Keep 15" i5 MBP or go to 13" MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by foulmouthedleon, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. foulmouthedleon macrumors regular

    foulmouthedleon

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    #1
    Ok, first off – I did a search and couldn’t really find anything regarding this particular topic. So here goes…

    Got an i5 15” MBP a few weeks ago to replace my 13" MBP. Love it and it works fine for me. But I was looking at the MBA 13” and kind of like it. I like the smaller nature of the unit and it's got the same resolution as my 15". I’m still within my return window to Best Buy, so figured I’d see what some thoughts are?

    Both sets of specs are good for me, I really only use a bit of light Photoshop (ok, Pixelmator), iTunes, web and some flash games (Angry Birds, etc.) so I’m sure I’m really not even using the MBP’s potential. About the only thing that turns me off is the lack of a backlit keyboard for the MBA, but I think I could get over it.

    If it matters I was going to go for the 256 Flash model.

    Opinions/thoughts are welcome, of course (hence the thread).

    And it’s my birthday today, so be nice!
     
  2. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #2
    IMO I would go for the absolute maxed out version of the 13inch air so 256SSD, 4GB RAM, 2.13GHz Core Duo 2. I got a 13" MBP for christmas though I kinda wanted the 13" air but I was on the fence and it was a gift anyways but if I had to go back I probably would have traded in the unopened MBP 13 for the Maxed 13" air seeing as how my parents said they would pay for it, I just didn't want to be a dick seeing as I already received a 1200 dollar computer. I played with the air its very nice.
     
  3. greytmom macrumors 68040

    greytmom

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #3
    Happy Birthday.

    If that's all you are doing, you don't need a Pro. So, definitely go for the Air.
     
  4. DudeMartin macrumors regular

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    Chicago, Illinois
    #4
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    The 15" MBP is overkill for your needs, the MBA will suit your needs flawlessly, and if you want a 256GB SSD, go with the 13" ultimate - it includes a faster processor.
     
  5. foulmouthedleon thread starter macrumors regular

    foulmouthedleon

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    #5
    Thanks for the comments so far guys. It's only a few things that are holding me back in regards to the MBA. As I mentioned, I can get over the non-backlit keyboard (it makes zero sense they would remove it to begin with). Second, you're kind of locked in with the Flash memory and RAM (neither of which are upgradeable), so any sort of "upgrade" is essentially a new laptop and last, you kind of lose the extra ports and CD drive though you can buy an external superdrive. But it is kind of overkill with my current laptop as I’m really not using it to its full potential. Lastly my local BB doesn't seem to have the "Ultimate" one in stock, so that might hinder things as well.
     
  6. Funkymonk macrumors 6502a

    Funkymonk

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    #6
    Paying 1k+ for a C2D laptop is retarded. don't get the air, at least not now.
     
  7. greytmom macrumors 68040

    greytmom

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #7
    Yes, those are all issues for me and that's why I don't want the MBA. Except the backlit keyboard. Don't care about that at all. Got along years without it and don't notice it on my current MBP.

    But seriously, you aren't going to notice the difference with those other items, since you aren't doing that much on your computer anyway. Now, if your needs are going to change in the next 2-3 years and you see yourself needing more RAM, etc., then it makes sense to hesitate and consider spending more money. And by the way, regarding the superdrive - I'd rather have an external one anyway. The one on my MBP bit the dust and I haven't bothered replacing it, because I don't need it.

    And don't buy from BB. Order from Apple - you can customize what you want.
     
  8. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #8
    We've had Airs since their first release. Great computer, plenty capable, and very mobile. It sounds like you want/need mobility over capability and in that case, I would go for the Air. The size/weight reduction in real world use is a LOT more convenient than it will look on paper. Even the 13 inch MBP versus the 15 is a lot nicer, but the Air takes it up a notch. Also, for what you do, the C2D Air with flash memory will be faster load-wise than the i5 laptops with a HDD.
     
  9. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #9
    Then apparently there are allot of retards on here. Ill agree that paying 1.6k+ for a C2D laptop may be a bit much but consider the aluminum design and the slim factor.

    I'm not going to say 4GB of RAM will last you forever but it is pretty future safe in terms of basic to moderate or even intense computer applications. Remember you don't have to be encoding video, surfing the web, watching a movie and torrenting at the same time :p
     
  10. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #10
    If you are really worried about laptop value then you are looking at the wrong company LOL :p
     
  11. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    Northern District NY
    #11
    ^^That lol
     
  12. foulmouthedleon thread starter macrumors regular

    foulmouthedleon

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    #12
    Just got back from BB and played with their MBA 13.3". Sure enough, they don't have the "Ultimate" even as an option. So if I do end up doing this, I'd just take it back and get a refund then get it at the Apple store (1 block away, ironically enough).

    I'm turing down the lights on my keyboard here to see if I can deal with it!

    Thanks again for the comments/insight. Much appreciated.
     
  13. ddub60 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    #13
    (1 block away, ironically enough).

    Possibly interesting, or odd, or convenient… but NOT ironic. :(
     
  14. s1lv3r macrumors member

    s1lv3r

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #14
    i just have the same doubt. Last weekend i've spend some time playing with one MBA 13" on a Apple Store and i'm really considering changing from the 15" 2.4ghz i5 8gb ram 750gb 7200rpm to the 2.13 ghz MBA with 256gb / 4gb ram.

    I think that most of the time i'll be using the laptop at home, but the weight difference and the amazing beauty of the MBA are making me change my mind and go for the MBA...

    I'll probably be running 1080p videos from it on my HDTV, and maybe playing Starcraft 2 on it, also on the HDTV at 1920x1080p. Will the MBA be enough? or should i keep to the MBP?

    tnx buddy's
     
  15. foulmouthedleon thread starter macrumors regular

    foulmouthedleon

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    #15
    After a lot of thought and consideration, I think I’m just going to keep my MBP. As much as I like the Air, I turned off my keyboard last night (to simulate the MBA) and it really bugged me. Yes, it’s a nit pick but still…granted I may not be using my MBP to its full potential, but it’s got a lot more potential than the MBA. I feel as if I’d be taking a step backwards with the MBA, with less possibility of RAM and HDD options, a C2D processor as opposed to an i5, etc. Plus they don’t have the model I want at Best Buy, where I have 45 days to return it if I’m unhappy whereas at the Apple Store, I’d be charged a restocking fee and would only have 14 days to return it if I changed my mind.

    Again, thanks for all the comments and input.
     
  16. vipergts2207 macrumors 65816

    vipergts2207

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    Columbus, OH
    #16
    If you're going to be playing games, the MBA is not for you.
     
  17. s1lv3r macrumors member

    s1lv3r

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    Oct 25, 2010
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    Germany
    #17
    tnx vipergts2207. I probably won't be playing many games (i've a X360 and a PS3), but i do want to play SC2, and i can't do that in other place =(

    Does anyone know if the C2D + the 320M GPU too weak for SC2?
     
  18. s1lv3r macrumors member

    s1lv3r

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #18
    Still don't know what i should get.

    1) MBP 15" i5 2.4ghz with 750gb 7200rpm / 8gb ram
    2) MBA 2.13 ghz with 256gb SDD / 4gb ram.


    Most of the time i'll be using it at home, probably plugged in my HDTV or over my bed on my lap. i'll be running 1080p movies/series, internet browsing, iTunes and iLife. Maybe i'll be playing Starcraft 2 on it. but don't plan to play other games (i've already have PS3/X360 for that).

    Don't know if i should change to the Air. The MBP is going to receive an update soon but i can't wait. I'll buy it during this weekend. And the MBA was uptaded not so long ago.

    I like the MBA portability and it might be useful in the future. And it is really gourgeous IMO. But i can't say that the 15" MBP is too big and too heavy to carry. For me would be ok to carry it when i need.

    Also, i'm considering buying the MBA/MBP now and keep it until the end of the year when i could sell it and get the uptaded MBP.

    Which would you guys buy?
     
  19. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #19
    well if you think the 15" is ok to carry, why don't you get the 13" white macbook or MBP? and if you put an ssd in it (still cheaper than mba-mbp15), it will be faster than both of those, and easy to carry! but my suggestion is: wait for the upgrades (1month tops), then get a 13" model of mbp or white.
     
  20. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #20
  21. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

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    Tampa, FL
    #21
    In my set up I play comfortably in all lows with medium textures. 2.4Ghz C2D + 320m. In Windows though I can pwn it at some high/medium settings and feel good about it for not lagging in multiplayer 4v4 etc. I play in lows in OSX b/c otherwise I can lag on 4v4 (my most common game mode played).. OSX does not play SC2 that great, but it's improved since launch. Windows hands down plays much better all around.
     
  22. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #22
    The 15 inch screen will be more useful over the long haul.
     
  23. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #23
    It's all the "little" things that make me love the MBP even over the air (or other, significantly cheaper laptops).

    Things like you mention - the backlit keyboard. I use this computer a lot and not having a backlit keyboard in the future would drive me insane!
     
  24. John89 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #24
    Yeah me too.
    This was the sole reason for me not buying a MBA.
    I'm pretty picky with things like that! :D
     
  25. foulmouthedleon thread starter macrumors regular

    foulmouthedleon

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    #25
    Figured I'd chime in here again. I got to thinking and the more I thought about it (that's to say - the more I read), I figured I'd give the MBA a try. I was still in my return window at Best Buy, so worst case scenario, if I didn't like it, I'd just bring it back for my MBP.

    That won't be happening.

    I kind of wanted to go for the MBA "Ultimate", but I had to get that at the Apple store and it wasn't an option. So I was set on getting the 256GB/1.86/2GB model. I don't really use a lot of HDD space, so figured I'd save myself $300 and went for the 128GB model. That, coupled with the $200 I'd already "saved" by turning my MBP back in allowed me to pick up an i3 HP laptop for my step son.

    Anyway, long story short - LOVE the MBA. For what I was doing with the MBP, I really didn't need it. It's fast, faster than my MBP, I'm handling the non-backlit keyboard issue well too. The biggest thing I noticed is the display. It's the same display as my MBP, but since the screen is smaller the pixel density is tighter. It's a much sharper display. It's also not nearly as "glossy" as the MBP. It's lightweight, portable. I really can't think of a bad thing to say about it. If they come out with the MBA's with the backlit keyboard, I'll pick it up but I don't regret, not for one minute, going from a MBP to a MBA.

    Just my .02 of course.
     

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