13" New MBA or MBP? Which one would you buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by wassuupp, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. wassuupp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    #1
    So I am looking at these two models and can't make up my mind. I need it for web surfing, spreadsheets, watching movies, etc. Don't travel much. Also, I need to run Windows 7 64-bit in either bootcamp or Parallels. I don't care about the backlit keyboard that the new MBA doesn't have.

    4 GB RAM
    256 GB SSD
    2.4 GHz (MBP)

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #2
    Pro. As I see it the Air only has the advantage of having a 1440x900 LCD over the Pro.

    But soon as the 13in Pro gets 1440x900 I will see no advantages to the Air. Personally I feel if 2lbs is THAT big of a deal for you then you probably have a medical condition, or you are putting Form over function. I have never found a situation when that ends up with a better result.
     
  3. surroundfan macrumors 6502

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    It depends on whether you need an optical drive and/or Firewire and/or gig ethernet and/or are willing to shell out for an SSD. If the answer to all is no, MBA all the way because the performance boost from the SSD will far outweigh the extra clock speed of the MBP...
     
  4. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

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    Sep 3, 2008
    #4
    I don't think it'll matter much. You can do all that with ease on both machines (e.g. 1.86GHz vs 2.4GHz). The SSD and 4GB RAM make more of a difference than the two CPUs.

    It'll come down to what you find more important. The MBA is half the weight, higher resolution (12.5%) but less ports (e.g. no FW and ethernet only via USB (and no 1000 iirc)), no optical drive, no backlit keyboard and no IR port. It's also not possible to upgrade the flash storage or memory in the Air, but it is in the MBP.

    Personally, I'd say for the things you'll be using it for the MBP is overpowered and you'll never really utilize that slightly higher clocked CPU. I'd go with the MBA and enjoy a crazy light and thin but fast machine.
     
  5. bdeitemeyer macrumors member

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    Nov 10, 2009
    #5
    How often will you be using away from home as opposed to at home? The more you'll be traveling with it, the more I'd recommend the Air over a Pro. If you'll be using it around the house, go with a Pro.
     
  6. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I'm tempted to sell my 13 with ssd ... I dont need more than 100 gigs anyways ... The resolution is more important ... Just dunno if I wanna put 150-200 out of pocket to switch
     
  7. drjsway macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #7
    There are no advantages to a MBP (unless you need one of the ports the MBA doesn't have). For years now, I have refused to buy another laptop with a DVD drive. It's obsolete tech and a waste of space.

    I also believe strongly that all portable devices should ideally have no moving parts, which means no DVD and HDD.

    As far as I'm concerned, the only laptops Apple makes are the MBAs. Until they remove the DVD drive from their other ones, I won't even look at them.
     
  8. macbookpro13 macrumors member

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    Feb 6, 2010
    #8
    Just because the DVD drive is there, doesn't mean you have to use it. There are no moving parts if you never use it.

    Personally I would go with a 13" MBP over the 13" MBA. The MBP has a backlit keyboard, ethernet port, nicer looks, edge to edge glass, faster CPU, and most importantly, you can upgrade the RAM and HDD. So later on you can replace it with a good SSD. The only advantage of the MBA is the higher res display (will be on 13" MBP in next revision though) and it is 1.5 lb. lighter.
     
  9. wassuupp thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 20, 2010
    #9
    Thanks guys...is it easy to replace the hard disk to SSD in MBP? i.e. Is it better to buy a MBP with SSD directly from apple or better to get it outside and install it yourself (or do the Genius folks do this?). Also, does it have two slots or I can have only one HD?
     
  10. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

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    Sep 3, 2008
    #10
    It's pretty easy. You need the right screw drivers, but other than that it's really straight forward (tons of tutorials with pics and videos online). Apple's SSDs aren't as fast as many others (e.g. OCW, Intel) and you'll pay the "Apple tax" as well. If you don't mind opening up your MBP and replacing the drive yourself you can save money and pick the drive you really want. I'm sure if you buy a drive separately the folks at an Apple store can replace it as well, but this won't be for free.
     
  11. mokeiko macrumors 6502

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    Jul 19, 2007
    #11
    I would get the SSD somewhere else and install it myself.

    mokeiko
     
  12. aberrero macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 12, 2010
    #12
    Weight, SSD, thickness, display resolution.

    You give up upgradeability, a bit of CPU, and not much else.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple kills the 13" MBP in the next release. It is obsolete. They will just upgrade the plastic one and leave it at that.

    Edit: also, for me, the lack of annoying blinky light is a huge pro for the MBA. I normally have to throw a tshirt or something over my computers at night because I can't sleep with the light pulsing all the time.
     
  13. drjsway macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #13
    You realize how much space the DVD drive takes up? The DVD drive has more volume than the entire chipset. And aside from the people who still watch DVDs regularly on their notebooks, how often do you use it? Why drag around a giant DVD drive everywhere you go when you rarely use it?

    Some would say the edge to edge glass is a con, not a pro, as it makes it hard to use outdoors. Hard drive on the new MBA is replaceable according to reports. Ethernet is an adaptor away and for something also rarely used, I don't want it built in either. Looks are subjective.

    Everything else, I'll give you but just remove the DVD drive and I'll happily consider a MBP. If they removed the DVD, it would be thinner, lighter, or you can keep it the same size and put in a bigger battery. Are these good sacrifices to keep a optical drive you rarely use?
     
  14. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

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    Sep 3, 2008
    #14
    Not likely; there's still a big market out there for people who need a faster CPU and more storage along with things like FireWire. They'll probably update the screen though to match the MBA's resolution. I don't see much else changing any time soon.

    But in time you might be right. The flash storage will become cheaper; as soon as 512MB can be sold for a fair price they'll remove the optical drive and hard drive both and go with flash in all the MacBooks. At that point the MBA and MBP will be basically the same. Only thing they need to figure out then is how to get a fast CPU in there without overheating it. But as we know much can changes in a couple of years.
     
  15. aberrero macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 12, 2010
    #15
    Ya, and that's why they will keep the white plastic macbook.
     
  16. wassuupp thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 20, 2010
    #16
    Is Crucial C300 any good for MBP? I see prices anywhere from $500 to $550 for 256 GB.

    While I am in the upgrade mode, would you get 8 GB memory upgrade from Apple or buy it outside? Apple wants $360 (with student discount) to go from 4 GB to 8 GB. Any specific brand would you recommend?

    Thanks!!!
     
  17. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

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    Sep 3, 2008
    #17
    From an aesthetic point of view that wouldn't make much sense. Everything is shifting to aluminum unibody designs. They won't just cut out the 13" MBP model from the 13-15-17 MBP line. This is exactly what they fixed a few years ago when they added it to the lineup.

    The plastic model doesn't make much sense to me, but it must still be selling I guess. If anything, I think the plastic design is the next to go — this time for good.
     
  18. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    Hogtown
    #18
    right now I would buy the MBP and wait for SSD to come down in price ... it will get cheaper
     
  19. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

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    Sep 3, 2008
    #19
    Don't buy it from Apple, it's way too expensive. Kingston sells memory specifically designed for MacBooks that's guaranteed to work flawlessly. It seems, after a quick Google search, you can get 8GB for $180 already. That's half the price, and buying from Apple won't get you 8GB but 4GB extra. Buying it yourself will give you 8GB plus the 4GB from Apple that's default. You can always sell that or use it for backup.
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    California
    #20
    It is very easy to replace. Here are step by step instructions.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Installing-MacBook-Pro-13-Inch-Unibody-Hard-Drive-Replacement/1337/1

    I would not buy the Apple OEM SSD. They are overpriced and tests have shown them to be far slower than the newest SSD drives out now. I would buy an SSD from OWC.

    https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Mercury_Extreme_SSD_Sandforce/Solid_State_Pro
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #21
    No. Get either the OWC or OCZ. Those are the best two SSD right now.
     
  22. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

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  23. dasman88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #23
    Is the MBA drive size going to be big enough?

    You said being able to run Windows 7 in Bootcamp was important.

    Keep in mind that you'll have to partition your drive in order to the install and run of Windows 7.

    Personally... I'm a voracious learner of things and am adding multi-media content and files all the time.

    My MBP has a 250GB HD in it... that is down to about 25GB of free space... the lower limit of what the OS needs to properly run memory management.

    My vote is an 15" MBP... spend the extra money to get the 15" MBP so you can have the i5 CPU...

    Regards

    dasman
     
  24. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #24
    Yea 256 gb just isn't enough for two operating systems, applications and media.
     
  25. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

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    Sep 3, 2008
    #25
    Just keep your music and videos on an external drive and you'll be fine.
     

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