2012 MBA 13 vs. MBP 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dhazeghi, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. dhazeghi macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Good morning,

    I'm looking at upgrading either to a secondhand 2012 13.3" MacBook Air, or a 2012 13.3" MacBook Pro.

    Currently, I have a 2011 13.3" MacBook Air (1.7GHZ i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD), which is a great machine, except for three things - internal storage is limited (128GB is just too small), external USB 2.0 storage is very slow (I have large Lightroom catalogs) and 4GB RAM means occasionally hitting virtual memory. I looked at Thunderbolt storage solutions help with the first 2 items, but for $200 minimum, I feel I'm better off just selling my MBA and getting a machine with USB 3.0.

    So far as I can tell, the pros and cons break down like this:

    -somewhat thinner
    -35% lighter
    -higher-resolution, less glossy screen (I hate glossy)
    -includes SSD

    -faster (though maybe not much due to turbo?)
    -can be upgraded to 16GB memory
    -can support HDD + SSD

    Overall, the MBP seems to be more future-proof, but given that neither machine is exactly a rocket in terms of performance, I'm not sure the machine will need more than 8GB before the applications just become too slow to be usable (thinking mainly of Lightroom and Photoshop). I like the MBA design, and I'm a bit worried about the MBP's glossy lower-resolution LCD being a pain in non-controlled environments. At the same time, being able to get 1TB of fast internal storage in the MBP (256GB SSD + 750GB HDD = $325) for a semi-reasonable price is really a big deal.

    Going by eBay, prices on the two machines are pretty close. For the MBA, I'd go with a 1.8GHZ 8GB RAM/256GB SSD configuration, since neither can be upgraded. For the MBP, It's the 2.5GHZ 4GB/500GB HDD and upgrade at a later date. There are plenty of other options of course, but I'd like to avoid spending much, since storage issues aside, I don't think either machine will be a major upgrade over the current one.

    Anyhow, ideas and thoughts are appreciated, particularly if I've missed something important in the analysis above!
  2. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Most importantly, what are you using it for and how will you use it?
  3. dhazeghi thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Lightroom image processing, and miscellaneous e-mail/web/word-processing. It's not my primary machine - I've got a to-be-replaced iMac for that - but I use it substantially on trips and in lab.
  4. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    If those are your choices, I'd go with the Pro since you can upgrade the ram and the resolution is the same.

    The regular MBP are way better than the Air in terms of value.
  5. dhazeghi thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Is the resolution the same? IIRC the Air is 1440x900 vs. 1280x800 for the MBP 13.
  6. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    My bad. I would still choose the MBP. The difference is slight and nowhere near retina differences.

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