy an air, if you don't like it, buy a Pro.

It's not a hard decision. you get 14 days.

Actually, I'm from India. And i'm getting it from the USA. So, return is not really an option :-/ And I chose the Air section of the forums just arbitrarily :)

sporadicMotion
Jul 24, 2011, 01:01 PM
Actually, I'm from India. And i'm getting it from the USA. So, return is not really an option :-/ And I chose the Air section of the forums just arbitrarily :)

Unless you really need an optical drive, get the air.

h00ligan
Jul 24, 2011, 01:14 PM
Ok. Better question. What's your budget?

tranmillitary
Jul 24, 2011, 01:16 PM
Actually, I'm from India. And i'm getting it from the USA. So, return is not really an option :-/ And I chose the Air section of the forums just arbitrarily :)

why the hell are u buying it here?? buy it when you get home??

Obscurelight
Jul 24, 2011, 01:19 PM
because its cheaper here in the US lol :p I found out the hard way that majority of things are cheaper in the USA compared to other countries even when it comes to imported brands.

shrihari
Jul 24, 2011, 01:21 PM
Ok. Better question. What's your budget?
Budget is say $1300. So, its really between the $1199 Pro and $1299 Air.

why the hell are u buying it here?? buy it when you get home??
Ya, its cheaper in the USA. About $400 less.

Samsumac
Jul 24, 2011, 01:21 PM
Performance wise, as far as everyday taska are concerned, both the Air and the Pro are similar. If you do tons of video encoding then the Pro is better.
Air, has a larger resolution screen than the 13" Pro, which was a major sticking point for be when deliberating whcih one to choose. I went with the Air at the end.
I would also like to mention that the Air needs more delicate handling than the Pro, as far as I am concerned

Vihzel
Jul 24, 2011, 01:38 PM
Do you want 1440x900 resolution or below industry-standard 1280x800 resolution?

Obscurelight
Jul 24, 2011, 01:42 PM
Just get the air. I'm 100% sure the 1299 base 13" will beat the 1199 base MBP

MistaMacky
Jul 24, 2011, 01:59 PM
I was wondering the same thing. I had a 21.5'' iMac and figured switching to MBP as my main machine would be a no brainer. New MBA 13'' blew me away though :D

h00ligan
Jul 24, 2011, 03:15 PM
Budget is say $1300. So, its really between the $1199 Pro and $1299 Air.


Ya, its cheaper in the USA. About $400 less.

Objections to using an external hard drive for media or external DVD drive? How much drive space do you presently use?

shrihari
Jul 24, 2011, 03:36 PM
Objections to using an external hard drive for media or external DVD drive? How much drive space do you presently use?

My current desktop has a 250GB HDD. And I have a 2TB external drive and an 160GB portable one. And, i use the optical drive very rarely !!

h00ligan
Jul 24, 2011, 03:52 PM
How important is screen resolution

shrihari
Jul 24, 2011, 03:55 PM
How important is screen resolution

The higher the better, right? Air has higher resolution than Pro, right?

h00ligan
Jul 24, 2011, 04:16 PM
Correct that it is higher. Better is relative.

You really have todecide if dragging around an external drive negates the advantage. Or I'd you are willing to revisit your workflow.

You could get the mbp and put an optibay in it.

shrihari
Jul 24, 2011, 04:20 PM
Correct that it is higher. Better is relative.

You really have todecide if dragging around an external drive negates the advantage. Or I'd you are willing to revisit your workflow.

You could get the mbp and put an optibay in it.

Do you mean that the storage size of Air (128GB) would be a limiting factor?

nagromme
Jul 24, 2011, 04:29 PM
The higher the better, right? Air has higher resolution than Pro, right?

For most people, higher seems to be preferred. Higher res fits more windows and text in the same space. BUT it also means smaller text, smaller pixels, smaller everything. As a result, my friend who wanted an Air ended up with very similar 13” Pro instead, specifically BECAUSE she liked the look of the lower-res screen on the Pro. So it’s worth looking in person to decide.

All things being equal, though, I’d pick the Air every time. I will never go back to bulk! Bulkmonters are (sometimes) faster, but not enough faster to be worth it. The Air is plenty fast.

As for storage, I ask myself what I need on my machine. Answer: about 60GB of stuff. The rest is optional—and so I don’t mind getting an external if I need to someday. For instance, I’ll have my favorite few games on the Air, and the other games on a small external. Or I won’t even need one at all: I’m getting the 128 drive, and that’s room to spare. (Now, if I had my iTunes library on this machine, I might need more than 128. Most people will be fine with a mere 64, but for production work and future-proofing I’d want at least 128.)

h00ligan
Jul 24, 2011, 10:58 PM
Agreed.

CHSeifert
Jul 25, 2011, 02:15 AM
because its cheaper here in the US lol :p I found out the hard way that majority of things are cheaper in the USA compared to other countries even when it comes to imported brands.

US is a cheap country.

When they talk about 100.000 $ cars in the songs I laugh my azz off :p

In Denmark 100.000 $ is approx 600.000 Dkr, which gives you a maxed out VW Golf GTI or maxed out BMW 121 - not kidding !!!!

A Porsche 911 Carrera is 250.000 $ for the regular version :D

CHSeifert
Jul 25, 2011, 02:21 AM
Hello everybody,

I'm planning to get a new laptop this week and I'm circled down to the new 13" Air and 13" Pro.

A little background: I own a Windows desktop. Once I buy this new laptop, it will probably become my primary machine. I'm into Web designing and (web & desktop) development. But, its just web design most of the time. I don't do heavy Photoshop work. So, typically I work with a Google Chrome, Text Editor and a Terminal most of the time.

I'm confused between these two machines because:

Pro was updated in February. So it'll probably be upgraded for Lion in a couple of months.
Air has 1.7 GHz. I'm not sure if that would be a big drawback for me considering my activities and Air has an SSD (which boosts performance I hear)
The new Air's Geekbench scores are on par with the Pro. (13" both).


And yeah, I'll be taking the machine to college. So, a fair amount of Travel involved.

Thanks,
Shrihari

Get the maxed out MBA 13 Ultimate and don't look back.

If not this then I would get the maxed out MBP 15 1680x1050.

Only these two mobile choices if you do webdesign on the fly !

Yumunum
Jul 25, 2011, 02:36 AM
I've been deciding between the same devices you have, OP. I'm going with the 13" i5 256GB Air, because:

1. Higher resolution. I can have two decently sized windows side-by-side: Safari and Pages. PERFECT for research in my college classes.

2. SSD. Once you go solid state, you'll never go back. That's the solid truth

3. Lighter/thinner. This will let the computer be more portable for around the house. It won't really effect how portable it is on the go though, if you have a case full of computer gear still.

toi
Jul 25, 2011, 06:30 AM
2 months back i was looking to buy the 13 inch mbp , but i checked the macbook airs and really loved the form factor. i personally never use the cd drive.

if the mbp had a nice dedicated graphics card i might have leaned more towards the mbp for the long run but since it had inter hd 3000 i decided to wait to see if there was a sandy bridge update to the airs with backlit keyboard and it payed off :)

first day sandy bridge mbas came out i went and bought an 11 inch one and i love it. glad i dint get the mbp 2 months ago and hold off for the new mba.it was worth the wait.

the portability is simply unmatched with mba , I LOVE IT :)