Buy MBA or new MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by millerb7, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. millerb7 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    So... was offered $850 for my:

    MBP 2.2GHz C2D 6GB ram 120GB HDD

    So I'm gonna sell it... I had my heart set on a MBA 13' 1.86GHz 4GB ram 128GB SSD.... but.... now I've been offered good money for my 9mm firearm as well so I have some extra cash.

    Should I still get the MBA I listed? Or upgrade to the 13" ULTIMATE MBA?


    Should I pick up a new 15" MBP? Buying a 13" MBP would be stupid as it still has the C2D and a refresh isn't "that" far off.... where at least the 15" I get a new i processor.

    Now I'm in a toss-up if I should do the MBA or MBP haha. As I've stated before, my uses are:

    Text-based coding
    SOME photoshop/illustrator work (once a month or so)
    SOME handbrake work (less than once a month)

    I normally have itunes, ichat, mail, IRC, chrome, firefox, and a text app or two open at a time.

    Nothing visually demanding, no real rendering. I LOVE the form of the MBA, but the speed/power increase of the MBP is always good.

    One day the lord will let me pick.
  2. aristobrat, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010

    aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Except for Photoshop/Illustrator, my usage is about the same.

    I sold my 15" i7 MBP to get an Ultimate 13" MBA.

    Hands down, I prefer the Air. The SSD makes all of the difference in the world. One example -- Aperture on the MBP was a beachball queen -- doing it so frequently I was considering switching to Lightroom. On the Air? Seeing a beachball in Aperture is a rare event. I had expected Aperture to be a bit slower on the Air (with the slower processor), but apparently Aperture's biggest bottleneck (the way I use it, anyway) is disk I/O, not processor. Turns out that's the case for a lot of the programs I use. For me, the increase in speed that I see daily with virtually every app (because of the SSD) totally offsets the fact that once a month, when I go ripping with Handbrake, it takes longer. ;)

    Even if I could justify getting a 15" MBP that came with a SSD (not a cheap option), I doubt I would because I've become a HUGE fan of the Air's portability. Not that a 15" MBP is god-awful heavy, but mine didn't get toted around nearly as much as my Air has.
  3. millerb7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    I was gonna keep my 15" MBP and throw in a SSD... but at almost 4 years old I'm afraid death is coming. I won't get anything once it dies, so $850 for it now seems good.

    The MBA size is SUPER appealing... I'm just a tad scared at how it will run/seem in 3 years time.... I normally upgrade about every 3 years.

    My GOAL (hopefully it will happen) is to get an iMac sometime next year to compliment the MBA... but until then, it'll be my main machine, just as my MBP is now.
  4. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    I couldn't have written it better myself - I sold my 2010 15" i7 hi-res for a 2010 1.86 MBA - and I, too, haven't looked back. I miss the larger screen real estate and backlit keyboard ~20% of the time, but the speed, size and weight of the MBA make it easy not to want to go back to the 15" MBP. FYI, I had an Intel SSD in my 15" as well, and I still prefer the MBA.
  5. millerb7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    Wow. Impressive.

    See getting $850 for my old MBP is to hard to pass up. I want a warranty again, AND THIS TIME I'M BUYING APPLECARE!!!

    Now I gotta pick between 13" 1.86 or 2.13GHz. Getting 4GB ram no matter what.
  6. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    Right on. I'm coming from a 2008 MBP 2.4 C2D w/ Intel drive to a 1.86 4GB 128 MBA. Not sure if I could ever go back.

    OP, your usage will utilize the MBA greatly, I wouldn't have a concern.
  7. millerb7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    Forgot to add I'll be doing some virtual machine. But iv been told the 4GB ram will handle that.

    Thanks fir the input guys. I'm sure I'll be thrilled.
  8. loslosbaby macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    I'm a developer as well, so let me hit it to you like this:

    I had a MBP17 pre-unibody 2.5/4/320, and I loved that machine.

    I ran Eclipse, Xcode, Terminal, several (3, 4) browsers simul., and other developer/art tools as well. I got the MBA-13-Ult. and it is the coolest computer I've ever had....faster than any mac I've had before. Silent, and you can actually get an XCode on the screen when unplugged. With the ACD27 its incredible. Fan never runs unless I'm doing video encoding, or playing L4D2.

    +1 recommend.

  9. millerb7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010

    My "coding" isn't truly coding... more web design, entailing xhtml, css, javascript, php/mysql, etc... so MOST of it is literally just straight text editors. I do run chrome and firefox at all times.

    Do you feel that the 13" 1.86GHz with 4GB ram would be sufficient? Or is the 2.13GHz needed?

    I'm so happy to hear folks with other MBP's like mine (and most of them better than mine) thoroughly enjoying the jump to the MBA.

    Thanks folks!
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    For $100 difference, I'd go for the "Ultimate." Actually MacMall and a few others have sales again through the Apple Insider link, so you can likely pick up the "Ultimate" for about the same as a 1.86GHz 4GB CTO model from Apple. Since the "Ultimate" is sold in Apple stores, it will be relatively easy to get a replacement should you need it during the warranty period.
  11. millerb7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    What's the apple insider link?

    Also is macmalls warranty the same? Just standard apple warranty? I can get a replacement thru apple store if I buy from them instead of mailing back to macmall?

    As far as I can tell thru macmall the 13" ultimate is only $50 cheaper... $1749... I mean I'll get that if not more for a student discount with apple.
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Go on to Apple Insider's web page and then you'll see an ad for MacMall with the lower prices. Click on it and you'll get to the page with the special pricing. It's annoying, yes, but that's how MacMall does business.

    You get the standard warranty, so yes, you can exchange a defective Mac through Apple. MacMall does not accept returns of Apple products, however, so all sales are final.
  13. millerb7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    Price was no diff than just going to macmall directly.
  14. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    When I go there it drops to $1714. Make sure you scroll down to the MacMall ad. The 4th one listed is the "Ultimate." If that doesn't work, try applying coupon code APPINSDRMWB26293.
  15. teski, Dec 2, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010

    teski macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    Not true. On the left side of there is a box with different MBA models. click on the link for the ultimate.

    Ultimate 13 is 1714 with this link rather than 1749.

    Still, I don't trust MacMall with their no return policy. But Apple Geniuses will take them and swap out if there are issues.
  16. millerb7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    The 1.86 4GB is ~$1359
    The 13" ultimate is $1714

    That's almost $400 more, NOT $100 more.

    Am I missing something?
  17. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The 2.13GHz model has a 256GB SSD. It is $100 more than the 1.86GHz with the 256GB SSD. $1359 is for the 1.86GHz model with 4GB but only a 128GB SSD.
  18. millerb7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    Yeah, it's really between the 1.86GHz 4GB ram 13"


    I'd get the ultimate 13".... I really am trying to avoid the ~$1800 price tag though haha.
  19. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Getting $850 for your old MBP sounds pretty good. I would just get the 13" MBA ultimate/max to replace it with. If you're planning on keeping your laptop for 3 years, the $100 extra for a 2.13 GHz CPU doesn't seem like a major investment (amortized over time).
  20. millerb7 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    Yeah, not bad at all ;) If it sells I will buy the 13" ultimate.

    I have this feeling the sale is going to fall thru though... if that happens I have a solution:

    I will KEEP the 120GB SSD I just bought, install it in the MBP along with the 6GB ram I just put in it.... THEN I will go and purchase an iMac. I'll then keep the MBP until it dies (as I won't use it as much having the iMac)... when it passes... I'll purchase a new MBA at that time.

    I really do hope it sells as I'm itching for a MBA... but going this route might make the more sense as I will have a full-blow work machine, along with some portability. The 6GB ram and SSD will bring the MBP back to life, but the same imminent death issue stays.

    Hopefully I know by the end of this weekend if the purchase will go thru on the MBP so I can pick up a new MBA now, and then the iMac next year.
  21. loslosbaby, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010

    loslosbaby macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Follow-up to your "would this app mix work?" part of your question:

    I'm doing some intense Xcode / iPhone work right now. The cycle is:
    - browser (look something up)
    - code in Xcode, build, code, build
    - interface builder
    - launch in simulator, test
    - repeat

    ...just from watching the "how-to" videos and when I count how many seconds it takes for the video author to get IB to come up (6, 10 even) I'm astounded that its a little over 2 seconds for me to get it to come up (first time).

    I am running two browswers, skype, e-mail, drobo, and iTunes and I still have free memory. This all on a MBA13 Ultimate.

    Best damned computer I've ever had....just the obvious port whining is all.

    Update: with the "am I holding a computer with my thumb or is it a clipboard" aspect totally separate from the "little slab of aluminum that is connected to my ACD27"...I gotta say, when its unplugged its the coolest portable I've ever had in my life. I often use it on the couch, with the display turned down to 1-3 clicks above min, and I'm getting all-day battery usage. Stunning. Also: plays steam'd L4D2 at 30fps without lag on the ACD27 in the 1280x rez...awesome (fans-a-blowin' in that mode though!)


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