13" MBP or 13" MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thda13, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. thda13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #1
    ok so ive been reading the forums lately and it made me not so sure anymore about getting the 13" MBP. Im a IB student, i usualy use computer for downloading, movies, work and casual gaming (little bit).

    is it better to go air or pro? :D
     
  2. duggram macrumors 6502

    duggram

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    #2
    I got my 13" MBA last Nov. I travel for work each week and my laptop is on constantly. It was stolen about 3 months ago. The next day I got a new 13" MBP. I won't go back. The Pro is faster, has more RAM and an optical drive. Personally I don't see any difference in portability either.

    Good luck in school. Wish I was going again.
     
  3. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #3
    The only difference between them is the MBP has a superdrive and its thicker and heavier. The MBA is smaller, lighter but has no superdrive but it does have an SSD included which boosts performance. Also, you can not upgrade the RAM on the MBA at all. Ever.

    Both units can have their hard drives upgraded but the MBA doesn't use a standard laptop hard drive. It uses a special mini SSD that tends to be pretty pricey.

    Honestly, you can't really make a bad decision here. Just get the one you think you'll like more and if you need more performance, sell it and upgrade a bit.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Less user replaceable components, less ports vs. larger laptop with an optical drive.

    Personally, at this point I'd go with the MBA if you can live within the constraints of the smaller SSD
     
  5. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #5
    I'm sorry for your loss. Its worth noting that the 2011 models that the op was referring to have the same speeds as a 2011 MBP 13". There were some pretty substantial upgrades with the latest releases. They also come with the same amount of ram, although you can not upgrade the ram on a MBA.
     
  6. duggram macrumors 6502

    duggram

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    #6
    The information here is just a little misleading. You cannot upgrade the SSD or RAM on an MBA. They are soldered to the board.

    On my 13" MBP I took my 500GB HHD out, put it in an inclosure and replaced with 160GB Intel SSD. Then I got the Corsair $54 8GB RAM upgrade from Amazon. You cannot make these upgrades with an MBA. BTW the difference between 4 and 8GB of RAM with Lion is quite remarkable.

    With the 13" MBP you get a 2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor with 4MB shared L3 cache.
    With the 13" MBA you get a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor with 4MB shared L3 cache.

    Please don't misunderstand me. I really liked the MBA. But it's hard to be the 13" MBP for performance.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    Like your post ;)

    The SSD is not soldered on the MBA. Just visit ifixit for proof
     
  8. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #8
    You void your warranty.

    Point is, it's not meant to be user serviceable like the HDD and RAM of the MBP.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    yes, but that's completely different then stating that its soldered onto the logic board and you cannot do it.

    Whether you decide to do it because of the warranty is another matter. :)
     
  10. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #10
    Yeah he was wrong. But the point he was trying to make stands regardless.

    Majority of computer users (Mac/Windows) are not as technically competent as the people on this forum, so saying it's possible but you have to void your warranty isn't something they will be comfortable with.
     
  11. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #11
    Get the MBP unless you want to be buying a new Air in a year or two when you get totally frustrated running Lion and any apps on 4 GB of RAM.

    The Air is an attempt on Apple's part to force people to replace their laptops more frequently. It's a sealed system--there is, quite literally, nothing that is user upgradeable, compared to the MBP, which not only starts out as a substantially more capable laptop but can be upgraded by the owner down the road.

    The Air demands a huge price premium in exchange for giving up a lot of capability, in exchange for which it is a bit lighter. If you're willing to do it, fine, but I think it's absurd.
     
  12. duggram macrumors 6502

    duggram

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    #12
    Thank you for the well reasoned response. I've learned something today. And, I agree with your warranty comment. Why would someone buy a $1K+ laptop and void the warranty?

    Thank you for the comment and link to the nice article. But I don't see replacing the HHD as a needed upgrade. My MBA had a 256GB SSD. Plenty of room for my use.

    I see the RAM as the performance problem. 4 -> 8GB makes that much of a difference for me on Lion. Plus the faster processor and optical drive, which is important to me. Have you tried to balance an MBA on top of a superdrive, on an airline tray table?

    Another thing to consider is when people are pointing out the weight penalty of the MBA they always fail to mention the weight of the superdrive, and the hassle of managing it. Then there's the network -> USB cable you need to manage if want to hard wire a network connection (which I do for work because it's twice as fast as wifi).

    But I still like the MBA. I just think the MBP is better suited to getting work done for me.
     

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