Buyer's Remorse...buy an Air instead?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vulcan, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I've been researching this topic in the forums the past couple of days, but wanted to make a thread on it to get your opinions.

    About a week ago, I bought a new 15" 2.0GHz MacBook Pro to replace my mid-2009 13" 2.26GHz MBP. I love the speed and battery life of the new Mac, but I feel overwhelmed by the size of it. I'm in school, and it's a lot harder to carry around and take to classes than my 13" MBP was. Truthfully, I hardly take advantage of the video card and processor. The most taxing game I run is the Sims.

    I was considering taking this back and buying a 13" MacBook Air (256GB model) instead. I feel that the Air would be a lot more portable and would be even faster for the little stuff I do (iTunes, Safari, Mail) because of the SSD. Does the Air's battery last just as long as the MBP?

    Overall, I need a computer that will get me through graduate school (5-6 years) and do everything I need. Opinions on if I should keep it or not?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    The battery life depends on the tasks, see this.

    It sounds like the Air is more than fine for you so I would go with it instead. If you carry the computer with you, the difference will be huge.
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #3
    Frankly if the Air were around when I went to grad school, I would have bought that. I actually bought my PowerBook when I started under grad, I'm hoping 5-6 years for you is both under grad and grad school otherwise, :eek::eek:.

    But seriously, I would have gotten the Air, especially since you clearly don't think you need the power of the MBP. That is, unless you want to play COD (looking at your previous posts), then I am unsure if the Air runs COD well.
     
  4. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    #4
    the pro is powerful so ur sure ur not doing anything app intensive, thn the air is fine, if so, ur gonna miss that power.

    if u dont mind 13 inch screen, go for it

    just remember the air is really upgradbale
     
  5. hooneyrob macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    Sounds like the Air is the machine for you.. The MBP 2.0 isn't really so much of a gaming powerhouse anyway since it's the 2.2 that has the 1GB graphics card. With the fact you say the 15 is simply too bulky, I'd go for the 13" Air..
     
  6. wegster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #6
    In whose world is the Air upgradeable?

    If you're really thinking about trying to keep the system for 5 years or so, I'd go with a Pro, one that can see it's RAM expanded (to 16GB once prices drop), HD space, etc. I think the 15" is a better deal all around for the CPU power - who knows what software you'll be running a few years out, really, but the 13" would be my choice over an Air for that length of time, as you will be wanting more storage and RAM during that time.
     
  7. randomrazr macrumors 65816

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    Jan 1, 2011
    #7
    i mean it "isnt" upgradable my bad llol
     
  8. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #8
    If you don't mind replacing the Air in a year or two, by all means, get it.

    The Air is the first step Apple has taken down the road of artificial forced obsolescence because it cannot be upgraded at all. And the instant you need more than 4 GB RAM, you're forced to replace it--you can't simply increase the RAM in it. And if you want to get 5-6 years out of it, you have zero chance of doing so.

    To be fair, it's impossible to say if the 15" will last that long either--but at least it has a chance, given it has more than double the computing power and is upgradeable.

    But I think you're a fool if you return the 15" given your desire to have one computer for 5-6 years.
     
  9. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #9
    I agree.

    If you've made up your mind to return the 15", then I urge you to give the 13" MBP a serious look.

    However, if you want the Air at all costs, its your money do what you want.
     
  10. tbobmccoy macrumors 6502a

    tbobmccoy

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    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #10
    A computer 5 years ago is still viable: look at the first C2D MacBooks. They have the minimum standards for Lion, but Lion is probably it's last OS upgrade. The current Airs will be able to last 5 years; that's part of the allure of Macs and I'm sure Apple won't give it away. The Airs are unupgradeable mainly as a space saving solution that is required for the form factor of the Air.
     
  11. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #11
    I still don't see how the 13" Pro isn't as portable as the 13" Air ... It's what? 2 lbs heavier tops.

    But hey, I guess that 2 lbs wins over having more RAM, more/upgradeable storage, an optical drive, an Ethernet port, a better FaceTime webcam, and a more powerful processor for some individuals.
     
  12. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #12
    Try installing Lion on an original Macbook or Macbook Pro or iMac.

    If you think the current Airs will be viable in five years, then go for it. History says otherwise. Will they work? Sure, many of them will. But will they be as useful as a five year old 15" Macbook Pro? Not a chance.
     
  13. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #13
    IMO it really depends on what you do with the computer/what you study in.

    I've carried around my 15" for nearly 4 years in school, and had a 15" PC before that, I never found it too big nor too heavy. If the weight really bothers you that much, hit the gym, you need it bad. A good laptop backpack goes a long way.

    With the MBA's lack of upgradability, I can see it lasting 5-6 years if and only if your computing needs never change for something requiring more power.
     
  14. wallysb01 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 30, 2011
    #14
    What are you studying? If its anything that requires any kind of math or stat computation, you may want the increased power down the road to do your work. Even Excel will slow way down once you start talking 10K+ rows on machines with 4GB of RAM or less. Especially when you try to run more complicated tasks on the whole set of data. Then, there is the Photo/Video issues. If you need to take pictures or video as data and manipulate them in the Adobe suite, you'll probably want a graphics card or again more memory. Especially 5 years from now. Then, if you're running R or Matlab or command line scripts much, more power is just going to mean less waiting, and investments in RAM and CPU will pay off in saved time later.

    Then as a grad student you probably won't be taking very many classes after your second year. So, you're not likely to be lugging it around all that much for 5+ years, but rather "just" for for 2-3. So by at least year 4, you'll have this ultraportable computer, but not really need its "ultraportableness", and be stuck into its current limitations because of that "ultraportableness".

    My thought is that if you really want it to last 5-6 years, you should buy 15" MBP 2.2. You could then wait to upgrade RAM until it gets a lot cheaper and the need is really there. Which in 5 years, I'm sure you'll find the need for at least 8GB of RAM. SSDs will probably come down a lot in that amount of time too, so by year 2 or 3, if you find yourself in need of more computing power you could have as much as 16GB of RAM, a SSD hard drive, even a RAID system plugged in though thunderbolt. And you'd have a real beast of computer, at least by today's standards.
     
  15. wegster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #15
    Yeah, I think 5 years is probably pushing it a bit. Having said that, I actually replaced my first gen C2D 15" MBP with a Santa Rosa 13" 2007 white macbook, which I just this month 'finally' upgraded to a current maxxed 15" Pro. (Why? 3GB RAM max vs 6GB, and I needed it, sigh). I got a solid near 4 years from that white macbook, and had it not blown a USB port/controller (mostly works, but can't use reliably nor with skype for long, etc.), I could have managed another year out of it. There's simply no way I personally could have done that with an Air - my needs did grow over that time in RAM and in storage, and while I was ok limping along without a discrete GPU, that would have helped to make the machine last longer for some, as well.

    Meanwhile, that 2006 15" MBP is my wife's main system - upgraded storage and RAM, and it's more than enough for her needs (casual use, web, mail, documents, etc.). Given relatively constant use/needs that don't grow significantly, or only moderately, a system that can see storage and RAM upgraded can definitely last reasonably well for 4-5 years for many (but not all), whereas I can see the Air instantly obsoleted with no upgrade path at all, and I'd expect people to be replacing them much more frequently. If you replace any system/Mac you own yearly, it doesn't matter, but if you don't, I'd be leery of expecting today's Air to last as long as a Pro upgraded over time.
     
  16. Vulcan, Aug 15, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011

    Vulcan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #16
    Guys, thanks so much for your help and advice! Tomorrow I'm going to visit my local Apple Store and decide from there. I do really agree on the point about expandability. 4GB of RAM and a 256G SSD may not be enough for me in a few years. I'm going to look at both the 13" MBP and 13" MBA and then compare them to my current 15" MBP. Since I also have an iPad, I'm starting to feel more and more like I should compromise on the portability and stick with what I have. I'll let you all know what I decide to do!
     
  17. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #17
    just keep in mind that the 15" has a much better graphics card. So, if you plan on doing anything requiring 3d, like gaming, you will be much better off with the 15" mbp.
     
  18. Kafka macrumors 6502

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    Mar 10, 2011
  19. wallysb01, Aug 15, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011

    wallysb01 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 30, 2011
    #19
    Also, if you don't see the need for such a powerful machine now, you could just buy a refurbished/used 2009 or 2010 MBP 15", or keep you 2009 MBP 13" for that matter, and save some cash until you've figured out what you really need. Certainly in another ~3 years once you're used MBP is getting slow you're needs will have changed, as will the available technology, enough to consider yet another computer.

    But since you have an iPad, I don't really see the need for an MBA. They overlap in their utility too much. If you want an Air, maybe you should sell both the MBP and the iPad?
     
  20. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #20
    If your thinking about the 13" air, you might as well get the 13" pro. They have the same basic footprint, difference is the air is thinner and a little over pound lighter, which isn't that big a deal unless your carrying around a ton of stuff and that extra pound and a half is what broke the camels back. If you want extreme portability with the air, get the 11", but I see no compelling reason to choose the 13" air over the 13" pro.
     
  21. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #21
    @OP,

    I have/had MBP 13", 15", and currently a 2011 17". I also have the 2011 MBA 11", and I can tell you without question that I wish I could have had a comp like an MBA during school.
     
  22. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #22
    Just remember to get what you want NOW. A lot of people get caught up in "future proofing" when they simply aren't doing it the "right way".

    If you have a few minutes (and I think everyone should), watch this video.
    It's about future proofing and what can and cannot be future proofed and what to actually do at certain points in time.

    http://lifehacker.com/5808039/what-futureproofing-your-pc-really-means-and-how-it-can-save-you-money

    Basically: Get what you need now (basically, get the cheapest storage and RAM now (ram only if you get the MBP as it's upgradable) and upgrade down the line because, well, it will be cheaper then.

    ----------

    Just remember to get what you want NOW. A lot of people get caught up in "future proofing" when they simply aren't doing it the "right way".

    If you have a few minutes (and I think everyone should), watch this video.
    It's about future proofing and what can and cannot be future proofed and what to actually do at certain points in time.

    http://lifehacker.com/5808039/what-futureproofing-your-pc-really-means-and-how-it-can-save-you-money

    Basically: Get what you need now (basically, get the cheapest storage and RAM now (ram only if you get the MBP as it's upgradable) and upgrade down the line because, well, it will be cheaper then.

    But personally, I'd suggest the MBP. It's upgradable and, to be honest, the most bang for your buck you can get. Also, being a college student, you'd get the 100 dollar discount as opposed to only 50 for the Air. It comes out to 1168 for the baseline with a 100 dollar giftcare as opposed to the 1250 without tax for teh 13 inch Air. Just to save you the wonder :)
     
  23. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #23
    The 15" Is Large For A Portable...

    I have had one for several years and I would call it a "barely portable." Gawd Knows how people cope with the 17"!

    I just ordered a 13" MBP. I was planning on getting an 11" MBA but I simply cannot tolerate the display. I developed a headache within 15 minutes of using it. I wasn't willing to take a chance with a 13" MBA. So be sure to really check out the displays at the Apple Store.

    The 13" MBA weighs 2.9 pounds vs. 4.5 pounds 13" MBP. (11" MBA is 2.4 pounds.) I'll deal with the extra 1.5 pounds... Total price with the 20% Kindle special offer discount: $927.26 with 2nd day air. :cool:

    I'm adding a Power Support anti-glare film as I cannot abide glassy displays. You don't mention which display you have on your MBP but there is a difference between the matte and glassy displays. YMMV.
     
  24. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #24
    get the base 13" $999 + $99 500gb moments XT + $39 8gb ram corsair

    the performance is just amazing!
     
  25. tinkori macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    #25
    Same here ... about to order the 11.6 MBA and went in for the 13" MBP due to
    * 8GB RAM upgrade (only 40 bucks) ... it will do less swaps to the SSD and will improve the life. Also I run VMs so extra RAM is more important than CPU horsepower
    * SATA3 SSD upgrade (much faster than air)
    * Got a slight headache at the store with the MBA

     

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