13 Inch MPB or 13 Inch Air??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Roy Hobbs, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #1
    My wife needs a new laptop and I am torn between the Air and the new MBP.
    She won't be doing anything other than the standard user sort of activities (mail, safari, iPhoto, iTunes, etc...).

    Can anyone help shed some light on which model would be ideal in terms of longevity and "future proof". She was burnt in the past and bought the 12 inch PB a couple months before the switch to intel.

    Both machines are very portable and can run anything she will need to run with ease.

    I think this is why I can't make up my mind when trying to place this order

    Thanks
     
  2. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #2
    I think weight vs. optical drive is a big factor.

    It also depends on your definition of "future proof". Do you mean that it will be able to handle what you throw at it for a long time? or that the price your pay for the performance you get allows you to save $$ in the long run?
     
  3. Roy Hobbs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #3
    I would like to to handle what I throw at it for a long time.
     
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #4
    Future proof -- not possible but the new MBP will be relevant longer w/ the i5. What I do w/ my 13"ers is yank out the HD and put an SSD in. (Keep the HD in case you need warranty service). It's not as "wow" as the air but it is more practical. You are paying for sex with the MBA.

    If weight is a big issue just take the optical drive out. Easy enough.
     
  5. TomCondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #5
    + THUNDERBOLT

    that name deserves to be capitalized. I think we will see lots more devices using it.
     
  6. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #6
    I think it will be the MacBook Pro.

    It has the i5 Dual Core chips, so a faster CPU, double the RAM, bigger HD, and for $100 less (entry level on both 13").
     
  7. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #7
    The base MBP also has:

    -slower GPU
    -no SSD
    -1.6 pounds extra weight

    For a more equal comparison:

    13" MBP + 128GB SSD = $1,449
    13" MBA + 4GB Ram = $1,399

    Performance wise, the MBP has faster CPU/slower GPU so it's a wash. Basically, you will be paying $50 and 1.6 pounds more weight just for an optical disc drive.
     
  8. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #8
    The faster CPU is more important than the GPU for day to day stuff, unless gaming is the primary reason for the machine. And 128GB for a HD is a joke these days, unless an external drive is already in use or planned.
     
  9. Ballis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #9
    id go with the air. better graphics and higher resolution in a much nicer package. neither will be high performance systems, but for a 13 incher, i think the air is ALOT more desirable.
     
  10. azentropy macrumors 68000

    azentropy

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Surprise
    #10
    It isn't even close to a wash. The new 13" MBP will be almost twice as fast in the tasks the OP asked about. I'm just shocked at how many people don't have a clue to what a significant CPU upgrade this is.

    The MBA does have a higher resolution screen, slightly better graphics (still be be determined by how much), smaller size, SSD but it comes with and can only support HALF the RAM, has no optical or second drive bay, doesn't have a backlit keyboard, doesn't have firewire, doesn't have thunderbolt, doesn't have a SDXC slot, doesn't have a security slot, doesn't have ethernet and so on...
     
  11. Ballis macrumors 6502a

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    Oslo, Norway
    #11
    well for her needs (safari, mail, iphoto etc) id still go with the air, mostly for the increased resolution, but also form factor.
     
  12. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #12
    +1

    And for more $$

    The only thing I will agree with you on is the resolution, but since she is upgrading from the 12" PB (1024x768), it will still be an upgrade. The extra pixels will not outweigh all the other benefits.
     
  13. DonBeNit0 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    Paris
    #13
    I have the same Dilemma, but it's not for my wife : )

    I was wondering about the same thing.

    Here's what I do with my computer, like every day

    Heavy browsing ( like, lots of tabs opened at the same time ) twitter ( twitter official app ) , Reeder (rss reader) app, a little bit of itunes and a lot of Keynote (doing presentation is a huge part of my work) I also use Prezi quiet often.

    I also need to use photoshop / illustrator and indesign, not to do heavy stuff anymore, but I do use it pretty often.

    I used to have an all aluminium MacbookPro 15' 2.4 core2duo, from late 2008, the one with the full multitouch trackpad. Unfortunately, he's a bit dead now, I need to repair it (keyboard and trackpad not responding, battery is dead too) and I'm planning to sell it for cheap.

    I have a 24 iMac at home, I mostly use it for Keynote, light movie editing on final cut, and a lot of iTunes.

    I was really tempted to buy the high end 13 MBA, but I wanted to wait for the MBP update. I used to have a 2010 13 entry level MBP from work, and it was fine for what I was doing ( basically, all the stuff quoted above ) and I thought 13' was just what I needed now that I have a 24 iMac. I carry my computer a lot, and I didn't suspect such a huge difference from a 15 to a 13. 13 is fine for me.

    Now I'm wondering if the high end MBA will be enought for what I do with it, or if I should go with the high end 13', which is about the same price, and seems to be much more powerful.

    Note that I don't care about the optical drive, I don't need one.

    What do you think ? Could you give me some wise and thoughtful advice : )
    Thanks
     
  14. aberrero macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #14
    Lion was every obviously developed on/for the Macbook Air. That's not to say that it won't work just as well on the Pro, but it does mean that Apple is committed to supporting the Air hardware, despite it being relatively slow.

    The MBP is undeniably more powerful, but I could never go back to using a heavy laptop. The Air also has a number of advantages in terms of screen resolution, SSD and graphics. The contrast/colors on the MBP display are noticeably better though.

    That being said, if it is possible, just wait and buy a refreshed MBA with Lion preinstalled in the summer. The next gen will use Core i5 processors that will be significantly faster than the current Core2Duos.
     
  15. aberrero macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #15
    The MBP will be massively faster at running photoshop, there is just no getting around that.

    Of course, the MBP also has the small screen resolution, which means I would never buy it to do photoshop work.

    Basically, you should be comparing the MBP 15" to the MBA 13", and decide which one you want based on price and size.

    The MBP15 has a quad core processor that is another big jump from what the MBP13 has. So if you want something that is more than twice as fast as your old MBP, get the 15. If you don't mind something that is about 20% slower, get the MBA.
     
  16. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    Chicagoland
    #16
    Can you go to a lower res machine after having the 15" MBP?


    Where are you getting that info?

    I am not sure being in the continued state of waiting is always a good idea :)
     
  17. AngryCorgi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #17
    MBP 13" vs MBA 13"??

    Easy, if you ask me.

    1440x900 > 1280x800
    320m > HD3000
    $1400 < $1450
    2.9lb < 4.5lb

    In the MBP's corner or some unique bits:

    SuperDrive
    Thunderbolt
    Backlit Keyboard

    ...in the end, weight is critical to me (and comfort)...I just bought an 11.6" MBA (1.6/4/128) and love it WAY more than my wife huge-n-hefty MBP-13" (2.4/4/320...last gen)...The only thing I'll miss is the SD card slot...but even that is not a biggie...

    ...also, I rarely need an optical drive or the backlit keyboard and give me a call when you find something that works with the thunderbolt, let alone feel the need for 10Gbps speed...I do fine with 480Mbps...

    Ultimately, its the ridiculous weight of the MBP 13" that turns me off the most. Something that small shouldn't weigh that much, IMO.
     
  18. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #18
    If future proofing is your concern, the Pro is the better deal. The Core i5 processor in the Pro was just released last month. The Core 2 Duo powering the Air was discontinued in December. The Core i5 is about twice as fast at the same clock speed as the Core 2 Duo.

    For everyday tasks like what you are referring to, the Pro with an optional SSD will be significantly faster than the Air. Plus, you have the Thunderbolt port and Firewire port for added expandability. True, the Air has a nicer graphics processor and a higher resolution display, but those are primarily important for gaming. Think of the Air as a Mazda Miata and the Pro as a Mazda6. The Miata might have a nicer suspension system and is better in the twisties, but the Mazda6 has more power and is more practical.

    I would suggest getting an SSD for the 13". It would give you much of the benefit of the Air (more durability and faster boot and application load times). You can get a 128GB model for an extra $250 from Apple, but a better choice may be to purchase a third-party product from a reputable reseller (Crucial, Newegg and Other World Computing, among others, sell very good SSDs that will work with the MacBook Pro). For $200-$250, you can get good SSD and save the stock drive for backup purposes.

    Note that I have a Rev D Air (13" 2.13GHz). It's great, but it's definitely a luxury item.
     
  19. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #19
    I am curious why folks are using the high end MBP as an example, when the specs on the entry level are more than enough to compete with the MBA for $300 less. (to get the same RAM and add an external drive).
     
  20. AngryCorgi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #20
    People are upgrading the HD for obvious reasons (see Anandtech.com):
    [​IMG]

    While the MBA is performing the CS5 test, you are still waiting for your precious MBP to load the freaking app.
     
  21. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #21
    I sold the latest 13" MBA 1.86/4GB/128GB and am serisouly considering the new 13" MBP. My reasons are these:

    1:All though nice and nippy the fans on the Air ramped up pretty loud doing intensive stuff

    2:I missed the backlit keyboard much more than I thought I would

    3:The display, I'm sorry but the quality of display on the 13" MBP is much better than the 13" MBA (even if it is a little higher res)

    4:I feel the trade off for Sandy Bridge i5 using intel graphics is worth it, the 320M in the air never felt anything special (throttled almost).

    5:Touchpad on the MBA is way less responisve than the 13MBP.

    This makes it sound like I am dissing the MBA, I am not and no doubt it has the wow factor.
     
  22. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #22
    my honest opinion for you is to ask your wife. :)
    ask her if she will use/need the optical drive. that'll give you a clearer answer.
     
  23. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #23
    as both machines will do what she needs...ask her this!

    -does she need optical drive?...if yes then she will need the mbp

    -if she doesn't need optical drive and carries her laptops around,then the mba would be right choice for her

    now that was easy ;-)
     
  24. AngryCorgi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #24
    The architecture difference between the core-2 and core-i is NOT as significant as you are claiming. Apple claims "up to a 2x improvement" (they stole that stupid line from intel's website) and then keynotes it...go read the keynote.

    They are pitting a 2.6ghz core2 against a 2.7ghz i5 and seeing a 70% increase (not 100%) in performance in aperture (both with base HDs). What they don't tell you is that the 2.7ghz cpu is running at 3.2ghz plugged into the wall (a 19% overclock). Unplug it (and run a laptop on its battery??...what a concept) and the improvement is closer to 40%.

    It's faster, but it's not a "2x" factor...at least not for photo-editing.
     
  25. aberrero macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #25
    Every video demonstration of Lion and the Mac App store have been done on the 13" air. Even the Lion preview announced today was shown with a MBA and not a MBP.

    Steve Jobs himself said "this is the future of laptops".
     

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