13" mbp vs 11/13 mba

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jlyanks85, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. jlyanks85 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2008
    I seriously considering selling my ipad and getting a laptop as my 2nd computer (27" inch i7 imac is my main rig). Would be using it for school for note taking, put some music on it, web browsing and travel since I usually go away few a few weeks every summer.

    So I was deciding between the 13" mbp or the air but don't know what would be the better buy. I'm leaning towards the air more, but the new thunderbolt port it making the decision harder. Also how much more powerful is the dual core chip in the mbp compared to the intel c2d in the airs?
  2. rkheyfets macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2010
    I dont think thunderbolt is that useful yet.. but it might be for you,
    as for the i5 its defiantly a substantially more powerful chip than the cd2 however depending on your usage the cd2 should be more than enough and the mpa has the better graphics with the nvida 320 as opposed to the intel graphics in the mbp
  3. topmounter, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    Unless you're on a very strict budget, the 13" MBP continues to occupy this weird no-mans-land between the much more portable 13" MBA and the much more feature-full 15" MBP.

    And yeah, it is really hard to get excited about Thunderbolt (not that it won't be a worthy replacement for Firewire)... especially since the lack of Firewire didn't stop me from buying my 13" MBA (I still use FW800 on my iMac though and I'm not excited about having to bin my FW drives if they don't include FW on my next iMac).
  4. jlyanks85 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2008
    I mainly want a laptop for portability (ipad is great for that, but not exactly great for note taking and other stuff in school) and casual web browsing and I'd be taking it with me when I go on vacation, since I do that a lot in the summer.

    Like I mentioned in my original post I have a 27" imac, so I wouldn't need the power of the 15" or 17". So that's why it's coming down to either the 13" pro or the air.

    I'm hearing a lot of bad things about the 13" pro though, on the mbp board. So it's looking more likely I'd get the air. The thunderbolt port though does make the mbp more "future proof" if you want to call it that compared to the airs, even though most companies don't even have anything to support thunderbolt yet.
  5. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    I agree with some of the comments above. You probable dont need more the the C2D. I would check out refurbed airs or the base model 2010 13" for about $929

    good luck
  6. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    For that use, the MBA 11" is plenty powerful and it's just as portable as the iPad. No need to push it up to the MBA 13" for school use.
  7. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...yea, base 11" MBA would be fine for a portable machine with your iMac at home...
  8. Tyrion macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2002
    Honestly, the 13" MBP continues to be kind of a rip-off. Apple doesn't seem to be taking it seriously, and they are always crippling it in some crucial areas so that you'll feel compelled to buy the 15" MBP if you want a consistent, well-conceived configuration. Case in point: the terrible GPU in the new 13", the terrible and non-upgradeable resolution, and the terrible and slow 5'400RPM-HDD. Don't even get me started on the obsolete Superdrive. The only things it has going for it are the i5 and Thunderbolt. But honestly, I'd get an 11" or 13" MBA over the MBP anytime. It's especially baffling to me that the MBP has a screen that's vastly inferior to the 13" MBA's display... IMHO, the MBP is really only worth it if you're looking at 15" and beyond. The 13" is a joke as a "pro"-machine; it would be adequate as a $999 Macbook.
  9. fibrizo, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    fibrizo macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2009
    Just to compare, it's hard to find alot of benchmarks yet. These are sissoft CPU scores from the i5 in new mbp and the core 2 su9400

    Base 13 mbp i5-2410 = 34.535 GOPS
    Base 13 mba Core 2 SL9400 = 14.638 GOPS
    Base 11.6 mba Core 2 SU9400 = 11.367 GOPS
  10. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    For most users that's irrelevant, since the bottleneck is almost never the processor but the GPU or the 5400 rpm hard drive. You will suffer from more hiccups coming from the GPU or HD than from those coming from the processor.
  11. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010

    I have the 4gb 11" mab and it seems very zippy to me for all the business apps i use with it
  12. sgtalexmom macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2011
    i was going to wait for the MBP's but i am so glad i got my 13" mba!

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