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View Full Version : Torn- The age old question: MBA or MBP?




Rai Saix
Sep 6, 2009, 03:39 PM
I hate that I'm being a cliche' right now, but alas this is how it must be. So I come to you for help!

I am torn between a 13", 2.26 ghz MacBook Pro, whose RAM and Hard Drive I would upgrade myself eventually, or a refurbished 128 SSD, 2.13 ghz MacBook Air, with the superdrive. But I have some questions.

Being a poor high school student whose getting half of this paid for my birthday and Christmas presents and paying the other half, I most likely won't be getting another computer for at least 1-2 years (This will be my first computer.). Now I am quite aware that the MacBook Air is not made for use as a primary/only computer, but I think I could make it work. With the superdrive, I don't have any worries about the lack of one like most people. I also have no problem with the lack of ports on the Macbook. As long as it has a USB port and headphone jack, I'm golden.

However, there are two road blocks with the Air for me. One being the hard drive size. I'm wanting to store video on this, as I'm workin' on school theatre stuff, and hope to soon get into Youtube. (I'm an apiring actor.) So my question: is 128 GB enough? I'm sure I would have to purge about every year, but I'm just wondering. I honestly don't want to have to deal with an external hard drive. Having to delete files and then find them on the drive when needed can be annoying. Also, is there a chance that we could see a bump in storage this year, or early next?

Speaking of video, I've heard mixed reviews. I do know that this thing most likley will not handle HD format, but I've heard it CAN video edit. So I'm wodering CAN Final Cut Express work on this? It obviously will be annoyingly slow, but I can certainly manage. But I'm wondering if it's at all possible. And how about simply watching video on Youtube? I've had mixed reviews on this, as well.

So in summary: Can I make an MBA work as my sole computer for about a year and a half. O.K, most likely two and a half? (At least till I can scrounge for an iMac?)



mackhydr4
Sep 6, 2009, 04:11 PM
I hate that I'm being a cliche' right now, but alas this is how it must be. So I come to you for help!

I am torn between a 13", 2.26 ghz MacBook Pro, whose RAM and Hard Drive I would upgrade myself eventually, or a refurbished 128 SSD, 2.13 ghz MacBook Air, with the superdrive. But I have some questions.

Being a poor high school student whose getting half of this paid for my birthday and Christmas presents and paying the other half, I most likely won't be getting another computer for at least 1-2 years (This will be my first computer.). Now I am quite aware that the MacBook Air is not made for use as a primary/only computer, but I think I could make it work. With the superdrive, I don't have any worries about the lack of one like most people. I also have no problem with the lack of ports on the Macbook. As long as it has a USB port and headphone jack, I'm golden.

However, there are two road blocks with the Air for me. One being the hard drive size. I'm wanting to store video on this, as I'm workin' on school theatre stuff, and hope to soon get into Youtube. (I'm an apiring actor.) So my question: is 128 GB enough? I'm sure I would have to purge about every year, but I'm just wondering. I honestly don't want to have to deal with an external hard drive. Having to delete files and then find them on the drive when needed can be annoying. Also, is there a chance that we could see a bump in storage this year, or early next?

Speaking of video, I've heard mixed reviews. I do know that this thing most likley will not handle HD format, but I've heard it CAN video edit. So I'm wodering CAN Final Cut Express work on this? It obviously will be annoyingly slow, but I can certainly manage. But I'm wondering if it's at all possible. And how about simply watching video on Youtube? I've had mixed reviews on this, as well.

So in summary: Can I make an MBA work as my sole computer for about a year and a half. O.K, most likely two and a half? (At least till I can scrounge for an iMac?)

It sounds like you really need a MBP.

If you must get the MBA, install Final Cut (and whatever you plan to throw at it) and stress test the heck out of it - Truth is, only your actual usage and work habits will determine whether the MBA's storage and cpu would be enough, or it may turn out to be simply unworkable - Make sure you do a thorough testing, so that if it doesn't work out, exchange it for the MBP.

nullx86
Sep 6, 2009, 04:19 PM
get a refurb iMac.

Vster
Sep 6, 2009, 04:25 PM
If you must get a portable, the MBP sounds like the way to go.

Hands Sandon
Sep 6, 2009, 04:34 PM
Get the Air. You'll prefer the fact it's not as reflective and you'll always relish that you bought a computer that was the sleekest and lightest that could handle anything you threw at it.

queshy
Sep 6, 2009, 04:45 PM
1000% MacBook Pro. Or a refurb iMac. The Air really is not for you, especially since you said you want to get into video, and you "think you can make it work". There's no reason why you should have to compromise. The MacBook Pro is an incredibly powerful machine and will last way more than a year. The MacBook Air is really not that good as an "only computer". You will be much happier with the pro or the iMac.

Rai Saix
Sep 6, 2009, 05:48 PM
But the pro is so heavy!!!

Rai Saix
Sep 6, 2009, 05:55 PM
Furthermore, I'll be making YouTube videos, not 3D rendering!!!


Hoestly, I'm just trying to sell myself the Air. The only thing I really don't like about it is the silver bezel and non-glossy screen. Both of which I can get over.

bloodycape
Sep 6, 2009, 05:59 PM
But, the MBP gives you more for less vs the Air. The MBP pro weigh just about right for a 13in with its feature set so its right about where it should be(though I think apple could have made it just a bit lighter, but then that would chart closer in to the Air's territory. I would say just get the MBP for the fact it has more usb ports, and a built in optical drive, which to me is more useful than the MBA size.

acurafan
Sep 6, 2009, 05:59 PM
the words 'poor' and 'air' DO NOT go together. get the MBP.

fr4c
Sep 6, 2009, 06:14 PM
As a primary computer, I would have to say "No". You'll be surprised how much you'll miss the extra USB port and the Firewire 800 port, especially if you were to do any sort of video transfer/edit. Again its not to say that video editing on the Air is not possible, but for the same cost feature and spec wise you're much better off with a 13" MBP. And since you're still in high school, 1 or 2 years down the road you can easily upgrade the HD and RAM in the MBP without breaking the bank.

For me personally, I tried using the top of the line 13" MacBook Pro but just found the weight a little too heavy for me. Thus I just bought a new MBA today, so I'm glad to be back :p For me I had no use for all the extra features, just a computer for web/email on the go, and to be used during meetings and presentations. I have "Gozilla aka Mac Pro" back at home to do the brunt work.

So for me, going to sell the 13" MBP to recoup some costs for the Air, but I'm a happy camper.

nullx86
Sep 6, 2009, 06:42 PM
Your doing youtube vids right? Video editing? MBP or refurb iMac. You can get a refurb imac or refurb MBP for 999USD right now, and theyre actually more tested then the new ones. trust me, you will want something that you can expand. Cant expand with an MBA. MBA has USB, Mini DVI/DP? and Audio out (and Ethernet via a USB dongle). The cheapest MBP, the 13" has two USB, Ethernet, 1 FW800, Mini DP, Combined Audio in/out and a SD card reader. the iMac has the same as the MBP minus the SD card reader, and the audio is separate. But think about this. You want the MBP. Trust me on this. If you dont need something portable, get a refurb iMac. 20" has the same as the MBP in terms of hardware (no sd card reader though, separate audio) and sports a better resolution; MBP and MBA only sport 1280x800 on their 13" screens, 20" iMac does 1680x1050, 24" iMac does 1920x1200 (or 1920x1080? I never remember which one, but its one of them). Which one you think is going to be more useful? save yourself some money for better equipment and get a refurb iMac or MBP.

Hands Sandon
Sep 6, 2009, 06:45 PM
This video sums up pretty nicely the benefits of an Air over the undeniably heavier MacBook Pro. And unless you keep your brightness up, reflections will distract you for years on the MacBook Pro.
~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGaAzWYDcxI&feature=fvw

Rai Saix
Sep 6, 2009, 06:49 PM
I've never used two USBs at once, nor do I have amy Firewire based products.

mackhydr4
Sep 6, 2009, 07:04 PM
I've never used two USBs at once, nor do I have amy Firewire based products.

Like I said, if you feel you must have the MBA, then you should go ahead and test it thoroughly. You have two weeks to decide to keep it, or to exchange it with the MBP.

Hands Sandon
Sep 6, 2009, 07:17 PM
Sorry, double post PD.

Hands Sandon
Sep 6, 2009, 07:18 PM
For when you start running low on SSD space why not start saving the $300 needed for a 1TB Time Capsule, which will probably offer even more storage for the $'s by the time you actually need it? Everything will be quick and easy to find.
~ http://www.apple.com/timecapsule/

Rai Saix
Sep 6, 2009, 07:33 PM
Like I said, if you feel you must have the MBA, then you should go ahead and test it thoroughly. You have two weeks to decide to keep it, or to exchange it with the MBP.

They'll let you exchange refurbs?

mackhydr4
Sep 6, 2009, 07:53 PM
They'll let you exchange refurbs?

I've done it before with Best Buy-

However, maybe it's best if you call the apple store first to see what their policy is. Or maybe someone from this board knows.

Scottsdale
Sep 6, 2009, 09:02 PM
I am a big time MBA advocate, and I feel like I am incredibly honest about its capabilities even though some would disagree. But I honestly feel that the 13" MBP is a better computer for you.

At the same time, I think you're leaning towards MBA because you posted it here. I love the MBA because it can do everything I need it to do yet is incredibly small, thin, and lightweight. The MBA as it is has a few faults and I feel like young people most often feel the effects of the MBA's faults.

Firstly, I find young people usually should spend the least possible on their computers until they truly know what they want. You mention being poor, a high school student, and that you may get a new computer not for an entire year :) or two.

I feel people should buy the most computer they might need. Instantly all of the factors tell me the MBA may not have a big enough hard drive for all of the entertainment files you will collect. The MBA has great wireless/Internet solutions which require money and constant connectivity. People who use the MBA usually have a constant connection at their job or university to remotely access info that may be on a drive at home or office. A young person needs all his/her files right there with them.

Money, for you to get the most out of an MBA you will need the 2.13 SSD model which is expensive. You also will have to carry around an optical drive which adds part of the weight you're saving.

RAM will possibly be your biggest problem. The MBA has 2 GB of RAM which is plenty for the average MBA user, but I feel a younger person like yourself MAY need more. It's your first computer, and you're probably going to be trying all sorts of things that require RAM like apps and running Windows virtually.

The MBA is delicate. It really is a lot more fragile in a sense than an MBP. The MBP also has the glass trackpad which you will grow to love. The MBP also has a non-throttled Nvidia GPU.

I think of when I was in high school and I just don't see myself as loving an MBA. I think a MBP is more of a younger person's Mac.

Buy the absolute cheapest MBP you can buy. Get it at Apple.com refurbished or new if you're getting a free iPod and printer with it. Use the extra money for firstly RAM - put 4 GB in it. Secondly, a 500 GB HDD.

Use the heck out of it and see what you think. After six months or a year, you will know more of what you're really going to be doing on your computer. If you get into graphics and gaming you will probably upgrade to a bigger MBP with dedicated graphics.

If you end up being a writer, business pro, or into education, you may decide the MBA is perfect for you.

When I was a young man, I could see myself wanting an MBA, but I could see myself really needing an MBP. The great thing about the 13" MBP is you're not going to lose much money on it if you use it for six months or eighteen months. During that time you can see what you really want. By then the MBA may have 4 GB RAM and double the storage.

I would get the MBP if I were you.

Good luck.

Hands Sandon
Sep 6, 2009, 10:00 PM
I can't believe that someone in his position can't "make do" with an Air. How many files will you need handy? I bet hardly any of those 128 GB's. Any computer is fragile, get a good case and you'll be good to go. How many apps will you have to use that need more than 2 GB's of RAM. Probably none. HD editing? But how much of that do you really think you'll need to do? I bet almost definitely none. Use Time Capsule only when you want to and get a simultaneous g and n band wifi for your iPod Touch an Air respectively to boot! The Air won't limit you any more than you want it to.

Slowstick
Sep 6, 2009, 10:03 PM
Get a MacBook Pro. Better value and gives you what you need. Its slim, good graphics, and AN OPTICAL DRIVE! I think it is a no brainer. Only get a MBA if you REALLY REALLY REALLY need it to be that thin.

Hands Sandon
Sep 6, 2009, 10:14 PM
Get a MacBook Pro. Better value and gives you what you need. Its slim, good graphics, and AN OPTICAL DRIVE! I think it is a no brainer. Only get a MBA if you REALLY REALLY REALLY need it to be that thin.

And if you hate looking at distracting reflections, thereby forcing you to move or turn up the brightness were it feels uncomfortably bright on your eyes and outside, well, the whole worlds reflected on your screen. Nice!

Slowstick
Sep 6, 2009, 10:19 PM
...The Air won't limit you any more than you want it to.

Except for the lack of an optical drive! :)

Hands Sandon
Sep 6, 2009, 10:24 PM
Except for the lack of an optical drive! :)

He's going to buy one separately.

Slowstick
Sep 6, 2009, 11:15 PM
He's going to buy one separately.

There goes the portability factor, eh?

nman040
Sep 6, 2009, 11:21 PM
MacBook Pro

Hands Sandon
Sep 6, 2009, 11:31 PM
There goes the portability factor, eh?

If he needed to pack it every day it would add a little weight whilst carrying it, but he'll probably find he needs it at most a couple of times a year for college, if that even.

Slowstick
Sep 6, 2009, 11:37 PM
If he needed to pack it every day it would add a little weight whilst carrying it, but he'll probably find he needs it at most a couple of times a year for college, if that even.
I think an optical drive is one of those things where you never know when it will be needed. therefore, you'll have to pack it. MacBook Pro solves that problem.

Hands Sandon
Sep 6, 2009, 11:53 PM
I think an optical drive is one of those things where you never know when it will be needed. therefore, you'll have to pack it. MacBook Pro solves that problem.

He's likely to very rarely need it for college and certainly wouldn't have to take it every day in a 'just in case' scenario. But if he were to take it every now and then, it isn't much to carry and he can put it back in his bag when he doesn't need it.

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 12:00 AM
He's likely to very rarely need it for college and certainly wouldn't have to take it every day in a 'just in case' scenario. But if he were to take it every now and then, it isn't much to carry and he can put it back in his bag when he doesn't need it.

Then why not just get a MacBook Pro?

Hands Sandon
Sep 7, 2009, 12:17 AM
Then why not just get a MacBook Pro?

Eh?

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 12:45 AM
Eh?

Is that a sign of agreement? :)

Deppe
Sep 7, 2009, 03:15 AM
Wait.....did Scottsdale just recommend a MBP over an MBA?? Well, I guess you need to go Pro then :)

avigalante
Sep 7, 2009, 08:34 AM
Another vote for the uMBP.

I base this on the fact that you shouldn't have to alter or shift your needs to fit a certain computer (i.e. 'I think it can work with an MBA'), the computer should fit your needs out of the box.

Rai Saix
Sep 7, 2009, 12:13 PM
But I won't really need to alter my needs. As I've said, I hardly ever use more than one USB at a time, And I'll only be using the optical drive for occasional movies and software installs. And by the time college rolls around, I'll be buying a refurbished high end iMac.

Then again, you are right. Scottsdale just recommended the uMBP over the MBA?!?!? That's nothing to take lightly!

EDIT: Please stop bringing up the Glossy screen debate. I like both matte and glossy equally.

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 12:44 PM
But I won't really need to alter my needs. As I've said, I hardly ever use more than one USB at a time, And I'll only be using the optical drive for occasional movies and software installs. And by the time college rolls around, I'll be buying a refurbished high end iMac.

Then again, you are right. Scottsdale just recommended the uMBP over the MBA?!?!? That's nothing to take lightly!

EDIT: Please stop bringing up the Glossy screen debate. I like both matte and glossy equally.
Let me ask you this: What is it in the Air that you REALLY need that the Pro can't provide?

Rai Saix
Sep 7, 2009, 03:15 PM
Let me ask you this: What is it in the Air that you REALLY need that the Pro can't provide?

Portability. With the giant books I have to carry to and fro, it's a wonder my back is not broken yet. Any way to shave some pounds is extremely welcome. But it seems everyone and their mother is telling me MBP. Even Scottsdale!!!

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 03:27 PM
Portability. With the giant books I have to carry to and fro, it's a wonder my back is not broken yet. Any way to shave some pounds is extremely welcome. But it seems everyone and their mother is telling me MBP. Even Scottsdale!!!
Portability? The Macbook Pro is only an inch thick!!

Rai Saix
Sep 7, 2009, 03:39 PM
Portability? The Macbook Pro is only an inch thick!!

Like I said. Any extra weight shaved is welcome.

racer1441
Sep 7, 2009, 03:55 PM
Pro is the only way to go.

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 03:57 PM
Like I said. Any extra weight shaved is welcome.

I severely doubt that the extra half an inch or so is going to weigh you down .Let's be serious.

mackhydr4
Sep 7, 2009, 04:56 PM
I severely doubt that the extra half an inch or so is going to weigh you down .Let's be serious.

What Rai has been trying to tell us is that he really likes the MBA. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets it instead of the MBP.

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 05:07 PM
What Rai has been trying to tell us is that he really likes the MBA. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets it instead of the MBP.
I understand that. If Rai REALLY REALLY REALLY wants the Air because... umm... I guess it looks cool, that is great. What I am saying is that the Pro is what he should get based on the info he has given us and that the pro will most likely be the best decision. That's all!

Rai Saix
Sep 7, 2009, 05:26 PM
I guess I'll get a high end MBP 13". I would like the Air, but I honestly can't justify having more than one computer. There are MANY people who will disagree with me, but that's just me.

mackhydr4
Sep 7, 2009, 05:29 PM
Congrats Rai! I almost got the MBP 13 myself since it is such a sweet system (having owned a Black Macbook before). Don't worry about the naysayers, it's your money, you do what you want with it--

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 05:40 PM
I guess I'll get a high end MBP 13". I would like the Air, but I honestly can't justify having more than one computer. There are MANY people who will disagree with me, but that's just me.
Congrats Rai! Enjoy that new MacBook Pro!

Airforcekid
Sep 7, 2009, 05:55 PM
Like I said. Any extra weight shaved is welcome.

I say get the Air I had the same debate not long ago common sense says get the pro but your never truly happy with it. Odds are if you work smart (dont have every app open while editing video etc) the air will be a great companion. Any computer should last a user 3-5 years the Air should meet your goals for one-two and when you go to college it should still be a great machine for notes and light internet. In the end both work and are great choices just comes down to what you want!

Hands Sandon
Sep 7, 2009, 06:11 PM
I guess I'll get a high end MBP 13". I would like the Air, but I honestly can't justify having more than one computer. There are MANY people who will disagree with me, but that's just me.

That'll be an awesome machine and although it's no Air it is still quite light. Well done taking the time to get some good advice. Personally I think the Air is all you needed but I know that having more bells and whistles is often a big attraction. I still happily make do (and I'm a proffessional photographer) with a Mac Mini, but then I don't play games or even run Aperture.

Jobsian
Sep 7, 2009, 07:12 PM
Rai, before you take the plunge to get the MBP under the avalanche of recommendations here, I want you to hear me out if you would :)

I would recommend getting the Mac Air. Resoundingly.

Listen, a MacBook Air, for me, is a lot more than the sum of its constituent components.

The "MBP being more powerful" argument is a compelling one and indeed has a lot of merit, especially if we are being exclusively practical. Not being mere machines, we are more than practicality, thankfully. We have other powerful forces that dictate our happiness.

Whether or not you would enjoy the Air more than a MBP depends on the type of person you are. I would recommend a MBP for a lot of people. But I think you've conveyed enough for myself to conclude that you are a person who will enjoy owning an Air more. You've already revealed your own substantial yet intangible pull towards the Air. It's seduced you. Don't fight it.

A MacBook Air is a computer, it's a painting and a sculpture. It's a sensational creation and we're aware of that, as are many others. We evaluate it against much more technically powerful laptops yet we don't always quite articulate why.

This isn't portentous hubris, I don't mean it's merely a statement to others in the traditional fashion accessory sense, it's also a statement to yourself, a statement that will delight you. Simply looking at its tapering, slender torso, picking it up with the minimum insult to your fingers, arms, throwing it in your bag without an atom of hesitation, interacting with it in a way you wouldn't have thought possible with an item of zero weight and zero volume.

1.5 lbs is not a heavy mass. However, not having to adjust your seating slightly because its weight is putting that bit of pressure on the front of your hip, picking it up only with your fingers as you stretch out to your table in the morning. That is when the 1.5 lbs difference between the MBP and the Air assumes the weight of a planet.

Sure you're not going to edit a HD video better, nor be able to run the digits of a benchmark higher, but you're not going to care. The other practical deficiencies eg no optical drive or less ports? You'll find a way round them Rai.

The MacBook Air is a synergy of function, design and aesthetics. That's why I think you should choose it :)

Rai Saix
Sep 7, 2009, 07:31 PM
Wow. That argument was very compelling. I think I'll put more thoght to this in the months to come. I have till anlittle after next year to decide. The air would honestly do fine. I mean, 90-95% of the time, I'll be video chatting, web browsing, word processing, and keynote making. All of which, I'm assuming, the high-end Rev. C can handle. And with video editing, I'll only really be cutting and pasting sections.

colourfastt
Sep 7, 2009, 07:37 PM
Just my 3 pence ..... I have both a 15" MPB (previous generation) and a new MBA, and I much prefer to use the Air over the Pro.

Like I said ... just my 12 farthings.

Rai Saix
Sep 7, 2009, 08:08 PM
I think I'll wait till the Rev. D and see what happens.

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 08:10 PM
I think I'll wait till the Rev. D and see what happens.
So much for the decision. :)

mackhydr4
Sep 7, 2009, 08:12 PM
So much for the decision. :)

Lol!

Hands Sandon
Sep 7, 2009, 08:31 PM
I think I'll wait till the Rev. D and see what happens.

Smart move.

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 08:37 PM
Smart move.

Or wait for the new MacBook Pros :D:p

Rai Saix
Sep 7, 2009, 08:38 PM
Smart move.

So when will it most likely happen?

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 08:40 PM
So when will it most likely happen?
My guess... October.

Hands Sandon
Sep 7, 2009, 08:41 PM
Or wait for the new MacBook Pros :D:p

Hmmm they might be thinner and drop the superdrive. What does that remind me of?

Hands Sandon
Sep 7, 2009, 08:43 PM
So when will it most likely happen?

I wish I knew!

Rai Saix
Sep 7, 2009, 08:44 PM
So much for the decision. :)

Don't rush me! This is important! XD

Slowstick
Sep 7, 2009, 09:01 PM
Don't rush me! This is important! XD

I'm just kidding, take your time! :) It is a very important decision! :)

dudup
Sep 8, 2009, 12:01 AM
the words 'poor' and 'air' DO NOT go together. get the MBP.

+1

LOL, it's not that I'm rich, but I'm not that poor also :D

KurtangleTN
Sep 8, 2009, 12:09 AM
Where is thinness and ever useful? I don't see the appeal of it in a notebook computer that's probably going to be carried in a backpack anyway. I see it in a phone, iPod.. but not a notebook.

The MBP weights 2.5 pounds more.. you won't notice it. If you do.. start working out.

Slowstick
Sep 8, 2009, 08:55 AM
Where is thinness and ever useful? I don't see the appeal of it in a notebook computer that's probably going to be carried in a backpack anyway. I see it in a phone, iPod.. but not a notebook.

The MBP weights 2.5 pounds more.. you won't notice it. If you do.. start working out.
Nicely put! That is what I am trying to say!:p

Jobsian
Sep 8, 2009, 10:05 AM
Where is thinness and ever useful? I don't see the appeal of it in a notebook computer that's probably going to be carried in a backpack anyway. I see it in a phone, iPod.. but not a notebook.

The MBP weights 2.5 pounds more.. you won't notice it. If you do.. start working out.
You would certainly be the type I would never recommend an MBA to (the type I referred to in my post on page 2), where practicality is all.

For myself, and I strongly suspect Rai, an MBA would be a much more enjoyable piece of hardware, again refer to my earlier post why.

Slowstick
Sep 8, 2009, 05:04 PM
You would certainly be the type I would never recommend an MBA to (the type I referred to in my post on page 2), where practicality is all.

For myself, and I strongly suspect Rai, an MBA would be a much more enjoyable piece of hardware, again refer to my earlier post why.
I completely disagree.What do you mean by "enjoyable."

Rai Saix
Sep 8, 2009, 05:16 PM
Like I said. I'm holding my breath for Rev. D. If they are upgraded to a 226GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM, and hopefully (but not a real need) a faster processor, I'll go for the MBA. If not, a 13" MBP is in my future.

Jobsian
Sep 8, 2009, 05:27 PM
I completely disagree.What do you mean by "enjoyable."
As per definition.

Reasons in my post on page 2.

I can't wait for a rev D too, I know it's a long shot, but I would be absolutely over the moon if an update is made tomorrow!

Slowstick
Sep 8, 2009, 05:28 PM
As per definition.

Reasons in my post on page 2.

I can't wait for a rev D too, I know it's a long shot, but I would absolutely be over the moon if an update is quietly made tomorrow!
What is fun on the MBA that isn't fun on the Pro?

Rai Saix
Sep 8, 2009, 05:30 PM
What is fun on the MBA that isn't fun on the Pro?

Do I really need to explain the fundemental reason for the Air's existance?

Slowstick
Sep 8, 2009, 05:41 PM
Do I really need to explain the fundemental reason for the Air's existance?
No, just explain to me what you think is fun about the MBA that you will not be able to get on the MBP?

Jobsian
Sep 8, 2009, 06:00 PM
No, just explain to me what you think is fun about the MBA that you will not be able to get on the MBP?Is the MBP the same as the MBA?


Hehe, with every post you underline the difference in attitude that would make me not recommend an MBA to you, but would to someone like Rai. It's not a sleight at you or anything, it's just a question of approach, a personal philosophy if you will. How much you give weight to aesthetics.

And PS, I also like the MBP, love the solid unibody build and glass trackpad etc, though not as much as I love the MBA. Little else rivals its aesthetics, and if they do (such as the Adamo or the Vaio P), they're usually much weaker.

Scottsdale
Sep 8, 2009, 06:27 PM
The bottom line is one who bashes the MBA based on the MBP being only 1.5 lbs heavier and only one inch thicker HAS NEVER USED AN MBA.

One has to truly use the MBA around the house, office, and traveling to understand just how big of an advantage the lightweight and thinness of the MBA is over an MBP.

I can understand people saying, "My MBP's only 50% heavier. That's only 1.5 lbs in a bag." But those people have never used an MBA in those conditions to understand just how big of an advantage it is.

Unless someone truly needs an MBP, the MBA is a far greater complete user experience in my opinion. I understand people seeing an MBA at the store and thinking the difference is minor. But when you get used to an MBA, it's really difficult to go back to a brick of a Mac like the MBP.

While the difference is only less than an inch in width and 1.5 lbs, it's huge in end user experience... night and day. I have had to move from an MBA to 13" uMB for a few months after my rev B MBA was stolen, and it was completely and totally the biggest disappointment I can ever recall when changing computers. The 13" MBP feels like a brick compared to the MBA. And one can fit the MBA into the narrowest of spaces in a tote. The differences are magnified far greater than anyone could realize until dealing with the transition from complete use of the MBA to 13" uMBP.

I really think that the average person who switches to the MBA with HDD will ultimately be disappointed. The differences in speed capabilities are dramatic versus a 13" MB/MBP. However, with the SSD the MBA becomes faster for normal tasks than the MBP with even a 7200 rpm HDD. This is not to say that ALL will be disappointed with MBA with HDD, because certainly some see the tradeoff as worthy for thin lightweight computing. My whole point is there is very little tradeoff to get the thin/lightweight experience when one goes with SSD in the MBA. For me, I recommend the average user should go with MBP if cannot afford the SSD MBA. For some using the MBA as a secondary computer may accept speed of HDD. For $300, and an added boost to CPU, the SSD is an absolute MUST for the MBA for anyone who wants to truly use it like a primary Mac or like a Mac in general.

At the same time, I recommend the MBP to those who truly need the extra capabilities, those who cannot afford the MBA with SSD, and those who don't know yet what they need (like the OP). And probably those who will be forced to use the same MBA for five years should consider the MBP for upgrade capabilities.

LAS.mac
Sep 8, 2009, 07:08 PM
Like I said. I'm holding my breath for Rev. D. If they are upgraded to a 226GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM, and hopefully (but not a real need) a faster processor, I'll go for the MBA. If not, a 13" MBP is in my future.

Don't forget some other importants points that must be addressed in rev D:
- the glass trackpad, which is present in the MBP line since a year ago
- those "defects" that plagued the MBA existence, such as the hinge problem, the screen lines, the tendency to overheat, and I'm sure I forget some
- the somewhat shorter battery life (although I understand that this is a complicate point, due to the size of large-capacity batteries)

I think those points are as important as the 4 Gb RAM. Personally I don't care of a larger SSD drive.
Oh, and maybe a couple of hundred buck less wouldn't hurt...:D

Slowstick
Sep 8, 2009, 07:18 PM
The bottom line is one who bashes the MBA based on the MBP being only 1.5 lbs heavier and only one inch thicker HAS NEVER USED AN MBA.

One has to truly use the MBA around the house, office, and traveling to understand just how big of an advantage the lightweight and thinness of the MBA is over an MBP.

I can understand people saying, "My MBP's only 50% heavier. That's only 1.5 lbs in a bag." But those people have never used an MBA in those conditions to understand just how big of an advantage it is.

Unless someone truly needs an MBP, the MBA is a far greater complete user experience in my opinion. I understand people seeing an MBA at the store and thinking the difference is minor. But when you get used to an MBA, it's really difficult to go back to a brick of a Mac like the MBP.

While the difference is only less than an inch in width and 1.5 lbs, it's huge in end user experience... night and day. I have had to move from an MBA to 13" uMB for a few months after my rev B MBA was stolen, and it was completely and totally the biggest disappointment I can ever recall when changing computers. The 13" MBP feels like a brick compared to the MBA. And one can fit the MBA into the narrowest of spaces in a tote. The differences are magnified far greater than anyone could realize until dealing with the transition from complete use of the MBA to 13" uMBP.

I really think that the average person who switches to the MBA with HDD will ultimately be disappointed. The differences in speed capabilities are dramatic versus a 13" MB/MBP. However, with the SSD the MBA becomes faster for normal tasks than the MBP with even a 7200 rpm HDD. This is not to say that ALL will be disappointed with MBA with HDD, because certainly some see the tradeoff as worthy for thin lightweight computing. My whole point is there is very little tradeoff to get the thin/lightweight experience when one goes with SSD in the MBA. For me, I recommend the average user should go with MBP if cannot afford the SSD MBA. For some using the MBA as a secondary computer may accept speed of HDD. For $300, and an added boost to CPU, the SSD is an absolute MUST for the MBA for anyone who wants to truly use it like a primary Mac or like a Mac in general.

At the same time, I recommend the MBP to those who truly need the extra capabilities, those who cannot afford the MBA with SSD, and those who don't know yet what they need (like the OP). And probably those who will be forced to use the same MBA for five years should consider the MBP for upgrade capabilities.

I see where you are coming from and I have used a MBA. I agree that it is "fun" to hold and to look at, but what I am saying is that it is not a reason to go MBA and not MBP. In the whole scheme of things, the Pro is better.

Rai Saix
Sep 8, 2009, 07:24 PM
I see where you are coming from and I have used a MBA. I agree that it is "fun" to hold and to look at, but what I am saying is that it is not a reason to go MBA and not MBP. In the whole scheme of things, the Pro is better.

For your needs.

Slowstick
Sep 8, 2009, 07:29 PM
For your needs.

Doesn't the MBP do more than the Air minus the aesthetics?

Rai Saix
Sep 8, 2009, 07:41 PM
Doesn't the MBP do more than the Air minus the aesthetics?

Not from a portability standpoint.

Slowstick
Sep 8, 2009, 08:17 PM
Not from a portability standpoint.
Here we go again.

The fact that you might have to pack an optical drive and how the MBP is an inch thick might make the MBP a better portablity machine.

Rai Saix
Sep 8, 2009, 08:54 PM
Here we go again.

The fact that you might have to pack an optical drive and how the MBP is an inch thick might make the MBP a better portablity machine.

I will not be packing the SuperDrive. That would be stupidity. That's for software installs and the occasional movie.

Look, we're comparing apples and oranges here. I now realize that. These products are designed for two different breeds of consumers. I am right on the edge of both of these. My main concern is storage. So if the air gets 226 GB SSD, I'm sold. If not, it's most likely hello MBP!

Hands Sandon
Sep 8, 2009, 09:26 PM
I've changed my mind. If I was in Rai's shoes I would go out and buy a MBP as soon as I could. Yes it'll be heavier but not by that much. Portability matters but the MBP is only marginally less portable and it is true you'll never be without the superdrive. The MBP is also a bit tougher of a machine and an unexpected strong gust of wind is less likely to send it flying off of that cafe table. It will run cooler and you won't have to worry about blocking those vents on the underside of the Air watching YouTube or a DVD in bed. The 13" MBP screen is to some people preferable to the Air's; cleaner whites (less yellow and smooth as oposed to rough and grainy in the Air) and more vivid colors (especially beneficial watching movies or even high quality videos). The speaker is also better and I believe you can't as easily attach a microphone to an Air (though I'm not sure). Upgrades to look forward to would include your choice of bigger and faster SSD as the 2.5" drives arrive sooner and likewise should you want more than 4GB's RAM. Of course theirs the SD slot that may prove usefull and who knows even that extra USB, especially as the Air eats it up if you went wired to the internet (less likely to ever need a USB dongle on your travels too). If Apple writes the software to make the SD slots store 1TB of very fast SD, that'll be a usefull addition too.

The MBP will will offer you more for longer and it's still very sleek (has a gorgeous black bezel and I think superior trackpad) and lightweight. And firewire could prove especially useful wherever you are, at least you'll know that your machine can use it should the need arise.

I'm sure you already know all this but I think you might find you want more from your machine than you currently expect. At least I hope you do eventually.

Slowstick
Sep 8, 2009, 09:34 PM
I've changed my mind. If I was in Rai's shoes I would go out and buy a MBP as soon as I could. Yes it'll be heavier but not by that much. Portability matters but the MBP is only marginally less portable and it is true you'll never be without the superdrive. The MBP is also a bit tougher of a machine and an unexpected strong gust of wind is less likely to send it flying off of that cafe table. It will run cooler and you won't have to worry about blocking those vents on the underside of the Air watching YouTube or a DVD in bed. The 13" MBP screen is to some people preferable to the Air's; cleaner whites (less yellow) and more vivid colors (especially beneficial watching movies or even high quality videos). The speaker is also better and I believe you can't as easily attach a microphone to an Air (though I'm not sure). Upgrades to look forward to would include your choice of bigger and faster SSD as the 2.5" drives arrive sooner and likewise should you want more than 4GB's RAM. Of course theirs the SD slot that may prove usefull and who knows even that extra USB, especially as the Air eats it up if you went wired to the internet (less likely to ever need a USB dongle on your travels too). If Apple writes the software to make the SD slots store 1TB of very fast SD, that'll be a usefull addition too.

The MBP will will offer you more for longer and it's still very sleek (has a gorgeous black bezel and I think superior trackpad) and lightweight. And firewire could prove especially useful wherever you are, at least you'll know rently expect. At least I hope you do eventually.
I agree. In the end, I think you'll be going pro.:D

ob81
Sep 8, 2009, 11:33 PM
If you are even considering the MBP you don't fit the profile of a person that needs an Air. It is an expensive netbook. Need a netbook? If not, get the MBP.

jdechko
Sep 8, 2009, 11:36 PM
I think a MBP is a smarter purchase at this time, even though the Air is a great machine. The number 1 thing going for it is that it's cheaper. If you're hoping to upgrade every 1-2 years, you don't need to buy the top of the line as the computers are going to be improving greatly. Chances are pretty good that the future entry model will be faster than the current top of the line model. It's a smarter fiscal decision not to purchase the more expensive machine when it's likely that you'll see little benefit from it over it's lifetime.

Then again, it's your money, but you did come to us for advice.

Personally, I can justify the cost of the Air over the Pro, as I'll be keeping the computer for at least 4-5 years.

Now, to clarify a bit of Scottsdale's posting: The Air will feel like a Mac Pro (or faster) for general computing stuff because of the SSD and the fact that the UI isn't really dependent on CPU speed or installed RAM. It is dependent on the video card and the hard disk. The 9400M, while not great for 3D stuff, is more than enough for the 2D GUI, and the SSD is obviously faster than a traditional HDD. So that's why it feels so fast, and will continue to outperform machines of lesser spec (in one area or the other).

Having said that, I know Scottsdale isn't dumb enough to think that running some of the Pro Apps (Logic, FCS, and to some extent, Aperture, PS, LR, etc) will be faster on the Air simply because those apps rely on things that the Air isn't good at (Raw CPU speed and RAM).

Scottsdale
Sep 8, 2009, 11:51 PM
I think a MBP is a smarter purchase at this time, even though the Air is a great machine. The number 1 thing going for it is that it's cheaper. If you're hoping to upgrade every 1-2 years, you don't need to buy the top of the line as the computers are going to be improving greatly. Chances are pretty good that the future entry model will be faster than the current top of the line model. It's a smarter fiscal decision not to purchase the more expensive machine when it's likely that you'll see little benefit from it over it's lifetime.

Then again, it's your money, but you did come to us for advice.

Personally, I can justify the cost of the Air over the Pro, as I'll be keeping the computer for at least 4-5 years.

Now, to clarify a bit of Scottsdale's posting: The Air will feel like a Mac Pro (or faster) for general computing stuff because of the SSD and the fact that the UI isn't really dependent on CPU speed or installed RAM. It is dependent on the video card and the hard disk. The 9400M, while not great for 3D stuff, is more than enough for the 2D GUI, and the SSD is obviously faster than a traditional HDD. So that's why it feels so fast, and will continue to outperform machines of lesser spec (in one area or the other).

Having said that, I know Scottsdale isn't dumb enough to think that running some of the Pro Apps (Logic, FCS, and to some extent, Aperture, PS, LR, etc) will be faster on the Air simply because those apps rely on things that the Air isn't good at (Raw CPU speed and RAM).

You know, I always say the MBA feels as fast as a Mac Pro for STANDARD/COMMON TASKS. That means bootup, app opening, large files opened, shutdown and etc... I have used quite a few Mac Pros (more than MBAs), and I know what they feel like for the average user. I also GUARANTEE that a Mac Pro will be faster for intensive apps. I also compare, usually, the MBA 1.86/2.13 with SSD, to a 2.4 GHz MBP with an HDD at 7200 rpms. I state that the MBA will be faster for "common tasks" again. I use this as a point of reference because quite a few people who would consider an MBA have used a 2.4 GHz MBP...

At the same time, a 13" MBP will be faster than an MBA with SSD, if the Pro has the SSD too! The thing is the MBA comes stock configuration with the SSD while the Pro doesn't.

I still think the MBA is the wiser choice for most people who think they want an MBP. As the MBA is really incredibly fast, with SSD, to the average user. Now, there are real pros out there that need additional RAM to run some apps, and there are Pros who need FW and dedicated graphics and Express Card slots, and larger displays and etc etc etc... but most of those people aren't buying a 13" MBP, because the low end Pro only really beats the MBA on ports and RAM capabilities.

I think that most people have a negative understanding of the MBA because the first one ruined the brand name, and later units with HDDs and 1.6 GHz CPUs get classified as an MBA just like a 2.13 GHz with SSD does. And the problem is there is a huge difference between the two MBAs!

I love the MBA and I am not afraid to recommend it to those who I feel would enjoy the MBA over an MBP even if they think they need an MBP. The fact is that most people would be really really happy with an MBA with 2.13 GHz CPU and SSD. These would be buyers just have the more power mentality.

Again, to this OP, I recommended the 13" MBP!

Rai Saix
Sep 9, 2009, 08:35 AM
Now everone is against me! XD

I guess I'll lean toward the MBP. But I'll still wait for Rev. D. And then we'll pick this up again.

mackhydr4
Sep 9, 2009, 08:49 AM
Now everone is against me! XD

I guess I'll lean toward the MBP.But I'll still wait for Rev. D. And then we'll pick this up again.

The 13" MBP is still a pretty tight package (in a good way) -

Slowstick
Sep 9, 2009, 08:53 AM
The 13" MBP is still a pretty tight package (in a good way) -

With that optical drive.

Jobsian
Sep 9, 2009, 09:02 AM
Raidude, another consideration you should make is that the approximately 2-yearly intel mobile processor upgrade (Arrandale) is due later this year - expecting to hit notebooks early 2010- if you aren't the type to regularly upgrade your notebook, you should perhaps wait for that.

See this monster thread for some info:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=668803&page=34

And like you, I'll wait for Rev D! (if it doesn't compromise on graphics by shunning the Nvidia series)

Airforcekid
Sep 9, 2009, 10:03 AM
Now everone is against me! XD

I guess I'll lean toward the MBP. But I'll still wait for Rev. D. And then we'll pick this up again.

Dont forget 3rd party hard drives runcore may make 256GB before rev D! I still say go MBA.

Rai Saix
Sep 9, 2009, 10:17 AM
Dont forget 3rd party hard drives runcore may make 256GB before rev D! I still say go MBA.

But I thought you got what you got with an MBA. You can't change the hard drive short of soldering, can you?

mackhydr4
Sep 9, 2009, 10:19 AM
Dont forget 3rd party hard drives runcore may make 256GB before rev D! I still say go MBA.

Current 128gb hovers around upper $400 to 500. I shudder to think what the 256 would be like-

michael.lauden
Sep 9, 2009, 10:26 AM
why are there so many threads and so many posts on them all about this.

if you want portability go with the MBA
if you want power go with the MBP.

it's that simple. your MBA will be outdated faster than your MBP.

the MBP is a workhorse, and a workstation. the MBA can still work, but i can't tell you how much i'd rather be on MY MacBook than MY Mac mini. a small upgrade can be a lot


what is the argument here, am i missing something?

jdechko
Sep 9, 2009, 11:30 AM
...

I totally agree with you. In fact, the snappiness of the system is probably the main reason I'm going to get an Air over a MBP. I don't need the power of the 15" Pro, and at the same time, I know I wouldn't be happy going with the 13" MBP. What I do really want is a system that feels fast. I don't want to feel like I'm waiting around for the computer to catch up to me. I want it to be ready for me. I know that the Air will give that experience to me.

mackhydr4
Sep 9, 2009, 03:18 PM
But I thought you got what you got with an MBA.

-Nyet

You can't change the hard drive short of soldering, can you?

-Da

Rai Saix
Sep 9, 2009, 03:20 PM
-Nyet



-Da

Translation, please.

mackhydr4
Sep 9, 2009, 04:16 PM
Translation, please.

Storage is upgradable.

http://www.runcorestore.com/ProductDetail.jsp?LISTID=800000BE-1249411461