Advice/Thoughts on MBA / MBP. .

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by acrafton, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. acrafton macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2006
    I am at a bit of a crossroad re which notebook I need. I have been using a 15" Macbook Pro from 2008 (2 GB, 200GB hdd) and it has suited me fine. I am traveling more now than when I bought it and am having shoulder issues (repeatedly) and need to change my notebook.

    I am looking at either a MBP 13" 2.4 Gh 250GB for $1199

    or a MBA 1.86Gh with a 128GB SSD (refurb) for $1349

    Here is what I use it for:
    Web, MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, LotusNotes and one Windows program that has very low hw reqs (I can run it under Fusion or Bootcamp - doesn't matter).

    I know that the 1.5lb difference between the MBA and MBP doesn't sound like much but it really seems like a lot in the store, however, not sure in real life if it will matter.

    So, thoughts and suggestions?
  2. nineohtoo macrumors 6502


    Jun 22, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    I'm curious about this myself. I plan on moving overseas and living out of a backpack next year, and I was considering an MBA since my computing needs don't require very much. But the new battery on the 13" MBP sounds pretty sweet. Is the size and weight going to make that much of a difference on the road?
  3. lucifiel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2009
    In your basement
    in a backpack? not really. The MBA is approaching the end of its lifecycle as well, so wait for an update before you make a real comparison.
  4. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I think the MBA would be perfect for you. Since you want to be at $1349, you might as well go ahead and buy it now refurbished. If you were considering a new MBA at $1799 I would tell you to wait for an update. I wouldn't want to be stuck with 2 GB of RAM for a long time, but I also wouldn't want to carry around a 13" MBP... the MBA is truly my favorite computer of all time. The MBA is so fun and amazingly capable. I just wish it had 4 GB of RAM for being able to run Windows in a virtual machine while OS X is running. With BootCamp, which is what I use, 2 GB of RAM is perfectly fine. In addition, Windows 7 is far faster on the MBA than OS X is.

    If you decide to use it for entertainment, video, HD or Flash playback, Windows 7 is absolutely the route to go. Windows 7 makes OS X SL look like Windows 95, seriously... in terms of speed and performance when running anything that wants graphics access. Don't buy an MBA SuperDrive for it. You can share another drive, or better yet buy a BluRay external drive that is backwards compatible with DVD/CDs and cost the same. Then when you're booted into Windows 7 you can get beautiful BluRay playback.

    If you waited for an update it's doubtful you would see much of a decrease in price of the particular 1.86/128 GB SSD you want. It might save you an extra $50 or $100, but it may not save you anything and cost you time. Let us know if you get one and how you like it. Best wishes with whatever you do.
  5. PsyD4Me macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    under your bed
    sound like all those apps require a lot of typing and the MBA is a pleasure. It's so thin that when its on the desk it just feels so much more natural than the thicker MBP. go for the MBP, whatever happens to the MBA, they also retain their value really well...
  6. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I agree with what other posters have already told you: for your purposes it sounds as if the MBA is the best bet. I agree that it somehow manages to seem significantly smaller and lighter than the 13 inch MBP, although the weight difference is only 1.5 pounds. Keep in mind, too, that the 13 inch MBP weighs only about one pound less than your current 15 inch MBP.
  7. andygabriel macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2009
    I also wonder if i should get a Macbook Air 2.13ghz with SSD or Macbook pro 13". I use my actual 2008 macbook (2.4GHZ/4GB Ram/320GB HD) for internet browsing, email, MS word and Keynote.

    I'm just worried that i'll run out of HD space on a AIR since i only have one machine. I don't need 2 machines and i use my laptop on the couch most of the time and it's also my media player. I have like 20GB of music and a lot of pictures.

    I'm wondering whether the macbook Air is capable of being a Sole machine! I love the design and i dont need a lot of power for my use. I occasionally use iMovie and iDVD to make dvd for parents.
    When i wanna watch movies i hook up my laptop to my HD TV. If the Air had a bigger SSD and wouldnt hesitate to get it. But 128GB i think is a bit tight for the future unless i get an external but i like all my media to be with me all the time.

    I'm a teacher and i take my laptop to work everyday and i ride a motor bike to commute but i like to take my laptop everywhere i go.

    I was thinkin whether i should get an iPad as a secondary machine and keep my 2008 white macbook as my primary machine.

    What do you guys think i should. It's still pretty hard for me to decide. Money is not an issue, and i wish i could get a bigger SSD for the AIR but it seems the biggest SSD u can get for the AIR is a 128GB because of the size issue. If Apple make the SSD the same size as on the Pro i'd definitely can the mighty AIR!
  8. JasG macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2009
    Others will know about movies. I am a writer, an email-er, and a web-surfer, most of my waking day. I have carried the AIR for nearly a year, and the 4.5 to 6 pound machines for years and years. The different is huge huge huge huge huge. Especially if you are like me getting on in years. I ordered a macbook pro 13 last august, when the news ones came out, but had sold my old macbook and needed a computer while I waited for the other machine to arrive. So just for fun I rented the AIR. Two days later, with the new pro on its way, I changed the order. The light weight was exactly what I needed. The extra power of the pro, however considerable, and it is considerable, I didn't need.

    I have the SSD and it is probably the fastest computer I have used. certainly it books faster than any machine I have ever owned.
  9. DiamondGCoupe macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2007
    The Air is a great machine but unless you have another computer or laptop I don't recommend it. Get's very hot a laggy after a very short period of time. I know it's not designed to be a powerhouse but if I had to do it again MBP all the way. I am actually selling my MBA for a 13" MBP. I honestly can't use this thing for more than 20 minutes at a time before I have to let it cool off. Videos lag. Go with the Pro!
  10. swanie macrumors newbie


    Apr 26, 2010
    @DiamondGCoupe ... you have the solid state drive? ... I heard the ssd does not get hot ... whereas the ATI drive does ... anybody have experience with the solid state drive?

    @All ... I, too, am now watching for the upgrade to the MBA ... I do light to medium Adobe graphics work, web, blogging ... I am hoping for 4 GB RAM, 7 hours or 10 hours battery life, and the new processors (i5?). Anybody have an idea if/when that's going to happen?
  11. JasG macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2009
    hope your hope comes true.
  12. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    +1 for the Air

    +1 for the Air

    get the RevC 2.13 if you can

    The Air will serve you fine as your primary Mac no probs and let me reassure all there is nothing 'laggy' nor 'hot' about the ssd models.

    I use mine primarily for writing and presentations (iWork only here) email, web browsing/blogging, plus sorting photos and listening to music/talks in iTunes.

    when in the office or at a day-long seminar, I easily get 4 hours usage in the morning and place it on charge at lunchtime for the afternoon.
    when teaching at a seminar, there's always a power socket around nearby.
    when travelling and obviously less intensive use, once a day charge is sufficient.
    battery life is extended if you turn off WiFi and BlueTooth when not in use and dim the screen a notch or 2

    prefer it to the Pro any day - for weight, and silence.
    no optical drive and solid state HDD = silence.
    only sound is the fans kicking in occasionally.
    128gb SSD is more than enough for my purposes - if the HDD looks like getting close to full (which it never has) and external drive is the answer.
    I mean what is the point of carrying gigabytes of music you haven't listen to in ages and photos and movies from 2004 anyways when they're all available archived on an external drive
    as for updates, I generally keep my Macs for 3 years given that I'm not obsessed with having to have the latest for the type of work I do.
    my primary consideration for upgrading is changeover cost.
    i.e. how much I can get for the 'old' model over the new one.
    if the value is there I'll do it when a new model is released; if not, I'll wait the 3 years and the average cost per year levels out.

    I regularly (every 3-6 months) backup erase and reinstall the OS + Apps.
    may seem a bit of a strange habit but it takes just 2 hours tops and keeps my Mac snappy and tight
  13. gimmi80 macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2010
    I've the same configuration and I don't suffer of this problem.
    I admit I block all flash (with click to flash).
  14. gimmi80 macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2010
    Is this recommended with an SSD? That's a lot of Gb!
  15. DiamondGCoupe macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2007
    Not necessary at all. Go with the new MBPs, better all around computer twice the battery life SAME PRICE only slightly heavier. But I recommend going with a SSD either way even if it means buying the slower processor. HDD speed will make up the difference than the 5400-rpm drive.
  16. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Last summer I bought a previous gen MacBook Air C2D 1.83GHz/128GB SSD w/ 2GB RAM (+NVidia 9400M) on closeout (for $1249 at our university bookstore), after using a 15" MacBook Pro C2D 2.13GHz 160GB drive w/ 2GB RAM for the previous three years. So in my case the weight difference was 2.5 pounds rather than the 1.5 pound difference you're looking at.

    I am very happy with the performance of the Air. I mostly use iWork rather than MS Office anymore, but with Office I didn't see any performance differences between the two computers. At three pounds, the Air is basically at a point where I don't notice a weight difference in my bag with it or without it - but I don't have a shoulder issue like you do, though.

    I haven't noticed any significant heat issues - my Air is definitely cooler than my Pro was.

    Oh, and thanks to the SSD the thing boots crazy fast (when I reboot it, which is pretty rare).

    My only concern parallels one that has been previously mentioned - if this will be your only computer, think carefully about the devices you use with your current computer. I rarely plug anything into my computer, but I do have a Firewire video box that I rarely use. If I didn't have a computer with a Firewire port for those rare occasions, I'd not be a happy camper. But since I still have the old Pro at home, this is a non-issue.
  17. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    not necessarily

    I have a 1TB external HDD partitioned into one of 400GB and the other of 600GB

    the smaller contains all my Time Machine backups - Home Folder only.

    the larger contains all my install files (10.6.3 combo; iPhoto/iLife updates; printer/scanner files; etc, etc in their own folder) - all older music, videos and photos in their respective folders - and thus can be added to and accessed at anytime.

    still got stacks of room there.

    may seem an odd way of doing it, but it works for me.

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