full spec. 13inch MBA or 15 MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by omgo, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. omgo macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2010
    currently I have an ooold dying laptop with 1,6 core duo /not core2duo/ with 1GB ram, 120GB 5400 hdd, 15,4- 1280x800

    I am definitely making a switch to Apple!:) finally..
    I am eligible for UK Edu discount, so that helps as well..
    The ideal laptop for me would be 13inch MBP, BUT I need some more real estate than 1280x800 and I think that buying 13inch MBP with core 2 duo processor is also kind of lame, considering the fact, that I would use this laptop for next 4 years so I need something more futureproof as well
    ...so I decided to buy 15inch MBP with high res screen and applecare - that was until the new MBA emerged..

    my budget is 1500 pounds
    I need my laptop for: Office, internet( 20-30 tabs open at the same time), skype, watching movies and series, using Photoshop maybe 5times a month, using Aperture or Lightroom.. thats about it
    I dont need an optical drive AT ALL.

    most important thing- this laptop would serve me as my MAIN computer, i dont have anything else and I dont want anything else..
    I also have 1TB external HDD for backup and for movies.. /my music on laptop-40GB,pics- 20GB,../

    -for 1417pounds /with edu discount/ I can have 15inch MBP with hi res screen & applecare
    -13 inch MBA with 2,13 core 2 duo, 4GB ram, 256 SSD+ ethernet adapter & apple care = 1380pounds /with edu discount/

    I dont really need to carry my macbook everywhere, it would serve as my main computer, once a month I would travel with it, I would also need it in library for a few times a month..
    I cant decide! please help me! is 15inch overkill? I need new laptop NOW, I cant wait for new 15MBP or 13MBP...
    I think 13MBA with full spec. would serve me well and it is futureproof + I am in love with the design and 1,32kg versus 2,54kg MBP

    thank you for your replies guys!
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Well, if you don't need much portability (traveling only once a month with it), then I would get 15" MBP. It offers more power, upgradeability, screen estate and battery life. It kinda kills the idea of MBA if it sits on the desk most of the time
  3. Deechh macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Pretty much as what was said above. If you're not using it for everyday travel then the whole "Air" concept really means nothing. If it's going to be just a everyday computer for you get the 15''.

    I bought my 15'' MBP w/ i7 500gig etc for around 2300 USD, which is equiv to 1500 pounds I believe. I have no problem carrying the thing around on a daily basis for school work, studying, or any other thing that I can think of. I was also debating on buying the MBA (previous version, not the new ones) instead of the 15'', but am glad I bought what I did.
  4. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    Another option is the 13 MBP with an external monitor. For me, even 15" is still too small. I'm not sure if you're budget would allow it (don't know UK prices) but if you aren't moving the laptop around a lot, an external monitor would have a lot of benefits.
  5. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    Agreed. Unless you really need power and want good real estate, then a 13" and an external monitor is worth considering. I would prefer a bigger monitor than a high res monitor since I prefer larger fonts and pictures at their native resolution. The base MBP will run circles around your current computer.
  6. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Would that be a Dell E1505? :p
    Used to have one of those lol

    I would get the 15" if you do not need extreme portability.
  7. omgo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2010
    :/ unfortunately 13 MBP with external monitor is not an option... I live in Slovakia, study in Prague, Czech Republic and now I am in UK for one year as an exchange student..so I kind of travel a little bit..and I want to have that screen real estate with me everywhere
    13MBP without optical drive, with ssd and higher resolution would be great.. It is definitely coming in next few months, but I cannot wait any longer://
    since my budget is 1500 I dont have money for upgrading the 5400rpm drive in MBP to SSD...
    I also have 1TB external drive, I think 256 SSD in MBA would be plenty for me..
    ...yeah, I dont take my laptop everywhere, because it is heavy, large, old, slow AND ugly:)

    ...with MBA I could be mobile again.. more than with MBP.. I can imagine that it would be heavy enough to just leave it on my table and not bother with being mobile..
    so this is why MBA sounds good for me.. my concern is, whether it will be powerful enough for running Lion, photoshop, aperture and safari,chrome with 30pages open...for next few years

    EDIT: it is even worse- Acer Aspire 5672wlmi...but it was pretty good when I bought it
  8. i-am-waiting macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2010
    I would go with the MBP, it will last longer.
  9. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    will be powerful enough for running photoshop, aperture

    Barely. For image editing, especially of large files and libraries, you want more power and more RAM. 4GB of RAM is good, 8 is better and a more powerful processor. The MBA is not designed for power. It should be fine for Lion and Safari.

    Sounds like a 15" MBP will have you covered. Later on you can replace the drive with an SSD as the prices come down.
  10. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    I agree with this. I have a Rev B 1.83 MBA with 2GB of RAM. It was not very fun to use Aperture on it. I can't imagine Photoshop would be any better. Granted, the new MBAs have a better GPU (which Aperture happily uses) and you can get it with 4GB of RAM. You can certainly get by just fine for now, but without the upgradeability, you may get frustrated in the future.

    You mention that screen real estate is important to you. Keep in mind that even though the MBA is high res for a 13" display, it's still a 13" display. Sure, you can fit more on the screen, but it's going to be tiny. The pixel pitch on the 15" is much more suitable in my opinion. In that regard, if possible, try checking them out in person. If you think text looks fine on the MBA to you, disregard my comments.
  11. Epsilon88 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    I have the 15 inch Macbook Pro, and it is really worth it. It's heavy, though, at 5.5 pounds I believe. Why don't you go for the high-res?
  12. omgo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2010
    thanks so much eveyone!
    I will go and check both of them in apple store on monday.
    It seems that 15inch hi-res MBP it is... and I will swap the "super-useless"drive next year for the ssd..
    backlit kb, better gpu-means CIV5:), better cpu, fw800, ethernet
    I just hope that it wont be too heavy to carry
  13. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    It may even be lighter than your acer.

Share This Page