13" MBP or 13" MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AuroraProject, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. AuroraProject, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011

    AuroraProject macrumors 65816

    AuroraProject

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    #1
    I'm in the market for a laptop that I can toss in a backpack and carry with me. Primary purpose would be web surfing, email, and a portable photography studio running Aperture, iPhoto, and maybe CS5. I want to be able to get the photos off my camera, do some light editing, and upload them from anywhere. I work with raw files from the camera.
    I'm looking at the 13" MBP with the 2.7 core i7, then adding 8gb ram and a 256 ssd myself. Total ~$2050
    Or the 13" MBA maxed out direct from Apple, 2.13, 4gb ram, 256 ssd. Total ~$1965 (or refurbed for ~$1650)
    The MBA obviously has the size/weight advantage, and a higher screen resolution. But is the horsepower of the MBP that much more? I really love the illuminated keyboard of my current MBP, so that feature alone has me leaning towards the MBP.
    So with $2000 as the budget, what would you get and why?

    Thanks
     
  2. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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  3. gonnabuyamacbsh macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Why do you need the i7? The difference in performance is minuscule. Just get the base with your ram and ssd.

    I wouldn't advise to get the mba because every other non mba laptop will feel like a bloated mess from that point on. It seriously spoils you.
     
  4. Whitelightning macrumors regular

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  5. Locodice macrumors regular

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    #5
    MBP - More future proof, plus you can add components to it afaik mba is all soldered down.
     
  6. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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    #6
    While he future proofing argument is valid - but if Apple releases Lion this summer, and it sticks around until mid 2013 - by that point we should be much further into the cloud. Unless you are playing with HD video or huge files Photoshop - it might not suit your needs. I wouldn't worry about 'needing a hub' to run iPhoto - it's included.

    With all that being said - I'd still personally choose the MBP.
     
  7. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

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  8. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #8
    Go with the base MBP. Faster, more expandable, and an ultimately more capable machine.
     
  9. Bigmacduck macrumors regular

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  10. Pballer110 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Id get the MBP with 8gb and an SSD photo editing will be much smoother.
     
  11. AuroraProject thread starter macrumors 65816

    AuroraProject

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    Yeah I think this is the route I'm going to take. Now I'm trying to decide if the i7 is worth the extra cash over the i5.
     
  12. nowstime macrumors regular

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    #12
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    I had the MBA 13 ultimate and now my wife has the MBP 13 base. I sold the MBA due to it's excessive fan noise. While the apps load faster and it's light as heck, the CPU is too outdated. i5 in the new MBP is much more capable than the C2D. Plus it's more expandable.
    When the MBA gets updated to SB i5, that's when it's time to buy MBA, not now.
     
  13. SerrQ macrumors member

    SerrQ

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  14. tim100 macrumors 65816

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  15. skidmarc macrumors member

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    #15
    Memory - yes; blade drive - no.

    MBP = faster CPU, more upgradable RAM, can upgrade to SSD (MBA has it), can run dual SSDs/HDDs <= $2000
     
  16. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Nah, if you're going to spend cash on the i7, you might as well get the low-end 15" and get the two extra cores.

    The base 13" MBP is already better than last generation's i7, and even though it is a two core machine, hyperthreading means it performs like a quad core. Yeah!
     
  17. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #17
    +1! The OP should read the overwhelmingly positive feedback from MBA owners on the MBA Forum. I have owned Mac laptops for eight years and my MBA, which I have had for four months, is the best Mac laptop I have owned, by far. Try it, you'll like it.
     
  18. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    #18
    You know, I was thinking this too. But after the new 2011 generation, and the way that Apple has embraced these high performing Sandy Bridge CPUs I'm not sure. I think the fact that they're pushing the clocks so high in the 13, and have added the quads in the 15 would indicate a different future for the MBP.
     
  19. gordonhooker macrumors newbie

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    #19
    I have both, I have the MBP tricked up with more memory and disk space for work and that is where it stays unless I am on an extended road trip. The MBA I had tricked up to 4G memory and 256GB drive and that is the machine that I have as a personal laptop, it is my on the road media centre. I have my photography centre running through Aperture, and I have a full karaoke centre running via kJams and using Garageband as a mixer. The best of both worlds as the MBA is just so light to carry and it pretty powerful for its size. IMHO...:p
     
  20. OatmealRocks macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    OP,

    I would go with MBP 13 + SSD + RAM (optional). This is the route I took. I'm not going to lie though the MBA is slick! However Lion is around the corner which requires C2D at the bare min. If you do any photo editing MBA is not going to cut it (my personal opinion). Also the display is not as bright as NBP 13 from review. Kinda like the issue when the first MBP came out and the comparison they had with screen brightness. GL
     
  21. AuroraProject thread starter macrumors 65816

    AuroraProject

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    When did Apple release the specs for Lion?
     
  22. mac jones, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  23. un.titled macrumors regular

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    #23
    I don't think you can go wrong either way. It all depends on your situation.
     
  24. FX4568 macrumors 6502

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    #24
    MBA:
    1440 x 900
    256 SSD
    Core2duo. 2.13Gs
    4GB
    slim and beautiful
    $1799

    MBP
    1220 x 880
    256 SSD
    SB i5
    4GB
    beautiful, but weighs more.
    $1849

    pick.
     
  25. akhbhaat macrumors regular

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    Sep 30, 2010
    #25
    Actually, no. While the MBA does have a higher resolution (obviously), it has an inferior color space, brighter black levels and weaker contrast ratios. If you're doing any sort of photo editing or graphic design, these things matter.
     

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