13" macbook pro or 13" macbook air?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ninaxk, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Ninaxk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    #1
    I'm currently in high school and will be attending college this fall as a marketing major, so i really doubt i'll need a cd drive. I'm getting a discount from a friend who works for Apple so price isn't the issue but it's more mobility. I have heard that because of the flash storage the Air starts up and runs programs faster, also it has less of a chance of being damaged when moved around and carried.

    Any suggestions?
    And should I wait until April/May just in case there is an update?
     
  2. jj48 macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Doesn't seem like it's a tough choice at all given your requirements. You don't need an optical drive, you want portability and as a marketing major I doubt you will be doing any kind of heavy graphics work.

    Get the air. I did and I couldn't be happier. Don't wait until a refresh, the potentially minor improvements will not make up for not having the device for all that time.
     
  3. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    You never know, you probably have to take b-school classes that might have some accompanying CD software with your textbook. That being said, you could always use a library/computer lab or get an external optical drive.

    I would lean toward the 13" MBA. They're blisteringly fast, incredibly portable, and will do everything you want it to. Your web browsing, email, Netflix, etc. isn't too much for the MBA. I'm a 13" MBP hater though, I freely admit that (I'm fine with the 15/17" versions).

    I would wait if you could. The Back-to-School deals start around May and run to September. They previously offered free or money off iPods/iPod touches and lately offered an iTunes gift card. If you don't need the computer now, might as well wait to get that free perk and maybe there'll be another revision (Ivy Bridge or otherwise) by then.
     
  4. jj48 macrumors regular

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    UK
    #4
    You might also want to check out whether the discount you can get through your college will be better than that through your friend (just another potential reason to add to the good ones above from malman89).
     
  5. Kungshi macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    #5
    Yeah if you can get your friends discount and a back to school promo then do it. Also the 100 dollar printer rebate will basically buy you a free printer.

    And I think you want the MBA but just want a little push in that direction. So consider this a little push. lol
     
  6. lolwut89 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #6
    I say get the air. During my time as an undergrad, my laptop killed my shoulder. It only weighs 5.4 pounds but when I'm walking across campus constantly it started to hurt a bit.

    I got my macbook air yesterday in preparation for heading off to graduate school. Very mobile laptop. I would get a MBA and then consider getting an external hard drive to store photos, and any other big files that can't fit on a 128GB SSD.
     
  7. jmpnop macrumors 6502a

    jmpnop

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    #7
    +1

    There won't be refresh anytime soon, go ahead and buy the MBA now!;)
     
  8. calviin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #8
    If you have another friend that has a Mac, you can use Disk Utility (I think?) but I know you can use Handbrake to rip a copy of a DVD and put it on a USB and then use it on your Air.
     
  9. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

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    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #9
    Or buy an external drive. Amazon basics or Samsung SE-S084D which will cost you $30 and on the very rare occasions you may need a drive, you can use that. I have a 13" MBA and since I bought it, it convinced me to sell my 2007 MBP 15" because I simply wasn't using it. My only concern was the drive, and I have to say I haven't missed it once
     
  10. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

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    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #10
    MBA 13". You can always buy an external disc drive :)
     
  11. ReneeReader macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    #11
    MBPs are kinda heavy

    Definitely get the Air, unless you need to process graphics-intensive, large documents. I got the Pro 13" 750 GB to use as a mobile machine, and at first I loved it. Then I had to carry it around all day. It hurt my arm (I could not use a backpack in a business situation). After that, every time I was about to go somewhere and thought I might need a computer, I subconsciously did not want to take it with me. So I realized it was not really light enough for me (as a 5'5" woman and not super athletic) to use the way I needed to, and I returned it for an Air. Even though it's only about 5 lbs, that gets tiring if you carry it on one arm like a textbook.

    I did like the 13" screen, though, and could see using that as a solo machine's screen size. If you're doing accounting spreadsheets you will want that size or at least a monitor at home.
     
  12. gunderscorewil macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #12
    Definitely go with the lighter choice. But, as a current business student, I can pretty much guarantee that you will need an optical drive at some point. That's IF you plan to do all of your school work on this machine. There will likely be courseware that you must load with a cd (although alot of it is now done on the Internet with user codes). Also, you will likely need Microsoft office because iWork and apps like numbers just are not going to cut it when you take classes like business stats and business analysis where you pretty much have to have excel. However, they should work fine for things like freshman English.

    But, that is where external drives come in. And your shoulder will thank you later on in life! :)
     
  13. RoarinRow macrumors regular

    RoarinRow

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    Nov 10, 2009
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #13
    I would get the MBP because it can store more data and has a CD drive. Even though you think you might need it, it's there when you do.

    Your backpack is going to be heavy regardless, I would sacrifice something else to leave behind. I would rather sacrifice having more room to store data than being light. I'll take a chance of it breaking from it being portable. Def get the Apple Care Warranty.

    I would only get a MBA if I already had some sort of desktop computer at home.

    If the MBP was going to be your only computer, then you should get one with a CD just in case. Carrying an optical drive attachment is just adding weight again. That's just me. :)
     
  14. DeepIn2U macrumors 68040

    DeepIn2U

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    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #14
    Before considering the Air - I bought one but had to swap out - you will HEAVILY need to consider how much data backups are on DVD/CD that you'll need to migrate over to a stable HDD array (more than 1 just in case) - or even to the cloud. You'll also need to consider how much data you're comfortable with on Box.net, DropBox, and other services (Me.com) to which you can readily retrieve data. For documents, pictures, music, and short movies (non DVD length) this works out for just about everybody when at home or in the city. However if you require larger files to which to edit and use heavily, possibly even creating large files, you'll need to consider:
    1- a data stick or your mobile smartphone as a wlan router for tethering (battery life)
    2 - how large are the files you'll be doing this with over the lifespan of your mac
    (PS: get a time capsule or similar setup to talk back to your OWN array of online accessible storage).

    The bonus is the 1440x900 resolution display on the MBA 13" antiglare vs the 1280x 760 on the 13" MBP - a GLARING oversight by Apple which MUST be fixed for the 13" bambino MBP.

    I never thought AntiGlare would matter but since using it for 4mths on the 13" MBA Ultimate that I purchased and eventually traded for a 2010 MBP 15" with Hi res display ... I'm NEVER going back!
     
  15. jj48 macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    This may be your experience but I know plenty of current business students that won't have ever needed an optical drive for work. In fact I think it would be irresponsible for any of our lecturers to assume students have access to an optical drive. I don't think we should give the OP any false ideas of what he/she may or may not need at college. None of us know for sure.

    As for your point about excel. Fine it probably is easier to get excel rather than have to deal with adjusting to numbers. But haven't you ever heard of a digital download? I have a MBA with microsoft office for mac 2011 on it. I certainly didn't use an optical drive to get it. Downloading it after purchase off the web is IMO a lot easier than messing around with physical discs.
     
  16. DeepIn2U macrumors 68040

    DeepIn2U

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    #16
    It's not about adjusting to Numbers by Apple. Its about all the Excel Add-ins that many Business departments rely on - Bloomberg has add-ins for Excel; would be nice if it works for Numbers as well though - maybe in time.

    it's ALSO cheaper not to download Office for Mac 2011 if purchased through App Store then to buy retail box with DVD, also less of a hassle than trying to bittorrent it, get the right working codes and get it working along with future support updates.
     
  17. jeremyshaw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #17
    I don't see much point in the Optical drive. If it's really a big deal for software installation, just get an external for that purpose. Then spend the rest of the time without an optical drive, higher resolution display, and slimmer build.

    At any rate, Apple seems to get their new products out rather soon after a new platform launch, so it should be reasonable to expect new devices then (gee-whiz... Intel really delayed it from the old "Dec 2011" timeline, lol).
     
  18. jj48 macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I can't really see a business department expecting students to each get a subscription to bloomberg professional, at however many thousands per year it costs. If needed they will have a select number of subscriptions themselves on university machines, negating the need for having it on your own computer. That's certainly how it works at my university.

    Well I picked up my digital copy for £38. Incidentally a quick check on the apple store website tells me the SAME package costs £189 from them. Doesn't sound cheaper to me.
     
  19. cvkai macrumors newbie

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    Nov 15, 2010
    #19
    Go for MBA 13" base.
    Good: Weight, resolution, SSD.
     
  20. DeepIn2U macrumors 68040

    DeepIn2U

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    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #20
    I meant the requirement for Excel vs Numbers, not Bloomberg, silly lol. I know the cost of bloomberg as I support it. I used Bloomberg as an example of an Excel plugin in a real-world environment. I was curious if Bloomberg could run on OSX though, just a thought.


    Um the Apple App Store (application interface for digital copies) has it for 189?
     
  21. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #21
    Honestly...I think if you carry an external HD and dvd player...it won't matter. Your trade screen estate from a MBA 13" to MBP 15" HR are on completely different levels. I've checked out the 15" HR and it looks great when compared to the MBA 13"...so I wouldn't go back either, but the dvd player isn't used everyday, so it can be taken out. Just wait for the MBA 15".
     
  22. rovitotv macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #22
    I had a MBA but.....

    I had a MBA 11" Ultimate 2010 but traded it for a 15" Mac Book Pro. My situation is different than yours since I do software development the SSD was limiting how many tools and virtual machines I could load. My only concern for you is I know some college kids that have extremely large multi-media collections. Sure you can use an external drive with the Air but it is a pain to carry around and soon you will be up to the wait of the MBP. You should carefully consider your hard disk requirements.
     
  23. DeepIn2U macrumors 68040

    DeepIn2U

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    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #23
    I'll have to agree when the MBA 15" with Hi-Res and quad-core x86-64 chips debut with dedicated gpu's debut. Since then I'll be fully digitized from anything platter wise.

    I'll STILL keep a few records! ;)
     

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