2012 MBP vs. 2013 MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by davistld01, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. davistld01 macrumors 6502a

    davistld01

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    #1
    I wasn't sure if I should post this on the MBP or the MBA forum...and not sure if I would get biased replies. I just need some help making a decision on which preowned MacBook is the best buy as far as performance and value...bang for the buck, is concerned.

    I am looking at either a 2012 MacBook Pro or a 2013 MacBook air from two local sellers. I have communicated with both, and believe them both to be legit and trustworthy folks. Both have remaining Apple Care coverage that can be transferred. The '13 Air is the 256gb model...and the '12 Pro has a 500gb hard drive and 4gb memory. Both have the i5 processor. Both are in pristine condition.

    Both can be had for $800.

    I am not a computer programmer, do any video work or graphic engineering. I will use either for basic computing, web surfing, message/sermon writing (I'm a pastor), and it will be more a replacement for a desktop home computer than anything. I do like the idea of a CD disc drive in the Pro...but it's not a deal breaker.

    Could I get some wise feedback on which one is (in your opinions) the better choice and best deal given their respective year models and that both have been negotiated to where I can by either for the same price...whether that's good or bad.

    You guys here are a heck of a lot smarter about Macs than I...and I am just a rank OSX newbie.

    Thanks for your help! :)
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    Haven't kept up with the MBP specs, but I have a 2013 MBA. 2013 was the year that the MBA got 802.11ac wifi. Does the MBP have this? It's very fast, I get ~60MB/sec copying files on the LAN. You need a compatible router of course.

    The other big improvement in the 2013 MBA was much longer battery life. I can go 10+ hours on my 11" MBA, and I think the 13" is even better. Pretty sure you won't get anything near that on the MBP.

    When you say "hard drive" on the MBP, do you mean that literally? If so, there will be a huge speed difference with the MBA because of the SSD. This is another component that was upgraded in 2013, I get more than 700MB/sec on my 512gb SSD. A standard 5400 RPM hard drive is probably 100 MB/sec, maybe less.
     
  3. davistld01 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    davistld01

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    #3
    Well..not sure my terminology is correct when I said "hard drive", so translate that into computer-ese. And, some of what you said at the end is like another language to me. Haha! I'm far from a computer guy.

    So...which do you think is the better all around package for the money?
     
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #4
    Definitely the MacBook Air. It's smaller, lighter, cooler, quieter, much better battery life, more screen real estate, and faster.

    Advantages for the Pro are few. It has more storage space, but it's much much much slower storage. It has a CD/DVD drive, which you expressed some interest in, but you can get an external drive for the MacBook Air for only $30. And even though the Air is smaller in terms of volume, it does have a somewhat larger footprint than the Pro. Other than that I can't think of any reason why somebody might want the Pro vs. the Air.
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    Until recently, most laptop computers had small hard drives inside. These consist of an electric motor that spins a disk coated with magnetic material. Little motors move a recording head back and forth across the surface of the disk to read and write data.

    The MacBook Air does not have a mechanical hard drive like this. It uses a type of solid state memory with no moving parts. This results in speeds that are between 5x and 10x faster than a mechanical hard drive, and it also consumes much less power than an electric motor so the battery lasts longer. The technical term of this is "Solid State Drive" or "SSD" for short.

    Find out exactly what the MBP has in it. From what you said, it is probably a mechanical hard drive. If so, that will make the machine seem vastly slower than the MBA.
     
  6. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #6
    $800 for any of those two is far too much. You can do better than those prices especially the MBP.

    As for your question, I wouldn't get any of them. Look for an early 2013 MBP 13" with Retina. Much better computer and can be had for $800.
     
  7. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #7
    Corrected that for you ;)

    ----------

    Without complicated explanations, the macbook air is the better choice for the average user.
     
  8. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #8
    MBP advantages:
    • Upgradable RAM
    • Somewhat better LCD color reproduction
    • DVD ROM
    • More processing power (good for video rendering and similar power hungry apps)

    MBA advantages:
    • Sharper screen (1440x900 vs 1280x800)
    • Lighter, smaller
    • Longer battery life
    • Faster for browsing, mail, office and similar apps (SSD)
     
  9. davistld01 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    davistld01

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    #9
    Thanks for the replies & practical advice. I bought the mid-2013 MBA tonight! I think it'll be the better machine for me...and the 2013 model with the i5 is noticeably speedier than the 2010 model with Core Duo that I owned previously. And I got the MBA for $600 which I thought was very fair.

    Overall, I'm happy with my choice. :)
     
  10. darknite38 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #10
    Hey davistld01. You made the right choice by getting the macbook air! Trust me on this one, it is much better than the 2012 MPB :)
     

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