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View Full Version : MacBook Air vs. Pro as only computer?




156457
Oct 2, 2011, 04:29 PM
I'm selling my MacBook Alu late '08 2.0 ghz, so will be needing a new computer. I'm a student, currently in college and starting uni next September. As well as my MacBook I have an iPad 2.

My question is, can the MacBook Air suffice as my primary and only computer? I generally use my MacBook for internet browsing, iTunes etc but also Aperture, Photoshop, MS Word and Pages etc for my school work. Is the MacBook Air (13-inch 1.7 ghz) responsive when running Aperture and Photoshop or is it gonna be slower than it is on my current MacBook? I really like the form factor and design of the Air but would love the speed of the Pro.

Cheers :)



gentlefury
Oct 2, 2011, 04:47 PM
I'm selling my MacBook Alu late '08 2.0 ghz, so will be needing a new computer. I'm a student, currently in college and starting uni next September. As well as my MacBook I have an iPad 2.

My question is, can the MacBook Air suffice as my primary and only computer? I generally use my MacBook for internet browsing, iTunes etc but also Aperture, Photoshop, MS Word and Pages etc for my school work. Is the MacBook Air (13-inch 1.7 ghz) responsive when running Aperture and Photoshop or is it gonna be slower than it is on my current MacBook? I really like the form factor and design of the Air but would love the speed of the Pro.

Cheers :)

I would say MBA or MBP with SSD. I wouldn't deal with a 5400rpm drive again!

Don't forget...the i5 and i7 are flexible cpus. So while the base resting speed is 1.7GHz, it will flex to 2.6GHz.

nebulos
Oct 2, 2011, 04:51 PM
read any review of the 2011 MBAs and you will find your answer.

2011 MBA will be much better than your current MacBook, and plenty for fast those programs.

ditzy
Oct 2, 2011, 05:05 PM
A 2011 MBA will easily cope with anything that a 2008 MacBook can, assuming it doesn't require a SuperDrive.

WillMak
Oct 2, 2011, 05:26 PM
I would say MBA or MBP with SSD. I wouldn't deal with a 5400rpm drive again!


YES YES YES. The SSD makes such huge difference. The MBPs feel slow in comparison even with better processors, more ram and better GPU for my non power uses. NEVER 5400 or 7200 AGAIN!

156457
Oct 2, 2011, 05:26 PM
Thanks for the words of advice guys. Really struggling with the decision, but think I'm swaying to the MacBook Air.

firestarter
Oct 2, 2011, 05:33 PM
Now the MBA has thunderbolt, you'll be able to add something like the Delkin TB dock and get extra USB, Firewire etc. This makes the machine as expandable as the MBP range - with access to much faster external drives etc.

As long as the CPU is fast enough, it seems like a great option.

Mayo7
Oct 2, 2011, 05:37 PM
The Air has plenty of power. I use the 2011 13" (256GB, i5) air as my primary computer for design work. Photoshop, Illustrator, and 3D modeling/rendering softwares (rhino, solid works, keyshot) all run perfectly fine.

sometimes I will be in a rush to meet deadlines, but the Air has kept up with my demands just fine.

danpass
Oct 2, 2011, 05:47 PM
it won't exactly choke on Aperture due to the SSD but it certainly runs a lot smoother on 8gb.

156457
Oct 2, 2011, 06:50 PM
Perfect, thanks for the responses, think I've settled on a Air 13.

vitzr
Oct 2, 2011, 07:03 PM
Perfect, thanks for the responses, think I've settled on a Air 13.

You may want to compare them in an Apple store or Best Buy. I have both and the major drawback with the MBA is it's low-res average display. If you want a really brilliant & highly legible screen you cannot beat a high res 15" MBP. It displays so much more and eliminates the non stop scrolling required of the 13" MBA. however if this is only for light use; then it may not matter to you.

gentlefury
Oct 2, 2011, 08:42 PM
Now the MBA has thunderbolt, you'll be able to add something like the Delkin TB dock and get extra USB, Firewire etc. This makes the machine as expandable as the MBP range - with access to much faster external drives etc.

As long as the CPU is fast enough, it seems like a great option.

Where would you find that? I'm looking for some way to convert TB to USB3 and Firewire! This would be very helpful!

firestarter
Oct 2, 2011, 08:56 PM
Where would you find that? I'm looking for some way to convert TB to USB3 and Firewire! This would be very helpful!

Sorry, I meant Belkin, not Delkin (and it's USB 2):

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/09/13/belkin-shows-off-upcoming-thunderbolt-express-dock/

chrono1081
Oct 2, 2011, 09:23 PM
The Macbook Air will be fine. I knew what mine was capable of, but not to the extent it was capable of.

A few weeks ago I went to visit a friend, but I had so much homework that I had to take my computer and one of my monitors. I did a huge gamble and instead of taking my mac pro I took my Macbook Air with me and was able to run Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, and Unity 3D on it just fine without any issues off of the monitor.

Maschil
Oct 2, 2011, 09:33 PM
i agree with what people are saying, try the ssd.... i personally have a 1tb samsung spinpoint.... but was soon as it fills up (i have 160 gb left LOL). i think im going to take out the optimal drive and put in a ssd, and use the 1tb as secondary....i want to try to maximize my speed.

156457
Oct 3, 2011, 10:56 AM
Well at the moment I use a Seagate Momentus hybrid drive, and store all of my media and files on a network 8TB RAID, so 128GB should be fine.

Chasesmith
Oct 6, 2011, 10:59 PM
As a student I'd suggest you go with your gut on this one based on how well you take care of your hardware. Do you sling your bag around when you're on campus - drop it on the floor carelessly? Do you drop your computer a lot? The point is, although the Air is amazing and now with their current release and upgraded performance, as a student it'd be perfect for you but it's also a small, thin device that's more fragile than the Pro.

As a student I assume you wouldn't need the slight edge in performance a Pro would give you. However, the Pro is more durable.

Other than that - the Air really isn't much different than the Pro in terms of UI and performance.

Here's (http://getcomparisons.com/macbook-air-13-vs-macbook-pro-13) another great review that might help you decide.