New 13" Air vs. 13" Pro - Which one to get?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by shrihari, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #1
    Hello everybody,

    I'm planning to get a new laptop this week and I'm circled down to the new 13" Air and 13" Pro.

    A little background: I own a Windows desktop. Once I buy this new laptop, it will probably become my primary machine. I'm into Web designing and (web & desktop) development. But, its just web design most of the time. I don't do heavy Photoshop work. So, typically I work with a Google Chrome, Text Editor and a Terminal most of the time.

    I'm confused between these two machines because:
    1. Pro was updated in February. So it'll probably be upgraded for Lion in a couple of months.
    2. Air has 1.7 GHz. I'm not sure if that would be a big drawback for me considering my activities and Air has an SSD (which boosts performance I hear)
    3. The new Air's Geekbench scores are on par with the Pro. (13" both).

    And yeah, I'll be taking the machine to college. So, a fair amount of Travel involved.

    Thanks,
    Shrihari
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    Actually if you consider the MBA 13" Ultimate and MBP 13" with the same specs the macbook pro is actually $50 more factoring in the education discount for both. You aren't really getting more because you have same

    Intel HD3000
    4GB RAM
    256GB SS
    Battery Life

    Then

    MBA has higher screen resolution
    MBA Weighs 33% less than the MBP
    MBA Bluetooth 4.0 vs. MBP 2.1
    MBA 33% Thinner than the MBP
    MBA has 1mb more cache but MBP I5 processor clocks 500mhz faster.
    MBP has optical drive

    Overall I think for the convenience of the that the MBA provides compared to the MBP 13" I can't justify the 500mhz faster clock speed at the cost of $50 more, extra weight, and lower resolution. I frankly think the MBP 13" has become obsolete since you cannot even get a dedicated video card on it. MBA will probably kill off the 13" MBP unless apple finds some way to reinvent and add features that will entice buyers to get it instead of the 13" macbook air. After all apple did say Macbook Air is the next generation and the future of MacBooks. If you don't plan to do anything on a professional level often like video encoding, rendering, editing and such you will be just fine with the MBA

    On a side note, the new i7MBA has turboboost up to 2.9ghz and also can hyper thread which will give it 30% performance boost when needed.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #3
    ... upgraded for Lion? i wouldn't wait for a MBP update, if that's you mean. (if you buy a MBP, i think you get Lion for free.)

    both machines will handle web design just fine. the air has better resolution which will make working with many windows MUCH better, and the light weight will make travelling MUCH more pleasant.

    Air.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    #4
    dont hold your breath for a MBP lion update in terms of hardware. The next hardware update to the MBPs will be 1Q next year.

    I think the MBA is the one for you.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #5
    @Obscurelight, Thanks for the reply :) I'm from India and am getting the laptop from USA. So, that annuls education discount form me :-/ And I'm looking at the base models of both. So, that is the Air with 128GB, 1.7Ghz vs. Pro with 320GB. As you mentioned, there's a whole list of Air advantages.. Optical drive - I don't remember the last time I used mine..

    @nebulos, Yeah, I meant the MBP update.. So, I guess Air beats out the current MBP..
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #6
    Personally I'd go try them both and see which you prefer.

    For what it's worth, I've been using a 24" iMac the last four years. When the new MBP came out a few months back I went to the Apple Store to look at one thinking I'd pick up a 13" and hook it up to an external monitor.

    Then I saw the Air.

    The form factor is gorgeous, the SSD as standard is fantastic, the only "problem" was that it was "only" a C2D so not really any great leap over my iMac.

    I decided to wait until they released the anticipated updated Air's and Lion. and yesterday I went to the Apple Store and picked up a new 13" i5 Air.

    I'm sitting typing this in the garden, in the sunshine. It's fabulous.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #7
    The 13" MBP still running 1280x800 kills it for me. That and the fact you are getting an SSD in the 13" I kind of see the 13" MBP as a dead product. I'd only get it if you really, really need the optical drive.

    They should just make the 13" MBP the new 'MacBook' as there's nothing particularly pro about it at all. Using that resolution still in 2011 it should really be cheaper than what it is. Save the 15" and 17" for the pro line, at least until the 13" machines have the option of quad cores.
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #8
    I have to agree. Unless you need hdd space and are buying bottom of the line the air is a much better buy.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Velin

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Hearst Castle
    #9
    Web design and a lot of travel? No question, Air. Get a maxed-out 13" Air, you will never look back, truly is one of the best laptops on the market, period. You will have it with you everywhere you go, and will be happy you bought it.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    #10
    well, you're on the macbook air section... you're gonna get macbook air.

    It's like asking people on a bmw forum, BMW or Mercedes??

    Mac air can do everything mac book pro can at roughly the same speed. Just buy an air, if you don't like it, buy a Pro.

    It's not a hard decision. you get 14 days.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #11
    Actually, I'm from India. And i'm getting it from the USA. So, return is not really an option :-/ And I chose the Air section of the forums just arbitrarily :)
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    Your girlfriends place
    #12
    Unless you really need an optical drive, get the air.
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #13
    Ok. Better question. What's your budget?
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    #14
    why the hell are u buying it here?? buy it when you get home??
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    because its cheaper here in the US lol :p I found out the hard way that majority of things are cheaper in the USA compared to other countries even when it comes to imported brands.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #16
    Budget is say $1300. So, its really between the $1199 Pro and $1299 Air.

    Ya, its cheaper in the USA. About $400 less.
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    #17
    Performance wise, as far as everyday taska are concerned, both the Air and the Pro are similar. If you do tons of video encoding then the Pro is better.
    Air, has a larger resolution screen than the 13" Pro, which was a major sticking point for be when deliberating whcih one to choose. I went with the Air at the end.
    I would also like to mention that the Air needs more delicate handling than the Pro, as far as I am concerned
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #18
    Do you want 1440x900 resolution or below industry-standard 1280x800 resolution?
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    Just get the air. I'm 100% sure the 1299 base 13" will beat the 1199 base MBP
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    #20
    I was wondering the same thing. I had a 21.5'' iMac and figured switching to MBP as my main machine would be a no brainer. New MBA 13'' blew me away though :D
     
  21. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #21
    Objections to using an external hard drive for media or external DVD drive? How much drive space do you presently use?
     
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #22
    My current desktop has a 250GB HDD. And I have a 2TB external drive and an 160GB portable one. And, i use the optical drive very rarely !!
     
  23. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #23
    How important is screen resolution
     
  24. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #24
    The higher the better, right? Air has higher resolution than Pro, right?
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #25
    Correct that it is higher. Better is relative.

    You really have todecide if dragging around an external drive negates the advantage. Or I'd you are willing to revisit your workflow.

    You could get the mbp and put an optibay in it.
     

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