Can't decide...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Remnate, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Remnate macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2009
    I'm looking to buy a laptop for school(going for my BS in Aeronautical Science). I'm currently stuck between buying the 13" Macbook Air for superior portability and simplicity and dropping the extra cash on a 15" MBP that will be relevant for longer.

    I'm currently running a 1.1 mac mini that I've upgraded...I'm leery of buying a lower unit that isn't upgradeable due to fears of being unable to expand later if a new OS comes lion has done to my mini.

    Any suggestions?
  2. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    If upgradeability is your concern, you are most definitely a MBP candidate The MBA is great for what it is - an ultra portable laptop. Another route is to use the MBA now and sell it in a year or two instead of upgrading it. Good luck with your decision! :D
  3. KPOM, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011

    KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    What types of programs will you be running as part of an aeronautical sciences major? If it's heavy CAD, etc. you might consider the 15" Pro because of the GPU. Otherwise, as far as the CPU is concerned, it should be capable of handling software that comes out over the next 4 years. Remember, the Sandy Bridge chip just came out earlier this year.

    The main reason the Mac Mini 1,1 was dropped this year is that Apple completed the transition to 64-bit with Lion and the early Mac Minis had 32-bit Core Duo chips (essentially spruced up Pentium M chips). These CPUs are nearly as powerful as the ones in the 2010 MacBook Pros, though the 2011 15" MacBook Pros with their quad-core Sandy Bridge chips blow them out of the water.


    If you go this route, I'd suggest getting the 13" Base model (128GB SSD, Core i5), since it will be cheaper and you'll lose less dollar value in 2 years. Figure a $1300 base will probably go for about $700 in 2013 when the Haswell MacBook Airs are out, while a $1700 i7/256 model will probably fetch $900. The i5 vs i7 probably won't make much of any difference in resale value (certainly not $100 worth), so the primary driver will be the storage space.
  4. Remnate thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2009
    I upgraded my CPU in my mini from the 1.66 Core Duo to the 2.33 T7600 C2D. Runs full 64bit now.

    There will be some CAD, but as far as I know currently it's not so much design focused(as an Aero engineering degree would be) as much as flight focused. I was considering using this as a platform for flight sim, as my degree is to become a professional pilot. But that would be gravy.

    I'd be running mostly very basic stuff, as far as I know...other than the potential flight sim and potentially CAD. That portion of the degree plan is in the later years.


    Thanks for the replies, btw! They are very informative.
  5. AppleTech22 macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    If you're training to be in the air, why not get an Air. ;)

    But seriously, the MBA is unbelievable, just using them in the Apple stores or best buy doesn't simulate what it feels like to carry a notebook by my thumb and index finger. Not like the air is a slug either!
  6. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    I have a 2011 MBP 17" and a 2011 MBA 11".

    I use the MBA 11" almost 90% of the time, now, even when I have both machines available at home.

    I don't need the dedicated GPU of the MBP 17" though.

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