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View Full Version : Reports from an MBA enthusiast who went MBP




Disavowed
Sep 5, 2009, 09:18 PM
Well, grad school is in full swing (which is why I am posting on here) and I have some thoughts on my decision to buy a MBP instead of an AIR.

First off, the MBP is a great computer and I have only one complaint. The weight. This wouldn't be that bad if I didn't have to carry around so much other stuff. Thrown in the books, notebooks, and all the other ***** and finding out that my school is HEAVILY into Blackboard and other means of electronic dispersal of information/classes and I am sorta bummed. Loaded up my Timbuk2 bag IS A BRICK. My only disappointment that reaches beyond the issues of machines is that textbooks should be available electronically. There is no excuse I can think of. In fact, it would probably save the companies money, but I digress.

1) I have used my CD-drive all of once

2) Have used more than one USB port once.

3 Now to be fair, I have used the SD card slot quite a bit

But all that said, I feel like I caved to the my wife, who is in IT and thinks she knows everything. I felt like I let myself be talked out of what I think I really need and wanted. Sometimes I don't pack my computer and just bring my iPhone and regret it. Other times I pack the BRICK and regret that too.
I wimped out and I regret it "a little". I'm fine, I have a great computer, it can take anything and everything I can throw at it and that's nice. Really, it's solid as a rock stability wise. But it doesn't keep me from wondering what life would be like with an AIR instead of a 15" MBP (I decided to REALLY go the other way).

Btw, all my classmates look like dorks taking notes on their puny sub-notebooks. They all have furrowed brows from squinting, to say nothing of using all that great software. :cool:

When I am in the workplace I can't wait to carry nothing but a MBA with a buttonless trackpad and a leather notebook to hold documents that aren't on my machine and that it IT!



mackhydr4
Sep 5, 2009, 09:47 PM
But all that said, I feel like I caved to the my wife, who is in IT and thinks she knows everything.

...

I'm in IT as well, and quite frankly I own not one, not two, but FOUR laptops (at one point, I had 7 but decided to "cut down") plus the company brick (14" gateway).

I've decided on purchasing the Air recently (after evaluating various options, including PC subnotebooks and netbooks) since I have to also carry the company brick along with documents, notepad, networking equipment, etc.

The point I'm making is that depending on the work that you do, that should be the deciding factor for the type of laptop(s) you should have.

If not having those amenities you mentioned above is doable, then perhaps consider a 13" MBP?

Scottsdale
Sep 5, 2009, 09:48 PM
I read about others on MR who switch to the 13" MBP and say they love it, but I truthfully have a hard time believing them. I could never go back now. I love everything about my 2.13/SSD MBA. It has plenty of power, it's incredibly fast, and it's perfect to carry in my designer tote with a magazine and a leather padfolio.

In my professional life as a consultant, lecturer, and writer, all of those I know who have owned an MBA with Nvidia GPU with SSD have had nothing but great things to say. I know at least 30 colleagues and grad students with B/C MBAs now. Nobody who owns one has ever said anything negative. I have NEVER heard one MBA owner state that they're contemplating trading it for a Pro. The vast majority use it as their sole primary Mac.

When the original MBA was out for five months I remember the vast majority of people complaining if they owned an MBA. I heard people daily state they were exchanging their MBA for a MB or MBP. I even remember people being livid with Jobs for him lying to us all when he introduced it. I remember people complaining about it locking up, overheating, and not working for even simple video playback.

I guess the point I am making is the MBA has turned the corner. Where once I saw disgust and hatred for this little Mac there is now only enjoyment and love for everything the MBA represents. The vast majority of these MBA owners have the SSD model. I have personally talked 15 people into buying the 24" LED ACD - and they all report back sure amazement when their MBA becomes an instant desktop.

I think for the first time, since the rev B was released, I really think the MBA is going to make it. I really believe sales are improving. The vast majority don't complain about anything related to the MBA. There have been some Snow Leopard complaints, but I really think the MBA is enjoying huge gains in the marketplace.

More than anything, I see far more people leaving their MBP for an MBA with SSD. I remember halfway through the original MBA's reign when people were leaving the MBA for MBs, MBPs, and even PCs. That just isn't the case anymore. Everyone who uses the SSD Nvidia MBA falls hard and speaks no ill words.

I see a bright future for the MBA.

yoyomaster
Sep 5, 2009, 10:03 PM
I am in almost the same boat as you, except I have the 13" umb which is only 1.5 lbs lighter but still. I can't really afford to eat the cost of selling this computer, which has taken a major hit in resale value, but oh well. I'm just going to keep this one until I need a new one and probably look at the mba if my computing needs are near the same.

Vster
Sep 5, 2009, 11:10 PM
I've never used an Air for extended period of time, but I've always wanted one. They are super light and I'd say the weight of a MBP 13" or 15" on top of books can be troublesome.

jb1280
Sep 6, 2009, 06:37 AM
I read about others on MR who switch to the 13" MBP and say they love it, but I truthfully have a hard time believing them. I could never go back now..

I am certain you love the Macbook Air with SSD. Can you please not pretend you are in people's minds about how they feel about their 13" Macbook Pro?

The Macbook Air is a great computer, but for a lot of people the Macbook Pro is simply a better computer.

In some places, wireless internet is not omnipresent and this makes the connectivity of the Air problematic at times.

mrgossett
Sep 6, 2009, 08:13 AM
I personally would have a hard time getting by with an Air (or any other laptop) as my only computer. I have a Mac Pro with a 23" Cinema Display that is my "mothership." I need and use it for the heavy-duty stuff- video editing, dvd burning, photos, website design, and more. But as a secondary computer, for me, the MBA is absolutely perfect, and I spend much more time on it web surfing, checking mail, Pages documents, and Keynotes than the Mac Pro. I'm using it today for a Keynote presentation at church. The MBA replaces a Blackbook that I really enjoyed, but that extra 1.5 pound difference is really noticeable to me, and the 1.86 SSD model really flies. To each his own...

Zorn
Sep 6, 2009, 10:02 AM
I read about others on MR who switch to the 13" MBP and say they love it, but I truthfully have a hard time believing them. I could never go back now. I love everything about my 2.13/SSD MBA. It has plenty of power, it's incredibly fast, and it's perfect to carry in my designer tote with a magazine and a leather padfolio.

In my professional life as a consultant, lecturer, and writer, all of those I know who have owned an MBA with Nvidia GPU with SSD have had nothing but great things to say. I know at least 30 colleagues and grad students with B/C MBAs now. Nobody who owns one has ever said anything negative. I have NEVER heard one MBA owner state that they're contemplating trading it for a Pro. The vast majority use it as their sole primary Mac.

When the original MBA was out for five months I remember the vast majority of people complaining if they owned an MBA. I heard people daily state they were exchanging their MBA for a MB or MBP. I even remember people being livid with Jobs for him lying to us all when he introduced it. I remember people complaining about it locking up, overheating, and not working for even simple video playback.

I guess the point I am making is the MBA has turned the corner. Where once I saw disgust and hatred for this little Mac there is now only enjoyment and love for everything the MBA represents. The vast majority of these MBA owners have the SSD model. I have personally talked 15 people into buying the 24" LED ACD - and they all report back sure amazement when their MBA becomes an instant desktop.

I think for the first time, since the rev B was released, I really think the MBA is going to make it. I really believe sales are improving. The vast majority don't complain about anything related to the MBA. There have been some Snow Leopard complaints, but I really think the MBA is enjoying huge gains in the marketplace.

More than anything, I see far more people leaving their MBP for an MBA with SSD. I remember halfway through the original MBA's reign when people were leaving the MBA for MBs, MBPs, and even PCs. That just isn't the case anymore. Everyone who uses the SSD Nvidia MBA falls hard and speaks no ill words.

I see a bright future for the MBA.

This

queshy
Sep 6, 2009, 10:44 AM
The MBP isn't THAT much larger than the Air. Sure it's heavier but the foot print isn't enormous compared to the air. If you regret it, why not just sell the MBP and buy the Air?

Disavowed
Sep 6, 2009, 11:25 PM
If you regret it, why not just sell the MBP and buy the Air?

Like I said, I love my MBP. I just wish we lived in a different world and we were already at a place where everything we needed was available online or installable on our computers. Given all the ***** I have to carry around, I doubt I would feel the difference of MBA now anyway. As stated previously, I lokk forward to when everything is available online and the MBA comes into its own and I have the pleasure of owning one.

jposhea3
Sep 7, 2009, 12:04 AM
Well now you can say you've 'met' an MBA owner who's thinking of going MBP.

I previously had a 12" G4 powerbook, then a Blackbook, and now the 1.8ghz Core 2 duo MBA with the 80gb HDD.

Over the last year and change that I've had the MBA, I've enjoyed the reduced mass, but made a deliberate decision that I was trading a 30-40% cut in weight to stay at roughly the same performance as my then-2-year-old-Blackbook.

I don't say I regret the MBA at all - but I'm done waiting for Safari to stop beachballing with a number of windows open while the only other app sitting around is Mail.

I tend to keep more than 2 apps running when I'm 'working', ie Word or Excel or Powerpoint to create content, Safari for obtaining raw material, Acrobat/Preview for reading related items that I need to work into whatever project I'm doing (a financial analysis, a presentation, a white paper, updating the old resume, etc).

You really can't reliably do that with my MBA with just 2gb of ram. Maybe it's that Safari 3 hasn't been that good at dealing with memory issues and scripting (I'm beyond tired of seeing popups on the WSJ.com site and other financial sites that 'safari has stopped responding' or is slow because of this or that script on the page.

But I knew going in that I was making a performance/weight tradeoff.

If I could get more CPU horsepower, a faster larger drive (i've been at <10gb free on the MBA until Snow Leopard came out and gave me back another 15gb), and more RAM, I'd say its the perfect device even with the puny single USB.

But as a serious amateur photographer, the inability of the MBA to supply sufficient power to the USB to drive a single external drive at times (and to never drive 2 USB devices even on a powered hub) makes doing any preliminary editing or even *reviewing* of the stuff I shoot on the road (and store on an external reader/viewer) an impossibility. [these are 2.5' internal SATA drives that are 7200 RPM in OtherWorld enclosures, or SimpleTech 7200 rpm usb drives, and half the time the MBA just can't put the juice out to spin them up when they fire up fine on the desktop machine, was a quad G5 now an 8 core Nehalem].

So my plans are to sell the MBA and pick up a 3.06GHz 15' MBP with a 7200rpm drive.

I know I'll miss the light weight, but time has value, too, and the MBA is too limited for my use.

If I want to go really light for mail /reading/ and a bit of browsing, the iPhone 3GS is my laptop substitute.

NC MacGuy
Sep 7, 2009, 09:53 AM
I switched to the 13 MBP for many of the same reasons as the previous poster. My SSD was needing weekly if not daily maintenance because it was near full. Suckass Safari is a super RAM hog and if I open Word, Excel, iTunes it gets close to maxing out and the performance takes a hit.

My screen hinges also while once very tight, now hang like sleeve of wizard. So I'll take them in and see what Apple will do if anything. Own rev. A MBA 1.6, 80HDD & B 1.86, 128SSD.

The MBP 13 is nice. Same footprint but a bit heavier. Having the Air made me realize I don't really need the on-board optical so I'm going to lose a little weight by installing an optibay 500GB Scorpio Blue. It also made me realize the awesomeness of the SSD so I installed an Intel X25 160GB SSD.

Another benefit of the MBP, the air vents are hidden behind the hinge. The bottom vents of the Air made it problematic in some circumstances - like using it in bed. And the FW, extra USB. much longer battery life and SD card slot are pretty, pretty good too. I can see Apple adding that slot in a future Air revision. It really takes up little room both externally and internally.

I can say my Rev. B works like a champ. If it had even 3GB RAM, 160-200GB SSD I'd still be using it as #1 but now it's my spare/2nd computer. I do like the screen in the Air much better than the MBP but like the Air, nothings perfect and you always have to compromise. Especially w. Apple products.:rolleyes: