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Old Nov 21, 2012, 08:05 PM   #1
HarryWarden
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13-inch MBA or cMBP?

Trying to decide which of the two to get. The cMBP offers a much bigger but non-SSD HDD. I've never owned a computer with an SSD drive so I'm unsure as to whether it makes much of a difference, especially considering the big difference in available space. The Air also offers the lighter weight but I question whether it will be as durable as the cMBP given just how thin it is.

I would like to get the Air as I currently have a mid-2009 15-inch Pro and getting a 13-inch version seems kind of like a downgrade, especially since the display seems inferior at 1200x800 vs. 1440x900 on current 15-inch and 13' MBA). I just am wondering whether in pursuit of ultra thin portability the Air sacrifices too much in the area of durability as I've read reports of them being more susceptible to even the smallest amount of water frying the logic board though of course, such claims could just be people under exaggerating in order to blame a product as opposed to oneself for an accident.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 08:35 PM   #2
Pharmscott
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The SSD makes a HUGE difference. My MBA boots and launches programs way faster than my wife's 2011 MBP even though the MBP has a faster and quad core processor. Only in very CPU intensive tasks does the MBP win.

For durability, the MBA is perfectly fine for a computer. Treat it will basic reasonable care and you'll have no troubles.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:19 PM   #3
HarryWarden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharmscott View Post
The SSD makes a HUGE difference. My MBA boots and launches programs way faster than my wife's 2011 MBP even though the MBP has a faster and quad core processor. Only in very CPU intensive tasks does the MBP win.

For durability, the MBA is perfectly fine for a computer. Treat it will basic reasonable care and you'll have no troubles.
What year is your MBA? How much memory & what speed processor does yours have?

TIA
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:44 PM   #4
throAU
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Buy 13" cMBP.

Replace spinning disk with Seagate Momentus XT 750 for 150 bucks.


Get 750gb of fairly fast storage, possibility of 16gb ram upgrade.


Win.


I just fitted a momentus XT to my MBP, use SSD only at work and it is seriously quite comparable for most things. But with a HEAP more space.

especially when you consider that I'm not having to push data out to USB external drives (don't have thunderbolt enclosures yet) all the time.

Power button to login prompt on my 15" in 13 seconds.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 01:50 PM   #5
n10797
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Exclamation

I'm trying to decide between the two as well. I currently have a powerful PC and need this as a secondary for DJing and websuring/traveling.

Black Friday is tomorrow and in Canada I can get the MBP for $999 and in person too!
Not sure what kind of deals I can get for the MBA in Canada (or a place that ships to Canada).

Tough decision for me...

Macbook Air
Pros: 1440x900 resolution, thinner/lighter, MagSafe2
Cons: Non-upgradeable RAM, slower CPU (1.8Ghz)

Macbook Pro
Pros: Upgradeable RAM, faster CPU (2.5Ghz),
Semi-Pros: Firewire (don't really know the uses), Ethernet, Disc Drive
Cons: 1280x800 resolution, heavier
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 10:19 PM   #6
Pharmscott
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryWarden View Post
What year is your MBA? How much memory & what speed processor does yours have?

TIA
My MBA is a mid-2011. It has 1.7GHz i5 (Sandy Bridge) and 4GB of 1333MHz RAM. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 11:16 PM   #7
throAU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n10797 View Post
I'm trying to decide between the two as well. I currently have a powerful PC and need this as a secondary for DJing and websuring/traveling.

Black Friday is tomorrow and in Canada I can get the MBP for $999 and in person too!
Not sure what kind of deals I can get for the MBA in Canada (or a place that ships to Canada).

Tough decision for me...

Macbook Air
Pros: 1440x900 resolution, thinner/lighter, MagSafe2
Cons: Non-upgradeable RAM, slower CPU (1.8Ghz)

Macbook Pro
Pros: Upgradeable RAM, faster CPU (2.5Ghz),
Semi-Pros: Firewire (don't really know the uses), Ethernet, Disc Drive
Cons: 1280x800 resolution, heavier

The CPU speed isn't so cut and dried, they will both turbo boost.

For me the only advantage the air has is the screen(sure, its lighter, but the MBP isn't unusable), but the trade-offs of no upgradable RAM and very expensive SSD only storage are not worth it. IMHO.

Unless you're very stingy and conservative with space, 128gb is nowhere near enough.

As above i'm a massive fan of the momentus 750 having fitted it. I prefer it to the 256gb SSD in my work machine because i simply don't have to worry about rationing storage just to get by, and the speed is comparable
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MBP (early 2011) - Core i7 2720 2.2ghz, Hires Glossy, 16GB, Seagate Momentus XT 750GB
Mac Mini (mid 2007) - Core2 Duo 1.8, 2gb, 320gb 7200 rpm
iPhone 4S, iPad 4, iPad Mini, HTC One (eval)
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:47 PM   #8
Grover088
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Location: New York
I just upgraded from a 2006 Black MB to a MBA 2 weeks ago. For me it was between the 15" MBPr or the 13" MBA. For the $1,000 difference I decided to at least try the MBA for a month and take it back if it wasn't everything that I needed. I am completely satisfied with my purchase and I will save the $1k. While my storage options have not been completely figured out, I will eventually run an external HD for storage and keep the 128GB solid state clear of my "junk." I am in law school and have to cart textbooks everywhere, so every pound and inch that I can save in my bag is worth it.
I was looking at the classic but decided against it because of size. I am worried about the non-upgradable ram, but for the price the MBA is more than enough the computer for my needs.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:07 PM   #9
superstarmc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharmscott View Post
My MBA is a mid-2011. It has 1.7GHz i5 (Sandy Bridge) and 4GB of 1333MHz RAM. Let me know if you have any other questions.
I have the same exact macbook and it's plenty fast, hooked up to my 27" Samsung.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:14 PM   #10
AppleAlfred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryWarden View Post
I just am wondering whether in pursuit of ultra thin portability the Air sacrifices too much in the area of durability as I've read reports of them being more susceptible to even the smallest amount of water frying the logic board though of course, such claims could just be people under exaggerating in order to blame a product as opposed to oneself for an accident.

The thing about the air is that it ventilates through the keyboard, which essentially means that any liquids spilled on the keyboard have a much higher potential of doing serious damage. Other laptops often have a "trough" so to speak which makes it much less likely for liquids to reach the internals.

This being said, I still chose a MacBook Air because its hard to argue with something being that portable while still maintaining the performance or possibly surpassing the MacBook Pro. If you don't NEED the things the pro offers and are just doing fairly simple computing, I wouldn't recommend anything but the air.
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