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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:46 PM   #1
jennyjimin
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MBA vs MBA vs MBP vs MBP!

Dear All,

My 13" MacBook Pro (mid-2010) has abruptly finished its life, and I need to buy a new Mac. I would like to limit my budget to $10,000 HKD (approximately $1,300 USD). Your opinions would be appreciated.

Use: Office work. Not much travel. Light & small is certainly great, but so is a larger screen.

I am considering,

1) Refurbished 13" MacBook Pro (mid-2012): $7,788 HKD ($1,011 USD)
2.5 DC i5/4/500
Pros: Lowest initial price. USB 3.0.
Cons: Everything else.

2) Refurbished 13" MacBook Air (mid-2011): $8,588 HKD ($1,115 USD)
1.7 DC i5/4/256
Pros: Portability. Stock SSD.
Cons: Everything else.

3) New 13" MacBook Air (mid-2012): $8,788 HKD ($1,141 USD)
1.8 DC i5/4/128
Pros: Portability. Stock SSD. USB 3.0.
Cons: Everything else. Needs to upgrade the SSD to 256GB in 2013.

4) Refurbished 15" MacBook Pro (mid-2011): $9,488 HKD ($1,232 USD)
2.0 QC i7/4/500
Pros: Large screen. Best spec. Upgradeable (easily, less costly)
Cons: Everything else.

What do you think?

Last edited by jennyjimin; Dec 5, 2012 at 12:06 AM.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:56 PM   #2
tacomahunter
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Number 3.. That is what I just did and I wont be looking back.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:03 PM   #3
cedwhatev
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Why not a Refurb 2012 MBA 13" 4/256? It would still be around your budget.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:32 PM   #4
thekev
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No one can make that decision for you. For your uses the difference in screen size seems like the only major choice.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:54 PM   #5
jennyjimin
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Dear tacomahunter,

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomahunter View Post
Number 3.. That is what I just did and I wont be looking back.
Thank you for the reply. My concern for the #3 is that the stock SSD (128GB) is a little small for my data. I will have to upgrade the SSD soon, which will be expensive.

By the way, may I ask what you were using before, and how does MBA 2012 compares?



----------

Dear cedwhatev,

Quote:
Originally Posted by cedwhatev View Post
Why not a Refurb 2012 MBA 13" 4/256? It would still be around your budget.
Thank you for the reply.

MBA 13" 4/256 (mid-2012) has not yet been available on Hong Kong's refurbished list.

----------

Dear thekev,

Quote:
Originally Posted by thekev View Post
No one can make that decision for you. For your uses the difference in screen size seems like the only major choice.
Thank you for the reply.

I understand that no one "else" can or should make my purchasing decision for me, and I was not asking for such.

I just wanted to get other people's feedback on the possible choices. There may be some pros and cons I might have missed or misjudged.

Last edited by jennyjimin; Dec 5, 2012 at 12:05 AM.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 08:18 AM   #6
JakeT85
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Wirelessly posted

If I were you, I would go with either the refurbished 15" pro, or try and catch the macbook air 13" with 256 gb storage on sale. I know here in the US they are on sale on amazon.com, bestbuy.com, macmall.com, and probably some other sites. If you could find one on sale it would only put you about 100 above budget and you'd have the best of both worlds. I just switched from the 13" pro to the 13" air and will never go back. This thing is snappy and portable, perfect for my needs. The other option with the air is to get the 13" 128 gb memory and use the leftover cash to get some external memory of some kind. You can't go wrong with any of these options in my opinion though, except maybe the 13" macbook pro, stock. It just seems expensive to me for yesterdays computer.......I had it first but then realized I would have to update to an ssd and decided why not get the air that already comes with that. Happy Shopping.

Last edited by JakeT85; Dec 5, 2012 at 08:21 AM.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 08:26 AM   #7
yinz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomahunter View Post
Number 3.. That is what I just did and I wont be looking back.
I think that's definitely the inferior choice to Number 2. For $200 more, you get half the storage and USB3?

Honestly, I don't think USB3 matters that much to most people. USB2 is sufficiently quick. Most people don't have 3TB of files to move around...

I would go with either the 15" MacBook Pro or the 13" 2011 MacBook Air, depending on your portability vs performance needs. The thing is, it sounds like the OP wants to use it for desk work. With an external monitor, the MBA is the best choice. Without one, the 13.3" isn't bad as well. Also, the resolution of the MBA is the same as the 15" MBP, so you are getting the same real estate.

In conclusion, I'd get the MBA 2011 13". I would find an external monitor if the screen size really bothers you. Screen are cheap in HK and for the price difference, you could probably get at least a 21" screen + adaptor.

Why wouldn't I choose the 13" MBP? The 13" MBP with its HDD and internals is inferior to the MBA in all aspects. Sure it's upgradable, but for the price difference, why not just get the MBA?
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 10:33 AM   #8
Liquinn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yinz View Post
Why wouldn't I choose the 13" MBP? The 13" MBP with its HDD and internals is inferior to the MBA in all aspects. Sure it's upgradable, but for the price difference, why not just get the MBA?
Well, the colours are better in the MBPs than the Airs right? But still, it depends what he's going to be doing with the machine. :P
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 10:48 AM   #9
yinz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquinn View Post
Well, the colours are better in the MBPs than the Airs right? But still, it depends what he's going to be doing with the machine. :P
Yes, I over-generalized. Sorry...
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 11:27 AM   #10
macmastersam
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how were you getting on with the MBP you had just before it died? you might as well get the same package if you lived fine with it before.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 11:31 AM   #11
jennyjimin
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Dear JakeT85,

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeT85 View Post
Wirelessly posted

If I were you, I would go with either the refurbished 15" pro, or try and catch the macbook air 13" with 256 gb storage on sale. I know here in the US they are on sale on amazon.com, bestbuy.com, macmall.com, and probably some other sites. If you could find one on sale it would only put you about 100 above budget and you'd have the best of both worlds. I just switched from the 13" pro to the 13" air and will never go back. This thing is snappy and portable, perfect for my needs. The other option with the air is to get the 13" 128 gb memory and use the leftover cash to get some external memory of some kind. You can't go wrong with any of these options in my opinion though, except maybe the 13" macbook pro, stock. It just seems expensive to me for yesterdays computer.......I had it first but then realized I would have to update to an ssd and decided why not get the air that already comes with that. Happy Shopping.
Thank you for the reply.

I like the MBA, too. I have bought my better half MBA (13" when it came out first, and now 11"), and it feels much faster than the spec (it leaves my MBP 13" in the dust for normal tasks despite the slower CPU). This is one of the reasons I could not decide between MBA and MBP.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 11:56 AM   #12
jennyjimin
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Dear yinz,

Quote:
Originally Posted by yinz View Post
I think that's definitely the inferior choice to Number 2. For $200 more, you get half the storage and USB3?

Honestly, I don't think USB3 matters that much to most people. USB2 is sufficiently quick. Most people don't have 3TB of files to move around...

I would go with either the 15" MacBook Pro or the 13" 2011 MacBook Air, depending on your portability vs performance needs. The thing is, it sounds like the OP wants to use it for desk work. With an external monitor, the MBA is the best choice. Without one, the 13.3" isn't bad as well. Also, the resolution of the MBA is the same as the 15" MBP, so you are getting the same real estate.

In conclusion, I'd get the MBA 2011 13". I would find an external monitor if the screen size really bothers you. Screen are cheap in HK and for the price difference, you could probably get at least a 21" screen + adaptor.

Why wouldn't I choose the 13" MBP? The 13" MBP with its HDD and internals is inferior to the MBA in all aspects. Sure it's upgradable, but for the price difference, why not just get the MBA?
Thank you for the reply.

First of all, I would like to reiterate that the difference between #2 and #3 is $200 HKD, which is approximately $26 USD. I do not consider the difference much.

With that said, USB 3.0 is just one of the differences. Starting from the CPU, there are quite a few changes.
CPU: SandyBridge (2011) vs. Ivy Bridge (2012)
RAM: 1333MHz (2011) vs. 1600MHz (2012)
GPU: HD3000 (2011) vs. HD4000 (2012)
Even the webcam is different. FaceTime (2011) vs. FaceTime HD (2012).

Regarding #2 and #3, I was wondering whether there is a noticeable difference in performances, especially in real life situations.

Regarding your comments that MBP 13" "internals is inferior" "in all aspects". I thought that except the HDD, MBP 13" has a better spec than MBA 13". Please let me know if I was mistaken.

----------

Dear macmastersam,

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmastersam View Post
how were you getting on with the MBP you had just before it died? you might as well get the same package if you lived fine with it before.
Thank you for the reply.

Good point - I guess I would not be unhappy with MBP 13". However, there are many things that could be better. MBA 13" not only is lighter and feels faster but also has a higher screen resolution.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 09:10 PM   #13
yinz
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In terms of real world application to the average word processing, face tubing, google yahooing consumer, the MBA is better.

In terms of the MBA vs MBA, you would hardly notice those spec differences in the real world application scenario except for the lacking hard drive space, so yes, for $200 more, I wouldn't get the 2012. They are specs for specs sake and contribute little if any difference to your real world use.

The only relevant difference is 2012 has more ram, so unless that were the case, the hard drive space is the next most significant hardware. Will you notice the usb3 or the HD FaceTime camera? Maybe? Will you notice you have half the space you could have had? Definitely.

Last edited by yinz; Dec 5, 2012 at 09:23 PM.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:15 AM   #14
TheZA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedwhatev View Post
Why not a Refurb 2012 MBA 13" 4/256? It would still be around your budget.
This or No.3.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 01:17 PM   #15
cedwhatev
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Since the 2012 Refurbs of the 13/256/4 aren't available yet in Hong Kong, then I would go with Option #3.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 02:18 AM   #16
jennyjimin
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Dear yinz,

Quote:
Originally Posted by yinz View Post
In terms of real world application to the average word processing, face tubing, google yahooing consumer, the MBA is better.

In terms of the MBA vs MBA, you would hardly notice those spec differences in the real world application scenario except for the lacking hard drive space, so yes, for $200 more, I wouldn't get the 2012. They are specs for specs sake and contribute little if any difference to your real world use.

The only relevant difference is 2012 has more ram, so unless that were the case, the hard drive space is the next most significant hardware. Will you notice the usb3 or the HD FaceTime camera? Maybe? Will you notice you have half the space you could have had? Definitely.
Thank you for the helpful comments.

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Dear TheZA,

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheZA View Post
This or No.3.
Thank you for the reply. So the 128GB storage space is sufficient for you? Would you be able to share what made you choose #3 over #2?

----------

Dear cedwhatev,

Quote:
Originally Posted by cedwhatev View Post
Since the 2012 Refurbs of the 13/256/4 aren't available yet in Hong Kong, then I would go with Option #3.
Thank you for the reply. Would you be able to share why you chose #3 over #2?
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