Help please ~~ MacBook Pro or Air? ~~

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by PoizonIvy, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. PoizonIvy, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

    PoizonIvy macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2011
    I recently posted a topic on here asking opinions on where the best place to shop for my very first ever Apple purchase, a new MacBook Air, online would be between Amazon and MacMall and y'all were very helpful. I narrowed it down and was all set to pull the trigger. Problem is, the more I read on Airs and Pro's the more confused I got on which I actually should be getting.

    I mainly just surf the web and do occasional photo editing, emailing etc. I do use photoshop on occasion. (maybe once every week or so) and I watch movies every single night on my current laptop. (Windows) So for most of that I figured the Air would be sufficient. But I heard from a friend that converting movies, from avi to something a dvd can read is more something a Pro can do better than an Air. So now I am wavering and extremely unsure on which I should spend my money on. :(

    Can anyone help and advise me on whether an Air can handle movie conversion or if I should be looking towards a Pro purchase?
  2. NikFinn macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2009
    The Pro would be faster for that, but the Air will still be able to handle it with relative ease. What's more important to you, the portability of the air, or a quicker rendering/converting videos?

    Keep in mind, the Air will probably be faster for just about every other non-processor intensive task because of the SSD.
  3. PoizonIvy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2011
    Hmm, I pretty much stay rooted to my bed when on my laptop, but the one I have now is so heavy it makes my knees ache sometimes, so lightness and portability is definitely a plus. And if the Air can actually still handle conversions with relative ease then that would be good enough for me. It takes my current laptop over an hour usually and I am quite used to that. So anything better would be heaven to me lol.
  4. NikFinn macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2009
    I assume that, and I've read in some benchmarks before that it holds its own. Here's one that came up after a quick google search.

    Just be aware, I'm sure the fans will kick up and it might get a little loud but I'm sure the same thing would happen with the MBP.
  5. twocircles macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2011
    I too have been debating between MBP and MBA. Neither exactly fits my need and neither set of features is clearly more desirable.

    I think for daily use the MBA would be more comfortable to work with. It's a third lighter and easier to hold. This might be a factor if you are working in your lap rather than at a desk/table.

    The deciding factor for me was that I wanted to be able to run dual OSs simultaneously. MBP 4 GB RAM can be expanded to 8 GB. MBA is fixed at 4 GB. OS X and Windows 7 will use more than 2 GB of RAM.

    Also I wanted good-sized partitions, two 64 GB partitions seemed small, and the price goes up quickly for larger SSD. And, in the MBP, I can enlarge or change my HDD to SDD later if I want to.

    For you, I don't quite understand what you are doing with your videos. Downloading them, burning them to DVD and then playing them on a DVD player?

    I think the time delay on this would be the speed of the DVD writer rather than the CPU. You might compare specs of your current DVD writer with the one in the MBP and the one you'll have to buy to go with the MBA.

    We are not yet a fully Apple family, yet, but my daughter downloads movies and plays them on her iPad, now, and she is discussing getting an Apple TV ($99) so she can watch her downloads on her TV. In fact, she surfs the internet, e-mails and does basic photo editing all from her iPad 2.

    We download and stream video on my 27" system. We haven't watched a DVD in our house for months. I am going to have to computerize our TV to get my computer back.
  6. Bloodstar macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    I had to go through this as well - I ended up deciding on a 15" Pro for the expandability and the fact that I'd end up with some additional power to fall back on at some point. (Of course, I also plan to keep it for four or five years...) Weight isn't a huge issue to me - 5.6 pounds won't burden me.

    I'd go with the Pro, for now - even the 13". The MBA is almost there, but I honestly worry (perhaps too much) about the lack of being able to upgrade RAM or the SSDs available being too small. However, if you need something as light as possible, an Air would suffice for a while, I'd expect.

    Plus, if you have a Micro Center nearby, you can probably get a MBP for $999 - the same price as the base Air!
  7. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
    The MBA can handle this with ease. I am running Win7 in Parallels nearly all the time on my 4G MBA, along with a boat load of other applications at the same time. Its blazing fast. I don't have my drive partitioned, as I don't see a need for it. The virtual machine is in a bundle and I have no need to do bootcamp or anything. If you simply need to run Win7 apps, the MBA can do the job just fine.
  8. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I just sold my mbp 15 2011 i7 laptop for a 13 MBA 2011 base. It's perfect and fast in everything I do. I evem had a fast ssd in my mbp too and the MBA is great!
  9. PoizonIvy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2011
    I download and watch the movies on my laptop BUT I have kids who prefer watching on the big screen so I convert, then burn the movies to dvd for their viewing pleasure. And no, the dvd writer is not the problem. That takes five minutes tops. It's the conversion from avi to iso that takes a while. My laptop generally heats up quite a bit during this on my windows machine (Toshiba laptop). So I wanted to make sure that the Air could handle such a task with ease.

    I was worried about that too. And discovering I could upgrade to 8GBs on a pro did make my decision waver on the Air. Who doesn't like more memory? lol

    The nearest Micro Center is a 2-3 hour drive for me, and that's not really an option I want to look in to.

    And it was talk like that ^^ that made me want an Air in the first place! Blazing fast and light sounds perfect...IF it can handle converting movies, which is the most CPU intensive thing I would most likely ever be doing.

    I feel like a wishy washy teenage girl trying to decide what to wear on a first date -- back & forth, back & forth. UGH!
  10. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    I've been back and forth as well. And again. Over the past 8 months or so I've gone from:

    • 2011 MBP 13" i5 2.3 GHz
    • 2011 MBA 13" i5 1.7 GHz
    • 2011 MBA 11" i5 1.6 GHz
    • Back to 2011 MBP 13" i5 2.3 GHz (due to a great BB open box for $835 + tax)
    • and again today to a 2011 MBA 13" i5 1.7 GHz (also due to a great BB open box for $963 + tax)

    SO...I have the last two still in my possession. I put a 128 GB SSD in the MBP which cost me $175. Now I have to it more important to me to have a slightly less powerful laptop which is 2/3 the weight, isn't upgradeable, has a 1440x900 display, and an extra $50 in my pocket? Or the opposite in the MBP?
  11. heyloo macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2006
    Haha tell me about it. I was quite embarrassed running back and forth from the 13" MBP and MBA at the Best Buy, and even when I handed the BB guy my credit card, I was still struggling which one I really wanted. I had to ask him about the 14 day return policy and made sure that I could exchange to an MBP 'no questions asked'. After the 'dance', I returned home and have been enjoying my MBA since. One thing is, I'm not using this MBA for anything really 'intensive' - I have a PC that I do all the heavy lifting on, so I keep this one tidy and simple. However I don't think we could ignore the fact that the MBA does carry an i5 1.7GHz and a SSD - not something that could be considered 'lacking'. I've done a lot of 'heavy lifting' work on my 2006 Core Duo Black Macbook 1,1 and I didn't feel it was too bad (although that was before I experienced anything alongside i5, i7).

    I'm happy with my MBA. It does everything that I'm asking for it to do, and does it in style. ;)

    At the end of the day, I don't think the difference between 13" MBP and MBA isn't so huge that you'd be disappointed with the lower-powered non-upgradeable MBA in the years (or months?) to come. The story 'might' differ if you go for the 15" MBP. If you need/want the power, the 15" is a sizable upgrade over the 13" MBA (obviously), however if you're sticking with 13", I'm going with the MBA ;)

    Hats off to you. I'd have loved to do the dance with you on that one lol.


    I suppose you could also check out the post just below: Final cut studio on Macbook Air? The posts are from earlier this year, I believe prior to the bump with the MBAs, so take that into consideration. Looks like the verdict goes onto 'it'll run...' side of things? :)
  12. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    I overall did ok with the "flips". Lost $25 on the first, but made $200 on the 2nd and made $130 on the 3rd. In the end I guess, it brings whichever of the last two I decide on down by an additional ~$300.

    Currently leaning towards the MBA...
  13. PoizonIvy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2011
    I basically have myself narrowed down (I think lol) between getting the 13" MacBook Air with the 128GB SSD/4 GBs RAM and the 1440x900 display


    the MacBook Pro MC700LL/A 13 inch with upgraded RAM to 8GBs and either a 750GB 7200RPM Hard Drive or a 120GB SSD OCZ Vertex 3 with a downgraded 1280x800 display.

    The price is comparable by within $100 of one another. Just not sure which would be the better buy.

    My current display is 1366x768 and I was really looking forward to the 1440x900...but my question is will having a 1280x800 be all that bad? For those of you who've used a pro with that display, how is watching movies on it?
  14. dissdnt macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    Just switched from 15 inch Pro to 13 inch air, never looking back. This little bastard smokes it.
  15. PoizonIvy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2011
    The only thing holding me back from grabbing the Air is not being sure whether it can convert avi movies (small movies - say, 800MBs) to iso's without lugging down the machine. Otherwise everything else I do is non CPU intensive.
  16. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Let me update since I was on my ipad in a class and couldn't post much. I am 37 years old, and thought the MBP 15 would work for me. But it was heavy, and I got tired of carry it around with me due to it's weight. I went from a MBP 13 to the 15. After deciding that the MBA would probably be enough for me, I went and bought one after selling my MBP 15 2011 I7 2.2ghz, 8gb of ram here.

    The MBA so far has really impressed me. I typed on it for 8 hours today in a seminar. Some breaks and lunch, but it showed 10 hours of battery after I turned off WIFI and bluetooth since neither were available in the hotel for free. After the 8 hours, I still had 5 something hours left! That is insane battery life. I was really impressed and the speed is fast. I haven't tried any video editing yet, but I can't see it being that much slower than a MBP but it will be some.

    There are videos of people showing how the new 2011 MBA does on videos. You might want to look that up. They compare them to the pro.
  17. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    Well I may be the perfect person to answer your question.

    I just ordered four days ago a Macbook Pro 13 i7 with SSD. The price is $1700 out the door.

    I originally had a 13 inch macbook air as recently as last week until I gave it too my wife because she used it more than me. Or took it off of me, she complained her old windows machine was hurting her shoulder. So being the gentlemen husband I am I gave it too her.

    I ordered a the MacBook because I was worried about the ram issue. I received it yesterday. Let me tell you, after owning a i5 13 Air. The MacBook Pro 13 seems archaic by comparison. Nothing against the Pro mind you. But once you get used to the form factor of the Air, you don't really want anything else.

    Needless to say the Pro is going right back and I just ordered a i7 MacBook air. The performance is comparable to the Pro or a last gen i7 from last year to put it in perspective. But the SSD is faster than the SSD's that Apple puts in the Pros. If you go third party like I did once, Apple will not service your laptop until you swap out your original hard drive and trim is not supported on third party SSD's. You can do a hack but that is up to you.

    The 4GB ram is not limiting at all, the page swaps if they happen will not even be noticeable because the SSD is so fast.

    Long story short, get the Air you will not be sorry.
  18. Spitroast Panda macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Wirral, UK
    How much of the SSD does OSX take up? Im due to pick my mbp up this weekend, but the air is appealing too. Could I get away with an air as my primary machine, until i get an iMac in about 6 months??
  19. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    The 2011 air is the perfect computer IF you dont need a lot of storage, dont need 8gb of ram and are ok with the type being harder to read since its smaller. Those are the only reasons to not buy an air vs a pro.
  20. PoizonIvy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2011
    I pulled the trigger on the Air tonight and am expecting it to be here by Thursday! Spoke with an Amazon rep via chat and was told if I am unhappy I have 30 days to return it for a FULL refund. I also ordered the Rearth Verco keyboard protector while I was at it. Spoke with someone from there too and was told they now support the new 2011 Air so I thought wth not. lol

    Now if I can just convince myself not to second guess my decision in the next day and a half, while I am waiting, I will be all set. lol
  21. Sith Vol macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2011
    Memphis, TN
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I have never owned an Apple computer and am planning on changing that around Christmas-time. The question is, MacBook Air or Pro?

    I currently have an iPad 2 and 4S. However, I have recently posted the iPad 2 for sale to get some extra cash to get the MB. I also have a (very nice) 2010 Dell Studio 15in with i5 and W7. The battery is just terrible and it's way too big to carry around to school. I'm wanting a 13in MBP or 11/13in MBA but can't decide which one.

    My plan was to sell the iPad, buy the MB and also keep the Dell and use it as a "desktop" computer, for gaming, and DVD converting. I love the MBP and have been drooling over them for months, however I've been thinking if I really even need something that powerful when I have the Dell. The MBA would be ideal for portability and taking to school/using at school, but I'm worried about there not being enough storage space on the models. The 13in top of the line model is perfect, yet costs more than the cheapest MBP which has 500gb of storage. This concerns me.

    My main uses for a MacBook would be:
    Internet surfing
    Taking notes/writing papers
    PPT Presentations
    Music streaming
    Video watching

    Like I said, the Dell will be used for the big time computing, like gaming and DVD converting, video editing, etc.

    TIA! (Sorry for hijacking thread, didn't wanna make a new thread)
  22. NikFinn macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2009
    The Air will be faster at doing all of those things. The only potential (keep in mind this probably won't even be an issue) is the playback of HD streaming, although I haven't had any problem on my 11" Air with it's slower processor and less RAM. If you're already going to have a more powerful computer which will practically be a desktop, I would definitely recommend the Air.

    Thanks for not making a new thread, that's all this forum seems to be filled with of late.
  23. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    You will miss the battery life of the ipad either way. The 10 hour life of the ipad battery is real but the 7 hour life of their laptops is a fantasy that will never occur
  24. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007


    I get more than that on average everyday. I guess you are not talking about experience using a Air.

    Remember it all depends on what you are doing. Average use you will see more than 7hrs.
  25. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I got 10 hours easily from my MBA yesterday on battery. It isn't fantasy it is reality.

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