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Old Mar 18, 2012, 06:10 PM   #1
reckless2k2
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Future-proofing thoughts

I'm going to buy either a 11" MBA or a 13" MBP in the near future and I'm looking for future proofing thoughts.

I plan on holding onto the device for some time (3+ years) and wondering if the MBP is more of a logical investment since I can upgrade RAM for instance.

Thanks for any opinions.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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I think you pretty much answered your own question.

The MBP is also more future proof in the sense that it uses a standard 2.5in hard drive, which you can replace with one of larger capacity or even of the solid state variety. You can also replace the Superdrive with an additional hard drive.

Lots of expansion options with the MBP, but I'd be willing to bet an MBA could easily last 3 years.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 06:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by reckless2k2 View Post
I plan on holding onto the device for some time (3+ years) and wondering if the MBP is more of a logical investment since I can upgrade RAM for instance.
I don't want to say future proof but I will say that the MBP offers you more options because it has upgradable ram and storage.

One thing is sure, Apps and OS will require more ram and storage. Depending what you need the laptop for, its intended uses, will invariably dictate whether the MBA will be a good fit for 3+ years.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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A MBA will last just fine for 3+ years. I would recommend the 13" over 11" just because later on you might find you want more screen real estate.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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Im saying the macbook air because they arent going to change the design for awhile, but they will probably redesign the MBP this year...
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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Im saying the macbook air because they arent going to change the design for awhile, but they will probably redesign the MBP this year...
The MacBook pros days are numbered. All notebooks will look like an air. Buying a mbp is like buying a rear projection tv.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 08:14 PM   #7
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Iím not a spec houndÖ(just sayin), but once you rock a 2.2 pound MBA-11 around town I can guarantee that you will not be interested in a MBP. And if you buy a MBP you will spend 3 years wondering if you should have bought a MBA. Now thatís future-proofing
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 08:16 PM   #8
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If you are quite concerned with "future proofing," you might also want to wait for the refresh.

The choice between a MBA and MBP is rather tricky, but if you're simply looking to maximize specs without regard to size/weight, you should probably go MBP.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 09:19 PM   #9
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The MacBook pros days are numbered. All notebooks will look like an air. Buying a mbp is like buying a rear projection tv.
You do realize they still sell rear projection TVs, right? I had a friend buy an 80 something inch last spring. It was far cheaper, picture is pretty fantastic, and Last I knew they still don't have an LCD or Plasma comparable in that size. Both still have a place.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 09:54 PM   #10
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No such thing as future proof! Apple products are the closest thing to future proof, because they hold their value so well you can sell it once the next version comes out and basically get away with a slight upgrade fee...and thats it.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 01:45 PM   #11
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You do realize they still sell rear projection TVs, right? I had a friend buy an 80 something inch last spring. It was far cheaper, picture is pretty fantastic, and Last I knew they still don't have an LCD or Plasma comparable in that size. Both still have a place.
True but I know not to buy a rear projection tv, I don't want best value I am an earlier adopter. Nothing wrong with projectors or mbp but they are not future proof in their appearance. No projectors at bestbuy.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 01:55 PM   #12
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Definitely wait for the refresh. Every mac I'd bought has been within the first month or so of a refresh, and I've generally had 3+ years good usage out of each. I went white '06 mb, late '08 mbp, 2011 13" mba ultimate. Never once have I have either thought "damn, I missed out on a better machine by a month or so" or "gah! if only I'd waited and got a later revision". Had a stellar experience with the late '08 mbp, even though it was a dreaded version 1.0.

The waiting is doubly important this time around given the likely big change in the mbp lineup. If you don't like the changes you could always get a last gen refurb for cheap cheap.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 02:47 PM   #13
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there is no future-proofing at this junction - I imagine an air-pro lovechild with a retina display within the next 1-2 years.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 03:30 PM   #14
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While future proofing is a nice warm fuzzy thought, but the simple fact is... we are now operating at warp speed. Witness Google's Chrome browser with it's ultra frequent updates. Witness Apple's relatively fast migration beginning with captive batteries, to the current MBA's with soldered ram, nearly irreplaceable SSD's etc.

As a professional who uses his computer for mission critical work, I find the current MBP's especially in 15" & 17" sizes exemplary laptops.

Oh sure, they're not going to be current for much longer, but we are not talking cars or fashion, we are talking tools for the knowledge worker / engineer / scientist / designer / student / etc.

The MBP as we know it today is a timeless design with upgrade-ability that is the cornerstone of longevity. Corporations don't upgrade at every cycle like individuals do. Therefore a more user serviceable laptop is of much greater value.

That's my take on it.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 06:51 PM   #15
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I appreciate the feedback from everyone. I won't be buying until the refresh for sure.

It's going to be light duty in general I would think but will have the hold possibly large iTunes libraries and photos.

I currently have an iMac and a large volume Linux server in the home along with a few iOS devices.

Maybe a future proofing shouldn't matter but I get worried as OS upgrades roll out and software wanting more RAM.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 03:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixodes View Post
While future proofing is a nice warm fuzzy thought, but the simple fact is... we are now operating at warp speed. Witness Google's Chrome browser with it's ultra frequent updates. Witness Apple's relatively fast migration beginning with captive batteries, to the current MBA's with soldered ram, nearly irreplaceable SSD's etc.

As a professional who uses his computer for mission critical work, I find the current MBP's especially in 15" & 17" sizes exemplary laptops.

Oh sure, they're not going to be current for much longer, but we are not talking cars or fashion, we are talking tools for the knowledge worker / engineer / scientist / designer / student / etc.

The MBP as we know it today is a timeless design with upgrade-ability that is the cornerstone of longevity. Corporations don't upgrade at every cycle like individuals do. Therefore a more user serviceable laptop is of much greater value.

That's my take on it.
This is spot on - OP you should take note.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 10:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by tim100 View Post
The MacBook pros days are numbered. All notebooks will look like an air. Buying a mbp is like buying a rear projection tv.
At least ten years ago the demise of the desktop was announced, yet you can still buy them at Best Buy and there is a thriving online industry of build-it-yourself to we'll-build-it-for-you.

Those who announced the death of the desktop ten years ago have now pronounced the death of the desktop operating system and its replacement by the cloud. I haven't heard much lately about "Chrome Books" have you? I have heard a lot about corporate servers being raped of their information by hackers though.

I spend a lot of time thinking about ways to keep my files from others online. For me the cloud is a useful model for idiots actively engaged in delusional romantic relationships with their favorite celebrity. Sure hackers can get access to my files, so can the FBI, but I don't have to put my stuff up in the cloud to make it easy for them.

Look at your hard drive sometime. It's like a printout of a portion of your mind. An anal cavity search is at least a thousand times less intrusive. As long as I'm alive the desktop model will survive.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 11:50 AM   #18
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At least ten years ago the demise of the desktop was announced, yet you can still buy them at Best Buy and there is a thriving online industry of build-it-yourself to we'll-build-it-for-you.

Those who announced the death of the desktop ten years ago have now pronounced the death of the desktop operating system and its replacement by the cloud. I haven't heard much lately about "Chrome Books" have you? I have heard a lot about corporate servers being raped of their information by hackers though.

I spend a lot of time thinking about ways to keep my files from others online. For me the cloud is a useful model for idiots actively engaged in delusional romantic relationships with their favorite celebrity. Sure hackers can get access to my files, so can the FBI, but I don't have to put my stuff up in the cloud to make it easy for them.

Look at your hard drive sometime. It's like a printout of a portion of your mind. An anal cavity search is at least a thousand times less intrusive. As long as I'm alive the desktop model will survive.
I don't think Tim100 is talking about the death of the mbp as a category, but rather that the current form factor is going to change come the next revision - and I would tend to agree. As far as future-proofing goes, the question should just be, will X computer last me 3 years, doing what I do with it today and hopefully through the next 3 years. Yes, apps may get bigger, more power hungry and you might need to store even larger amounts of data - or the exact opposite could be true. I would say, get what works for you today - just keep in mind that the MacBook Pro's are most likely going to see a revision that could make them distinctly different from what they are today - or not.

I made the switch from 2007 mbp to 2011 mba (15" to 13") and have not regretted doing so. I got 4 years of hard use out of the mbp and still use it for backup storage of old work, so it clearly was a good investment in what I needed it for in 2007 until late last year.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 12:35 PM   #19
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I got 4 years of hard use out of the mbp and still use it for backup storage of old work, so it clearly was a good investment in what I needed it for in 2007 until late last year.
...and that's the great thing about macs. The old white c2d mb I had is in the hands of my mother in law, still more than adequate for her usage running Snow Leopard. My late 08 mbp is essentially a desktop torrent/media centre now and does the job admirably. Hate to beat the old drum, especially because I'm a big pc user too for games, but I suspect there aren't many 6 year old windows laptops out there still delivering a decent experience.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 01:07 PM   #20
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...and that's the great thing about macs. The old white c2d mb I had is in the hands of my mother in law, still more than adequate for her usage running Snow Leopard. My late 08 mbp is essentially a desktop torrent/media centre now and does the job admirably. Hate to beat the old drum, especially because I'm a big pc user too for games, but I suspect there aren't many 6 year old windows laptops out there still delivering a decent experience.
A 6 year old windows machine....also known as, a doorstop!

Cool thing about a mac is...you could sell a 6 year old MBA for a couple hundred dollars....you couldn't give away a 6 year old HP laptop
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 02:00 PM   #21
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I don't think Tim100 is talking about the death of the mbp as a category, but rather that the current form factor is going to change come the next revision - and I would tend to agree. As far as future-proofing goes, the question should just be, will X computer last me 3 years, doing what I do with it today and hopefully through the next 3 years. Yes, apps may get bigger, more power hungry and you might need to store even larger amounts of data - or the exact opposite could be true. I would say, get what works for you today - just keep in mind that the MacBook Pro's are most likely going to see a revision that could make them distinctly different from what they are today - or not.

I made the switch from 2007 mbp to 2011 mba (15" to 13") and have not regretted doing so. I got 4 years of hard use out of the mbp and still use it for backup storage of old work, so it clearly was a good investment in what I needed it for in 2007 until late last year.
yes.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 02:21 PM   #22
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Sometimes, it can make sense to buy last years or the outgoing model of just about anything, computer to car, but you can never be sure whether what you have will indeed last long enough to keep up with what you want or need.

I had (the ex still has it) an awesome Power Mac G5 tower that I bought in 2004 - it's still running today, still looks brand new and functions fine for web, email, iTunes for the kids. That's 8 years of usage with just a few dollars thrown into it for ram upgrades (it has 8 bays for ram), a new hd, keyboard and mouse (all purchased just last year). I've had work computers, Dells, HP, Compaq that I couldn't eek more than 18 months out of, before experiencing blue screen of death and other lovely maladies. The real issue with the pc's I've had is the option to upgrade and/or the upgrade causing more problems than it's supposed to solve.

My wife wants to get an Air for her own use (she has a work provided mbp (2011) and I've been holding her back because I expect to see some upgrade shortly. Not that I think she needs the latest and greatest, but rather I would buy into a 2011 model at a discount if they release a new processor in the next month or so.

Frankly, if something drastic changes in the next 12-18 months and these 2011 airs become woefully slow or outdated, I'd gladly upgrade and sell them - knowing I'd still get a decent amount for a great product.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 02:28 PM   #23
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A 6 year old windows machine....also known as, a doorstop!

Cool thing about a mac is...you could sell a 6 year old MBA for a couple hundred dollars....you couldn't give away a 6 year old HP laptop
:ahem:

Likewise HP dv9000's are still selling for $100-150 average.

The more Mac's they make the lower the resale value. Which is readily apparent on Apple's Refurb store. You can now buy last year's early 2011 MBP's for several hundred dollars less MRP. And the more popular Apple H/W becomes, the more you will see this.

/off topic

---

Since the OP has confirmed he's going to wait, which seems like the prudent thing to do, it seems like now this thread will just turn into an echo chamber.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 03:17 PM   #24
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I'm still using an 6 year old C2D Mac mini, ok it's been upgraded to a merom processor, but that is still old tech. It works perfectly, streams media, stays cool, reliable and quick enough for what I need it to do...

"future proofing" is only an issue if you make it an issue and need to have the latest and greatest, otherwise any of the current Apple range of computers will last perfectly well for a minimum of 3 years, anybody that says otherwise is misguided.
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 11:24 PM   #25
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The MacBook pros days are numbered. All notebooks will look like an air. Buying a mbp is like buying a rear projection tv.
You can bet your life that apple will bump ram to 8gb in the air in the not too distant future.

4 gb isn't really enough to be future proof at all - and RAM is about 50 bucks for 8 gb. Buying a current air with 4 gb today is not looking very far ahead, imho.

An MBA is fine for media consumption, but then, so is an ipad.

The MBA is just better at facebook...
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