Finally pulling the trigger: MBA or MBP penryn screen.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by applecultvictim, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. applecultvictim macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2009
    Ok boys and gals, I am getting a new apple lappie to replace my blackbook after a long, long time of weighing out pros and cons, and I wanted to hear if anyone here has a led mbp and air, or if they 've seen both up close for a long enough time to compare the screens.

    I absolutely cannot handle the new glassy displays and the mbp led matte of last gen seems a real treat, I can get the midlle penryn model (brand new - not used) for about the same price as an entry unibody mbp.

    Second best comes the air in terms of screen quality and real estate, but it outshines the mbp in portability (and heat dispersion) and hence I am leaning on it.

    So, I am sitting on a fence.

    Anyone have experience with both screens (and be a matte person like myself) can tell me how they feel about both of them?
  2. St0rMl0rD macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2008

  3. applecultvictim thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2009
    damn, that's a great comment, honestly, i-apple = lappie, they were made for each other, way to notice things!!!!
  4. macuser154 macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2009
    I have a 15" MacBook Pro with the Matte LED backlit screen. I can tell you that the screen is gorgeous. I have read that the MacBook Air screen isn't as good as the Pro's screen.
  5. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    I have also read this online.
  6. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    If this is the case, then the MBP screen must be phenomenal.
    My Air has one of the best displays I've seen on a laptop, particularly in regard to brightness, contrast, viewing angles, reflectivity.

    Don't reject the Air for its screen!

    And the Air's screen to a blackbook's (like yours) is the sun to the moon
  7. applecultvictim thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2009
    For sure, hence it's my first choice so far due to decent screen/heat ( I d like to procreate)/portability...but the mbp does have a beautiful screen.

    True, very true, saw it for myself up close at a friend's house and it's just gorgeous. That said it's heavy, bulky and worse of all very hot and I will be paying (thanks :apple::rolleyes:) current prices for a year old model just for the matte.

    Hence the confict.

    It's been really great hearing ya all, if anyone wants to chime in go ahead
  8. dubhe macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Norwich, UK
    Not owned a MBP but have had my MBA several months now, I too upgraded from a BlackBook. The MBA is a beauty, and it is very very portable, I hardly ever use it on a desk as it is so comfy to place on your lap, or just to hold in one hand whilst typing with the other. Really, if it is powerful enough for your needs, and it sure is fine for mine, then you will not be disappointed (unless they release Rev.C in the next month or so...)
  9. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2009
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    I recently picked up a MacBook Air to augment my work-issued first generation MacBook Pro -- so, I cannot really compare with the newer MBP screens. I really love the form factor of the Air. It disappears into my back pack during commute. Also, the Air (and the new unibody machines) just feel so much more solid than my MBP. The screen is glossy, but that transition was hardly even noticeable for me. I do miss the extra real estate (in terms of resolution not so much the size) provided by the MBP. One of the things that pushed me towards the Air vs. a new Pro was that I really wanted the portability after having lugged both a 15" PowerBook G4 and the MBP around between work and home and on trips... no comparison. If you are fan of the chicklet style keyboard, the Air will be the same if not better ( cannot comment) with the added bonus of cool backlighting versus the more traditional (but nice) old skool MBP keyboard. Also, the touchpad is large and nice -- I make constant use of the 2 finger scrolling, and tap to click. I need to force my self to use the 3 and 4 finger gestures more .. I keep forgetting about them ;)

    In interest of full disclosure, a fraction of the Rev B Airs do suffer from a condition where there appear to be thin grey lines which slope ever so slightly from left to right across the screen. I am not trying to spread FUD with this comment, just noting that you have a non-zero chance of encountering this condition.
  10. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    I've owned both a MacBook Air 1.86/SSD and a MacBook Pro 2.4 Penryn Matte.

    The MBP ran hot quite often. Had to use SMC fan control to keep the fans at 5000rpm almost all the time and even then they spiked to 6200rpm quite often. However it was a fast machine and would be even faster if you swapped in a SSD.

    I've had my MBA for about 3 months now. I like it so much I'm selling my MBP. The processor slowness hurts a bit during video conferencing and when running VMWare. 2GB of RAM seems to be managed very well in OS X. I allocate 512MB to WinXP inside Vmware. I have a feeling the SSD helps very much with the speed.
  11. glhiii macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2006
    MBA vs. MBP

    I have used a Rev B MBA extensively and now have a new MBP. What can one say beyond the obvious -- that they serve different needs? As far as the screen goes, I prefer the MBP. The MBA I used had lines that were hard to see but ended up being somewhat distracting, while the MBP screen seems perfect. I very much like the high gloss, though obviously many hate it. In the end, I think for most people the MBP makes more sense -- it's just infinitely more versatile. It's extremely useful being able to make it into an external firewire disk, you can buy an extra battery, the screen is much bigger, it's faster, has more RAM, has an express slot, an extra USB port, a hard disk that can easily be upgraded (the 7200 RPM 320 gig scorpio drive is VERY fast). With the MBA, I always felt it was a compromise. Not so with the MBP -- it's a good replacement for a desktop.
  12. applecultvictim thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2009
    I've been reading all the replies very carefully, many thanks, I will probably go for the penryn mbp but I ve given myself a couple of days deadline to decide.
  13. mikey28 macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2008
    Hmmm. I got the MBA, because I knew the form factor was important to me. If I would have gotten the MBP, I would have always looked wistfully whenever I say an MBA...

    Since the screen is VERY important to you, get the MBP. Or you will always look wistfully at other MBPs and wish you had gotten one....

    It is VERY important, whenever you can, to get exactly what you want the first time...
  14. applecultvictim thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2009
    Hmmm, very true. Thanks for that. It's still very confusing though for me cause the unibody 15" matte would be what I would have wanted...but hey there's no such thing, so I will now pay current prices for a year old model (And years ago design) cause apple won't cut me some slack. In any case I ve said to myself that I got one max one more day to decide, and whenever I swing one way I then convince myself to swing the other way and the pendulum is neverending...I ve become a nutjob in terms of choosing a computer I hate to admit...
  15. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a 2.4 Penryn MBP, and don't find heat to be that much of a problem. Of course I have had earlier MBP's as well which were hotter, so the Penryn seems very cool by comparison.

    I have entertained the idea of switching for a MBA, but no Firewire (which you don't seem to need) and the stories about weak hinges have put me off a bit. Can anyone comment on which has better battery life?

    They both have really nice screens, so I don't think screen quality should be a differentiating factor. Even if there is a small difference, both are signficantly better than the MB screen you are replacing.
  16. applecultvictim thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2009
    Max do you think the screen real estate difference will be appreciable in terms of general usability?
  17. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    If you want the best notebook screen from the Apple buy the 17" mbp in "matte."
  18. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    That is unfortunately hard to answer, since the best tradeoff of size and portability will be different for each person. The MBP screen is very nice, and allows me to comfortably have 2 side by side documents- a 13.3" screen is a little bit too small for me to do that (I had a white MB for awhile.) OTOH I wish I had something as thin and light as the MBA.

    Do you typically use your computer mobile or at a desk? One option with a MBA is to buy a reasonably priced monitor for when you are at home (or office), so you can work on a larger screen if needed. I actually have an external LCD and keyboard at home that I use with my MBP, so obviously when I am at home screen size doesn't matter.

    If I travelled more I would probably have gone with a MBA, or possibly the new alum MB. Since I don't, I prefer the advantages of the larger MBP.
  19. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    That's debatable.
  20. applecultvictim thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2009
    It is indeed the best screen, but resolution non independence makes you reading ant sized os x font and reaching for that ctrl + or zoom keys all the time, or so I am told.

    I don't travel either but I like being able to write and move a feather light laptop around the house. That said I a. too use an external monitor with my blackbook sometimes as I find it more comfortable to use that way, less harsh on my eyesight and b. have not even been bothered to turn on my blackbook for light browsing and use my iphone for that instead. Ideally I would prefer a 14+ screen matte screen which could easily fit the air sens bezel. Also what's bugging me, as I said before and sorry if I am getting tiring here, I dislike it how apple's forcing me to get an old design with the penryn laptop just for that gorgeous matte screen.

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