First Mac: MBA or MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by xxNeve, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. xxNeve macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010
    Hello Everyone,

    I know there are a couple of threads comparing the new MBA to a MBP, but mine is slightly different.

    First, this will be my first Mac computer. I have an iPhone and use iTunes, but have never had any sort of Mac computer system.

    Second, I do not have a desktop or large monitor and have no plans to purchase one. This notebook will be my only computer system. (My current computer is a Lenovo Thinkpad X61. I am NOT fond of it. At all.)

    Now, on to my scenario. I am not very tech savvy, so when quoting GHz and RAM, I'm not that versed in spec. comparing, but am willing to go research if the need arises. I am a college student preparing to go to medical school within the next two years. I drag a computer around with me all day so the lightness of the Air is appealing. Also, I cannot last with only 5 hours of battery life, so the 11.6" Air is not an option.

    As far as what I use the computer for, I would use the equivalent for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. I also heavily use the internet for journal articles, web browsing, etc.

    Right now, I am heavily leaning towards the MBA 13" with 4 RAM. My main question here is: Is this a mistake?

    I just want to make sure I am prepared before I go and spend a great deal of money on a computer. And lastly, I need to buy a computer within the next month, so waiting for a brilliant MBP update or next generation Air is not an option.

    Thank You!
  2. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    Since you have been using a netbook already and are used to using a smaller screen and given your needs, I think it's a no brainer. If I was you I would snap up that MBA in a heartbeat.
  3. C64 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2008
    Don't worry too much about battery time. There's probably always a wall plug available somewhere for all the people with netbooks and PC laptops that only last 2 hours :)
  4. newbiemacguy128 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2009
    My girlfriend was debating this with me yesterday. She's not tech savvy at all, but we wrote down the pros and cons of a MBP 13in and a MBA 13in.

    End result...

    She went with the MBP for several reasons...

    Resolution didn't matter because she only did light work.
    Longer battery life
    Will last her longer (due to better specs)
    Cheaper: more bang for your buck...she's a college student after all
    Recently came from a 15.6in HP laptop that weighted 6lb+
    More space for music/videos (unless you spring for the 256ssd $$$!!)
    Doesn't care if word opens up in 1s or 5s (HDD over SSD)
    CD-Drive - Who still uses this thing? Well apparently she does...

    At the end of the day, the only deciding factor is the weight for her 4.5lbs compared to 2.9lbs.
  5. xxNeve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010
    Thanks for the Responses so far!

    So, it looks like it won't be a mistake to buy the MBA then? 2:1 in Favor?
  6. pkts macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2007
    If it's your only computer, I'd get a MBP. I view a MBA as a secondary device and would never want one as my sole computer.

    Plus, if you have a microcenter near you, you can pick up the base MBP 13 for the same price as the base 11 inch MBA :eek: You better be absolutely loving and needing the size and lightness of the MBA for that price if it your only computer.

    EDIT: just noticed that you are a student and will be carrying it around a lot. You need to decide how much the weight is important to you. Personally, I find the 13 MBP to be a perfect weight and don't mind carrying it around.
  7. Epsilon88 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    For your needs, the 13" Macbook Pro sounds like a better fit. Assuming that we're comparing the base Pro with the base 13" MBA, you'll be getting double the hard drive space (which could always come in handy), a more powerful processor and a battery that lasts 3 hours longer. It is a more versatile computer. When you're in med school, maybe you'll want to take out anatomy DVDs from the library and watch them? The MBP would let you do that, while you'd have to have an external Superdrive with the MBA.

    Pretty much, if you're looking for a primary computer, the Pro is a better buy. The main advantage of the Air is 1.5 pounds less in weight, but this should be negligible if you're using a good backpack/carrying case. I know it's tempting to buy the Air because it looks really cool and was just released, but think this one through carefully.
  8. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    The good news is you can't go wrong either way.

    Spec-wise, for the needs you described neither machine is going to leave you wanting. I'd even go so far as to say you don't need to upgrade to 4GB RAM on the MBA––2 will do you fine. (Saying that is tantamount to heresy around here, but just keep in mind, many of the people who populate these forums are power-users––or at least have needs more onerous than the ones you described so will always automatically steer you towards more, more, more).

    Just focus on whether or not you can live without a built-in optical drive, compare battery life and make your decision from there.

    Also bear in mind that if you have a lot of files (iTunes library for example) you need to move from old machine to the new one the MBA doesn't have Firewire so migrating is more complicated than with MBP

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