help me choose air or pro ($1000 budget)

nashville man

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 1, 2012
28
0
Hello all,
$1000 budget incl. taxes...choices: (mostly from Apple store refurbs pricing)

A) refurbished 11/13 air (processor and config, ?? or...)
B) entry 13 pro 4/320 with i5?

If Air, then Core 2 Duo with 2/128 from Oct 2010...or Feb 2011 i5 but with only 2/64 ??

Not a power user, basic business use of Word, Excel, Ppt, email, web etc.
Maybe 25-30% travel use, if that matters between 11 air at 2.5 vs 13 air at 3.0 vs 13 pro at 4.5 lbs

No heavy programming or taxing software processing needs, no gaming, etc.

Could be happy with either screen I suppose...no external monitor at this point, maybe in the future...Probably need optical drive only to rip CD collection and store for music files on laptop (prob less than 1000 songs) Have maybe 2000-3000 photos on current hard drive, Usb, etc. Can always go with external portable drive for backup I suppose, and separate Usb optical drive.

Only buy a laptop every 8 years or so. Brand new to considering Macs, ready to make the leap...but can't go to a loaded ultimate Air budgetwise. Could consider maybe a regular entry level iMac or Mac Mini in a couple of years as a supplement if needed. But mainly will use this laptop....

Replacing 10 yr old Compaq laptop beast at 8-9 lbs so anything will be a plus weight wise

Help please....remember can't go beyond about $1000 inc. Taxes...so becomes a question of processor, and ram and drive size...And reliability is important...Also, cam Air be repaired or is it considered "disposable" like ipads? I know a MacBook Pro can be repaired or upgraded...

My heart says go Air and that I foul be fine with a 2/128 or 4/128, but head says bang for buck value is refurbished MBP 13" entry level with 4/320 configuration
 

ericDylan

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2012
101
0
i just bought a 13" Macbook Air refurb from Apple. It is the late 2010 model with 128GB SSD and 2GB RAM. It is amazing. Don't worry about the lower specs. With the way Apple optimizes everything, you will never notice slowdown. Especially with what you are describing. I am running The Sims 3 on medium settings while I have this browser window open watching a youtube video. I don't notice any slowdown.

I would go for the macbook air because of its balance of portability and performance.
 

nashville man

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 1, 2012
28
0
If you don't have a need for a dvd-drive, I'd go for the MBA 13". I have a MBA and have no regrets with this purchase. I use it similar to your tasks.
Thanks. Which version processor and how much ram and hard drive?

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i just bought a 13" Macbook Air refurb from Apple. It is the late 2010 model with 128GB SSD and 2GB RAM. It is amazing. Don't worry about the lower specs. With the way Apple optimizes everything, you will never notice slowdown. Especially with what you are describing. I am running The Sims 3 on medium settings while I have this browser window open watching a youtube video. I don't notice any slowdown.

I would go for the macbook air because of its balance of portability and performance.
Thanks Eric. So the Core 2 processor is fine? No need for the. 2011 I5 professor? And only 2gb RAM plenty fast?

Sounds like I'm looking at the same refurbished 2010 version on Apple store you bought ($929 plus tax?)
 

grpaul349

macrumors member
Apr 14, 2005
37
0
I would make any and all attempts to get the latest version (as a refurb). The Core 2 Duo, while not bad, pales in comparison to the new i5. I think the speed difference is 2-2.5x faster. True - you may not notice it today, or even this year, but down the road 1-2 years from now it will make a difference.

It looks like an i5 is 1,099 refurb.. For the extra cash you get 2x RAM and 2-2.5x speed bump.
 

ericDylan

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2012
101
0
Thanks. Which version processor and how much ram and hard drive?

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Thanks Eric. So the Core 2 processor is fine? No need for the. 2011 I5 professor? And only 2gb RAM plenty fast?

Sounds like I'm looking at the same refurbished 2010 version on Apple store you bought ($929 plus tax?)
yeah. It is plenty for me. I mean, I am never going to be doing more than the sims 3 and even that is not often. For the most part, I am just going to use pages and office mac.

The only downside i see is that the sims 3 does drain the battery a lot, but i have not used the 2011, so it may not be any different.
 

lippyt

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2010
36
0
I would make any and all attempts to get the latest version (as a refurb). The Core 2 Duo, while not bad, pales in comparison to the new i5. I think the speed difference is 2-2.5x faster. True - you may not notice it today, or even this year, but down the road 1-2 years from now it will make a difference.

It looks like an i5 is 1,099 refurb.. For the extra cash you get 2x RAM and 2-2.5x speed bump.
Get the i5 as advised. This will likely be the truth in a while
 

grpaul349

macrumors member
Apr 14, 2005
37
0
Dude, I second the 2010 model. It is FAST, and despite the 2011 being twice as fast, it's really not a huge deal. The graphics are slightly better on the 2010 as well, so that's a plus, and not to mention the battery life is greater on the 2010s as long as you run SL.

Here it is at the MacMall... 849 for the 2010 11" 4GB/128SSD

http://www.macmall.com/p/Apple-MacBook-Air/product~dpno~8836727~pdp.gigdcjd
How could twice as fast not be a huge deal? (Never mind double the memory, thunderbolt, etc). Read any review, blog or website and they will tell you the July 2011 Update to the Macbook Air was a HUGE difference. We're not talking about a 10% speed bump here - a 2-2.5x speed gain is a huge deal.
 

btdpi007

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2009
45
6
North Carolina
I won't debate 2010 vs 2011 MBA, obviously the 2011 has better specs (aside from possibly graphics). I have the 2010 MBA 11" base, I absolutely love it but it was purchased as a supplement to an iMac. I would have no problem recommending the same machine but would highly recommend a larger ssd. The 64gb was very limiting and I thought I could get around by using an external HDD, but turned into a pain. I, ultimately, upgraded the ssd with a purchase from OWC.

Base 11 or 13 is probably fine for 90% of people but I'd recommend at least the higher capacity ssd.

Enjoy the Air if you get one!
 

cedwhatev

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2011
300
24
Canada
Not arguing that it's faster either, just not everyone needs the i5. Some people just need to realize that it's not ABSOLUTE that you have the latest model of everything. I read the reviews too, and was fully aware that the 2011 was a huge improvement, but for what I use my computer for, the 2010 is more than enough for me. So let's all just... relax. :eek:

I mean really... take the iPhone 4 and the 4S for example. Not much difference there, but some people just NEED to have the latest! And that's fine.. but don't dispute someone just because they have and recommend the "older" model of something. OH, and for the record, I plan on having my 2010 MBA for at least the next two years. lol :p
 

felixgun

macrumors member
Jan 7, 2012
82
0
I had this same toss up when selecting a new laptop. I ended up going with a MBP 13"/2.3Ghz/4GB RAM/320GB because it has an optical drive/ethernet port. Two things the MBA lack. If I want to go SSD, I can always upgrade that myself :D
 

ericDylan

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2012
101
0
Not arguing that it's faster either, just not everyone needs the i5. Some people just need to realize that it's not ABSOLUTE that you have the latest model of everything. I read the reviews too, and was fully aware that the 2011 was a huge improvement, but for what I use my computer for, the 2010 is more than enough for me. So let's all just... relax. :eek:

I mean really... take the iPhone 4 and the 4S for example. Not much difference there, but some people just NEED to have the latest! And that's fine.. but don't dispute someone just because they have and recommend the "older" model of something. OH, and for the record, I plan on having my 2010 MBA for at least the next two years. lol :p
I feel the exact same way. The 2010 is perfect for what i need. I will not use the thunderbolt port or the i5 processor, so why should I pay more for those things. It would be like paying extra for a blu-ray player in a laptop when you don't have any blu-rays... okay, not my best analogy, but you get the idea.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
978
New England
One thing to remember is the OPs 8 year time horizon. The one issue the MBA has for this is the lack of upgradeable RAM.

I can definitely see a 2010 Core 2 Duo model being enough for 4 years ahead, but 8 seems less likely.

B
 

pscraig

macrumors member
Apr 9, 2008
91
0
The Core 2 Duo vs i5 is a big deal. You might not "need" the performance now, but ask someone with the original MBA how they feel about OS X Lion-it runs terribly. By purchasing the latest processor technology, you are avoiding obsolescence for a very expensive device.

You posted this in the Air forum which implies your responses will be likely in favor of getting an Air. Some very good deals on 13" Pro models out there, with much better battery life especially with an SSD.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
If you can get an Air with 4 GB RAM and at least 128 Gb storage (and preferably, the i5 CPU), go for it. If that's to expensive, go with an early 2011 Pro in base configuration, that will be fine for quite a few years, and fits in your budget I think.
 

Durious

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2008
282
1
Calgary, Alberta
The Core 2 Duo vs i5 is a big deal. You might not "need" the performance now, but ask someone with the original MBA how they feel about OS X Lion-it runs terribly. By purchasing the latest processor technology, you are avoiding obsolescence for a very expensive device.

You posted this in the Air forum which implies your responses will be likely in favor of getting an Air. Some very good deals on 13" Pro models out there, with much better battery life especially with an SSD.
kinda unfair statement, not stating old vs. new tech isn't incorrect just the original MBA was crap even at release. (2010\11) models don't suffer this state.
 

johnhurley

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2011
777
55
but head says bang for buck value is refurbished MBP 13" entry level with 4/320 configuration
You can buy one hill of a windows machine for the price range you are talking about.

The macbook air's do not really upgrade well and I for one would not recommend buying one that does not have 4 gb of RAM.

The entry level macbook pro 13 has enough space and memory that one could easily put in a virtual machine running windows "just in case" there is some part of that environment that you will need/want/miss.
 

btdpi007

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2009
45
6
North Carolina
Obviously Nashville Man isn't running very heavy duty software or have excessive needs... he's rocking a 10 year old Compaq. I'd assume his computer is an Intel Celeron Processor (possible Pentium 3 or 4) and running under 512mb of RAM. Regardless if he purchases a MBA 10 or 11, he is going to feel like he's been transported to the future. His current setup versus, even, the 10 Air is going to be an incredible difference. If Nashville Man has the funds to purchase the newer Air, I think that would be the best... should he not, buy the previous revision Air. Again, I'd highly recommend the 128gb ssd with 4gb of RAM but I run the 11" w/ 2gb and use Aperture 3 with Nik plugins and have no problems.

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I probably should add, if this was me and this was to be my only computer... I'd purchase the MBP 13".
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
One other point in favor of the 2011 Air is the backlit keyboard. The 2010 models don't have it for some reason. I would go for a refurb 13" 2011 Air with the 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. The extra RAM on the 2011s will help it last a bit longer.

I'm facing a similar choice. Since I like tinkering with my machines, I'm leaning toward the 13" MBP, since I have an SSD lying around and I can upgrade the memory later.
 

cedwhatev

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2011
300
24
Canada
Yeah, for sure. I'd definitely go refurb, regardless of what one you buy. I bought used off of eBay and lucked out with basically a brand new machine (33 battery cycles, 6 months warranty), but I've read about some nightmares too.