Help! Can I get away with a Air 13" or do I need a Pro 15?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nizmoz, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #1
    Okay, for the life of me can not make up my mind. Here is what I need the machine to do.

    I have a powerful desktop at home, it's 3 years old but a Quad Core machine that does my heavy stuff. It's a Windows based machine but eventually that will go away for a IMAC.

    This machine will mostly be my portable machine for the following:

    Email
    Web browsing
    Chatting
    Forums
    Work remote sessions/vpn
    Remote Desktop
    Windows 7 dual boot or Parallel
    Photo editing with Photoshop and iphoto
    Maybe some videos but rarely.
    And use it for trips, etc.

    I had a Macbook PRo 15 late 2009 model, loved it, except it was a bit heavy. I had to sell it and get a Dell for work based and decided to go back now to a Mac and do the dual boot so I can use it personally and for work. I plan to purchase this laptop by middle of next week. So I need help from you experienced MAC guys to tell me if this will do what I need. Needs good battery life and I can get by with using a external DVD drive.

    I will have a budget of $2k. I planned on a Ultimate 13" Air, or a 15" 2.53 ghz Pro with upgraded screen.

    Hope to hear some good feedback!

    Thank you guys.
     
  2. BENJMNS macrumors 6502

    BENJMNS

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    #2
    heavy is so 2009. get the air max and never look back.
     
  3. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #3
    The 13" MBA Ultimate is perfect for what you're describing.
     
  4. miata macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    #4
    I don't understand the point of getting the Pro if your main computer is a desktop. Why not do the heavy Photoshop on the desktop where you have more storage, power and probably a bigger screen?
     
  5. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    #5
    The 15" was too heavy for my taste so I sold my 2009 15" MBP and bought a 2010 13" MBP earlier this year. Now, I am on a 13" MBA. I do not think that I will go back to a laptop that weighs more than 3.5 pounds.

    I think you should go with the MBA if you have to get something now BUT I think what you may really want is the next gen. MBP, which I expect will be similar to the MBA but perhaps ~1 pound heavier and with all the ports etc found on the current gen MBP. Steve's statement about the MBA being the future of all laptops is really intriguing in terms of what the next gen. MBP will look like.
     
  6. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #6
    Get the 13 inch Ultimate MBA and you won't regret it. Mine has virtually replaced my 17 inch MBP. I run Windows 7 with a couple of Windows apps open all the time in VMware Fusion's Unity mode. Simultaneously, I always have at least half a dozen OS X apps running. My setup is rock solid stable and runs about as fast as it does on the MBP, which has 6GB of RAM. I wouldn't have believed that I could do all this with only 4GB of RAM but I can and do. To reprise, go for it, you won't be sorry!
     
  7. Perdification macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    #7
    Well, the OP might want to do some light photoshop while he/she's outside of home, and it's quite useful sometimes to be able to have it portable.
     
  8. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #8
    I can use photoshop on it, but truthfully, it seems easier to use the Mac's software version vs the PC to what I have learned when messing with pictures.
     
  9. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #9
    Exactly.
     
  10. miata macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    #10
    I see. Seems like the MBA would be fine for occasional photo work.

    If you really like Macs and want to replace your desktop you might consider either the MBP 13 or 15 connected to a nice 23" monitor. A good compromise might be the 13" which gives you portability -- but still lets you upgrade to 8 GB RAM, bigger HHD or faster SSD in the future, firewire for fast access to external storage, etc. The only real downside of the MBP 13 is the smaller screen resolution and weight compare to the MBA.
     
  11. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #11
    Unless one is doing serious photo work - ie. shooting and editing tons of images taken in RAW format, having large Aperture libraries, and needing really accurate color rendition for post production - there's nothing the MBA can't do just as well as a 15" MBP.
     
  12. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #12
    And I am willing to bet even that if you have a little patience it can do that as well. I will be working with RAW files from my D90, but not too many if I have to use the laptop.
     
  13. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #13
    Sure could - but some of us what everything NOW! ;)
     
  14. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #14
    The Pro definitely would be nice because of the 2.53GHz Core i5 and discrete GPU, but the Air should suit your stated needs. I have the "Ultimate 13" and it handles Windows 7 64-bit both in Boot Camp and virtualization. with Parallels 6.
     
  15. miata macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    #15
    Sounds like you are talking about occasional photo work. My main point is that if you want to go all Mac the MacBook Pro is a way to kill two birds with one stone. Get yourself a refurb MPB 15 with $150 8 GM RAM upgrade, FW800 external drive and reuse your PeeCee monitor.

    You could do the same with the MBA, but then you are limited to USB for external storage and 4 GB RAM.

    If I were you I would get a refurbed MBP 13" 2.4 for $1019, add a pair of OWC SSD 120 drives and SuperDrive mounting bracket for $550, get a OWC on-the-go FW800 enclosure for $70, 8 GB RAM upgrade for $150 and still have money to buy a nice 23" monitor and stay within your $2K budget. You could put the two SSD drives in a RAID 0 stripe and have a pretty wicked fast system. The only downside is the MBP 13 screen resolution when you are on the go -- but even then the color gamut will be better than the MBA.
     
  16. spmiz12 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    #16
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Why is the air considered better then a 13" MBP?? Same processor core; but more ram and can always add a SSD drive... MBP even has drive, lighted kb, but other things... Just wondering??
     
  17. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #17
    Higher resolution display at 1440x900, 1.6 lbs less in weight, and fast SSD comes with it.
     
  18. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #18
    The Air is quite a bit lighter. If you add an SSD to the Pro, then it is $1,999. That extra $200 gets you a Firewire 800 port, Gigabit Ethernet, an optical drive, and a backlit keyboard. For many people that's a wash. The 2.4GHz processor in the Pro has only 3MB of cache, so the performance difference isn't that great.

    Actually, right now the Pro and the Air are so close, I suspect that shortly into the new year the Pro will get a Core i5 and GPU, perhaps losing the optical drive in the process. Alternatively, it might keep an optional optical drive, but make room for the GPU by using an SSD card instead of a hard drive.
     
  19. spmiz12 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    #19
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Yes if you pay through Apple for those upgrades, but there is no reason you can't do ram and SSD upgrade yourself; save a bunch and get as good or better quality... Adding those, don't void your warranty.
     
  20. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #20
    Nice responses guys. Like I mentioned, I am not going all Mac yet as my home PC still has plenty of life in it and that will be replaced by a IMAC in the future. But for now, I want a portable device I can use that is easy to carry with me and will do what I want.

    I also have a older Dell 2405FPW monitor that is around 5 or so years old now I think. Doing great that I could hook it up too, but have no need for that right now. :)
     
  21. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #21
    Yea but the MBP is a bit heavy like I mentioned and don't want to deal with that carry it everywhere. Reason why I am asking if the AIR can do all of what I request and to what I can tell it seems it can. :)
     
  22. spmiz12 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    #22
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    When you make the switch, I promise you will be blown away.... I was a diehard PC freak until 18 months ago, then I took the plunge and bit the APPLE... Now with Bootcamp, parallels, and etc.... You can have it all....
     
  23. The Viking macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #23
    Just left my MacBook Pro behind and haven't looked back yet. I would definitely say I'm a "power user": coding, video editing, photos, etc.

    Having a laptop with instant response and unreal battery life is profoundly different, and its lightness (along with no need to haul around a power brick) means it's more likely to be by your side.
     
  24. MikeinJapan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #24
    I know you have a lot of replies already but he is my opinion.

    I went from a 15" i7 to 13" fully loaded, I do pretty much what you do but I don't use windows at all. The air is great and is quicker on day to day stuff but slower than the pro with heavy loaded stuff (photo editing and video editing). It is not that much slower. If you don't mind waiting 5 minutes for a 1080p file rather than 4 minutes with the MBP, then get the Air.

    I would rather wait the minute and have no shoulder pain. I think the air is faster than the sum of it's parts. I also will be buying an iMac soon to use at home.

    Basically:

    MBP = faster but heavier
    MBA = lighter and slower under heavy load.
     
  25. mm1250 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    #25
    I have a mid-2010 MBP 15'' i5 notebook and just bought the MBA 13''. I aslo have a Windows based i7 Desktop which is used for work.

    I guess you can say I got the best of all worlds. However, I can't decide what to do with the 15'' MBP I bought like 5months ago. Realy don't have a need for 2 notebooks, ooh and the iPad I also have :(

    I say buy both the MBP and MBA and don't look back. This way you won't wonder if it was better to buy this or that .. .
     

Share This Page