Liking my old MBA compared to my new MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by juro, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. juro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #1
    So, some people at our office got issued 15" MBPs the last month or so, and I was one of the lucky ones to qualify. As background, I have been using a Rev A MBA for the last 20 months.

    I can tell you one thing. I hate lugging that MBP so much I actually leave it at the office most of the time. I remember when the MBA first came out people were saying 2.5 pounds extra would not make much difference so just go with the equally priced MBP, but no...it does make a big difference — not just mobility wise, but in over all convenience and ease of use.

    Now that i have all those ports I don't know what to do with them because I have already trimmed my dependence wired peripherals. I don't know what to do with the built in Optical Drive, too. Frankly, I don't know what to do with the thing, except leave it on my desk drawer at night.

    Funny that getting my hands on a more powerful machine made me miss my "underpowered" Air so much more!
     
  2. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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    #2
    Thats because the air rocks and as soon as they get updated im going to look long and hard at them!!
     
  3. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #3
    I've lugged around my 15" MBP for years now. I've finally gotten my hands on a Rev. A 1.8/SSD MacBook Air and, without a doubt, it's a nicer machine to 'live with'. The portability is a big issue, but so is heat generation and ergonomics when I'm actually sat using the thing, particularly on the sofa in the mornings/evenings.

    While I know people who have a MBA as their primary machine I personally could not stretch this far. If I need to full-on-work then the power and size of the MacBook Pro become very advantageous.

    I know a lot of people scoffed at the original price of the MBA. Yes, it was expensive. But the current pricing of the Rev C model makes it very attractive, IMHO, especially since the nVidia chipset makes it a much more capable, rounded machine. I just hope that Apple is continuing to sell enough MBA's to justify their continued development.
     
  4. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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    #4
    Yes im hoping for 256 SSD and 4GB ram in next revision as for me these are the 2 limiting factors of the current air.
     
  5. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    You and me and a bunch of other people.
     
  6. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #6
    I think the 2GB issues is the most obvious. I've been playing around with MacBook Airs in the last two weeks because I wanted to buy my fiancé one. I've just got her a new 2.13GHz 128GB SSD one and I'm pretty impressed with its speed. I just got back from the Apple store after picking up a Rev A 1.6Ghz model which just got its hinges repaired and the weight of the thing really struck me as I was walking around the shopping centre with it in my 'manbag'. I'm used to lugging around a 15" uMBP and you really notice the difference. It felt like I was carrying nothing at all! If I were buying an MBA for myself though, the 2GB limit would stop me.

    I think the MBA is really beginning to find its groove now in the market. Whereas in the past it would have been ignored by a lot of buyers due to its high price, the entry level MBA now costs the same as the top end 13" MBP with the top end MBA with an SSD drive costing pretty much the same as the entry level 15" MBP.
     
  7. Halon X macrumors regular

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    Sep 22, 2005
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    Malibu, CA
    #7
    Rev A has plenty of power for office/email/web applications. I've got Rev A and C MBA's and manny times forget which machine I am on!

    There is little I would trade an MBA for!
     
  8. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 8, 2008
    #8
    Count me as another one. Bump the RAM, HD and maybe an extra USB port
     
  9. musicpenguy macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 29, 2006
    #9
    Were you forced to get rid of the Air or do you two Macs now?

    Just throwing my thought in too that Apple doesn't sell as many Airs because the Apple employees after customers see the Air and simply love it steer them towards the 13" MBP telling them of all the great speed improvements and that it is still a very thin notebook.

    I really wish that the Apple employees understood the Macbook Air and why it is such an amazing machine that the majority of Mac users would love more so than the Macbook Pro :)
     
  10. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #10
    Are you sure they steer them towards MBPs? I've never seen that before. They're more likely to try to push people interested in an MBA to buy the top end MBA with the SSD rather than an MBP.
     
  11. coast1ja macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2009
    #11
    Have you guys that are crying for more ram ever used an MBA? If so, how often does the lack of ram slow you down? I'm not saying I wouldn't like to see 4gb, but it is by far not a deal breaker.

    I would also like to add that the difference in portability between the 13" MBP and MBA is also significant. I bought a 13" 2.53 4gb MBP thinking I would like it more than my MBA, and I was wrong... yes, it was quicker, but the increased weight was very noticeable. Also, I didn't have a need for the optical drive or many of the ports. I get work done just fine with my MBA and have even used it for Skype presentations that I need to output to a 100" interactive monitor. Yes, the fan goes nonstop and I can tell it is taxed, but it works just fine.
     
  12. gnr319 macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2009
    #12
    Haha, I can personally attest to this. This past summer, both Apple Store employees tried to steer me away from the MBA saying that there is a lot more computer for lesser price in the MBP. I did not listen to them and even asked them if this was some corporate push for whatever reason.

    I got the MBA and I'm very satisfied. The thin profile and lighter weight makes such a big difference in my lifestyle.
     
  13. Jobsian macrumors 6502a

    Jobsian

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    Jul 30, 2009
    #13
    As soon as the next gen MBA hits the scene, and by scene I mean store, I'm in, which, is another way of saying: I'll buy it.
     
  14. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

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    Nov 26, 2003
    #14
    The speed thing shouldn't really surprise people too much. Since rev B it is more than adequate.

    I had a rev B (128GB SSD) but returned it because it had the thin grey lines which are apparently speaking to Apple was a “property of a thin screen” and something “had never come across”. (Incidentally type “MacBook Air Gr” into the autocomplete box and three of the first 10 are “MacBook Air Grey Screen”, “MacBook Air Gray Screen” and “MacBook Air Grey Lines”.)

    I went for a new 15" MBP instead as I didn't know if or when the screen flaw would be resolved. In my brief experience with the Air I liked the machine, a whole lot.

    Any way, back to my main point, about the speed.

    The hard disk is a huge bottleneck. So the SSD will make generally make a far bigger difference to overall performance than even an extra 400-500MHz extra clock speed (because generally your not using that anyway - most of the time the processor is idling). In Snow Leopard loads apps by reading compressed data off the HDD and then decompresses it using the CPU as it is more efficient than it is to read the non compressed data off and save CPU cycles. This I think highlights (if it needed to be) just how big a bottle neck the hard disk is.

    The one thing Apple got right with the Air was the L2 cache. 6MB is seriously juicy. Only the top line 15" and 17" MacBook Pros meet this.

    My ideal list would be:
    [1] 15" model (or 13" with 1400x900 option). I think the 15" model would round out the family nicely.
    [2] Lighter (probably possible, without compromising build)
    [3] NO NEED FOR A GLASS SCREEN - it looks great without one, the glass will just add heft.
    [4] 4GB - obvious!
    [5] Better battery life (which I'm sure is possible with recent advances)
    Include the CD drive by default, remote disk is patchy.

    If you like to run virtualisation solutons (VirtualBox/VMWare/Parrells) with Vista/Win 7 (which, lets face it, a lot of switchers do) then the more the better. 4GB is good enough. 2GB is workable, but a bit skinny.
     
  15. PsyD4Me macrumors 6502a

    PsyD4Me

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    under your bed
    #15
    not really limiting...
    you can always use an external HD, plus don't forget that the price will go up .

    2gb is fine for most applications on the air.
     
  16. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #16
    I don't blame you for liking your Air over the MBP - I started looking for a replacement for my trusty 12" PowerBook a while back, and debated back and forth between the 13" MBP and the Air. I finally chose the Air due to the weight and portability, and because I never really used more than a single USB port and the headphone jack on my PowerBook while out and about, and I haven't stuck an optical disk into any machine of mine in months. And if I ever do need an optical drive or more USB ports, that's what my mini at home is for. I've found that remote disk works pretty well, and most of my peripherals are plugged into the mini and shared over the network. I'm really glad I picked the Air over the MBP. It's a great laptop, and a worthy replacement for my little PowerBook :)
     
  17. Jayomat macrumors 6502a

    Jayomat

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    Jan 10, 2009
    #17
    what if you need to hook up the air to a beamer... ? does it work? how?
     
  18. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

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    Nov 26, 2003
    #18
    There's an adapter for that.
     
  19. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

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  20. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    #20
    Or maybe just about everyone who can afford one. Who wouldn't want that!
     
  21. bmstrong macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    #21
    To the OP? Do you miss the 15 screen size when you go back to the Air? Or is it so small of a difference as to be a non-factor?
     
  22. colourfastt macrumors 6502a

    colourfastt

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    Apr 7, 2009
    #22
    I haven't really seen any difference in performance between my MBP 15" with 4G of ram and my MBA with 2G. Actually, I take that back, the MBA seems quite a bit faster with the SSD installed.
     
  23. juro thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2007
    #23
    Admittedly, the 15" screen is a luxury, but I do not miss it all that much because the inconvenience of toting it around far outweighs the luxury of screen space. It is good for office use, though, especially if you're going to be using it for most of the day with multiple open windows—as is usually the case when working.

    Screen space is the only actual advantage that the MBP offers me, to be honest, as power is something that I don't ever have that much of a need for.
     
  24. juro thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #24
    No, the Air is my personal unit, so I still have that on hand. The MBP was purchased by the office to replace some old iMacs we used to use.

    Mind you, the MBA is not my only computer, either. I have an iMac at home, too, for storage and as a "dock" to my MBA.
     
  25. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #25
    I don't think the 2GB of RAM is too much of a limiting factor for those of us who have MBAs with SSDs. The speed of the drive seems to prevent any noticeable slowdown as paging starts.

    More of an issue for photographers and video editors, perhaps, but then I doubt the MBA is really the right Mac for people in those professions anyway.

    That said, I wouldn't say no to a MBA with 4GB of RAM, it'd definitely be a nice bump from where we are now.
     

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