Decision Time! 13" MBA MC965LL/A or 13" MBP MC700LL/A w/SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dmk1974, Nov 5, 2011.


Decision Time! MC965LL/A or MC700LL/A w/SSD?

  1. MC965LL/A 2011 MacBook Air 13" i5 1.7GHz 4GB RAM 128 GB SSD

    49 vote(s)
  2. MC700LL/A 2011 MacBook Pro 13" i5 2.3GHz 4GB RAM 128 GB SSD

    10 vote(s)
  1. dmk1974, Nov 5, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011

    dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Well, I currently have a 2011 MBA 13" MC965LL/A (Paid $1020) and the 2011 MBP 13" MC700LL/A w/128 GB SSD (Paid $1050 total) in my possession. I do like both and need to finally get to decision soon. Both were purchased last week and have full warranties and are both in new/mint condition. Whichever I don't keep, I'll either return to Best Buy or sell off on Craigslist.

    Here's the comparison that I boiled it down to:

    2011 MBA 13" Pros:
    • Integrated SSD standard (mine has the faster Samsung version)
    • Higher resolution screen, less glossy screen
    • 33% lighter by 1.5 lb
    • Thinner
    • Nicer keyboard (the keys are not as flat I've noticed)
    • $30 less (due to SSD upgrade in MBP)

    2011 MBP 13" Pros:
    • 8% faster CPU
    • Can upgrade the RAM to 8gb for cheap
    • Can upgrade hard drive again down the road if I need to
    • Has DVD drive (though, really don't use it much)
    • Better color screen/more vibrant
    • Slightly better battery life

    My use conditions are the typical email, browsing, iTunes, MS Office apps, iMovie/iPhoto, SlingPlayer, and some CAD (DraftSight). Not really much gaming.

  2. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    you got these from BestBuy?

    not sure this choice comes down to anything but personal preference.
  3. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Yes, they were both open box specials that they have going on right now. The MBP was less at the store compared to the MBA, but I'm factoring the SSD drive that I bought to bring to that total amount.
  4. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Only 2 votes after 16 hours? Must be daylight savings :)
  5. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    One other characteristic that I added as a "Pro" for the MBA is that the screen of the MBA is not as glossy as that of the MBP. Some reflection, but not nearly as bad.
  6. ps2pk macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2010

    My brother was in the exact same position.

    Purchased the exact same machines as OP open box from Best Buy. Even though the MBP was about $150 cheaper he decided to keep the MBA (1040 vs 890).

    His reasons:

    1. Quite a bit lighter.
    2. Higher resolution
    3. SSD standard (128gb ssd is about $150 so cost would be even at the end).
    4. Not a huge difference in performance.
    5. Never uses optical drive.
  7. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Thanks for the reply. That's the way I am leaning right now as well. I did put both the MBA and MBP up on Craigslist figuring I'd keep whichever one doesn't sell, but of course I'm getting better offers on the MBA (as far as a net profit goes).
  8. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    MacBook Air, hands down.

    I disagree on both points. For having both (MBA i5, MBP i7):
    • I prefer the MBA's screen colors: look more natural to me, less vibrant.
    • Can't tell the difference in battery life. If anything, the MBA seems to last longer.
    Highly unlikely that you will need any of those ;).
  9. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    I love the higher res of the MBA screen, but to me it does seem a little more "dull". I compare it to a plasma TV (MBP) and an LCD TV (MBA)...of course I did elect to buy myself a LCD over a plasma though. :)
  10. macfrik macrumors 6502


    Mar 21, 2009
    I have the same opinion with the majority here. The screen on MBA is awesome. higher resolution, more vibrant. ANd it is very thin and rugged. that 8% of processor speed does not make that much of a difference. I vote for the MBA.

    *opinion comes from a happy 11" MBA ultimate 2011. Best computing decision I've ever made.
  11. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    For those that say the MBA screen is more vibrant, what brightness do you typically run at? I have always kept my MBA and MBP at 50% (8 "dots") as a balance between brightness and battery life.
  12. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    I find the MBA's screen less vibrant than the MBP's, which I prefer. I keep it at only 1 or 2 bars. I could look at it for days on end and it would still feast my eyes :cool:.
  13. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Well, I've been using the MBA exclusively for the past couple days. Getting very much used to it. I think its gonna be the winner!
  14. ecib macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2011
    I have an MBA and my girlfriend has a MBP. No question the MBP screen blows the MBA screen away for viewing media. The colors are much more vibrant and less washed out. More contrast as well. But the MBA has the better resolution, and the non-glossy screen, which are nice.

    Also, I find it odd that you prefer the MBA keyboard. I like the MBP's better, as there is much more 'travel' to the keys.

    Anyway, I'd go with the MBA. It's far lighter, better screen resolution, and simply faster for almost every single thing you will be doing on it because of the SSD. Plus it just looks awesome. The superior contrast and color on the screen of the MBP is splitting hairs compared with the benefits of the MBA in my opinion. One last thought I didn't see you mention is storage. You may want to consider that, as I'd bet that the MBP has much more...
  15. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Thanks for the reply. With my MBP option though that I indicated, I have a 128 GB SSD that I put in it which is why the price difference is pretty close as well. So both have the benefit of the same speed drive with the same space.
  16. ecib macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2011
    So then for me it would come down to the MBA, touting a higher resolution display and a much lighter and elegant design, vs the MBP touting much better future-proofing with the ability to cheaply upgrade your RAM.


    I would ask myself how long I intend to own this machine. If you're one who likes to update their tech every 1 or 2 years, then go MBA, if this is a big investment for you, and you intend to make it last for a long while, I think I would go with the MBP. Especially once you get that SSD in there, it will be blazing fast, like the MBA.
  17. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Well, I kinda screwed up the other day. While contemplating which one to keep, I kept both listed on Craigslist. I got a good offer on the MBA for $1150 and decided to take it ($130 profit). I had called my local BB and they said they had one in stock, so I made the deal and then by the time I got there, it was gone. Guess I should have had them hold it huh?

    Anyway, I've been checking the three local stores about every day since Friday and haven't found one as an open box just yet. Using the MBP and iPad 2 in the meantime. I sure do hope I find one in the next few days before their extra $100 off promo ends...or else I may be keeping the MBP. The MBP is a great machine too, but I think the higher res-screen and not as much glare on it is my main deciding factor of liking the MBA over the MBP. However, when at my desk with the MBP plugged into my 24" monitor, the slight increase in speed of the MBP and connecting all 3 cords (power, USB, display) from the same edge is better.
  18. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Back to the Air! Sold my MBP tonight for $100 more than I paid and bought a brand new MC965LL/A from Best Buy. After the two flips (and some time spent on my part), I paid a net of $840 for the MBA. Only downside is that it has the Toshiba SSD. But I'll live :)
  19. lukemulder macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2011
    You do realize your going to get a biased opinion if you post in the MBA section.
  20. OnEMoReTrY macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2008
    I wouldn't touch the 13" MBP with a 12 foot pole. We are living in 2011, 1280x800 is way too low resolution. I'd consider that netbook resolution. Good luck working with a spreadsheet.

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