Considering the MBA...should I wait?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Flat Eric, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Flat Eric macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    Hello there, :apple:. I'm a PC. However, I'm almost certain that I'll be switching from Windows to OS X with my next purchase. I'm a freshman (Political Science) currently stuck with an old PC running XP ever since I sold my "gaming-laptop" 6 months ago for being loud, constantly in need of repairs and Vista driving me insane. It's been possible to cope without a laptop, but it would definitely make life easier to own one.

    I would ditch the PC and use my Macbook for all tasks.
    These encompass surfing the web, watching streamed videos, iTunes, occasionally Photoshop, using Word and Powerpoint, reading PDFs and occasionally playing Quake World (est. 1996;)).

    I want a small, portable notebook with a SSD drive and the multi-touch pad that performs these tasks without issues. The sure-shot would be the new 13" MBP, but since I'm into fashion and design, I've been trying to convince myself to go for the Aston Martin of notebooks, the MBA. I do not need the SD-card slot at all and my DVD/R-drive's only task since going to college has been installing MS Office. 1 USB-slot is all I need when I'm on the road, at home I'd just have to buy a hub.
    Can a single USB-slot handle all the information that's being delived to it from mouse, keyboard, superdrive and ethernet by way of USB-hub? I want to avoid connection losses or letters missing because I'm typing too fast...

    So am I right in my assumption that I don't need the MBP's features and additional power or have I overlooked some aspects? Money is a minor issue, to me the style and portability advantage would be worth living conservatively for 1 or 2 months:D..

    Under the assumption that the MBA wouldn't be a mistake, I'm still not convinced whether I should buy one now. The 'one revision away' thread was an interesting read and to me the MBA seems a bit outdated compared to the unibodies it bred. The inclusion of a glass-trackpad and the long-life polymer battery seem almost inevitable in a future revision. I just don't want to have waited too long - the longest I would wait would be the beginning of January, around the time when the MBA was first introduced at Macworld. Is there a consensus on when we'll see the next revision? Will the coming Intel CPUs make a significant difference? Basically, should I buy a MBA in late August, wait or go for the MBP?

    You guys don't seem to be part of the TLDR crowd, so I tried to explain my issue as thorough as possible...I'm anxious to hear the replies :)

  2. jcarmich macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2009
    You've made the right choice deciding on a Mac.

    However, in my experience in selling computers to University students, I almost never recommend the MBA for a school computer. The reasons are are already aware of (lack of an optical drive, less powerful than MB or MBPs, money, etc.). Personally, I would highly advise AGAINST the MBA if you intend to use it as your primary computer.

    If you are certain that you will not need a built-in optical drive, or are sure that you will not need to upgrade any of the hardware in the computer, or even run any processor-intense software (Poli-Sci students really do not need to worry about this), then go for the MBA.

    I'm not 100% sure abot this, but I do not think Apple will do a refresh until closer to the end of the year, since the MBA's got a refresh with the MBP's in June.
  3. kis macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2007
    I'm not going to defend Apple here - I think it would be more convenient having a built-in optical drive in some rare situations. But to be honest: I've never once really needed it on the go. At home or at the office I just use the external USB burner I have lying around. That's the only feature they left out that I can really live without.

  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I used to be a Pol Sc (and History) major and subsequently I have taught both at third level, so I have an idea of where you are coming from.

    Re portability, there is nothing to beat the MBA - it is a stunning machine - and I imagine it will be more than sufficient for your strictly academic needs, especially if you get a hub. However, while I lust after a MBA (and will probably treat myself at some stage in the next year as I travel a lot), my own personal computer is an exceedingly good 15" MBP which does everything I ask it to.

    Re waiting, all I can suggest is the old reliable, if you need it, buy it now, if you merely want it, then I suggest that you wait for a while and see what happens. I'd also suggest that you consider a refurb; they are as good as new, have been individually tested, come with Apple's warranties and come at a considerable discount.

    Cheers and good luck
  5. Flat Eric thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    Thanks for the advice, guys!

    I believe I've made up my mind. I will buy my first Mac in August, but it will be the MBP. Price-wise, it's the best deal Apple's currently offering (imo) and it won't be getting a design-overhaul for quite some time. This means good resell value just in case Apple introduces some incredible MBA features in the coming 12 months and I feel the unresistable urge to swap Macbooks - SSD prices will have fallen even further by then, too. If not, I'll just purchase Applecare and spend some more time with the MBP - still very thin, light and sharp-looking compared to other notebooks.

    The refurb store isn't an option for me, since the regular student discout is doubled if I log on to the Apple store through my university's network. MBP for 1000€ + free iPod Touch :eek:
  6. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    Good choice. Also, the Macbook Pro can handle up to 8 Gigs of RAM, and the awesome battery life is a HUGE plus.
  7. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    But that awesome battery life is not that awesome:(

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