13inch macbook pro with ssd vs 13 inch air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nickftw8686, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. nickftw8686 macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    So I am in the market for a laptop and i have a 60gb ssd that I could put into a 13 inch Macbook Pro if i buy it or I could buy a 13 inch Macbook Air. What is everyone's opinion on a 13 inch pro vs the Air for performance for your money, travel, and work. I am not trying to edit videos or movies but your normal work tasks, watch movies, I travel a lot and need something with good battery and can last me awhile on a charge. I know right now the Macbook Pro is mid product life cycle vs the air which is close to the end so would it be wise to wait to see how the air is updated or go ahead and get something now.

    I have a work laptop so I mean I can wait if need be but i love computers and got the itch to get something lol

    Thanks everyone
  2. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    I'd ignore performance. The MBP is more powerful, but only by a slight amount, not worth consideration.

    The following big differences are, in my eyes, weight, size, and displays.

    The MBP weighs around 50% more than the MBA, and has a higher resolution display, and is a lot thicker.

    The MBA has a higher resolution display than the MBP, but the colour gamut doesn't even come close. This was the deciding factor for me; the MBA display was difficult to focus on for me. For you, this might not be the case.

    In terms of expandability, they are both virtually the same, no matter what people say. The MBA is missing an optical drive (could be a factor as you might want to rip movies), an Ethernet port, and an SD card slot. Whether these matter to you, only you can call.

    Best bet is to go into a store and have a look.
  3. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    When addressing expandability I couldn't say they're the same, as the memory isn't upgradeable in the MBA versus up to 32gb in the MBP in addition to what you mentioned.
  4. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    Ooops, meant on the outside!

    Yep, Ccrew has brought up a point that I can't believe I've forgotten :eek:
  5. dba415 macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2011
    the mba is a lot lighter and thinner. The mbp is certainly light and thin as well but the mba is just more portable. Power wise the mbp would kill the mba.

    but for your needs I would go with the mba, the portability is what trumps it, plus the screen is going to be better (not sure about color gamut since I don't mess with the mba) but the resolution is better.
  6. mfuchs88 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2011
    I would go with the MBP because in ny opinion, its more future proof. Some may argue differently but the way I look at a computer, I see it as a work tool, and need it to last. As programs become more processor and RAM intensive, the MBP will hold up better. It's has a more powerful proocessor that should be more future proof to future OS upgrades and future programs. The RAM can be very easily upgraded to 8gb for dirt cheap, whereas in the MBA, you can have a max of 4gb, and you have to buy it that way since its soldered on to the motherboard. Even 3 years down the road, you could cheaply upgrade your MBP to 16GB if you feel you need it, while your MBA would still ve stuck with 4gb. Also, in the pro, you can always use it as-is for a year or so until SSD prices drop, then you could put in a larger SSD than would come default in the MBA. If you're looking for maximum portability and won't use it for anything other than movies and web browsing, the MBA is more convenient, but the way I look at it is, you never know what will be standard in 4 years, so buying more future proof technology is the most logical route, for me at least. Best of luck on purchasing your new computer, please be sure to come back to the thread to tell us what you ended up buying. Cheers!
  7. nickftw8686 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    Well I went and looked at them for awhile, kept picking each one up over and over again to see the weight and feel lol. I ended up getting the base macbook pro 13 inch. I decided that it was the best buy to make since I plan on keeping it for awhile and can upgrade the HD and ram. Also with the 30 day return policy i got I can always take it back if they announce a new model in the next month or if I end up wanting the air. So far I really like it and I am glad I decided to come back to apple for my new laptop.

    Thanks for the input everyone
  8. Z3man macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2012
    you made the right choice, i bought the base 13" air a few weeks ago and have just returned it and got a 13" i5 pro with an SSD fitted. although the air was very fast compared to my original 2008 air, the pro seems even faster and more powerful, also the screen is much better on the pro. i can put up with the extra bit of weight to own the better laptop. also the pro has a bit better battery life, you really can't go wrong with a pro.
  9. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007

    The macbook pro 13 uses panels from three different manufacturers. All 3 of them have different color gamuts. There is no way to say that the MBP13 has the superior colors over the MBA13. In fact it doesn't even matter, just put the MBA13 and MBP13 side by side (any random panel) and you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway. I am

    Seriously why does everyone always say the same nonsense year in and year out. And its completely nonsense and false information. Where does this color gamut myth come from? Anandtech? Well that article is like 3 years old for starters. Second it only tested one MBP13 panel. Third I actually one time looked at the official manufacturers PDF's of the panels that the MBA and MBP uses.

    The sum it up:
    1) MBP13 uses panels from 3 different manufacturers with different color gamuts
    2) MBA13 uses panels from 2 different manufacturers with different color gamuts
    3) you cannot conclude that MBP13>MBA13

    Don't believe me? Well just look up the model numbers of all 5 panels and search for the official manufacturers pdf's of those panels. They contain ALL the information you want to know about their panels.
  10. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    Specifications aren't everything when it comes to any product.

    I looked in 6 different shops in my local area while doing the MBA vs MBP search specifically to compare the displays, and each time the MBP display came out ahead. The MBA just looked washed out in comparison, in every scenario, in comparison to the MBP.

    Moreover, web browsing on various different sites showed huge differences; the BBC News top banner were completely different colours. Not saying that this is a technical way of comparing the two models, but the average user is only going to judge the difference based on what they see rather than what tests or specifications tell them. As stated previously, the MBA, for me at least, was extremely difficult to look at in comparison to my MBP.
  11. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Wow. Just wow.
  12. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Must be said: Search is your friend! :)

    The Pro is faster, has a higher quality screen, is less expensive, and is expandable.

    As I've written previously, the Air requires a lot more money to give you less.
  13. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You are taking one sentence out of context. How about quoting the entire, relevant paragraph before you start with the wise remarks.
  14. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    My mistake. I actually misread the OP's post and thought he said he *did* edit movies - but he clearly says he doesn't.

    You are correct. Given that oversight your post is pretty much spot on. I'd actually go further and recommend the Air based on the OP's needs.

    Apologies Weasel. :)
  15. nickftw8686 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    After having this for a day now I am glad I went with the pro. Weight is good, great battery, will be perfect for traveling and doing work on. The air was very tempting though but I really do hate that you cant upgrade it on your own down the line.

    Thanks again for the input everyone
  16. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    I know the thread is done but I can't stand reading this crap.

    I used extensively 2 MBA 13" from 2010, one from 2011, and 2 different MBP 13" early 2011, and 1 late 2011.
    All the Airs have been either sold or returned, precisely because my eyes couldn't stand the displays. Never had a problem with a MBP.
    And I'm not even talking about the gamut difference here, which is obvious, no need to be a pro to see that (I'm not).

    You can't see a difference, good for you! But shut it please, you're misinforming people.

    Enjoy your purchase nick.
  17. arcite, Mar 11, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012

    arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    Macbook pros are also easily upgradable.

    I have also found that Mac pros have better colour fidelity.
  18. Z3man macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2012
    macbook pro definitely has the better screen in my opinion, when i owned an air recently i couldn't use it for more than ten minutes without getting eye strain, i can spend ages on the pro and have no problems at all. the pro also seems to have a better refresh rate as well, when i use to scroll on the air the text used to flicker quite a lot, the pro is a lot smoother.
  19. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    That's precisely where I am with the MBA. I like the unit, it's very good for right *now*. But it has no futureproofing. If that 4gb becomes a 6gb requirement come Mountain Lion, or House Cat :))) after that, you're buying a new computer or suffering with reduced performance. With the MBP you throw some RAM in it and off you go. OP, enjoy your purchase. I have a 13" MBP upgraded with an SSD and 16gb mem, it's a screamer.

  20. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    False. Your eyes are not better than the data sheets that the manufacturers publish. Their standardized tests are more reliable than your eyes.

    I can proof it. My panel number is LTN133AT09. here is the OFFICIAL data sheet for that. 6bit, Color gamut is 45%.
    Here is another panel that the MBP13 uses. 6bit, Color gamut is also 45%. For your information 45% is low!

    In fact its even reported in this thread that there are huge differences between the displays.

    Once again your eyes < other users and standardized industrial tests. So yeah I backed everything up with user experiences and DATA sheets. So don't tell me I am spreading crap. You are spreading crap and I am sick tired of these myths that the MBP has the best displays ever. Cause its false and nonsense and it needs to stop. It is simply not true. It is a lie. I wish I really could kick the poo out of anyone that says that the MBP color gamut > MBA gamut
  21. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    Well you can't compare them unless both have calibrated color profiles. I doubt they did that in the shops. I reckon they just had some random color profile that looked good. In fact I can tweak my color profile to look as good as an IPS screen minus the viewing angles (I have 2 IPS screens so I know what I am talking about)
  22. erhosion macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
    MBP (SSD) Vs. MBA 13 Base Models


    I've never actually posted on here, but I've been a lurker for awhile... anyhow, I am in a similar boat as Nick.

    I haven't had a computer in 4 years (!!) and I finally have enough job stability to purchase a macbook. Of course my predicament is the same, MBA or MBP 13 inch?

    I plan on using it for mild video/photo editing, some audio production, typical web/netflix/email etc use, and I plan on taking some web/software development classes so I would like it to be acceptable for dev work and some design (although I am a complete novice here so this might be wishful thinking on my part, but I need to start somewhere). Gaming is a non-issue for me because I only play consoles. Also, the 15-inch is out of the question because it is out of my budget ($1400 or so).

    My thoughts have fluctuated a lot since i've been deciding, but now I'm thinking this:

    13 in MBP 2.4 Ghz, 4gb ram, 500gb hdd (base model)
    + Samsung 830 OR Crucial m4 128 gb SSD.
    + 8GB Ram
    + ODD caddy so I can switch out the HDD with the SDD and put it in the ODD
    + Enclosure for the ODD if need be.

    I also am looking to purchase on Amazon so there is no tax and I can use my credit card for 5% cash back.

    So this MBP setup would set me back about 1373 - %5 = $1,304

    an MBA on Amazon is $1219 - %5 = $1158

    So the MBP would be about $150 more, for the added processor power, the RAM and the 500 GB HDD. Does this sound reasonable? Or should I just go for the Air? Portability is not a huge concern for me since i don't consider 4.5 pounds to be "bulky" really, and probably won't be traveling frequently.

    Also, any advice on the Samsung vs. the Crucial SSD or any other alternative? People seem split about the two over on the SSD buying guide.

    I literally can't make up my mind and it's driving me crazy... but I'm leaning toward MBP as far as future-proofing goes. MBA just has the "gotta have it" feel to it. Either way, I haven't had a computer in 4 years so both will seem amazing. This is also why I've decided not to wait for a new model, as the incremental difference will seem negligible to me since I've been without a comp for so long.

    Thanks for any advice!!
  23. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2010
    I would highly suggest purchasing a computer based on your needs, and not worrying endlessly over misleading performance numbers and the fight that seems to be going on in the respective Air and Pro camps.
    I am probably one of the few that owns one of both. My wife carries the pro, I carry the Air. Each of us has our reasons, they are both great computers.
  24. arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    IMO it just makes sense to get the PRO, unless you have high portability needs where you need the lightest computer possible. The performance gains and upgradability of the pro are worth the extra $200.
  25. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    "Tweaking" a colour profile to make it "look as good" as an IPS panel isn't the same as calibrating the panels and making sure they actually reproduce colour well. The main point is that for our lighter colours, the difference will be smaller, hence the smaller colour gamut. So which one are you talking about, actual calibration or just "tweaking"?

    All of the Apple products with the same display manufacturer and model are given the same calibration profile, apart from the iMac and TB/DP displays, which are given a quick calibration before they leave the factory; this is good enough for most users, and is pretty darn accurate.

    Finally, there is a huge difference between a panel being calibrated or "tweaked" to match another display, and the display not being able to reproduce those colours in the first place. In the case of the MBA, like any other display it can be calibrated to be improved, but it certainly isn't capable of matching the Pro.

    Note that throughout all this, I'm not saying that the Air has a bad display. In comparison to huge amount of the competition, it is still miles better. It's a great display. It's just that it doesn't have as strong colour reproduction as the Pro, and quite frankly, we shouldn't expect it to. If somebody gave me the Air, I'd be more than happy. Heck, if there weren't any Pros in stock I'd have bought the Air refurburshed. Just that as I had a lot of options at the time, I went for the Pro.

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