is switching from a 13" MBP to 13" MBA a good decision?

macness

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 4, 2011
559
16
Vancouver Canada
I currently have a late 2011 13" MBP (i7)

When i originally bought it all i knew was that the perfect screen size for me was 13" and i wanted the best one i could get. It was my first ever MBP purchase. But all i find myself using it for is web surfing, watching movies, emailing and word processing. Besides that I have a BIG itunes library. I dont bring it out much because i find it kinda heavy. I wish i could just put it in a side bag and not notice it was there.

I'm thinking of switching to a 13" MBA (i5) Here are my 2 questions

1) What will I lose by downgrading and will i even notice?
2) Should i wait ? is a redesign coming up?
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
194
Can't beat the Air for portability. It carries like a tablet. Update most likely summer 2013, probly follows the retina san super drive.
 

boba7523

macrumors regular
May 14, 2011
157
0
Based on your usage pattern i'd definitely recommend going with the MBA. I had a 2010 13" MBP that i sold for a 2011 13" MBA. Love it, although it may not be enough for heavy Photoshop work. I didn't think my MBP was THAT heavy that i couldn't carry it around, but the MBA carries around like thin air, literally!
 

wolfpuppies3

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2012
413
0
Virginia, USA
MBA should serve you very well. They just upgraded them in June/July of this year so don't hold your breath for another upgrade anytime soon.

Don't know what you mean by a "Big iTunes" library. Mine is 45 GB and not a problem to store on my 512 GB SSD.
 

Saturn1217

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2008
986
245
I was wondering this too. It isn't that I don't think the MBA is a capable machine but to get a comparable machine to what I have now I have to spend a lot of money (8gb, 256gb model is what I'm interested in)

Compared to the MBP which I can buy the base model and get what I need ram and storage wise.

But I carry my computer with me to and from work every single day (and I often work weekends). It is like a 10min walk just to get to the bus stop. So I feel like lugging around a lighter computer would be really nice.

Anyone who has owned a 13inch MBP and a 13inch MBA is the weight savings worth it? Because basically I'm thinking about spending ~1.5 grand for one thing and one thing only -1.5lbs. Do any 13inch MBA owners still wish they had a lighter computer? (I don't think I can deal with the 11inch. No access to external monitors at work)
 

boba7523

macrumors regular
May 14, 2011
157
0
I was wondering this too. It isn't that I don't think the MBA is a capable machine but to get a comparable machine to what I have now I have to spend a lot of money (8gb, 256gb model is what I'm interested in)

Compared to the MBP which I can buy the base model and get what I need ram and storage wise.

But I carry my computer with me to and from work every single day (and I often work weekends). It is like a 10min walk just to get to the bus stop. So I feel like lugging around a lighter computer would be really nice.

Anyone who has owned a 13inch MBP and a 13inch MBA is the weight savings worth it? Because basically I'm thinking about spending ~1.5 grand for one thing and one thing only -1.5lbs. Do any 13inch MBA owners still wish they had a lighter computer? (I don't think I can deal with the 11inch. No access to external monitors at work)
It's noticeably lighter when walking around with it. However, i can live with lugging around the MBP - it's not the end of the world.
 

KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
I currently have a late 2011 13" MBP (i7)

When i originally bought it all i knew was that the perfect screen size for me was 13" and i wanted the best one i could get. It was my first ever MBP purchase. But all i find myself using it for is web surfing, watching movies, emailing and word processing. Besides that I have a BIG itunes library. I dont bring it out much because i find it kinda heavy. I wish i could just put it in a side bag and not notice it was there.

I'm thinking of switching to a 13" MBA (i5) Here are my 2 questions

1) What will I lose by downgrading and will i even notice?
2) Should i wait ? is a redesign coming up?
If your MBP doesn't have an SSD, the MBA is going to feel a bajillion times faster. Go for it, it sounds perfect for you.

Next refresh won't be until next summer.

//I have one myself
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,908
1,987
Canada
I made the switch this year. The 128gb SSD is more than enough storage I find. Especially with all the cloud storage available. I'm not sure you will lose much for the tasks you describe. Obviously the graphics power will be the biggest point but if you're not doing anything intensive I can't see it. I really like the switch to the MBA I'm glad I did it - it's so much lighter and easier to carry. I was ready for the air back in January but waited until June for the 2012 model.
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68000
I was wondering this too. It isn't that I don't think the MBA is a capable machine but to get a comparable machine to what I have now I have to spend a lot of money (8gb, 256gb model is what I'm interested in)

Compared to the MBP which I can buy the base model and get what I need ram and storage wise.

But I carry my computer with me to and from work every single day (and I often work weekends). It is like a 10min walk just to get to the bus stop. So I feel like lugging around a lighter computer would be really nice.

Anyone who has owned a 13inch MBP and a 13inch MBA is the weight savings worth it? Because basically I'm thinking about spending ~1.5 grand for one thing and one thing only -1.5lbs. Do any 13inch MBA owners still wish they had a lighter computer? (I don't think I can deal with the 11inch. No access to external monitors at work)
Heck, I was in a worse position - carrying around my '07 15" mbp up until last year when I got the 13" mba. I traveled a ton with the pro and even had it fall out of the back of an suv, in my Timbuk2 bag, it bent the entire frame - but still worked for another year like a champ. It's still running now, but between the speed and thin/lightness of the mba, it's hard to think about going back. Even using my wife's 13" "pro" is dreadful compared to the air. She'll end up using my computer at night instead of her work computer, it's just that much slower.

I went base model, cleaned the closet (so to speak) and have old files, photos, music stored remotely on a G Tech drive connected to my Time Capsule. I keep about 70 gb's of current stuff on it at any time and would never consider going back. Even the rMBP didn't tempt me.
 
Last edited:

JeffiJers

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2012
552
1
U.S.
MBA should serve you very well. They just upgraded them in June/July of this year so don't hold your breath for another upgrade anytime soon.

Don't know what you mean by a "Big iTunes" library. Mine is 45 GB and not a problem to store on my 512 GB SSD.

i think its rather clear he is asking about the base model air since he said I5.



OP, you will be fine.. there is not much difference in power between the 13inch mac computers.

I have the i5 w 8gb ram that gets used daily for web-design and PS. I will do some short video edits on this as well.
 

iAppl3Fan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
796
23
The cheapest upgrade is for you to put SSD in. If you make the switch it would be more or less the same speed except the flash storage on the MBA will make it seem faster for everyday tasks provided you don't have SSD currently. Your gain would be form factor, screen resolution, and updated ports.
 

robvas

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2009
3,080
532
USA
Will whether its i5 or i7 make a difference?
10% faster for about another $100

I'd get the Air. I like the smaller size, I like the higher screen resolution, and I really like not having such a glossy screen.
 

BlakeBrattina

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2011
534
48
Bay City, MI
I have to agree with most of the posts here for the reasons below;

Note: I currently own both models...

While I love my MBP, the MBA holds and carries far easier in my business messenger.

The screen size is the same, so that doesn't matter, but the Air does seem moderately faster (boot time, load time, etc.).

The air screen does view a bit better, and call me crazy that it may not be able to 'seen' by the naked eye, it does view a bit different.

I have Snow Leopard on the MBP still, with the Air I have Mountain Lion (duh).

Overall, fantastic machines, both of them. But when it comes to portability, speed, strength and operational function, I would choose my Air. Hence why my Pro is for sale and I will be looking for an iMac (or to put more money towards my house).
 

thinkinblue613

macrumors 6502
Dec 13, 2010
283
4
Planet Earth
I made the switch and have not regretted it one bit.

Even though I lose the optical disk drive, the Air's portability and speed alone beat the MBP by a lot.

For me, one key point is that the design of the Air allows it to be comfortable to use. The wedge shape design helps alleviate the wrists when typing for a long time. Its one small detail that I noticed I enjoyed more.

Yes, the 128gb storage I have may seem little... but like what another poster said, there's a lot of cloud alternatives. And like many people, this isn't my only CPU. That allows me to not have to store everything in the MBA.

I travel a lot and I can't believe I was so stubborn with carrying the MBP 13 around. Not only was it heavy, its bulky compared to the MBA. Add books, work stuff and a charger, it becomes a heavy bag. I didn't mind doing that for the last 5-6 years. But now, I have had enough.

Initially, the Air was more of a toy when it first came out. Now that its a few generations in, I can say that I am comfortable enough to switching to the Air. And all honesty, this thing can do everything I can ask for. I don't render or video edit, but I know there are Air users who do. They get along just fine, they only have to wait more than higher spec users.

The battery life and screen resolution are a bargain. To me, the portability factor of the 13" Air cannot be beat. It's one if the better value laptop/ultra books one can buy right now.
 

Agent-P

macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
2,502
23
The Tri-State Area
Based on the scenario you described, a MBA would work out fine for you. If you're worried about not having enough room for your iTunes library, you could always upgrade the SSD yourself. OWC has some decently priced SSD options for the MBA (I've bought parts from them in the past and haven't regretted it either time). You also mentioned watching movies, and I assume you mean via streaming since the MBA doesn't have an optical drive built in and you didn't mention that as a concern.
 

mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,505
156
Melbourne, Australia
1) What will I lose by downgrading and will i even notice?
The superdrive and some ports, such as ethernet and firewire - But if you don't use either of them then there's not really very much that you'll lose :) One other thing is that space in the MacBook Air is more expensive, and it isn't upgradable, so keep that in mind when picking one.
2) Should i wait ? is a redesign coming up?
The air is mid product cycle - So there isn't a new one right around the corner, no.
Gud luck :)
 

oxfordguy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 27, 2008
503
4
Oxford, England
I moved from an upgraded (SSD, 6Gb RAM) early-2008 15" MBP to a mid-2012 i7 MBA (8gb RAM, 256Gb SSD), though did consider getting a 15" rMBP, I don't regret the decision a bit - the mid-2012 model i7 MBA with 8Gb RAM, HD 4000 graphics and USB 3.0 has all the power I need (is actually much more capable in practice than I thought it would be, even with 3D games!) and *so* much more portable, I find myself taking it everywhere, whereas I'd always have to think about whether it was worth lugging the MBP about. Am not sure I would've made the switch if still limited to 4Gb RAM and/or a smaller SSD, though, and the move to USB 3.0 was definitely a big plus, as can use external drives at acceptable speeds.

EDIT: forgot to mention, the battery life on the MBA is incredible compared to my old MBP, I hardly ever need to take the power supply with me, as the battery usually lasts all day!
 
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