Is MacBook Air just a cheaper MacBook Pro with inferior specs.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Samtb, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Samtb macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    Many people have said that the only reason for ipad mini is lower cost. Would people say the same thing about MBA?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, it's a completely different model, designed for a different purpose.
  3. MTD's Mac macrumors regular

    MTD's Mac

    Mar 18, 2010
    Los Angeles
    iPad mini is a one-handed, pocket device, small and cheap enough to be given to kids, etc.

    iPad is a slightly more powerful full-sized tablet, much better screen for photos and videos, etc.

    MacBook Pro is a mainstream/high end laptop, balancing portability and power.

    MacBook Air is an ultra-portable, as thin as it can be while still running a desktop OS well.

    When you remove pricing from the equation, you see that there's very little overlap between these products.
  4. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
  5. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    What inferior specs?

    Slower processor is the only thing but that's more than compensated for by the SSD in the MBA.

    In 2013 the MBA is just a much better buy than the cMBP.
  6. blesscheese macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    When it came out, the MBA was a premium model that was way more expensive than a MacBook, and even more expensive than a MacBook Pro.

    Since they are so wildly popular, I think Apple has been able to cut their costs through volume dealing with the OEM's, but they do not appear to have cut down on the quality.

    In fact, a recent post in another forum told of a school IT person who so preferred the MBA screen, he "repurposed" his MBP and got himself assigned a MBA.
  7. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Gotta expand your circle of informants.
  8. rabidz7 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2012
    0 dedicated VRAM = 0 speed
  9. Violet1337 macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2013
    I noticed that you have a MBA with 8GB of Ram. Is that far too much for your usage and what do you use it for? I'm not sure whether to go for 4GB or 8GB.
  10. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    For certain uses, sure. For certain other uses, the GPU really doesn't matter all that much.
  11. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    It is designed with different priorities - those being weight and form factor.

    Different trade offs are made to obtain those goals.

    it's like comparing a Ferrari to a truck and saying the ferrari is worse. It depends what you are intending to use the machine for.

    Doesn't matter how much better the MBP spec is if it is too big/heavy/whatever for the user, and the user doesn't need the higher spec of the MBP.
  12. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    the 13 inch MBP doesn't have dedicated VRAM either?
  13. AnorexicPig macrumors 6502


    Dec 12, 2012
    Winnipeg,Canada/New Delhi India
    And neither does the 13" rMBP.
  14. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2010
    Nope. I havent found the specs in the MBA to inhibit my ability to work at all, and for what I do, I value the lightness of the MBA over the MBP's weight. FYI, my family uses all Apple products, and my wife uses a MBP.
  15. Vandefilm macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2012
    If you're only looking at specs and are 'that kind of guy' then yes to your question.
  16. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Many people talk a lot of nonsense. So yes, the "many people" who talk nonsense about the iPad Mini are very likely to talk the same nonsense about the MBA, and the answer is "yes".

    The big reason for the iPad Mini is the small size and low weight.
    The big reason for the MacBook Air is the small size and low weight.

    Which makes your "many people" completely wrong.

    Both have enormous pulling power. :)
  17. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    You might want to brush up on your Apple specs...
  18. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    i think he means no dedicated graphics = i cant use it as a gaming machine, i really wanted a MBA with 4 Nvidia 680s in quad SLI with a 4K screen capable of playing Crysis 3 in super HD, but weight no more and have the same battery life as the MBA now :rolleyes:
  19. barkmonster, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013

    barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    I think when the Thunderbolt docks come out and people get a chance to see how they fit in with the MBA or Macbook Pro, the MBA will be a perfectly viable alternative to the Macbook Pro to all but FPS obsessed gamers.

    For audio work specifically, it offers several advantages now there's a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter: -

    1) It's small, light and portable.

    2) It can still support a second drive with the Firewire adapter so that's the recording drive taken care of. Don't listen to anyone who claims you can use the system drive for multitrack work, even if it is an SSD, they're full of it.

    3) Once the docks come out, you don't need the Thunderbolt display. You can use any LCD you like to use a second display AND all your perpherals down 1 Thunderbolt cable including the second drive.

    These 3 things make the MBA more than viable. Particuarly as the raw CPU power of even the entry level model is roughly equal to the entry level Mac Mini and it's a full blown SSD driven laptop!

    The Macbook Pro still has more CPU power and less reliance on adapters and docks because of it's connectivity. In this sense, you still get more for the same money with the entry level Macbook Pro than the higher end Macbook Air but for people who see weight and size as an issue, things are a little blury these days on whether the Macbook Air is either an over-specified/priced subnotebook or an underspecified Macbook Pro with less connectivity to compromise for it's size.
  20. nightlong macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2012
    The Air is almost perfect IMO. I'm not a gamer and I don't do video editing, and so it's powerful and fast enough for me. I've only heard the fans once, when I had to download and reinstall ML.

    It would be absolutely perfect if it had an IPS screen or ideally retina, and a second thunderbolt port.

    I love the portability for writing wherever I like, and i love the design.
  21. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    I just got a base 13" MBA and I am quite impressed with it. I had the first generation MBA years ago and that was severely lacking in performance compared to the MBPs then. However the current model for typical usage I cannot notice the difference between the MBA and my rMBP. Only thing I would like is 2x Thunderbolt instead of 1x.
  22. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2010
    An extra Thunderbolt port would be a nice add on to a 2013 Haswell MBA ;):D

  23. jfrancis04 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2010
    For me, I'm taking the MBA every time. I feel I can speak pretty objective about this because I actually have a 15" MBP (non-retina) for work. My personal, home computer is a 13" MBA with 8GB of RAM. It is without a doubt the best computer I've ever owned and will probably last me the next 5 years and maybe more.

    The ultraportable size, yet still durable, just can't be overstated.

    For those who have never used a computer with the flash storage before, you'll be truly amazed at the difference.

    The work MBP has the same amount of RAM and a better processor, but a standard HDD.
  24. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Excellent answer and very good post.

    Agree completely.

    To the OP, the answer is no, the MBA is not just a MBP with inferior specs. They are different computers designed with different needs in mind. I have had both, and both were excellent computers.

    For sheer portability, and a blazing fast drive, along with a very good screen, nothing can beat the MBA. It is a powerful, ultra portable computer, and I have had one for the past two and a half years, and it is easily the best computer I have ever had. For someone who needs portability, and who travels or commutes, there is nothing better.

    The MBP is an excellent computer, has much more power and is designed for heavy duty use. Obviously, that makes it somewhat heavier than the MBA.

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