13" MBA vs 13" MBP for college

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DanggxAmanda, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. DanggxAmanda, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011

    DanggxAmanda macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2010
    I've really been stuck on which one to buy and have been waiting for the B2S promo. I don't really care that it's a $100 gift card because I have an iP4 and don't need an ipod.

    Anyways, I'm going to university and plan on going into pre-pharmacy and pharmacy school later on. Price doesn't matter to me. My dad wants me to get the MBP because of the optical drive but I don't know if I will be needing it. Also, if I go for the MBA i'll be waiting for the "ultimate" one to come out with the sandy bridge processors. But the thing is I think the storage on the MBA is kind of small and I don't like how it doesn't have a backlit keyboard. I'm kind of leaning towards the MBP... Any suggestions?

    Also, is applecare worth it? I won't buy it until my one year warranty is almost over.

    Note: this will also be my first mac.
  2. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I would prefer the MBA any day over the MBP - but the thing that will get you in the end is storage. If you have a lot of files then you are going to get in a pinch. I wanted an MBA but had to get the MBP because I had over 500gb in files. Still pretty bummed out!

    Low storage - get the MBA
    High - get an MBP
  3. crush500 macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2011
    I, too, liked the MBA but the small storage capacity made me choose the MBP over the MBA. I'd say the MBP would last longer than the MBA for the simple reason that you can upgrade the RAM and HDD on the MBP. You're stuck with the MBA the way it is. The ability to upgrade in the future will be priceless if you plan on using this laptop for a while.

    AppleCare is certainly worth it. Things break and fail. It's inevitable. I've read numerous testimonies of people who have saved thousands with AppleCare. You never know what could go wrong. With AppleCare you are covered.

    If you're leaning towards the MPB I'd go with the MBP. I can sympathize with you on the lack of storage space on the MBA. I'm used to large HDD and I just have way too much data to use a MBA. If you're worried about storage space go with the MBP.
  4. revelated macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
  5. DanggxAmanda thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2010
    Thanks guys! Yeah I think i'm going for the MBP, i've had my eyes on it for awhile.

    I was thinking about upgrading it to an SSD but is it really worth it? Also, how is gaming with a SSD?
  6. DanggxAmanda thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2010
    I don't know... Fork out another $250 for applecare?
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
  8. Chiuy macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2011
    NorCal, Bay Area
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148a Safari/6533.18.5)

    SSD has nothing to do with gaming performance except loading time. The Frames per second is the same with or without SSD.

    It all depends on your processor and graphic card.
  9. DanggxAmanda thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2010
    I heard the Intel HD 3000 isn't the best haha.
  10. th3goob macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2011
    i would say go with the mbp because the storage on the mba is way to low, you will have that filled up in no time while in college. and as for the applecare i would say buy it cause anything can go wrong
  11. MacsOnAnabolics macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2009
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    I think the MBA should suit you well for your needs. You can always buy the external optical drive (I think ~$79.95). Also invest in an external hard drive for backups and to store your movies, media, etc.

    If I were you I might just wait a little while until the refresh MBA hits the shelves. As far as the rumors are concerned, this isn't too far away.

    The backlit keyboard is nice. But the MBA is ultraportable and speaking from experience, if you are carrying your books with your computer it pays dividends having a lighter load.

    Apple Care is definitely worth it. It helps when you want to resell your comp when upgrading to a newer model so that the price doesn't depreciate too much. I think you have the right idea of waiting until the initial 1-year warranty has almost expired to obtain Apple Care.

    Good luck with your purchase! And enjoy your new Mac. :)
  12. revelated macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    Gaming won't be improved with a SSD. But everything else will. There is no single better performance booster than a SSD.

    If you're a packrat with your files then ignore that recommendation and go with a 7200RPM drive.
  13. duggram macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2008
    When my MBA was stolen about 4 weeks ago I got an i7 13" MBP the next day, put in an Intel 160 SSD and put the OEM 500GB HDD in an enclosure. Now I have the hottest laptop computer I've ever owned. And, I travel for a living so the integral optical drive is way more convenient on a seat back tray table which I use a lot.

    The MBA is an amazingly cool laptop. It just doesn't compare to the performance of the MBP for my needs.
  14. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    both mbp and mba are great. i've got the mbp, but if the refreshed mba would have been available (assuming it looks like what i think it will), then i would have tried it instead.

    storage matters if you intend to carry around everything and use it all at once. i have thousands of pdfs that i search each day, so i need the space (i am working on winnowing it down so i can use an mba and/or ssd someday).

    if you don't need everything with you, though, just put it into an external hdd and enjoy the mba.
  15. APPLENEWBIE macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    The high desert, USA
    Just today, I have made a decision on a similar question. I have a rev 1 MBA, 80 gb HDD. I wanted something more powerful. Looked at the current MBA's which are miles better than mine, but still using old processors, and possibly being updated soon. After tossing it back and forth in my head, I ordered a refurb MBP, 13", i5, 128 gb SSD for $1,229. Looks like good bang for the buck. I did not want to lose the lighted keyboard, wanted something a bit future proof. The weight differential is significant, but I decided it was worth it. Here's hoping I made a good choice.
  16. SXR macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2007
    I would say , if you go 13 inch , go MacBook Pro. The 11 inch Air is amazing , as well.
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    If portability (and weight) are issues, nothing can beat the MBA. As I travel a lot, weight is an issue, and I find the MBA (SSD) absolutely superb. Granted, lack of storage may be an issue, but it is a trade-off; ask yourself what your real needs are here and choose accordingly - do you really need the extra storage or is weight an issue? If yes to the former, get the MBP - it's a great computer (I had a 15" MBP and found myself using the MBA more), if the latter is a consideration, I suggest you get the MBA.

    Re Applecare, my advice is yes, get it; I always buy it, - especially for computers - and must say I have found it invaluable, for it has more than repaid the cost of the initial outlay. However, you don't need to get it until just before the one-year standard warranty is due to expire.

  18. CFoss macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    I would wait a month or so, as there are several rumours of the MBA receiving a refresh very soon.
  19. Darien Red Sox macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    CT, USA
    Applecare is great, so far on one of our laptops it has payed for a hard drive, optical drive, and 2 track pads. On the iMac it has payed for a new mighty mouse, on the second MBP it has not been used yet.
  20. SXR macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2007
    I would say AppleCare is worthwhile as well, but I simply can't justify the price it puts on top of my MacBook Pro or iMac
  21. Romeldo macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2011
    I had a 13" mbp for my first two years of college and it was great. I bought applecare yet I didn't have a single problem with mine for 2 years.
  22. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    For me, it's all about the screen resolution on the MBA 13".
  23. hockey89 macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2011
    you can buy applecare for a laptop that you purchased nearly a year ago?
    seems too good to be true...
  24. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2008
    Ditto! Never knew what I was missing on my 13" MBP.

    I occasionally miss my backlit keyboard, but the incredibly thin, light, snappy Air is still much preferred over the MBP for me. I don't need the extra processing power of the pro, and I REALLY don't need the optical drive. For me as a dental student, the Air is the best choice for sure.
  25. DanggxAmanda thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2010
    Update guys: I think I'll wait until July when the rumored air comes out. If it has the backlit keyboard and sandy bridge processors it's pretty much sold for me. Ive realized that the portability and screen resolution does matter to me. I don't do anything graphically intensive at all so I don't need the power. As for the optical drive, if I really need it, I'll just buy the air SuperDrive.

    Or I can wait till next year for the MBP redesign because I dont need a computer right now I just want it.

    Many options :/

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