I went from MBP to MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by SnowLeopard2008, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I never thought I'd ever buy a MBA. At the time, I couldn't bear to lose the ports (Ethernet, FireWire) and the SuperDrive. It was also too expensive compared to the 13" MBP. I was really drawn to the 11" MBA because of how small yet powerful it is. Storage space was also a problem/expensive. But with the 2012 MBAs, I think Apple has finally brought the future and made it affordable. School starts soon and I need to buy a new computer. I thought of the MBP vs. MBA and which one better suited me. This time, I went with the MBA because of these reasons:

    1. I have not used the SuperDrive in my previous MBP in over half a year.

    2. I have never used the FireWire port. I've had a 13" and 15" MBP before this MBA. The last time I recall using a FireWire port was to import video from my Dad's Sony HandyCam cassette-based camcorder using my iBook G4.

    3. I only used Ethernet when I was in a temp apartment this summer that didn't have a wireless router set up yet.

    So in reality, much of the bulk that I have been lugging around on my back is for nothing. On the plus side, the 13" has a higher resolution screen, which is one of the things I missed going from my 15" to 13" MBP. I love my new MBA! The thing is incredibly light, the SSD is super fast and I'm really happy with this purchase. I just wanted to share my thoughts in case anyone else is thinking about getting the MBP or MBA. :)
  2. hrl macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    I also went from MBP to MBA. There is no way in hell I would go back to MBP, not even for rMBP :D

    Now, I have two MBAs, the 2010 11" is mine and the 2012 13" is the wife's.
  3. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000


    Jan 30, 2005
    Greenville, NC
    Did the same swap. I had a 13" MBP that I lost in a car wreck earlier this year and I knew that when I started school again I was going to want another one. However I decided to go with the 13" Air and I'm sure glad I did... the weight difference is noticeable and I haven't missed the lost ports at all.
  4. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    I never had an MBP, but I always thought I needed one because my old laptop had ports for everything (VGA, RJ11, pci-e, etc.) and a DVD drive. The only thing I actually might use that the MBA doesn't have is a DVD drive, but I use that so rarely that there is no reason to have one built into the laptop. I was also sure I would need the Ethernet adapter but at the last minute I decided to try living without it, and I have not missed it at all.

    Having two USB 3.0 ports and Thunderbolt makes the Air a much more attractive buy because no-matter what peripheral you need there is a way to attach it to one of those ports.
  5. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    My only reason for not going MBA was RAM.

    4gb was not enough for me last year, and 8gb is borderline for me already (I do a lot of work with VMs). The only reason I don't have 16gb right now is because it cost $1600 from OWC when i got my 2011 MBP last year.

    I'll be upgrading to 16gb + momentus XT 750gb shortly.

    But yeah, for most people its a no brainer. The 2012 airs with 8gb are an awesome little machine.
  6. luqtotheman macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2012
    same here went from MBP to MBA,

    most people don't realize they don't use all that crap. When I thought about it I never used my CD drive and firewire or ethernet. Air was a good choice!
  7. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    Did anyone have any issues with storage going from a MBP to a MBA? The SSD may be faster but the MBP is loaded with a bigger harddrive
  8. SnowLeopard2008 thread starter macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I had a bit of a crunch. I need to run Linux/Windows VMs for dev work but I shifted to using either native Mac apps (NetBeans, Eclipse) or running them on my Mac Pro. I also use the Windows VM to play League of Legends but I just started two year-long internships at Intel and Venture (cell tower company) so I doubt I will have any free time to play games. Hopefully, Riot games will release a native Mac client or I will build a PC to freshen up my hardware skills/knowledge and use that to play LOL.

    In reality, 128GB is more than enough for me. Most people don't have 20GB iTunes or 10GB iPhoto libraries. If mine get any bigger, I will store them on an external.
  9. noobinator macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    I'm going from 13" MBP to 11" air. I'm a bit nervous on the smaller size and battery life but I'm thinking I'll love it.
  10. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO

    The RAM is not upgradable in a MBA, you must order the RAM you want.

    On a MBP, the RAM is upgradable, 16GB will run you ~$100 off Newegg, I am wondering where you are getting the $1600 figure from for RAM.


    1. Get an external DVD drive for the rare times you need one.

    2. I have had a Firewire 400 port in my old Toshiba laptop and homebrew desktop. I NEVER used them.

    3. You can get either the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter or Monoprice's USB Ethernet adapter for the rare occasions you need a wire.
  11. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Yes, this is why i went Pro.

    As to price:

    When i purchased my 2011, 8gb modules were a LOT more expensive. Hence, i upgraded it to 8gb as soon as i got the machine, rather than 16gb.

    RAM prices on 8gb modules CRASHED hard between july and october 2011.

    See the history here:


    Now, yes it is much cheaper. I went 8gb because at the time it was all i could afford. When 8gb is too small, i'll step up to 16 or 32 if that is available by that point.
  12. Fishman Dan macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2011
    I'm going to join the chorus here ... I think.

    Currently have a late 2008 working well, but no AppleCare and only a 300 gb hard drive, I think it's time for options. I travel with it occasionally, and like everyone else I rarely use the Superdrive and never the FW port.

    Let's say I have the budget for a mid-spec Retina + 16 gb. The alternative is a top spec 13" MBA, and a Mac Mini with the spare change for home/fun stuff.

    I have uses for all of the above, but when it comes to virtualisation stuff it might be wiser to do that on a Mini at home and access it remotely? Certainly more fun ;)
  13. pinchez macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2006
    I'll add my opinion to.

    Every 2 years for the last 6 I've always bought a 13" MacBook with 3 years cover then sold it along with remaining cover to buy the next. This year however I've been really drawn to the 2012 11" MBA, It's just simply amazing! so powerful, small and portable and this matters more to me than retina (already have a retina iPad)

    I've also never used a Firewire port, actively avoid using optical drives (even my i7, GTX 670 PC doesn't have a built in optical drive!), don't care about built in SD Card reader as I have a USB adaptor for that and I've never used any of my MacBooks on Ethernet. In short it has all the ports I need :)

    I've ordered the 2012 11" MacBook Air i7, 8GB Ram and 256GB SSD model and is due for delivery this Friday, Can't wait :D
  14. asting macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012

    You're welcome.
  15. JetSurly macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2012
    So what would be the better way to go here...

    MBP 13 bare bones, buy your own 8 gigs of ram for 40 bucks along with a 256 SSD for 175.


    MBA 13 with 8 gigs and 256?

    Both MBP with aftermarket parts and MBA with 8gb/256 is pretty much the same price. Plus the aftermarket parts will not be covered under applecare. Am i right to assume that the MBA would be the better way to go for performance, usability (college papers, music, a few movies, minor picture editing).

    Even though the i5 chips are different, would i notice a HUGE improvement with the MBP i5 and a SSD over the MBA?
  16. dbdynsty25 macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Not doing what you're doing. Better to get the entire package from Apple if you're going Applecare. Sure, it's not user replaceable stuff, but if you have Applecare it doesn't much matter. Go with the Air.
  17. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
  18. jbzcar macrumors regular

    May 11, 2012
    Me, too!

    I went from a late-2008 15" uMBP with a 2.8ghz C2D, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD + 1TB Optibay to a mid-2011 11.6" MBA i7, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD.

    Best choice I ever made, lol.

    Got $700 for my MBP after replacing the Superdrive and throwing in a spare 500GB MomentusXT I had lying around. :)
  19. JetSurly macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2012
    I am trying to keep my budget under 1800. I love the form factor of the rMBP and I assume when it comes in a 13" model it will be upwards of 2k or more, especially after adding options. Such a hard choice, I might as well just pull the trigger on the air. Especially by month end to get the student pricing and 100 gc!
  20. Lunchb0x8 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Aberglasslyn, NSW, AU
    I went from an ASUS F6Ve, to a MBP 13", then to having that with a 2011 MBA 11", and now I have the 2011 11" MBA and a 11" 2012 MBA.

    I found the MBP to be nice, but a bit too big for my needs.
  21. SnowLeopard2008 thread starter macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks, but that's a 3rd party client emulated using Wine. I was talking more about a native client developed by Riot Games.
  22. asting macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    They have unofficial riot support, and the client works very well. I play full res 40+fps. There's nothing i would really want other than perhaps better compatibility (patches break it sometimes).
  23. LSUtigers03 macrumors 68020


    Apr 9, 2008
    I'm thinking about doing the same thing. I use my computer for movies, music, web browsing, and light gaming. I think the Air can handle what I do without any issue in a quicker smaller package.
  24. mj1108 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 7, 2007
    Let us know what you think. After having and getting used to my 13" MBA, everytime I go into Best Buy or the Apple Store and try the 11" model it just feels too small and makes me glad I stuck with 13".

    Could be just me though...
  25. VicTheBerg macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2012
    I've been switching from a 2009 15" MBP to 2011 MBA 11" to a rMBP and now I'm going back to a 2012 MBA 11". I just fell in love with the tiny thing too much, don't think I'll ever be able to have a bigger laptop.

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