13" MBP Now or wait for next MBA?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sammyman, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    I am on the fence. I love the new macbooks. However, the more streaming is becoming easy, and storage is going online (dropbox), the less I feel I need a macbook pro, and am now feeling a macbook air would be a lot nicer.

    On the current revision, I hate that there is no back lit keyboards. Other than that, I could live with the storage size and really don't like using CD's anymore. So I think the mba is best for me.

    I would do some seldom photoshop work. I would hope that the next mba could handle a little logic so I could record music on the go. Other than that, most of my stuff is not too graphic intensive.

    Should I wait out the next mba revision and hope they introduce backlit keyboards? Also, how will the sandy bridge processors for the macbook air compare with the processors of the current 13" mbp? Are the chances good they will include thunderbolt on the mba as well?

    Any thoughts?
  2. mehanika Guest

    Mar 7, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Hi Sammyman,

    I feel your confusion.
    In general, cloud-computing is taking over, and the need to have private storage on a laptop shrinks.

    There are probably some things you need to take into consideration.

    - Can you live without the extra power that the MBPs have? I'm sure that the next MBA upgrade will bring Sandy Bridge, but due to the size of the machine, and battery - i dont see them upgrading with something wild.

    - Screen-resolution? Backlit Keyboard? What key-features matters?

    - Pricetag. I'm unaware of what MBA you have been looking at. But price-wise, you have more options.

    I'm not that big a fan of the MBA, due to the slow processor, which i personally don't think will hit the MBPs any time soon.
    Besides - buying the cheapest MBP, and upgrade the hard drive to just a 80Gb SSD, will give you even better battery, faster computer (more MBA-alike) and so forth..
  3. BlueJay macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    My wife is a graphics designer, has a six months old 15" MacBook Pro, and recently enrolled in graduate school. Her MacBook Pro seemed too heavy to lug everywhere with all her text books. She liked the size and weight of my iPad, but didn't like taking notes on the virtual keyboard. She tried the 11" MBA and flipped at its size and functionality.

    She never uses the MBP anymore, even for PhotoShop. The MBA processor spec seems light for graphics work, but in practice is seldom an issue. For most tasks, the perception is that it is faster than my new 17" MBP. That would have to be because of the SSD, of course.

    As for futures, I think it's a safe bet that there will be a low-power version of Sandy Bridge (not as powerful as the new MBPs, but probably equivalent to a 2.5 GHz Core2Duo), but I'm dubious about the 'bolt for now. Have you seen the size of the chip? And it has to supply up to 10 watts of power to devices on the chain. I think you are more likely to see 3G built in, which, from my iPad experience, would be very cool.

    And, by the way, my wife was bummed about the lack of keyboard backlight until she found that the screen backlight illuminated the keyboard quite well, even at half intensity.
  4. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    You think that the super portable sandy bridge will only be equivalent to the 2.5 CD2? I was hoping that they would be much faster. The new mbp's doubled performance. I was hoping that it would be similar, but obviously not quite as amazing as the mbp's.

    That is good to hear about the backlight. 3G would be cool, but I would hate to pay another monthly bill. Would be super convenient though :) Especially if I got an iPad 3g as well (side question - could I just pay 1 fee to AT&T, or would I need to buy 2 subscriptions?)

    You would think they would figure out how to include the bolt since they are using the same sized port. Didn't know that about the size of the chip though :(
  5. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Go 13" Pro. The notion that you can be minimalist, while being a novel idea is only that. I'm not a fan of the Intel HD 3000, but if you're not a gamer, it shouldn't matter. Otherwise, a Sandy Bridge MacBook Air would only have standardized SSD (which you could just as easily configure the 13" Pro to also have) as its upside over a 13" Pro. The notion of being minimalist also goes out the window when one argues that the MacBook Air is a sacrifice of just about every feature save for thinness and weight, and really, as far as laptops go, the 13" Pro is plenty portable.
  6. steeex macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2010
    I would agree with you, if only the 13" MBP had a decent resolution. But it really hasn't...I was so disappointed I replaced my with a 15" 6 months after I bought it...
  7. RadioGru macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2010
    Was in the same situation as you but after speaking to an Apple Sales person in store I went with the 13" MacBook Pro :D

    I was leaning towards an 11" MacBook Air for portability - I do a lot of Coach, Plane and Train travel, so space/size is an issue.

    However, the updated 13" is a hugely superior machine and some $200 cheaper than the MacBook Air I was looking at!

    Disk space was also an issue for me - I have an 84GB iTunes Library! Yes I could put it on an external drive but then that's another thing to carry!

    I advise anyone whose unsure to visit an Apple Store and talk to an expert. they'll work out your needs and match the machine to you. :D

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