I own a 15" MBP and am thinking about MBA for travel. Curious on your thoughts?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Nrwrit3r, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Nrwrit3r macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    #1
    I'm a doctoral student and use the 15" MBP for statistical analysis, Unity, etc...but also a huge amount for writing papers/grants.

    When I travel I always bring my 12.9" iPad for reading/annotating documents, but also like to have a laptop with me to do word processing/use Slack/etc. The new air is quite appealing because it seem like it has great battery life, works with an external battery, and is much lighter than my 15". I originally liked the 13" MBP more than the 15", but unfortunately the battery was too poor (I've heard the new 13" MBP is now better on that front).

    Curious what y'all think? Maybe it's too redundant but have been thinking about it for quite awhile.
     
  2. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Location:
    Ocean State
    #2
    I have both the 15inch MBP and MBA. I use my MBA for travel as it does everything I need while traveling. I say go for it! You won't regret it.
     
  3. mtneer macrumors 68030

    mtneer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    #3
    If you're blessed enough to contemplate buying a MacBook Air in addition to your MBP, as a student, then I say, go for it. They sure do satisfy the niches you are looking into.
     
  4. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

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    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    I'd consider an iPad Pro with one of the good keyboard cases, but that's a personal thing as I only have one laptop and one tablet.

    But yeah, the Air is an awesome machine and mine is wicked fast.
     
  5. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    Have you considered a refurb 12" MacBook? Only reason I say is because I had to use one whilst my 13" MBP was in for repair (keyboard...), and I just loved the size. It was too slow to be my only laptop as I'm a developer in my spare time, but it felt so much more portable than my 13" MBP and was a delight to use.

    I think there's a bit more differentiation between the MB and the 15" MBP than the MBA. Though of course you may want a brand new machine, in which case there isn't a lot of choice. As other posters have said, if you can afford it, it will probably do what you're looking for.

    The other option, of course, is replacing your 15" with a newer 13" MBP. You don't lose a lot of power (assuming your 15" is not 2018 or newer and thus quad core), but gain a computer which is almost as portable as the MBA without having to worry about keeping things in sync or having to upgrade two laptops in a few years' time. This does depend on whether you bought the 15" based on its screen size or its power.
     
  6. Elwe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    #6
    Here here; you make a great point I love the cpu power you can get in today’s slim 13” laptops. That said, Intel’s integrated graphics still cannot compare to even several-year-old AMD discreet laptop GPUs. Intel’s Quicksync and Apple’s T2 chip have certainly helped with particular tasks a lot, but there is still quite a bit you can only get done (several times as fast/smoothly) with the bigger laptop at this point in time.
     
  7. Steve121178 macrumors 601

    Steve121178

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #7
    Don't bother. Use your iPad for light tasks. And your iPad will be getting a nice boost when iOS 13 is released which makes the need for a thin & light Mac even less viable.

    But it's your money, so buy what works for you.
     
  8. RegularGuy09 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    #8
    Many have complained about the speed in the latest MBAs. Whats your workflow like and is it fast?
     
  9. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #9
    I do a lot of different things simultaneously and spend a lot of time with a number of open tabs.
    I do light video editing
    more serious audio editing
    a bazillion chrome tabs
    photo editing with lightroom and/or pixelmator
    Webex Conferences

    I have literally no problem, but I do have the 16 GB of RAM upgrade so the thing is a trooper. Literally love everything about the computer other than the keyboard which I tolerate.
     
  10. smallcoffee macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    North America
    #10
    This is way too redundant. Just take the 15" with you. You're a grad student talking about buying a second laptop that's smaller, but not that much smaller and you already have a 12.9" iPad. You're just bored and want to buy stuff. Don't do that.

    :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:
     
  11. kp98077 macrumors 6502a

    kp98077

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    Oct 26, 2010
    #11
    Honestly, I think you need to do what I did and consolidate, sell your 15" and buy a new 13" makes your life easier... use external monitor if needed but I don't even need that! once machine and a 11" iPad Pro... simple, easy... but I definitely feel your pain traveling with the 15", if you must keep it yeah, I'd get the cheapest air possible... I had the 12.9 iPad Pro and found it really hard to write papers or do meaningful work....
     
  12. chabig macrumors 603

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    Sep 6, 2002
    #12
  13. Nrwrit3r thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 25, 2010
    #13
    Interesting! I actually like the 13" MBP more than the 15", but the battery life was absolutely horrible. I wonder if the update to the 13" MBP makes the battery life better than it used to be?
     
  14. kp98077 macrumors 6502a

    kp98077

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    Oct 26, 2010
    #14
    which year 13 were you trying LOL! I travel all over the world, no issues... invfact the 15 I thought was horrible!! I ave a 2019..
     
  15. RegularGuy09 macrumors member

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    Feb 20, 2015
    #15
  16. Nrwrit3r thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 25, 2010
    #16
    I had tried the 2018 13" MBP. It was about half the battery life of the 15"
     
  17. kp98077 macrumors 6502a

    kp98077

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    Oct 26, 2010
    #17
    Hmmmm, I think that is a bit odd, don't think you would find that the case with the 2019! mine last all day for sure.... under heavy use... I like the idea of the air for you but just wonder about the power?
     
  18. auxbuss macrumors regular

    auxbuss

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I have the 15" MBP + MBA set-up, and I'm very happy with it – mostly for the reasons you state.

    I considered an iPad Pro + keyboard, but then it meant buying iOS apps, ensuring there was iCloud sync, and so on. In the end, I've found the MBA ideal. (I do have an iPad; used mainly for reading.)
     
  19. msp3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    #19
    As a former surface pro user, the MacBook is actually the perfect size for all you’re describing and more. I also only do stats programs, writing, and office tasks, and have found my MacBook Air spacious but slightly too large. Am very envious of spouses MacBook...

    For me 13 is as big as you can go for real portability 15 is a stretch and only if you need the size and power
     
  20. vaugha macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    #20
    If you want, why not? I have a 2019 mbp 15” and an ipp 12.9”. Also ordered 2019 mba which should be here next week. I live in apple’s ecosystem day in, day out. Syncing everything across all my devices is just a charm and something windows cannot offer. Go for it.
     
  21. ptimickey59 macrumors newbie

    ptimickey59

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2019
    Location:
    France, Valenciennes
    #21
    Hi doctor.

    I think you should sell the iPad, keep the pro for big charger works. And order a Air in place of iPad.

    Regarding your studying level it is better from my point of view to only use laptops instead of tablet.
     

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