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View Full Version : 13" MBA 12 and 13"MBP 12 - Differences?




BenMero
Jun 23, 2012, 06:39 PM
Im planning on getting the base 13" MBA next month, but I keep questioning myself as to whether I should get the Pro as its the same price (860 Student discount) The only main differences I can see are the designs, and the MBA is winning that by a long shot!

Could someone list me the main differences between the 2 models? (aside hardware)

I start University in September and thats what it will be used for, not looking for a gaming laptop or anything



screensaver400
Jun 23, 2012, 06:42 PM
The MacBook Pro has a faster CPU (though the Air's is still something like twice as fast as a 2009 MacBook Pro's), an optical drive, a lower-resolution display, slightly less battery life, and an extra 2 lbs. That's it.

Unless you really need the optical drive, and an external drive won't work, go with the MacBook Air.

G-Mo
Jun 23, 2012, 06:44 PM
MBP has built in Ethernet, built in FireWire, upgradeable RAM and upgradeable hard drive.

FWIW, I'm sitting on the fence with the same issue, base MBP (which I would upgrade the RAM to 16GB and with my existing Crucial m4 512GB SSD) or base MBA with 8GB upgrade...

BenMero
Jun 23, 2012, 06:46 PM
Thanks, also is the only differences between the Base Air 13" and the higher end one simply the 256gb storage?

G-Mo
Jun 23, 2012, 06:54 PM
Thanks, also is the only differences between the Base Air 13" and the higher end one simply the 256gb storage?

Higher end one allows you to choose an upgrade to 2.0 GHz processor and 512 GB Flash storage.

Kendo
Jun 23, 2012, 07:01 PM
The MacBook Pro has a faster CPU (though the Air's is still something like twice as fast as a 2009 MacBook Pro's), an optical drive, a lower-resolution display, slightly less battery life, and an extra 2 lbs. That's it.

Unless you really need the optical drive, and an external drive won't work, go with the MacBook Air.

It also has 350GB of more HDD space.

G-Mo
Jun 23, 2012, 07:06 PM
It also has 350GB of more HDD space.

However, it's slower...

Cliff3
Jun 23, 2012, 07:09 PM
FWIW, I'm sitting on the fence with the same issue, base MBP (which I would upgrade the RAM to 16GB and with my existing Crucial m4 512GB SSD) or base MBA with 8GB upgrade...

16GB is probably overkill for a dual-core MBP. I have a couple of machines configured with that kind of memory at the moment (1 quad-core Windows box plus an 8-core MP), but their role is to host multiple server-oriented virtual machines. I would consider a quad core MBP with 16GB for a role as a development sandbox hosting multiple VMs in a simulated network environment, but that's a very specific use. For personal workstation type usage, 8GB is probably enough.

G-Mo
Jun 23, 2012, 07:53 PM
16GB is probably overkill for a dual-core MBP. I have a couple of machines configured with that kind of memory at the moment (1 quad-core Windows box plus an 8-core MP), but their role is to host multiple server-oriented virtual machines. I would consider a quad core MBP with 16GB for a role as a development sandbox hosting multiple VMs in a simulated network environment, but that's a very specific use. For personal workstation type usage, 8GB is probably enough.

I already have the Early 2011 with 16GB. I often run 3 or 4 VMs, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Quark (sometimes multiple versions of the previous simultaneously)... 8GB was not enough. I'd have to shift some of the virtualization use to my desktop with the MBA (I barely use the iMac at the moment).

macman70
Jun 26, 2012, 04:42 AM
This is a tough choice. I tried the 13" MBA at Apple STore. Loaded up 22 audio tracks in Garageband on a 13 " MBA and then the 13" MBP. The MBA handled that well, very well, not like my older macs where you would get that out of resources type message and be forced to lock a load of tracks. I was concerned beacuse looking at processor speeds you would think the i5 in the MBP is way to go.

Is it wrong to be put off by the lower numbered processor in the 13" MBA?

I would use it for general tasks then occasional mixing of tracks in Garageband , no gaming etc. I think the portability of MBA is way to go but before I purchaseI want to ensure I may not be making a mistake over just a 13" MBP.

macman70
Jun 26, 2012, 09:38 AM
bump for any thoughts on Garageband on a 13" 2012, MBA