Torn- The age old question: MBA or MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Rai Saix, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #1
    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?)
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #3
    get a refurb iMac.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    Celina, TX
    #4
    If you must get a portable, the MBP sounds like the way to go.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #6
    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.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #7
    But the pro is so heavy!!!
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #10
    the words 'poor' and 'air' DO NOT go together. get the MBP.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    fr4c

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Location:
    Hamster wheel
    #11
    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.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    #13
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #14
    I've never used two USBs at once, nor do I have amy Firewire based products.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    #16
    Sorry, double post PD.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    #17
    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/
     
  18. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #18
    They'll let you exchange refurbs?
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    #23
    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!
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    #24
    Except for the lack of an optical drive! :)
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    #25
    He's going to buy one separately.
     

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